Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!
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If you’re wracking your head trying to come up with vegetarian recipes for picky eaters, you’ve come to the right place! These 40 recipes are not only kid-approved, but mom approved too! Healthy, simple, and delicious, these recipes will make everyone in your family happy!
When it comes to preparing healthy meals for your picky eaters you may find yourself in a rut!
I know I’ve been there! There have been weeks when we’ve done the same rotation of recipes, like cheese quesadillas, pasta with butter and parmesan cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, etc.
After a while, everyone is tired of eating the same thing!
But it’s a challenge to find new recipes that your picky eaters will actually eat, and that you too will enjoy!
Sometimes in our house we run into the challenge that the kids want meals that don’t have onions, or very many spices. They just want something plain and simple.
While my husband and I want the flavor!
Coaxing your picky eaters into trying new things can be a challenge.
The goal is always to be able to prepare one meal that everyone will eat and enjoy without any complaints.
While all kids have their own preferences and dislikes, I find that these recipes are usually kid approved!
You can also easily make substitutions if your kids don’t like a particular veggie, or spice!
There’s no need to have boring meals to satisfy your picky eaters. Use this helpful meal planning template to make weekly meals a breeze!
What Do Picky Vegetarians Eat?
If you or someone in your family is a picky eater and a vegetarian, you may feel like your options are limited. However, there truly is a great deal of variety you can enjoy!
Vegetarian recipes for picky eaters does not need to be complicated.
What you can eat really depends on what you like and dislike. If you or your child are they type of picky eater that does not like many different vegetables, it’s all about finding the 5 or so vegetables you do like.
My kids love carrots. They are slightly sweet, and have a nice crunch. They’re also crazy about bell peppers, broccoli, corn, spinach, peas, and cauliflower. These might not be the same vegetables your picky eaters enjoy, but find a few. Keep trying until you hit upon a few that they will eat. Then use those over and over again.
Tastes change, so as your child grows and matures, you may find they like things they didn’t used to.
I also encourage the same sort of effort when it comes to fruit, although fruit doesn’t seem to be as much as a challenge as vegetables. Introduce fresh fruit at breakfast, lunch, snacks, or as a dessert after dinner.
My kids really will eat all fruits, but bananas, apples, pears, berries, and all types of melon are their favorites.
As far as main dishes are concerned, I’ve found that picky eaters will usually go for carbs. Instead of opting for white carbs, introduce whole grains that are high in fiber.
Consider serving whole wheat pasta, whole grain flour tortillas for quesadillas, whole grain bread for sandwiches.
Nut butters are also a great option to use, and are high in nutrients, protein, and fat.
Picky eaters also usually enjoy eating cheese. While cheese is fine to use, make sure that you feeding your picky eaters cheese in moderation.
What Vegetarian Recipes For Picky Eaters Can I Cook?
I find that not all picky eaters are picky about the same thing. Some kids are picky about vegetables, while others are picky about textures.
You might be surprised to find that your child will reject raw broccoli, but will happily eat it roasted or sautéed. The trick is finding the preparation of the vegetable that works well for your child.
You really have to continue to introduce new foods to your picky eater to help encourage them to try new things.
However, I’ve found that there are a few universally popular recipes that you can make that most everyone will love and enjoy.
Pizza: It’s a known fact that kids love pizza, right? You can make homemade pizza that is healthier and more nutritious, yet will still satisfy the kids. Use whole wheat pizza dough, reduce the amount of cheese, and sneak in a few veggies. I suggest slices of tomato, diced peppers, and fresh spinach.
Nachos: Who doesn’t love nachos? They are also simple and versatile to prepare. Use baked tortilla chips, and less cheese to make these healthier. Then load up on black beans, and veggies. I like to add chopped bell peppers, corn, tomatoes, and scallions for color.
Quesadillas: Kids love quesadillas, but add some additional nutrients by using whole grain tortillas, adding in some beans for protein, and a few chopped vegetables.
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches: A universally kid friendly recipe, use whole grain bread, add try to sneak in some finely chopped leafy greens!
Macaroni and Cheese: Macaroni and cheese is always a hit! Use whole grain macaroni, and add in some leafy greens, peas, or other veggies to sneak in some vegeables.
Tacos: My kids love tacos, and I love them too! I love taco night because everyone can add their favorite toppings, and we’re all happy! Start with a base of black beans, or even sautéd vegetables, sweet potatoes, or cauliflower. Then allow the kids to add their favorite toppings such as sour cream, avocado, cheese, or salsa.
Breakfast Vegetarian Recipes for Picky Eaters
When it comes to breakfast, it can be a little easier to satisfy your picky eaters. But how about something they will love, and you will too! These healthy breakfast recipes are high in fiber, rich in vitamins and nutrients, and low in sugar!
It’s a win for everyone, and the kids will think you’re the best chef!
I’ve been able to encourage my kids to eat more oatmeal by changing up the add-ins. Adding ingredients like fresh fruit adds natural sweetness. Then I sneak in some chia or flax seeds for their added nutritional value.
Strawberries and Cream Oatmeal
Strawberries and Cream Oatmeal is a brilliant way to start the day! This healthy and satisfying breakfast is filled with rolled oats, ground flaxseed, cinnamon, coconut sugar, milk, and naturally sweet strawberries. It's hearty, vegan-friendly, ready in just 20 minutes, and sugar-free!
Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oats are so delicious they taste like dessert. This easy to grab and go breakfast is packed with nutritious ingredients like steel-cut oats, yogurt, nut butter, flaxseed, fruit, cinnamon, and nuts. Prep time is just 5 minutes the night before, making this the perfect breakfast for busy mornings!
When you’re craving banana bread but want something quicker and healthier, then you’ve got to give this bananas and cream oatmeal a try! It has all of the flavor of rich, moist banana bread, but rolled into a simple healthy morning oatmeal! It's also vegan and gluten-free!
This pumpkin spice oatmeal is a delicious, healthy breakfast that's full of fall flavors, and can easily be made on the stove top or in the microwave. Ready in under 20 minutes, kid-friendly, with a vegan and gluten free option – it's the perfect start for busy mornings!
Switch up your morning breakfast with this warm, healthy quinoa oatmeal recipe! Hearty quinoa is simmered with nuts, fresh fruit and your milk of choice to create an oatmeal quinoa porridge that is creamy and satisfying. High in fiber, protein, naturally gluten-free and easily made vegan, it's a great way to start the day!
What kid doesn’t love pancakes? These pancake recipes use whole grain flour, and are low in sugar! They always put a smile on my kids face when I surprise them with pancakes in the morning.
Healthy Pancakes with Oats and Sprouted Wheat
These healthy pancakes made with oats and sprouted wheat are light, fluffy, slightly sweet, and so good for you! The combination of the two whole grain flours helps keep you full much longer than white flour thanks to their fiber and protein. Kid-friendly and parent-approved!
These perfectly sweet, vegan apple pancakes will remind you of an apple cider donut! Made with gluten-free flour, apple juice, warm spices, and a fresh apple compote, this is a healthy, family-friendly breakfast that everyone will love!
Vegan french toast casserole is a quick and healthy breakfast that tastes like dessert! Made with sprouted wheat bread, apples, soy milk, flax seeds, and maple syrup. you’ll get all the decadence of a bread pudding in a nutritious package. Kid-friendly with a gluten-free option too!
If you’ve been on the hunt for Healthy Cinnamon Rolls, you have come to the right place. This is the best ever ooey-gooey cinnamon roll recipe! Made with a few healthy swaps, these easy cinnamon rolls are lower in sugar and calories than traditional cinnamon rolls, and are a delicious recipe for breakfast or brunch, a holiday dessert, a special occasion, or a sweet treat with your tea or coffee anytime of the year!
Southwestern Tofu Scramble
This incredible Tofu Scramble is loaded with lots of healthy veggies, beans, warm spices, and cheese. It's the perfect 30-minute breakfast, brunch or dinner idea that the whole family will love. If you're looking for a vegan friendly alternative to scrambled eggs, this easy tofu scramble is for you!
