One of the best things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint is eliminate or reduce your meat consumption. That’s because nearly 15% of the planet’s greenhouse gases come from the production of animal products, like meat and eggs.
Cutting out meat just one day a week—aka Meatless Monday!—makes a big difference. According to the University of Colorado Boulder, doing so saves 133 gallons of water with each meatless meal and reduces your carbon footprint by eight pounds per meatless day. If you keep it up every Monday for a year, you’ll save the equivalent emissions of driving 348 miles in a car.
If you’re not sure how to get started, you’re in luck: There are plenty of Meatless Monday recipes to try—many of which just involve some simple plant-based swaps. From hearty breakfasts to melt-in-your-mouth appetizers, here’s 11 recipes that are both delicious and planet-friendly.
11 Meatless Monday Recipes
Nachos make a great and easy lunch… or an equally great and lazy dinner. If you’re craving something cheesy, try these chorizo nachos. Though this recipe doesn’t use dairy-free cheese, you can easily swap in your favorite vegan alternative to make this meal 100% plant-based.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so why not start your Monday (or any day of the week!) with this hearty, meat-free breakfast casserole? With black beans, potatoes, spinach, and bread, this mini casserole is packed with protein, vitamins, and minerals.
This vegetable bibimbap is a perfect (and surprisingly simple!) Meatless Monday recipe. If you meal prep ahead of time, you can easily whip up a bowl of bibimbap for lunch throughout the week, too. To make this meal 100% plant-based, forgo the egg.
Meatballs on Meatless Monday? You read that right. While this recipe serves up plant-based meatballs Thanksgiving-style with cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes, you can enjoy it any time.
Whether it’s for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, pancakes are always a great idea. And vegan pancakes are just as easy and delicious as non-vegan recipes. Top them with some plant-based butter, maple syrup, or nut butter for a drool-worthy stack.
It’s a combination you never knew you needed… black rice with mango. Add some avocado, peanuts, and cilantro, and you’ve got a killer salad for lunch or dinner. You can also make a large batch of this salad to munch on for days (which we know you’ll want to).
Pumpkin and alfredo might not seem like they go together, but they actually make the perfect pair. Pumpkin makes a ridiculously creamy pasta sauce. And with the fall season upon us, it’s a great way to get into the fall spirit—using just five ingredients!
Meatless Mondays can be difficult if you’re cooking for picky eaters. But these sloppy joes are advertised as kid-friendly and picky-eater-approved. They also use an easy ingredient as the base: lentils. It’s a super simple recipe if you’re looking for a last minute Meatless Monday dinner the whole family will enjoy.
This sweet potato may look like it’s filled with eggs, but that’s actually chia seeds mixed with mashed banana, cinnamon, and peanut butter for a sweet and savory breakfast. If you’re a fan of banana and peanut butter (who isn’t?), we recommend giving it a try.
These tofu lettuce wraps mimic lettuce tacos but with a meatless spin. Soy sauce, lime juice, and chili turn tofu into an excellent appetizer, lunch, or light dinner. You can also pair this tofu mixture with rice or noodles for an easy meal. Warning: This recipe is so delicious you may end up making it again on Taco Tuesday.
Breakfast on Meatless Monday doesn’t have to mean eggs and pancakes. Avocado toast can be easily upgraded, and these five topping combinations are a great place to start.
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