Feeding a vegetarian household, cutting back on meat, or just trying to incorporate more veggies into your meals is about to get a whole lot easier with this master list of vegetarian meals for kids!

vegetarian-ideas-in-grid

Vegetarian Meals for Kids

It’s so darn easy to get into a food rut, especially when feeding kids who usually prefer to eat their favorites over and over (and over!). I’m always looking for meatless meal ideas to help stretch my grocery budget and help me come up with vegetarian meals that everyone at my table will enjoy.

So this list, which is broken up by type of recipe—is here to help you (and me!).

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Vegetarian Recipes for Families

Each of the recipes here is a great one to share with your entire family. You can of course cook them just for the kids, but they are appropriate for the adults at the table too. Each of these is straight forward and uses ingredients you can (usually) find at mainstream grocery stories.

(I lived in a small town and shopped at my local stores, so I used what was available there as my guide!)

TIP: Learn more about kids protein needs here. (They may be lower than you realize.)

vegetarian-protein-options-on-counter

Vegetarian Protein Options

Here’s a quick look at some good sources of meatless plant-based protein:

  • Almond butter
  • Beans
  • Cheese
  • Cottage cheese
  • Hemp seeds (blended into smoothies)
  • Hummus
  • Kefir
  • Edamame beans
  • Eggs
  • Lentils
  • Milk (cow’s, plant milk, or soy milk)
  • Peanut butter
  • Pasta (bean, lentil, and quinoa, along with regular wheat pastas)
  • Peas
  • Quinoa
  • Split peas
  • Sunflower seed butter
  • Tempeh
  • Tofu
  • Yogurt, drinkable
  • Yogurt

TIP: Find a full list of vegetarian (and pescatarian) protein options here.

vegetarian bean recipes for kids

Bean Recipes for Kids

Affordable and packed with nutrition, beans and legumes are also versatile and filling. Here are some of my go-to ways to cook them for kids.

Roasted Sweet Potato Tacos
You can try serving this to your toddler with the components separated if they aren’t quite up to holding and eating a regular taco. Simply arrange the filling, the tortillas, and toppings on a plate and let them eat them however they like!
Roasted Sweet Potato Tacos
parent and kids roasted sweet potato taco plates
Easy Vegetarian Burrito Bowls
Transform pantry staples into the yummiest homemade Vegetarian Burrito Bowls with this easy recipe. (Prep the rice, beans, and veggies ahead if you can or want to. They store well in the fridge and simply need to be reheated.)
Easy Vegetarian Burrito Bowls
Vegetarian Quesadillas with Beans and Cheese
You can make as few or as many of these easy quesadillas as you like.
Vegetarian Quesadillas with Beans and Cheese
cut up vegetarian quesadillas for kids on plate
Vegetarian Rice and Beans Burritos
You can make and serve these at the same time, or prep them ahead of time and warm up quickly for an easy meal. You can vary the beans in these simple burritos. Serve them with salsa and/or sour cream.
Vegetarian Rice and Beans Burritos
rice and bean burritos on two plates.
Easy Taco Roll Ups
This super simple riff on tacos takes just minutes to make, is really satisfying, and is great for lunch, dinner, or even snack. (This makes 6 rolled-up tacos, so you can adjust this as needed for your family.) 
Easy Taco Roll Ups
Taco roll ups on kids plate with sides.
Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas
Before you start, roll a tortilla and make sure it will fit with your baking dish. I call for small ones, but the size can vary a lot depending on whether you use flour or corn and the brand. This recipe was updated and streamlined in October 2020.
Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas
vegetarian-enchiladas-in-baking-dish
Homemade Hummus (Without Tahini)
With just 5 minutes and basic pantry ingredients, you can make the yummiest Homemade Hummus without tahini. This means that it's nut-free, so it's an option for school and allergy families, and it's just perfect for dunking crackers or spreading on bread.
Homemade Hummus (Without Tahini)
hummus without tahini on plate with dippers.
Easy Sweet Potato Hummus
When I just need one sweet potato for a recipe, I often cook it in the microwave. Dice it, place it in a large 4-cup glass measuring cup, cover with two inches of water and cook for about 5 minutes or until soft. Roasted Sweet Potato or Crockpot Sweet Potato works well too!  
Easy Sweet Potato Hummus
sweet-potato-dip-in-white-bowl
Easy Butternut Squash Hummus
You can use canned squash or whole squash that you’ve roasted and pureed.
Easy Butternut Squash Hummus
butternut squash hummus on plate with cucumbers
Easy Beet Hummus
This brightly colored hummus is a delicious spread for crackers, toast, or sandwiches. Or it can be served as a dip. You can omit the tahini if needed for an allergy.
Easy Beet Hummus
beet hummus on blue plate with crackers
Soft Roasted Chickpeas with Cinnamon
If you start with dried beans in this salty-sweet snack, make sure to cook them until they are very tender. If making these for a kiddo under one, use maple syrup instead of honey or skip the sweetener all together.
Soft Roasted Chickpeas with Cinnamon
roasted chickpea recipe
So Good Chickpea Blondies
These blondies are packed with just-sweet-enough flavor and nutrition.They are delicious chilled right out of the fridge with a glass of cold milk.
So Good Chickpea Blondies
chickpea-blondies-on-unicorn-plate
Black Bean Brownie Bites
You can add sprinkles to make these fun or leave them plain—either one works! Serving size is 2 brownie bites.
Black Bean Brownie Bites
black-bean-brownies-on-plate-with-sprinkles

