~ Tired of typical Lenten meals? Then you’ll love these easy recipes for Lent that are WAY more exciting that those same-old, same-old fish fries! And, not only are they super delicious, they’re also so much healthier! Trust us … make a few for Lent this year, and you’ll be itching to make them again and again, ALL year long! (originally published February 27, 2020) ~
As Lent rolls into town again this year, it’s good-bye to Mardi Gras beads and King Cakes … hello to Friday fish fries and pasta dinners!
Never sounds so bad at first, does it? But after awhile, two big problems tend to surface themselves with all those Lenten meals:
#1 Your Belt –Wait, what? Yeah – your belt. Spend a few too many Fridays chowing down on fried fish and all its accompaniments … or on white-carb mounds of pasta … and something tends to happen. Gotta loosen that belt. *SIGH* I mean, Fish Fry – what else do we need to say here? Everybody pretty much knows that’s not a waistline-friendly meal solution.
#2 Booooredom – If you feel like the same Lent recipes play on continuous rotation every year (again and again and again …) you might be craving something a wee bit more interesting this year. At least after a couple weeks of your old standby Lenten dinners.
Well this year, you’re gonna be loooooooving your all-new, reinvented Lenten meal plans! Because we’ve got loads of ideas that are both so much healthier, and so not-boring!
As you scroll through all our ideas, you’ll probably notice a couple key ways that these recipes solve those two problems we just outlined.
How to Make Better Lenten Meals!
• Smarter Pasta
No, not like it’s literally gone off to earn a master’s degree. Smarter like it’s so much better for you – not so many empty calories and blood-sugar-spiking white carbs as typical pasta dinners.
The first easy fix you’ll see is that we sub in whole wheat pasta whenever possible. It’s loaded with fiber and nutrients!
You’ll also notice other tricks like working lots of veggies (or fish!) into the pasta recipes to pump up the nutrition further. Our Easy Zoodles recipe even shows you how to ease your family into the whole “zoodles” idea to further reduce pasta calories!
Besides being nutritionally better, all these tactics also offer lots of ways to keep things interesting around the dinner table. Think beyond a giant ladle of marinara, and try something new!
With so many delicious ways to cook fish these days, you have lots of options that have nothing to do with greasy fish fries!
We’ve got baked fish, pan-seared fish, even grilled fish and fish burgers! Much healthier, and much, much more interesting!
Take a look … and freshen up your rotation of Lenten recipes with healthier options that are so delicious, you’ll be craving them ALL year long!
This salmon recipe is full of big, savory Asian flavors that are intensely satisfying and vibrantly delicious! It's a restaurant-quality meal, but only takes about 30 minutes – plus we've got make-ahead steps for ya, too!
Just one pot – this is seriously soooo easy! It can even be made entirely ahead and reheated quickly at mealtime, so it's a perfect Lenten meal for hectic Friday evenings after a long work week. But don't worry – even though it's so quick and easy, it's still absolutely bursting with amazing, fresh, springtime flavors!
Broiling is a quick and much healthier alternative to frying. This fish recipe is inspired by one of our favorite restaurants in Key Largo (and even featured on Food Network)! Yet it's so easy, and can be mostly made ahead and cooked at the last moment. Loaded with flavors from beautiful tomatoes, kicky shallots and onions, briny capers, bright lemon, and fresh basil. Gorgeous and delicious!
A 30-minute vegetarian meal that’s simply perfect for busy evenings. Cozy and totally packed with flavor – ideal for Lenten Fridays (and Meatless Mondays). A little bump of protein from Greek yogurt makes it creamy and even more nutritious!
These unique tacos are light, fresh, and flavorful – yet so filling! The recipe includes a delectable Sriracha Lime Taco Sauce, fresh Avocado and Tomato Salsa, and an easy Cabbage Slaw. Plenty of elements that can be prepped ahead of time!
These super-fast burgers are a huge hit with our family! They’re a great make-ahead dinner option for busy nights. So scrumptious topped with hoisin sauce and creamy avocado! And, since they don’t have bread crumbs as a filler, they’re ideal as a gluten-free option, too.
Enjoy a beautiful spring evening by firing up that grill to kick off the weekend with this vegetarian flatbread! Simple ingredients add up to surprisingly big flavor, with fresh veggies, creamy goat cheese and a drizzle of good-quality balsamic vinegar. Fabulous!
So easy, yet this tastes really gourmet, with a savory combination of Mediterranean herbs and feta. And, it's on the table in less than 30 minutes. That typical Lenten pasta dinner just got a serious upgrade!
Think avocado toast is just for breakfast? Think again! This version is a full-on Mexican fiesta ... in a quick vegetarian meal, all piled high with the popular flavors of Mexican 7-Layer Dip! Grab a knife and fork, and dig in (and trust me – you won't miss that Friday night fish fry)!
This vegetarian pasta recipe is ready in less than 30 minutes, and it's jam-packed with nutritious veggies! The magic of oven roasting yields cauliflower and broccoli that are deeply (kid pleasingly!) flavorful. A little garlic, some salty Parmesan, and a squeeze of bright lemon juice are all you really need to round out the salty-umami-tangy symphony of tastes. Deceptively simple … try it and you'll see why this recipe is so crazy-popular!
Mild white fish is quickly grilled in another much-healthier alternative to fish fries. Then it's topped with a caprese-style topping that literally takes just minutes to prepare. Terrific alongside some pasta, or with a fresh spinach salad!
If you're trying to get the fam eating more veggies, fun, spirazlized "zoodles" are a great bet, and this simple recipe is the perfect way to ease them into the idea. Use your favorite vegetarian marinara sauce to keep this an appropriate Lent recipe idea, or change it up with other sauces once Lent is over. Super adaptable!
Fire up a big pot of this flavorful chili, and you won't be wishing for meat one bit! It's ready in about 30 minutes, and is made almost entirely with pantry staples that are easy to keep on hand. Plus, it's full of nutritional powerhouse ingredients, too!
Instead of hosting a fish fry, invite guests for this showstopper masterpiece! This recipe is a revered mainstay on the menu at the hugely popular Skull Creek Boathouse in Hilton Head, South Carolina. But with lots of make-ahead steps, it’s also EASY enough to make at home, too!
Here's a super-fun idea for a Friday night Lent dinner! Celebrate a long week with these family-friendly (easy!) mini pizzas. Let everyone choose their own meat-free pizza toppings, and bake 'em right along with quick mini apple pies for a complete, healthy meal the whole family will love!
Looking for a change of pace in your rotation of recipes for Lent? This loaded avocado toast is luxuriously delicious, any time of day – including for a fish-focused dinner! It's bursting with fresh and satisfying flavors, and a tantalizing range of textures. Guaranteed – if you love smoked salmon as much as I do, you'll be craving this for weekend brunches and quick workweek meals, too!
Studded with savory sun-dried tomatoes and parmesan cheese, fresh parsley, and crunchy pine nuts – this vegetarian pasta packs big, big flavor in a super-quick (less than 30 minutes, start-to-finish) package. Fast, easy and so delicious!
Don't save the hard-boiled egg recipes for AFTER Easter! This vegetarian sandwich recipe is mayo-free and nutritious. You’ll never even miss the mayo! Better yet? It's really simple, with just 6 ingredients!
So much to inspire you this Lenten season – so many new Lenten recipes to try!
But if you want even more, more, MORE fresh ideas to keep it interesting (and nutritious!), take a peek at more than 70 other standout fish and seafood recipes we culled through extensive research, from fellow food bloggers all across the internet: