Seven of the best meat-free recipes to try during National Vegetarian Week

·2 min read
best vegetarian recipes national vegetarian week 2021 meat free meals ideas - Haarala Hamilton and Valerie Berry
best vegetarian recipes national vegetarian week 2021 meat free meals ideas - Haarala Hamilton and Valerie Berry

Eating less meat is widely acknowledged as one of the best ways to reduce our carbon footprint and do our bit for the planet – and with today marking the start of National Vegetarian Week, there's no better time to get creative and set aside meat and fish in favour of plant-based alternatives.

The campaign, led by the Vegetarian Society, is challenging us to go just one week without meat, in a bid to raise awareness of how easy, delicious and satisfying a meat-free diet can be.

Think you can't do it? Have a browse of our vegetarian recipe collection, packed with family favourites, quick fixes and veggie versions of our favourite treats (including a knock-out burger, below).

Seven of our favourite veggie recipes are shared below to inspire you – try one a day for the next week, starting with a hands-off aubergine parmigiana and comforting dal, and ending with a slap-up brunch, and crowd-pleasing moussaka.

The ultimate vegetarian burger

Portobello mushrooms, tahini and soy sauce create the perfect meaty flavour in Anna Jones's burger, while a mixture of brown rice and beans provide substance and texture. Accessorise with your favourite burger toppings and you have the perfect meat-free feast.

Vegetarian burger - Brian Ferry
Vegetarian burger - Brian Ferry

Aubergine parmigiana

Rosie Reynolds's classic aubergine parmigiana cuts a few corners to produce a bubbling, cheesy dish in just an hour. Ensure you use vegetarian parmesan, widely available.

Aubergine parmigiana - Louise Hagger
Aubergine parmigiana - Louise Hagger

Dal with spinach and rainbow raita

Warming, comforting and ready in just 30 minutes, Diana Henry's dal is great for making with whatever vegetables you have to hand. Make a double batch and freeze half for another day.

Dal - Haarala Hamilton and Valerie Berry
Dal - Haarala Hamilton and Valerie Berry

Vegan mushroom stroganoff

Miso paste, paprika and dried porcini mushroom are the key ingredients for creating a rich, smoky stroganoff without the need for meat. Dairy-free creme fraiche and egg-free pasta make John Gregory-Smith's dish entirely vegan, too.

Stroganoff - Steven Joyce
Stroganoff - Steven Joyce

Spaghetti with burrata, tomatoes, basil and mint pesto

Little beats a tangle of spaghetti with juicy tomatoes and freshly made pesto. Melissa Hemsley tops hers with creamy burrata for an extra touch of indulgence.

Spaghetti - Steven Joyce
Spaghetti - Steven Joyce

The ultimate veggie brunch

Melissa Hemsley's one-tray brunch features sweet potato egg boats, roasted tomatoes, halloumi and plenty of fresh greens. Try it on Saturday morning.

Veggie brunch  - Philippa Langley
Veggie brunch - Philippa Langley

Pumpkin, aubergine and lentil moussaka with feta

For a weekend treat, spend a little time making Diana Henry's crowd-pleasing vegetarian moussaka, perfect alongside a simple salad.

moussaka - Haarala Hamilton and Valerie Berry
moussaka - Haarala Hamilton and Valerie Berry