If you’re having a dinner party or some other event where you’re hoping to impress people (especially if those people aren’t vegetarian), try these gourmet vegetarian recipes – guaranteed to look beautiful and taste delicious.
Antipasto, which means “before food” in Italian, is a salad-like appetizer consisting of various fresh and pickled vegetables, cheeses, and rolled or sliced meats. For vegetarian antipasto, you can either substitute mock meat products or leave them out altogether.
Artichoke & Spinach Dip
This is a lovely dip, easily made vegan and served warm.
These elegant little appetizers are quick and easy to prepare and absolutely delicious.
Broiled Ricotta Gnocchi
Gnocchi are usually treated like a variety of pasta and served with sauce. But these broiled ricotta gnocchi are great served plain or as dumplings.
To caramelize onions, you need to cook them for a long time in a bit of oil or butter. The hardest part of this recipe is waiting for them to finish!
These warm and bubbly croutons go equally well with soup and salad.
Cheese plates can be simple or elaborate, with dozens of different cheeses or just a few. There’s no one right way to make a cheese plate, but these guidelines can help you put together a cheese plate you and your friends will never forget.
Delectable "crab" cakes made with tempeh and served with sherry sauce.
A platter of crudités typically consists one or more types of raw vegetables served with one or more dips. These can be served as an appetizer, at a buffet, in place of a salad – the sky is the limit. Here are some ideas for interesting crudité platters.
A lovely, thick eggplant dip. Great with crackers, French bread, pita bread, or crudités.
Hummus – Chick Pea Dip
An Eastern Mediterranean dip, very common in Lebanon, Egypt, and a number of other countries. A heavenly blend of chick peas, garlic…
Maki rolls are a vegetarian relative of sushi. This recipe calls for cucumber and avocado, but you can experiment with other ingredients as well.
Onion confit is basically carmelized onions with a couple of additional ingredients. Don’t let its simplicity fool you – onion confit is a terrific addition to pizza, pasta, mashed potatoes, and curry.
If you miss the taste of chopped liver, give this vegetarian pâté a try. You might even be able to fool your non-veggie friends.
A blend of sweet, sour, and spicy makes this peach salsa an unusual and delicious summertime condiment.
Red Onion Confit
A simple recipe that yields a delicious appetizer.
Roasted Red Pepper Dip
The first time I tasted this roasted red pepper dip, it was so good that I actually gasped.
Sun-Dried Tomato Pâté
Looking for an elegant and tasty appetizer? Look no further – this is a real treat for even the most discriminating palates. Also try "red, white, and green" pâté.
Tapenade – Olive Dip
A typical Mediterranean dip, made mostly of olives and olive oil. Traditional recipes include anchovies, but there is absolutely no need for them here.
Tuscan Bean Dip
This elegant bean dip is known as fagioli in fiasco, or beans in a bottle. Traditionally made in Tuscany in a Chianti bottle cooked in embers in a brick oven, this modern version is creamy and delicious.
Arugula isn’t to everyone’s taste, as it has a slightly spicy, peppery flavor. For those who can’t get enough of it, this salad with toasted pine nuts will hit the spot.
Asparagus, olives, mint, bell pepper, and onion – a nice mix for a summer salad.
Bean Salad with Walnuts and Feta
When you cook your own beans, they are one of the healthiest things out there, and they are delicious with just a pinch of salt. They are also wonderful paired with feta and toasted walnuts, as in this simple bean salad.
Bell Pepper Salad
If you like bell peppers, this beautiful salad made of roasted green and red bell peppers from North Africa (Morocco and Tunisia) will be a real treat.
Yes, it is possible to make vegetarian Caesar salad, and with this recipe you’ll never even miss the anchovies.
This tomato-mozzarella-basil dish is my favorite starter; even though I make it myself regularly, I always order it when I eat out.
Chèvre (Goat Cheese) Salad
The contrast between the cool lettuce and the warm goat cheese and toast makes this a real treat in the summer.
Warm chickpea salad with artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes – a real treat.
There’s nothing like a bowl of fresh, sweet fruit salad in the summer. No one really needs a recipe for fruit salad, but here are some ideas to get you started.
