Friday Meals for Families During Lent

meatless meals families lent

Growing up, when Lent rolled around, Friday dinners were always bean and cheese burrito nights. Now, I’m not complaining! Feeding a family of nine is never an easy task. However, having the same thing every Friday during Lent can also be tough.

Friday Meals for Families During Lent

While still keeping in mind that Fridays without meat are an act of penance, I’ve put together some meal ideas to help keep things fresh and interesting at the kitchen table.

Pizza Night

Instead of ordering in from your favorite pizza place (although I’ll admit that’s my every Friday night go-to), get some mini premade pizza crusts from the store and have a “Make Your Own Pizza” night.

Get the sauce, cheese, veggies of choice and let everyone in the family create their meal!

Bonus: it gives kids ownership over their meal and they are much more likely to clean their plate.

Quinoa Enchilada Casserole

I remember making this for Lent last year and it was such a hit with the kids! Enchilada casserole is always a good meal to make for a family (hello leftovers!). But without meat, it can feel like just a lot of sauce and cheese. That’s where the quinoa comes in!

By itself, quinoa is a bit bland. But mixing it in with this casserole is amazing. Plus, quinoa has a lot of protein, so your meal can still be fairly balanced. Click here for an awesome recipe.

Breakfast for Dinner

I think we’ve all done some variation of breakfast for dinner in a pinch, right? My kids love cereal nights (definitely a by-product of failed meal planning). But let’s turn it up a notch from Frosted Flakes, shall we?

I’m talking about quiche! It is very simple to put together a delicious quiche, especially when you can use the already made pie crust from the store.

Give this recipe a try and maybe add some roasted potatoes as a side dish!

Tuna Salad

I just heard a big “whomp whomp” in the background as I typed that. The fact of the matter is that tuna saves me a lot of heartache (an stomachache) during Lent as I scramble around trying to figure out what to give my kids for protein on meatless days.

I found this delicious recipe that’s a delightful spin of both pasta salad and tuna salad. I would serve this Mediterranean Tuna Pasta Salad with lots of fresh fruit as a side.

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When you hear the word “ramen,” if you’re immediately taken back to your college days, it’s time to rethink everything. Well, maybe not everything.

However, actual ramen is way better than what you zap in the microwave. Within the past year, I’ve added it to our meal rotation because the kids really enjoy it. While I have yet to try a full vegetarian recipe, I plan on trying this one this Lent!


Similar to the “Make Your Own Pizza” idea above, you can do a “Tostada Bar” with your family! My one tip would be to make sure you are buying the vegetarian refried beans. There are so many things to add to your tostadas: avocado, cheese, pico de gallo, purple cabbage, etc.

Now, I have my tostadas with the extra tortillas my Grandma uses after making tacos. Since not everyone has a Grandma Sylvia (love you, Grandma!), this recipe seems simple for achieving the end goal of deliciousness.

Share Your Favorite Meatless Meals for Families During Lent!

I hope these ideas are helpful for you and your family! I’ve been on a bit of a health kick, so if you have any questions about substitutions for certain ingredients, please reach out.

If you have any family favorite Lenten meals, please put them in the comments below (and include a recipe if you can) so that we can really expand this list. I am praying that you all have a fruitful Lent and that you are drawn closer to our Lord during this time of penitence and reflection.

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Susana Starbuck is a regular contributor to the BIS blog. She is wife of a youth minister and mother to four littles five and under. She lives in Phoenix, AZ and enjoys reading a good book, posting her highlight reel on Instagram, and drinking wine. You can connect with her here.

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  • Reply
    March 8, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    Thank you for sharing your ideas! Tonight’s dinner in our house is miso soup, shrimp, and salad. Another idea is risotto and salad.

  • Reply
    March 10, 2019 at 11:10 pm

    My favorite is Eggs in Purgatory (also serves as a good reminder of the season). We also really like a vegetable soup or vegetarian chili in bread bowls.

  • Reply
    Susan Hamann
    March 12, 2019 at 1:12 pm

    Here’s one of our top favorite meatless dishes:

    Shrimp Orzo with Tomatoes, Feta Cheese, and Fresh Basil
    Ingredients: (Serves 2 – I always double or triple the recipe!)
    • cooking spray
    • 1/2 cup uncooked orzo
    • 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
    • 1 cup diced fresh tomato
    • 3/4 cup sliced green onions
    • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (I like to use more)
    • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    • 3/4 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined (I recommend medium sized shrimp – you get more and they are a perfect size for the dish)
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (fresh is important and makes this dish)
    Preheat oven to 450°.
    Lightly spray a glass baking pan w/cooking spray. Cook the pasta in boiling water 5 minutes, drain. Place the pasta in a large bowl. Stir in 1 teaspoon oil and next 7 ingredients. Stir in the shrimp and basil. Place mixture in casserole dish and cover with foil. Bake at 450º for 25 minutes or until shrimp are done. You can take the foil off at any point while it’s cooking if the dish looks watery. Drizzle with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil. Serve! It’s delicious paired with a salad and Italian bread w/a dish of olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette.

  • Reply
    April 5, 2019 at 6:04 pm

    Meatless lasagna, alfredo with a broccoli side, rice casserole using cream of mushroom instead of cream of chicken, and broccoli cheese soup are some alternatives to our default “Grilled Cheese Fridays.”

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