Lent Fridays are coming up and this is a great opportunity to add variety to your family menu! To make this time of year even more special, we’d like to share our collection of favorite Lent recipes. From grandma’s classic stews to modern dishes that the little ones love, these are the yummy recipes that will make the whole family happy. Give them a try and infuse your dishes with the authentic flavors of our traditions.
What is Lent?
Lent refers to the 40-day period that begins with Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Thursday. It’s a celebration that is observed by the Catholic, Coptic, Orthodox, Anglican and some Evangelical churches.
During this time, the Christian faith invites believers to a period of introspection, while they prepare to celebrate Holy Week.
The 40 days of Lent symbolize several biblical references and represent:
- The 40 days that Jesus walked across the desert of Judea
- The 40 days of the Universal Flood
- The 40 days that the Jewish people were enslaved
- The 40 days that Moses retreated to Mount Sinai
- The 40 days that the people of Israel wandered the desert to reach the promised land
- Mary’s quarantine after giving birth to Jesus
Why Do We Change Our Diet During Lent?
During Lent, believers prepare for the holy days and honor the 40 days that Jesus fasted while in the desert. During this time of spirituality, the Church invites its congregation to enter a period of abstinence and repentance. Traditionally, this means avoiding meat during Lent, on Holy Thursday and Holy Friday.
According to Catholic.net, refraining from eating red meat during Lent on Fridays is a tradition that dates back to the beginning of the IV century. During this time, not eating meat was considered a sacrifice and a penitence back then.
15 Recipe Ideas For Lent
To help vary your dishes and avoid red meat during Lent, we’ve put together a list of our favorite recipes for this special time of year. From traditional dishes to modern recipes, we’ve put together a variety of healthy recipes that will make your Fridays the best day of the week. We hope you’ll give these recipes a try!
Chicken tostadas are a classic of Mexican cuisine. If you’re craving a wholesome dinner that’s also easy to make, this recipe could be exactly what you’re looking for. In less than half an hour and in only three steps, you can have a delicious and well-balanced dish to feed the entire family.
- 8 6-inch corn tostadas
- 1 cup of heated refried beans
- 2 cups of boiled or grilled chicken breast (shredded)
- 2 cups of lettuce strips
- ½ cup of pico de gallo
- 2 chopped or thinly sliced avocados
- 1 cup of crumbled Mexican cheese
- ½ cup of sour cream
- Spread the beans over the tostadas
- Cover the beans with chicken
- Add the rest of the ingredients in the order that you prefer
What’s better than a paella to celebrate our Spanish heritage? This delicacy is easy to make and will surely impress even the most demanding of diners.
- 2 chopped garlic cloves
- 1 chopped medium-sized onion
- 2 sliced red peppers
- 1 cup of green beans in small pieces
- 12 medium shrimp
- 6 small octopus
- 6 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 cups of paella rice
- 4 cups of chicken stock
- 1 pinch of saffron
- Fry the first four ingredients in olive oil over medium heat. Once fried, remove them from your pan and set them aside.
- Fry the shrimp and the octopus in the same oil for a few minutes.
- Slowly add the rice and vegetables that you had set aside.
- In a pot, heat the chicken stock with the saffron. Pour it over the rice before it boils.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Cover everything with aluminum foil and let it cook for 20 minutes over low heat.
- Turn the heat off and let the paella rest for 5 minutes while still covered.
- Fluff the rice with a fork and serve the paella while it’s still hot.
Potato patties with quinoa
Lent is a great time to try delicious vegetarian recipes, and this is one of them! You can enjoy these patties as a main dish or as a side dish to any of our other yummy recipes.
- 3 Welsh onion stems
- 3 boiled potatoes
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup of cooked quinoa
- 1 cup of flour
- 1 cup of oil
- ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
- Mash the potatoes with a fork and add the garlic powder
- Add the quinoa, onion, salt and pepper to taste
- Continue to mash until you can make uniform patties and cover them in flour
- Fry the patties in a pan with oil until both sides are golden
Traditional fish ceviche
Warm lent days are perfect to enjoy a fresh fish ceviche. Although it takes a little time because the fish needs to cook in lime, it’s definitely worth it. Give it a try and you’ll see!