Porcini and Fennel Salad
Porcini, fennel, and vanilla oil make a simple but stunning salad.
Sabzi – Herb Salad
If you grow your own herbs, this healthy salad is a great way to enjoy them… or show them off.
Sun-Dried Tomato Salad
This tangy dish is easy to prepare and is especially delicious in the summertime.
A very simple yet surprisingly tasty salad, perfect as a first course or on a picnic.
White Bean Salad
This is a simple and delicious recipe, perfect for a summer picnic.
Winter White Bean Salad
I served this warm white bean salad at a dinner party and more than half the guests wanted the recipe. It is absolutely delicious and very easy to make.
Crêpes are thin pancakes that can be wrapped around just about anything to turn it into an elegant meal, or just folded and topped with something yummy. Try some of these fillings and toppings, or experiment to invent your own.
These elegant little eggplant slices rolled around cheese and herbs will impress everyone.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Parsnips
These aren’t much more work than regular mashed potatoes, but they have a lot more flavor.
Grilled Tomato Sauce
This tomato sauce is quick and delicious. The rich flavor complements goat cheese and eggplant dishes.
Red Pepper Coulis
A coulis is a puréed sauce. Try this roasted red pepper coulis with soup, pasta, or tortilla chips.
These peppers are tasty plain or with rice, bread, or pasta.
Potato Leek Gratin
Potatoes and leeks are one of those combinations that are just meant to be, and this gratin recipe is the perfect way to enjoy them.
These stuffed tomatoes from southern France are delicious served with soup, pasta, or rice dishes.
Red Cabbage with Cranberries
A sweet-and-sour side dish that will brighten your table at Thanksgiving or any time of the year.
Roasting vegetables brings out all kinds of flavor and depth. This recipe is just a guide – feel free to add/subtract/substitute any of the vegetables.
If you like potato dishes, you’ll love this Spanish potato recipe with saffron, almonds, and bread crumbs.
Spanish Tortilla with Peas
Peas and saffron really spice up a traditional Spanish tortilla (potato omelette).
Stuffed mushrooms glazed with a balsamic vinegar reduction add an elegant touch to any dish.
Stuffed Round Zucchini
They taste pretty much the same as their cucumber-shaped siblings, but small, round, green zucchini are much cuter. This easy recipe for stuffed round zucchini lets you enjoy the cuteness just a little bit longer.
Tomato Cheese Tart
An extremely simple dish that is always a hit. Everyone who eats it raves about the crust.
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love gratins – there’s something about the cheese/bread crumb layer on top that appeals to just about everyone. If this sounds like you, try this tasty way to use up some leftover vegetables.
Asparagus Leek Soup
A lovely, rich soup made with asparagus, leeks, and mushrooms and topped with a corn and bell pepper garnish.
Chilled soups are wonderful in the summertime, and they tend to be incredibly easy to prepare. This creamy avocado soup is no exception.
Bell Pepper Soup
A delicious, colorful soup that can be served hot or cold.
Rich, cold, and a lovely shade of orange, carrot vichyssoise swirled with a balsamic reduction will impress your friends and delight your tastebuds – only you will know how simple it is to prepare.
A flavorful and incredibly creamy yet entirely vegan soup, with a texture similar to that of a thin potato purée.
Cream of Broccoli Soup
A lovely green soup packed with vitamins and flavor.
Curried Carrot Coconut Soup
An incredibly flavorful vegan soup that takes only 15 minutes to prepare.
French Onion Soup
Traditional French onion soup is made with beef broth, but this vegetarian version is so flavorful that meat-eaters will never know the difference!
This garlic soup is as good as anything you’ve ever had in a restaurant – it is wonderfully rich and velvety.
Moroccan Chickpea Soup
Chickpeas and red pepper coulis make a fresh and flavorful soup.
A lovely, creamy vegetarian/vegan soup which is the essence of mushrooms.
This is a rich and delicious vegetarian alternative to New England clam chowder.
Potato Leek Soup
There’s something about the combination of potatoes and leeks in a creamy soup base – it’s a terrific comfort food.
