The Top 20 Most Popular Meatless Monday Recipes EVER

Meatless Monday is good for your health, good for the planet, and good for your future, but, at the end of the day, it’s really best for your mouth. Meatless cooking may feel restrictive, but it’s actually just the opposite. Preparing meals with only plant-based ingredients motivates you–the home cook–to branch out beyond your typical recipes and flavors and try something totally different.  

Those unfamiliar with Meatless Monday may think this means salads and steamed tofu, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Plant-based and meatless cooking is just as interesting and dynamic as any other type of cuisine. By pairing seasonal fruits and vegetables, legumes and whole grains with fresh herbs, bold seasoning blends, crunchy toppings, spicy condiments, creamy dips, and tangy sauces, you can elevate any dish to mouth-watering new heights!

Recipes are central to the Meatless Monday concept, and our recipe roundups are often our most popular pieces of content. So, in honor of our twentieth anniversary, we’ve looked back through the archives (and Google Analytics) to track our most popular Meatless Monday recipes EVER! 

These are the crème de la crème of plant-based meals. From meaty mushroom stew over garlic mashed potatoes to Buffalo cauliflower bites to simple spaghetti pomodoro, read on to find out which recipe holds the number one spot!

20.Orange Glazed Tofu

Orange marmalade and barbecue sauce add a sweet and tangy flavor to otherwise mild tofu. Press the tofu before giving it a quick stir-fry in hot oil. Once nice and crispy, add your orange glaze to the pan and cook until a syrupy consistency. Serve with sesame seeds and rice.

For the Orange Glazed Tofu recipe, click here.

19. Zucchini Tomato Curry

Vegetables are far from boring, and this recipe proves it! Garlic, ginger, and onion are sautéed until sweet and fragrant; the mixture is then seasoned with garam masala, cumin, and coriander to add a deep, pungent flavor fresh tomatoes and sliced zucchini. For the Zucchini Tomato Curry recipe, click here.

18. Meaty Mushroom Stew over Garlic Mashed Potatoes

This mushroom stew is as hearty and unctuous as any beef dish. By using mushrooms (cremini and shitake), soy sauce, and tomato paste, you can recreate that savory, umami flavor that you crave from a cold-weather stew. For the Meaty Mushroom Stew over Garlic Mashed Potatoes, click here.

17. Shawarma Tofu

Capture the fragrant aromas and bold flavors of Middle Eastern cooking with some tofu shawarma. The secret to this recipe is slicing the block of firm tofu with a vegetable peeler, so that the strands have the same look and texture as gyro meat. Once prepared, you can stuff the shawarma into a pita or add it to a salad with tahini dressing. For the Shawarma Tofu recipe, click here.

16. Joe Bastianich’s Spaghetti Pomodoro

Nothing is simpler than this light spaghetti pomodoro. It uses just three ingredients, all of which are likely in your pantry right now: garlic, olive oil, and canned whole tomatoes (preferably of the Italian variety). Heat the olive oil in a pan, cook the garlic, then pour in the tomatoes. After 45 minutes of simmering, your sauce is ready to go. For Joe Bastianich’s Spaghetti Pomodoro recipe, click here.

15. Cauliflower Buffalo Wing Bites

Capture the spicy kick of Buffalo wings without the bones (and the chicken). This super simple recipe is a definite crowd pleaser, and is a great way to introduce your guests to more plant-based foods. No need to wait for game day, whip up a batch of these wings every Monday! For the Cauliflower Buffalo Wing Bites recipe, click here.

14. Vegetable Pancit

Pancit is a traditional Filipino stir-fry dish made with rice noodles, sliced vegetables, and, typically, pork. This totally plant-based version is lighter, while still delivering that deep toasty flavor. For the Vegetable Pancit recipe, click here.

13. Hearts of Baltimore Crab Cakes

Curious about hearts of palm? Well, this underrated ingredient is an excellent plant-based alternative to seafood. It goes great in vegan ceviche or as the centerpiece of these faux Baltimore crab cakes. Spread a layer of garlicky dill aioli over the top of these crispy cakes, and you’re ready for your own ocean-side feast. For the Hearts of Baltimore Crab Cakes recipe, click here.

