17 Delicious Vegetarian Recipes For Kids

17 Delicious Vegetarian Recipes For Kids

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There are around 375 million vegetarians in the world today (1). And the numbers are growing.

Vegetarianism is a type of diet that consists of vegetables, fruits, and dairy products. It does not contain any form of meat or poultry products, including egg or animal extracts. A vegetarian diet can be as nutritious as an omnivore diet and is suitable for kids and adults too. If your children are vegetarian, you have come to the right place.

MomJunction has compiled a list of tasty and healthy vegetarian recipes for kids.

Vegetarian Recipes For Kids’ Lunch Box

Kids spend most of their time at school. And making sure that they eat their meals at school is not easy unless you give them something tasty and healthy. Here are a few easy vegetarian recipes that you can pack in your kid’s tiffin box.

1. Carrot hot dogs

Having trouble getting your child to eat carrots? Put the vegetable between two hot dog buns, and we guarantee that they’ll eat it all up!

Carrot hot dogs

Image: iStock

You will need:

  • 8 medium carrots, peeled and trimmed at the edges
  • 8 hot dog buns
  • 2tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2tbsp soy sauce
  • 1tsp maple syrup
  • ½tsp garlic powder
  • ½tsp smoked paprika
  • ½tsp liquid smoke
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup low salt vegetable broth
  • Mustard sauce and ketchup for serving

How to:

  1. Add the olive oil to a roasting pan and toss the carrots into it.
  2. In a bowl, mix the broth, vinegar, paprika, liquid smoke, garlic powder, and maple syrup, and whisk.
  3. Pour the broth mixture over the carrots and cover with foil and let it sit for half an hour.
  4. Heat the oven to 425°F and bake the carrots for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and roast for another 20 minutes or until the carrots are tender.
  5. Take the carrots out and place them between the hot dog buns, like you would put a sausage.
  6. Dress with mustard sauce and ketchup and serve.

These carrot hot dogs can be served for dinner too.

Time: 1h 30min
Serving: 8

[ Read: Carrot Benefits For Kids ]

2. Mexican falafel

Falafels are easy to eat finger foods made from healthy ingredients. Here is how to make them for your kids’ lunch.

Mexican falafel

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 15oz black beans, canned
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ of a medium onion
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt

For the sauce:

  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup salsa
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

How to:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Blend the onion, garlic, cilantro leaves, and 2 tablespoons lime juice in a food processor and make a puree.
  3. Take the black beans out of the can and rinse them.
  4. Add the beans, cumin powder, chili powder, and salt to the blender and pulse until combined (do not puree). Add the flour and baking powder and blend until they get mixed well.
  5. Brush a baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Take spoonfuls of the bean mixture and make rounds about 3 inches wide and a ½ inch tall.
  6. Put them on the baking sheet and brush the top with the remaining oil.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping them midway, or until they are crispy on the outside and soft inside.
  8. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce and garnish with lime juice, grated cheese, and avocado.

Time: 25min
Serving: 14

3. Spinach rolls

Greens leafy vegetables are not a child’s favorite. But they will be if you use them as we did in this recipe.

Spinach rolls

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 2 chapatis
  • 2 cups chopped spinach
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup grated coconut
  • 2 tsp Bengal gram flour
  • ½ tsp green chilly paste
  • 4 tsp water
  • Salt to taste

How to:

  1. Wash the spinach properly. Mix the chopped spinach, onions, and grated coconut in a bowl.
  2. Add salt and green chili paste to it.
  3. Add the besan and water and mix it all well.
  4. Heat a flat pan or skillet, take a spoonful of the spinach mixture and put it in the skillet. Place a chapati on the mixture and press using a wooden spatula.
  5. Once the spinach is cooked, flip the chapati and roll it.
  6. Repeat with the second chapati.
  7. Serve with ketchup or mint chutney.

Time: 15min
Servings: 2

[ Read: Vegetables Facts For Kids ]

4. Veg cutlet

These are tasty fried snacks made of vegetables and cornflour. They go well with ketchup.

Veg cutlet

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 2 cups cubed potatoes or sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • ½ cup fresh green peas
  • ½ cup French beans, chopped
  • 6 tbsp roasted breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 1-2 green chilies, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp grated ginger
  • ½ to ¾ tsp garam masala
  • Oil as needed for frying
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander for garnish

How to:

  1. Steam all the veggies until they are cooked and soft. Drain any water and mash the vegetables using a masher.
  2. Add the breadcrumbs, salt, green chilies, ginger, and masala to the vegetables. Mix well with your hand, to make a non-sticky dough.
  3. Make 13-15 mini burger-sized patties and set aside.
  4. Make a thin batter with cornflour and dip the patties in it. Coat these patties in breadcrumbs and set them aside for five minutes.
  5. Add oil in a shallow pan and heat it on high flame. Place the patties in the pan and fry until they turn golden brown on all sides.
  6. Place the fried patties on a paper towel to remove excess oil.

Garnish with coriander and serve with ketchup.

Time: 40min
Servings: 13-14

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Vegetarian Lunch Recipes For Kids

When you don’t eat meat, you have the advantage of adding as many vegetables as you want to make your lunch healthier and colorful.

5. Veg spaghetti lo mien

Spaghetti is the perfect choice when you want to cook a hearty meal. We have added vegetables to make this dish healthy, and your child’s lunch too.

Veg spaghetti lo mien

Image: iStock

You will need:

  • 6oz spaghetti pasta
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1/3 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp sesame oil

How to:

  1. Cook the pasta as per the instructions on the pack. Drain and set it aside.
  2. In a bowl, combine the soy sauce, honey, garlic powder, ground ginger, and sesame oil.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet and add the broccoli florets, carrots, and bell peppers. Cook for about six minutes or until they become tender. Remove them in a dish or plate.
  4. In the same pan, add the soy sauce mixture and simmer until it becomes thick.
  5. Add the veggies and the pasta to the thickened sauce and toss.
  6. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions and serve.

Time: 20min
Servings: 4

6. Creamy tomato basil soup with grilled cheese bites

When you do not want a ‘hearty’ or a full meal for lunch, you can make soup. And we have just the perfect recipe for a tasty and healthy soup for you here.

Creamy tomato basil soup with grilled cheese bites

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 1 can (28oz) peeled tomatoes, with preserve
  • 1 can (28oz) diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 8 slices sourdough bread
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • ½ cup basil, chopped and divided
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream, and a little more for garnish
  • 8oz grated white cheddar
  • 2tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2tbsp sugar
  • Kosher salt and black pepper for taste

How to:

  1. Add olive oil in a large pot and heat over medium flame. Add the garlic and onion and cook until they are soft. Add salt and pepper.
  2. Add the tomatoes and gently crush them using a wooden spoon. Add ¼ cups basil, sugar, and 2 cups of water and bring the mixture to a boil.
  3. Simmer and leave the pot partially covered, until it turns slightly thick. Stir in the remaining basil, vinegar, and season again with salt and pepper, if needed.
  4. Transfer half the soup to a blender, let it cool for a while and puree it. Transfer it to a fresh pot. Puree the remaining soup as well and transfer it to the pot. You can also use an immersion blender to puree the soup in the pot, using a dish towel to cover the top.
  5. Put the new pot on medium heat, stir in the cream, and let it simmer. Once done, remove from heat and cover with a lid.
  6. Use a nonstick skillet or grill and grease its surface with a teaspoon of olive oil. Arrange four slices of bread on the pan and put half a cup of cheese on each slice. Cover each slice with another and cook the sandwiches, flipping in between, until they turn golden brown.
  7. Cut the sandwiches diagonally, or into four squares each.

Serve the soup in a bowl, garnish with basil leaves and a bit of cream (stir it to get a circular pattern), and serve with the grilled cheese sandwiches.

Time: 40min
Servings: 4

[ Read: Vegetable Soup Recipes For Kids ]

7. Spaghetti squash Alfredo

Made with cheese and spaghetti squash, which is rich in dietary fiber and vitamin B6, this dish is healthy and tasty too!

