We enjoyed a warm and sunny weekend here in Kansas City, but we’re expecting more snow tomorrow. So, I’m sharing some veggie-packed comfort food recipes to help carry us through to springtime.
I find that the most enjoyable way to eat well during short winter days is to focus on loading up on vegetables, rather than denying myself the cheesy, carb-heavy meals that I’m craving. Here are 29 delicious dinners that are lightened up with fresh and nutritious ingredients. Sneaky!
Want to add a side salad to any of the following? For the meals with an Asian spin, try my carrot-ginger dressing. For the others, try my green goddess dressing, creamy sunshine (honey mustard) dressing or perhaps a simple vinaigrette.
1) Black Bean Sweet Potato Enchiladas
“Yet another winner! My husband said, why do we even ever eat meat when vegetarian tastes like this?” – Karen
2) Pasta e Fagioli (Italian Pasta and Beans)
“This soup is awesome, very flavourful, tastes just like it’s come out of a fancy Italian restaurant kitchen. Definitely making again!” – Joanne
3) Extra Vegetable Fried Rice
“With more mouths to feed than usual over the holidays, I made this twice in the last 10 days! Both times, I followed the recipe exactly, and it was a huge hit! I used snow peas and red pepper for the 2 cups of extra veggies. Everyone gobbled it up and asked for seconds. Thanks, Kate!” – Emily
4) Lentil Baked Ziti
“Amazing! I honestly like this better than traditional baked ziti or lasagna! My 17 and 21 year old picky eaters devoured it. I almost didn’t make it because the thought of lentils in my pasta was a little scary. You’d never know they were there unless someone told you! Thank you for making the transition to vegetarian eating fun and delicious.” – Sherry
5) Vegan Spaghetti alla Puttanesca
“I made this once before- it’s super easy to make and tastes delicious. I just tossed in some store bought spiralized zucchini and let the sauce heat up the noodles. This is great for a quick mid-week meal. I’m going to make it again tomorrow night and the best part is I already have almost all of the ingredients on hand!” – Allison
6) Thai Red Curry with Vegetables
“This dish was delicious!!! I have been craving Thai food, and after making this dish, my craving was satisfied. The kids loved it too!! I always enjoy making your dishes. Can’t wait till 2017 for the cookbook!!” – Reese
7) Kale Pesto Pizza
“This was delicious! I had a bunch of baby Tuscan Kale from my CSA to use up. I love that the pesto didn’t have a bunch of added Parmesan. Can’t wait to tell my friends about it and make it again! Thank you.” – Angela
8) Broccoli, Cheddar & Quinoa Gratin
“I’ve made this three times now and I think I love it more each time I make it! Thank you for such an awesome recipe – this delicious casserole has become a regular dinner at my house. And I love the picture of Cookie eating the broccoli stem – my dog loves it too! Looking forward to trying more of your recipes.” – Sara
9) Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto
“This is quite possibly the best recipe I’ve made this year! I’d eat this for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. I left out the white wine (I drank it instead ;) ) and added about 2 generous handfuls of spinach with the butternut squash at the end. The wilted greens, creamy rice, and nutty squash made the absolute perfect meal. Usually, I’m not satisfied with a one-bowl dinner, but this required no sides. Perfect on its own. Thanks!” – Alyssa
10) Epic Vegetarian Tacos
“Kate, these tacos are AMAZING. I feel like you could run a really successful taco truck with your taco recipes. I’ll quit my job and run it for you, lol. We are having them for next week’s dinner too because they’re that good. So many of your recipes are stables in our household. Thank you so much for the meal inspiration and easy go to recipes =)” – Cat
11) Spicy Black Bean Soup
“This soup is amazing! It will definitely be put in our weekly rotation this winter. This was quick to put together, healthy, and there are so many ways to add on ingredients like the avocado, radishes, cheese, Greek yogurt, etc for extra tastiness. Thank you…your recipes are quickly becoming favorites in this house!” – Martha
12) Balsamic Roasted Broccoli and Red Pepper Grilled Cheese
“Fantastic flavor and lovely in the sandwich grill press. I subbed veggie broth for the oil and vegan cheese in keeping with my choice of a vegan lowfat diet (I have done this with many recipes here and they always turn out better than good). Tasted sublime and roasted tomato soup would be a great accompaniment.” – Christy
13) Vegetable Paella
“I made this last night. So delicious and beautiful. Roasting the vegetables brought out their color. On a cold December night, this was a warm, filling and simple dish to prepare.” – Nancy
14) Italian Eggplant Parmesan
“I made your eggplant parmesan last week and it is the best eggplant parmesan I’ve ever made or ever had! And so easy. I never liked breading with my eggplant so this is the perfect recipe. Delicious! Thank you!” – Sabrina
15) Mujadara (Lentils and Rice with Caramelized Onions)
