As the only vegetarian in my family for years (I’ve since shifted to pescetarian), I’ve heard my fair share of skepticism when it comes to enjoying a meal without a single smidgen of meat included. Being from the South, that’s was particularly unfathomable for folks I know who love to chow down on a crispy fried chicken or a sizzling steak on a regular basis. That said, even my stubborn family would have no problem digging into one of the delicious vegetarian-friendly dishes listed below. In fact, I bet they’d be so satisfied by the recipes that they wouldn’t even notice they went meat-free!
Of course, there is one of the key ingredients that meat lovers and vegetarians can agree on: cheese — and plenty of it. Most of the options we’ve listed include a variety of all your favorite cheeses, but some can also easily go without the cheese and dairy for any vegan friends you’re cooking for. Some strict vegetarians who do eat dairy might also object to rennet and similar animal-based ingredients found in certain cheeses, so you might want to substitute with vegan and dairy-free options in those cases. Whichever way you go, you can be sure to have happy faces looking back at you when you serve up one of these dishes. Take a look to see our favorite vegetarian recipes that won’t make you miss meat!