If you’re making a vegetarian or vegan main dish for the holidays, you want it to be festive and celebratory.
Stuffing a squash full of tangy, salty and savory ingredients is one way to go; enrobing seasoned mushrooms in a flaky pastry is another. Or you can keep it super simple and present a whole roasted vegetable to carve at the table.
Whichever route you choose, you’ll be happy with one of these recipes from our archives.
Roasted Portobello Mushroom, Pecan and Chestnut Wellington. Impressive, decadent and — plot twist — easy to assemble. (See just how simple it is in this video.) The roasted mushrooms and chestnut-based filling can be refrigerated for up to five days; the whole thing can be assembled and refrigerated for up to three days before baking. You can make this vegan by finding a vegan puff pastry (such as Pepperidge Farm) and using a nondairy cream to seal the pastry.
Stuffed Squash Roast. Take the potential stress out of roasting and stuffing a squash by roasting the squash on its own before filling it with glazed onions, mushrooms and a nutty, fruity rice blend. You can make all the components up to a week in advance, and then assemble and do the final roast on Thanksgiving.
Three Sisters Mini Tamal Pies. Roasted winter squash and lightly spiced kidney beans are sandwiched between thick layers of masa, then baked until the tops are slightly puffed. Serve it with salsa and salty, crumbly cheese such as feta or queso fresco. The squash and beans can be made and refrigerated for up to one week; the assembled pies can stay in your refrigerator for up to three days before baking. Or bake the whole thing, refrigerate for up to three days, then bring to room temperature before reheating in a 200-degree oven.
Whole Roasted Cauliflower With Chimichurri and Almonds. Roasting it whole provides a centerpiece-worthy dish that can be carved at the table. The chimichurri is a flavor-packed mix of cilantro, parsley, mint, and oregano and a few spices, all bound with red wine vinegar and olive oil. Make the chimichurri up to five days in advance and bring it to room temperature before serving.
Vegetarian Roast Beast. Stacks on stacks of vegetables, flavored with sage-infused pesto and smoked cheese and served on a bed of couscous or orzo. (You can make it vegan by substituting a vegan cheese, such as Chao by Field Roast.) The whole thing can be roasted and refrigerated for up to three days, then reheated (wrapped in several layers of foil) for about 30 minutes in a 300-degree oven. Watch how the whole thing comes together in this handy video.
Biryani Stuffed Pumpkins. Warmly spiced, super fragrant and stunning. We liked this best with small kabocha squash, but you can use a variety of small squash for that visual bang. The spiced pistachio mix can be made up to one week in advance. The pumpkins are first baked with that mix inside before being stuffed with rice later on — that initial bake can be done up to three days in advance.
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