Hispanic Heritage Month Meatless Monday: 3 Tips to Make Traditional Dishes Vegetarian

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month September 15-October 15 with delicioso Hispanic recipes.

Don’t think you can go vegetarian on Meatless Mondays and still indulge in traditional favorites? ¡Si, se puede!

Checa these tips to cut the meat without losing sabor latino:

3 Tips to Make a Hispanic Diet Vegetarian

  1. Choose Hispanic dishes that are already vegetarian: Many traditional dishes don't feature carne. My favorites include Mexican bean tamales, rice and bean burritos, and mushroom quesadillas, Salvadorean jalepeño or cheese pupusas. Try my recipes for delicious and naturally vegan Colombian patacones which I share in Meatless Monday: Colombian Independence Day Patacones with Hogao Sauce and sabroso Costa Rican potato empanadas which I write about in Meatless Monday: Costa Rican Potato Empanadas.
  2. Add sabor with sauces and toppings: Most of the flavor in your favorite dishes comes from the seasonings, not the carne. Add your go-to salsas to vegetarian staples like potatoes and rice, or over veggies like squash. Most dishes in my casa are served with guacamole, which I describe in Labor Day Meatless Monday: Fresh Guacamole Recipe, and tomato salsa, which I write about in Meatless Monday: My Suegra’s Homemade Summer Salsa. I recommend using Argentine chimichurri on grilled eggplant in Meatless Monday: Argentine Chimichurri Recipe.
  3. Substitute veggies for meat: Skipping meat doesn't mean giving up  your favorite recipes, you just need to adapt them. I fill my fajitas with eggplant and peppers, which I write about in Meatless Monday: Cinco de Mayo Eggplant and Mushroom Fajitas Recipe, and stuff my tacos with sweet potatoes as I share in Meatless Monday: Sweet Potato Tacos Recipe.


Food is a key component of culture--familiar tastes and smells evoke memories of home and familia. Food is also a tool to help you stay healthy. Choose nutrient-rich comida like fruits and vegetables to keep your body strong, and reduce meat intake to lower your risk of diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and some cancers.

Cut back on the carne without missing out on traditional tastes and eat vegetarian Latin American dishes all month long!

¿Need Meatless Monday inspiration? Click here to read more of my recipes.

The Wise Latina Club's Natalie Wagner FierroA teacher by day, The Wise Latina Club’s Natalie Wagner Fierro is the co-founder of the Institute for Student Health. She equally loves food (cooking or dining in Washington’s restaurants) and burning calories by distance running, practicing yoga, and archery. Click here to read more about and connect with Natalie.

Edited by: Viviana Hurtado, Ph.D.

What is your favorite meatless Latin American recipe?