9 Indian-Inspired Vegetarian Dinner Ideas Full of Bold Flavor

bowl of chana masala over rice
Photo: Jason Donnelly

Are you reducing your meat intake, vegetarian, or looking for new meatless Monday ideas? These Indian vegetarian recipes are about to become your new favorites. Adding bold, aromatic spices such as curry and garam masala to your meals is a great way to keep your taste buds excited. Try one of these delicious vegetarian Indian dishes (many of them are vegan!) for a globally-inspired meal at home.

01 of 09

Chickpea Tikka Masala

bowl of Chickpea Tikka Masala
Jason Donnelly

Normally made with chicken, our vegetarian tikka masala features chickpeas and veggies. In less than an hour, you'll be at the table digging into your one-bowl meal. Serve over hot cooked rice with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro.

02 of 09

Tofu Tikka Masala with Green Chutney

skewers of Tofu Tikka Masala with Green Chutney
Jason Donnelly

Low in calories and naturally gluten-free, tofu has way more benefits than just serving as a plant-based protein option. Here the neutral-flavored soybean curd develops amazing flavor after marinating in a mixture of lime juice, yogurt, masala spice, ginger, and garlic. A quick go on the grill (or your indoor grill pan) adds a nice smoky char to the vegetarian Indian dish.

03 of 09

Kadai Paneer

cast iron pan of Kadai Paneer
Jason Donnelly

Paneer is a fresh cheese that serves as the star ingredient in Indian vegetarian recipes. Combined with a tomato-based sauce seasoned with masala, ginger, and garlic, you'll be craving paneer all the time. Swap-in pressed tofu to make this a vegan Indian recipe.

04 of 09

Indian Dal Soup

bowl of Indian dal soup with rice and cilantro
Jason Donnelly

Dal is your friend when it comes to cooking up an easy Indian vegetarian recipe. It's the Indian term for dried pulses that do not require soaking before cooking. This one-pot dinner is simple to prepare has delicious aromatic flavors thanks to the toasted spice blend of mustard seed, cumin seed, black peppercorns, and fennel seed.

Buy It: Crock-Pot Artisan Oval Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, 7-Quart ($71, Amazon)

05 of 09

Chana Masala

bowl of chana masala over rice
Jason Donnelly

This vegetarian Indian dish is a takeout favorite, and now you can make it at home. It's an easy dump dinner that is so delicious, no one will believe it only took 25 minutes to make. Instead of buying cans, save money by stocking your pantry with dried chickpeas.

Buy It: Palouse Brand Dried Chickpeas, 5 Pounds ($18, Amazon)

06 of 09

Priya's Dal

Priya's Dal
Blaine Moats

Cookbook author Priya Krishna's dal is a super easy Indian vegetarian recipe you have to try. It gets a kick from red chili pepper and a nice tangy finish from fresh lime juice. Try making your own naan bread for scooping up every last bite.

07 of 09

Indian Chickpea and Vegetable Curry

Indian Chickpea and Vegetable Curry
Jason Donnelly

A steamy bowl of this chickpea curry really hits the spot after a long day. Make this vegetarian Indian dish in your slow cooker to allow the flavors to develop. We also have directions to make this a speedy weeknight meal in your pressure cooker.

Buy It: Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker ($100, Amazon)

08 of 09

Indian Cauliflower and Potato Soup (Aloo Gobi)

Indian Cauliflower and Potato Soup (Aloo Gobi)
Andy Lyons

This slow cooker soup is the creamy, sippable version of aloo gobi, an Indian vegetarian dish made with cauliflower and potatoes. Jalapeño provides a kick of heat but is tamed by a dollop of plain yogurt to your bowl. To keep the dish more traditional, you can omit the step that blends it into a soup and enjoy the veggies in their whole form.

Buy It: Crock-Pot 7-Quart Oval Manual Slow Cooker ($50, Amazon)

09 of 09

Saag Paneer

bowl of Saag Paneer on purple napkin
Jason Donnelly

Saag is a leafy green-based dish popular in Indian cuisine. When combined with chewy paneer, you've got one comforting vegetarian dinner. If you can't find paneer cheese at your local international store, make your own using the easy recipe we include after the main saag recipe.

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