A quick Google search for low-carb recipes will usually result in a lot of meat-based options. This can be challenging if you’re a vegetarian like me or just love eating plant-based. But the good news is that there are plenty of low-carb vegetarian recipes that are light on carbs but still filling, thanks to protein-packed ingredients, healthy fats, and fiber-rich veggies.
With the warmer months ahead, we’re all feeling like fresh, plant-based meals that are low-carb and healthy but don’t skimp on flavor. So we did some digging for you and curated a stellar list of 15 low-carb vegetarian recipes that meet our criteria. Read on for some major cooking inspiration. Enjoy!
Feature image by Suruchi Avasthi.
Spicy Chickpea and Cheese Stuffed Zucchini from Half Baked Harvest
Why We Love It: This deliciously simple and healthy low-carb vegetarian recipe is made with crispy spicy chickpeas and tomatoes, all stuffed inside herb-roasted cheesy zucchini. And the best part? It’s a sheet pan recipe so it’s low fuss and doubles as both a healthy dinner or a simple side dish. Win-win!
Hero Ingredient: Those roasted tomatoes are just bursting with goodness.
Get the recipe for Spicy Chickpea and Cheese Stuffed Zucchini.
Big Green Immunity-Boosting Vegetable Soup
Why We Love It: The great thing about soup is that you can vary your ingredients depending on what you have in the fridge or pantry. For this one, we like to stick with all green veggies because it turns the soup such a beautiful color. Think asparagus, broccoli, spinach, kale, sugar snaps, celery, broccolini… the sky’s the limit. But if you really want to throw in some carrots or red bell pepper? We won’t stop you. Get ready to be a lean, green, feeling really good machine with this spring-ready soup. It may just become your new favorite Sunday afternoon cooking project.
Hero Ingredient: Oh, ginger. How it never fails to shine through. In the case of this soup, it’s packing flavor and anti-inflammatory goodness.
Get the recipe for Big Green Immunity-Boosting Vegetable Soup.
Why We Love It: This one-pot shakshuka recipe is the ultimate comfort food meal—baked eggs in a delicious tomato sauce served with flat-leaf parsley is a recipe for deliciousness. While it’s traditionally served with bread to sop up the sauce, you can skip that and opt for a side of vegetables or avocado for additional healthy fats. This recipe is the ultimate low-carb vegetarian option—a total crowd pleaser!
Hero Ingredient: Cumin and paprika create a smoky profile that perfectly flavors that tomato sauce.
Get the recipe for Classic Shakshuka.
Buffalo Cauliflower Chopped Salad
Why We Love It: This deliciously simple chopped salad will take you to flavortown with its spicy kick thanks to the heat of the Buffalo-flavored cauliflower. It really does make an otherwise boring cauliflower really stand out. Even if you don’t have the same ingredients listed in this recipe, you can use whatever you have in the fridge and chop it all up on the plate, then enjoy!
Hero Ingredient: Avocado is the perfect cooling, creamy counterpart to that spicy cauliflower.
Get the recipe for Buffalo Cauliflower Chopped Salad.
Mushroom, Spinach, and Goat Cheese Frittata
Why We Love It: Not only is this meal deliciously low-carb, but it’s also packed with nutritious protein thanks to the eggs, mushroom, and goat’s cheese. All you really need to whip up a delicious frittata are eggs and veggies. And we do mean any veggies. We’re talking whatever random ingredients you have left in the veg drawer of your fridge: cauliflower, wilted greens, onions, sliced potatoes, those lifeless asparagus spears on their last legs. The world is your err… frittata!
Hero Ingredient: I just can’t rave about mushrooms enough. They’re nutritious, flavorful, and go well with just about everything. Especially spinach and goat cheese in this frittata.
Get the recipe for Mushroom, Spinach, and Goat Cheese Frittata.
Savory Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowls
Why We Love It: This protein-packed breakfast will keep you full for hours. Cottage cheese is an excellent source of protein, calcium, and vitamin B12 with just 6 grams of carbohydrates per 1/2 cup. You can play around with your toppings here but this recipe calls for other low-carb ingredients, avocado, chopped cilantro, egg, and kimchi.
Hero Ingredient: CS’ food editor and the genius behind this recipe, Suruchi, stresses that you need to use the full-fat version of cottage cheese here. She loves brands like Nancy’s and Good Culture that are mild in flavor but whose creamy texture makes the eating experience feel so much more luxurious and rich.
Get the recipe for Savory Cottage Cheese Breakfast Bowls.
Stuffed Roasted Eggplants
Why We Love It: Eggplant is a perfect ingredient for carb-conscious eating. Not only is it low in carbs, but it’s also high in fiber, and loaded with nutrients. You will also eat this recipe with your eyes first thanks to the variety of colorful ingredients and nuts. This one does call for some quinoa which isn’t low-carb, so feel free to skip that and swap in more vegetables or some protein like diced tofu or tempeh.
