Meal plan theme day recipes are a great way to make your meal planning process more efficient and effortless. It saves you time and makes grocery shopping easier. Plus, your family knows what to expect on any given night and may even look forward to certain dinner nights.
My family is very picky. And sometimes that can make meal planning difficult. But once you incorporate their likes into your strategy, dinner time becomes a lot less stressful. Because let’s face it. Nothing is more aggravating then cooking dinner and having everyone turn their noses up when you place it on the kitchen table.
Set dinner templates have been a life saver for me in particular because one, everyone has at least one theme night they thoroughly enjoy, plus, my family has resigned themselves to my meal plan and just go with the flow now. Knowing ahead of time what type of meal will be served has also made them look forward to dinner.
What Are Meal Plan Theme Nights?
Meal plan theme nights are simple. You assign a theme for each night of the week. They can be based around a type of food, like pasta, or a style, like Asian, or around a method, like crockpot. The possibilities are endless. And once you have a good stock of favourite theme recipes, you can easily switch them around from week to week to create variety in your meal planning system.
Looking for more theme night inspiration? Check these out!
Why A Meatless Monday Night Theme Should Be On Your Weekly Meal Plan
It’s hard to get vegetables into my family. I have to sneak them in there somewhere when they aren’t looking. Meatless Mondays has forced me to get more creative in my dinner choices and helps me prove to my family that vegetables aren’t that bad. Plus, most meatless recipes save you money since meat is usually the priciest item on your grocery list.
And if Meatless Monday gives you visions of endless salads, this list is sure to surprise and delight you:
25 Meatless Monday Recipes Your Whole Family Will Enjoy
Legit Chicago Deep Dish Pizza
I don’t know if you have ordered out lately but omg takeaway pizza is so expensive now! Satisfy your appetite with this filling, homemade pizza recipe. Don’t wait for the weekend for this treat. It is perfect for Meatless Monday.
Recipe at House of Nash Eats
Vegan Sloppy Joe’s
Add some fun and flavour to your weeknight menu with these Vegan Sloppy Joes. They are sweet, tangy, smoky and deliciously messy! Your family will love ’em!
Recipe by Vegan Huggs
Best meatless vegan spinach lasagna recipe ever! Easy to make from scratch and packed with comforting textures from a homemade creamy cashew ricotta cheese filling and lots of flavour from mushrooms, spinach and this must have tomato sauce. This lasagna is also gluten free, dairy-free, tofu-free and plant based.
Recipe by Veggie Society
Vegetarian Ranch Shephard’s Pie
The ultimate in comfort food and I promise you, it is so delicious, you won’t even miss the meat. Made from lentils, this recipe is both budget-friendly and healthy.
Recipe by Delicious On A Dime
This Meatless Monday recipe is surprisingly easy to make but is a real showstopper for your dinner table. The flaky pastry envelops a delicious filling of mushrooms, with garlic, onions, sage and a secret ingredient! Added bonus: You can make this recipe ahead or freeze it for an easy dinner option on busy nights.
Recipe by Veggie Desserts
Baked Eggplant Parmesan Casserole
This big and filling recipe will satisfy your family’s appetite and have them coming back for more. But you’ll still have lots of leftovers for lunches or your leftover day on your meal plan. It reheats very well but you could eat it cold straight out of the fridge too.
Recipe by Mom Foodie
General Tso’s Cauliflower
This perfect meatless meal will replace your Chinese take out and quickly become one of your favourite recipes! A silky sauce seasoned with fresh ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes, for just a touch of heat, surrounds tender cauliflower for the perfect meatless meal.
Recipe by Swirls of Flavor
Thai Curry Soup
This Thai Curry Soup is the ultimate easy pantry meal. Whether you like it spicy or mild, just throw a few ingredients into a pot and enjoy this creamy, root vegetable soup in no time. Plus it freezes well!
Recipe by Delicious On A Dime
Easy Curry Rice
Ready for an amazing side dish that is so tasty it could be its own meal? This Curry Rice is exactly what you’ve been searching for. Hold onto your pots and pans folks, because this Curried Rice could become a new weekly meal request.
Recipe by Recipes From A Pantry
Chessy Vegetable Crepes
This is a wonderful vegetarian dinner, that will fulfill even the meat-eaters! These European-style pancakes are packed with veggies and then baked with mozzarella cheese until gooey and golden. It may sound fancy, but it is actually a very simple vegetable stew (that requires no hard to get ingredients, only vegetables, and herbs). This is a delicious and simple dinner, that kids love.
Recipe by Everyday Delicious
Olive Garden’s Alfredo Sauce
Make Olive Garden’s Alfredo Sauce Recipe at home in just 20 minutes! Pair it with Fettuccine or any other favourite pasta for an easy dinner idea the whole family will love!
