Vegetarian cookery is enjoying a moment for many different reasons. These include health factors, environmental concerns and animal welfare issues. As the cost-of-living crisis continues to bite, many people are experimenting with vegetarian recipes in a bid to spend less at the supermarket. An Oxford University study has found that a balanced vegetarian/vegan diet in the UK can be as much as a third cheaper than one that includes meat.
If you’ve been thinking about exploring vegetarianism, why not take part in Cancer Research UK’s Veg Pledge? This fundraising initiative aims to encourage participants to go vegetarian (or vegan) for one month and get sponsored to do so. It’s a great way to learn some new recipes, boost your intake of essential fruits and vegetables and raise money for life-saving research. Keen to give it a go, but not sure how to switch? Here are some of our national trainer Jo’s favourite vegetarian dinners to get you started:
You may remember the days when many people associated vegetarian dinners with plates of limp, joyless salad. How times have changed. This big bowl veggie chilli recipe from Sainsbury’s Magazine is a filling, warming, one-pot wonder that’s perfect for feeding friends and family. Packed full with vegetables, pulses and tasty spices, it’s sure to convert even the most committed carnivores. It’s so simple to make too, as everything is cooked on the hob. You just chop, stir and simmer.
If you love the taste of chilli, but you’re not keen on the associated odours hanging around, I would recommend our DD780BK . It cleverly combines function and form with a four-speed extractor that switches off 15 minutes after cooking has finished. In fact, it’s highly cost-effective too as you can benefit from two appliances in one.
Love lasagne? Me too! I’ve experimented with many meat-free versions over the years. This spinach and ricotta recipe, from delicious. magazine, is one of my favourite vegetarian dinners. This dish is rich, creamy and seriously satisfying. Prep time is 45 minutes, followed by around 30 minutes in the oven. But you can assemble this lasagne up to 24 hours ahead of time. It also freezes well for up to three months.
If time is tight, why not transform this into a super-speedy meal with microwave cooking? Don’t forget to prep your lasagne in a microwavable dish. I also recommend you use our CM111 Combination Microwave for cooking. After all, you can serve up perfect results in just 15 minutes with the combination oven setting. This appliance features cutting-edge technology with full touch controls, an ultra-durable stainless-steel interior and a sleek, turntable-free design.
My vegetarian dinners repertoire features a fair few pasta recipes, especially during the autumn. This penne and tomato bake, from Tesco, is another mid-week winner. Rich tomato sauce and oozy melting cheese never fails to please in my house! Best of all, there are no complex processes with this dish. You simply prep the sauce and cook the penne on the hob.
I like to use our C990i Full Surface Zoneless Induction Hob with pre-set temperatures of 42°, 70° and 94° for the perfect simmer. This model looks super-stylish with a TFT touch screen and you’ll love our intuitive Smart Pan detection. It can detect up to six pans at once and will adapt to your pan size, thanks to the automatic heating area and power technology. Then simply mix and bake everything in the oven. I tend to serve this with a green salad and lots of good, crusty bread.
Pizza is often a popular choice for vegetarian dinners. But making the dough from scratch sometimes feels like too much of a faff. On days like these, I cook this Tomato Galette instead. Quick and easy, it has all the delicious flavour of pizza, but it’s much more straight forward to make. This type of pastry is very forgiving, I promise. And if it turns out to be a little ‘rustic’ in appearance, this only adds to the texture. Leave your pastry to cool in the fridge while you cook your sauce on the hob, then assemble and bake.
If you are looking for a mouth-watering finish, our new new Sense Premium C2601BS Smart Pyrolytic Electric Single Oven is highly versatile with 23 functions including base heat and fan for a perfectly crispy base. It connects with our CapleHome app on your smartphone or tablet, where you can access all sorts of innovative features.
Curry and vegetarian dinners are a match made in heaven. This paneer tikka masala recipe, from olive magazine, is fragrant, filling and takes just forty minutes from start to finish. With a powerful triple ring burner, you can expect efficient cooking from our C787G Gas-On-Glass Hob in Black Glass. This intelligent model features a 45° inclined flame, which reaches directly upwards towards the base of the pan. This means less heat escapes around the sides and you can bring your food to temperature more quickly.
Paneer is a type of fresh, mild cheese that’s used in a wide variety of Indian recipes. It keeps its shape when cooked and holds spices really well, so it’s a popular perennial within vegetarian cookery. In this recipe, the paneer is marinated with yogurt and tikka curry powder, before being grilled until it’s sizzling and charred.
Every collection of vegetarian dinners needs a traditional Sunday roast that sustains you after a long and busy day. So, my go-to recipe on these occasions is BBC Good Food’s Food’s whole roasted cauliflower with garlic and paprika. It makes an impressive alternative and it’s relatively simple to prepare and cook.
I like using our new CMS260BS Wifi Combi Microwave + Steam Oven for this recipe. With Wi-Fi capability, you’ll find cooking a breeze as you can use a variety of settings via the CapleHome app on your smartphone or tablet. The intelligent steam setting will retain all the nutrients in your roast, too. Don’t forget to baste your dish with cauliflower juices halfway through cooking for a beautiful, golden finish. Then simply top with homemade herby breadcrumbs for a satisfying crunch.
Where do you stand on Marmite? Fellow lovers rejoice – but if you’re not a fan, look away now! Jamie Oliver’s recipe for vegetarian cottage pie includes meaty porcini mushrooms, protein-packed lentils – and a genius dash of Marmite for added umami savouriness.
This is one of those vegetarian dinners I look forward to on autumn-winter weekends, when I’ve got a bit more time to spend cooking. I think it’s great for entertaining, too. I love the suggested root veg combination and the lift from the cumin seeds. Prepped on the hob and finished in the oven, this dish does take two hours – but I promise it’s worth the effort.
Our C2362 Electric Single Oven could be ideal for this recipe. It features our signature Motionheat+ technology, so you can benefit from even cooking. Other good news is there are no complex side dishes to sort. This pie needs nothing more than a few simple steamed seasonal greens to accompany it.
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