Our 31 Best Vegetarian Holiday Recipes For A Meatless Feast

No roast, no problem

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.

Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Crumble

Sweet Potato Casserole Pecan Crumble
Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan CrumbleTodd Coleman

This sweet potato casserole is an especially festive, over-the-top take on the Thanksgiving classic, topped with a crisp pecan crumble and dotted with marshmallows. Get the recipe for Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Crumble »

Shredded Collard Green Salad With Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potato Collard Green Salad, Senegalese Thanksgiving
Shredded Collard Green Salad With Roasted Sweet PotatoesRyan Liebe

The flavor of raw collard greens combines perfectly with tender roasted sweet potatoes and tangy, rich goat cheese in this hearty starter. Get the recipe for Shredded Collard Green Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Cashews »

Lima Bean Gratin with Herbed Bread Crumbs

Lima Bean Gratin with Herbed Bread Crumbs
Lima Bean Gratin with Herbed Bread CrumbsRyan Liebe

Think of this gratin as a meatless cassoulet, meant to accompany a roast, or as a stand alone, next to a tartly-dressed green salad. Get the recipe for Lima Bean Gratin with Herbed Bread Crumbs »

Cast-Iron Squash Pudding

cast-iron squash pudding
Cast-Iron Squash PuddingChristina Holmes

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. Get the recipe for Cast-Iron Squash Pudding »

Wild Rice with Roasted Buttered Onions

roasted onions wild rice
Wild Rice with Roasted Buttered OnionsMatt Taylor-Gross

Finish the rice by toasting it in a twirling barrel over a wood fire. Real wild rice like ours is delicate, light brown instead of black, cooks in a mere 20 minutes, and takes on some of the smoke from its parching fire. It's an entirely different beast (and species) from the black paddy rice commonly found in stores. Rice this fresh shines with a simple treatment—in this case just a buttery tangle of roasted garden onions. (If using black rice, add 20 minutes to the cooking time) Get the recipe for Wild Rice with Roasted Buttered Onions »

Green Bean Casserole

Classic Green Bean Casserole
Green Bean CasseroleLaura Sant

With a creamy mushroom sauce and topped with flash fried onions, this holiday classic is the epitome of a crowd-pleasing casserole. Get the recipe for Green Bean Casserole »

Beet and Ricotta Gnocchi with Wilted Beet Greens and Aged Balsamic

Beet and Ricotta Gnocchi with Wilted Beet Greens and Aged Balsamic
Beet and Ricotta Gnocchi with Wilted Beet Greens and Aged BalsamicCon Poulos

For this Piedmontese dish, a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar adds a tangy complexity. Get the recipe for Beet and Ricotta Gnocchi with Wilted Beet Greens and Aged Balsamic »

Cracked-Wheat Porridge with Hen of the Woods Mushrooms and Turnip-Top Salsa

Cracked Wheat Porridge with Mushrooms
Cracked-Wheat Porridge with Hen of the Woods Mushrooms and Turnip-Top SalsaIngalls Photography

This hearty porridge is bolstered by roasted vegetables and enlivened with a salsa of turnip greens. Get the recipe for Cracked-Wheat Porridge with Hen of the Woods Mushrooms and Turnip-Top Salsa »

Moroccan Carrots with Aleppo Pepper and Mint

Moroccan Carrots with Aleppo Pepper and Mint
Moroccan Carrots with Aleppo Pepper and MintNeal Santos

The dressing for this cumin-spiced salad is made from the carrots' cooking liquid, which concentrates into a sweet syrup when reduced. Get the recipe for Moroccan Carrots with Aleppo Pepper and Mint »

Julia Child's Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Julia Child's Garlic Mashed Potato recipe
Julia Child's Garlic Mashed Potato recipeRomulo Yanes

Thirty cloves of garlic go into this creamy side dish, adapted from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Volume 1 (Alfred A. Knopf, 1961). The cloves are first blanched whole, which enhances their sweetness, then used to make a rich béchamel sauce that's stirred into mashed potatoes with cream and parsley. Get the recipe for Julia Child's Garlic Mashed Potatoes »

