Meat-Free Monday recipe inspiration

Give Meat-Free Monday a go for a veg-packed way to start the week with delicious vegetarian meals the whole family will love. We’ve got all the easy swaps and veggie recipes you need so you won’t miss the meat – from new ways to make veg the star of your plate to meat-free versions of classic family favourites.

  1. Swap your sausages

    Stick with something familiar for an easy way to start cutting back on meat. Use veggie sausages in place of your normal pork – still just as good with mash and gravy, or baked into a veggie toad in the hole. This veggie sausage and butternut squash traybake combines caramelised veg, crumbled feta and a sticky honey-mustard glaze for a simple one-tray dinner.

  2. New spin on steak

    Meat-Free Monday lets vegetables become the star of your meal – great for a wallet-friendly start to the week. Help cut down on red meat by replacing a classic beef steak with a roasted veg ‘steak’, with lots of added flavours they can be just as delicious and meaty as the real thing. Make aubergine steaks with peperonata salsa and zesty orzo for a taste of the Mediterranean, or try spiced cauliflower steaks with crispy shallots and pine nuts for a new way to transform a staple vegetable.

  3. Build a burger

    Make Meat-Free Monday feel like a treat with a loaded veggie burger for dinner. Layer up a spiced chickpea burger with creamy houmous and smoky charred peppers, or go bold with a bright beetroot burger packed with colourful veg to keep things interesting.

  4. More than mince

    A pack of minced beef or pork is a fridge saviour when it comes to cooking up classic family favourites, but it's easy to adapt such dishes to meat-free versions. Try a vegan shepherd’s pie, ready in half an hour and filled with mushrooms and lentils for a really hearty mix. Likewise, try this aubergine-filled lasagne or a rich vegan Bolognese when you're in the mood for an Italian-inspired classic.

  5. Very veggie curry

    Fill your meals with flavour and you won’t notice the meat is missing. Veggie curries, packed with spices and herbs, are a great way to start the week off with a kick. For a twist on a classic, Jamie Oliver’s roasted root vegetable balti counts as 3 of your 5-a-day and is topped with crispy poppadoms for a treat to rival a takeaway. For a creamy dish, this coconut cauliflower curry is vegan too.

  6. Love your lunch

    Setting aside time for batch cooking on the weekend will make Monday meals a breeze. Follow our step-by-step spiced lentil dhal recipe for an easy make-ahead lunch to take to work. Top with veg (try roasted aubergine) or serve with flatbreads with a dollop of yogurt for a cheap, easy meal filled with warming spices and flavours. Alternatively, try a jam-packed veggie sarnie, this green goddess sandwich has lots of layers and textures to make lunch something to look forward to.

  7. Breakfast like a champion

    Does your morning treat normally involves bacon and sausages? Never fear, you can still cook up a veggie take on a Full English on Meat-Free Monday. Take this one-pan brunch bake, which is so full of veg you can easily leave out the bacon or swap it for feta cheese (crumbled over just before serving) for the same salty hit. Taking inspiration from Mexico is another great way to go – rustle up this breakfast burrito with creamy avocado, roasted tomatoes, a fried egg and a kick of chilli to really wake you up.

  8. Cater to a crowd

    It may be a Monday, but starting the week hosting friends and family is sure to banish any post-weekend blues, and serving up a crowd-pleasing veggie feast is easier than you may think. This showstopping beetroot Wellington makes a 'meaty' centrepiece: it's got the traditional golden, flaky pastry paired with earthy mushroom layers surrounding the blushing beets, but it only requires a bit of frying and rolling before you can sit back and let the oven do the hard work for you. You could even get ahead and prepare it all on the Sunday, so it's ready to bake the moment you get home.