Hero Ingredient: Fresh mozzarella and figs are a match made in heaven. And when they top this roasted eggplant, everything falls into place.
Get the recipe for Stuffed Roasted Eggplants.
Vegetable Lettuce Cups from Wholesome Patisserie
Why We Love It: If you’re looking for a delicious, hearty yet filling meal, look no further than these vegetable lettuce cups. They make the perfect little side dish but personally, I like to turn them into the main meal, too. You can customize how big or small you want them by choosing the size of your lettuce leaf. We love iceberg for their round shape, but have also used romaine lettuce when we’re in a pinch. And bonus, the veggie filling for this recipe is made in one pot and takes less than 30 minutes!
Hero Ingredient: Buttery cashews bring a delicious flavor and crunch to this filling that makes it the perfect lettuce-filler.
Get the recipe for Vegetable Lettuce Cups.
Cumin Chickpea Salad With Mint Chutney
Why We Love It: We’re all about easy salad recipes that are not only light but also fill you up. Traditionally, this salad just includes tomatoes, onions, and cucumbers. But this recipe also calls for chickpeas which are somewhat high in carbs but are also high in fiber and protein, making it a great stand-alone dish (and will keep you full for longer!). You could always replace the chickpeas with tofu, eggs, or tempeh to ensure you get that filling protein without the carb intake. Suruchi has also served this with naan, but you can leave that out to make this a truly low-carb vegetarian recipe.
Hero Ingredient: You’ll want to double your batch of mint chutney, trust me. Use it on leafy green salads, grilled chicken, or as a dip for raw veggies. It packs enough herby flavor to elevate any dish.
Get the recipe for Cumin Chickpea Salad With Mint Chutney.
Southwestern Superfood Salad
Why We Love It: Does it get any prettier than this salad? This delicious dish is basically a rainbow on a plate. It’s bursting with all kinds of good-for-you ingredients. Tomatoes and peaches bring the vitamin, fiber, and antioxidant punch, and avocado has all the good fat that also makes this salad satisfying enough for the main course.
Hero Ingredient: Since every salad’s got to have some crunch, a handful of almonds adds texture and instant layers of flavor—not to mention a plant-based source of protein, vitamin E, and potassium. Plus, it only 7 grams of carbohydrates per 1/4 cup.
Get the recipe for Southwestern Superfood Salad.
Feta Salad With White Beans and Lemon Relish
Why We Love It: This simple salad is such an easy no-recipe recipe that you’ll fall in love with on the first bite. It calls for crusty bread, but you can leave it out to keep this one low-carb. And with all the flavors from salty feta, creamy white beans, and zesty lemon relish, you won’t miss the bread. Trust me.
Hero Ingredient: Lemon relish is the zingy finish that I want on all of my salads.
Get the recipe for Feta Salad with White Beans and Lemon Relish.
Cauliflower Steaks With Caramelized Shallots from Rainbow Plant Life
Why We Love It: This plant-forward meal is perfect for date night and weeknight dinners alike. It’s elegant enough to dress up and simple enough to enjoy as-is. Basically, whatever vibe you’re aiming for, this recipe has you covered.
Hero Ingredient: Herby tahini sauce is the nutty and oh-so-flavorful drizzle that takes these cauliflower steaks up a notch.
Get the recipe for Cauliflower Steaks with Caramelized Shallots.
Ginger Soy Herb Salad from What’s Gaby Cooking
Why We Love It: This elevated salad is full of veggies and herbs alike, so you can pack lots of flavor and nutrients into a single meal. With basil, mint, cucumber, and radishes, you really can’t go wrong with this one. Plus, it’s topped with creamy avocado, which is never a bad thing.
Hero Ingredient: Ginger-soy vinaigrette checks all the boxes. It’s tangy and acidic with just the right amount of sweetness from the agave.
Get the recipe for Ginger Soy Herb Salad.
Portobello Lettuce Cups from The Defined Dish
Why We Love It: Butter lettuce and meaty mushrooms come together to create the perfect handheld lunch, snack, or dinner. These cups are so well balanced with earthy mushroom flavor, a sweet/spicy sauce, and crunchy water chestnuts. Not in the mood for something to pick up? Try serving these mushrooms over cauliflower rice for a delicious vegetarian bowl.
Hero Ingredient: Spicy fresno chiles bring a little heat to the party.
Get the recipe for Portobello Lettuce Cups.
Baked Sesame Orange Cauliflower from Half-Baked Harvest
Why We Love It: Another cauliflower superstar, this baked sesame orange cauliflower is ready to fulfill all of your takeout cravings. While I often find it difficult to recreate Asian-inspired dishes at home, this recipe is simple and full of the flavor I crave. Baking the cauliflower allows it to retain a crispy exterior, so feel free to ditch the dredging to keep this one low-carb.
Hero Ingredient: The chili flakes in the coating for these cauliflower florets bring just the right amount of heat.
Get the recipe for Baked Sesame Orange Cauliflower.
This post was originally published on March 29, 2021, and has since been updated.