Vegetarian Main Course Recipes | SAVEUR

29 Vegetarian Recipes That Are Anything But Boring

Don't limit your options to just salad—there are lots of choices if you're looking to avoid meat

If you think vegetarian recipes are limited to just the same old salads, think again. Whether you're a full-time vegetarian or simply looking to avoid meat for a little while, there are lots of choices. Pasta is always a good option, especially when covered in vegetables or stuffed with cheese. Curries are also often vegetarian-friendly. You can even make vegetables the star of the show if you give them a good roast. With these 29 amazing vegetarian recipes, you won't think twice about skipping the meat.

Cashew Curry

Bowl of vegetarian cashew yellow curry

This rich yellow curry, adapted from chefs Jerome La’Brooy and Nishad Jaya­wardena of Asylum restaurant, is best served as an accompaniment. Get the recipe for Cashew Curry »

Jason Lang

Indian Veggie Burgers (Vada Pav)

Indian Veggie Burgers (Vada Pav)

These starchy sandwiches are a popular beachside snack in Mumbai. Fluffy Goan-style white rolls are filled with a crispy fried potato patty, sweet and spicy chutneys, and a garlicky powdered chile-coconut condiment. Get the recipe for Indian Veggie Burgers (Vada Pav) »

Matt Taylor-Gross

Chickpea Tofu Salad (Burmese Salad with Shan Tofu)

Chickpea Tofu Salad (Burmese Salad with Shan Tofu)

This traditional Burmese salad is a refreshing mix of silky, turmeric-infused chickpea tofu mixed with crunchy fried garlic and onions and tamarind ginger dressing. Get the recipe for Chickpea Tofu Salad (Burmese Salad with Shan Tofu) »

Matt Taylor-Gross

Spicy Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini

Spicy Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini

Whole cauliflower is quartered and roasted with paprika, turmeric, and jalapeño in this wintry side dish. Get the recipe for Spicy Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini »

Neal Santos

Maitake Mushrooms with Red Chiles and Cilantro

Maitake Mushrooms with Red Chiles and Cilantro

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 »

Matt Taylor-Gross

Pepper Pot Soup

Vegetarian Jamaican Pepper Pot Soup

This vegetarian soup, a Jamaican classic, is made with callaloo, a spinach-like green that can be found canned or fresh in Caribbean groceries. Serve with minced fresh Scotch bonnet chiles sprinkled on top for extra heat. Get the recipe for Pepper Pot Soup »

Matt Taylor-Gross

Roasted Moong Dal with Spinach

Roasted Moong Dal with Spinach

This recipe, from Madhur Jaffrey's A Taste of India, is part of SAVEUR's November 2017 cookbook club. Though we've tested this recipe in the SAVEUR test kitchen, we present it in its original, unedited form from the book. Get the recipe for Roasted Moong Dal with Spinach »

Matt Taylor-Gross

Greek Stuffed Grape Leaves With Rice and Herbs (Dolmadakia)

Greek Stuffed Grape Leaves With Rice and Herbs (Dolmadakia)

Dolmakadia, the Greek word for stuffed grape leaves, is one of the most iconic recipes of Greek cuisine and, although there are many varieties, the meatless version is the most common. In the warmer months, try to find and use fresh grape leaves; they are more tender and flavorful than the jarred types. Out of season, jarred leaves are a fine substitute (we prefer the Orlando brand). Get the recipe for Greek Stuffed Grape Leaves With Rice and Herbs (Dolmadakia) »

Matt Taylor-Gross

Chilled Buttermilk Soup with Herbs (Okroshka)

Okroshka (Chilled Buttermilk Soup with Herbs) Recipe

This take on okroshka, a classic summer soup named after the Russian word kroshit, meaning "to crumble" uses tangy kefir or buttermilk as a base and is filled with heaps of torn fresh herbs. Grated horseradish and spicy mustard add a gentle backnote to the soup. If you can't find quail eggs or don't have the patience to peel them, hard-boil chicken eggs and cut them into quarters. Get the recipe for Chilled Buttermilk Soup with Herbs (Okroshka) »

