4 Lent-Friendly Dinner Recipes

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It’s that time of year again! Lent is just around the corner, which means you’ll likely be searching for tasty and innovative recipes for the days when you abstain from eating meat. Instead of relying on the meatless recipes you make regularly, why not try something new? Here are four Lent-friendly dinner recipes that will have you and your family looking forward to Friday night meals.

Vegan Lentil Burgers

vegan burger lent dinner

While Lent is in no way related to “lentils”, this burger is perfect for the season. There’s always a way to enjoy America’s favorite meal no matter your dietary restrictions and the Food Network has a completely vegan option for when meat is not on the menu. This is flavourful, filling meal for those burger cravings that hit during Lent!

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup brown lentils, rinsed and strained
  • 1 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon low-sodium vegetable broth or water
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, half finely chopped and half thinly sliced
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • Kosher salt
  • 8 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and finely chopped
  • Cooking spray
  • 6 whole-grain vegan hamburger buns
  • Baby arugula, basil, roasted red bell peppers and spicy mustard, for serving (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In a medium sized saucepan over high heat, bring lentils and 1 3/4 cups of broth to a boil. To cook completely, reduce heat to medium-low. Cover saucepan partially and allow the lentils to cook until softened and all broth is absorbed. Pour the lentils into a bowl, add 1 tablespoon of broth and mash with a potato masher.
  2. On medium heat, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add chopped onion, lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and cook for about 6 minutes while stirring. When the onions are softened, add spinach, 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper, garlic and cumin. Stir for about 3 minutes until the spinach is wilted.
  3. Add spinach mixture, breadcrumbs, walnuts and 3/4 teaspoon of salt to the lentils. Mix well. Cover and put in the fridge for one hour or overnight.
  4. Heat a grill to medium-high heat. As the grill is preheating, form 6 patties out of the cooled lentil mix.
  5. Coat grill in cooking spray and cook patties for about 3 minutes on each side. There should be grill marks on each side.
  6. Place on bun, top with onions and serve!

Pecan-Crusted Tilapia

pecan tilapia lent dinner

This simple yet delicious recipe from Regal Springs will have you creating a light and tasty meal to end your week with. After a day of fasting, a heavy meal can sometimes be hard on your system, which makes this recipe a great alternative to more decadent fare. With hints of garlic, black pepper and pecans, this dish will taste as mouth watering as it smells.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 (6-ounce) Tilapia fillets
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
  • 4 lemon wedges

Instructions:

  1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a shallow dish. Combine buttermilk and hot sauce in a medium bowl; place flour in a shallow dish. Dredge 1 fillet in flour. Dip in buttermilk mixture then dredge in breadcrumb mixture. Repeat procedure with remaining fillets, flour, buttermilk mixture and breadcrumb mixture.
  2. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 fillets; cook 3 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Repeat procedure with remaining oil and fillets. Serve with lemon wedges or a sweet salsa.

Vegetarian Chili

Vegetarian chili lent dinner

You don’t have to have meat for a meal to be hearty. This chilli recipe featured on Martha Stewart will warm you from the inside out this February and satisfy even the hungriest of fasters. With an array of vegetables, this one-pot meal is an easy-to-make, healthy dinner perfect for enjoying with the family.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced medium
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 3/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with green chillies
  • 1 can diced tomatoes

Instructions:

  1. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. Add onion and garlic, stir frequently for about 4 minutes. Onions and garlic should both be soft.
  2. Add cumin, chile powder, salt and pepper. Cook for about 1 minute.
  3. Add zucchini and tomato paste and cook for 3 minutes. The paste should be a deep brick red.
  4. Add black beans, pinto beans and canned tomatoes. Stir.
  5. Add 2 cups of water and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a medium simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes. Zucchini should be tender and the liquid should be reduced slightly.
  6. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Blackened Tilapia Tacos

tilapia taco lent dinner

Who doesn’t love taco night? This Regal Springs recipe yields a delicious meal that has everything you could hope for in a fish taco—from spice to fresh ingredients. You can even choose between two different tasty homemade toppings! Visit their site to learn how to make each or experiment with your own favorite condiments.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tilapia loins
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon each of garlic powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, oregano and thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper
  • Pinch of brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil (canola, vegetable or avocado oil work)

Instructions:

  1. Rinse Tilapia loins with water and pat dry with a paper towel.
  2. In a small bowl, stir all of the spices together.
  3. Melt butter in a small bowl and brush loins on both sides. Use oil as a substitute if you like.
  4. Generously cover loins with spice blend, coating both sides.
  5. Heat up 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan until extremely hot.
  6. Place loins in hot oil and cook 4-5 minutes on each side.
  7. Place on warm corn tortilla with desired additions.

Picking a dinner recipe can be a chore, especially when you have religious dietary restrictions to consider! These four recipes are a great starting point and we hope they’ll inspire you to explore more Lent-friendly meals this year.

Photos: Regal Springs, Food Network, Regal Springs, Katerina Belaya / Shutterstock, Regal Springs