Traditional recipes

7 Meatless Recipes for Lent

7 Meatless Recipes for Lent

Lent begins this Wednesday, starting the 40-day journey leading up to Easter. Catholics don't eat meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and all other Fridays during Lent. The reason? Abstaining from eating meats, including beef and chicken, is considered a sacrifice to God, especially since meat has traditionally been known as a luxury.

Sometimes called Fish Fridays, meat-free days during Lent don’t have to focus on fish. You can eat pasta, tofu, vegetables, beans, and many other items, including eggs. (They’re permissible under Catholic law, even though they come from chickens which are off-limits.)

Avoiding meat might seem restrictive but it’s easier than you think. Vegetarians and vegans never eat meat. Separate from the Lenten tradition, there’s a Meatless Monday initiative encouraging people to cut out meat once a week, as a part of a healthy lifestyle, since meat is typically high in saturated fat.

Achieving great flavor is a major challenge when making a meatless meal, but it’s doable.

“I try to make sure that all my meatless meals are big on flavor and satisfy any meat eater for one day,” says Makini Howell of Seattle’s Plum Bistro Restaurant, who’s also the author of Plum: Gratifying Vegan Dishes. “With so many grocery stores carrying meatless alternatives these days, it is easier than ever.” (Read on for Howell’s Tofu Pesto recipe.)

You don’t have to just eat spaghetti, a tuna fish sandwich, a bowl of cereal, or peanut butter and jelly. Lots of meatless meals are tasty to eat and easy to make. Try a vegetable-based pasta or a spicy shrimp salad. We even rounded up recipes for soups and burgers that are meat-free and delicious for every appetite.


7 Unique Lenten Recipe Ideas for Fridays in Lent… with a Serving of Charity

Tired of fish sticks and tuna fish sandwiches on Fridays in Lent? Want something really yummy instead?

On this Lenten Friday I want to share 7 unique recipe ideas for you and your family. Simple, easy, and tasty, these recipes will not only beckon your family to the table, they will keep them there… asking for more!

But… we need to keep our Lenten Fridays in perspective.

The fact is that faithfully adhering to our Lenten observances – truly, from the heart – can be a tricky business. It is so easy to abstain from meat on Fridays only to overindulge on seafood. It’s especially easy to do that here in New Orleans where fresh seafood is abundant and there’s no lack of good chefs.

Lent, Pope Francis said, isn’t about formal observance. We are called to go beyond formal observance to the heart. “It is not a good Christian who doesn’t do justice to the people who depend on him” and who does not “deprive himself of something essential for him in order to give it to another who is in need.”

What is the ultimate goal of fasting and abstinence? Charity. Charity towards God and charity toward neighbor, which Pope Francis reminds us is one in the same. “Whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen” (1 John 4:20).

The one thing that we can never fast from is charity.

And charity begins at home. “Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do… but how much love we put in that action,” as Blessed Mother Teresa used to say.

Blessed Mother Teresa, always an advocate of charity and “giving till it hurts,” frequently used to help would-be do-gooders put things in proper perspective, highlighting the fact that we are called first to love those closest to us. As she would say, “What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.”

Loving those closest to us is not always easy, and yet that is the first thing we are called to. We need to learn to see Jesus in those closest to us… and learn to love him there.

So what about those yummy Lenten Friday family meals?

We can certainly cook something healthy and delicious for our families on Fridays in Lent. We just need to keep things in their proper perspective. The point is not the food. It’s the meal. The shared meal around the table where we share not only food, but our very selves with those we love.

Cook up one of these delicious meatless recipes this Lent and share it – and yourself! – with your family… around the table!


