Hearty vegetarian holiday recipes can be every bit as satisfying as the meaty dishes found on most menus. Crowd-pleasing classics like mashed potatoes get a silky upgrade by using a potato ricer. Cheesy green bean casseroles and hearty vegetarian pastas will leave your guests full and content. Don’t be afraid to try making new grains—cracked wheat, fonio, and quinoa make great hearty vegetarian holiday dishes with little preparation. We’ll help you set the perfect meatless table with our best vegetarian holiday recipes.
Swiss Chard Anzelottos with Pomodoro Sauce
From the tortelli family, anzelottos are rectangles often with ridged edges. “They’re made with a thicker, bright white dough of plain semola flour and hot water, which penetrates the proteins in the rustic flour more easily,” chef Evan Funke of Felix in Los Angeles says. Get the recipe for Swiss Chard Anzelottos with Pomodoro Sauce »
Risotto Cacio e Pepe
Chef Massimo Bottura developed this recipe to utilize the nearly 1,000 wheels of Parmigiano-Reggiano damaged after earthquakes devastated the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy in 2012. Get the recipe for Risotto Cacio e Pepe »
Broccoli Rabe with White Beans and Preserved Lemon
The bitter bite of broccoli rabe is tempered by creamy cannellini beans and brightened by salty preserved lemon. A quick and pretty 1-pan side dish, this is easy to scale up for a crowd; unlike softer, more watery greens, rabe retains plenty of volume after cooking. Look for greens with healthy-looking stems and dark green florets. Get the recipe for Broccoli Rabe with White Beans and Preserved Lemon »
Cast-Iron Squash Pudding
This luscious, cakelike pudding, made with milk-poached butternut squash batter and crowned with caramel-drenched delicata, rides the line perfectly between side dish and dessert, “kind of like yams with marshmallows,” says Joe Beef’s Red Morin, who serves it with caramel sauce or sweetened whipped cream. For an easy caramel sauce and squash topping (pictured right), double or triple the quantities of delicata and granulated sugar, and repeat step 4 as needed. Or if you want to amp up the savory nature of the dish, nix the caramel and offer grated cheddar at the table. Get the recipe for Cast-Iron Squash Pudding »
Macaroni au Gratin
The foundation of this creamy casserole is a classic mornay sauce, a béchamel sauce to which cheese has been added—in this case, comté, a French cheese with a complex, nutty flavor that melts beautifully. With lots of freshly grated nutmeg to season it and a golden, crunchy breadcrumb topping, it’s a luscious, satisfying side dish for the Thanksgiving table. The dish comes from Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bistro, in the Napa Valley, where the staff makes it as part of their annual Thanksgiving dinner for veterans and their families.
Broiled Spaghetti Squash with Walnut-Miso Glaze
Chunks of Spaghetti squash reveal a beautifully yielding texture and a savory, subtle flavor that’s perfectly offset by a rich walnut-miso glaze. Prepare the squash ahead of time, and then pop them under the broiler for 3 minutes when you get to your host’s kitchen. Get the recipe for Broiled Spaghetti Squash with Walnut-Miso Glaze »
Swiss Cheese Soup
A traditional dish enjoyed year-round in the Alps of southern Switzerland, this homey soup takes its name from the mountain huts where it’s commonly made. Typically incorporating cheeses from the region, this version is fortified with L’Etivaz (which can be found at specialty cheese shops) and heavy cream. If you can’t find L’Etivaz, substitute Gruyère instead. Get the recipe for Swiss Cheese Soup »