TIP: Find even more healthy bean recipes here.

vegetarian soups in grid

Vegetarian Soups for Kids

Beans and legumes add protein and vegan creaminess to soup—and all of these options are super kid friendly. Kiddo not into soup? Try serving a small amount with crackers or bread for dipping.

Healthy Broccoli Cheddar Soup
With plant-based protein, veggies, and cheese, this soup is a wonderful way to serve up healthy comfort food to the whole family. (Adapted from FamilyFun magazine.)
Healthy Broccoli Cheddar Soup
broccoli cheese soup recipe
Extra-Veggie Minestrone Baby Soup (for Big Kids too!)
With a streamlined method and a quick cooking time, this veggie-packed baby soup (that big kids and parents will also enjoy!) is filled with vegetarian protein and super yummy Italian flavors.
Extra-Veggie Minestrone Baby Soup (for Big Kids too!)
three-bowls-of-minestrone
Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup
Use the crock pot to cook up a hearty and nutritious Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup with veggies and lots of kid-friendly flavor. It's easy, versatile, and a great freezer meal
 
Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup
slow-cooker-black-bean-soup
Easy Red Lentil Soup
With plant-based protein and Vitamin C-rich veggies, this brightly flavored Red Lentil Soup—with sweet potato, ginger, and coconut— is a perfect fast family dinner ready in less than 30 minutes.
Easy Red Lentil Soup
red lentil soup for parent and baby
Favorite Vegetarian Lentil Soup
With a quick method and a variety of vegetables packed into the soup, this vegetarian Lentil Soup is a perfect weeknight family dinner—especially when you're craving comfort food.
Favorite Vegetarian Lentil Soup
bowl of vegetarian lentil soup.
Vegetarian Bean Chili (Big Batch)
When serving this to a little one, I like to drain off much of the broth. This makes it a little easier (and less messy) for them to eat. If your family likes spice, add in a dash or two of cayenne pepper.
Vegetarian Bean Chili (Big Batch)
vegetarian bean chili in bowls on table.

crispy tofu nuggets

Tofu and Tempeh Recipes

I’ve always been surprised at how much my kids like tofu—and also delighted since it’s such an inexpensive protein option. It also takes on flavors of sauces really well, and can be served up crispy in nuggets too.

Crispy Baked Tofu Nuggets (SO Good and Easy)
Tofu is typically sold in 14-16 ounce blocks. If yours is 16 ounces, you may need 1 ¼ cup panko. The garlic powder is optional, but adds nice flavor.
Crispy Baked Tofu Nuggets (SO Good and Easy)
tofu nuggets
Vegetable Stir Fry with Rice and Tofu
I like to use vegetables like carrots, broccoli, bell peppers, and snap peas in this easy recipe. Plan to cook the rice ahead of time or to get it started first.
Vegetable Stir Fry with Rice and Tofu
sesame-tofu-with-veggies-and-rice-in-bowl
Quick and Easy Sesame Tofu
This simple pan-fried Sesame Tofu is a perfect match for sauteed veggies and rice, or pasta, or even potatoes and roasted veggies!
Quick and Easy Sesame Tofu
sesame tofu on plate.
Easy Thai Green Curry with Vegetables
If you're looking for a yummy dinner to share with the entire family, add this Easy Green Curry recipe to your list. It's full of mild flavor and is a pretty quick and healthy way to make a favorite takeout dish at home!
Easy Thai Green Curry with Vegetables
thai green curry in bowls.

vegetarian eggs recipes for kids

Easy Egg Recipes

Eggs are one of the more affordable protein sources, in addition to being quick to cook. Here are a few of my favorite ways to use them.

