The 15 Best Vegetarian Dishes From Around the World

Tired of veggie burgers? | © Einladung_zum_Essen/ Pixabay
Tired of veggie burgers? | © Einladung_zum_Essen/ Pixabay
Photo of Taylor Geiger
Freelance Travel Writer27 September 2017

No matter where you call home or where your travels take you, the world is full of delicious dishes which do not contain meat! Even if you are not a vegetarian, were sure you’ll enjoy these tasty vegetarian friendly dishes from every corner of the globe!

Indonesia: Gado-Gado

In Indonesian, gado-gado translates to mix-mix. Gado-gado feautures a colorful mix of vegetables, including potatoes, long beans, bean sprouts, spinach, corn, and cabbage. Tofu, tempeh, and hard boiled eggs are also added and then everything is mixed with a peanut sauce. You can order gado-gado from Jakarta to East Java, and most regions have their own take on this incredibly popular dish.

A delicious gado-gado salad in Jakarta |  © LordMountbatten/WikiMediaCommons

Spain: Tortilla español

Tortilla español is one of the most famous and most beloved dishes in all of Spain. It is quite common to enjoy a small slice with red wine as a tapa in the afternoon. Three simple ingredients comprise the basic recipe; potatoes, eggs, and onions. Sometimes tomatoes or peppers are mixed in too. Great chefs can use a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper to season the tortilla and they also know how to cook it at the exact temperature for a precise amount of time to result in a fluffy and perfect dish!

Spanish tortillas are simple yet tasty |  © Fotoasturias/WikiMediaCommons

China: Veggie Spring Rolls

In China, spring rolls can be fried or not fried, and can contain a wide variety of fillings. Vegetarians can enjoy all sorts of veggie spring rolls, packed with veggies such as cabbage, carrots, lettuce, cucumbers, and bean sprouts. The possible filling combinations are endless and when you add a nice dipping sauce, this Chinese dish packs even more flavor!

Veggie spring rolls are so full of flavor |  © MarcoVerch/WikiMediaCommons

Egypt: Kushari

Kushari is the national dish of Egypt, and you can find it virtually everywhere. Kushari involves an unusual combination of macaroni noodles, rice, and lentils topped with a spicy tomato sauce. Usually garbanzo beans and fried onions are also added as toppings. In Egypt, you can order and eat kushari on the street but it is also incredibly easy to make at home.

Egyptian kushari involves a strange combination of ingredients which taste unexpectedly great when combined | © Basma/WikiMediaCommons

South Africa: Pampoenkoekies

South African pumpkin fritters are lightly fried and served as breakfast, a side dish, or a dessert (drizzled with caramel sauce!). Recipes can vary between savory and sweet combinations, depending if spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and toppings such as syrup or caramel are added. This delicious dish is perfect for cool fall days.

#Pampoenkoekies with ice cream… #tashasbrooklyn #sodelicious

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Portugal: Caldo Verde

Admittedly, Portuguese cuisine is not very vegetarian friendly, but in the north of Portugal, caldo verde soup is just perfect to eat on a cold winter evening. This warm soup is made from Portuguese cabbage, potatoes, onions, and olive oil (sometimes with tomatoes). Some variations do include meat for flavor, so make sure to ask if you order this at a restaurant. Caldo verde was traditionally cooked in a metal pot over an open fire and served in a clay bowl. Together with a slice of freshly baked bread, this soup will easily fill you up for hours.

Warm and filling caldo verde | © MateusHidalgo/WikiMediaCommons

Japan: Edamame

Today, edamame is a well known dish shared as an appetizer around the world. We all need to give thanks to the Japanese for coming up with this amazing combination of steamed young soybeans topped with sea salt.

Edamame and sushi; two fabulous Japanese dishes | © maximuspinche/WikiMediaCommons

Mexico: Frijoles negros

Black beans occupy a prominent place in Mexican cuisine. They are frequently served as a side dish, or as a filling in tacos or burritos. But possibly the best way to enjoy black beans is in a spicy stew, preferably topped with thin slices of avocado and pieces of cilantro.

Mexican black bean soup is one of the best ways to enjoy black beans | © Badagnani/WikiMediaCommons

Israel: Shakshouka

Israel offers so many amazing vegetarian dishes, but shakshouka is somewhere near the top of the list. Shakshouka is poached eggs served with a delicious sauce made from tomatoes, chili peppers, onions, and cumin. Shakshouka is often served at breakfast, but fortunately is also common at dinner, meaning you can enjoy it at any time of the day.

Shakshouka is perfect for any time of the day | © DavidBerkowitz/Flickr

Peru: Papa a la Huancaina

Peru is blessed with more than 4,000 different types of potatoes, so dishes featuring potatoes are abundant. Papa a la Huancaina consists of boiled yellow potatoes served atop lettuce leaves with corn, olives, and boiled eggs. A creamy and slightly spicy cheese sauce completes the dish.

Peruvian Papa a la Huancaina | © AgainErick/WikiMediaCommons

Greece: Spanakopita

Spinach pie is a popular savoury pastry in Greece which can be served as an afternoon snack or even for dinner. Typical ingredients include spinach, feta cheese, onions, eggs, and seasonings. The phyllo dough holds the pie together and makes the entire mixture melt in your mouth.

Spanakopita is extremely popular in Greece | © Alpha/WikiMediaCommons

Vietnam: Mi Quang

Mi quang is a tasty noodle based dish, seasoned with tumeric, which also includes typical Vietnamese fresh veggies such as water mint, basil, coriander, sliced banana flower, and lettuce. There are many variations of mi quang, and some do include pork, chicken, beef, shrimp, or fish. However a vegetarian option is almost always on the menu.

This mi quang incorporates fish and shrimp, but completely vegetarian options are also abundent in Vietnam! | © RonDollete/Flickr

Italy: Trofie pasta with pesto

Trofie pasta is short, thin, and twisted noodles from Liguria in the north of Italy. It is most typically topped with freshly made pesto sauce and enjoyed with red wine.

Trofie pasta pairs well with freshly made pesto | © phoebe/WikiMediaCommons

Morocco: Tabouleh

Tabouleh is common throughout several countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa. In Morocco, this popular dish usually involves a blend of bulgar, parsley, mint, spring onions, and tomatoes, often topped with lemon juice and hummus. It is the perfect accompaniment to fried falafel

Tabouleh is colorful and nutritious | © Miansari66/WikiMediaCommons

India: Dal Tadka

Dal is a primary staple in Indian cuisine, so you will find that different regions offer different spins on this national dish. All dals involve lentils, which are seasoned with all sorts of lovely spices, such as tumeric, masala, and coriander. Veggies are often added in for flavor, often including onions, chillies, and tomatoes. Dal is almost always served with rice and rotis. Try drinking a mango lassi to accompany your dal in almost any restaurant in Mumbai.

A small portion of dal, roti, and veggies | © Devika/WikiMediaCommons

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