From quinoa-stuffed squash to cheesy baked pasta, here are terrific vegetarian holiday recipes.
Food & Wine
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Vegetable Potpies with Sweet Potato Biscuits
Stefania Rubicondo, a baker at Baked and its resident non-meat-eater, made these wonderful individual pies, filled with a mix of sweet celery root, brussels sprouts and parsnips in a sage-infused cream sauce and topped with tender biscuits made with roasted sweet potato.
This eggplant Parmesan is all it should be: delicate slices of fried eggplant nestled in a bright, tangy tomato sauce, layered with gooey fresh mozzarella. The best part is the exceptionally crisp topping, made with dry bread crumbs.
These healthy vegetarian patties are coated with panko bread crumbs so they become deliciously crispy in the skillet. “I add quinoa to make these semolina cakes a little fluffier and healthier. I love to serve them topped with a poached egg,” says Maria Helm Sinskey.
To satisfy vegetarian diners, chef Kevin Kathman stuffs maple-glazed roasted squash with quinoa and sautéed wild mushrooms. For a more substantial dish, serve it with roasted root vegetables brushed with the same glaze.
Chef Naomi Pomeroy uses barley to make her hearty version of risotto, packed with sautéed oyster mushrooms. The dish is substantial enough to be a main course for a lunch; to make it vegetarian, substitute good vegetable stock for the beef broth.
Anna Thomas’s 1970s book, The Vegetarian Epicure, is iconic; updated in the ’90s and rechristened The New Vegetarian Epicure, it focuses on recipes for entertaining. One of her latest dishes is this crusty baked polenta, swirled with mashed butternut squash and smoked Gouda cheese.
Brian Perrone makes his mac and cheese using just cheddar, but its flavor is so rich that customers often assume he uses several cheeses. That inspired Perrone to create this decadent version, which includes cheddar, Muenster, Swiss and just a touch of cream cheese.
Quick White Bean Stew with Swiss Chard and Tomatoes
Low in fat but high in protein, beans are one of Joe Bastianich’s favorite ingredients. He uses white beans here, but he also loves making this recipe with chickpeas and flat gigante beans: “The bigger and creamier the beans, the better.”
In Northern Italy, pizzoccheri are short, flat buckwheat noodles cooked with cabbage and potatoes and layered with cheese. For his version, Jonathon Sawyer cuts fresh lasagna sheets into noodles (buckwheat noodles can be hard to find) and bakes them in a gratin dish with a crispy bread crumb topping.
Börek is a Middle Eastern pastry filled with anything from vegetables to cheese and ground meat. For this version, Meltem Conant sautés eggplant, peppers and tomatoes and bakes them in layers of phyllo. It’s a great option for a vegetarian main course.