10 Last Minute Dinner Ideas Without Meat

Do you ever find yourself staring at an empty fridge, wondering what to make for dinner?

If you’re like me, you probably don’t have a lot of time to cook during the week. 

And sometimes, you just don’t feel like eating meat.

But don’t worry, you’re not alone! There are plenty of delicious and satisfying last-minute dinner ideas that don’t require meat.

In this article, I’ll share a few of my favorites. These recipes are all simple to make and require minimal ingredients. 

They’re also packed with flavor, so you won’t feel like you’re sacrificing anything by going meatless.

Last Minute Dinner Ideas meals Without Meat

Ran out of meat and now scratching your head trying to come up with a last-minute dinner idea?. 

Fortunately, these delicious veggie-packed recipes are here to save your day!

Swinging by New England with a Vegan Boiled Dinner

Our vegan spin on the traditional boiled dinner is all about wholesome goodness. 

Picture this: small potatoes, large carrots, onions and green cabbage simmering in a pot of boiling water infused with black peppercorns and bay leaves. 

Drizzle some mustard or horseradish on top for an added zing, et voila – you have a mouthwatering meatless meal ready for you!

Spice Up Your Mealtime With Vegetarian Chili

With bell peppers, onions, garlic, chipotle peppers and a medley of spices simmered along with black beans, pinto beans, fire-roasted tomatoes and ale – this smoky Southwestern vegetarian chili recipe offers robust flavors that will leave you wanting more! 

Don’t forget to pair it with Sister Schubert’s Parker House Style Yeast Rolls for a deliciously hearty meal.

Mushroom Stroganoff

Who needs beef when you can have creamy mushroom stroganoff? 

Sauteed baby bella mushrooms cooked with onion and garlic coupled with vegetable stock provide the base for this dish. 

Completing the magic is a hint of thyme and generous dollops of light sour cream. 

Served over wide egg noodles and sprinkled with optional toppings like Parmesan cheese and parsley; it’s comfort food at its finest!

Wholesome Vegetable Bake

The beauty of our vegetable bake lies not just in its taste but also in its convenience! 

Frozen mixed vegetables layered under vegetarian mince are bathed in flavorful vegetable stock before being topped off with mashed potatoes and cheddar cheese. 

Baked until golden brown; it’s a make-ahead dish perfect for those busy days! Plus, did we mention you can freeze it?

Sweet Potato & Peanut Curry

For those days when you’re on a tight budget yet craving something hearty, consider whipping up a simmering pot of Sweet Potato & Peanut Curry. 

This vegan-friendly dish not only keeps your pocket happy but also serves up less than 400 calories per serving. 

Combining sweet potatoes with the rich depth of peanut butter, this curry dish fills your home with an enticing aroma that promises a flavorful meal.

Versatile Veggie Stir-Fry 

When time is not on your side, go for Vegetable Stir-Fry. 

It’s perfect for those busy weeknight dinners, flexible enough to accommodate any vegetables you have available. 

For additional protein and texture, add tofu or tempeh into the mix – simple yet satisfying! The best part? 

You can always serve it over rice or noodles for that extra oomph.

Hearty Lentil Soup

On a cold winter day, nothing warms the heart like a bowlful of hearty Lentil Soup. 

It’s as comforting as it is easy to make, calling for simple ingredients like onions, garlic, lentils, broth and spices cooked to perfection. 

Grab some crusty bread or crunchy crackers to accompany this wholesome soup.

Quick-fix Black Bean Quesadillas

In need of an effortless meal fix? 

Go Mexican with Black Bean Quesadillas! Just spread some black beans on tortillas, sprinkle on your preferred toppings like cheese and salsa (or even avocado), cook until golden and voila – an easy dinner is served with sour cream and guacamole on the side!

Relish Pasta with Roasted Vegetables

Here’s one tailored to pasta lovers out there – Pasta with Roasted Vegetables. 

Just think al dente pasta mingling with roasted vegetables of your choice under your favorite sauce – utterly divine!

Tofu Scramble

Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner in question – Tofu Scramble has got you covered! 

Crumble tofu into a pan along with some veggies like onions, peppers and mushrooms; add in spices to heighten flavors; cook until everything comes together harmoniously – and there you have it! 

Serve them up hot alongside toast or tortillas.

What Foods Replace Meat?

There are numerous plant-based foods that offer high nutritional value, including protein, iron and calcium. 

Let’s delve into some popular meat substitutes and discover how they can make your meals flavorful while keeping them nutritious.


Tofu is essentially condensed soy milk pressed into firm blocks. 

With its mild flavor profile and ability to absorb the tastes of accompanying sauces and seasonings, this complete protein source is ideal for various dishes like scrambles and stir-fries.


Made from fermented whole soybeans formed into a dense cake, tempeh offers a chewy texture and a nutty flavor. 