Potato Zucchini Soup
An easy, incredibly flavorful soup that tastes best just barely warm.
Raw Corn Chowder
Fresh corn is so sweet and delicious that there’s no need to cook it.
Roasted Corn Soup
A great way to enjoy corn – this roasted corn soup is rich and spicy.
Roasted Leek and Carrot Soup
Smooth and delicious.
Roasted Vegetable Stew
Roasting brings out all the rich flavor and sweetness of veggies.
Sweet Potato and Corn Soup
Sweet potato soup with corn, peppers, and carmelized onions is a real cold weather treat.
Sweet Potato-Tomato-Chipotle Soup
Warm up quickly with this easy but flavorful vegan soup.
A simple combination of potatoes, onions, and milk that make a deliciously creamy, chilled soup.
Wild Rice and Cranberry Soup
An elegant soup made of wild rice and cranberries laced with sherry.
There’s nothing quite like buttermilk biscuits hot out of the oven.
Hot cornbread is absolutely delicious topped with butter or cream cheese.
I find that the nicest meals are always nicer with some bread in my hand, preferably warm from the oven. We don’t have a nice bakery nearby, so I have to make my own rolls, and this is the simplest recipe I’ve found.
Hot Cross Buns
If you enjoy baking and have plenty of time, why not make some homemade hot cross buns? They’re traditional during Good Friday, Easter, and Lent, but of course the recipe is just as delicious any time of the year.
Rosemary focaccia, from Italy, is one of my favorite breads in the world, and the hardest part of this recipe is waiting for the dough to rise.
Sun-Dried Tomato Bread
If you love sun-dried tomatoes and sourdough bread, give this quick and easy sourdough-like sun-dried tomato bread a try.
Couscous is a grain made of semolina commonly eaten in North Africa with vegetables and meat, fish, and/or poultry. This vegetarian version, simple vegetable couscous, is less common, but no less delicious.
Deep-Dish Potato Pie
If you’re looking for a rich and elegant dish and aren’t worried about calories, give this beautiful potato pie a try.
Eggplant layered with tomato sauce and topped with saffron custard makes an elegant and delicious main course.
Eggplant Parmigiana / Parmesan
This classic vegetarian dish is a perfect main course served alongside/atop plain pasta.
Eggplant Zucchini Gratin
Layers of eggplant and zucchini with tomato sauce and custard make a delightful first or main course.
Making fresh pasta takes less than an hour and you can’t beat it for taste and texture. Kids will love the different color possibilities.
A light, vegan lasagna made with artichokes, eggplant, and lemons.
Grilled Vegetable Gratin
This hearty dish is made with pasta and grilled vegetables and topped with melted cheese.
Don’t let this Turkish stuffed eggplant’s prep time scare you – less than 20 minutes is hands on, and since it tastes best at room temperature, you can make it a day in advance. This recipe uses quite a bit less oil than traditional imam bayildi, but it’s just as delicious.
Vegetarian lasagne is easy and delicious. Here’s a variation on the classic red sauce version, with some extra vegetables.
Spinach lasagna, sometimes called lasagne Florentine, is a classic vegetarian dish made with a creamy white sauce, cheese, and vegetables.
Serve leeks baked with several cheeses and a bit of cream over flavorful pasta or rice for a rich and delicious treat.
Moussaka is a Greek dish traditionally made with lamb or beef. This vegetarian / vegan moussaka recipe uses portobello mushrooms and seitan instead. A rich and delicious main course.
Mushroom Goat Cheese Lasagna
This is a beautiful, elegant, and somewhat complicated lasagna, which makes it perfect for a dinner party.
Three kinds of mushrooms combine with cheese, garlic, and pasta into a lovely main course.
Wild mushroom risotto is earthy and unbelievably rich. It takes some time at the stove, but is well worth it for a special dinner.
Working with filo dough is not as difficult as you might think, and this elegant mushroom dish is well worth the effort.
Pissaladière is an onion pizza or onion tart from Provence. Traditionally made with anchovies, this vegetarian pissaladière is spiced up with tapenade instead.
