12 Meat-Free Mains for a Vegetarian Holiday Menu

on November 19, 2015


"Just Say No" to Tofurkey

Being a vegetarian on Thanksgiving is kind of like being single on Valentines Day. You can still go out and have a great time with friends and family, but the experience just isn't quite what it could be. However, a meat-free holiday season doesn't have to mean filling up on sides and enviously eyeing hearty, filled-up plates from across the table. We've rounded up a list of our favorite meat-free mains, hearty and delicious enough to hold up against any old turkey leg.

Mark Boughton Photography, styling by Teresa Blackburn

Roasted Winter Squash with Cornbread Stuffing

This savory stuffed-squash recipe puts a new spin on a traditional side dish and puts it at the forefront as a hearty main dish. Stricter vegetarians out there will want to substitute chicken broth for vegetable.

Get the recipe here.

Susan Knaap

Sweet Potato Gnocchi With Brown Butter, Sage and Parmesan

Those turkey lovers at your dinner table will be side-eyeing your plate with when you help yourself to a heaping portion of this delicious, cheesy, garlic-topped and sage-garnished sweet potato gnocchi.

Get the recipe here.

Mark Boughton/styling: Teresa Blackburn

Butternut Squash Filled with Spinach and Ricotta

Another take on stuffed squash, this Thanksgiving table-topper will give you a plate-full of complementary ingredients to be truly thankful for this meat-free holiday season. Careful, though, to all you strict veggies out there-this recipe does contain egg, which can be easily substituted with vegan-friendly alternatives.

Get the recipe here.

Linda Balslev

Kale and Farro Soup

Soup is always a crowd-pleaser during the holidays, and this hearty kale and wheat berry combination-garnished with a generous dose of garlic and Parmesan cheese-will take you back to the pot in the kitchen for seconds. If necessary, use a more veggie-friendly substitute for the chicken-broth base.

Get the recipe here.

Mark Boughton/styling: Teresa Blackburn

Butternut-Sage Pasta Al Forno

There's nothing quite like the warmth and comfort of a nice heaping bowl of baked pasta, especially when served alongside other holiday classics. This creamy pasta recipe will even make enough for you to share with the envious carnivores in your life (not that you'll want to). In the case of the eggs, use a substitute when necessary.

Get the recipe here.

Richard Jung

Sweet Potato and Cumin Soup with Feta Yogurt

For a soup recipe that will satiate that spice craving, go with a sweet and savory combination of everyone's sweet potatoes and sun-dried tomato-feta-y goodness.

Get the recipe here.

Food & Wine

Stir-Fried Brown Rice and Cabbage with Toasted Nori

Add a little cultural diversity to the all-American spread with this Asian-inspired substitute for a meat-filled main course. With a generous helping of that cabbage and toasted nori, you're in for a real umami-packed treat.

Get the recipe here.

Earthy Feast

Pumpkin Pot Pie

A classic pot pie-but juicy vegetables and spices mixed together within a flaky buttery crust just got a whole lot better (and more holiday appropriate) with the substitute of pumpkin for chicken.

Get the recipe here.


Roasted Acorn Squash and Brussels Sprout Salad

This fresh, crunchy autumn salad will leave you feeling light and ready to take on the heaping portions of pumpkin pie to come.

Get the recipe here.

Averie Cooks

Vegetable Lasagna Casserole

Vegetables, beans, cheese, and a warm, soft crust? This is what we like to call a meat-free main that will leave you rejoicing at your herbivore life choices.

Get the recipe here.

Vegalicious Recipes

Walnut-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

The meaty texture and taste of fresh Portobello mushrooms stuffed with a wide variety of classic vegetarian staples will have you believing, for at least half a second, that you might have mixed up the food in the kitchen. No worries-this meal provides all the satisfaction without cheating your dietary restrictions.

Get the recipe here.


Black Bean and Zucchini Tortilla Casserole

Put a southwestern spin on Thanksgiving dinner with this smoky, savory Tex-Mex casserole you can easily save and serve up for the weekend's leftovers.

Get the recipe here.