Meatless Meal Ideas and Recipes for Lent

With Mardi Gras over, the last of the indulgences have passed, and we move into Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the Lenten season, which continues on for 40 days. I can only speak to the Catholic faith, but we observe Lent by fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday - though it is not a literal fast. One full meal is permitted (or two smaller meals that are less than equal to a "full" meal) but that meal must be meat free - though seafood, eggs and dairy are permitted. The remainder of Lent, we abstain from meat on Fridays, so while regular meals may be consumed, they must each be meatless meals, again allowing seafood, eggs and dairy.

Giada's Pasta with Carrots and Peas, pictured just above, is a great choice for an Ash Wednesday dinner, or for any meatless meal during the period of Lent. It comes together quickly and is actually very flavorful! Another one is Pasta with Peas and Potatoes or a main dish pasta to consider might be this Angel Hair Pasta with Crab and of course, there's always Everyday Macaroni and Cheese.

A nice light pasta dish made with fresh crab, garden tomatoes, fresh basil, butter and olive oil. Great with other proteins or even all on its own too!

One of the most popular Lent-friendly meals continues to be Salmon Patties, and although fresh and frozen salmon are both readily available, canned salmon seems to be as popular as ever. I think with a lot of folks like my husband, they bring up a lot of nostalgia about relatives long gone.

Commonly known as croquettes, salmon is combined with fresh parsley and seasonings, crushed saltine crackers and egg, shaped into patties and pan fried for an old southern favorite. Traditionally served with mashed potatoes and creamed peas.

Here are a few links for some other choices you might want to consider, many require just a simple elimination of the protein and/or bacon often used in The South to season dishes. Click the links or photos to view the recipes.

More than 65 Favorite Salad Recipes, all from Deep South Dish blog!

1. Of course salads are always an option, but a main dish salad like this Shrimp and Crab Mixed Garden Salad, a Panzanella Salad, this Roasted Veggie Spinach Salad, Shrimp Remoulade, and even my mother in law's Shrimp and Salad would also be great meal choices. You'll have to eliminate the warm bacon dressing on the spinach salad of course, but a good Homemade Italian Dressing or even a simple vinegar and oil dressing would work just fine. Fresh Corn Salad and even good Old Fashioned 7 Layer Salad would also be wonderful, just eliminate the bacon garnish and I love Tuna Macaroni.

2. Deviled eggs are always a good choice, as are many basic egg salads, including Tuna Egg Salad and Shrimp Egg Salad, which can be served as a sandwich, stuffed into a whole tomato, or over a bed of lettuce. An open faced tuna melt as well as this Roasted Red Pepper Pimento Cheese would be great!

Classic Southern style pinto beans. Skip the salt pork and add a little Liquid Smoke and a side of cornbread.

3. Make any number of meatless bean dishes like Red Beans and Rice, or Cajun White Beans, or Mixed Bean Soup, by simply cooking these with extra vegetables, water or vegetable stock, and eliminating the meats and adding in a little liquid smoke. Serve over rice.

A classic, old fashioned macaroni salad, made with elbow macaroni, sweet onion, celery, chopped pickles, and pimento - simple, the kind that grandma used to make.

4. There's many potato salads to choose from, and pasta salads too, like this Shrimp and Macaroni Salad, this Tri-Color Rotini Italian Pasta Salad or Peas and Pasta Salad with Tuna - just be sure to eliminate any bacon or other meats included sometimes. Sweet potatoes can be used in a number of ways too!

Eggs are dropped into a bed of fiery tomato sauce, made from fresh tomatoes paired with chunky Rotel and enhanced with bacon, onion and sweet bell peppers, and then passed in the oven to set, topped with cheese and served over cheese grits.

5. Eggs in Purgatory (sub in canola oil for the bacon) or Shrimp and Grits served over Garlic Cheese Grits are a nice choice too.

A two egg omelet chocked full of sweet Gulf shrimp and lump crab.

6. Breakfast for dinner can be a cheese, vegetable, or Seafood Crab and Shrimp Omelet, Creamy Scrambled Eggs with Garden Fresh Herbs, French Toast, French Toast Casserole, Birds in a Nest, or Homemade Buttermilk Pancakes.

