Meatless Monday Made Easy :: 5 Recipes Your Family Will Love!


Did you know cutting meat out for just one day per week can help the environment, save your family money, and improve your family’s heart health? It’s easy to see then why so many are giving Meatless Mondays a try. 

What is sometimes not easy is figuring out how to do it if you’re usually the meat, side, and veggie kind of dinner mom and the thought of tofu makes you depressed. 

But, don’t worry. Meatless Monday is still for you!

Here are some honestly easy recipes that are filling and fast; all without the meat.

1. Tomato Soup and Cheese Tots 

What You Will Need: 

From the Store

  • Tots or Seasoned Fries of Your Choice 
  • Shredded Cheese (preferably sharp cheddar)
  • Canned Tomato Soup
  • Cheese Penguins (Goldfish or Whales)

From the Kitchen

  • Minced Onion 
  • Italian herbs
  • Black Pepper
  • A Whisk 
  • Milk (preferably 2%)

Begin by putting your choice of potato in the oven. They should be BAKED at 450, and do not add salt (cheese is salty and will do the job).

Once they have begun to cook, here’s how to make canned tomato soup taste amazing on the stovetop:

Use Milk, not water, or at least half milk and half water. 

Add very little minced onion flakes, black pepper, and Italian herb seasonings. 

Turn it on high, but do not let it boil.

Turn down to Low/Medium just before it starts to boil and whisk it well- don’t stir- for a few minutes.

When the potatoes are getting golden brown (about 20 minutes), take them out on a plate or platter or individual plates and immediately sprinkle cheese on top while they are hot. You can skip the cheese and use a seasoning salt or ketchup instead if you want, making it healthier and cheaper. 

Pour bowls of soup and allow everything to cool for a moment and the cheese to melt. 

A fun thing to add to a shallow bowl of tomato soup is cheese penguins or goldfish crackers to help little ones scoop it up. For picky eaters who are dairy fans, you can add a dollop of sour cream or a shake of parmesan cheese. Heat lovers may add more pepper or hot sauce. 

Cost- $7-10, takes 25 minutes.

2. Soup, Salad, Breadsticks, and… Pasta!

What You Will Need:

From the Store

  • 1lb. Of pasta of your choice
  • 1-2 jars/cans sauce of your choice
  • soup or soup mix
  • salad ingredients or salad kit
  • bread

Simply prepare pasta with a sauce of your choice, then prepare bread and salad. For example, my household prefers bowties in alfredo sauce, caesar salad from a kit, and a loaf of store bakery Italian bread lightly toasted. You can also add a soup, like Italian wedding soup or minestrone if you’d like it to be more filling and even healthier. 

For excellent pasta: always get the water boiling before you add the pasta. Add a small amount of salt or garlic salt and olive oil or butter and Italian herbs to the water. If you have minced onion flakes or minced garlic, you can add a tiny bit to the water as well. 

Then, add pasta and turn down slightly. Let cook 9-10 minutes.

Turn off and strain. 

Heat bread of your choice, slightly. 

While pasta cools and bread warms, prepare salad as you like it. 

*In lieu of salad, sliced cucumbers and tomatoes can be placed in a bag with a light dressing and shaken well, fresh veggies laid out with dip, or let baby carrots soak overnight in an Italian Vinaigrette. 

If you have an Italian soup, bring it to a boil and let cool on the stovetop.

Add pasta back into the pot on warm eye and sauce to stir and warm. 

Cost – $7-10, takes 15 minutes.

3. Breakfast for Dinner

When many of us think breakfast, we think bacon, but there are so many options out there for a fun family dinner night. It doesn’t mean giving up bacon; it’s just adding a different recipe to your usual rotation. 

A fast and cheap trick is to heat up some plain, comforting biscuits and white pepper gravy. To add some nutrients to that hot, filling meal, slice up some fruit of your choice and put peanut butter in the middle of the plate. 

Or you can always go with pancakes. Make sure the pan is greased and very hot, then turn down before adding batter. 

Mix it up with the batter too. For instance, I like to add banana instead of egg or butter to the batter and a little bit of peanut butter. You can top with syrup or semi-sweet/dark chocolate chips. Or, add cinnamon to batter, crushed pecans or walnuts, and applesauce for a fall feel. 

You can still have eggs or veggie sausage (it’s actually pretty good) on the side to make it protein-rich. 

Cost – $5-$10, takes 15 Minutes

4. Mexi Bowl

What you will need:

  • White Rice, 
  • Caldo de Tomate con savor de Pollo 
  • 1 onion or minced onion flakes
  • 1 can tomato
  • 1 can Black Beans
  • 1 can sweet corn
  • 1 package cream cheese
  •  taco seasoning 
  •  ranch seasoning 

Place equal amounts of white rice and water in a large pot or rice cooker. Add tablespoon of Caldo de tomato con savor de Pollo and onion. Cover with a spot for air to escape and bring to boil, then immediately turn down to simmer for 10 minutes. There should be minimal water visible, full-looking rice and tiny circular holes appearing along the outside in a ring when ready. Add half a can of seasoned diced tomatoes and stir thoroughly. 

In a pot, add cream cheese, remaining tomatoes, corn, and black beans. For more flavor add ½ the pack of taco seasoning and ½ the pack of ranch – not all! Stir as it melts and then turn off and let cool a moment.

You can fill bowls with rice and cover with a creamy veggie mix. Plus, feel free to top with sour cream, guac, pico de gallo, or salsa. Or, you can also serve the creamy parts over dip chips next to the rice. Goes well with citrus drinks. 

5. Asian Night – Veggie & Egg Fried Rice (with Cashews!)

What You Will Need:

From the Store

  • eggs
  • white rice
  • veggies (lightly seasoned Asian medley is best)
  • cashew pieces (very affordable at Aldi’s, Walmart, and Dollar General)
  • spring onion 

From the Kitchen

  • soy sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce (gives slightly meaty flavor)

Finely slice the spring onion. In a large pan mix a little oil, soy sauce, and onion. Get pan very hot then turn down the temp and scramble eggs in it. Add rice to the pan, then water, and veggies on top, add water, cover, and steam for 10 minutes

Stir well, adding soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Add cashews on top or side of each plate. 

Cost – $5-$8, takes 15 minutes.

It really is that easy. In fact, here are some pictures of my actual Meatless Monday meals I made myself.


Tell us your go-to a meat-less recipe in the comments below!

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Paula Billingsley
Originally from Columbia, Paula has also lived in NC, Florida, Alaska, and the UK before returning, after her husband’s deployment, to start USC School of Law. After passing the bar, working with education nonprofits, and going back for her Masters in English, she’s set aside being an active attorney for now to focus on her health, writing, and raising her baby girl, Evy. Paula knows life does not usually go as expected, like being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, and sometimes it goes better, like eloping or adopting her best book review buddy, Evy! She binges on good tv, good books, good chocolate, good tea, and good conversation. She’s also a fan of winning, whether at board games or yoga. At home, she enjoys making art, music, stories, and tasty food with her family including two wild puppies, Poppy and Petra. Out and about, she enjoys being involved in theatre and music, like at Town Theatre, enjoying the outdoors and wildlife, attending Windsor United Methodist Church, shopping, volunteering, and traveling on the cheap! She does not enjoy laundry, social injustice, environmental destruction, the patriarchy, coffee, soda, kale, or pants. She’s excited and thankful to pursue her calling and bring her child up in this kid friendly town.


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