Simon Bajada

Swiss Chard Anzelottos with Pomodoro Sauce

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 »

Heami Lee

Spaghettoni with Jasmine, Saffron, and Chamomile

Spaghettoni with Jasmine, Saffron, and Chamomile

These floral, buttery noodles from chef Antonia Klugmann at L’Argine a Vencò can be infused using either fresh or dried flowers. Steep the flowers in the butter and pasta cooking water in advance if desired, and reheat when ready to use. Any tubular pasta like bucatini or spaghetti, cooked al dente, will work. Get the recipe for Spaghettoni with Jasmine, Saffron, and Chamomile »

Beth Galton

Potato and Cheese Tortelli with Porcini Mushrooms

Potato and Cheese Tortelli with Porcini Mushrooms

“It’s a common misconception that tortelli and tortellini are the same,” chef Evan Funke of Felix in Los Angeles says. Unlike round tortellini, tortelli (the proper name for these ravioli-like stuffed pastas) are squares or rectangles simply folded over a filling and sealed. Get the recipe for Potato and Cheese Tortelli with Porcini Mushrooms »

Heami Lee

Rajma (North Indian Kidney Bean Masala Stew)

Vegetarian punjabi stew with tomatoes and kidney beans

Chiles and ginger add invigorating heat to a classic Punjabi dish of tomatoes and kidney beans garnished with slivers of red onion. Redolent of coriander, cumin, and cinnamon, this warming stew is best enjoyed over basmati rice. Get the recipe for Rajma (North Indian Kidney Bean Masala Stew) »

Todd Coleman

Coconut Beluga Lentils

Bowl of vegetarian coconut beluga lentils

At Turtle Bay Estate House on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, chef Anthony Dawodu enriches lentils with sweet coconut milk. Get the recipe for Coconut Beluga Lentils »

Andre Baranowski

Persian Herbed Frittatas with Fenugreek (Kookoo Sabzi)

Persian Herbed Frittatas with Fenugreek (Kookoo Sabzi)

This variant of the classic Iranian frittata-like egg dish has become a popular street food in London. Feel free to add walnuts, barberries, or raisins to make it your own. Get the recipe for Persian Herbed Frittatas with Fenugreek (Kookoo Sabzi) »

Farideh Sadeghin

Chinese Spicy Garlic Eggplant (Yu Xiang Qie Zi)

Vegetarian Chinese Spicy Garlic Eggplant (Yu Xiang Qie Zi)

Steaming eggplant, as opposed to deep-frying it, lightens this fragrant stir-fry adapted from a recipe in Grace Young and Alan Richardson's The Breath of a Wok (Simon & Schuster, 2004). Get the recipe for Chinese Spicy Garlic Eggplant (Yu Xiang Qie Zi) »

SAVEUR

Falafel

Plate of vegetarian falafel with sauce

I have eaten my share of falafel around the world, and I love the way the simple legume patty takes on the flavor of a place, as in the dense fava bean falafels of Egypt and Iraq, Palestine's parsley-heavy chickpea versions, and the unusual falafel I happened upon at a restaurant called Amon, on Via Palazzuolo in Florence, where the Egyptian chef Na'ama adds fresh fennel to her mash. But any way you make it, there is nothing like falafel's first bite: the crisp-fried exterior giving way to a creamy center of seasoned mashed beans, garlic, and parsley. —Felicia Campbell Get the recipe for Falafel »

Todd Coleman

Cauliflower and Goat Cheese Souffles

Bubbling vegetarian cauliflower and goat cheese souffles

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 »

Joseph De Leo

Spinach and Potato Dumplings with Cold Tomato Sauce

Vegetarian Spinach and Potato Dumplings with Cold Tomato Sauce

A chilled tomato sauce with sundried tomatoes makes a pleasant contrast to these hot potato and spinach dumplings, which chef Josita Hartanto of Berlin's Lucky Leek binds together with firm tofu and durum wheat semolina. Dry the potatoes and spinach thoroughly so the dumplings will hold their shape. Get the recipe for Spinach and Potato Dumplings with Cold Tomato Sauce »