- 1 pound of red snapper or bass cut up into ½-inch cubes
- 2 cups of fresh lime juice
- 1 medium chopped onion
- 1 cup of fresh chopped cilantro
- 2 large chopped tomatoes
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 chopped jalapeño chile (optional)
- 1 chopped avocado (optional)
- Marinade the fish in the lime juice for half an hour, using a large glass bowl
- Add the rest of the ingredients, plus salt and pepper to taste
- Let everything marinade in the fridge for 90 minutes or longer
- Serve in glass bowls with crackers or chips
Yams stuffed with tuna and jalapeños
If you like sweet and spicy dishes, you’ll love this one. It’s a healthy recipe that’s also fun and easy to make. Perfect for a light lunch or dinner.
- 4 small yams
- 2 cans of tuna in water
- 2 teaspoons of chopped cilantro
- 1 thinly sliced Welsh onion stem
- Bake the yams in the microwave for 6-8 minutes. Cooking time will vary depending on your microwave
- Mix the tuna with the other ingredients
- Cut the yams lengthwise and stuff each of them with tuna
- Add salt and pepper to tast
Fava bean soup
Does a warm appetizer sound good to you? Try this light, fava bean soup! It’s perfect for Lent and pairs well with any meal.
- 2 tablespoons of frying oil
- ¼ chopped onion
- ½ chopped garlic clove
- 1 pound of clean fava beans, raw
- 1 medium diced tomato
- 1 teaspoon of chopped cilantro
- ¼ tablespoon of powdered chicken stock
- Fry the onion and garlic in a pot with oil, until they become clear
- Add the fava beans and fry them until they’re lightly golden
- Add 6 cups of water, the powdered chicken stock and salt to taste
- Let the fava beans boil over low heat, stirring them every now and then, until they’re fully cooked
- Add the tomato and let it simmer before turning the heat off
- Sprinkle with cilantro
Chiles stuffed with cheese
This traditional Mexican dish may bring back memories. It’s an authentic delicacy that you can prepare as is or with the addition of beans or tuna.
- 6 poblano chiles
- 1 pound of shredded Oaxaca cheese
- 5 beaten eggs
- ¼ cup of flour
- ¼ cup of frying oil
- 2 pounds of tomato
- ½ small onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 3 cups of chicken stock
- To prepare the chiles, you’ll first need to grill them and peel them
- Then, open them and remove the veins and seeds
- Stuff the chiles with cheese and secure them with a wooden toothpick
- Dip the chiles in the beaten eggs and flour, then fry them in hot oil until golden
- Transfer the chiles to paper towels to absorb excess oil
- Using a blender, mix the tomatoes with onion, garlic and chicken stock until you’ve made a tomato sauce
- Fry the sauce for 10 minutes to thicken
- Add salt to taste
- Pour the sauce in a plate to create a base and place the stuffed chile over the sauce
Mint and watermelon salad
Whether you enjoy this salad as an appetizer or a dessert, it’s a popular choice with a special mediterranean touch.
- 2 cups of chopped watermelon
- 1 cup of panela cheese in cubes
- mint leaves
- ¼ cup of chopped black olives
- 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- Mix the watermelon with cheese
- In a separate container, mix the olive oil with balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste
- Add this vinaigrette to the watermelon
- Decorate with mint leaves before serving
Lentil and rice burgers
If you love burgers, this is the perfect recipe to enjoy guilt-free Lent Fridays. They’re completely vegetarian, good for your health and truly delicious.
