As a healthy food writer, I spend a lot of time asking doctors, dietitians, and nutritionists for tips on how to eat and they always come back to me with the same advice: Build your meal so it’s full of fiber, protein, and healthy fats. Hitting these three buckets, I’m told, is important for good digestion, satiety, and proper, balanced nutrition. Casseroles have long been a classic way for combining all of the above into one dish, but the vast majority of the time, meat has been the central protein source. (I can smell the Hamburger Helper cheeseburger casserole of my childhood if I close my eyes hard enough.)
Here’s a reason why it’s worth going vegetarian even if you eat meat: Incorporating vegetarian protein sources such as chickpeas, beans, or lentils into your casserole works as both a fiber and protein source. It’s the food equivalent to a two-in-one shampoo-conditioner—but like, actually beneficial and effective.
If you’re searching for some dinner time inspiration, look no further than the 16 vegetarian casserole recipes rounded up here. These aren’t the tuna noodle casseroles of your youth. The casseroles featured below are smart takes you might not have thought of—and they’re well-rounded enough to work as a complete meal—no side salad necessary.
16 vegetarian casserole recipes full of protein, fiber, and healthy fats
1. Vegetarian Mediterranean-inspired casserole
While this casserole is completely meat-free, it does contain eggs and dairy, which makes it vegetarian but not vegan. If you do eat eggs, it works as either a breakfast or dinner casserole. This dish is also made with artichoke hearts (canned works perfectly), kalamata olives, bell pepper, tomato, feta cheese, and a few key spices.
Get the recipe: Vegetarian Mediterranean-inspired casserole
2. Buffalo cauliflower and chickpea casserole
This casserole turns cauliflower wings from an app into an all-out meal by combining them with chickpeas and rice. The sauce is made with vegetable broth, nutritional yeast, and, of course, buffalo hot sauce. There doesn’t need to be a game on for this dinner to be a total (ahem) touchdown.
Get the recipe: Buffalo cauliflower and chickpea casserole
3. Black bean quinoa casserole
Similar to chickpeas, black beans are also full of protein and fiber—and combining them with quinoa ups the fiber factor even more. Pro tip: Add avocado on top to incorporate more creaminess (and healthy fats) into it.
Get the recipe: Black bean quinoa casserole
4. Gluten-free vegan broccoli cheese casserole
The same key ingredient that makes this casserole full of protein is the same one that makes it extra creamy: cashews. When blended and combined with nutritional yeast, it makes the perfect cheese replacement. Tahini is another star ingredient in this recipe, which makes the final dish ooey-gooey while also adding protein and fiber.
Get the recipe: Gluten-free vegan broccoli cheese casserole
5. Seaweed casserole
We couldn’t share vegetarian casserole recipes without including a nod to the OG casserole. This plant-based twist on tuna noodle casserole uses dried seaweed instead of fish for a vegetarian way to get the same flavor profile. Generous amounts of lentils and peas add protein and fiber, while the egg noodles give the casserole the noodle-y base that makes it such a casserole classic.
Get the recipe: Seaweed casserole
6. Roasted lentil and veggie casserole
This casserole does contain eggs and dairy but is 100 percent meat-free. Veggies make up more than 50 percent of this dish thanks to the kale, mushrooms, onion, cauliflower, and tomato. Warmed and topped with cheese, it’s the ultimate comfort food.
Get the recipe: Roasted lentil and veggie casserole
7. Scrambled tofu potato casserole
This casserole works for breakfast or dinner—either way it will have you reaching for seconds. It’s a richer, denser version of a classic tofu scramble. The spinach in the filling ensures you’re getting your fill of fiber, too.
Get the recipe: Scrambled tofu potato casserole
8. Tempeh and kale enchilada casserole
Like tofu, tempeh is another soy-based vegetarian protein that lends itself really well to casseroles. Here, it’s combined with kale, black beans, and red bell pepper. The sauce is cashew-based, which adds yet another protein source to this nutrient-rich dish.
Get the recipe: Tempeh and kale enchilada casserole
9. Spaghetti squash casserole
This is another recipe that incorporates tempeh, using the plant-based protein to make a vegetarian bolognese. It’s combined with spaghetti squash which adds a slight earthy sweetness to the dish while providing the same nourishing comfort as traditional noodles.
Get the recipe: Spaghetti squash recipe
10. Italian lentil casserole
Traditionally, beef tends to be the starring ingredient in tomato sauce-based casseroles, but this recipe proves it turns out just as delicious using lentils instead. The only other ingredients you need are zucchini, bell pepper, marinara sauce, and Parmesan cheese.
Get the recipe: Italian lentil casserole
11. Mexican breakfast casserole
For those days when you’re craving breakfast for dinner, this egg casserole bursting with Mexican flavor will hit the spot. It features eggs, cheese, green bell pepper, zucchini, spinach, and jalapenos for some spice. Garnish it with cherry tomatoes, cilantro, red onion, and avocado and you’ve got yourself a meal that is not only beautiful to look at but also downright delicious.
Get the recipe: Mexican breakfast casserole
12. Tomato and white bean casserole
If you want a light yet still very flavorful dinner, turn to this tomato, white bean, and toasted bread casserole. You get lots of protein from the white beans and lots of flavor from the medley of other ingredients such as cherry tomatoes, shallots, basil, garlic, fresh thyme, capers, and cashew parm.
Get the recipe: Tomato and white bean casserole
13. Vegetarian black bean enchilada casserole
Packed with tofu and black beans, this vegetarian enchilada casserole delivers in terms of protein. The red bell pepper, diced green chiles, and Mexican cheese blend take it to the next level. And of course, enchiladas aren’t complete without fresh cilantro, lime, and avocado on top.
Get the recipe: Vegetarian black bean enchilada casserole
14. Creamy lentil and vegetable bake
With its caramelized veggies (cauliflower! sweet potato! carrots!) and creamy lentils baked in a garlicky cashew cream, this vegan and gluten-free casserole will quickly become a go-to in your dinner rotation. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. It makes for a great party or holiday dish, too.
Get the recipe: Creamy lentil and vegetable bake
15. Creamy cajun stuffed shells
This casserole has a little bit of everything. It’s got pasta, vegetables via a creamy vegan cauliflower sauce, tofu ricotta, sweet sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, and kick thanks to cajun seasoning. It’s a crowd pleaser, for sure. Serve it on its own for a light dinner or add a side of roasted veggies to make it heartier.
Get this recipe: Creamy cajun stuffed shells
16. Squash and asparagus casserole
For those days that you don’t really feel like cooking, this vegetarian casserole is a good option since it only requires a little bit of prep time and then you pop it in the oven to bake. Top it with bread crumbs and some vegan or regular shredded mozzarella cheese and it’s ready to eat.
Get this recipe: Squash and asparagus casserole