Lenten Menu Planning (Meatless Meals)

Lent begins on Wednesday, which means meatless Fridays for the next 7 weeks in our Catholic family. I try to prepare meatless dinners year-round, but don’t think about it very carefully for lunch. So for Lent, I require extra planning…and will actually make Mr. B a lunch on Fridays because he specifically requested my help reminding him not to eat meat on Fridays this year. 

We don’t usually eat meat at breakfast, so I don’t see this one being a big deal, but we’ll opt for:
Spinach Smoothies
Toast or Bagels 

Salads (my favorites are Spring Greens topped with Cottage Cheese, Red Bell Pepper, Red Onion, Avocado and Red Wine Vinegar…yum!)
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Almond Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

And on the plan for this year’s Lenten Dinners:

Baked Maple Salmon
Pesto Pasta
Clam Pizza Night
Shrimp Scampi
Chuck’s Favorite Mac & Cheese
Lemon and Butter Tilapia

Other Options for Meatless Meals:
  • Pizza Night’s always a favorite. Our very favorite is a Mediterranean Homemade Pizza: Pesto, feta cheese, artichoke hearts, roma tomatoes, oregano and mozzarella. 
  • Salmon Salad
  • Meatless Spaghetti, Garlic Bread and Caesar Salad
  • Any spinach or vegetarian Ravioli or Lasagna
Any other favorite meatless meals you want to share? I’m always on the lookout for new options – Lent or not.

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  1. I love Chuck’s mac and cheese…but I try not to make it too often- I’ll pack that bad boy away like nothing else. I also love anything with pesto. My freezer is always stocked with bags of it. You could do a pesto pizza- I like it with fresh mozzarella and sliced tomatoes.

  2. We eat meatless a lot, for 2 reasons:
    1. I am cheap and meat is expensive.
    2. I don’t really like meat, lol.

    One of my favorites (besides your above mentioned pesto & lasagna) is black bean enchiladas. I use my mom’s recipe, but the filling is basically a can of black beans, small can green chiles, diced onion, cheese, sour cream, and garlic powder & herbs. I use a homenade red enchi sauce with them. They are sooooooo good!

  3. The Mediterranean pizza sounds great! I like preparing some meatless dishes, mainly just to change things up a bit. I always like eating breakfast foods for dinner, like an easy swiss and asparagus frittatta, or blueberry pancakes. Yum! I’m getting hungry just thinking about all this great food!

  4. Personally, I don’t mind meatless burritos–with black beans, rice, and all my favorite burrito toppings, I don’t really notice the lack of meat.

    Also, do you guys do Pancake Tuesday on Fat Tuesday? I’d never heard of it before this year, but it kind of sounds like fun to me.

    And lastly, are you giving anything up for Lent this year? ‘Cause I’m nosy like that and trying to decide for myself.

  5. yummy:
    Spinach Lasagna Rolls

    8 lasagna noodles, cooked

    10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and completely drained

    15 oz ricotta cheese

    1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

    1 egg

    salt and fresh pepper and a little garlic

    32 oz spaghetti sauce

    9 tbsp (about 3 oz) part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

    Preheat oven to 350°. Combine spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, egg, salt and pepper in a medium
    bowl. Ladle about 1 cup sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 12 baking dish.

    Place a piece of wax paper on the counter and lay out lasagna noodles. Make sure noodles
    are dry. Take 1/3 cup of ricotta mixture and spread evenly over noodle. Roll carefully and place seam side down onto the baking dish. Repeat with remaining noodles.

    Ladle sauce over the noodles in the baking dish and top each one with 1 tbsp mozzarella cheese. Put foil over baking dish and bake for 40 minutes, or until cheese melts.

  6. Yummy – a lot of these recipes look fabulous for any time of the year. Our go-to meatless meal is black beans with cilantro lime rice and guacamole. My husband would eat that every night for the rest of his life and die happy.

  7. I agree with the Mexican stuff. The bean burritos and Mexican pizza from Annie’s Eats are really good.

  8. Meredith – Yeah, I’m giving up potato chips and french fries. And I hadn’t heard of pancake tuesday either, but it sounds like fun!

  9. Man, I wish John liked Pancakes because we’d have pancake night every week. I heart them big time. I’ve got a couple meatless options on the menu for next month, like stacked veggie enchiladas & veggie quinoa croqettes. I’m not overly excited about them but eh. I’m trying to get over my only being excited by pizza night.

    btw, I made your lazy ass chicken enchiladas tonight. I liked em. But I only had red sauce and I’m pretty sure I’d like em even more with green sauce. Since you do. And you’re my brain twin.

  10. I love this list!!

    Growing up Catholic, Mom had 2 favorites that she would rotate…Mac’n’ Cheese and Fish Sticks. They were her favorites, not ours 🙂

    Every now and then she’d do a big salad, mostly during summer months. This was when every Friday was meatless (yeah, I know I’m dating myself!)

    Funny thing….Mom was a GREAT cook, but she wasn’t a fan of variety.

  11. Our local food co-op makes the most delicious tuna salad – chopped carrots, celery, ginger, apples and grapes in it. Fantastic made on your own at home and eaten on crackers for lunch!

    I also make another quick and dirty tuna salad that is just tuna, mayo/miracle whip, and a couple of chopped hard boiled eggs. Also good on crackers.

    We also lame out on cheese pizzas from Costco, with a side salad or veggies and dip. Our kiddos also like tostadas (shells with refried black beans and cheese).

    I know we’re emerging from winter and soup season, but I also made the most delicious butternut squash soup last week. Creamy, delicious, and meatless (do you count chicken broth? I guess you could use veggie broth…)

    Happy Lent!