- ½ cup of cooked lentils with some stock
- ½ cup of cooked rice
- ¼ cup of bread crumbs
- fresh chopped parsley
- olive oil
- In a large bowl, mix the lentils with rice until you’ve created a uniform mixture
- Add salt, pepper and parsley to taste
- Using your hands, shape this mixture into a pattie
- Fry on both sides in a pan with hot oil
- Serve between burger buns with lettuce, sliced tomatoes, sliced onions or any other ingredients that you wish to add
Cantaloupe salad with caramelized goat cheese
If you’re looking for an elegant dish that stands out, this recipe is the ideal way to enjoy your Lent Fridays. You can use it as a side to any main dish, because it’s the perfect companion to any fish or vegetarian dinner.
- 1 cantaloupe in cubes
- 1 cup of arugula lettuce
- 12 slices of goat cheese
- 4 teaspoons of sugar
- ½ cup of almonds
- 3 tablespoons of sesame seeds
- ½ cup of olive oil
- Sprinkle the goat cheese with sugar and heat it in the oven for 5 minutes
- Toast the almonds in a pan over medium heat without burning them
- Place the lettuce in a bowl as the base to your salad
- Place the caramelized cheese and cantaloupe over the lettuce
- Sprinkle with almonds and sesame seeds
- Add a touch of olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste
This simple salad is filled with sweet and fresh flavors. It’s a great appetizer for your main course or a light salad that you can enjoy for lunch.
- 8 pieces of surimi cut up into cubes
- 4 slices of fresh pineapple cut up into cubes
- 1 avocado cut up into cubes
- ½ cup of mayonnaise
- 3 teaspoons of ketchup
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- Mix the first 3 ingredients gently
- Mix the mayonnaise with ketchup and sugar to make a creamy dressing
- Pour the dressing over the rest of the ingredients and serve
Want to give your Lent Fridays an Italian touch? This nutritious recipe is perfect for that, and it’s easy to make to boot!
- 6 tablespoons of olive oil
- 4 tomatoes
- cooked elbow pasta
- chopped celery
- chopped parsley
- ½ cup of shredded parmesan cheese
- Slice the top of the tomatoes and remove the pulp
- Mix the pasta with the rest of the ingredients and add salt and pepper to taste
- Stuff the tomatoes with this mixture and serve room temperature
Vegan mushroom tacos
If you miss tacos during Lent, you must try this vegan alternative. They’re a delicious option that helps you avoid red meat and allows you to vary your menu without sacrificing flavor.
- ½ cup of olive oil
- 3 cups of Swiss chard
- 6 portobello mushrooms in thin slices
- 12 corn tortillas, heated
- 3 avocados
- 1 cup of pickled red onion
- Fry the Swiss chard in a pan with oil for a few seconds
- In a separate pan, fry the mushrooms in olive oil until golden
- Spread avocado over your tortillas
- Place the chard and mushrooms over the avocado
- Add onion, lime juice, salt, and pepper to taste
Roasted beet with goat cheese and mango
This is a delicious recipe that also decorates your table with beautiful colors. It’s an incredible blend of flavors that give your Lent Fridays a gourmet touch.
- 16 small beets, cooked
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
- 1 bar of goat cheese
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- ⅓ cup of chopped nuts
- ½ cup of chopped jicama
- 1 medium mango cut up into cubes
- 1 cup of arugula lettuce
- Mix the beets with oil and vinegar, then add salt and pepper to taste
- In a separate bowl, mix the goat cheese with honey
- Spread the cheese onto a plate and place the beets over the cheese.
- Add nuts, jicama, mango and lettuce
Pasta with avocado sauce
If you love avocado and want to change up the flavors of your pasta, this is a creative recipe that you may enjoy. The ingredients give this pasta a hispanic flavor that can spice up your Lent.
- 12 grilled green chiles
- 10 grilled green tomatoes
- 2 grilled garlic cloves
- 3 green onions
- 2 ripe avocados
- ½ cup of olive oil
- chopped cilantro
- the juice of 2 limes
- 2 pounds of cooked spaghetti
- crumbled fresh cheese
- Blend the first 5 ingredients until you have a creamy sauce, and add salt to taste
- Add the avocado sauce to your cooked spaghetti
- Pair with crumbled fresh cheese
- Decorate with chopped cilantro and pieces of avocado