7. Make a rice main dish dinner using this recipe for Spicy Rice and Corn Casserole, Southern Red Rice with Shrimp, or a Vegetarian Fried Rice or make a Veggie Stir Fry by using extra vegetables and eliminating the protein.

8. A favorite here is Fried Eggs and Rice. Prepare rice, place into a bowl and add a tab of butter. Top with seasoned, sunny side up, runny yolk eggs and dig in, breaking eggs into the rice. It is delicious!

Homemade Vegetable Soup - a meatless vegetable soup made with a variety of vegetables and a rich vegetable stock.

9. Soups are always a good choice, whether it's classic potato, a homemade vegetable soup, or you make a vegetarian Vegetable Soup using this recipe and eliminating the beef, beef base and beef broth. Replace that with canned tomatoes, V-8, tomato juice and/or vegetable broth. Southern Succotash is a good main dish veggie meal, simply leave out the meat.

Garlic and butter scampi pasta with white wine, fresh herbs, lemon and red pepper flakes, tossed with seasoned, pan-seared shrimp.

9. Seafood is plentiful and abundant here along the coast, so it is not considered to be an indulgence and you will find simple fried catfish, shrimp and oysters are common during Lent. Other seafood choices might include Fish Creole, Shrimp Boulettes, Coconut Shrimp, Spicy Orange Garlic Shrimp, Baked Salmon, Crab Stuffed Shrimp, Eggplant Josephine with Crab, Crabmeat Au Gratin, Seafood and Eggplant Casserole (eliminate the bacon), Courtbouillon and Old Fashioned Tuna Noodle Casserole. Any number of seafood gumbo dishes can be included by simply eliminating the meats typically included.

A vegetable medley casserole with a classic mixture of pimentos, carrots, peas and corn, transformed with a few simple seasonings and a fabulous cream sauce into a wonderful vegetable casserole, topped here with panko.

10. Try a vegetable centered casserole, like this Petit Pois Peas and Pimento Casserole, Squash Casserole, Squash Dressing (substitute cream of mushroom), Cajun Cabbage au Gratin, or Layered Squash and Tomato Casserole (omit the bacon of course), Spinach Madeline, Broccoli and Cheese Casserole, Hashbrown Casserole, or Velveeta Truck Stop Potatoes. I can easily make a meal from a pot of old fashioned smothered and stewed down potatoes!

11. Another great idea and one that I adore, is to make up mixture of fresh or frozen veggies (sweet peppers, onion, cabbage, broccoli, green beans, whatever you like) to stir fry, add a sauce & season and stuff into pita pockets. This is one of my favorite meatless meals. You can find my homemade stir fry sauce here.

12. Make a Mozzarella sandwich on a toasted French roll. Spoon pesto on the bottom of the roll, top with slices of fresh Mozzarella and a layer of sun dried tomatoes. Top with torn basil.

13. Grilled cheese is always good, of course, but bump it up by including some spinach! Saute some chopped onion and minced garlic in a little butter until tender. Add fresh spinach until it wilts down and add to your grilled cheese sandwich. Use your favorite cheese - Mozzarella or Swiss are both good additions.

My interpretation of Aglio e Olio, spaghetti, sauteed in olive oil and garlic, tossed with fresh herbs, red pepper flakes and parmesan cheese, and finished with melted tiny tomatoes.

14. Pasta dishes work well, something as basic as a Parmesan Cheesy Noodles, Spaghetti with Tiny Tomatoes or Mac and Cheese. Omit the bacon for this Bowtie Pasta and Peas or Noodles with Cabbage (omit the sausage). Pastas with seafood are excellent, like Cajun Shrimp and Linguine, Pasta and Crab, Shrimp and Fettuccine Alfredo, Shrimp Spaghetti, Crawfish Velveeta Fettuccine.

