vegetarian meals meat eaters will love

Recipes you'll love when you'd rather eat veggies and all your boyfriend wants is meat and potatoes (or vice versa)

vegetarian recipes

When I reached out to my RD friends to share their recipes for this post, I was surprised by how many said this describes themself and their boyfriend/husband/fiance to a T. I've been planning to write a post on this for months now because I'm frequently asked for good recipes for meat-lovers and vegetarians alike.

I'm not technically a vegetarian (I don't like labels or restrictions) but I do prefer to eat more veggie-centered meals. Too many meals heavy on meat just don't make me feel my best. 

Colin and I for the most part split the cooking pretty evenly. As much as I like to cook, there are nights I don't feel like it and am so grateful he likes to!

On the nights I cook, I make things like stuffed squash, tofu stir-fries, or soups while he prefers to make steaks, chili, lasagna, and roasted veggies. When the other person cooks, we politely eat what we're served (he's a good sport for some of my experiments). If we're cooking together, we always agree on seafood or pizza. Otherwise, I'll typically make a veg version and he'll make a meat version.

When cooking for two with different preferences, it can be challenging if you go into it thinking that you have to make two completely different meals or feeling like you're settling just to be agreeable but are actually super angry inside.

Here are my tips for you: 

1. Choose a few go-to meals that both you and your S.O. approve of
mine are pizza and seafood

2. Plan the meal around the vegetable and add the protein as the accent
instead of having steak or burgers for dinner, you're having grilled or stir-fried vegetables with steak and tofu

3. Keep your pantry stocked with plenty of veggies and protein options for both parties

A few simple meal ideas to get you started:

Tacos - half lentils, half meat

Pizza - half meat, half veg

Stir-fries - cook meat in separate skillet, roast tofu in oven

Buddha Bowls - a mixed bowl of whole grains, protein, veggies, & sauce

Pasta - go heavy on veggies, add protein on the side

Burgers - both veggie and meat patties are simple to prepare

Vegetarian Chili or other soups and stews

Dinner on the Grill - veggies, meat, tofu, portobello mushrooms, and shrimp kebabs are all easy to grill at the same time

Sheetpan Dinner - throw veggies and protein on a sheet pan and cook all at once, meat and veg protein can be cooked separately

Below you'll find 30 recipes that are perfect when one of you loves meat and the other not so much. A few of them are easy to prep with part meat and part veg, and some are vegetarian (or vegan) options that even meat-lovers love.


Whole Grains

Vegetable 'Fried' Rice with Almond-Teriyaki Sauce
Amy Gorin, RD of Amy Gorin Nutrition

Lentil Cranberry Saffron Rice
Roxana Begum, PhD, RD of The Delicious Crescent


Better for you Chili

Better for you Chili

Better For You Chili
Elizabeth Ward, RD of Better is the new Perfect

You can leave the meat out of half of this recipe so both people can enjoy it.

Spicy 3 Bean Chili
Kelly Jones, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN of Eat Real Live Well



Stuffed Vegetables

Zucchini Boats
Chef Catherine Brown, Organic Grower, Culinary Nutritionist

Cooked ground beef, lamb, chicken or turkey could be added to a portion of this filling to make some with meat and some without. These can be made as a side dish and served with chicken or steak for one person and a salad for the other.

Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers
Tawnie Kroll, RD of Kroll's Korner

Quinoa Mushroom Stuffed Acorn Squash
Katie Pfeffer-Scanlan, RD of One Hungry Bunny

Vegan Loaded Sweet Potato
Kara Lydon, RD, LDN, RYT of The Foodie Dietitian

Curried Lentil Stuffed Peppers
Jenna Gorham, RD of Jenna Gorham Nutrition

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Quinoa Mushroom Stuffed Acorn Squash

Quinoa Mushroom Stuffed Acorn Squash

Lasagna & other Italian faves

The Best Easy Vegan Lasagna
Alexis Joseph, RD of Hummusapien

Her boyfriend asks for this every week!

High-Protein Vegetarian Lasagna (in the Crockpot)
Stacey Mattinson, MS, RDN, LD of

Eggplant Meatballs

Eggplant Meatballs

30 Minute Spicy Lentil Bolognese
Chelsey Amer, RD of CitNutritionally

Vegetarian Eggplant Meatballs
Kara Golis, RD of Byte Sized Nutrition

'I'm not vegetarian, but I rarely eat meat.. and meanwhile, my fiancé is the ultimate "meat and potatoes" kind of of guy. These vegetarian "meatballs" are a favorite of both of ours though.. he actually requests them over regular meatballs!' - Kara Golis, RD

Protein Punch Marinara Spaghetti Squash
Amy Gorin, RD of Amy Gorin Nutrition

'I like this recipe because of the egg, so you get plenty of protein.' - Amy Gorin, RD


Curried Beet & Quinoa Veggie Burgers
Kara Golis, RD of Byte Sized Nutrition

Another favorite Kara and her fiance can agree on.