12. Breakfast Sweet Potato

Simple, sugary-tasting, and amazingly good for you, the sweet potato is nearly impossible to screw up. Mash it, bake it, fry it, or turn it into a hearty breakfast by microwaving for 8 minutes and adding sliced banana, creamy peanut butter, chia seeds, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. For the Breakfast Sweet Potato recipe, click here.

11. Casamiento (Black Beans and Rice)

Casamiento is a hearty Honduran dish that is deep and rich in flavor. Cooking the rice and beans together creates the perfect marriage of taste and texture. For the Casamiento recipe, click here.

10. Lemon and Mint Quinoa Salad

The ideal side dish for warm afternoons or pool-side cookouts, this lemon mint quinoa salad is simple, refreshing, and flavor-forward; it’s also a great way to introduce friends and family to quinoa! It’s also great for leftovers, so pack some in a Tupperware and bring it with you for lunch. For the Lemon Mint Quinoa Salad recipe, click here.

9. Vanilla Almond Milk Oatmeal

Bring the flavors of autumn into your breakfast bowl. This almond milk oatmeal uses vanilla, brown sugar, and a sprinkle of cinnamon to give this oatmeal a cozy fall taste. For the Vanilla Almond Milk Oatmeal recipe, click here.

8. Banana Date Smoothie

Dates, almond milk, and bananas come together for a subtle-yet-sweet tropical smoothie with unexpectedly sophisticated flavors. But what sets this smoothie apart from all the others is the addition of rolled oats, which provide a luscious texture to this breakfast beverage. For the Banana Date Smoothie recipe, click here.

 7. Classic Tofu Loaf

A vegan twist on a classic comfort food, this tofu loaf captures the homey feel of meatloaf without the ground beef. Tofu, oats, and lentils recreate the texture of meatloaf, while ketchup, barbecue sauce, and Dijon mimic its traditional tangy flavor. For the Classic Tofu Loaf recipe, click here.

6. Kale, Potato and Carrot Curry

If you’re not familiar with the flavors of curry, then this recipe is a great primer. Cumin, turmeric, coriander, ginger, and coconut milk make up the foundation of the sauce and breathe new life into ordinary vegetables like kale, carrots, and potatoes. Make a big pot because this dish is even more flavorful the next day! For the Kale, Potato, and Carrot Curry recipe, click here.

5. Italian White Beans and Kale

There’s something special about the combination of kale, white beans, and crushed tomatoes. The flavors meld and play off each other in a harmonious blend of sweet, savory, and sour. The addition of red pepper flakes adds an extra pop. Spoon the stew over fluffy polenta to complete the dish. For the Italian White Beans and Kale recipe, click here.

4. Breakfast Lentils

Yes, you can have lentils for breakfast. They’re loaded with protein, fiber, and other nutrients, which will help keep you full for the rest of the day (or at least until lunch). This dish is definitely on the savory-side, thanks to the addition of soy sauce, shallot, and green onion, but that’s what makes it so delicious! For the Breakfast Lentils recipe, click here.

3. Warming Carrot Cauliflower Stew

This recipe is a Meatless Monday staple for a reason. Carrots when cooked low and slow over the stove top develop a natural sweetness that’s irresistible in soups and stews. But what really puts this recipe over the moon is the crispy cauliflower topping. For the Warming Carrot Cauliflower Stew recipe, click here.

2. Meatball Shop’s Veggie Balls

Another fan favorite, these veggie balls make it easy to go meatless any day of the week. The mixture of lentils, mushrooms, and walnuts make for a texture that’s both crumbly and chewy—just like a traditional meatball. Add them to spaghetti or a hoagie roll for the ultimate plant-based sub! For the Meatball Shop’s Veggie Balls recipe, click here.

1. Jamaican Jerk Tofu

If you’ve been a long-time supporter of Meatless Monday, it should come as no surprise that our most popular recipe is, by a MILE, the delectably irresistible Jamaican jerk tofu! And it’s a favorite for a reason. Pairing tofu with the bold spices of Jerk seasoning (a blend of cayenne, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, and thyme) shakes your palate awake and will have you going in for bite after bite. You can wrap these spicy slabs in a tortilla for jerk-style tacos or serve them with vegetables and a side of rice and peas, but they’re just as delicious on their own right out of the pan. For the Jamaican Jerk Tofu recipe, click here.