As always, some of our Facebook readers also added in some fine suggestions too! Check 'em out y'all:

☞ Courtney shared that she had made a batch of eggrolls with just broccoli slaw, shredded carrot, mushroom and onions. Add a little stir fry sauce while cooking the mixture and then bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Her 7-year old son said they were better than pizza! She served them with brown rice and steamed sugar snap peas and said they were excellent and very filling - you could even eat the mixture served over the rice.

☞ Claire makes a dish using eggplant as the noodle in a lasagna, a red tomato gravy and using vegetables in the layers - squash, zucchini, carrots, & mushrooms. She mixes in some spinach in with the ricotta cheese for the cheese layer. You can also add shrimp or crawfish if you like.

☞ Mary likes to have pasta with olive oil, garlic, blanched broccoli, crushed chilies & fresh parmesan cheese.

☞ Kristell fries a cabbage along with 6 onions, 6 tomatoes, 2 green peppers, 9 chillies and 8 grated carrots with 9 teaspoons of curry powder and serves this over rice.

☞ Carol makes portabello mushrooms stuffed with a ricotta cheese mixture and baked in a marinara sauce, and a chili using vegetarian meatless crumbles as well. (I like the Morning Star brand of Grillers Meal Starters Crumbles. Actually pulled those off on The Cajun - don't judge!)

☞ Sara suggested a spinach & artichoke pizza would be good with salad as a non meat meal. Just combine 1 cup of frozen spinach (thawed and drained) with a can of (drained & chopped) artichokes, 1 cup of alfredo sauce and 1 clove of garlic minced, spread on dough sprinkle with mozzarella or italian blend cheese and bake according to dough or crust directions. You could also roast some veggies like zucchini, eggplant, peppers, onion and tomatoes toss them with olive oil, salt and pepper bake at 400 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until tender, and then mix with pasta like penne and fresh herbs, Parmesan, and olive oil or just use pesto.

☞ Other suggestions included breakfast for dinner, meatless spaghetti, cheese or other meatless pizzas, cheese enchiladas, cheese baked spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese and tomato soup. Some also suggested red beans and rice (minus any bacon or meat of course), egg omelets, pasta shells stuffed with a cheese mixture, pasta mixed with vegetables and potato stuffed perogies, garden salads, tuna salad, shrimp and egg Salads. Veggie burgers, any number of cooked fresh vegetables like corn, turnip or collard greens, fresh tomatoes, baked sweet potatoes, creamed or mashed potatoes can make a meal, and a basic homemade potato soup is a another great choice. Fish tacos, made with pan-fried fish, are an easy favorite. Even simple peanut butter and jelly sandwiches can make a meal.

I hope that you found some good ideas for Lent friendly meals here! Please share your own ideas in the comments below if you like.

Images and Full Post Content including Recipe ©Deep South Dish. Recipes are offered for your own personal use only and while pinning and sharing links is welcomed and encouraged, please do not copy and paste to repost or republish elsewhere such as other Facebook pages, blogs, websites, or forums without explicit prior permission. All rights reserved.


Lent is almost here! It’s the time of year that some Catholics start thinking of ideas for meals that are meatless. And recipes that most of the family will enjoy. Without feeling too deprived.

Using pinterest, it’s clear that we’re blessed to live in a time where there are almost countless recipes out there that fit the bill – meatless and family friendly! So, whether you’re someone looking for a few good (meatless) meals this Lent season or you’re someone who just wants to use less meat in your meal rotation, here’s a good list for you of some family friendly meatless options!

