Use Real Milk in These 7 Plant-Based Dinners

Plant-based recipes include vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, seeds, and other foods that are made from plants or are plants. They also include meat, eggs, dairy, honey, and other foods that are made by or with animals.  

When choosing a plant-based meal, including dairy products like milk or cheese brings flavors and textures that enhance mealtimes. These 7 dinners use dairy AND plant-based ingredients for tasty meals guests will be surprised to know are considered plant-based eating. 

The One-Pot Creamy Veggie Pasta might be the closest recipe to what you may think of as a plant-based option. Heavy whipping cream, milk, butter, and parmesan go with cherry tomatoes, red kale, and mushrooms over linguine pasta. Though grilled chicken can be added, the recipe has enough flavor on its own. 

Pasta dishes are an easy way to serve plant-based meals using dairy. The Skillet Butternut Squash Lasagna has pasta staples like butter, mozzarella, ricotta and parmesan cheeses, olive oil, pesto and marinara sauces served with lasagna noodles. It even includes traditional seasonings and spinach. The most surprising ingredient in this plant-based option is butternut squash! 

This Creamy Spinach Risotto with Roasted Tomatoes allows for experimentation. The recipe calls for heavy whipping cream and parmesan to be added to vegetable stock, arborio, and vegetables like roasted tomatoes, garlic, spinach, and shallots. It leaves room for other vegetables like asparagus or mushrooms to be added to the meal. And with such a variety, topping with shrimp, scallops or lobster creates an amazingly decadent meal that—yes—is still plant-based.  

These Ricotta Zucchini Fritters are a light meal. Ricotta and zucchini batter gets additional flavor from chives, lemon zest, and garlic before being cooked and topped with a Greek yogurt sauce made with feta, lemon juice, mayonnaise, and parsley. 

The One-Pot Creamy Orzo with Mushrooms uses chopped Swiss chard or baby spinach with parmesan, milk, shallots, mushrooms, and orzo. The recipe suggests adding sauteed shrimp or grilled chicken.  

And plant-based does not have to be heavy on the vegetables. Another option with mushrooms is the Creamy Polenta with Wild Mushrooms. This creamy, cheesy polenta topped with a wild mushroom ragù combines parmesan and Asiago cheeses with beef stock and seasonings for a quick meal to throw together.  

Pizza can even be considered plant-based depending on the toppings. The Mushroom and Arugula Flatbread is a tasty option the entire family can enjoy. Mushrooms, arugula, and mozzarella are baked on a thin pizza dough. It’s as easy as that! Adding a few additional toppings to your favorite slice can be part of a plant-based eating experience. 

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