Chinese cuisine is amongst the most varied in the world.
Covering tons of different flavors and palates, and incorporating thousands of different ingredients, it might just be one of the most wide-spanning out there.
With pretty much every taste catered to in some way when it comes to Chinese and Chinese-inspired food, from every kind of meat or fish under the sun to dairy or gluten-intolerant people being catered to, there are dishes for everyone to enjoy here.
So, finding your favorite vegetarian dish should be a breeze when it comes to Chinese recipes!
If you’re looking for a good vegetarian dish that leaves meats and fish at the door, you need to check out our list of the best Chinese recipes for you!
Starting this list with a staple ingredient in any vegetarian’s diet, Chinese food or otherwise, we have a great broccoli dish for you to try at home.
Using only six ingredients in total, this recipe can be pulled together from just a few items in your pantry. So, not only is it vegetarian, it tastes great, and can be made when there are very few ingredients left in your fridge or cupboards.
Plus, this recipe can even be made vegan or keto-friendly with a few minor changes, so there’s no excuse to not give this recipe a whirl!
Mushrooms and tofu are a staple of many recipes and cuisines across East Asia, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that we would cover at least one Chinese recipe with these two ingredients!
Mushrooms provide plenty of good nutrients to this dish along with their distinct earthy taste and fleshy texture, helping give you a recipe that is both great to taste and eat, but also healthy for you as well!
The tofu also provides plenty of good nutrients to the dish, while also absorbing the flavors of the sauces that you’ll be adding to the dish.
So, you get plenty of goodness that is good for your body as it is for your belly and taste buds!
One of the things that often puts people off making Chinese recipes is the seemingly endless amount of preparation that is needed to make them.
However, as you’ll see with this dish, that is a pretty big misconception!
This recipe can be made from very few ingredients and can be made in less than 20 minutes. It almost makes for a fun game, seeing how quickly you can make this noodle dish for yourself!
And, of course, it is vegetarian-friendly!
Cucumber salad is a simple dish that can be made with a variety of different ingredients, usually in very little time, making it popular in restaurants and home kitchens alike.
While cucumber is infamous amongst some people for having little to no flavor, this recipe shows exactly what this appetizer salad food can do when you through in a few sauces and garlic into a bowl!
Chow mein is one of the most popular dishes that you’ll find in Chinese cuisine, with dozens of different varieties having different meat or fish as the main attraction.
This particular chow mein dish does the same, only with vegetables as the main attraction!
Filled with mushrooms and fresh veggies, this dish can take as little as 15 minutes to make, and is just as good as many takeout chow mein that you will have tried!
General Tso chicken is an absolute classic of many Chinese restaurants and is a favorite amongst many other lovers of Chinese food.
It’s just a shame that there isn’t a vegetarian equivalent that you can make.
Or is there?
This version of the North American/Chinese dish contains tofu instead of chicken, so you have plenty of flavors, without any of the meat that you normally find!
People are often surprised that traditional Chinese recipes have tofu, often attributing it to other cuisines like Japanese or Vietnamese.
However, one bite of this particular dish, and you’ll feel silly for not considering this flavor combo of two Chinese ingredient staples before!
Along with chow mein, fried rice might be one of the most popular dishes that you’ll find in Chinese restaurants, takeouts, and home cooking manuals.
What can we say? It’s got wide appeal!
So you’ll want to know how to cook this quality vegetarian version of this dish for yourself!
Hot and sour soup is s stale of any Chinese cuisine table. It’s almost silly to have a Chinese meal without a bowl of this delicious zingy soup!
And because of its widespread popularity, you’ll also find plenty of variants of the classic dish, including this delicious vegetarian version that has, once again, all the flavor, without any of the animal ingredients that you want to avoid in your cooking.
There’s even a vegan version of this dish! What more could you want?
Sesame is a vital ingredient in many Chinese dishes, providing plenty of good nutrients, while also adding its subtle flavor to any mix that it is a part of.
And you pair it with garlic and noodles, you have a recipe that is, quite frankly, more difficult to screw up than it is to not!
These three ingredients, coupled with the vegetables you’ll be adding, will make the perfect noodle dish for any dinner table. Plus, it cooks so quickly, it will almost be as quick to make it as it is to eat it!
Buns are a classic dish to serve in Chinese cuisine, and like we’ve mentioned many times at this point, this has spawned a massive number of regional and alternate versions of it as a result.
So it isn’t a surprise that a vegetable version of this dish is out there. Nor should it be a surprise that they taste simply divine.
Make sure that you leave the bottom of the bun to fry for just a little longer than the rest of the bun, for that extra-crispy bottom!
Is it any real surprise that there would be more than one variety of vegetable fried rice dish out there? Anyone who does probably hasn’t eaten much Chinese food!
Plus, with a 10-minute cooking time (with the right preparation, at least), this is a recipe that will be cooked and on the dinner table in next to no time as well!
