Vegetarianism is a dietary practice that involves abstaining from meat, poultry, fish, and other animal-derived products. Vegetarian cooking, therefore, refers to the preparation and cooking of meals that do not include meat, poultry, or fish but may include dairy products, eggs, and other animal-derived ingredients, depending on the type of vegetarianism followed.

There are several types of vegetarianism, including lacto-ovo vegetarianism, which allows for the consumption of dairy and eggs, and veganism, which excludes all animal-derived products, including dairy, eggs, honey, and gelatin.

Vegetarian cooking can involve a wide range of ingredients and techniques, depending on the cuisine and personal preferences of the cook. Many vegetarian dishes include plant-based protein sources such as legumes, tofu, tempeh, seitan, and various vegetables, fruits, grains, and nuts. Vegetarian cuisine ranges from simple salads and stir-fries to elaborate dishes such as vegetarian lasagna or biryani.

Some of the benefits of vegetarian cooking include the potential for improved health, as vegetarian diets are often high in fibre, vitamins, and minerals and may be associated with a reduced risk of certain diseases. Additionally, vegetarian cooking can be more environmentally sustainable, requiring fewer resources and generating fewer greenhouse gas emissions than animal agriculture.