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30 Healthy Lent-Friendly Recipes for Weight Loss

Fasting from meat on Fridays during Lent has never been easier!
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In the Catholic faith, the six weeks or 40 days leading up to Easter Sunday are considered the Lent season. During this time of solemn observance, it's customary for Catholics to voluntarily give up at least one usual creature comfort to reflect on the sacrifices of Jesus Christ, and this includes some days of fasting from red meat and poultry. Traditionally during this time, Catholics who observe Lent abstain from eating meat red meat or poultry on the first day of the season, Ash Wednesday, and every Friday thereafter through the Friday before Easter, aka Good Friday. Although this means that land animals are not eaten at all, those who observe Lent are still able to consume protein via fish and other seafood. But if you're currently on your own weight loss journey, which Lent-friendly dishes should you eat without risking falling off course?

If you're choosing to fast in observance of your faith, but are used to eating meat on a regular basis, you may be at a loss for what to cook this month. Cutting this food group out of your diet and following a pescatarian diet even temporarily might seem especially challenging, especially if you're in pursuit of healthy proteins that can help keep you on track with your weight loss goals.

To help you stay healthy and not get tired of the same old food every day, we've rounded up 30 meatless, Lent-friendly recipes for Fridays that are nutrient-filled, helpful for weight loss, and delicious. In fact, they are so yummy, you won't even feel like you're fasting!

21 Easter Dessert Recipes Ready in 20 Minutes (Or Less!)

Instant Pot Shrimp & Broccoli

shrimp and broccoli with cauliflower rice sprinkled with sesame seeds green onions and sriracha
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

For those who own an Instant Pot, this shrimp and broccoli recipe is quick, delicious, and healthy. You can make it with regular rice or cauliflower rice, but either way you'll get a nutrient boost that suits both your weight loss goals and Lent observance.

Get our recipe for Shrimp and Broccoli.

Grilled Vegetable Wrap With Balsamic Mayo

Healthy grilled vegetable wrap
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

If you're looking for a quick lunch to take on the go, this grilled vegetable wrap with balsamic mayonnaise is the perfect Lent-friendly choice. It's so flavorful that you won't even miss the meat!

Get our recipe for Grilled Veggie Wrap.

Scrambled Eggs with Salmon, Asparagus, and Goat Cheese

Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Salmon
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Start off a Lenten Friday morning with these scrambled eggs that don't lack any flavor thanks to the additions of asparagus and creamy goat cheese. You won't even miss the bacon!

Get our recipe for Scrambled Eggs With Salmon, Asparagus, and Goat Cheese.

Cinnamon Roll Overnight Oats

overnight cinnamon roll oats in open glass mason jar with blueberries on wooden tabletop with spoon
Jason Donnelly

If mornings are usually filled with savory foods, take one Friday breakfast to explore some sweet options with overnight oat recipes like this that can also easily be taken on the road to school or work.

Get our recipe for Cinnamon Roll Overnight Oats.

Vegetarian Black Bean Omelet

Black bean omelet
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Another breakfast staple without any meat, this omelet is still hearty and filling—perfect for a full day of work or school before the weekend.

Get our recipe for Vegetarian Black Bean Omelet.

Greek Yogurt With Pineapple, Kiwi, Mango, & Ginger Syrup

Gluten-free yogurt with pineapple kiwi mango and ginger syrup
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Treat yourself after a long week and a day of fasting from meat with this sweet and flavorful dessert. The extra protein in the Greek yogurt, as well as the lower sugar content, make this breakfast perfect for your weight loss goals as well.

Get our recipe for Greek Yogurt With Pineapple, Kiwi, Mango, & Ginger Syrup.

Grilled Swordfish With Caponata

Paleo grilled swordfish with caponata
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

If you're a fan of swordfish, you'll love this Sicilian-inspired recipe for a Lenten Friday. Made with eggplant, onion, garlic, red wine vinegar, capers, and tomatoes, this swordfish meal is healthy, flavorful, and only 360 calories.