“This mujadara recipe is amazing! I followed the directions exactly and it turned out wonderfully. My entire family devoured it, commenting on the perfectly cooked rice and lentils and the flavorful carmelized onions. My dad said he could eat meatless if all vegetarian entrees tasted this good…” – Lydia
16) Homemade Vegetarian Chili
“I absolutely LOVE this chile recipe! I have made it several times and I still can’t get enough of it. Especially now since it is so cold where I live! I even got a bunch of meat eaters to love it! Thanks for the great recipe :)” – Stephanie
17) Roasted Veggie Enchilada Casserole
“The Roasted vegetable enchiladas were delicious! Even family members who claim to not be fans of veggies ate this and had seconds. Score one for plant based goodness!!” – Erin
18) Spinach Stuffed Shells
“My husband told me this is the best vegetarian meal I’ve ever made for him (and that’s out of a LOT of meals I’ve made for him, so big praise)! Our local grocery was out of the Rao’s marinara, so we used their Tomato Basil sauce instead. He had the leftovers for lunch today and has texted me several times raving about how he just can’t get over how good they were. Thanks for the great recipe!” – Jordan
19) Thai Pineapple Fried Rice
“I absolutely LOVE this recipe!!! I have made it time and time again. I had friends from Philadelphia visit last week. They prefer vegetarian meals, so I pulled this recipe out. It was a hit with them. They are now hooked on your site as well.” – Kathy
20) Roasted Cauliflower and Lentil Tacos with Creamy Chipotle Sauce
“Kate, I have to admit that when I first saw this I was bit scared to make it. Of course, based on how delicious your other recipes are, I should have known better. Well, no need to fear….this is soooo delicious!!!! Another winner for sure, even my non-vegan family loved this.” – Tanya
21) Spinach Artichoke Enchiladas
“This was phenomenal. My kids loved it, and my six year old asked if we could have it every night! Bravo!” – Nicole
22) Spaghetti Squash “Pizza” Bowls
This recipe starts with golden and tender cooked spaghetti squash.
“Delicious and fun! I had never prepared or eaten spaghetti squash before so it was really cool to pull apart the “spaghetti” after roasting the squash. This was easy to prepare, tasted great, and one half of a squash was definitely filling. Thank you, not only for another terrific recipe, but for encouraging me to try a new food!” – Karen
23) Fresh Huevos Rancheros
“I LOVED this!! I added a chopped jalapeno to the pico and left off the salsa completely, because for one I didn’t have any and also I thought the pico was enough! Used the optional avocado and feta :) So delicious!” – Michelle
24) Best Vegetable Lasagna
“I just made this for a special family dinner. We ALL voted it by far the best lasagna ever! Everyone went back for seconds. :) Thank you so much for this delicious recipe! I followed your directions exactly and even doubled it for extras this week. I’m so glad I did! I will definitely be making this often for friends and family.” – Lee Anne and the Laskey Crew
25) Vegan Mac and Cheese
“This is delicious! You know it’s good when both kids ask to have leftovers for lunch at school. One daughter is gluten & dairy free (the rest of us are not) and we all loved it! Really nice to have a healthier version of mac and cheese – thank you!!” – Lucy
26) Baked Ziti with Roasted Vegetables
“We had this recipe just tonight and wow! It was absolutely wonderful! The perfect balance of cheese, sauce, and vegetables. Thank you so very much, we will be sure to try many more of your amazing recipes in the future!” – Zoe
27) The Best Lentil Soup
“Made this today on a very wet, wintry evening. It was absolutely delicious. Great simple recipe with just a little oomph in it. Putting the kale in for the final 5 minutes was the perfect touch. This is now on my “the weather is crappy what shall I make” list. Thank you.” – Dave
28) Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Crispy Baked Tofu with Honey-Sesame Glaze
“This is delicious! It came together easily and without too much effort. (I didn’t have enough brussels sprouts, so I did a combination of brussels and broccoli, which worked great). I’ll definitely make this again! Thank you!” – Kathy
29) Hearty Spaghetti with Lentils & Marinara Sauce
“I never thought of lentils and marinara together, or lentils and pasta, but the combination is delightful! I used my go-to marinara recipe and will absolutely be making this dish again. And the lentils were so tasty even before being mixed in with the sauce that I may make them separately for salads, etc. Thank you for another wonderful, easy weeknight recipe!” – Alex
If you like these recipes, please pin them for reference! If you make any of these soups at home, please post a picture on Instagram and tag it #cookieandkate so I can go check it out! I love it when that happens. ♥
More resources you might appreciate: 23 healthy make-ahead breakfast recipes, 45 recipes that pack well for lunch and 20 simple weeknight dinners. You might also like my monthly seasonal produce guides and essential kitchen tools. View all roundups and resource posts here.