  • Shrimp/Veggie Teriyaki Fried Rice – Use shrimp instead of chicken, increase the eggs or add more veggies and you’ll have a very quick to come together meal!
  • Cheese or Veggie Quesadilla – Skip the chicken in this recipe and you’ll still have a satisfying meal. Serve with sides of salsa and sour cream for dipping. Or use fajita veggies too – that’d get my vote!
  • Baked Potato Soup– Leave the bacon out, of course, but this soup is wonderful! So many times, we think of meatless soups as only being vegetable soup. And while I love vegetable soup sometimes, Baked Potato Soup is a great choice.
  • Shrimp – Remember Forrest Gump? He had tons of ways you can make shrimp. It’s wonderfully versatile! There’s Honey Garlic Shrimp. And Oven Grilled Shrimp. And Spicy Grilled Shrimp. And Shrimp Creole. And Shrimp Scampi. Need I say more!?
  • Spaghetti – Of course, spaghetti is on this list. But it doesn’t have to stop there. Anything you normally use spaghetti sauce in can go meatless. Lasagna. Pasta bakes.
  • Grilled Cheese – I often put deli ham in the middle of my grilled cheese, but forgo that this time. Making a bunch for the family? No problem — make them in the oven!
  • Spicy Rigatoni – Just leave the chicken out of this pasta dish and you’re golden! I love this dish because it has a slight kick AND because it uses a mix of alfredo and red pasta sauces. Creamy, but still tomato-y!
  • Baked Potato Buffet – Possibilities abound! Cheese, veggies, salsa are all good, vegetarian options!
  • French Toast Casserole – Breakfast for dinner is always a popular option. Pancakes, quiche, french toast and eggs (fried, scrambled, hard boiled) all come to mind. But try this French Toast Casserole if you haven’t already – it’s a winner and so fun to serve. It’ll feel like you’re having dessert instead of dinner!
  • Skillet or Sheet Pan Nachos – This is a fun way to serve dinner! We often have lunch this way. Layer chips on top of cheese on a cookie sheet or in a skillet and bake until cheese is melted. Top with all the mexican toppings you want!
  • Vegan French Dip– The “meatiness” of the mushrooms will satisfy even hearty appetites!
  • Tuna Noodle Casserole – I’m an odd duck maybe, but I loved this recipe growing up. It isn’t for everyone, but it’s definitely a “comfort food” for me!
  • Cauliflower Buffalo Bites – The heat of buffalo sauce will have you thinking “man, this is good!” not “dude, where’s the beef?”
  • Tuna Melts– Another sandwich to have that you can bake right in the oven, making it simple to feed the whole family quickly.
  • Appetizer night – Have an appetizer night! It might take more time to prepare a few different things, but it’d be like having a party! I’m thinking potato skins (minus the bacon), cheesy bean dip, or tortilla roll ups!

Jayme is a wife to 1 and a mother to four little boys. She coupons, price matches and meal plans. While she likes to cook, she’s in the stage of life where simple is usually better – she never knows how many hands she’ll have free at dinner time! You can find her at No Regrets Living.

If you love this, check out more recipes:


Disclaimer

Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement, and Your California Privacy Rights (User Agreement updated 1/1/21. Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement updated 5/1/2021).

© 2021 Advance Local Media LLC. All rights reserved (About Us).
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local.

Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site.


  • People age 14 and older must abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday, all Fridays during Lent and Good Friday.
  • Catholics 18 or older, and under age 59, must fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, unless there are medical reasons not to do so. Women who are pregnant or nursing don't have to fast.
  • On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, one full meatless meal is allowed, plus two other light, meatless meals that are just enough to maintain strength. No snacking between meals is allowed.

Catholic guidelines prohibit eating meat from land animals or birds on Lenten Fridays, Ash Wednesday or Good Friday. However, foods made from meat juices and fats are allowed. So broth, stock, gravies, etc., are fine.

Eggs, milk, fish and shellfish are permitted on abstinence days as well. Here's more information.


7 Meatless Meals for 7 Fridays in Lent

With everyone recovering from their Mardi Gras hangovers (both food and alcohol induced), we hope no one is giving up water and Advil for Lent. The 40 days (and nights) leading up to Easter is known as Lent and is observed by Catholics as a way to fast and abstain from the vices and worldly enjoyments that may take them from their faith or even concentration on living a pure life. Catholics are expected to “give up something” during Lent it could be any number of things like diet soda, television, sex, smoking, alcohol, or social media.

