Many of us cherish the tradition of centering our holiday meals on a sumptuous roast, like a crisp-skinned turkey, a smoky-and-sweet glazed ham, or a tender medium-rare prime rib. It's easy for those who don't eat meat to end up feeling left out—as much as we love sides, there's something exciting for the cook about presenting a centerpiece dish for everyone to fuss over, just as there's excitement for the guests in the anticipation of (and fussing over) said dish. And the holidays are a time for us all to share in common sentiments of joy and peace and goodwill and deliciousness, right? So if you've got vegetarians or vegans to feed at an upcoming party, consider providing an entree that's suitable for them, in addition to (or, if you really want to show solidarity, instead of) the meat. Just make sure it's so good that everyone else at the table will ask for seconds, too. We've collected 13 recipes that your whole crowd will love, no matter their eating styles—including comforting lasagnas, creamy risottos, and an awesome and totally vegan take on beef Wellington.
Green Risotto With Mushrooms (Vegan)
Almost everyone loves risotto, and too many people think it's too labor- or time-intensive to make at home. The truth is that if you use the right rice and a wide skillet, you don't need to stir constantly. For this vegan risotto, we lighten the dish with a purée made of spinach and herbs, blanched and shocked in ice water to preserve their vibrant color.
Easy Vegan Pressure-Cooker Miso Risotto
While several of our other risotto recipes use a little miso paste just to boost the umami flavor, in this dairy-free version miso is a primary ingredient. Light yellow or white miso is a better choice than brown or red to preserve the risotto's subtlety; if you go with one of the latter options, cut the amount by about half.
Vegetables Wellington (The Ultimate Vegan Plant-Based Holiday Roast)
Beef Wellington—a dish of beef tenderloin wrapped with prosciutto and foie gras in a buttery crust—is a fine-dining standard from the days when "vegetarian cuisine" was considered a contradiction in terms at best and a punishment at worst. But that was then, and today, thanks to this recipe, you can make a vegan version that's just as satisfying. Here, we fill a crisp phyllo crust with roasted carrots, mushroom duxelles, smoked mushroom "bacon," boiled cashews, cannellini beans, toasted sunflower seeds and pepitas, and sautéed aromatics. Making it is an all-day affair, but the result is a stunning and delicious centerpiece that your vegetarian guests (and maybe even some die-hard omnivores) will absolutely fall in love with.
Pressure Cooker Butternut Squash Risotto With Frizzled Sage and Brown Butter
If making risotto in a skillet is easier than you'd think, making it in a pressure cooker is an absolute breeze. Just toast the rice in the cooker, add the broth, and close the lid. We flavor this risotto with butternut squash two ways—puréed and in chunks—along with toasty browned butter and crisped sage, with a bit of sweet maple syrup and apple to round it out.
Pressure Cooker Mushroom Risotto
For an easy pressure cooker risotto that's packed with flavor, we use a pound and a half of mixed mushrooms for two cups of uncooked rice, and intensify the flavor even further by infusing the broth with dried porcinis and mushroom trimmings. A touch of miso paste pumps up the savoriness.
The Best Spinach Lasagna
A hearty lasagna is one of our favorite holiday mains. This one is made with sautéed spinach, ricotta, and a pinch of nutmeg, which complements the creamy white sauce and lends a little festive flair besides. Use a quality brand of ricotta with no artificial stabilizers—if you can't find any, use cottage cheese instead.
Ultra-Creamy Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna
The cottage cheese in this recipe, joined by spinach, mushroom duxelles, and a rich béchamel, adds a nice tang to the finished lasagna. Soak no-boil noodles in water before assembling the lasagna so you'll have more control over the final texture.
Creamy Brussels Sprouts and Mushroom Lasagna
Brussels sprouts are transformed into a rich, rib-sticking treat when creamed and paired with mushroom duxelles in this lasagna. We char finely shredded sprouts in a skillet until they're nice and brown to bring out their sweet, nutty flavor, then add cream and layer them with mushrooms, noodles, béchamel, and cheese.
The Best Squash Lasagna
The soothing cold-weather flavors of winter squash and sage make a great base for a lasagna. To maximize the squash flavor, we use both roasted squash puréed with cream cheese and chunks of squash sautéed with apple, which bumps up the sweetness without being distracting.
Homemade Mushroom Tortellini
Tortellini are time-consuming to prepare, but once you've mastered a basic pasta dough, there's no need to be intimidated. We fill these delicate tortellini with a classic combination of mushrooms, shallots, and Parmesan.
Homemade Butternut Squash and Blue Cheese Ravioli With Sage Brown Butter Sauce
Ravioli are significantly easier to make from scratch than tortellini, especially if you invest in an inexpensive ravioli maker, which will allow you to devote more attention to the filling and sauce. We stuff these ravioli with roasted butternut squash and onion, plus some blue cheese to balance out the sweetness. The sauce is sage-scented brown butter thinned out with some of the cooking liquid from the ravioli.
Baked Ziti With Two Mozzarellas and Parmesan Cream Sauce
This comforting baked ziti requires less than half an hour of active cooking. Because grainy, subpar ricotta is the undoing of many baked zitis, here we replace it with a drizzling of Parmesan cream sauce. Low-moisture mozzarella melts beautifully when mixed in with the pasta, while a topping of fresh mozzarella and basil leaves provides an extra dose of flavor and a pretty presentation.
Vegetarian Maqluba (Rice Layered With Tomatoes, Eggplant, and Cauliflower)
I grew up eating maqluba, a Middle Eastern rice dish, at least a couple of times a year—my grandmother would make it whenever we visited, and my dad would make it for holidays. We usually made it with lamb or chicken, but seeing as the real stars of the dish are the vegetables, a meat-free version comes naturally. Here, we use tomato, cauliflower, and eggplant, seasoned with warm spices like allspice, cumin, turmeric, and coriander. The vegetables are layered with rice to form a tall, golden, savory cake that's a lovely focal point for the holiday table.