What Are the Different Types of Vegetarian Cuisine?

Lori Kilchermann

Even though most vegetarians typically exclude meat and fish from their diets, there is still an abundance of vegetarian cuisine options available, from egg plant rotini to veggie burgers and pita wraps. Vegetarians can start the day with a breakfast of carrot cake oatmeal, pancakes or a fruit smoothie. A mid-day meal can consist of golden Austrian cauliflower soup, strawberry salad or a chickpea sandwich. Vegetarian cuisine served for an evening meal can include grilled zucchini with vegetable chili, veggie-stuffed peppers or mushroom and white bean casserole.

Quinoa pomegranate fennel salad.
Quinoa pomegranate fennel salad.

Rice is often featured in vegetarian cuisine and comes in dishes such as spicy tofu rice pilaf, simple fried rice and rice pudding. Mediterranean rice salad features long-grain brown rice, cucumbers and bell peppers and is served chilled or at room temperature. Rice is also featured in Cuban black beans and rice and Jamaican-style picadillo. Cashew veggie fried rice, Brazilian brown rice and black beans, and rice red lentil salad are also common vegetarian dishes.

Grilled zucchini.
Grilled zucchini.

Pasta is a staple ingredient in many types of vegetarian cuisine, including butternut squash pasta, asparagus pesto pasta salad, and Asian noodle salad. Spaghetti with olives and lemon features pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped fresh parsley and garlic. Vegetarian lasagna features assorted sauteed or grilled vegetables, such as zucchini, portobello mushrooms and broccoli. It features a tofu filling of roasted Tahini, minced basil leaves and minced Italian parsley, and a pesto made of basil, olive oil and pine nuts.

Fennel carrot soup.
Fennel carrot soup.

Vegetarian cuisine also includes a variety of types of veggie burgers, such as quinoa veggie burgers, tofu veggie burgers and black bean veggie burgers. Walnut veggie burgers feature cooked brown rice combined with chopped walnuts and onion. Lentil veggie burgers feature brown lentils, bay leaf and chopped onion. Gourmet baked tofu patties feature tofu, corn and celery and are baked rather than fried. Carrot burgers feature diced carrots, crushed cornflakes and finely chopped celery and are served on hamburger buns.

Assorted beans. Beans can be easily used in most vegetarian dishes.
Assorted beans. Beans can be easily used in most vegetarian dishes.

Soups are another type of vegetarian cuisine with many varieties available, such as fennel carrot soup, barley bean veggie soup and cream of celery soup. Other vegetarian soups include Chinese cabbage tofu soup, cream of broccoli and chickpea basil vegetable soup. Vegetarian cuisine also incorporates stews, such as chickpea kale sweet potato stew, lima bean stew and Jamaican red bean stew.

Pasta with pesto sauce is a popular vegetarian Italian dish.
Pasta with pesto sauce is a popular vegetarian Italian dish.

Grains are used in an abundance of vegetarian cuisine, including oatmeal date nut muffins and oatmeal currant scones. Vegetarian granola, cookies and nut loaf also feature grain products. Bread products, such as zucchini bread, banana bread and carrot muffins, are vegetarian breakfast options. Vegetarian dessert options include items such as apple crisp, poached pears and sour cream blueberry muffins.

Butternut squash pasta is a popular vegetarian dinner option.
Butternut squash pasta is a popular vegetarian dinner option.
Vegetarian cuisine may include vegetarian lasagna.
Vegetarian cuisine may include vegetarian lasagna.
Olive oil is a flavorful ingredient in sauces, salads, pastas, and dressings and is vegetarian-friendly.
Olive oil is a flavorful ingredient in sauces, salads, pastas, and dressings and is vegetarian-friendly.
Bread is a vegetarian-friendly option.
Bread is a vegetarian-friendly option.
Asian salad is meat-free, making it a tasty option for vegetarians.
Asian salad is meat-free, making it a tasty option for vegetarians.
Rice is used in many vegetarian dishes.
Rice is used in many vegetarian dishes.
Mediterranean rice salad can include red bell peppers.
Mediterranean rice salad can include red bell peppers.
Vegetarian salads can be made with walnuts, pears, and cheese.
Vegetarian salads can be made with walnuts, pears, and cheese.
For a vegetarian stir-fry, use tofu or seitan in lieu of seafood or meat.
For a vegetarian stir-fry, use tofu or seitan in lieu of seafood or meat.
A vegetarian breakfast can be as simple as a bowl of oatmeal topped with nuts and raisins.
A vegetarian breakfast can be as simple as a bowl of oatmeal topped with nuts and raisins.
Celery is often used to add bulk to dishes in vegetarian cuisine.
Celery is often used to add bulk to dishes in vegetarian cuisine.
Pesto soup can be considered a vegetarian cuisine.
Pesto soup can be considered a vegetarian cuisine.
Cashew salads can be eaten by vegetarians.
Cashew salads can be eaten by vegetarians.
Vegetarian versions of meat dishes like meatloaf may use lentils or soy.
Vegetarian versions of meat dishes like meatloaf may use lentils or soy.
Baked casserole dishes are a crowd-pleaser in vegetarian cuisine.
Baked casserole dishes are a crowd-pleaser in vegetarian cuisine.
Pasta is a common ingredient in vegetarian cuisine, as are mushrooms.
Pasta is a common ingredient in vegetarian cuisine, as are mushrooms.
Some restaurants specialize in vegetarian cuisine that emphasizes local, sustainably produced ingredients.
Some restaurants specialize in vegetarian cuisine that emphasizes local, sustainably produced ingredients.
Green or fruit smoothies add vitamins, fiber, and other essential nutrients to a vegetarian diet.
Green or fruit smoothies add vitamins, fiber, and other essential nutrients to a vegetarian diet.

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Discussion Comments

SarahGen

Potatoes are my go to vegetarian ingredient. When I want something filling, tasty and also comforting, I go for a potato recipe. Sometimes it's fries, sometimes baked potato or a potato and veggie salad. But I'm never disappointed.

The issue with vegetable based dishes is that it doesn't fill one up. Sometimes I heat a vegetable based dish and find myself hungry again just half an hour later. But when potatoes enter the picture, I never feel that way. I know I can't go wrong with potatoes.

bear78

I'm not vegetarian but I love vegetarian dishes. Even though I'm not giving up meat, there are times when I just don't want any. I seem to go through phases. If I've had a lot of meat for a while, I eat vegetarian dishes for a few weeks.

There are also times when I actually like a vegetarian option better than the non-veg version. For example, I'm not too fond of regular lasagna bu I really like vegetarian lasagna with spinach and cheese.

candyquilt

I'm a vegetarian and I love anything with beans. As everyone knows, we vegetarians need to make sure that we get enough protein. Beans are an excellent source of protein. And not just that, they also have fiber and essential amino acids. They are filling and when cooked right, very tasty too.

I love making chili, stews and salads with a variety of beans. I eat almost every kind out there and try new varieties all the time. I love them all but I always seem to come back to lentils when I want comfort food. Red lentil soup is the best.

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