One thing all Catholics must give up is meat on Fridays, considered a day of abstinence. Fish and vegetarian dishes become go-to meals during Lent. Fried fish sandwiches and cheese pizza seem to be standards of the Catholic diet during this time because they’re easy and accessible, especially if you’re used to a drive-thru menu.

Whether Meatless Monday or Meatless Friday, we say embrace it and use this as an opportunity to overhaul your dietary habits. Only good things can come of it, right?

We’re making the next seven Fridays a snap and planning the meals for you. These are seven of our most popular meatless and fish recipes for dinner.

Crunchy Oven Fried Fish – Cod tossed in breadcrumbs, cornmeal and a little seasoning is baked instead of fried for a crunchy meal that feels like fast-food but tastes so much better!

Fennel and Clam Soup – Prepare this in the morning and let simmer on low in a Crock Pot throughout the day and dinner is ready when you get home. White wine, fennel, leeks, garlic and clams come together for a hearty and flavorful meal.

Easy Grilled Fish Tacos – Grilling lightly seasoned halibut, this dish comes together quickly and easily and will satisfy a crowd on Friday night, especially if served with a homemade guacamole.

Slow-Cooker Mexican-Style Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers – A meatless meal that no one will ever recognize as missing meat, these peppers, stuffed with black beans, corn, and spices, will quickly become a family favorite.

Salmon Burger – This was our favorite recipe at the Biggest Loser Resort, and it will no doubt be yours, too. Combine salmon with parsley, roasted peppers, onions, and a vegennaise-nayonaise mixture for a perfect dinner.

Red Curry Quinoa – Get all the protein you need in this healthy grain, plus season it boldly with Thai red curry paste, mango, cashews, and cilantro for an unforgettable take-out-at-home meal.

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup – This soup by Ina Garten is one of our faves. Roast the tomatoes in the oven before adding to your stock pot full of broth, olive oil, onions, garlic, crushed red pepper, and fresh basil. Pair with a grilled cheese on quality bread and you’ve got a super satisfying meatless meal that feeds a crowd.


7 Recipes for Lent-Friendly Fridays

If you’re observing Lent, you need to plan for a few meat-free Fridays this spring. But don’t despair, carnivores! There are plenty of delicious dishes to keep you full without breaking the faith.

Here are seven easy pescatarian dishes to carry you through Easter Sunday.

Gnocchi Tuna Pasta Bake

Servings: 6 | Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of Portofino Solid Yellowfin Tuna in Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ sweet onion diced
  • 8 oz. sliced white button mushrooms
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1 jar (6 oz.) marinated artichoke hearts, drained
  • ½ cup shredded Italian cheese blend
  • 1 bag (6 oz.) fresh baby spinach
  • 1 package (16 oz.) plain potato gnocchi
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Heat oil in a medium sauté pan. Add onions and mushrooms and cook until moisture from mushrooms has evaporated.
  3. In a large pot of boiling water, cook gnocchi according to package directions.
  4. Once gnocchi is cooked, drain and place in large bowl. Mix in onions and mushrooms and toss in spinach. Continue tossing to wilt the spinach.
  5. Add ricotta cheese, cream, artichokes, and tuna. Combine well.
  6. Place in a three-quart casserole dish, top with shredded cheese, and bake for 15 minutes.

Italian Tuna Avocado Boats // Recipe and photo by Laura Davidson

Italian Tuna Avocado Boats

Servings: 4 | Prep time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans Portofino Solid Yellowfin Tuna in Extra Virgin Olive Oil, chunked not drained
  • ½ small red onion, finely diced
  • 8 chopped, pitted green olives
  • 8 sundried tomatoes, packed in oil, drained and chopped
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 large ripe avocados
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup microgreens for garnishing (optional)
  1. Place tuna in a medium mixing bowl. Add red onion, olives, tomatoes, parsley, and lime juice. Stir gently to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Halve and pit the avocados. Scoop the tuna mixture into pitted avocado halves.
  3. Garnish with microgreens and add a light squeeze of lime juice.

