10 great Lenten recipes to keep your tummy happy and your heart without guilt.
It’s officially – once again – Lent. And though I didn’t realize it was Friday earlier today (thanks to our unexpected day off school yesterday) and ate meat without thinking about it, I do my best to avoid eating meat on Fridays in Lent. While typically that means that fish is on the menu, there are plenty of meatless meals that also suffice perfectly well when I’m thinking about Lenten recipes.
I’ve gathered a collection of my 10 favorite Lenten recipes, once I know I’ll be making this year and in years to come. All of them have been tested and approved by my family. Many of them are also dairy free, gluten free or otherwise allergen friendly, and I’ve noted that where applicable.
Just because it’s Lent and you aren’t eating meat on Fridays doesn’t mean you can’t create a delicious meal that you’ll enjoy.
10 Great Lenten Recipes
Asian Glazed Salmon This is one of my most pinned recipes. It’s a great weeknight dinner, as it comes together quickly. Serve it with some sauteed spinach, and you’re good to go. this recipe is dairy free.
Miso is one of my favorite flavors, and it the perfect complement to this fish. Cooking it on the stove to create a crust then finishing the salmon in the oven makes for an incredibly moist and flavorful Lenten dinner.
Tuna and Tomato Pasta Pasta is an obvious go-to for Lent. Simple spaghetti with marinara sauce and a little cheese is something that we eat on a regular basis. But again, there are definitely times when I want something a little bit different.
The first time I made this recipe, I brought it to a friend’s house and left a huge container for my husband and daughter to enjoy. My husband ate all of it and bought McDonalds for my daughter, hoping to hide it from me. And I came home with no leftovers. In fact, this is what I’m making for dinner tonight. This is another of my dairy free Lenten recipes.
Soy Ginger Salmon Asian flavors are amongst my favorite tastes. And I find that they are a great pairing for salmon especially. Soy and ginger go together well, and they are delicious with this salmon that you marinate for just a couple hours before cooking for less than 15 minutes.
The first time I made this, I cooked more than two pounds of salmon for my 7 and 9 year old children. They ate all but a tiny bit after having seconds and thirds. They adored it. It’s been a perennial favorite ever since, and I know you’ll love it, too. This is also dairy free.
Cheese Souffle When I make a souffle for myself for lunch, you know a recipe is good. Souffle. For myself. For lunch. Just because I can. While souffles may sound scary, they really aren’t that hard. This is a savory version, and it’s amazing. Serve it with a little salad on the side, and you’re set.
This is something you can put together in less than an hour, including the half hour it takes to bake. The crust is so beautifully crunchy while the inside is so soft and moist and fluffy and mmm I could go for one right now. If you’re ever going to make a souffle, this is the one to start with.
Smoked Salmon Pizza While salmon isn’t the first ingredient you might think of to add to your pizza, this is one of those “Wow, why didn’t I think of this before” type flavor combinations. Combine it with red onion, sundried tomatoes, and artichokes, and your tastebuds will be singing.
This could easily be an appetizer for a party, but in Lent, I do pizzas all the time, and it’s nice to change it up with different flavors from time to time. Make your own dough or buy some premade, but regardless, go for it!
Sweet Protein Sandwich Sometimes you’re looking for something quick and easy. And maybe a little different. Tell me you’ve never had peanut butter and jelly just because it was easy. This? This steps up the game, and it has plenty of fresh fruit so is … sorta healthy.
My son invented this sandwich, and I could enjoy it all the time. A little Nutella and strawberry and apple, combined with the crunch of flax seeds? No wonder he was a hit of the cooking competition he entered using this recipe.
Orange Salmon You’ve probably had orange chicken at a Chinese restaurant, but this is nothing like that dish. This is not fried and is incredibly healthy with just orange, honey, and a bit of olive oil in addition to the salmon. Obviously, this is one of the my Lenten recipes that it dairy free and gluten free.
Steamed fish is easy to make. Using aluminum foil to create a tent that you use to cook the fish in requires no special tools or expertise. This is a great weeknight meal since it requires no prep ahead of time and cooks in less than 20 minutes. Yum!
Homemade Calzones Rather than ordering out for pizza or making pasta, why not enjoy calzones? Sometimes you want something that still has that Italian flair but is just a little different from what you’ve been eating over and over. Calzones are delicious and easy – and forgiving in shape and flavor to match what you enjoy.
While I typically make a simple cheese calzone with a variety of cheeses, you can add your favorite (non-meat) ingredients from tomatoes to mushrooms, spinach to artichokes. This is something that many people don’t think to make at home, but it’s easy, especially if you use store bought dough as part of your Lenten recipes repertoire.
Salmon Patties Crab cakes are one of my favorite foods. But oh my word is crab expensive when I’m trying to feed two growing children. Instead, I started making salmon patties that my kids devour – but in a good way. This is one of m Lenten recipes that uses canned salmon, which means they’re on the table in 20 or fewer minutes from the time you open that first can.
They are dairy free, but with breadcrumbs as the binder, they do contain gluten (unless you’re using gluten free breadcrumbs). I love that they have few ingredients, which means you don’t need to have a completed stocked pantry to whip them up. And yes, they’re kid friendly.
Homemade Pizza Making pizza at home is fun. I enjoy making my own dough, and I’ve shared my recipe for how you can do it, too. You can just as easily pick up premade dough from the store, too. If you live somewhere that’s warm – or hey, if you’re brave in the great cold north – you can grill pizza. It’s fun and easy and so incredibly fast.
Whether you go traditional and bake your pizza in the oven or get creative with toppings on the grill, this is one that everyone in the family can get behind. Who doesn’t love pizza? And pizza toppings may be a great way to get your picky eaters to try some new foods.