A Spanish dish traditionally made with meat and shellfish. This flexible veggie version is simpler, but no less delicious.
Spanish Tortilla with Zucchini
An amazing, melt-in-your-mouth potato and zucchini omelette. It does take a long time to prepare, but it tastes best at room temperature, so it’s great for parties since you can make it the day before.
Sweet Potato Gratin
Sweet potatoes layered with black beans, rice, and spinach make a hearty, healthy main course.
Winter Squash Risotto
Risotto isn’t difficult to make, but it does require a lot of standing at the stove, stirring away. The end result, however, is delicious and a wonderful comfort food.
One of the most delicious ways to use zucchini that I’ve ever found, and it’s quick and easy too! This dish is perfect for parties and pot lucks, because you can make it the day before and it tastes great whether hot or at room temperature.
Simple but stunning: roasted zucchini slices wrapped around herbed ricotta and served on a pool of warm tomato sauce.
I love fruit cobblers, and apricots and strawberries make a particularly nice combination.
This is one of my favorite desserts of all time. It’s also lovely with a cup of tea for breakfast or a mid-afternoon snack.
Cashew Cardamom Cupcakes
Cashew butter frosting on top of little cashew butter cakes… how can you go wrong?
Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies
Crispy, sweet, delicious vegan cookies!
Chocolate Mocha Cake
I developed this recipe with a friend about 10 years ago. It’s extremely rich and fattening, but well worth every calorie.
This has got to be one of the easiest and most delicious desserts that exists. Many chocolate mousse recipes call for gelatin; not this one!
These delicious chocolate-nut candies are easy to make and will keep for two weeks (if they last that long!)
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
A delicious, rich, warm chocolate cake with a hint of peanut butter that tastes even better when served with berry sauce and/or vanilla ice cream.
Whether you fill them, top them, or both, sweet crêpes make the ultimate elegant dessert. Once you’ve whipped up the batter, the hardest part is figuring out the perfect combination of fillings and/or toppings for your own personal sweet tooth.
Frozen Anisette Soufflé
Frozen soufflés make a nice, light dessert after a rich meal. This recipe calls for anise-flavored liqueur, but you could use another flavor like orange or hazelnut instead.
Sweet, rich cheesecake with a ginger snap crust and orange glaze.
Light and tangy; perfect after a heavy, rich, or spicy meal.
A vegan version of Milanos®, Pepperidge Farm’s® crisply rich and elegant chocolate sandwich cookies.
Make a big batch of vegetarian mincemeat so that you can make a few pies and have some left over to serve with ice cream, custard, pudding, or crêpes. You can also can or freeze it for later.
Light, refreshing, and 100% vegan. Can be made with lemons or berries too.
Pineapple Banana Sorbet
A cool recipe with tropical flavor.
Plum pudding is a traditional Christmas dessert in the UK, and is normally made with suet. Julia Child’s version shows that there’s no reason plum pudding can’t be vegetarian.
Sweet, tart, and very "plummy," this plum sorbet is made without an ice cream machine.
Creamy, rich, and not-too-sweet pumpkin cheesecake is a perfect Thanksgiving dessert.
When you add just the right amount of sugar, rhubarb cobbler is divine – especially for breakfast.
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Not too sweet, not too tart, strawberry rhubarb pie is one of the best summer desserts.
When it’s hot out, a cool strawberry sorbet really hits the spot.
Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake
A sweet, creamy blend of pumpkin, tofu, cashews, and banana, topped with candied pecans.
If you crave the spiciness of a bloody mary but don’t want the alcohol, try this tasty variation – or make the real thing.
Homemade ginger ale is easy to make and much more "gingery" than anything you can buy at the store.
Lassi is a sweet Indian drink made from yogurt – it’s perfect for cooling your mouth while eating spicy food.
This tangy lemonade is so refreshing, you’ll want to drink it all summer.
This traditional Spanish drink goes well with spicy foods, is delicious in summer, and works well as a party punch bowl. There’s also a non-alcoholic version that kids will love.
When you feel like having something a little more special than plain old juice, try this sparkling juice recipe.