If you're observing Lent and eliminating meat from your diet on Fridays for the next forty days, explore these meat-free recipes which would typically be made with some kind of animal protein, adapted to be totally plant-based. Or, if you simply want to give up meat to be healthier, help save the environment, and support animals, then enjoy these meatless recipes any time of the year and we promise you won't miss burgers or steak.

Take our ragu lasagna recipe: This entreé is made with hearty lentils and tempeh which mimics the chewy texture of crumbled meat and leaves your taste buds with an umami aftertaste, striking the perfect combination of salty, sweet, and tangy. It's easy to want seconds just after the first bite.

For the carnivores who are used to eating some kind of red meat for dinner, we have you covered with our vegan "steak" recipe made by Chefs Derek and Chad Sarno, the creators of Wicked Kitchen who know how to make plants taste just like meat. Their meatless steak is made with mushrooms and a rich BBQ sauce that absorbs and holds flavor, looking and tasting identical to the real thing. To complete the meat-like presentation, slice the mushrooms into diagonal strips as you would with steak.

Share these recipes with your loved ones for Lent, or simply because you care about their health, the environment, and of course, animals.


1. BBQ Mushroom Steak

Here’s our signature Wicked pan-pressing technique for making show-stopping steaks with crispy edges and juicy centers seasoned just right. Use oyster mushrooms, Portobellos, lion’s manes, maitakes, or whatever you like. For the biggest steaks, use the biggest mushrooms you can find. Check out the video to get the hang of this method. Once you do, you’ll be slicing into swoon-worthy, meaty AF, sexy eats any time you please.

Recipe: Essential BBQ Mushroom Steak 

Mark Bittman on The Beet
Aya Brackett

2. Dairy-Free Tempeh Ragu Lasanga

The star in this dish is the vegan ragu: It’s so easy to substitute for meat in classic ragu because so many different foods can do the trick. And none does it better than tempeh, with its superb chewiness, strong umami flavor, and superior nutritional (and of course ethical) profile. The tempeh helps create a sauce that is in many ways as good as or better than the original.

Recipe: Mark Bittman's Dairy-Free Tempeh Ragu Lasagna


3. Spicy Chickpea Burger

This burger is very easy to make and uses vital wheat gluten to give it a meaty texture. If you would like to make this chickpea burger gluten-free you can substitute the vital wheat gluten for oat flour or chickpea flour. In terms of assembling this burger, we kept it simple: Chickpea patty, lettuce, vegan cheese, and a simple spicy mayo. Feel free to customize your burger and add whatever toppings you want, perhaps some grilled onions, tomatoes, pickles, it’s all fair game!

Recipe: Spicy Chickpea Burger


4. Vegan Carnitas Made with Jackfruit

Turning meat-centric meals into a vegan masterpiece is one creative accomplishment. In this recipe, we use jackfruit to mimic "little meats," or carnitas in Spanish. This traditional Mexican dish originated in the state of Michoacán and is usually made by slow-cooking pork until tenderized and falling apart, but in this case, jackfruit does the same, if not better, and is healthier for you than animal products.

Recipe: Vegan Carnitas Made with Jackfruit 


5. Vegan Carbonara Shiitake “Bacon”

We’ve got mad love for these shiitake mushrooms, which are prepared like crispy bacon. The taste and texture of these mushrooms are amazing and work in a variety of dishes. Here, we’ve paired the mushrooms with pasta and pulled everything together with a decadent, creamy dairy-free sauce to create a wicked comforting dish! Grab your fork and hold on tight…this dish will blow your mind!

Recipe: Creamy Vegan Carbonara Recipe with Shiitake "Bacon"


6. Vegan Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

This vibrant sweet potato and lentil Shepherd’s pie is packed with hearty vegetables and savory spices like thyme and rosemary. It’s guaranteed to fill your kitchen with warm and cozy aromas that will put you in a festive mood. Lentils make the perfect plant-based protein source to use in this recipe, pairing well with vegetables like carrots, celery, mushrooms, and tomatoes. You’ll already be thinking about seconds after your first bite!

Recipe: Vegan Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie Recipe 


7. Potato Wellington With “Turkey” Gravy

Here's the best thing about going plant-based: You don't have to ditch classic dishes when you eat a meat-free diet because this recipe tastes just like the real thing. There are three parts to the recipe: The wellie, the “turkey”, and the gravy. Beautiful. Bang-on delicious. That’s how we roll in the Wicked Kitchen.

Recipe: Wicked Kitchen's Potato Wellington With “Turkey” Gravy Recipe 

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