Spicy Tuna Onigiri // Recipe and photo by Laura Davidson

Spicy Tuna Onigiri

Servings: 4-6 | Prep time: 20 minutes | Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups Japanese short-grain sushi rice
  • 15 oz. cold water
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 can Portofino Solid Albacore Tuna in Extra Virgin Olive Oil, drained
  • 1 ½ tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. Sriracha hot sauce
  • ½ tsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 finely sliced scallion, green only
  • 3 sheets of toasted nori, cut crosswise in half
  • Toasted black sesame seeds for sprinkling (optional)
  1. Place rice in a fine-meshed sieve. Rinse well under cold water, rubbing grains of rice between your fingers until water runs clear to remove excess starch. Drain well.
  2. Combine rice and water. If you own a rice cooker, cook following manufacturer’s directions. If you do not, combine rice and water in a medium, non-stick saucepan.
  3. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook covered for 16 to 18 minutes or until water has been completely absorbed.
  4. Remove from heat and gently fluff rice with wooden spoon.
  5. Place clean kitchen towel over pot, top with lid, and let stand covered for 10 minutes.
  6. In a medium bowl, combine albacore tuna, mayonnaise, hot sauce, and rice vinegar with fork. Stir in scallions.
  7. Set aside medium bowl of room temperature water and a small bowl of kosher salt. Once sushi rice is cool, lightly moisten hands by dipping in water. Sprinkle both of your palms lightly with salt and rub together. Grab roughly ½ cup of sushi rice and press into a thick oblong shape in one palm of your hand.
  8. Add a teaspoon of tuna filling, pinched together with fingertips, to center of rice and close rice over filling.
  9. Gently shape rice ball into a wide triangular shape, using palms of one hand and fingers of other hand to rotate ball as you go. Avoid compressing rice too hard.
  10. Sprinkle outside of onigiri with black sesame seeds. Wrap each onigiri in a nori sheet and place additional small spoonful of tuna filling on top of each hand roll.

Italian-Style Tuna and Orzo Stuffed Peppers // Photo credit: Portofino Tuna

Italian-Style Tuna and Orzo Stuffed Peppers

Servings: 8 | Prep time: 20 minutes | Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans Portofino Solid Albacore Tuna in Extra Virgin Olive Oil, chunked not drained
  • 8 bell peppers, mixed colors
  • 4 cups cooked orzo pasta
  • 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 cups small diced zucchini
  • 1 cup diced red pepper
  • 1 cup diced orange pepper
  • 1 tsp. dry basil
  • ½ tsp. dry oregano
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
  • ½ cup shredded Italian cheese blend
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Slice peppers in half and clean out center. Place pepper halves in two 13×9” pans with ½ cup water in each.
  3. Heat olive oil in a medium sauté pan and sauté onion and garlic over medium heat until softened. Add zucchini and chopped bell peppers and continue to cook until soft.
  4. Place orzo in large bowl. Mix in zucchini and pepper mixture and combine well.
  5. Add herbs, tomato sauce, and tuna. Mix well.
  6. Divide mixture between pepper halves. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, covered with foil.
  7. Remove foil and top with shredded cheese.