Spaghetti squash Alfredo

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 1 large spaghetti squash, roasted
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ – ½ cup Parmesan
  • 1 ¾ cup cauliflower florets
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt to taste

You can add in other veggies such as pea, carrots, broccoli, and other cooked veggies to make the dish colorful.

How to:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the diced shallots. Cook until they turn light brown.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the squash and the optional veggies, and bring them to a boil.
  3. Turn the heat to low and cover the pan. Let it cook for another 15 minutes or until the cauliflower has turned soft.
  4. Use an immersion blender to make a puree of the ingredients in the pan.
  5. Pour this over the squash and the additional veggies and serve hot.

Time: 15min
Servings: 3-4

8. Ghee rice

Ghee or clarified butter made from cow’s or buffalo’s milk is said to add a distinct, yummy flavor to food. If your child likes the taste of ghee, you can try this recipe.

Ghee rice

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 1 ½ cups cooked rice
  • 1 ½ tbsp ghee or clarified butter
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 green chili, cut into three pieces
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 fresh sprig of curry leaves
  • 8-10 cashews
  • 10 raisins
  • Salt for taste
  • ½ tsp crushed pepper

How to:

  1. The rice should be cooked Al Dante and not mushy.
  2. Heat ghee in a pan and add the garlic. Saute for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the onions and the green chilies and saute until the onions turn light brown.
  4. Add the curry leaves and cashews. Let the cashews turn golden brown before adding the raisins.
  5. Saute the raisins for a minute and add salt and pepper.
  6. Add rice immediately and sprinkle a little more salt again.
  7. Mix well and stir-fry for around 30 seconds to one minute.

Serve hot with dal for lunch or dinner.

Note: While ghee also has a few benefits, it can be fattening when consumed excessively. So it is recommended that you make this dish occasionally.

Time: 15min
Servings: 1

[ Read: Rice Recipes For Kids ]

9. Easy tortilla casserole

Casseroles are usually time-consuming. But this one is super easy.

Easy tortilla casserole

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 1 16oz can pinto or pink beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 16oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 16oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 to 2 small hot fresh chili, seeded and minced
  • 10 corn tortillas
  • 2 cups corn kernels
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups grated nondairy cheddar
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Salsa for topping
  • Vegan sour cream – optional

How to:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the beans, tomatoes, chilies, scallion, corn, oregano, and cumin and mix thoroughly.
  3. Oil a two-quart casserole dish and layer the ingredients in this order: five tortillas overlapping each other, half a portion of the bean mixture, and half of the non-dairy cheddar. Repeat these layers until all the ingredients have been used.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes and set aside the dish for two to three minutes.

Cut into wedges or squares and serve.

Time: 25min
Servings: 6

10. Pot risotto with veggies

A rice dish with a lot of cheese and veggies – this recipe is to be made in an instant pot.

Pot risotto with veggies

Image: iStock

You will need:

  • ½ medium onion
  • 1 ½ cup asparagus, chopped
  • 3 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 cup arborio rice
  • 3 cup vegetable broth, low-sodium
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp oregano, dried
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 teaspoon lemon peel
  • Salt to taste

How to:

  1. Heat the instant pot, by pressing the ‘saute’ button. Set it to ‘normal’ heat.
  2. Melt the butter in the pot and add the onions. Saute them for three minutes or until they turn brown. Add the rice and saute for another three minutes and then turn off the saute function.
  3. Add the lemon juice, veg broth, oregano, veggies, and salt. Use a wooden spoon to mix them all and scrape off any rice or onions stuck to the bottom.
  4. Place the lid, with the vent closed and set the pot to manual on high pressure. Set the timer for six minutes.
  5. Once done, release the steam by carefully lifting the vent, and wait for the pin to drop. Do not open the pot lid by force.
  6. Garnish the rice with lemon zest and serve.

Time: 25min
Servings: 6

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[ Read: Cheese Recipes For Kids ]

Easy Vegetarian Dinner Recipes For Kids

A healthy but light dinner with vegetables and minimum carbs is what your child would need for a good night’s sleep. Here we have a few tasty and healthy vegetarian dinner recipes for you.

11. Mixed vegetables and cheese skewers

Vegetables with few or no carbs can be a great idea for dinner. This recipe only uses a lot of veggies and some dairy.