Edamame Ancient Grain Veggie Burgers
Sharon Palmer, RD of The Plant-Powered Dietitian

healthy burger, vegan

Lentil Taco Burgers
Kelly Jones, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN of Eat Real Live Well

Black Bean Sweet Potato Burgers
Chelsey Amer, RD of CitNutritionally

Mushroom Black Bean Veggie Burger
Kara Lydon, RD, LN, RYT of The Foodie Dietitian

more from the grill

Tropical Tofu Kebabs with Mango and Avocado
Rachael Hartley, RD of Rachael Hartley Nutrition

Grilled Chicken and Peach Kebabs with Honey Mustard Glaze
Rachael Hartley, RD of Rachael Hartley Nutrition

grilled chicken and peach kebabs

Mexican Inspired

Burrito Bowls

Burrito Bowls


Epic Vegetarian Nachos
Rachel Hartley, RD of Rachel Hartley Nutrition

Easy Vegan Tacos Al Pastor
Jennifer Rodriguez, RD of Food is Vida, Bilingual Plant-Based Dietitian

Chipotle Inspired Vegan Burrito Bowl
Kara Lydon, RD, LN, RYT of The Foodie Dietitian




BBQ Jackfruit Pizzas

BBQ Jackfruit Pizzas

Tasty BBQ Jackfruit Naan Pizzas
Katie Pfeffer-Scanlan, RD of One Hungry Bunny

Cauliflower Steaks with White Beans
Liz Weiss, RD of Liz's Healthy Table

Marinated Tofu
Chef Catherine Brown, Organic Grower, Culinary Nutritionist

These marinated cubes of tofu can replace meat in just about any cold or hot dish: pasta or other whole grain, tacos, wraps, salads, etc.

Healthy Mushroom Croquette
Judith Scharman Draughon, MS, RDN, LD and author of Lean Body, Smart Life

Persian Zucchini Kuku (like a frittata)
Roxana Begum, PhD, RD of The Delicious Crescent

Autumn Salad with Grilled Figs
Chef Catherine Brown, Organic Grower, Culinary Nutritionist

This gorgeous dinner salad can easily accommodate a meat-eater and a non-meat-eater by frying a few slices of bacon to replace the smoked tempeh in one of the salads or adding steak tips to one salad. 

Curried Lentil Stuffed Peppers

Curried Lentil Stuffed Peppers.jpg

I have been loving these stuffed lentils lately! They take no time to make and the ingredients are super simple. Even my meat-loving boyfriend loves them! They'd also be good in an acorn squash, but I find peppers cook a little quicker.

In our house, meals can be somewhat challenging. While, I'm not a vegetarian, I prefer to focus on more plant-based meals, while my boyfriend is all about juicy burgers and rare steak. We try to share the cooking responsibility so we get a good mix of vegetarian and meat-centered meals. There are a few things we've found we can make to be half veg/half meat - but more on this later. This is something we can agree on. He also likes stuffed acorn squash with quinoa.

What are your favorite meals to satisfy the meat and veggie lovers in your life?




3 small-medium, or 2 large bell peppers
2 large carrots, diced
1/2 a yellow onion, diced
3/4 cup diced mushrooms
1 Tbsp + 1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup red lentils (or any color would work)
1 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth*
2 handfuls of spinach

*note: The amount of broth varied depending on the brand of lentils I used. I would start with 1.5 cups and add more as need


1. Preheat oven to 350. 

2. Prep the peppers. Slice each pepper in half and remove the seeds. Place in a baking dish, filled with about 1cm of water. Cover with aluminum foil. Place in your preheated oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes, until peppers have softened and cooked. Set aside.

3. Meanwhile, in a medium sized pot, heat a dash of oil over med-high heat. Add onion, carrot, and mushrooms and saute for a minute or so until the onion begins to soften.

4. Add the curry, ginger, turmeric, and tomato paste.

5. Add the lentils and broth. Cook until the lentils are soft and have absorbed the majority of the broth.

6. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Remove from heat.

7. Spoon lentil mixture into the pepper halves. Serve with a side salad and enjoy!