When I was a kid, eating meatless meals for Lent usually meant a dreaded fish sandwich from the school cafeteria. If I was lucky, we’d be observing an even stricter fast and have just a simple bowl of plain white rice which I found significantly more palatable.
Now that I’m an adult who has learned to appreciate seafood, it’s a whole lot easier for me to observe the meatless Fridays during Lent. I love the challenge of finding new Lent recipes each year that push me out of our comfort zone.
I’ve taken this season on as an opportunity to talk with my kids about how often we eat meat, why we are choosing to abstain from it, and to introduce them to some new dishes that don’t hit our rotation quite as often. I hope that their experiences with fish on Friday is a lot more positive than mine was.
But for the meal planners amongst us, why is it that being told you shouldn’t be eating meat makes it nearly impossible to plan a dinner without it?? Even though we eat plenty of meatless dishes throughout the year, it can be nearly impossible to come up with an idea on the Friday’s during Lent when I’m put on the spot!
30 meatless meals for Lent your kids will actually eat
Today I’m sharing 30 recipes that will work for the Fridays during Lent for those of you who observe. I’ve broken it down into three sections:
- Seafood meals with shrimp or fish
- Meatless soups
- Meatless pasta & rice dishes
And don’t miss the 5 brain dead busy night ideas at the very end!
Below you’ll find creative meatless options for even picky eaters who can’t tolerate any sort of fish. I hope this helps make your meal planning in the coming weeks a little bit easier and more inspired!
P.S. Please note: several of the recipes do involve chicken stock. I did some research and it appears that is allowed but if you want to be extra safe, you can easily swap out vegetable or fish stock in any of the recipes you need.
Family-friendly Seafood Recipes for Lent:
Shrimp is a top favorite for the Peanut and myself but Handyman Tim and Little Pea aren’t as big of fans. We love salmon and tilapia. Many of these recipes are interchangeable with your fish of choice.
- Sautéed spicy shrimp with lemony orzo
- Slow cooker spicy shrimp stew
- 16 minute shrimp scampi
- Mustard glazed salmon with couscous and oranges
- Salmon salad featuring blueberries, tomatoes, basil, and wild rice
- Sheet pan terriyaki salmon
- Easy make-ahead macadamia crusted halibut with lemon butter cream sauce
- Shrimp and gnocchi with garlic cream sauce
- Tuscan shrimp with spinach and tomatoes
- Beer battered buffalo shrimp sliders
Meatless Soup Recipes for Lent:
I love a simple soup for dinner. Just serve these with your favorite homemade bread or easy refrigerator biscuits or a classic grilled cheese!
- Cheese tortellini soup
- Gnocchi soup with lemon and dill
- Tuscan chicken soup–leave out the chicken, there are so many veggies that compensate.
- Veggie corn chowder
- Broccoli and cheese soup
- Creamy carrot and ginger soup
- Instant Pot creamy tomato soup
- Cauliflower chowder (skip the bacon!)
- Thai butternut squash soup
- Creamy crab soup
Meatless Pasta & Rice Recipes for Lent:
My kids could LIVE on pasta alone. But, mama can only handle buttered noodles so often. From spicy to creamy, there is sure to be something on this list that will please your family!
- Fettucini Alfredo with peas
- Stove top macaroni and cheese
- Fusilli with lemon, arugula, and tomato
- Spring risotto with peas and asparagus
- Caprese pesto pasta salad
- Spicy Thai peanut noodles (minus the sticky chicken!)
- 15 minute vegetable lo mein noodles
- Meatless vegetable fried rice (add extra egg to boost the protein!)
- Pasta all’arrabbiata (or angry pasta! ha!)
- Roasted vegetables pasta
BONUS: 5 EASY No Recipe Required Dinner Ideas for Lent:
And for the craziest of busy evenings, sometimes you just need to rely on the shortcuts! There is no shame in whipping together a dinner out of one of these meatless menus:
- Poached or scrambled eggs, toast, fresh fruit
- Frozen breaded tilapia cutlets with boxed mac and cheese & frozen veg
- Grilled cheese & store bought tomato soup
- Cheese pizza–frozen or delivery!
- Breakfast for Dinner: pancakes, waffles, or french toast