Matt Taylor-Gross

Coconut Rice and Red Beans

Vegetarian Coconut Rice and Red Beans

If you prefer, you can use canned red kidney beans in this satisfying side dish, served alongside Braised Oxtail with Butter Beans. Simply skip the first step and rinse one 15-oz. can of beans before adding them to the pan in step two. Get the recipe for Coconut Rice and Red Beans »

Matt Taylor-Gross

Spaghettini with Carrots, Olives, and Red Endive

Spaghettini with Carrots, Olives, and Red Endive

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 »

Matt Taylor-Gross

Tofu, Long Bean, and Crispy Shallot Vinaigrette with Black Bean Vinaigrette

Tofu, Long Bean, and Crispy Shallot Vinaigrette with Black Bean Vinaigrette

Crisp-tender Chinese long beans pair with silky tofu and an umami-rich dressing for this simple chilled salad from chef Matt Wilkinson. Get the recipe for Tofu, Long Bean, and Crispy Shallot Vinaigrette with Black Bean Vinaigrette »

André Baranowski

Potato Tacos (Tacos de Papa)

Crispy fried vegetarian Potato Tacos (Tacos de Papa)

Inspired by the potato tacos at Loncheria Otro Rollo in Bakersfield, these Tacolicious versions are stuffed with fluffy mashed potatoes and pan-fried until crisp. The accompanying smoky ranchero sauce also would be great as an accompaniment for meat or fish or spooned over eggs. Get the recipe for Potato Tacos (Tacos de Papa) »

Dylan + Jeni

Ricotta and Egg Gnocchi with Olives, Capers, and Tomato Sauce

Ricotta and Egg Gnocchi with Olives, Capers, and Tomato Sauce

These soft gnocchi from Tuscany are the ultimate version of the kind most commonly served at Italian-American restaurants. The dish is amped up with briny chopped capers and green olives. Get the recipe for Ricotta and Egg Gnocchi with Olives, Capers, and Tomato Sauce »

Con Poulos

Spelt Risotto with Beets and Horseradish

Vegetarian Spelt Risotto with Beets and Horseradish

Heston Blumenthal, chef at the Fat Duck in Bray, England, was inspired by his trip to Transylvania in this dish. Blumenthal substitutes spelt, a wheat berry found in most supermarkets, for the more common short-grain rice to give the risotto a nutty and wholesome flavor. Get the recipe for Spelt Risotto with Beets and Horseradish »

Todd Coleman

Salt-Roasted Turnips with Goat Cheese and Greens

Salt-Roasted Turnips with Goat Cheese and Greens

Kobe Desramaults uses almost no spices at his Michelin-starred restaurant In de Wulf, located in an isolated corner of Belgium. Here he relies on salt roasting to make these turnips, served on a bed of creamy goat cheese, buttery and tender. Get the recipe for Salt-Roasted Turnips with Goat Cheese and Greens »

Romulo Yanes

Mixed Vegetable Coconut Curry (Ghanta Tarkari)

Mixed Vegetable Coconut Curry (Ghanta Tarkari)

This vegetarian Indian dish from the state of West Bengal features squash, potatoes, and gourds enriched with ghee and sweetened with grated coconut. Get the recipe for Mixed Vegetable Coconut Curry (Ghanta Tarkari) »

James Roper

Grilled Vegetable and Barley Salad

Grilled Vegetable and Barley Salad

Barley is typically eaten in a pudding for breakfast or dessert in Egypt, but in this recipe from cookbook author Suzanne Zeidy, it's turned into a hearty salad, seasoned with cumin and chiles, and tossed with grilled vegetables, feta, and pistachios. Get the recipe for Grilled Vegetable and Barley Salad »

Helen Cathcart

Quinoa Veggie Burger with Roasted Red Pepper Relish

Enormous Quinoa Veggie Burger with Roasted Red Pepper Relish

Our take on a classic meatless burger calls on a slew of vegetables for flavor, color, and texture: carrot, celery, arugula, beans, and quinoa, the high-protein South American grain that has a nutty flavor and toothsome bite. Get the recipe for Quinoa Veggie Burger with Roasted Red Pepper Relish »

Helen Rosner

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