Classic Niçoise Salad // Photo credit: Portofino Tuna

Classic Niçoise Salad

Servings: 8 | Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans Portofino Solid Albacore Tuna in Extra Virgin Olive Oil, drained
  • 1 lb. small red potatoes
  • ½ lb. fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 16 red cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced in ½-inch slices
  • 12 to 16 Kalamata olives
  • 8 small pieces of Boston Bibb lettuce

For dressing:

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp. drained capers
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
  1. Cook potatoes in boiling water for 15 to 20 minutes until just tender. Drain and immediately cool under running water.
  2. Steam green beans in microwave until tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Cool immediately under running cold water or plunge in an ice bath to cool.
  3. Place lettuce on a large platter. Cut potatoes in quarters and place on platter. Add green beans, eggs, tomatoes, and olives.
  4. Chunk tuna and place in center of plate.
  5. Add olive oil to a small bowl. Whisk in vinegar and mustard until thick and creamy. Whisk in capers and oregano. Drizzle dressing over salad and serve.

Mediterranean Tuna Baguette // Photo credit: Portofino Tuna

Mediterranean Tuna Baguette

Servings: 2 | Prep time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans Portofino Solid Yellowfin Tuna in Extra Virgin Olive Oil, drained
  • ¼ cup chopped black olives
  • ¼ cup chopped green olives
  • ¼ cup canned artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. red or yellow peppers, diced small
  • ½ tsp. garlic
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 small baguettes, slice partially in half lengthwise
  • Lettuce (optional)
  • Tomatoes (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a medium bowl, gently mix together tuna, olives, artichoke hearts, peppers, garlic, and lemon juice.
  2. Place baguettes on individual plates.
  3. Line each baguette with lettuce leaves and tomatoes. Top with tuna mixture.

Endive Tuna and White Bean Salad Cups // Photo credit: Portofino Tuna

Endive Tuna and White Bean Salad Cups

Servings: 12 | Prep time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 can Portofino Solid Albacore Tuna in Extra Virgin Olive Oil, not drained
  • 12 pieces endive
  • ½ cup drained and rinsed cannellini beans
  • ¼ tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. chopped green onions
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
  • ¼ cup diced red pepper
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Mix all ingredients except endive together in medium bowl.
  2. Place the endive on a serving platter.
  3. Spoon 2 to 3 tbsp. of the mixture into each piece of endive.

For more meatless recipes for Lent or any time of year, visit portofinotuna.com.

This is a paid partnership between Portofino Tuna and Boston Magazine's City/Studio


7 Magnificent Meat-Free Meals to Make During Lent

If you&rsquore avoiding meat because it&rsquos Lent, or for any other reason, you won&rsquot miss the meat in these seven amazing recipes!

This deliciously decadent, but not all that bad for you, recipe can be made in 30 minutes! Rach calls it a fakeout, because she lightens it up. She starts with charred poblano chile &ldquoboats&rdquo which she fills with refried beans, tortilla chips, pico de gallo and cheese, then bakes. She tops with sour cream, green onion and pickled sliced jalapenos and serves -- so easy and so delicious!

This hearty and belly-warming dish is a meat-free alternative to beef bourguignon. Nothing but meat in lacking in this meal!

These super healthy enchiladas will be a hit with the whole family. Rach stuffs corn tortillas with a kale, black bean and roasted butternut squash filling, plus cheese and a red sauce, for a delicious and nutritious treat!

For this simple but delectable dish, Rach infuses olive oil with crushed garlic and whisks it with lemon juice and zest, and red and black pepper, and tosses with spaghetti and arugula, then garnishes with pistachios, basil and Grana Padano cheese. Yum!

This delicious veggie stew features an amazing ingredient &ndash Rach&rsquos secret weapon, garlic bread breadcrumbs! Yum!

This decadent dish is actually quite good for you! Anne Burrell starts with whole wheat pasta, which she tosses with broccoli rabe, butternut squash and Parmigiano Reggiano, in a garlic and red pepper sauce, and tops with toasted pepitas. Yum!

If you&rsquore craving a meat-free burger, try making this delicious falafel burger that Rach dreamed up!

What&rsquos your favorite meat-free meal? Share below, and check out how easy it is to make Rach&rsquos Chile Relleno fake out below!