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18 Ways To Eat Less Meat Without Even Trying

Calm down, I just said "less."

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1. Make a little bit of bacon go a long way by cooking it, leaving the fat in the pan, and using it to cook the other ingredients.

You need some kind of fat to roast or sauté vegetables, anyway. This soup has just one and a half strips of bacon per serving, but it'll taste like a lot more.

Recipe: Roasted Tomato Bacon Soup


3. Instead of chicken salad — which often just tastes like mayo — try a vegetarian sandwich filling with lots more flavor.

The chickpeas and sunflower seeds have slightly different textures, making the sandwich feel heartier. Vegan mayo and dijon mustard add creaminess, while minced onion provide a refreshing crunch.

Recipe: Chickpea Sunflower Sandwich

5. If you're making a meatless dish, use vegetables with lots of different textures.

Some people say it just doesn't feel like a ~meal~ without the meat. Distract those people with crunchy onion, soft sweet potato, tender broccoli, and layers of corn tortillas. Oh, and a blanket of gooey cheese.

Recipe: Stacked Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas

6. Add chopped mushrooms to meat-based pasta sauces.

Mushrooms have a similar texture, and they'll soak up whatever flavors they're being cooked with. The recipe below calls for a cup of sliced mushrooms, but you could add even more.

Recipe: Hearty Beef Bolognese Sauce.


12. If you're worried that less meat will mean not getting enough protein, get up to speed on vegetarian protein sources.

14. Use portobello mushrooms instead of meat in tacos or sandwiches a couple times a week.

Andrew Purcell /

When you cook portobello mushrooms properly, they're hearty and taste really substantial. In something like a taco or a sandwich, where there's a lot else going on, they can be just as tasty as beef or pork.

Recipe: Portobello and Zucchini Tacos


15. You might even try making a portobello burger.

There's really no substitute for an honest-to-goodness beef burger. But, if you like mushrooms and you want to switch things up every once in a while, these burgers are much more meat-like than any of the veggie burgers you'll find in the freezer section.

Recipe: Chunky Portobello Veggie Burgers