Mixed vegetables and cheese skewers

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 250gm paneer (cottage cheese)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 onion, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 zucchini, finely sliced
  • 1 cucumber
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 10 green olives
  • Peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 lemon squeezed
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • Handful of basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Skewers sticks
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

How to:

  1. Blend the garlic, olives, cumin, black pepper, chili flakes, and a few basil leaves in a mixer.
  2. Add vinegar, olive oil, and lemon juice to this paste to make the marinade. Mix well and keep aside.
  3. Thread the onions, zucchini, red bell pepper, and paneer on the skewer sticks.
  4. Brush the marinade on these veggies.
  5. Preheat the grill, drizzle with olive oil, and lower the skewers into the pan and grill them.

Serve with a mint mayonnaise dip.

Time: 55min
Servings: 2-3

12. Vegetable tater tots

These look like finger foods but can also make a healthy side dish at the dinner table.

Vegetable tater tots

You will need:

  • 350gm potato, peeled and cut to 2in chunks
  • 1 broccoli head, separated into medium sized florets
  • Half white onion finely diced
  • ¼ tsp chili pepper
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F and line a baking tray with non-stick parchment paper.
  2. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat and boil some water in it. Add the potato chunks to the water and let them boil for five minutes.
  3. Add the broccoli florets and let them boil for another two minutes. Drain the water and set the broccoli and potatoes aside to cool.
  4. Chop the broccoli and grate the potatoes and put them in a mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients as well and mix them well using your hands.
  5. Take a tablespoon of this mix into your hands and make a ball and then shape it into a cylinder.
  6. Place the cylindrical toter tots in the baking tray and bake for 20 minutes.

Serve hot with ketchup.

Time: 40min
Servings: 15

13. Pav Bhaji

A tasty Indian street food loved by many, Pav Bhaji also doubles up as dinner sometimes.

Pav Bhaji

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 4-6 pav buns
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 1 lemon
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 3 tbsp coriander leaves, finely chopped

For Bhaji:

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 small tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 small capsicum, chopped
  • ½ cup peas
  • 1 large potato, cubed
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp pav bhaji masala
  • salt to taste
  • 1 ½ cups water

How to:

This recipe uses a pressure cooker for quick results.

  1. Add butter to the pressure cooker and add the onions. Saute until they turn light brown.
  2. Add the ginger and garlic paste and saute for a minute.
  3. Add the capsicum and let them cook for a minute or two before adding the tomatoes.
  4. Once the tomatoes are soft and mushy, add the peas and potato and saute for a minute.
  5. Then add chili powder, turmeric powder, salt, and pav bhaji masala. Saute for another minute and add the water.
  6. Cover with the lid and pressure cook for three to four whistles. Once done, take the cooker off heat and set it aside to cool.
  7. Then mash the cooked vegetables in the cooker, garnish with coriander, and let it set aside.
  8. In the meantime, heat a flat pan or a skillet and add some butter.
  9. Slit the pav buns in half, horizontally, and toast both sides of the bun on the pan.

Serve the toasted pav buns with the bhaji, a handful of chopped raw onions, and a slice of lemon on the side.

Time: 30min
Servings: 4

14. Vegetable noodles

Noodles are always a treat for children. Here’s how you can make them healthy by adding veggies.

Vegetable noodles

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 2 packs noodles
  • 3 cups of mixed vegetables including cabbage, carrot, bell peppers, and beans
  • 2 spoons olive oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 3-4 slit green chilies
  • 1-2 petals of star anise
  • 1 strand of mace
  • Pepper and salt to taste

How to:

  1. Cook the noodles in boiling water until they are soft, Al Dante. Drain the noodles and rinse them under cold water. Set them aside.
  2. In the meantime, heat oil in a pan and add garlic, onions, green chilies, and the star anise. Saute them for a minute.
  3. Next, add the veggies and saute for a couple of minutes or more, until they are semi-cooked.
  4. Add salt and then the cooked noodles. Toss the vegetables and noodles together.
  5. Stir-fry for another four minutes or so and take off the heat.

Serve hot.

