Thanksgiving’s main dish is traditionally roasted turkey or baked ham.  But what do you do if you’re a Vegetarian?  Of course a lot of the sides dishes are filled with vegetables, but it’s always nice to have an option for a Thanksgiving main dish that caterers to Vegetarians too.  Here’s some ideas and recipes for your main dish if you’re having an all Vegetarian Thanksgiving Menu.  They are so delicious and filling they might make you turn Vegetarian if you’re not and forget all about the turkey and ham!   Not only are these some of my favorite Vegetarian Dishes, but they are also loved by my friends and clients. 

Pumpkin Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Sage

Recipe from Emeril Lagasse

Cook Time: 20 mins, serves 4 adult portion sizes


  • 1 1/2 pounds Idaho potatoes, about 3 large, scrubbed and boiled in skins until tender
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch allspice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups flour
  • Salted water, for cooking gnocchi
  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves, minced
  • 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese


Allow the cooked potatoes to cool slightly, then carefully peel while holding potato with a kitchen mitt. While still hot, puree potatoes through a ricer or food mill into a large mixing bowl and allow to cool completely before proceeding. Add the pumpkin puree, cheese, egg, cinnamon, allspice, salt and pepper and mix well. Gradually add in enough flour to form a smooth, slightly sticky dough. Briefly knead the dough to incorporate the flour, being careful not to overwork.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil.

Cut the dough into 6 equal pieces and place 1 piece on a lightly floured work surface. Roll piece into a long rope, about 1/2-inch in diameter, flouring lightly if needed. Slice the rope into pieces 1/2-inch wide. Holding one piece at a time, roll the tines of a fork against the dough until slight indentations are formed. Repeat with each piece of dough, setting formed gnocchi on a floured kitchen towel or baking sheet.

 Immediately add the gnocchi to the boiling water and continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes once they have risen to the top. Remove the cooked gnocchi with a slotted spoon or skimmer and set aside briefly while making the sauce.

 In a skillet over high heat add the butter when pan is very hot. Let butter sit undisturbed until almost all melted and outside edges have begun to caramelize. Quickly swirl the skillet and add minced sage. Let cook for 30 seconds longer, season with salt and pepper to taste and add gnocchi to skillet to toss with sauce and rewarm if necessary. Serve immediately with shaved Parmesan cheese


Autumn Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Recipe is Amy Sue’s Tasty Bites Original


1 large yellow onion, small dice
1 cup toasted walnuts

1/2 cup dried cherries (or cranberries)
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing

4 cups of grated cheese (you can use any kind of cheese you want.  I usually do a mixture of Munster, Swiss, and Gouda, and Parmesan)

4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup cooked brown rice (or grain of choice…i like to use Quinoa or Wild Rice)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (you can use white navy beans or any other kind of bean you like)
1/4 cup breadcrumbs (I like to use homemade breadcrumbs, but if you’re going to use store bought Japanese Panko works really well)
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves plus extra for garnish
6 portobello mushrooms, stems and gills removed
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2.In large skillet, sauté the onions and walnuts with 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and sauté until onions are soft and lightly browned. Add garlic and let cook a few more minutes.

3. In a large bowl combine onion mixture, your grain choice, dried cherries or cranberries, beans, breadcrumbs, vegetable broth, basil and thyme. Mix together and season to taste with salt and pepper. (The stuffing can be made up to three days in advance and stored covered in the refrigerator.)

4. Brush both sides of mushroom caps lightly with olive oil and place top-side down on an oiled sheet pan. Stuff mushrooms with about 1/2 cup stuffing mixture, then sprinkle generously with  cheese. (The mushrooms can be stuffed and assembled on a baking tray the day before you plan to bake and serve them.)

5.Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until the stuffing is browned and the mushroom begins releasing juices. Garnish with extra fresh thyme leaves.  I usually always add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and basalmic vinegar reduction as well.

Yield: Serves 6.

*NOTE:  You can use different chopped or diced vegetables to make your own stuffing mix…tomatoes, zucchini, tofu, goat cheese, carrots, parsnips, potatoes, corn nibblets, and kale also work really well.


Zitti, Eggplant, and Fontina Gratin

Recipe from Food & Wine Magazine

Serves 4

Eggplant is sautéed in olive oil until it’s creamy soft and then tossed with pasta and cheese. A quick stint under the broiler melts the fontina and browns the top.


  • 7  tablespoon(s) olive oil
  • 1  large eggplant (about 1 3/4 pounds), peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 2  cloves garlic, minced
  • 3  tablespoon(s) chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1  pound(s) zitti or penne
  • 1/2 pound(s) fontina, grated (about 2 cups)


  1. In a large nonstick frying pan, heat 4 tablespoons of the oil over moderately high heat. Add the eggplant and 3/4 teaspoon of the salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the eggplant is soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the garlic, parsley, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper and cook 3 minutes longer.
  2. Heat the broiler. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until just done, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain.
  3. Toss the pasta with the eggplant, the remaining 3 tablespoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add the cheese and toss again. Transfer the pasta to a shallow baking dish or gratin dish. Broil until the cheese melts and starts to brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Wine Recommendation: Though dolcetto translates as little sweet one, that refers to the grape; the wine is delightfully dry. It will make an ideal partner for this tasty dish.

