7 Meatless Meals that are Perfect for Busy Weeknights

In my process of becoming more aware of both the environmental and health benefits of turning toward a more plant-based diet, I have been in search of some delicious recipes to satiate my meat-oriented family’s appetites.

Here, I will share with you some of these wonderful recipes that I’ve come across. As with many busy families, the school nights can bring chaos with their overabundance of activity. It can feel overwhelming to fit a meal in, a healthy one at that.

I think you will find the following meatless meals to be both easy to put together and also pleasing to your children’s palates. Here are 7 meatless meals that are perfect for busy weeknights.

Cheesy Garlic Parmesan Spinach Spaghetti Squash

4 spaghetti squash sitting in a wire bowl.
there’s more than one way to tackle spaghetti

This first one uses spaghetti squash, a common substitute to the very carb included in its name. As we approach the fall season, this versatile vegetable becomes quite plentiful. Cooking time may be an hour, but your actual prep time will only be 10 minutes!

Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Risotto

a cooked butternut squash, sliced in half, sitting open.

Another tasty squash to devour in the fall, the butternut squash is definitely a favorite of mine. Here it is made to work like a risotto. Simply pop the ingredients in the slow cooker and let it do its thing!

Zucchini Summer Pesto

We typically attempt a garden at our house, but rarely have good results. This year, however, we have a monster zucchini plant that I am really excited about. There is nothing better than utilizing your own homegrown produce!

3 fresh zucchini laying on a wooden table.

Zucchini dishes make great meatless meals

I recently gave this zucchini pesto a try. It’s so great because of all of the protein that comes from the nuts. All I had to do was boil the pasta and blend the pesto ingredients for a healthy dish that the whole family wolfed down. For the pickier kids, I would lay low with the garlic, though. Added bonus, it’s completely vegan and oil-free!

Zucchini & Squash Au Gratin

This dish has been one of my fave ways to use up all that summer squash, for years now. The most time-consuming part is cutting up the veggies. After that, it’s just cover with cheese, bake and enjoy!

Quinoa Taco Skillet

a purple quinoa plant growing in the wild
quinoa is plant-based

Incorporating quinoa into meatless meals is a great way to get in those necessary proteins. A few months ago, I made this meal in mass quantity and then froze most of it into nightly portions. It came in so handy during those extra busy weeks and tasted amazing!

Just hold off on adding the garnishments (salsa, cilantro, extra cheese,etc) until you’re ready to eat. We also like to add avocado and sour cream to make it even tastier.

Morroccan Chickpea Stew

a container filled with cooked garbanzo beans, coated in seasoning.

This is another one of my favorites because you can just toss all the ingredients into a slow cooker, and end up with a flavorful and nutritious dish by day’s end. Not to mention, it will warm you up on those chilly fall nights!

Vegan Lentil Sloppy Joes

red lentil beans all sprawled out on a white surface
lentils make a good sloppy joe

What’s so great about this recipe, is that you can use either the slow cooker OR the instant pot to prepare it. We just had this last night–and it was so flavorful! Maybe ease up on the chili powder a little if your little ones aren’t into spice.

So there you have it! 7 Meatless meals that are perfect for busy weeknights. No reason you can’t have your meatless dishes and your flavor, too! Enjoy, and tell me how it went 🙂

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  1. We are also going towards a path of moving away from meat being the main dish and towards veggies taking over and meat taking a back seat on our diet. These are amazing dishes and inspirations.

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