13. Lo Mein
Lo mein, while not exactly having the widespread appeal that chow mein and fried rice often have, is arguably THE dish to order when looking for authentic Chinese food in a restaurant or takeout.
So, if you want to be able to cook this iconic meal for yourself, make sure to check out this recipe for yourself!
The best salad dishes are often the ones that are as colorful as they are tasty and full of texture.
This is why this particular chopped salad dish might be one of our all-time favorites.
Make sure to add plenty of edamame beans to the salad as the perfect topper for an amazing side dish (or healthy lunch).
What? Spinach and ricotta in my Chinese dish? It’s more likely than you think!
However, you’ll find that these traditional Chinese dumplings, packed full of creamy cheese and spinach, might just become your favorite Chinese dish to make for yourself!
Just like with fried rice, there are plenty of ways to make a quality chow mein recipe using only the vegetables that you have handy!
Vegetable chow mein is a great way of using up any remaining vegetables that you want to get rid of from your pantry. And fortunately, many of the most popular veggies out there, from peppers, bean sprouts, and, of course, broccoli, will go great in this dish.
Plus, chow mein is always a great way to try and get your kids to eat their greens!
Sichuan is a popular style of preparing Chinese food, hailing from the province of the same name.
Best known for their strong and distinct flavor, these Sichuan green beans are crunchy, spicy, and full of flavor that will make for a nice change of pace from the same old chow mein or fried rice.
Time for a stir-fry recipe on this list!
Seasoned to perfection for the perfect balance of salt and sweetness, this vegetable stir-fry is perfect for getting plenty of healthy greens into you (especially for your kids), while also tasting great!
And, like many of the best recipes on this list, this one takes next to no time to cook. Just make sure that you get a nice fired edge on most of your veggies, and they’re ready to serve!
Coated in a light and tasty peanut butter sauce, and ready to serve on the table in just 20 minutes, these noodles are the perfect way to scratch that itch for Chinese food that you’ve been having!
With a little extra texture from the sesame seeds, you have a phenomenal dish on your hands!
20. Chinese Eggplant
We haven’t covered many eggplant recipes on this list yet, have we?
Well, time to change that with this dish!
This dish is a dense, nutrient-rich recipe to try out if you are looking for good vegetarian food, but aren’t the biggest fan of tofu to help bulk out a meal.
Low on carbs, and high on protein, this is a great keto meal too!
Soft and doughy, like a good scallion bun should be, this is the perfect dish to have either as a side or as a tender soft main meal for just yourself!
This is more a recipe for the sauce than a full meal in itself.
However, this recipe is perfect for getting that classic oyster seafood flavor, without resorting to using actual oysters!
Cabbage salad is always a popular side dish for Chinese meals, whether you’re at home or in a restaurant!
Finally, if you are looking for a great way to enjoy noodles that aren’t the classic egg type, these rice-based alternatives are perfect for stir-fries!
Are any of the Vegetarian Chinese Dishes suitable for a quick and easy lunch?
Looking for easy vegetarian lunch recipes? Vegetarian Chinese dishes offer a range of options for a quick and easy lunch. From stir-fried vegetables to tofu-based dishes, you can enjoy a delicious meat-free meal that is both satisfying and convenient. The vibrant flavors and variety of textures make these dishes a perfect choice for a nutritious and hassle-free lunch option.
Frequently Asked Questions
China is a massive region of Central and East Asia, so it shouldn’t be too surprising that Chinese cuisine likewise covers a massive variety of local cuisines under a single umbrella term.
Add to that a strong Buddhist tradition across many parts of the country, and you have a country that is rich in vegetarian dishes.
However, this massive variety may lead people to ponder which region of china has the most vegetarian restaurants, both out of curiosity, as well as where may be the best place to go potentially to find quality vegetarian food in China.
If you’re looking for a region known for its high number o vegetarian dishes in China, Shanghai is famous for its vast array of both vegetarian and vegan restaurants, with the city itself having over 100 restaurants that cater to vegetarian and vegan tastes and palates.
Many people often wonder what, if any, benefits there are to forgoing all meat and fish-based foods from your diet.
And while the exact benefits will usually vary depending on the person and the type of vegan/vegetarian food you are eating, there are generally quite a few benefits that usually come with going vegetarian, including:
Reduced chance of developing type-2 diabetes.
Lowering blood pressure around the body
Lowers the chance of developing heart disease later in life.
Assists in bone development/growth.
Reduces the risk of developing several different types of cancer (different foods help lower chances for different cancers)
The only real issues that may arise from maintaining a vegetarian diet are a lack of omega fatty acids and some vitamins, such as B-12, both o which can be supplemented in your diet.
So, generally speaking, there are plenty of upsides to going vegan, and very few downsides, if any!
So, as you can see, there are plenty of different flavors, cooking methods, and ingredients that you can use when it comes to making a phenomenal vegetarian Chinese dish for yourself or the family.
The only question you have to answer now is which recipe to start with.