Time: 15min
Servings: 2

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[ Read: Noodle Recipes For Kids ]

Vegetarian Breakfast Recipes

We’ve given you lunch and dinner recipes. Now here are recipes for vegetarian breakfast, the most important meal of the day.

15. Carrot cake pancakes

Everyone loves pancakes. But most cannot eat them because they contain egg. But do they always? Check this egg-less recipe to make healthy and tasty pancakes for kids.

Carrot cake pancakes

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour or plain flour
  • ½ cup finely grated carrot
  • ¼ cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut, divided
  • 2 tbsp organic sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 full tbsp non-dairy butter, melted
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • pinch sea salt
  • Nuts (almonds, walnuts, raisins) for topping

How to:

  1. In a bowl, combine the shredded coconut, flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a bowl.
  2. Add the milk, melted butter, and vanilla in a measuring cup and mix well.
  3. Stir in the liquid mix into the dry flour mix. Whisk to mix the ingredients thoroughly.
  4. Stir in the grated carrot and mix well. Set the batter aside for a while.
  5. Heat a skillet and grease the surface with non-dairy butter or vegetable oil.
  6. Pour ¼ cup of mixture into the skillet and let it spread slightly. Sprinkle with the toppings and flip the pancake when the top becomes bubbly.
  7. Cook on the other side for a couple of minutes. Both the sides must turn light brown.

Serve warm with maple or agave syrup.

Time: 20min
Servings: 2-3

16. Sweet paratha rolls

Made of wheat flour and a little sugar, these breakfast rolls will be gone before you know them. The best part is that you get to decide how much sweet goes into it!

Sweet paratha rolls (2)

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 4-6 Parathas (tortillas)
  • ¾ cup grated pumpkin or carrots
  • ½ cup crumbled cottage cheese
  • 2 tbsp jaggery powder or ¼ cup dates syrup
  • A pinch of Cardamom powder
  • Vegetable oil or clarified butter (ghee)

How to:

  1. Heat oil in a skillet and cook the paratha or the tortillas on it for a minute or two, or until both sides turn light brown.
  2. When one side is cooked, flip it and sprinkle a teaspoon of paneer, grated carrot, or pumpkin and half a teaspoon of jaggery on top and press using a spatula.
  3. Carefully flip the paratha again, so that the filling lands safely on the pan, and cook until the jaggery melts and binds the ingredients.
  4. Cook till the mixture is well done and flip it again.
  5. Roll the paratha tightly and serve. You can cut in half before serving, for convenience.

Time: 15min
Servings: 2-3

[ Read: Paneer Recipes For Kids ]

17. Banana French toast

French toast is made of eggs, milk, sugar, and bread. But this version of French toast is free of dairy and eggs. And, it is healthy too.

Banana French toast

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • 1 loaf sourdough bread, sliced

For the toast batter:

  • 1 medium ripe banana
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp oil
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

For caramelized bananas:

  • 2 ripe bananas sliced
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp non-dairy milk
  • a good pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg

How to:

  1. Blend all the French toast batter ingredients, except the bread, and make a fine paste. Put it in a shallow bowl.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet, spread it to cover the entire surface.
  3. Dip the bread slice in the batter, for two seconds, flip it and soak again for two seconds. Transfer it immediately to the skillet.
  4. Cook both sides for 3-4 minutes, or until it turns light brown on both sides. Make sure it is well done, and not burnt or blackened.
  5. For caramelized bananas, combine the bananas, milk, sugar, nutmeg, and salt, in a skillet and cook over medium heat. Cook until the sugar melts and you have a sticky mixture.
  6. Place the bread on a plate and top with a spoonful of the caramelized bananas, maple syrup, and fresh fruit, if you want, and serve!

Time: 35min
Servings: 3

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Cooking vegetarian food is easy and is more affordable than the meat dishes. Vegetables are a healthier and lighter choice of food for people who want to cleanse their body and lose weight without cutting down on the quantity of food. To make the most out of vegetarian diets, add more veggies and fewer carbs to your kids’ meals every day. Not only will you be giving them nutritious food, but helping them develop healthy food habits!

What is your child’s favorite vegetarian dish? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

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