Macaroni au Gratin

Macaroni au Gratin
Macaroni au GratinIngalls Photography

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. Get the recipe for Macaroni au Gratin »

Italian Bean and Vegetable Soup

zuppa alla frantoiana
Italian Bean and Vegetable SoupRyan Liebe

In this traditional Lucchese soup, vegetables and beans are slow-cooked until little to no bite remains, making it a rustic, comforting dish. Be sure to give any tougher vegetables all the time they need to scompare, or disappear. The quantities are flexible, so use whatever you have on hand. Get the recipe for Italian Bean and Vegetable Soup »

Broiled Spaghetti Squash with Walnut-Miso Glaze

Broiled Spaghetti Squash with Walnut-Miso Glaze
Broiled Spaghetti Squash with Walnut-Miso GlazeMaxime Iattoni

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

soupe de chalet
Swiss Cheese SoupChristopher Bagley

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 »

Pomme Purée

Pomme Puree
Pomme PuréeIngalls Photography

Passing cooked potatoes through the fine holes of a potato ricer ensures a silky consistency for this ultrarich side. Get the recipe for Pomme Purée »

Cauliflower and Goat Cheese Souffles

Cauliflower and goat cheese souffles
Cauliflower and Goat Cheese SoufflesJoseph De Leo

Adding puréed cauliflower to an appetizer-sized soufflé gives the dish the heartiness to be a vegetarian main when served with a salad. Get the recipe for Cauliflower and Goat Cheese Souffles »

Open-Faced Lasagna with Acorn Squash and Smoked Caciocavallo

Open-Faced Lasagna with Acorn Squash and Smoked Caciocavallo
Open-Faced Lasagna with Acorn Squash and Smoked CaciocavalloAndre Baranowski

This layerless lasagna recipe from Philadelphia chef Marc Vetri uses an egg-rich dough, but store-bought fresh pasta sheets can be substituted. Get the recipe for Open-Faced Lasagna with Acorn Squash and Smoked Caciocavallo »

Spiced Red Cabbage With Apples and Cranberries

Spiced Red Cabbage
Spiced Red Cabbage With Apples and CranberriesSaveur

Red cabbage and apples are stewed with wine, sugar, and dried cranberries in this spiced side dish. Use tart apples, such as Granny Smith, if you want a more sour-sweet flavor from this cabbage dish. Get the recipe for Spiced Red Cabbage With Apples and Cranberries »

Maitake Mushrooms with Red Chiles and Cilantro

Maitake Mushrooms with Red Chiles and Cilantro
Maitake Mushrooms with Red Chiles and CilantroMatt Taylor-Gross

Fragrant with star anise, chiles de árbol, and cilantro, these mushrooms brown to a crisp on the outside while remaining tender inside. Get the recipe for Maitake Mushrooms with Red Chiles and Cilantro »

Spaghettini with Carrots, Olives, and Red Endive

Spaghettini with Carrots, Olives, and Red Endive
Spaghettini with Carrots, Olives, and Red EndiveMatt Taylor-Gross

Carrot ribbons cooked al dente and lightly braised red endive add color to this simple vegetable-packed pasta dish, brightened with lots of lemon zest. Josita Hartanto of Berlin's Lucky Leek uses multicolored carrots for a beautiful presentation. Get the recipe for Spaghettini with Carrots, Olives, and Red Endive »

Fried Eggplant with Tahini and Pomegranate Seeds

Fried Eggplant with Tahini and Pomegranate Seeds
Fried Eggplant with Tahini and Pomegranate SeedsMatt Taylor-Gross

This eggplant dish from Michael Solomonov's Zahav restaurant in Philadelphia highlights classic Middle Eastern ingredients: carob molasses, tahini, and pomegranate. Get the recipe for Fried Eggplant with Tahini and Pomegranate Seeds »

