Should Vegetarians Serve Meat to Dinner Guests?

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A vegetarian may feel challenged when inviting guests who normally eat meat to a dinner party. The average vegetarian, who consumes dairy and eggs, is able to construct dinners that are perfectly friendly to the meat eater without serving meat. Most traditional marinara sauces are meatless, as are a number of quiche, fondue and lasagna meals. There’s no question that a completely meatless meal can satisfy most dinner guests, especially when cheese and eggs are permissible ingredients.

Rather than substituting meatlike products, a vegetarian could simply choose recipes that rely heavily on traditional proteins like those in dairy and eggs. Hosts of dinner parties should be sensitive to the needs of guests, and probably stay away from soy products, which for some people create indigestion. Instead of soy-based meat substitutes, consider all the fresh vegetable, fruit, egg and dairy ingredients available for making fantastic meals. Some of the best entrees in the world are vegetarian or easily converted to vegetarian standards and will be recognizable to and enjoyed by your guests.


For vegetarians who do not use dairy or eggs, creating meals that satisfy their own dietary restrictions may be a bit more challenging. So many recipes call for protein from either dairy, eggs, or meat products. While some guests may be fine with meat substitutes, it might be valuable to again look for familiar dishes that merely don’t contain meat. Meatless chili is quite simple to make, and the beans provide plenty of protein. Dishes like pasta and beans, or red beans and rice are also excellent.

Vegan meals based on Mediterranean cuisine can also be completely meat and dairy free, while still providing good amounts of protein. Consider warmed pita bread and dishes of hummus, dolmas, and tabbouleh, for an Eastern take on fajitas. Plenty of Asian dishes rely on very little meat. Vegetarian chow mein, and stir-fried vegetables can make for an excellent “Chinese” night.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with serving meat to dinner guests if your vegetarian ethics permit it. Just as the omnivorous host should be sensitive to vegetarian guests by providing some veggie alternatives or asking them to feel free to bring supplementary food, the vegetarian host should be open to allowing guests who really need that protein to supplement a meal with a meat based dish. Without such manners on both ends of the eating spectrum, guests may not be well-satisfied by a meal.

Ultimately, that is the goal of any host, vegetarian or not: to make sure guests leave the table satisfied. If meat entrees are not for you, consider allowing guests to bring one if they choose. Also provide lots of traditional vegetarian dishes that are high in protein and taste satisfaction. You might end up converting your guests to vegetarianism if your cooking skills are excellent.


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Post 7

I find it annoying that as a meat-eater, I am expected to have veggies at my party. It is considered rude if I don't. However, it's perfectly fine if the vegetarian who throws the party, leaves out meat for the people who eat meat. Isn't that a double standard? I instantly lose respect for a guy who does not eat meat.

Post 6

Does being a vegetarian mean that you must never eat meat? Why can't people simply be content to reduce the amount of meat they eat? Is meat so delicious that to eat it at all implies that you'll eat it all the time? Likewise, being a meat-eater doesn't mean you must have it at every meal. Lighten up, everyone!

I think a vegetarian should cook whatever they want for guests, and meat eaters should do the same. It's a dinner party, a special occasion. Eat whatever the host serves you, even if it's something you don't normally eat. You might like it. If you truly are so strict with your diet that you refuse to eat what a friend serves you, then you probably weren't meant to be friends anyway!

Post 5

Moonlogic, How hypocritical of you!

"Lead by example – don’t contradict your own beliefs - use every opportunity you can to promote this of way of life."

But to hell with everyone else's beliefs.

Post 4

Hi, I'm a vegetarian who is very passionate about food and cooking. I believe a dinner party is a perfect opportunity to show your guests how good meatless dishes can be. Create your best vegetarian dishes and you’ll likely have your guests asking for the recipe and cooking it at home. It's show and tell time. This is the silent opportunity to stand up for what you believe in and debunk some meat eater’s notions that vegetarian food is dull, tasteless and boring – use quality ingredients, let the dishes do the talking and give people a great opinion on vegetarian food.

Lead by example – don’t contradict your own beliefs - use every opportunity you can to promote this of way of life. Warning – vegetarian recipes not up to scratch can also have the opposite effect!

Post 3

I was raised to make sure my guests are comfortable when they are over for dinner. When I have both vegetarian and non vegetarian friends over at the same time, I make two entrees, one with meat and one without. When I go to my vegetarian friends home where they are having a large party of 40 plus people, (40 meat eaters, 4 vegetarians) I feel that they in turn should make their guests feel welcome and provide both meat and nonmeat dishes which currently does not happen, all food is vegetarian. (Their dog is required to be vegetarian too.) I do not expect them to cook the meat dishes but guests could bring dishes to pass. I also feel it is hypocritical to be a vegetarian but drive a car with leather seats.

Post 2

When I will invite people for dinner I will pre-inform that there will be no meat. In this way, people can enjoy meal. I think vegetarian people should not give meat while offering a meal.

Post 1

As a meat eater, I wouldn't mind if my vegetarian friend served a vegetarian meal. Even meat eaters can forgo meat in one meal!

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