Meat Free Monday: Mary McCartney’s Favourite Meat-Free Dishes

Mary McCartney shares her favourite meat-free dishes for all occasions to mark the 10th anniversary of the Meat Free Monday movement.

Today is the 10th anniversary of Meat Free Monday – the movement launched by Sir Paul McCartney and his daughters Mary and Stella in 2009 to encourage people to go without meat once a week to help slow climate change, conserve precious natural resources and improve health.

A new campaign – #MFMCountMeIn – launched today to mark the anniverasry, bringing together celebrities, businesses, not-for-profit groups, educational institutions and individual supporters to celebrate what people are doing on the meat free front and inspire even more people to get on board. 

“10 years of Meat Free Monday – I can’t believe it!” says Paul. “It’s a simple idea that people have caught onto. They love it, we love it, the planet loves it, everybody loves it, the animals love it. It’s Meat Free Monday – happy 10 years!”

“I am proud to be a member of the Meat Free Monday global community, where everyone can make a difference,” adds Mary. “It’s a word of mouth movement, so please spread the message – Happy 10th Birthday Meat Free Monday!”

The meat free movement has grown exponentially over the past 10 years, with 21% of UK households having cut down on their meat intake and consumer demand leading to many new plant-based products now being available in shops and restaurants. This is thanks in part to the work of Meat Free Monday, which over the past 10 years has worked with hundreds of schools, universities, restaurants and businesses; appealed at the EU Parliament, published The Meat Free Monday Cookbook, and produced a documentary short, ‘One Day a Week’. 

“Our planet needs us more now than ever. So let’s save the animals, save the planet, together,” says Stella.

Whether you’re looking for a dish to impress your dinner party guests, a summer BBQ recipe or a school day breakfast, Mary McCartney shares some of her favourite dishes for a little meat-free inspiration:

What is your favourite…

Breakfast recipe to kick-start the day in the right way?

“Breakfast on a school day – a smoothie stuffed with goodness; banana, frozen berries, spoon of hulled hemp seeds, spoon of milled flax seeds, spoon of pumpkin seeds, spoon of almond butter – almond or coconut milk, all blitz in a nutribullet.” 

Weekend brunch with your girlfriends recipe?

“Buckwheat pancakes with a drizzle of maple syrup, served along side sliced mango and kiwis fruit bowl with a squeeze of lime.”

Dinner party dish to impress your guests?

“I’d suggest a pie, filled with caramelised onions, leeks, thinly sliced mushrooms and puy lentils, Served with crushed new potatoes  and lightly steamed green beans.”

Child-friendly recipe to inspire the whole family?

“One pot chilli served with either rice or mashed potato. Make it with no chilli to serve to kids then add a pinch of chilli to spice it up for the grown ups…”

Indulgent sweet treat?

 “My individual chocolate almond tortes (from my book At My Table) – hot, melty and so so delicious.” 

Comfort food for the days when all you feel like doing is hanging on the sofa?

“Black bean burgers, stuffed into a burger bun, with a dollop of mayo, ketchup, mustard, thin sliced gherkins and crisp lettuce. Indulgent and some good protein health elements.” 

Recipe inspired by your mum/childhood?

“In the summer I’d say a large chef salad – all tossed together in a vinaigrette dressing.” 

Quickie meal that takes under 30 minutes to prepare?

“Most things I cook take under 30 mins, but my go to would be a soup, e.g. leeks, butter beans, celery and courgette chucked in a blender with some vegetable bouillon and served with toasted pitta and hummus.” 


Lunch on the go recipe?

“Always a sandwich! I love sandwiches – avocado, hummus and chilli jam in a soft seeded bread.”

Summer BBQ recipe?

“The black bean burgers work great on the BBQ, along with the big chef’s salad, drenched in thousand island dressing and served with a creamy dill potato salad on the side.”

All images credit Mary McCartney

For more meat-free recipe inspiration, see Mary’s cookbook At My Table and the Meat Free Mondays website.

See Alexandra Dudley‘s plant-based BBQ recipes.

Read more about the benefits of a plant-based diet.