Sara @ Last Night's Feast
Great list, Kate! And beautiful photographs, as always
So many great ideas for shaking up my regular dinner rotation. I’m eyeing that fried rice…yum.
Thanks, Miriam! Hope you’ll try that one soon!
Izzy | pinch of delight
These all sound so good!
I love a good comfort food – especially when the weather is rainy and dark!
Thank you, Izzy!
Thanks, Kate! I have to say that you must really like that roasted butternut squash soup. It seems to turn up in a number of your collections. Guess I better try it! Dhyan in Boulder
Yes, that’s one of my favorites! It’s also one of the most popular recipes on the blog. Hope you’ll get a chance to make some soon!
I have made 4 of these meals in the last few weeks and they were all delicious!
Yay, that’s so great to hear! Thanks, Rachel.
Alexandra - Nickels and Noodles
Makes you wonder where the stereotype that vegetarians don’t eat amazing and tasty food comes from :)
Haha, right? I blame the low-fat trend for that stereotype. Steamed veggies aren’t nearly as awesome!
I love your recipe round-ups. I always discover something that ends up becoming a mainstay in our house. Those artichoke enchiladas and the enchilada casserole look fab!!
Perfect! That’s what I hope for with these posts :) Let me know if you try them!
Your chilli and risotto are now two of my favourite dishes. I make sure to always have a couple of portions both in the freezer at all times, it makes me happy knowing they’re in there to pull out and defrost when I’m having a bad day! You’re spot on with the veggie loading thing too. I tend to crave melted cheese like there’s no tomorrow at this time of year but I figure that adding lots of green veg makes it slightly more acceptable to have quesadillas a few times a week….
I totally agree! Melty cheese is just too good to pass up in the winter time.
Lovely compilation of recipes, who says you cant be a veggie and enjoy good food.
I will be definately trying this mouthwatering yet healthy recipes for my kids at home for sure! Thanks for sharing them.
You’re welcome, Susana! I hope everyone likes them.
This soup is in my regular rotation – family just loves it! Thank you!!
Awesome! Thanks, Kathy.
I am pinning the entire blog post, too many recipes I will be trying!! Thank you for this post!
You’re a natural creative cook. Thanks for sharing your recipes with such beautiful photos and clear instructions.
I don’t see an icon to print out the recipes.
Thank you! The print options should be within each specific recipe post. Hope this helps! Let me know if you still have issues.
Hi Cookie. (or is it Kate??)
I need a lot of slamon recipes
Sorry, Marvin! I cook vegetarian or vegan. Can’t be of much help there. :)
Hi Kate, I found a great recipe on your site about six months ago or so and I have lost it now and have scoured your site and can’t find it. It had pasta and either brocolli or spinach in it was seasoned only with with lemon and butter . I remember how you raved about the wonderful flavoring to this simple dish and your right. If you remember this one can you point me to it?
Is it this recipe by chance? https://cookieandkate.com/2015/spinach-pasta-recipe/ I find it helpful to use the search bar and type the primary ingredient you are looking for if you can’t remember the name. :)
No that’s not it. Thank you for trying and suggesting the search bar.
I really needed this post today. After cooking most of the recipes in your cookbook (some multiple times!) I was running low on ideas! Now I’m already mentally planning to try at least 6 of these recipes out. Thank you!! <3
I’m glad the timing worked out well. I have a lot of great recipes coming down the line so stay tuned. :)
Donald G Weiser
I’m calling this the “Mother Lode”.
All 25 recipes look and sound delicious.
Thank you for them!
I like it! And will take that for sure. Let me know what you think as you try recipes, Donald.
