Are you a sometime-vegetarian who loves Meatless Mondays? Or are you strictly meat-free? Either way, nobody wants to carb-load just to get some protein in their life. 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.
We notice that most meatless recipes include some form of pasta and are usually packed with bread, grains, and starchy veggies (or more pasta), so we've rounded up 10 delicious, low-carb vegetarian recipes that prove meat isn't necessarily a go-to when it comes to protein intake and great taste. Dishes such as zucchini ravioli, acorn squash soup, and cauliflower-crust "pizza" are super-easy to whip up.
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.
Noodle-Free Tofu Pad Thai
Thai noodle dishes are, arguably, the ultimate in comfort foods—but the veggies packed into this noodle-free tofu pad Thai dish make it possible to enjoy without loading up on carbs. The Minimalist Baker mixes a salad of zucchini and carrot ribbons and tops it all with a tamarind-ginger dressing and drizzles of peanut sauce.
Creamy Fall Soup in Acorn Squash Bowls
When fall hits, everyone seems to want soup served inside a bread bowl—but the 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.
Broiled Miso Cod With Vegetables
Oh, how we love sheet-pan recipes. (And while this simple meal isn't strictly vegetarian, we're including it as a shout-out to those seafood-loving pescatarians among us.) Chef Heidi, from FoodieCrush, creates a next-level cod dish of broiled miso cod with roasted asparagus and sliced shitake mushrooms in sesame oil. The secret is to marinate the fish in an easy, homemade miso glaze overnight.
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 obligatory Indian spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric, ginger, and fenugreek.
Bonus: Another low-carb veggie-packed curry recipe you'll definitely want to try, especially if you're a fan of spicy Indian dishes. Chef 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. Just substitute vegetable broth for chicken stock, and it's a hearty vegetarian meal for the ages.
Asparagus & Courgette Cauliflower Flatbread
Is there such a thing as carb-free pizza? Absolutely: This cauliflower-crust flatbread pizza by British cookbook author and chef Izy Hossack is the bomb. 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, versus spaghetti noodles—are what makes 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, whirrs 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 (basically) 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.