Vegetarian Thanksgiving Main Dishes
Autumn Glow Salad
This plant-powered salad delivers over 50% of your daily fiber and one-third of your daily potassium goal. Butternut squash is an excellent source of eye-healthy vitamin A and a good source of immune-boosting vitamin C and blood pressure–supporting potassium.
Fall Vegetable and Lentil Salad
This salad of lentils with roasted butternut squash, carrots, and onions gets plated over a bed of creamy, lemon-scented Greek yogurt—so with each bite, you get the flavors of sweet caramelized veggies, earthy-nutty legumes, and tangy yogurt. We love the firm texture of French green lentils, but you can also use standard brown lentils. You’re not likely to find a whole butternut squash that’s only 1 pound; just buy the smallest one you can find, and use 1 pound of it.
Vegetable “Meat” Loaf
This umami-rich recipe received our Test Kitchen’s highest rating in March 2012 and continues to get raves from both vegetarians and meat lovers. Be sure to tightly pack the mushroom mixture into the pan so the slices hold their shape after baking.
Frittatas are some of the most efficient vehicles for leftover vegetables. Here, we combine roasted butternut squash with quick-cooking kale for a fiber-rich breakfast duo. A touch of dairy lends custard-like creaminess to the egg mixture.
Acorn Squash With Sage-Cranberry Rice Stuffing
Hack the cooker so that you can make smaller amounts with great results. For a stew or braise, use smaller amounts, place into 8- or 10-ounce ramekins, and set those down in the cooker to slowly simmer to perfection while you’re at work. With this recipe, you’re basically treating the slow cooker like a small steam oven.
Traditional versions of this dish can tip the scales at nearly 1,000 calories and 30g sat fat per serving. This makeover cuts that by more than two-thirds and still has plenty of marinara, melty cheese, and crispy baked eggplant.
Acorn Squash with Pomegranate and Kale Tabbouleh
This is a fun dish to "carve" at the table, as each person gets one wedge to enjoy as a side dish. For an entrée take, give each person half a squash.
Gruyere-spiked Bechamel drapes over the noodles and squash to give this dish velvety richness. Hearty, earthy kale perfectly balances the sweet squash, and crunchy, toasted pecans crown the top of this luscious lasagna.
"Paella may sound like something fancy, but it is a humble dish, made from ingredients that are fresh and healthy," says star chef José Andrés, whose restaurants in Washington, D.C., Las Vegas, and California helped spark America's celebration of Spanish cuisine. The classic Spanish rice dish is a crowd-pleaser in his celebrated restaurants and at home. The heat for this paella starts high and reduced gradually, making the rice perfectly al dente and then crisping it at the bottom.
This oven-baked side couples the earthiness of poblanos with the sweetness of red bell peppers. Combine those with rich pumpkin and you have a new fall-weather classic you'll make time and again.
Creamy Artichoke and Asparagus Lasagna
Lemon rind brightens the sauce, making for a more delicate lasagna. To save on salt, use frozen artichokes, which contain a quarter of the sodium of the canned variety that are usually packed in brine.
Mushroom and Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto
While old-school stovetop-stirred risotto is undeniably delicious, the pressure cooker also delivers astonishingly good results: perfectly creamy, al dente risotto without constant stirring.
Mushroom and Caramelized-Shallot Strudel
Spinach and Feta Quiche with Quinoa Crust
We’ve turned a classic dish into a perfectly clean brunch option that the whole family will love. The crunchy quinoa crust gives heartiness to the light and fluffy quiche inside. Swap out canola oil for coconut, almond, avocado, or olive oil, and look for organic eggs and dairy products.
Creamy Butternut, Blue Cheese, and Walnut Cavatappi
Cavatappi pasta offers a fun element to an easy weeknight dish. Full of exquisite flavors from the walnut and blue cheese, this dish offers a pleasant palate of tastes and textures.
Chickpea and Winter Vegetable Stew
This hearty, winter-worthy stew packs tender root vegetables, nutty chickpeas, and fluffy couscous into one comfort-filled bowl of goodness. Harissa is a spicy and aromatic chile paste used in Moroccan cooking; it packs a lot of heat and is extremely versatile, great with roasted vegetables, grilled meats, and anything served over brown rice or other neutral whole grains. Several of the reviewers commented that the stew is delicious without the harissa, but if heat is your beat then we highly recommend the addition. Use any variety of hearty root vegetables—parsnips and sweet potatoes make a lovely addition to this stew if you prefer a sweeter profile.
Roasted Eggplant with Pomegranate, Pickled Chiles, and Pecans
Toasted pecans and pickled jalapeños infuse some Southern accents into the traditional Middle-Eastern dish.
Pappardelle with Mushrooms
When this recipe first appeared in the magazine in October 2009, it was made with hollow bucatini noodles. For this version, we switched to ribbony pappardelle. In truth, any pasta would work well.
This perfect version of a classic Italian meatless dinner, Parmigiana, will quickly become a family favorite. Add a glass of vino for a Sicilian-style date night or a scoop of gelato for a kid-friendly Italian night.
Browned Butter Gnocchi with Broccoli and Nuts
Kids like the chewy gnocchi, sweet broccoli, and crunchy nuts. Look for shelf-stable packaged gnocchi with the dried pasta. To cut costs, swap in chopped almonds or pecans for pine nuts. Spinach, cauliflower florets, or green beans would also work nicely here. If you use spinach, simply stir it in when you add the cooked gnocchi to the skillet.
Golden Beet, Greens, and Potato Torta
Sophisticated and delicious—make this tall, flaky pie the centerpiece of the table.
This vegetarian eggplant entree features thin slices of eggplant filled with a herbed cheese mixture, tomato sauce, and a cheesey topping.