6 Recipes to Help You Survive Meatless Lenten Fridays

When it comes to religious dietary restrictions, we Catholics actually have it pretty easy.


We’re not required to eat only kosher food or to fast from sunrise till sunset for a month each year. Nope, instead, we’re encouraged to abstain from meat and/or to have just one big meal during all Fridays of Lent.


Fasting and/or abstinence is always a personal choice, and ideally, one should also refrain from far more sinful behavior such as gossip, slander, or I dunno, willfully spreading fake news while doing it. Also, some of us abide by this recommended restriction as a way to atone for past sins and/or to show faithfulness to our beliefs.


However, meal planning can be quite tricky during the Lenten season, particularly if you’re doing your own grocery shopping and cooking, and if your kids don’t really like veggies. Fortunately, there are quite a few dishes that will make you and your family forget all about meat, at least for all six Fridays of Lent, anyhow. Take a look at these recipes:


1. Grilled Cheese Sandwich.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Image Credit: Pixabay


Who doesn’t love a good grilled cheese? Practically effortless to prepare, deliciously comforting, and undeniably meat-free, such sandwiches are always a crowd pleaser.


Ingredients (Makes One Sandwich):

  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise or mustard
  • 2 slices of white bread
  • 1-2 slices of your favorite cheese
  • A pat of butter


  1. Preheat a small frying pan over medium-low heat.
  2. Spread the mayonnaise or mustard over both slices of bread.
  3. Place your cheese slice/s on the mayonnaise or mustard-side of one bread slice. Top with the other slice of bread, mayonnaise or mustard-side down.
  4. Melt butter in the preheated frying pan.
  5. Place the cheese sandwich on the pan and fry on both sides for about two mins. each. You can use a plate to flatten the sandwich on the pan for extra crunch.
  6. Once the cheese melts, remove from the heat and slice into triangles. Serve immediately.

2. Tuna Tacos.

Tuna Tacos

Image Credit: Pixabay


Canned tuna flakes make this especially easy to whip up for busy days, working lunches, or even just for those evenings where you don’t feel like slaving over a hot oven. Because it’s also a zesty alternative to the usual beef tacos, you might end up putting this on the menu rotation long after Lent.


Ingredients (Makes Four Tacos):

  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • 1 teaspoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 8-oz. or 226-g. can of tuna chunks or flakes, drained
  • 4 taco shells


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, cream, and lemon juice. Stir together the onions and cilantro, and then set aside along with the dressing.
  2. Heat oil in a pan, and then sauté the tuna until it is heated through. Remove from heat.
  3. In each taco shell, place a tablespoon of the tuna flakes, and then top with the prepared dressing and garnish from step 1. Serve immediately.

3. Slow Cooker Mushroom Spinach Lasagna.

Slow Cooker Mushroom Spinach Lasagna

Image Credit: About a Mom


Mushrooms are a great alternative to meat due to their texture and protein content. Here, they add extra heft to an already hearty and filling dish, which is prepared in a slow cooker that does most of the work for you.


Ingredients (Serves 6):

  • Vegetable Oil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 8-oz package fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 6-oz package baby spinach leaves
  • 1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • ½ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 8-oz container ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 lasagna noodles, uncooked
  • 1-½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided


  1. Rub vegetable oil all over the inside of a 4-quart slow cooker. This will prevent the lasagna from sticking.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Toss in mushrooms and cook for three minutes. Add spinach and cook for three minutes more, until the spinach is wilted and mushrooms are tender. Stir in canned tomatoes with their juice, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, and salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat, simmering for three minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. In a small bowl, combine ricotta cheese, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, and pepper. Set aside.
  4. Spread ¾ cup of the tomato sauce on the bottom of the slow cooker. Layer three lasagna noodles over it. (You may break the noodles to fit, if needed.) Top with another ¾ cup of the sauce, the ricotta cheese mixture, and 1 cup of the Italian cheese.
  5. Add the other lasagna noodles, breaking as needed to create a layer, and repeat, using up all the remaining sauce.
  6. Cover and then cook on LOW for five hours until noodles are tender.
  7. To serve, sprinkle with remaining cheese and then cover for five mins. or until cheese melts.

4. Baked Eggplant Parmesan.

Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Image Credit: martha stewart


These lightly-breaded and baked eggplant slices are a lower-calorie version of the traditional fried parmigiana dish. This recipe makes either an excellent starter or a light supper.


Ingredients (Serves 4):

  • Vegetable oil
  • One-third cup breadcrumbs tossed with a teaspoon of Italian seasoning
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large eggplant, peeled if desired
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 8-oz can tomato sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Rub vegetable oil over baking sheet using a paper towel. Set aside.
  3. Combine breadcrumbs and cheese in a flat dish. Set aside.
  4. Cut eggplant into a dozen ½-inch thick slices. Dip each slice in beaten egg and roll in the breadcrumb mixture. Place on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until tender, turning once. Top with mozzarella cheese while still warm.
  5. Combine the tomatoes and sauce in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for ten mins. until sauce has slightly thickened.
  6. To serve, spoon tomato mixture evenly into four shallow bowls and place three eggplant slices over it.

5. Crispy Breaded Tilapia.

Crispy Breaded Tilapia

Image Credit: Scott Phillips


Think of this as an upscale version of fish fingers and ketchup. It calls for Italian breadcrumbs, but feel free to substitute Japanese panko ones instead.


Ingredients (Serves 4):

  • One-third cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs mixed with a teaspoon of Italian seasoning
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 8-oz can tomato sauce
  • 4 tilapia fillets
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Combine cheese and breadcrumbs in a shallow dish. Set aside. Do the same for the beaten egg.
  2. Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, and then sauté the chopped onion until tender and transparent, about two minutes. Add the canned tomatoes and sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and then simmer for ten minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened. Remove from heat.
  3. Pat fillets dry and season with salt and pepper. Dip each one in the beaten egg and then in the breadcrumb mixture. Lay out on a plate.
  4. Heat the remaining two tablespoons of oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Cook two to three minutes on each side or until the coating turns brown and crunchy.
  5. Ladle the sauce over each fillet and serve.

6. Asian Lettuce Wraps.

Asian Lettuce Wraps

Image Credit: allrecipes


With the addition of sweet and sour sauce and soy sauce, even veggie-hating kids won’t be able to resist this crunchy, tangy combination of lettuce and tuna.


Ingredients (Serves 4):

  • 2 5-oz cans tuna chunks or flakes, drained
  • ½ cup matchstick-cut carrots
  • ¼ cup radish quarters
  • ¼ cup sliced green onions
  • ¼ cup sweet and sour sauce (available at Asian groceries)
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 8 leaves green lettuce, rinsed


  1. In a bowl, mix tuna chunks with all the ingredients except for the lettuce.
  2. To serve, wrap each leaf around ¼ cup of the tuna mixture.

Laying off the meat doesn’t have to make a meal any less satisfying, and the discipline that comes with maintaining this kind of abstinence can only be good for building one’s character.


If nothing else, it’s certainly another reason to look forward to Easter, no?

Serena Estrella

Serena joined Remit back in 2016, and has tormented its Marketing Head constantly ever since. To get through the rigors of writing about grave concerns like exchange rates, citizenship requirements, and PH-AU news, she likes to blast Mozart, Vivaldi, ONE OK ROCK, and Shigeru Umebayashi in the background. She does a mean Merida voice in her spare time too.


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