Flexitarian recipes – 10 easy and delicious meals

Last time we covered what a flexitarian diet is and how it can help the planet. In this post, we’ve collected some flexitarian-friendly recipes. These will help you incorporate more plants into your weekly meal plan, without compromising on taste. Read on for some quick and easy meals and a couple of cheeky desserts, too.

flexitarian recipes - bowl of nachos and plant-based chilli

8 minutes to read

Flexitarian recipes that are quick, easy and planet-friendly

flexitarian recipes pinterest pin

We’ve put together 5 lunch recipes, 5 main meals and 2 bonus desserts to help inspire your flexitarian lifestyle. So whether you want a comforting pasta dish, a quick sandwich, a warm soup to serve with crusty bread or chocolate decadence, we’ve got you covered.

5 flexitarian recipes for a satisfying plant-based lunch

These simple plant-based lunch recipes can easily be incorporated into your flexitarian meal plan. They are all quick to make and most of them can be made in advance to take to work or simply save time when you need to grab something fast.

Red lentil and coconut soup

flexitarian recipes - red lentil soup

This lovely, warming soup is a perfect comforting lunch. It’s really easy to make and doesn’t require any unusual ingredients. Serve with crusty bread or make your own croutons.  These go particularly well if you substitute standard basil for Thai basil. Yum! I usually blitz some spinach into the soup too for an extra nutritional boost. 

15 minute pasta salad

past salad bowl - great lunch flexitarian recipes

This is perfect lunchbox fodder, and can be made in a big batch so you can have it multiple times in the same week. In fact, the longer it’s left to marinade in the dressing, the tastier it is. It’s also an excellent addition to a picnic or summer BBQ. To vary things, throw some leftovers into the mix. Chopped sausage, leftover roast chicken, prawns or the last of your block of feta will all work really well. 

Vegetarian toasties

grilled cheese and mushroom toastie

This roundup of variations on the classic cheese toastie will ensure you don’t even notice they don’t include meat. Of course, if you have some ham left over, it’s much better to use it up than it is to let it go to waste. You can also substitute the cheese for a dairy-free alternative if you’re trying to avoid dairy. Serve these with a side salad for some extra greenery or with chips if you want to pretend you’re in a gastropub’s beer garden. 

Chickpea “tuna” baked potato 

chickpea tuna baked potato with salad and green beans

Photo credit: @vegan_lucy_york on Instagram

It’s amazing how simply mashing chickpeas and seasoning them can recreate the flavour and texture of tuna mayo, without the fish. This mixture keeps well in the fridge for up to a week and is really good in sandwiches too with some sliced cucumber to add a bit of crunch. If you’ve not transitioned to egg-free mayo yet, just use your usual instead.

Flexitarian sushi recipes – with fish, and fish free!

flexitarian sushi - half fish and half fish free

These take slightly longer than the other lunches on this list, but there really is nothing like freshly-rolled, homemade sushi. If you want to reduce the amount of fish you’re eating, try mixing it up and making half fish and half veggie sushi rolls. You don’t even need a rolling mat – try these tips if you want to give this recipe a try but don’t have a sushi mat.

5 flexitarian recipes to make dinnertime easy

One of the most difficult parts of trying to eat more plant-based meals is finding recipes that aren’t too much of a hassle after a long day at work. All of these recipes are really easy to make and every single one can be cooked in a big batch so you’ll have plenty of leftovers for the fridge or freezer. Ideal for those days when you just want to warm something up and eat within fifteen minutes of walking in your front door.

Red lentil dhal

flexitarian recipes - red lentil dhal

If you only try one recipe from this list, make it this one! It tastes so fresh and fragrant, and the best thing about it is that any leftovers are even better after a day in the fridge. It’s lovely served with rice, poppadoms and mango chutney. Or try making this simple homemade naan and use it to scoop, dip and mop up all the delicious flavours. 

Veggie chilli

flexitarian recipes - veggie chilli in a blue bowl

This vegetarian chilli is lovely in its own right, but if you’re not quite ready to switch out all of the meat, try using shredded chicken breast in place of one of the tins of beans. Chicken is a healthier and more eco-friendly alternative to beef, and it adds that meaty texture you’re used to. If you’re still a self-confessed cheese addict, sprinkle some mature cheddar onto this to pack a punch.

Half-veggie burgers

flexitarian half beef half lentil burger recipe

The secret to any burger is having a patty that is tasty on its own – but that becomes a hundred times better with all your favourite toppings. This half-meat-half-lentil burger uses half the amount of meat without losing any of the taste. Try serving with mayo, a touch of horseradish, beef tomatoes, crunchy lettuce and cucumber, and a slice of your favourite cheese or dairy-free alternative.

Crispy panko tofu with vegetable katsu noodles

bowl of crispy panko tofu with katsu sauce

A lot of people find tofu to be bland, spongy and not very interesting. But done the right way, it can be transformed into the perfect accompaniment to most meals. This crispy panko-coated tofu smothered in katsu sauce is so delicious you might want to buy an extra block to make it again tomorrow.

Flexitarian-friendly bolognese recipe

flexitarian bolognese recipe

Most bolognese recipes call for 500g of beef mince and some even use a few rashers of bacon, too. To reduce your meat intake without sacrificing flavour, this summer, veg-packed bolognese is perfect. If you want to go one step further and use even less meat, try reducing the beef to 100g and add 150g of finely chopped mushrooms and a few chopped sun-dried tomatoes to add texture and depth of flavour.

Flexitarian-friendly dessert recipes

These recipes are so good that you will be going back for seconds, even though they are low in (or free from) dairy and eggs.

Flexitarian apple crumble recipe

small ramekin of apple crumble

An absolute classic! This dairy-free apple crumble tastes like the real thing. Whip it up in under an hour and serve with your usual ice cream or custard. Or make the crumble with dairy butter and switch your accompaniment for a dairy-free alternative. All the taste, less of the dairy!

The best chocolate cake!

slice of chocolate cake on a white plate on a yellow surface

This cake is a dream. It always comes out moist and fluffy, and works as a dessert, birthday cake or something to whip up if you’re expecting someone to visit and want to give them a little treat. I honestly think this is better than any cake I have made with eggs and butter. Please trust me and ignore the word “vegan” here – it is really, REALLY good.

Your flexitarian recipe pictures

We love looking at pictures of food! If you’ve made any of these recipes or you have any other favourites you’d like to share, please send them to us on Instagram or join the Ailuna Community Facebook group so we can all wish we were invited for dinner at your place! evea

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