Vegetarian family classics

Try cooking classic recipes from shepherd's pie to a rich and warming Bolognese, all minus the meat. Our delicious vegetarian swaps will wow the family.

Macaroni cheese with peas in skillet with spoon

No one need miss out on family favourites with our veggie twists on traditional recipes. The Good Food cookery team have come up with clever substitutes for different types of meat to create vegetarian dishes the whole family will love. Browse even more family meals for kids, or take a look at our ultimate veggie kids' collection to keep tummy grumbles at bay. 

1. Veggie pasta bakes

Cauliflower macaroni cheese in serving dish

Everyone loves perfectly al dente pasta with a bubbling cheesy topping – pure comfort food in a bowl. This macaroni cheese has chunks of tender cauliflower and can be prepped in just 10 minutes, perfect for a midweek lifesaver.  

Keep it slow and low-calorie with our slow cooker veggie lasagne that packs in all five of your five-a-day. Or, go for full-on indulgence with our next level Marmite mac 'n' cheese


2. Veggie curries

Cauliflower curry in saucepan
We're always craving a curry. Our easy, adaptable recipes are great for fridge-clearing, too, as you can make the most of a range of your favourite veggies. This cauliflower, squash & lentil curry is another make-ahead marvel that you can freeze to enjoy later.

Try making our simple chana masala for a feast that comes straight from the storecupboard, or our aubergine & coconut curry for a subtly smoky flavour. Short on time and energy? Go for our cheat's black dhal and we promise not to tell... If you have a bit more time, you could also serve your curry with soft and fluffy homemade naan bread.

Browse our vegetarian curry collection for even more recipes. 

3. Veggie Bolognese

Lentil ragu with spaghetti in bowl with cheese shavings
Every family has their own definitive Bolognese recipe, but you may want to try something new and go for a rich lentil ragu. This healthy family dish gets you four steps closer to your five-a-day, plus it's light and bursting with flavour. You may find that even meat-eaters are converted.

To add in yet more vegetables, try our courgetti version or get the kids involved in making our Quorn spag bol. You can have it ready within the hour. That's dinner on a busy day, sorted. 

4. Veggie chilli

Chilli in pot with tortilla chips with bowl and rice
Another dish that lends itself well to a veggie makeover is chilli. You can adapt the ingredients to your liking, batch-cook it and stash it in the freezer. Our burnt aubergine chilli is a class act that delivers depth of flavour with soft mouthfuls of veg that add up to four of your five-a-day. Serve up with all the trimmings – rice, tortilla chips, soured cream and a dollop of guacamole.

Try a mix of beans for extra protein in our roasted pepper chilli. Great for serving a crowd, this is a healthy option that doesn't skimp on flavour. 

5. Veggie shepherd's pie

Shepherd's pie in dish with ketchup and fork
If you think a pie can't be a pie without meat, we're about to blow your mind. Our vegan shepherd's pie is sure to be a hit, warm from the oven, with a squirt of ketchup for good measure. This dreamy low-fat dish is topped with crisp roasties to boot. 

For an extra tasty twist, try our veggie shepherd's pie with a sweet potato topping, a dash of red wine and a generous grating of strong cheddar. Or, combine two classics with our recipe for Indian sweet potato & dhal pies using red lentils and creamy mash. We even have an Italian cottage pie for a Mediterranean revamp of an English classic – and the perfect budget supper.

6. Veggie burgers

Green burger patties in buns with ketchup
No need to wait for barbecue season; rain or shine, pop a burger on a bun and it's bound to be a good day. You could get crafty with the kids and try our spinach-based green burgers. Serve with chunky sweet potato fries for another helping of veg on the plate. 

For a touch of Middle-Eastern flavour, try our halloumi aubergine burgers with a spoonful of creamy hummus, plus a dash of harissa and roasted red pepper. For extra spice our Mexican bean burgers should fit the bill. Of course, you can tone down the chilli for more delicate palates.

For more ideas take a look at our guide to the best veggie burger recipes

7. Veggie Sunday roast

Multi-coloured pie on plate with slice taken
It's a sacred Sunday ritual, but roast dinner can be meat-free and still be just as satisfying. Combine beetroot, sweet potato, chard and celeriac in our multi-layered rainbow pie for a stunning centrepiece that everyone will want a slice of. For a super-indulgent puff pastry creation, channel that après-ski vibe by baking our melty cheese & potato pie.

A masterpiece of umami, our mushroom & chestnut rotolo is also a pretty picture using stuffed and rolled lasagne sheets. Don't forget the trimmings – try one of our winning roastie recipes

Get more inspiration from our vegetarian Sunday roast collection

Like these recipes? Try more wholesome family classics...

Top 5 healthy family meals
Veggie suppers for the whole family
Family meals without the fat
Vegetarian kids' recipes

What's your favourite veggie family meal? Leave a comment below...



Comments, questions and tips

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16th May, 2018
Give 'em a break! Recipes are fantastic... no one's actually making you eat meat, just adapt it or move onto another one ;)
11th Jan, 2018
Absolutely excellent attention to detail - first recipe in the "Veggie Pasta Bakes" is Chicken and Leek bake........
goodfoodteam's picture
12th Jan, 2018
Hi there, thanks for your feedback. There was a mistake in the initial article which has since been amended. We’re sorry for any inconvenience caused and hope you continue to enjoy using these recipes. Best wishes, BBC Good Food Web Team
Sandra Whitaker's picture
Sandra Whitaker
11th Jan, 2018
Clearly says has a make ahead "base", meaning you don't need the chicken....
12th Jan, 2018
In the recipe the chicken is in the base....
Therese Davis's picture
Therese Davis
11th Jan, 2018
Thanks for posting these! Hubby and I are always on the look out for new and tasty vegetarian dishes to make and try :-)
Jason Kindinger's picture
Jason Kindinger
11th Jan, 2018
There is chicken in the first recipe. This is not a vegetarian recipe... wtf???!!!!
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