Sandwiches are always a simple way to get something healthy on the table for lunch in a hurry. When using nutrient rich ingredients you’ll get your fiber, protein, veggies or fruit rolled into one simple-to-make meal!
Gourmet Banana Peanut Butter Sandwich
Who said that the peanut butter sandwich had to be 1) boring 2) just for kids and 3) the same every time? Sometimes reinventing a classic is just what you need to get out of a rut.
These super cute and healthy Reindeer Holiday Sandwiches are filled with peanut butter and fresh fruit. Whole wheat bread is cut into a heart shape to make a reindeer face, with pretzels for antlers, and chocolate chips for the eyes, and M&M-style candies for the nose.
This delicious falafel wrap recipe is healthy comfort food at its best! These crispy falafel patties are baked instead of fried, then wrapped in a whole wheat pita and topped with spinach, tomato, and a creamy hummus sauce. Vegan, easy to make gluten free, and totally family friendly!
This irresistibly delicious sourdough grilled cheese is ready in just 10 minutes. Melted brie, thinly sliced apple, and honey are layered between two slices of sourdough, then grilled until golden. This is guaranteed to be the best sourdough sandwich you'll ever eat!
Dinnertime can be the most challenging time of the day to get a meal on the table that the whole family will eat and enjoy! It’s especially challenging when you have picky eaters in the house. These recipes are sure to please!
If your kids like tacos, pasta, pizza, or quesadillas, then these recipes will make them smile. I’ve snuck in some veggies, and substituted the traditional white carbs for whole grains, but I promise they won’t even notice!
Healthy Mac and Cheese
Healthy Mac and Cheese is the comfort food you have been craving! It’s so creamy and decadent, and is filled with whole wheat macaroni, veggies, and a rich, cheesy sauce. It's lower in calories and fat than your typical mac and cheese recipe, but still super satisfying and absolutely delicious!
Grilled Quesadillas with Poblanos, Mangos, and Black Beans
Easy, crispy, satisfying Grilled Quesadillas are filled with creamy avocados, protein-packed black beans, gooey cheese, spicy poblanos, and sweet mango. Ready in 30 minutes and the perfect weeknight meal!
These absolutely adorable, Thanksgiving inspired cheese quesadillas are shaped like little turkeys but are completely vegetarian! Not to mention, they are mind-blowing delicious and super kid friendly. Each tasty quesadilla is filled with black beans, Monterey Jack cheese, and bell peppers sandwiched between two whole wheat tortillas. Fun, festive, and perfect for the holidays!
This healthy broccoli baked potato recipe is loaded with cheese and fun toppings, is easy to make, and is totally satisfying! It's vegetarian comfort food at its best, and is a meal that the whole family will enjoy.
The aroma of these Smoky Vegetarian Fajitas will make you smack your lips and your stomach growl. Every bite is filled with lots of caramelized vegetables, spicy seasonings, protein-packed black beans, gooey Mexican cheese, and a crispy corn tortilla.
These hearty sweet potato tacos are loaded with refried black beans, veggies, and topped with a spicy Greek Yogurt taco sauce. They're gluten-free, easily made vegan, healthy, delicious and super family-friendly! The best part? They're ready in just 30 minutes!
These healthy and delicious vegan tacos are great for an easy weeknight meal. Packed with black beans, veggies, and spices, they're full of flavor, ready in 30 minutes, and perfect for the whole family!
This healthy homemade pizza is loaded with veggies, made with a whole grain crust, and topped with gooey mozzarella and fresh parmesan. Ready in 30 minutes and guaranteed to please even the pickiest eaters!
This hearty vegan bolognese has a meaty texture from the lentils, walnuts, and celery! It's simple to make, family-friendly, and ready in less than 30 minutes. Scoop it onto your favorite pasta for an easy weeknight meal.
This super satisfying veggie lasagna is a hearty, healthy version of the classic Italian recipe. Made with whole wheat noodles, fresh herbs, packed with veggies and a mixture of cheeses, this is a one dish meal that will soon become a favorite among your family and friends.
