Are you a sometimes-vegetarian who loves Meatless Mondays? Or are you strictly meat-free? Either way, nobody wants to carb-load just to stay full while avoiding meat. Don't get us wrong: Once in a while, we love indulging in hearty, veggie mac ’n’ cheese or a stuffed sweet potato, but moderation is key. Many meatless recipes include some form of pasta, bread, grains, and starchy veggies, so we've rounded up some delicious, low-carb vegetarian recipes that prove meat isn't necessarily a go-to when it comes to restricting carbs. Dishes such as zucchini ravioli, acorn squash soup, and cauliflower-crust "pizza" are super-easy to whip up.
Read on for our favorite low-carb vegetarian recipes.
Three-Cheese Zucchini Ravioli With Roasted Tomato Sauce
Chef and cookbook author Tieghan Gerard from Half Baked Harvest created this delicious homemade zucchini pinwheel ravioli stuffed with ricotta, feta, and parmesan cheeses. It's a surprisingly easy dish that bakes up in a sauce of roasted, multicolored cherry tomatoes.
Tempeh Lettuce Wraps With Peanut Sauce
Ground tempeh pinch-hits for ground chicken in these colorful, vegan lettuce wraps. Chef and food blogger Lisa Lin of Healthy Nibbles tops the make-ahead fillings with her creamy peanut sauce (but you can also use bottled honey-chili or teriyaki sauce), and trades tortillas for lettuce, ensuring this one's a great low-carb lunch or dinner option.
Creamy Fall Soup in Acorn Squash Bowls
When fall hits, everyone seems to want soup served inside a bread bowl—but Minimalist Baker's delectable Fall soup in acorn squash bowls is a just-as-filling entree. Protein and fiber come from the soup's red lentils, and sweet potatoes, carrots, and/or butternut squash round it out. Scooped-out acorn squash roasted in coconut oil form the perfect bread-free, low-carb vessels. The finishing touch: a kale chip garnish.
Masoor dal (aka stewed red lentils) is a traditionally spicy, low-carb curry made easy by chef Jenny from the food blog Spoon Fork Bacon. This vegetarian masterpiece cooks up in just one-pot and includes serrano chili pepper, sweet potato, garlic, and diced tomatoes, as well as Indian spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric, ginger, and fenugreek.
Here's a low-carb veggie-packed curry recipe you'll definitely want to try, especially if you're a fan of spicy Indian dishes. Mary Ann from The Beach House Kitchen blog whips up a tangy, low-carb vegetable curry with cauliflower, spinach, shallots, jalapeños, and red potatoes in a buttermilk sauce.
Substitute vegetable broth for chicken stock to make this a hearty vegetarian meal everyone will love.
Asparagus and Courgette Cauliflower Flatbread
Is there such a thing as carb-free pizza? Absolutely: This cauliflower-crust flatbread pizza from Top With Cinnamon. Top with tomato sauce and garnish with coins of courgettes (French for zucchini), strips of asparagus and mozzarella, and a handful of rocket (arugula). Done and done.
Creamy Zucchini Noodles
The creamy sauce and zucchini noodles are what make this slightly-spicy vegan "pasta" recipe unique. Rather than using cashews to create its "cheesiness," chef and cookbook author Laura Wright of The First Mess whips up a sauce of white lentils, basil, and spring onions. Roasted asparagus and kale are tossed with the zoodles, sprinkled with garlicky sunflowers, and drizzled with a touch of hot chili oil.
Stuffed Fontina Portobello Skillet
Portobello mushrooms are to vegetarians what beef is to meat-eaters. All you need is fontina cheese, a red bell pepper, a shallot, and a bag of spinach—and roughly 20 minutes—to create this super-filling stuffed fontina portobello skillet meal by chef and cookbook author Jessica Merchant from How Sweet Eats. It's a quick, easy go-to for a savory weeknight meal.
A Couple Cook's vegetarian burrito bowl lets you have Mexican food in a low-carb, vegetarian package. What's not to love? Cauliflower rice subs for grains while eggs add protein. Garnish with lime and avocado for extra flavor and healthy fats.
Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili
When you're in need of comfort food, try out this chili recipe from A Couple Cooks. Not only is it packed with plant-based protein (lentils and two types of beans), but you can also make it in an Instant Pot for an easy dinner that's on your table in 35 minutes.
If you're burned out on cauliflower rice, opt for this cauliflower cous cous by Feed Me Phoebe. Cauliflower is sautéed with turmeric and lemon zest, then topped with pine nuts and golden raisins for a low-carb, vegetarian dish packed with exotic flavor. For extra protein, top with chickpeas.
Gluten-Free Buffalo Cauliflower Bites
This Feed Me Phoebe recipe is perfect when you're craving something indulgent. Cauliflower florets are coated in spices and chickpea flour for protein, baked, and then tossed in ghee and hot sauce. The result? A flavorful, low-carb meal even carnivores will love.