Get our recipe for Grilled Swordfish With Caponata

Mac and Cheese

Healthy mac and cheese
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

There's nothing better than a classic bowl of macaroni and cheese. This dish is perfect for lunch or dinner and can be customized with additions like veggies, avocado, and more. No meat necessary, and only 360 calories!

Get our recipe for Mac and Cheese.

Buttery Red Pepper Fettuccine Alfredo

Healthy red pepper alfredo
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

You won't even miss the lack of meat in this pasta, as it's filling and full of flavor exactly as it comes. Variations of pasta with cream sauce work well as Lent-friendly recipes because they are delicious and satiating, but don't require meat.

Get our recipe for Buttery Red Pepper Fettuccine Alfredo.

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Vegetarian artichoke dip
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This appetizer is a meatless favorite that is hassle-free, as all you have to do is add everything to your pan and cook together. If you need a dip that will delight everyone, even on a Friday before a Fish Fry, this is one to try.

Get our recipe for Spinach Artichoke Dip.

Butternut Squash Ravioli With Sage Brown Butter

Butternut Squash Ravioli

Pasta is a great meal to have on Fridays during Lent because of its versatility. Make a large batch of this vegetarian ravioli so you can have some leftovers for the rest of the weekend.

Get our recipe for Butternut Squash Ravioli With Sage Brown Butter.

Sheet-Pan Vegan Sausage and Vegetables

vegan sausage sheet pan
Carlene Thomas/Eat This, Not That!

Switch out regular sausage for the vegan alternative for this sheet pan dinner! Perfect for picky kids (or adults) and anyone who may miss the meat during the Lent season.

Get our recipe for Sheet-Pan Vegan Sausage and Vegetables.

Tuna Burger With Wasabi Mayo

Asian tuna burgers with wasabi mayo
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Indulge in this fish on a Friday by grilling up the patties and serving with a warm toasted bun. For other Lent-friendly recipes to make, grill up any kind of fish burger you want (salmon burger) and serve on a bun or on a bed of lettuce.

Get our recipe for Tuna Burger With Wasabi Mayo.

Spicy Tuna and Avocado Fish Taco

Paleo seared tuna tacos
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Tuna is a great meat alternative, and these tacos won't disappoint. Pickled onions, lime, and chipotle pepper add tangy layers with a kick.

Get our recipe for Spicy Tuna and Avocado Fish Taco.

Baked Crab Cakes With Mango-Avocado Salsa

Paleo crab cakes
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

If you're not a fish fan, crab is a great option for a Lenten Friday. This Lent recipe is easy and brings out all the crab flavors, especially when paired with mango avocado salsa.

Get our recipe for Baked Crab Cakes With Mango-Avocado Salsa.

Vegetable Fried Rice

Vegetarian fried rice with a fried egg
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Add in as many vegetables as you'd like to this fried rice and you won't even notice that there's no meat! If you'd like, you can even throw in some tofu for a boost of protein.

Get our recipe for Vegetable Fried Rice.

Classic Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

Vegetarian grilled cheese and tomato soup
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This Lent recipe dish an ultimate warming and meatless comfort food, especially when Lent falls earlier in the year and it's still cold. Also, this particular grilled cheese is way more interesting and unique than an original, with its use of pimento peppers and jalapeños.

Get our recipe for Classic Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup.

Baked Fish and Chips

Tartar sauce with fish sticks and lemon wedges on a plate
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Don't feel like dealing with the mess from frying fish? Bake some fish sticks for an easier dinner instead! Or, make your own baked fish and chips at home for another Lent-friendly recipe. For added flavor, serve with homemade tartar sauce.

Get our recipe for Baked Fish and Chips.

Butternut Squash Soup

Healthy butternut squash soup
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Instead of a chicken noodle soup, prepare this butternut squash option that pairs well with a meatless salad and bread. This one is also great because you can enjoy a creamy, comforting soup for only 150 calories per serving.

Get our recipe for Butternut Squash Soup.

