Meatless Friday: Lenten Meal-Planning Linkup

"Meatless Friday Lenten Meal Planing Linkup" by Barb Szyszkiewicz (

Image via Flickr (2010). All rights reserved. Title added in Canva.

Lent is just around the corner, beginning on Ash Wednesday, March 1. That means it’s time to make the meal plan.

Here at, we feature a meatless recipe or two every Friday, all year ’round. You can find all our Meatless Friday featured recipes here. All Catholics (ages 14 and up) are bound to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and all Lenten Fridays as we keep in mind the sacrifice of Christ during his crucifixion.

If you need a refresher course on Lenten fasting and abstinence, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has you covered. They’ve also set up a page of FAQs about Lent that’s very helpful.

Lent is a penitential time, but we need to strike a balance between serving a simple meatless meal and serving a meatless meal our family members will actually eat. There’s nothing penitential about wasted food and bad attitudes. Our friends at CRS Rice Bowl encourage us to prepare simple and inexpensive Friday meals during Lent, and donate the money we save to their efforts to feed the hungry around the world as well as in our local area, as 25% of your contributions will stay in your local diocese!

During Lent, we’ll be sharing this year’s Meatless Friday recipes from CRS Rice Bowl as well as recipes from our own Meatless Friday chefs. But today, we’re asking our readers to chime in with family-friendly ideas for Lenten meals.

Does your family have Friday-dinner traditions during Lent? And what do you serve for lunches?

Share your favorite meatless recipes in our linkup, or comment below to contribute recipes, menu plans and traditions.

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"Meatless Friday Lenten Meal Planing Linkup" by Barb Szyszkiewicz (

Image via Flickr (2010). All rights reserved. Title added in Canva.

Copyright 2017 Barb Szyszkiewicz, OFS


About Author

Barb Szyszkiewicz is a wife, mom of 3 young adults, and a Secular Franciscan. She is editor at Barb enjoys writing, cooking, and reading, and is a music minister at her parish and an avid Notre Dame football and basketball fan. Find her blog at FranciscanMom and her family’s favorite recipes with nutrition information for diabetics at Cook and Count.


  1. Thanks for the resources! Just as an aside, it might be a good reminder to folks that the church also recommends abstaining from meat ALL YEAR on Fridays (not only during Lent) or else actively substituting some other intentional sacrifice instead. I didn’t know this until recently, but since finding out, our family has chosen to go meatless every Friday of the year. I look forward to some new recipes to try out!

    • Thank you!
      Here at we do offer a Meatless Friday recipe every Friday all year long except on solemnities. There are plenty of recipes here for you to try–check the link at the top of the article.

  2. Linguine with Clam Sauce
    1 (10 oz) can whole baby clams, undrained
    2 T light butter
    1 T olive oil
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    1 T flour
    1/2 c dry white wine or cooking wine
    2 T chopped fresh parsley
    1/8 t freshly ground black pepper
    1 (6.5 oz) can minced clams, drained
    4 c hot, cooked linguine (8 oz uncooked)
    *Shrimp if desired

    Drain baby clams in sieve over bowl, reserving juice. Heat butter and oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Stir in flour. Stir in reserved clam juice, wine, parsley, thyme, and pepper. Cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add baby clams and minced clams and cook 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
    * add shrimp and cook until pink, if desired. Serve over pasta. Serves 4.

  3. Our family has a lot of favorite meatless recipes, so much so that we consider some of them (Beer Batter Fish and Onion Ring springs to mind) insufficiently penitential for Lent. One year, every Friday’s dinner in Lent was canned chili beans served over rice, with shredded cheese as a topping for those who wished. It was a surprisingly good idea, and let us get out the door to our parish’s Friday evening Stations of the Cross and mass in good order. But nobody wanted to do it again! ;-D

    Most of our favorite meatless dinners come from the More-with-Less cookbook. My first copy is in tatters, and my second is definitely showing food stains.

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