5 Fantastic Vegetarian Recipes That Will Have You Shocked There's No Real Meat

5 Fantastic Vegetarian Recipes That Will Have You Shocked There's No Real Meat

Are you tired of making vegetarian meals that are poor imitations of meat classics? Why try to replicate something when we can just make them better? For all you veggie-lovers, skeptical carnivores, and plant-based eaters out there, we’ve compiled a list of five outstanding, meat-free recipes that will make you double-check the ingredients list. So delicious and easy to make, you’ll be busy questioning, “Is there REALLY no meat in this?”

1. Eggplant Parmigiana

This classic Italian dish which is traditionally made with breaded chicken is in for an earthy twist. With the humble eggplant’s sponge-like texture, it’s perfect for absorbing the delicious flavours and mimicking the mouthfeel of meat. You’ll never make this recipe again any other way.


  • 2 medium eggplants

  • Salt, to taste

  • 1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour

  • 3 large eggs, beaten

  • 2 cups of breadcrumbs

  • 2 cups of marinara sauce

  • 2 cups of shredded mozzarella

  • 1 cup of grated Parmesan

  • Basil leaves for garnish

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Slice the eggplants into thick rounds, season them with salt, and let them sit to get the moisture out and soak in the flavours. Dip each slice into the flour, the egg mixture, and then the breadcrumbs. Bake the eggplant for about 20 minutes until golden, then layer with the marinara sauce, mozzarella, and Parmesan in a dish. Bake again until the cheese has melted, garnish with basil, and serve piping hot. 

Moira-Nazzari-Y9Iaznbuhtq-UnsplashPhoto by Moira Nazzari on Unsplash

2. Mushroom Bolognese

Trade in your regular beefy Bolognese sauce to try this magical mushroom version. The umami-rich variety of mushrooms, from cremini to portobello, provides a meaty texture that is almost indistinguishable from the traditional minced beef. Give it a try!


  • 500 g of spaghetti

  • 1 kg of assorted mushrooms

  • 2 carrots

  • 2 celery sticks

  • 1 onion

  • 4 cloves of garlic

  • 2 cans of crushed tomatoes

  • 2 tbsp of tomato paste

  • 1 cup of red wine

  • Olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme to taste

First, finely chop all the vegetables. Add some oil to a hot pan and fry the vegetables and mushrooms until nice and tender. Add in the tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, and wine. Let simmer until the sauce thickens. Season with salt, pepper, and thyme to taste. Once ready, serve over cooked spaghetti and serve while hot.

Emanuel-Ekstrom- Co7Yz501G4-Unsplash (1)Photo by Emanuel Ekström on Unsplash

3. Steakhouse Portobello Burgers

If you didn’t think anything could ever mimic the hearty satisfaction of a beef burger, you’re in for a real treat. This delicious burger with mushrooms as its patty, has a deep, meaty taste that will be hard to resist.


  • 4 large Portobello mushrooms

  • 4 burger buns

  • 1 red onion

  • Lettuce, tomatoes, pickles for garnish

  • ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar

  • ¼ cup of olive oil

  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

To make the patty, marinate the mushrooms in a mix of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. After letting them sit for a while, grill in a pan until nice and juicy. Serve them on buns with caramelized onions and the rest of the garnishes. 

Sheri-Silver-Lpdrdzdk3Ro-UnsplashPhoto by sheri silver on Unsplash

4. Ridiculously “Real” Vegan Ribs

If you’ve been missing the smoky goodness of good ol’ BBQ, this recipe will be a revelation. The secret ingredient? Vital wheat gluten. When mixed with nutritional yeast, it’ll form a chewy, meat-like dough that once baked, will have you confused as to why it’s not actually meat.


  • 1 cup of vital wheat gluten

  • 2 tbsp of nutritional yeast

  • 2 tbsp of smoked paprika

  • 1 tbsp of onion powder

  • 1 cup of vegetable broth

  • 2 tbsp of soy sauce

  • 1 cup of BBQ sauce

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Mix together the dry ingredients then add in the vegetable broth and soy sauce to form a dough. Once the dough has formed, cut into “rib” slices and bake for around 25-30 minutes until firm. Smother with BBQ sauce and grill until nicely charred.

Sean-Stone-0Hohna3M6Ds-UnsplashPhoto by Sean Stone on Unsplash


5. Jackfruit Tacos

Looking for a great taco recipe using meat substitutes? Well this recipe is exactly what you’re looking for - these tacos will pack a punch of flavour and texture that will have your mouth throwing a fiesta.


  • 2 cans of young green jackfruit in water

  • 1 onion

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • 1 cup of vegetable broth

  • 2 tbsp of olive oil

  • 2 tbsp of chili powder

  • 1 tsp of cumin

  • Salt to taste

  • Taco shells, and your favourite taco toppings

Saute the onions and garlic until translucent and fragrant. Add in the jackfruit, spices, and vegetable broth. Simmer until the jackfruit is tender enough to shred. Shred into preferred consistency and stuff into taco shells. Top them as desired.

Jarett-Lopez-6Whl6T-Fxu0-UnsplashPhoto by Jarett Lopez on Unsplash

These five recipes are proof that vegetarian meals don’t have to come second best. With the right ingredients and some cooking magic, you can easily create a show-stopping dish. Give these dishes a chance and prepare to be amazed - just remember, there’s not actually any meat in these!