Southern-Style Shrimp and Grits

Low-calorie shrimp and grits
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Spice up a Lenten Friday meal with this seafood favorite. Just make sure to skip the turkey kielbasa to keep this a meatless Lent recipe. If you want, you can opt for plant-based sausage instead.

Get our recipe for Southern-Style Shrimp and Grits.

Grilled Mahi-Mahi With Salsa Verde

Grilled mahi mahi with salsa verde
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Mahi-Mahi is another great option if you want to use the grill that takes less than 10 minutes to cook. Serve this Lent-friendly recipe with an Italian-inspired salsa verde. Enjoy everything for under 300 calories.

Get our recipe for Grilled Mahi-Mahi With Salsa Verde.

Butter-Baked Salmon and Asparagus

keto butter baked salmon with asparagus on the side horizontal
Waterbury Publications, Inc.

Salmon's versatility is hard to mess up, and this recipe is perfect for a Friday—especially if you happen to be following the keto diet.

Get our recipe for Butter-Baked Salmon and Asparagus.

Arugula and Grapefruit Salad With Dill Ranch Dressing

keto arugula grapefruit salad
Waterbury Publications, Inc.

Don't forget to go meatless with the sides on Fridays during Lent! This salad recipe has you covered and is insanely fresh. This recipe doesn't call for bacon, so you can simply skip the bacon crumbles and add this to your list of Lent recipes to make on Fridays this spring.

Get our recipe for Arugula and Grapefruit Salad With Dill Ranch Dressing.

Green Bean Casserole

Vegetarian green bean casserole
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

While this side is normally featured during Thanksgiving alongside turkey, it is perfect for Lent because it is filling without incorporating any meat at all.

Get our recipe for Green Bean Casserole.

Avocado-Crab Salad

Healthy avocado-crab salad
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Adding seafood to a salad has never been easier and more delicious than with this avocado crab salad! This one packs in spicy, creamy, and fresh flavors, for only 355 calories.

Get our recipe for Avocado-Crab Salad.

Blackened Fish Sandwich With Avocado and Cabbage

Paleo blackened fish sandwich
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Our fish sandwich replaces ground beef with fresh tilapia fillets, frying with blackening, and tartar sauce with creamy avocado and crunchy cabbage.

Get our recipe for Blackened Fish Sandwich With Avocado and Cabbage.

Mushroom Cheesesteak

Healthy portobello cheesesteak
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Seafood is definitely an option instead of meat for Lent-friendly recipes, but so are mushrooms! Thanks to their texture, these fungi can easily take the place of beef in some of the most classic sandwich recipes.

Get our recipe for Mushroom Cheesesteak.

Caprese Sandwich

Caprese sandwich
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Instead of swapping pepperoni pizza for cheese on a Lenten Friday, go with this sandwich that still has melty mozzarella and juicy tomato, plus basil and balsamic vinegar.

Get our recipe for Caprese Sandwich.

Crock-Pot Vegetarian Chili

Crock pot vegetarian chili recipe with cheese and cornbread for the table
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Set this chili to cook on a Thursday and heat up on Friday! Or, simply cook it in the Crock-Pot while you're at work for a delicious meatless dinner.

Get our recipe for Crock-Pot Vegetarian Chili.

Crispy Chipotle Shrimp Quesadillas

Chipotle shrimp quesadilla
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This quesadilla is still spicy, cheesy, and crunchy—but without the chicken or beef typically found in them. Don't forget the rice and beans to round out your meal!

Get our recipe for Crispy Chipotle Shrimp Quesadillas.

Thankfully, there are plenty of recipes you can still enjoy, even during the Lenten season. Just because you're giving up land meat doesn't mean you have to sacrifice delicious flavors and filling meals. We hope you can find the time to try at least a handful of these Lent-friendly recipes through Easter and beyond.

A previous version of this story was published on February 20, 2020. It has been updated to include additional copy, proofreading revisions, and updated contextual links.

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Samantha Boesch
Samantha was born and raised in Orlando, Florida and now works as a writer in Brooklyn, NY. Read more about Samantha