Lent is a time of sacrifice for Catholics in preparation of Easter. As an act of penance, most Catholics refrain from eating meat every Friday during Lent. If you’re used to eating meat, abstaining from your carnivore habits during this time might be difficult. You might get stuck in a bland grilled cheese and tomato soup rut.

Thanks to websites like Pinterest (where I found this particular recipe), it’s easy to find satisfying meat-free meals. Before you open a can of vegetarian vegetable soup or crack open that blue box of macaroni and cheese, try this simple shrimp pasta recipe from Kraft.com. The ingredients are easily found at any grocery store, and the recipe isn’t complicated to follow either. If you’re looking to spice up your meals during the Lenten season, follow along:

Yields six servings.


½ pound pasta, angel hair is best

1 TBSP olive oil

3 cloves of garlic or you can use a few tablespoons of the garlic in a jar

1 can of Italian style tomatoes

1 package of baby spinach

1 lb. of frozen shrimp

½ cup whipping cream

1 cup of shredded cheese, typically a three cheese Italian blend

3 TBSP grated parmesan cheese

  1. Boil the pasta according to the directions on the box.
  2. Heat oil in a large pan on medium heat. Add garlic and stir until fragrant. Then, add the can of tomatoes. Simmer and stir occasionally for 4 minutes.
  3. Add spinach and heat until wilted.
  4. Add shrimp and cream. Cook for four minutes, or until everything is heated all the way through.
  5. Now you can drain your pasta and combine it with the other ingredients in the pan.
  6. The final step is adding the cheeses. If you want to make it extra gooey, cover the pan for about five minutes with the heat turned off. Then, you’re ready to serve!

Another great way to refrain from eating meat during Lent is by going to a Fish Fry. Typically orchestrated by local churches or congregations, a fish fry serves battered fish along with a bunch of other dishes. It is great for the lazy college student because 1) you don’t have to cook, 2) you get a lot of food for the amount of money you’re spending, and 3) you’re supporting a great cause! To find a fish fry in the Erie area, check newspapers, search the Internet, or ask around on campus. They’re a great way to help out the Erie community!

The best thing about abstaining from meat on Fridays during Lent is that you don’t have to do it alone. Both of these options allow you to incorporate your friends. You can treat your friends to a nice, hearty pasta dinner, or you can gather the gang and hit up a local fish fry for a night out. Either way, both options prove that eating meatless for a day isn’t as difficult as one might perceive.