Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes

Photo courtesy of photolizkelly on Flickr.
Meat Free Thanksgiving Feast

A collection of classic vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes can make such an impact that not even meat lovers will miss a bird during autumn's biggest holiday. Thanks to imitation products that mimic the taste and texture of meat, such as Tofurky, vegetarians who lament the loss of eating traditional Thanksgiving foods can chow down on almost the same dishes as everyone else.

Vegetarian Dishes to Be Thankful For

When it comes to vegetarian thanksgiving recipes, after finding a replacement for the turkey, vegetarians look for a meatless stuffing recipe. Meat-based ingredients are found in most stuffing recipes, but an alternative that's every bit as delicious is a cornbread stuffing made with flavorful, seasonal items. It can be eaten with a traditional turkey replacement or paired with main dishes such as pumpkin ravioli or vegetable lasagna.

Autumn Cornbread Stuffing Recipe

This recipe makes 1 1/2 quarts of stuffing and serves 10 as a side dish.

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf of cornbread (baked in a standard 9-inch-by-5-inch pan)
  • 4 oz. herbed, dry-bread stuffing mix, such as Stove Top
  • 1 1/2 T. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. coarse sea salt
  • 5 T. butter
  • 1/2 c. chopped celery
  • 3/4 c. chopped onion
  • 1 c. chopped apples
  • 1/3 c. chopped pecans
  • 1 c. apple cider
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Cooking spray

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Prepare a 1 1/2-quart casserole dish by lightly coating it with cooking spray.
  3. Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Saute the celery and onion for about 10 minutes or until tender.
  4. Tear the cornbread into small, rough pieces. Place it in a large bowl, and combine it with the stuffing mix, parsley, ginger, salt, apples, pecans, cider, and beaten eggs. Stir in the sauteed celery and onion.
  5. Transfer the stuffing to the casserole dish, and bake for about 35 minutes or until light brown on top. Let cool slightly before serving.

Pumpkin Ravioli Recipe

Adapted from a Cooking Light recipe, these ravioli pockets celebrate the flavors of autumn and make a lovely vegetarian main dish to serve about six.

Photo courtesy of Ari Scott.

Ingredients

  • Homemade pasta to feed six
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 1/4 c. canned pureed pumpkin
  • 2 T. freshly toasted bread crumbs
  • 2 T. Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh sage
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 T. cornstarch
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 T. flour
  • 2 T. butter
  • 3 oz. crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
  • 3 T. lightly toasted pine nuts

Procedure

  1. Let pumpkin soak through cheesecloth in a sieve or colander for 15 minutes. Spoon the thickened pumpkin into a medium bowl. Add the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, salt, sage, pepper, and nutmeg.
  2. Roll out the fresh pasta to very thin sheets with a pasta machine or by hand. Cut the pasta sheets into 2 1/2" squares. Spoon several teaspoons of pumpkin mixture into the center of half the squares.
  3. Use a small pastry brush to lightly brush the sides and corners of each square with water. Top the filled squares with empty pasta squares, pressing all around the sides to seal the ravioli. In the meantime, fill a Dutch oven 3/4 full with water and bring to a boil.
  4. Sprinkle a large baking sheet evenly with cornstarch and place ravioli on the sheet.
  5. When the water reaches a boil, turn it down to a simmer. Drop half of the ravioli in the pan. Boil for four minutes, stirring gently and occasionally. Use a slotted spoon to remove the ravioli. Repeat with the remainder of the ravioli.
  6. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stir together the milk and flour with a whisk. Bring the mixture to a boil. Continue to cook for one minute or until it thickens, whisking constantly. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the butter and Gorgonzola cheese.
  7. Plate the ravioli and top each with a drizzle of the Gorgonzola mixture and 1/2 T. toasted pine nuts.

Vegetable Lasagna Recipe

This hearty lasagna will serve about eight people.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. uncooked lasagna noodles
  • 3 c. tomato sauce
  • 1 large zucchini, grated
  • 3/4 lb. ricotta cheese
  • 1 lb. spinach, washed, stemmed, and drained
  • 12 oz. mushrooms, wiped clean with a damp cloth and sliced
  • 1 lb. mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced

Procedure

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Pour the tomato sauce into a medium pot, and bring it to a boil. Add the zucchini, and cook the mixture for about five minutes.
  3. Ladle enough sauce into the bottom of a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking dish so that the bottom is coated completely.
  4. Add a single layer of lasagna noodles on top of the layer of sauce.
  5. Spread 1/4 lb. of the ricotta cheese over the noodles, and top the cheese with 1/3 of the spinach and 1/3 of the sliced mushrooms. Cover with another thin layer of tomato sauce.
  6. Repeat the same procedure again, using 1/3 of the ingredients for each layer. Save some mozzarella to sprinkle on top of the lasagna.
  7. Bake the dish for about one hour or until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is melted and lightly browned in places. Let cool slightly before serving.

Give These Vegetarian Recipes a Try

If you want to add a bit more creativity to your Thanksgiving menu, it's worthwhile to try these recipes for a variety of tasty main dishes and sides that are pleasing to the eye. If you enjoy them, feel free to use them at other holiday meals like Christmas, Easter, and more.

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes