Top 10 Vegetarian Family-Friendly Dinners

When my friend Leah visited, she mentioned she was looking for some new recipes to cook for her family.  With the new year, many of you might be looking for some new recipes as well!  So by her request, here are my Top 10 Vegetarian Family-Friendly Dinners.

These recipes are plant-heavy, yield enough food for a small crowd, and aim to please the diverse palates around the table.  I excluded a few of my favorites that might be too spicy, like Ethiopian Chickpea Stew, and a few that were really time intensive, like Vegetarian Pad Thai.  Not all of these recipes are quick, but there are often components which can be made ahead so they’ll fit into your schedule.

If your family eats meat on a regular basis, you may wish to designate one night a week for a vegetarian meal, like Meatless Monday.  It’s a great way to introduce more plant-based meals which are good for you and the environment.  Without any further ado, here’s the list:


Butternut Squash Chili – This was one of the Best Recipes of 2012, and one of my personal favorites.  Don’t skip the avocado garnish!

Black Bean and Pineapple Soup – Another hearty main dish soup, which you could serve over brown rice for a complete meal.


Broccoli Mac & Cheese – There’s nothing like a good dish of homemade macaroni and cheese.  This version is lighter, and tastes better than anything that comes out of a blue box!

Crockpot Stuffed Mushrooms –  Mushrooms are cooked in a delicious blend of tomatoes and balsamic, and can be served over noodles or rice.  Plus, your crockpot does the work.

Eggplant Meatballs – I’ve been making this recipe for years, and they always come out just a bit differently, but good.  If you make the meatballs and sauce ahead of time, all you have to do when you come home is boil the pasta.  I need to make this again soon so I can get a good picture.

Italian Baked Potatoes – This recipe is best when tomatoes are in their prime (August/September) but can be made other times of the year as well.  You can multiply the recipe to feed any number of people, and serve the potatoes with a side salad to round out the meal.


Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie – You can assemble this shepherd’s pie over the weekend, and then bake it for dinner.  This makes quite a bit, so you’ll have plenty of leftovers for lunch.


Zucchini Black Bean Enchiladas – I know I am partial to zucchini, but I have made this recipe several times and it’s been a hit with everyone.  You make your own enchilada sauce so you can set the right spice level for your family.



Banana Sour Cream Pancakes – There’s nothing like breakfast for dinner.  Some fresh fruit makes it a meal.


Peanut Noodles – This is actually the only recipe in the list that uses tofu.  It’s also the only dish that’s meant to be served cold, so it’s probably better for those hot summer days.

And there’s my Top 10 list….but what’s at the top of your list?

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