Mini Egg Muffins with Cheese and Veggies
These tender Egg Muffins are packed with protein and vitamins—and can be made ahead of time! Add any veggie you like, whether carrots, butternut squash, broccoli, or spinach.
Mini Egg Muffins with Cheese and Veggies
egg-cups-on-plate-with-toast
So Good Spinach Egg Muffins
These mini Spinach Egg Muffins mix up in minutes and are one of our go-to easy meals. They're packed with iron and protein, and you can make them ahead and stash them in the fridge until you need them for the kids.
So Good Spinach Egg Muffins
spinach-egg-muffins-on-blue-divided-plate
Roasted Sweet Potato Hash
Try this easy breakfast-for-dinner idea the next time you need a super easy and nutritious family dinner.
Roasted Sweet Potato Hash
sweet-potato-hash-on-two-plates
Easy Breakfast Burritos
With just 4 simple ingredients, these easy Breakfast Burritos can be made ahead and reheated, or made in minutes and served right away. They're a protein-packed breakfast to share with the kids.
Easy Breakfast Burritos
breakfast burritos on plate with salsa.
Easy Egg Yolk Puree (with BLW option)
This is an easy method to introduce eggs to baby, whether they’re starting solids on purees or with the baby led weaning approach. Adjust the number of eggs up or down as you like.
Easy Egg Yolk Puree (with BLW option)
egg-puree-and-toast-on-plate-for-baby
Easy Egg Cups (with Zucchini and Cheese)
Feel free to double the recipe to make a full 24 mini muffins! We like to stash these in the fridge to eat all week, so having more is usually helpful in our house.
Easy Egg Cups (with Zucchini and Cheese)
zucchini egg cups with berries and crackers
How to Make Eggs in the Microwave
You can season the cooked egg with a little salt, butter or cheese if you’d like, but it’s very good as is. See the Note about the heat setting when cooking in a microwave.
How to Make Eggs in the Microwave
microwave-eggs-on-blue-kids-plate

vegetarian pasta recipes

Vegetarian Pasta and Grains

Pasta has a solid dose of protein (even regular pasta does!), as do grains—and both are a great base for vegetarian family meals. These are some of my favorites to share with the kids.

Extra-Veggie Baby Pasta (with Iron)
Adding beans and extra veggies helps make this easy baby pasta satisfying, nutritious, and yummy. Serve it more or less saucy as you like. (You can even freeze the sauce for easy future meals.)
Extra-Veggie Baby Pasta (with Iron)
baby-pasta-in-four-white-bowls
Cauliflower Mac and Cheese (5-Ingredient)
With a simple cheese sauce—no standing and stirring over the stove here!—a solid dose of veggies, and a super creamy final result, this Cauliflower Mac and Cheese is a fast lunch or dinner option for toddlers. (And the rest of the family, too!)
Cauliflower Mac and Cheese (5-Ingredient)
cauliflower mac and cheese on teal spoon
5-Ingredient Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
Use your family’s favorite shape and type of pasta in this recipe. (We like elbows or mini shells!)
5-Ingredient Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
butternut-squash-mac-and-cheese-with-shell-pasta
Easy Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese
Friends, meet my new favorite lightning fast dish. This Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese requires just 5 simple ingredients, zero prep work, and is just the yummiest pasta recipe! 
Easy Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese
sweet potato mac and cheese in bowls.
One-Pot Broccoli Mac and Cheese
The method on this recipe is streamlined to cut down on dish washing. Add the optional spices for more flavor if you like! Double it to make more.
One-Pot Broccoli Mac and Cheese
servings-of-broccoli-mac-and-cheese-for-family
Easy Spinach Pesto
Try this healthy pesto with your favorite pasta or in place of pizza sauce on pizza!
Easy Spinach Pesto
spinach pesto in jar
Easy Kale Pesto
Try this healthy pesto with your favorite pasta or in place of pizza sauce on pizza! It's a kid-friendly way to serve up kale, and you don't have to worry about it turning brown if you store it.
Easy Kale Pesto
kale-pesto-in-container
Easy Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe
This is an easy family dinner or lunch. I like to use Spinach Pesto for this, but any will work if you prefer to buy it pre-made from the store.
Easy Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe
pesto-pasta-salad-in-bowl
Creamy Pasta with Broccoli
Feel free to cut this recipe in half to make a smaller portion for your family. (Or make the full batch and enjoy the leftovers!)
Creamy Pasta with Broccoli
creamy broccoli pasta in white bowls.
Easy Cheesy Rice (with Veggies!)
This Cheesy Rice recipe has four options to add in veggies and has been a staple of my family's diet for a few years now. It's SO easy and versatile—and stores wonderfully in the fridge. And it's downright delish!
Easy Cheesy Rice (with Veggies!)
cheesy rice in bowl with hands and pink nails.
20-Minute Stir Fry Noodles
Try this quick family dinner the next time you're craving fresh comfort food—and want to please the entire family! You can add a protein to this dish if you'd like. See the Notes for options.
20-Minute Stir Fry Noodles
stir fry noodles with vegetables
Easy Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
Mix up this grain salad to have lunches prepped for the week for yourself, or to have a dinner side or vegetarian main dish to share with the family.
Easy Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
mediterranean quinoa salad on two plates