It’s high in protein, fiber, prebiotics, and probiotics. Whether it’s steamed, grilled, baked or fried – it adds richness to salads, sandwiches or kabobs.


Seitan is vital wheat gluten known for its juicy texture simulating meat-like consistency making it a compelling option for those who miss the feel of chicken, beef or pork in their meal. High on protein and iron content, this versatile ingredient can be used creatively in stews or tacos.


With its tender flesh resembling pulled pork when cooked up nicely and adaptable flavor profile soaking up any sauce or spice it is introduced to – jackfruit proves itself as an amazing low-calorie tropical substitute. Use it in barbecue dishes or taco fillings!

Plant-Based Meat Crumbles

Plant-based meat crumbles are great alternatives crafted from soy, wheat peas etc., they serve the familiar texture of ground meat with a similar flavor profile making them perfect for pasta dishes or casseroles.

Plant-Based Burgers

Enjoy your classic burgers with plant-based patties made primarily from soy, wheat peas etc., designed to mirror the look and taste of real beef burgers – juicy, fulfilling minus cholesterol! 

But don’t forget – whole foods like beans, lentils, chickpeas, mushrooms, nuts, seeds, quinoa also offer plenty of plant-based protein boasting good amounts of fiber antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

What To Make For Dinner That You Don’t Have To Cook?

Believe it or not, delicious, nutrient-packed meals are possible without even lighting a stove. 

Mediterranean Tuna and White Bean Salad

Start with canned tuna, toss in white beans, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, and parsley.

 Mix it all up with a vibrant dressing made from pesto and lemon juice. 

This refreshing salad is not only high in protein and fiber but invigorates your palate with its Mediterranean style.

Rolling Up Salmon and Kale Caesar Wraps 

Canned salmon finds its perfect match in kale and romaine lettuce for these wraps. 

Add Parmesan cheese and Caesar dressing for tanginess, then roll it all into whole-wheat tortillas. Voila! 

You’ve got a quick spin on the classic Caesar that’s hand-held!

Creating Red, White and Blue Summer Salad 

Celebrate summer colors and flavors with this fresh salad featuring mozzarella cheese, blueberries, peaches paired with basil leaves. 

Throw in some prosciutto slices for that extra savory touch before drizzling over balsamic vinegar and olive oil —a flavorful nod to summer indeed!

Hasselback Tomato Clubs

Swap bread out with tomatoes for these fun low-carb BLT versions — simply assemble bacon and lettuce between tomato slices using toothpicks to hold it together. 

Add mayonnaise or mustard for an additional flavor punch.

Easy Seafood Salad 

For seafood lovers, combine canned crab and shrimp with celery and green onions; stir in mayonnaise mixed with lemon juice alongside dill weed seasoning.

 Salt-and-pepper to taste; serve on lettuce leaves or crackers — an uncomplicated yet delicious seafood treat!

Stuffing Chicken Cucumber Pitas 

Shred some rotisserie chicken to stuff into whole-wheat pitas along with cucumbers; add red onions for crunchiness. 

Whip together yogurt, mint garlic as a creamy complement to the filling – creating a light Greek-inspired sandwich perfect for those breezy summery evenings!

What To Make For Dinner When You Haven’t Gone Shopping?

You might believe that an empty fridge spells disaster for your dinner plans. 

However, there’s more potential in your pantry than you think! 

With just a few staple ingredients, cooking up a tasty meal is entirely possible.

Creating Pasta Magic with Tuna and Arugula 

Grab your favorite pasta from the cupboard, crack open a can of tuna packed in olive oil and tear up some arugula leaves (substitute with spinach or any quick-cooking green if desired). Throw in some red pepper flakes to spice things up and voila — a wholesome pasta dish!

Make Chicken Breasts with Mustard Cream Sauce

Have frozen chicken breasts lying around? Good news! 

You can make rich and delectable chicken breasts with mustard cream sauce using capers, butter, flour, white wine and other handy ingredients. 

Pair it with rice or potatoes for a complete meal.

Whipp Up Shrimp Fried Rice 

Raid your freezer to find frozen shrimp and peas — these along with eggs and leftover rice form the basis for an impressively quick yet hearty Shrimp Fried Rice.

Feel free to swap shrimp with leftover chicken or pork if you have them on hand. Add your favorite sauces or spices to tailor this dish to your liking.

Make Black Bean Turkey Chili

Turn canned beans and ground turkey from the freezer into a robust Black Bean Turkey Chili by adding seasonings. 

Substitute turkey with ground chicken or beef for variety if you wish. Cheese, sour cream or cilantro on top elevate this hearty chili.

Slipping into Comfort with Angel Hair Pasta 

An easy yet satisfying option is Angel Hair Pasta tossed in garlic, butter, herbs topped off generously with Parmesan cheese. 

If you have any protein or veggies lying around feel free to toss them into this deliciously simple concoction.