What Are the Different Types of Vegetarian Main Courses?

B. Miller

Plenty of different types of vegetarian main courses exist that do not contain meat, yet which are still delicious and filling. Some of the most popular vegetarian main courses include pasta dishes, frequently prepared with vegetables and a number of different types of sauces. Meat alternatives, such as imitation chicken or other products made with soy, can also be a great, simple main dish. Creative uses for vegetables, such as sandwiches made with grilled vegetables, or filling dishes such as eggplant parmesan, are also excellent options for a vegetarian meal. It requires a bit of additional creativity to be a vegetarian, but it is worth it to many people who are either morally opposed to eating meat, or who simply want to follow a diet lower in saturated fat.

Quinoa pomegranate fennel salad, a vegetarian dish.
Quinoa pomegranate fennel salad, a vegetarian dish.

There is a reason pasta is the go-to dish when preparing vegetarian main courses. It is simple and filling, particularly when whole grain or multigrain pasta is used. Many different types of sauces, from tomato sauce to alfredo to a simple olive oil and garlic blend, can be used to flavor it. Any favorite vegetables may be added to the dish to make it healthier and more filling, and some people also add tofu cubes for some protein.

Grilled zucchini.
Grilled zucchini.

Of course, pasta is not the only type of vegetarian main course available. Hearty vegetables such as portobello mushrooms or eggplants can make a great main dish; breaded, for example, or eaten with parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. Marinated and grilled mixed vegetables can make a great sandwich or wrap. Some people even replace the pasta in dishes with vegetable alternatives; for example, zucchini or some other types of squash can be used in lieu of pasta in lasagna.

A vegatarian dish.
A vegatarian dish.

Aside from common vegetarian sources of protein such as tofu or soy burgers, many vegetarian main courses make use of different types of beans because they are filling and loaded with protein and fiber. Some of the most popular vegetarian main courses are made with black beans; tacos, for example, can be made with a black bean filling. Imitation burgers can also be made with beans, mushrooms, and other spices.

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

When preparing vegetarian main courses, it is important not to rely too heavily on starches for most meals. While potatoes and rice can be good ways to make meals more filling, and are very simple to prepare, it is very important for vegetarians to get variety in the diet. In addition, relying too much on starchy foods will generally lead to weight gain as well.

Pasta with pesto sauce, topped with pine nuts.
Pasta with pesto sauce, topped with pine nuts.
Vegetarian lentil loaf can be served with traditional meatloaf side dishes, like mashed potatoes and green beans, as a main course.
Vegetarian lentil loaf can be served with traditional meatloaf side dishes, like mashed potatoes and green beans, as a main course.
Pasta covered with mushrooms can make for a good vegetarian meal.
Pasta covered with mushrooms can make for a good vegetarian meal.

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Discussion Comments

Talentryto

Here is a tip for vegetarians who like stuffed peppers. Instead of adding hamburger to this dish, you can use a variety of vegetarian options. Rice, beans, and other chopped vegetables mixed with tomato sauce and spices make a great stuffing for peppers.

Rundocuri

Vegetarian pizza is my favorite main course that doesn't require meat. A pizza topped with tomatoes, onions, peppers, mushrooms and olives makes a satisfying vegetarian meal that is good for you too.

Heavanet

In addition to using beans a source of protein in tacos and burgers, you can also serve them alone or in soups and salads. They are inexpensive to buy and easy to cook, so using them is a smart choice in many vegetarian main courses.

When serving beans as your main dish, you can use any type you prefer. Kidney, navy, black, and white beans are all tasty options that are favorites among vegetarians. To make your beans flavorful, simply add your favorite herbs and spices when you cook them.

I like to make a large pot of beans to use for several dishes throughout the week. Beans and rice one day, beans in soup broth the next, and a handful of beans on a Southwestern salad another day provides tasty meals full of vegetarian protein that everyone will enjoy.

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