fish stick tacos with fruit salsa on pooh plates

Pescatarian Meals with Fish

Pick up some salmon, tilapia, shrimp, or other favorite fish or shellfish and try one of these easy fish recipes for kids. While not technically vegetarian, they can be yummy meals to try if your family does eat or have access to fish.

Crispy Baked Fish Sticks (to Share with the Kids!)
We like to have these with simple sides such as Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Broccoli, or Salad. They’re also great in tacos!
Crispy Baked Fish Sticks (to Share with the Kids!)
fish-sticks-with-ketchup-and-lemon
Easy Baked Salmon Cakes (Salmon Patties)
These tender fish cakes make a quick and easy pantry meal when you haven’t planned ahead for dinner. Recipe updated slightly to ensure moistness in June 2021.
Easy Baked Salmon Cakes (Salmon Patties)
salmon-cakes-on-parent-and-child-plate
Favorite Salmon Salad Sandwich
This salmon salad is packed with protein, healthy fats, and calcium and can be used as a dip or a spread for sandwiches. We use homemade relish in this recipe, but you can use any that you like the flavor of.
Favorite Salmon Salad Sandwich
salmon-salad-on-toast
Quick Teriyaki Shrimp with Zucchini and Rice
We like this with rice or rice noodles, but you can adjust how you serve it to fit your family!
Quick Teriyaki Shrimp with Zucchini and Rice
easy teryiaki shrimp
Quick and Easy Shrimp Tacos
With just 10 minutes of cooking time, you can serve up these Easy Shrimp Tacos with sweet bell peppers to the whole family. Add some simple sides and everyone is sure to be happy!
Quick and Easy Shrimp Tacos
shrimp tacos for kids and parents on plates
Easy Citrus Shrimp and Noodles
With a quick 20-minute cooking method perfect for a weeknight dinner, this easy Shrimp and Noodles recipe has a flavorful (yet kid-friendly!) Asian sauce with a refreshing hit of citrus. You can use fresh or frozen shrimp in this recipe. If using frozen, defrost according to package directions.
Easy Citrus Shrimp and Noodles
Pan with shrimp and noddles and kids plate on side

vegetarian lunch recipes for kids

Vegetarian Lunch Ideas for Kids

Pack or serve up plant-based goodness for lunch with these yummy recipes for lunch. Most are even great to make ahead and reheat and plate as needed!

Easy Veggie Muffins
Serve up veggies in a kid-friendly form with these SO-good Veggie Muffins. They have broccoli, carrots, protein, and kid-approved flavor!
Easy Veggie Muffins
veggie muffins on gray towel
Favorite Pizza Pockets
Whether you're looking for a healthy make-ahead dinner for the whole family or a new way to serve up veggies, these Homemade Pizza Pockets are a delish option. (If using Homemade Pizza Dough, make it at least an hour before you plan to assemble the pockets. If using store-bought, let it sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes so it's not super cold when you try to form the pockets.)
Favorite Pizza Pockets
Pizza pockets on baking sheet.
Favorite Pizza Rolls (with Veggies)
This Pizza Rolls recipe is packed with nutrition—and even greens!—but the cheese, and silly spiral shape makes them much more appeal to toddlers and big kids. Be sure to grease your pan well and roll the dough up fairly tightly around the fillings for best results. (But it's okay if they don't look perfect when they go into the pan!) 
Favorite Pizza Rolls (with Veggies)
pizza-rolls-on-kids-plate
Easy Spinach Quesadillas
You can also do this with full size spinach if that’s what you’re able to find. Just discard any stems before starting the recipe.
Easy Spinach Quesadillas
spinach quesadillas
Veggie Grilled Cheese Sandwich (to Share with the Kids)
With just 4 ingredients, including a veggie that blends right in, this Veggie Grilled Cheese Sandwich is a yummy kids lunch to share. It packs extra nutrition in the filling, yet only takes a few minutes to make. Such a great easy meal!
Veggie Grilled Cheese Sandwich (to Share with the Kids)
veggie-grilled-cheese-on-plate
Easy Zucchini Fritters Recipe
We bake these Zucchini Fritters since they are easier to cook and easier to clean up. If you have a lot of zucchini, you can double the recipe to make a full muffin tin's worth!
Easy Zucchini Fritters Recipe
healthy zucchini fritters
Quick Sandwich Roll Ups (2-Minute School Lunch)
Pair a soft sandwich bread with your filling of choice to make this easy toddler lunch or school lunch. You can even make them the night before.
Quick Sandwich Roll Ups (2-Minute School Lunch)
sandwich-roll-ups-in-stainless-container
Quick Pizza Quesadillas (An Easy Kids Meal)
This meal is perfect for when you're short on time or when you want to make pizza with less fuss. Add a simple side of cut up fruit, applesauce, or a salad kit and call it good.
Quick Pizza Quesadillas (An Easy Kids Meal)
pizza-quesadillas-on-blue-plate
Easy Spinach Grilled Cheese
You can also do this with full size spinach if that's what you're able to find. Just discard any stems before starting the recipe.
Easy Spinach Grilled Cheese
spinach-grilled-cheese-on-plate