Tips & Techniques

Eggplant controversies: Cooks in Italy, as everywhere, disagree about whether or not eggplant should be peeled. It seems to be a matter of personal preference, but keep in mind that an eggplant that is overgrown or has been stored for a long time will have a tough skin that will not soften during cooking. It’s often a good idea to peel it. Whether or not to salt and drain eggplant before cooking remains a matter of dispute, too. Some say you should salt slices heavily and drain them on paper towels for an hour to rid the eggplant of any bitterness; others feel it’s an unnecessary step. What is indisputably true is that eggplant that has been salted and drained will absorb less oil during frying than eggplant that has not.


Vegetarian Bean Bolognese

Recipe from EatingWell

Total Time: 40 min

Cook Time: 30 min

Serves 4


  • 1 can(s) salad beans or other beans, rinsed, divided
  • 2 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup(s) chopped carrot
  • 1/4 cup(s) chopped celery
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 4 clove(s) garlic, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup(s) white wine
  • 1 can(s) diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup(s) chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • 8 ounce(s) whole-wheat fettuccine
  • 1/2 cup(s) freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Put a large pot of water on to boil. Mash 1/2 cup beans in a small bowl with a fork.
  2. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery and salt; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and bay leaf; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add wine; increase heat to high and boil until most of the liquid evaporates, 3 to 4 minutes. Add tomatoes (with juices), 2 tablespoons parsley and the mashed beans. Bring to a lively simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 6 minutes. Add the remaining whole beans; cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes more.
  3. Meanwhile, cook pasta in the boiling water until just tender, about 9 minutes or according to package directions. Drain.
  4. Remove the bay leaf from the sauce. Divide the pasta among 4 bowls. Top with the sauce, sprinkle with Parmesan and the remaining parsley.


Moroccan Sweet Potato Stew

Recipe from Good Housekeeping

*Note: Substitute the chicken broth with vegetable broth to keep in vegetarian friendly.  This dish is perfect over pasta or rice.  It’s also delicious and filling on it’s own! :)

Serves: 4

Yields: 6 1/2 cups

Total Time: 43 min

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 28 min


  • 2 teaspoon(s) olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 clove(s) garlic, crushed with press
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) curry powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) ground allspice
  • 1 can(s) (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can(s) (14 to 14.5 ounces/1.75 cups ) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup(s) no-salt-added garbanzo beans (chick peas), rinsed and drained
  • 1 large (about 16 ounces) sweet potato, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 2 small (about 6 ounces each) zucchini, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 1 cup(s) whole-grain couscous
  • 1/4 cup(s) loosely packed fresh mint leaves, chopped


  1. In nonstick 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook 8 to 10 minutes or until tender and lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Stir in garlic, curry powder, cumin, and allspice; cook 30 seconds.
  2. Add tomatoes, broth, beans, and sweet potato; cover and heat to boiling over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cover and cook 10 minutes. Stir in zucchini and cook, covered, 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare couscous as label directs.
  4. Stir mint into stew. Serve stew with couscous.


Vegetable Pot Pie with Sweet Potato Biscuits

Recipe from Food & Wine Magazine

Serves 8

Total Time 1 hour and 45 minutes

*Note: You can also make regular biscuits or puff pastry to top these individual servings of pot pies.  Both work really well and tastes delicious!


  • 1 pound(s) parsnips, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 pound(s) Brussels sprouts, halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 pound(s) pearl onions, peeled and halved (see Tips & Techniques)
  • 1 medium (1 1/2 pounds) head of cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets
  • 1 large (1 1/2 pounds) celery root , peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup(s) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 20 sage leaves
  • 1 teaspoon(s) chopped sage
  • 6 sprig(s) thyme
  • 1 teaspoon(s) chopped thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 1/2 cup(s) milk
  • 1/4 cup(s) finely chopped yellow onion
  • 5 sprig(s) flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup(s) heavy cream
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Unbaked Sweet Potato Biscuits
  • 1 large egg, beaten


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°. In a large roasting pan, toss the parsnips, Brussels sprouts, pearl onions, cauliflower, and celery root with the olive oil. Add 6 of the sage leaves and 4 of the thyme sprigs and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 30 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the vegetables are tender and lightly browned in spots. Discard the sage leaves and thyme sprigs. Lower the oven temperature to 375°.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the milk with the chopped onion, parsley, 6 of the sage leaves and the remaining 2 thyme sprigs, and bring to a simmer. Cover and let stand off the heat for 15 minutes. Strain the milk; rinse out the saucepan.
  3. Melt the butter in the saucepan. Add the flour and cook over moderate heat, whisking, until golden, about 2 minutes. Add the strained milk to the saucepan, reduce the heat to low, and whisk occasionally until very thick, about 10 minutes. Whisk in the chopped sage and thyme and the heavy cream and season with the nutmeg and salt and pepper. Fold the sauce into the roasted vegetables.
  4. Spoon the vegetable mixture into eight large, 4-inch-wide ramekins and top with the unbaked Sweet Potato Biscuits. Brush the tops of the biscuits with the beaten egg and press the 8 remaining sage leaves onto the biscuits. Bake the potpies in the center of the oven for about 15 minutes until the biscuits are golden and risen and the filling is bubbling. Let the potpies cool slightly, then serve.

Tips & Techniques

To peel pearl onions, blanch them in a pot of boiling water for 1 minute. Let cool, then peel off the skins.

*NOTE:  Visit me again on Monday,  November 22nd, 2010 to read “Dessert Table Menu Ideas & Recipes!”  It’s the perfect way to end your Thanksgiving Dinner Party!

“Eating is Believing!”


amy sue :)

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