You are a lifesaver – I’ve recently started seeing someone with a sulphur allergy, so I’ve had to cut out or moderate: meat, eggs, processed foods/sauces, dairy, bread, brassica veggies, garlic, onions, vinegars, and preserved, fermented, or pickled foods. I’ve been able to adapt some of your recipes – ie, I just made your butternut squash soup, and I only had to switch the maple syrup for honey. I shared some with him, and he loved it. I’m sad I’ve had to drop a lot of your salads, but it’s been an interesting challenge. Thanks for making the transition a little more feasible, Kate!
That’s sweet, Sara! :) I do try to make my recipes friendly for allergies. Not all are perfect, but glad you found some that worked for you.
Cassie Autumn Tran
Oh the Thai red curry and vegan mac n’ cheese look AMAZING! Now I’m craving them BOTH!
My work here is done then! Ha. :)
I love winter cooking. Nice warm, tasty food. Perfect for when you get in from a long winters walk. I think all of the meal above look amazing. Could be a family Sunday lunch or just a cosy midweek meal with the partner. Great article that I will be sharing!
Thank you Kate!! This roundup is perfect! I am usually craving a healthy comfort vegetarian meal for dinner and these recipes are definitely what I gravitate toward. My favorites in rotation are the paella, risotto and the best vegetable lasagna — seriously, that lasagna blew my mind.
We make the kale pesto pizza EVERY week! It is one of our favorites. Thank you so much for all your wonderful ideas :)
Number 2, 7, 9,12,15,18,21 and 22 are in my list-to-do now xD
Great job, Kate!
Nice collection of recipes.. good one
I Love this Post , What a great content u are providing to people keep it up
This is the very rare and unique info for all peoples because its benefits is its find on google so easy and i have share this info with friends because its really so educational info and its help me in my education thanks and keep writing.
Thanks, Julia! Glad you found it helpful.
Thanks for your helpful recipe post. I really love that!!! keep posting that kind of easy recipe.
The recipes all look tasty, comforting, and simple to make. Thanks so much for sharing!
Thank you, Troy!
i have read most of your recepies , and they were simply amazing … i have tried it at home …. and they were delicious … please share many more recepies….
thankyou keep it up……
I’m happy to hear you are enjoying them, Neeraj!
OMG… nice recipe. My hubby is too foody and i also love to make interesting or delicious food. These recipes help me a lot to make different food for my babies and hubby. Thanks for sharing.
You’re welcome, Deniel!
OMG! Looking so delicious!! I can’t handle greed to start my favorite Lagansa special out of 25 items. I will start today. Thanks for excellent sharing.
You’re welcome, Rita!
I like your food ideas, but there is no food with meat. do you have any idea for the people who want to eat meat as well?
Hi Mogi, I’m a vegetarian so I wouldn’t be much help. Sorry!
Absolutely love your recipes..just went through your yummy 30 dishes. Was wondering if u can adapt any of those for instant pot..esp the lentil and bean recipes?
Hi Pam! Thank you so much. I’m still experimenting with my Instant Pot and it’s producing really inconsistent results, to be honest. I’m hesitant to suggest it for many recipes. Take my lentil soup, for example. It’s a multi-stage soup that is not complicated and comes together within an hour as written—trying to make it an Instant Pot truly doesn’t save time and just complicates matters. All that said, if I come up with something that really works well, I’ll be sure to add it to the recipes!
Paige Cassandra Flamm
These all look so good! I totally need to add some of these into our dinner rotation soon!
This list is so helpful. Everything looks like something I want to cook. Thank you.
For the sweet potato and black bean enchiladas do you have a suggestion for the sauce that isn’t tomatillo/tomato based? I have an enchilada sauce that is more spices and veg broth but I wouldn’t normally use that much and I tend to mix it enchilada rice.
This is a red sauce with tomato paste and other spices. The flour helps thicken it up.
Nice work! This is a great group of recipes for any day.
I was once again struck by how much I rely upon your recipes when I scrolled through this list today! It was one “yep” after another, as we’ve made and enjoyed so many of these repeatedly. You’re the best Kate (and Cookie). Thank you!!!
So happy to hear it, Patricia! Thank you for your kind words. :)
I’m so excited to start trying these. They look filling and warm and comforting! I so badly want to eat less meat and lose weight, yet still be satisfied. I didn’t know if it was possible, but your beautiful recipes and pictures give me hope. :)
jim from jimcooksfoodgood.com
Very inclusive list; the mujadara was a hit! Well done friend.