veggie-nuggets-in-freezer-bag

Vegetarian Nugget and Tot Recipes

Crunchy on the outside, tender on the inside, these homemade nuggets are so good!

Homemade Veggie Nuggets (with 3 Veggies!)
I like to prep the veggies and rice ahead of time so that the process of making the nuggets is a little quicker. You can of course do it all at once though!
Homemade Veggie Nuggets (with 3 Veggies!)
veggie-nuggets-on-blue-plate
Homemade Cauliflower Tots
With quinoa, cauliflower, and cheese, these healthy little tots are a great finger food for kids. This recipe makes about 20 tots, which is 4-6 servings for toddlers—or 1-2 servings for adults.
Homemade Cauliflower Tots
cauliflower tots on white and red plate
Homemade Broccoli Tots (Better Than the Freezer Aisle!)
Crispy on the outside and tender in the middle, these tots are a seriously fun way to serve broccoli. You can cook the rice up to 5 days ahead of time and store it in the fridge until you're ready to bake the tots.
Homemade Broccoli Tots (Better Than the Freezer Aisle!)
homemade broccoli tots
Crispy Baked Tofu Nuggets (SO Good and Easy)
Tofu is typically sold in 14-16 ounce blocks. If yours is 16 ounces, you may need 1 ¼ cup panko. The garlic powder is optional, but adds nice flavor.
Crispy Baked Tofu Nuggets (SO Good and Easy)
tofu nuggets

If you have a favorite vegetarian recipe for your family, please share it below in the comments—I’d love to know!

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vegetarian-ideas-in-grid

Favorite Vegetarian Meals for Kids

We have a lot of favorite vegetarian meals, but these bean and cheese quesadillas rank at the very top. They're easy, affordable, and endlessly customizable.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes
Cuisine Mexican
Course Dinner
Calories 265kcal
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 6 small tortillas (corn or flour)
  • cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • cup beans (pinto or black beans; or one 14-ounce can)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • Salsa, sour cream, hot sauce, as desired for topping (optional)
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Instructions

  • Place the tortillas on a clean work surface.
  • Sprinkle some cheese on one half, then beans, then cheese. Use about ¼ each on each tortilla. (It doesn't have to be precise though!) Sprinkle with cumin,.
  • Warm a skillet over medium heat. Grease lightly with a little neutral oil like canola or nonstick spray. If using oil, wipe it with a paper towel so there’s a very thin coating.
  • Place two tortillas with fillings on the skillet. After about a minute, fold over the empty side to make a half moon shape. Press down. Add another tortilla or two as you can fit them and repeat to make half moon shapes.
  • Let each quesadilla cook for 3-4 minutes. Flip and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes.
  • Serve warm with optional dippers.

Notes

  • Try my homemade Pinto Beans or Slow Cooker Black Beans.
  • If using canned beans, drain and rinse first for best flavor, then sprinkle with a little cumin and chili powder.
  • Use tortillas labeled “soft” to avoid cracks or breaks.
  • Add cooked diced chicken or steak, chopped baby spinach or kale, or corn if desired.
  • Cut into wedges with kitchen scissors for younger eaters.
  • Mash the beans and spread on just a little for one year olds if that’s easier for them to chew.
  • See the post above for additional vegetarian meal ideas.

Nutrition

Serving: 1quesadilla, Calories: 265kcal, Carbohydrates: 27g, Protein: 13g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 30mg, Sodium: 382mg, Potassium: 260mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 283IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 255mg, Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

This post was first published May 2019.

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