Recipe by The Cozy Cook
Vegetarian Mexican Casserole
Healthy Vegetarian Mexican Casserole with Rice & Beans is easy to make and filled with cheesy goodness along with brown rice and lots of veggies. It is a great addition to your weekly meal plan. It can be made ahead and frozen, so it is easy and quick to throw together.
Recipe by Piping Pot Curry
Easy Enchilada Skillet Dinner
This recipe is a snap to make. You open a few cans, you add some seasonings and you’ve got dinner. And you can vary the heat with your canned enchilada sauce. You can use mild for those that do not like really spicy spicy food but if you do, you can use the spicier enchilada sauce or add some salsa as a topping.
Recipe by Ripped Jeans & Bifocals
Slow Cooker Paleo Chili
This slow cooker recipe is not only Whole 30 Compliant, but it is also Vegan. This chili recipe will fast become a family favourite and you will enjoy the extra time you have to spend time with your family while it cooks in the crock pot.
Recipe by April Golightly
Spinach & Ricotta Pasta Shells
This delicious meatless recipe can be made in advance and then heated at dinnertime for a quick but filling meal. It uses frozen spinach, which is a great freezer staple item to have on hand. Especially when you haven’t had time to buy some fresh greens. Spinach is also packed full of health-benefiting nutrients.
Recipe by It’s Not Complicated Recipes
Air Fryer Falafel Recipe
This easy and healthy Air Fryer Falafel recipe is gluten-free, vegan, grain-free, and allergy-free! No oil or frying needed for these light and crispy falafel. Quick to make using canned chickpeas and chickpea flour and perfect for filling a gluten-free pita, lunches, appetizers, or dinners! Freezing and baking instructions included!
Recipe by Strength & Sunshine
Vegan Coconut Curry Tofu Stir Fry
Easy Vegan Coconut Curry Tofu Stir-Fry is dairy-free, gluten-free and lightened-up. It’s full of protein, vegetables and healthy fats, creating a complete, wholesome meal.
Recipe by Plating Pixels
Root Vegetable Paella
Spice things up a bit at your family table with this easy to make Root Vegetable Paella. Just make sure to make enough because everyone is going to want seconds! Just add some crusty bread and a glass of wine!
Recipe by Ask Chef Dennis
Red Thai Curry Gnocchi
Thai meets Italian in this soothing and spicy Red Thai Curry Gnocchi recipe. This delish dish is comfort food with a kick, and it’s super fast and easy to whip together. It’s also gluten-free and vegan (dairy-free and no meat products)!
Recipe by Kitchen Gone Rogue
Easy Chana Masala
You will love the ease of this recipe. This chana masala recipe is easier and faster to make by using canned chickpeas instead of dried ones, and pasta sauce instead of cooking down fresh tomatoes for hours.
Recipe by Easy Budget Recipes
Mushroom San Choy Bow
Mushroom San Choy Bow is a fabulous meal for vegetarians and carnivores alike. It is a classic Chinese starter, one of my favourites and one that I frequently order when eating out. These Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps are full of flavour and simple to prepare.
Recipe by It’s Not Complicated Recipes
Vegan Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
An easy vegan stuffed sweet potatoes recipe that can be served as a light lunch, for dinner, or as a vegan side dish. These colourful black bean stuffed sweet potatoes are also filled with corn, avocado, and other delicious fillings, PLUS, they’re tasty and simple to make. You’re going to want to add this recipe to your rotation!
Recipe by Delightful Adventures
Vegan Fajitas With Mushrooms
These tasty Vegan Fajitas are bursting with delicious smokey Mexican flavor. The mushrooms give a dense ‘meaty’ texture that’s perfect alongside the peppers. It’s an easy, satisfying vegan dinner that’s ready in 15 minutes! Make them vegetarian fajitas with cheese or sour cream.
Recipe by Veggie Desserts
Asparagus, Mint & Lemon Leek Cream Spaghettini
Not all pasta recipes need to be heavy. Pasta is a great way to incorporate more vegetables into dinner. And this asparagus pasta is light and so much healthier than eating out.
Recipe by Bacon Is Magic
Yellow Rice Recipe
This Yellow Rice Recipe is a super easy, fluffy, savoury and aromatic dish. It is similar to fried rice but is a much healthier and easier option for days when you are too tired to cook. It’s faster to make because Yellow Rice calls for grated carrots instead of finely diced carrots.
Recipe by This Cheerful Home
I hope you found some inspiration from these recipes and are going to incorporate some Meatless Mondays into your next meal plan. Not only will these dinners help your waistline but your wallet too.