This layered taco casserole makes a quick and easy weeknight meal. Layers of corn tortillas, salsa, refried beans, and veggies transform this Mexican-inspired casserole into a hearty meal! Taste-tested and kid-approved!
This healthy main dish has all the comfort and flavor of a pasta bake, without the pasta! This spaghetti squash casserole is easy to make and packed full of nutritious ingredients for a delicious family meal.
Healthy Vegetarian Chili Mac (Instant Pot Friendly!)
Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili Mac is the perfect recipe when you need dinner in a hurry. Healthy and full of flavor, this hearty meal can easily be made vegan or gluten-free! Recipe also includes stove top instructions.
This cheesy, healthy, Baked Vegan Pasta recipe is so easy to make and packed full of tasty, nutritious ingredients. Lightened up with roasted veggies, paired with a rich tomato sauce, it's a meal that the whole family will enjoy!
Making loaded veggie nachos has never been easier! Layers of chips, melty cheeses, and the best toppings come together to make the perfect side dish or main dish. These nachos are easily customizable making them great for the whole family. Enjoy them for cinco de mayo, game day, or movie nights – this no meat nacho recipe is delicious any time of year!
If you have tried any of these vegetarian recipes for picky eaters or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM, and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family friendly food!
Yay! So glad I’ve found this list! My kids love the vegetable lasagna and pizza. Looking forward to trying your pancake recipes 🙂
Thanks so much Jo!! I’m so happy to hear that! 🙂 I can’t wait for you to try the pancake recipes – you guys will all love them!
I’ve got two super picky eaters and was getting desperate as I was tired of making the same three things that they will actually eat. This compilation is life-saving!
Woohoo!! I can’t wait to hear how your picky eaters like these recipes!!
Oh I see so many recipes on here my nephew and nieces will love! I’ve made them the whole wheat pasta and they loved it!
Yay!! I’m so happy to hear that Jamie! 🙂
These all look so delicious – we are looking to include more vegetarian recipes into our diet, and this will help with our weekly meal plan a lot!
Thanks so much Alexandra!! I can’t wait to hear how these recipes turn out for you!
I just had weight loss surgery (gastric sleeve) on Friday and am trying to compile a list of healthy recipes for once I am able to start introducing regular food. I was pointed in the direction of your blog and my mind is BLOWN. I think I’m going to make some of the stuff this week just to test it on my family! Thank you for doing this and sharing it with the world. I can’t wait to try your recipes!
Hi Megan! I’m so glad you found my blog and it’s so wonderful to “meet” you! I can’t wait to hear how your family likes my recipes (and how you like them once you start introducing regular food again!) I wish you a speedy recovery and a wonderful path to better health! 🙂
Wow! These all look incredible. As I scrolled by every photo I thought, “I should make that!” Can’t wait to whip up some of these over the Christmas holidays!
Thank you so much Rachel!! I’m sure you will love all these recipes — keep me posted on how they turn out! 🙂
Hi Anjali! I just have to say that I cannot wait to try out some of these recipes… and I’m not even vegetarian! I’m going to make that lasagna, and I don’t care what my steak-eating housemates say. Chances are, they’ll probably want a slice, and who knows: maybe I’ll give in, or maybe I’ll just keep it all for myself! Thanks again, and keep up the great work. I’ll definitely be back!
Thank you so much Matt!! I can’t wait to hear how you and your housemates like the lasagna recipe (and any others you try from this list!) Keep me posted on how it goes! 🙂
Great list, Anjali! I can totally see why these are your most popular recipes. I love your vegetarian chili. And that mixed berry smoothie, and those cinnamon rolls look yum too!
Aw thank you so much Olivia!! I’m so glad you like some of the recipes on this list 🙂 You’ll have to let me know if you try the cinnamon rolls — they are delish!
If you opened a restaurant and this was your menu, you’d get 4 stars. 🙂
Awww thank you!! You are so sweet! 🙂