Carrot and Pistachio Salad

Carrot and Pistachio Salad
Carrot and Pistachio SaladMatt Taylor-Gross

Carrots are roasted before being topped with crunchy pistachios and a sweet fig vinaigrette in a simple salad from Eli and Max Sussman's Classic Recipes for Modern People (Olive Press, 2015). Get the recipe for Carrot and Pistachio Salad »

Fonio Pilaf with Dates, Carrots, and Peanuts

Fonio Pilaf
Fonio Pilaf with Dates, Carrots, and PeanutsRyan Liebe

This gluten-free grain, a type of millet, provides a wonderfully nutty backbone to a salad of sweet dates and carrots, and crunchy roasted peanuts. Get the recipe for Fonio Pilaf with Dates, Carrots, and Peanuts »

Fort Rice Pilaf

Fort Rice Pilaf
Fort Rice PilafIngalls Photography

This 19th-century American recipe for rice pilaf from the Denver, Colorado, restaurant The Fort draws sweetness from dried fruit, earthiness from black quinoa and pine nuts, and crunch and color from bell pepper. Get the recipe for Fort Rice Pilaf »

Roasted Carrot Salad with Burrata

Roasted Carrot Salad with Burrata
Roasted Carrot Salad with BurrataIngalls Photography

April Bloomfield offers her crazy-good recipe for pan-roasted carrots with carrot-top pesto, shaved carrot salad, and creamy burrata. Get the recipe for Roasted Carrot Salad with Burrata »

Creamed Swiss Chard with Gorgonzola, Rye Bread Crumbs, and Walnuts

Creamed Swiss Chard with Gorgonzola, Rye Bread Crumbs, and Walnuts, Late Winter Feast
Creamed Swiss Chard with Gorgonzola, Rye Bread Crumbs, and WalnutsBill Phelps

In this bulked-up version of the classic side dish, chard replaces spinach, and Gorgonzola adds depth and a creamier texture. Get the recipe for Creamed Swiss Chard with Gorgonzola, Rye Bread Crumbs, and Walnuts »

Farfalle with Cavolo Nero Pesto

Farfalle with Cavolo Nero Pesto
Farfalle with Cavolo Nero PestoLaura Sant

In this rendition of traditional Genoese pesto, sweet and nutty cavolo nero (also known as Tuscan kale or Lacinato kale) is used in place of basil and pine nuts. Get the recipe for Farfalle with Cavolo Nero Pesto »

Fall Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash, Kale Chips, and Pomegranate Seeds

Fall Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash, Kale Chips, and Pomegranate Seeds
Fall Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash, Kale Chips, and Pomegranate SeedsAriana Lindquist

Crispy baked kale, sweet roasted squash, and peppery arugula and watercress are combined with pumpkin and pomegranate seeds in this colorful salad. Get the recipe for Fall Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash, Kale Chips, and Pomegranate Seeds »

Pappardelle with Cauliflower and Mustard Brown Butter

Pappardelle with Cauliflower and Mustard Brown Butter
Pappardelle with Cauliflower and Mustard Brown ButterJoseph De Leo

Simple ingredients—chewy, charred cauliflower, fried capers and bread crumbs, and browned butter, bolstered by whole grain mustard—combine for the ultimate late-winter pasta. Get the recipe for Pappardelle with Cauliflower and Mustard Brown Butter »

Skillet-Braised Swiss Chard

Skillet-Braised Swiss Chard
Skillet-Braised Swiss ChardChristina Holmes | Food Styling: Eugene Jho

We love this quick braised side dish with Swiss chard, but any hearty green will work. Try it with bok choy, kale, or even green or purple cabbage. Get the recipe for Skillet-Braised Swiss Chard »

Spinach Madeleine

Spinach Madeleine
Spinach MadeleineVanessa Rees

A sauce of unabashedly flavorful ingredients—including evaporated milk and, yes, Velveeta cheese—makes for a spectacularly rich take on creamed spinach. Get the recipe for Spinach Madeleine »