vegetarian Thanksgiving
November 24, 2015 11:12 AM   Subscribe

Can you point me in the direction of some good butternut squash recipes that would work as the main dish at a small vegetarian Thanksgiving?

I'm going to be hosting a small Thanksgiving this year, just 4 of us. My partner is a vegetarian, so we're skipping the turkey. Some kind of stuffed squash dish sounds appealing to me as the main course, but I don't have a tried and true recipe, so I'm turning to you for suggestions. If you have other recipe suggestions for a good main course for a veggie Thanksgiving, I would be happy to hear that too.
posted by colfax to Food & Drink (26 answers total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
I love this autumn harvest couscous, which calls for delicata squash but butternut would make a fine substitute. It's not a stuffed squash, but I think the dish looks seasonal and beautiful in a rustic way, and it certainly tastes delicious---warm spices and ginger, plus the spark of tomato (I subbed a can of fire-roasted diced there, by the way). I used golden raisins when I made this, just to enhance the overall AUTUMN-ness, but you could probably also use dried cranberries to good seasonal effect.
posted by little mouth at 11:18 AM on November 24, 2015

Best answer: This butternut squash and caramelized onion galette is outstanding.
posted by something something at 11:19 AM on November 24, 2015 [11 favorites]

Best answer: The New York Times has a tasty sounding set of choices with lots of squash options.
Personally, I think cauliflower "steak" sounds the best on that page so that's what I'll be trying.
posted by mattamatic at 11:19 AM on November 24, 2015

If you want to get super fancy, The Food Lab's Vegetables Wellington is probably fantastic, if incredibly labor-intensive. (I have not made it myself, but J Kenji's vegetarian and vegan recipes have always turned out very well for me.)

Serious Eats also has several lists of Thanksgiving recipes, including vegetarian mains, all-vegetarian Thanksgiving and all-vegan Thanksgiving menus.
posted by Kpele at 11:21 AM on November 24, 2015 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I really like this Grilled Sweet and Sour Squash. We call them squash steaks.
posted by mollywas at 11:30 AM on November 24, 2015

Best answer: I love Dorie Greenspan's Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good as a low effort, incredibly delicious vegetarian meal centerpiece. Yes, you eat the skin, but I suppose you don't have to.

The galatte that something something suggested is also delicious and pretty low effort, although it looks like something that was hard to prepare.
posted by crush-onastick at 11:36 AM on November 24, 2015

Butternut is an element rather than the main event, but - I once did a vegetarian-friendly "FriendsGiving", and did the Polenta Dome as a "main dish for the veggie/side dish for the meat eaters" option.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:37 AM on November 24, 2015

I came in to suggest the stuffed pumpkin mentioned by crush-onastick. This has worked out beautifully for me and is pretty forgiving and flexible. Essentially, you end up with any kind of stuffing in the pumpkin - feel free to expand on the given recipe to include your favorite stuffing ingredients. I find pouring some extra cream in before baking can't go amiss either. A layer of cranberry sauce in the middle would be pretty. The final dish can be sliced into pretty servings with pumpkin around the edge of the stuffing and each person can cut their pumpkin away from the skin. The only cautions I would mention are don't cook it for too long or the pumpkin could collapse, and be careful when serving - it may be difficult to move it from the cooking pan to a serving dish so ideally they'd be the same.
posted by RoadScholar at 11:58 AM on November 24, 2015

There are a lot of butternut squash ravioli (with sage butter) and risotto recipes online. I haven't tried any so I won't link, but thought I'd throw that out there as an option.
posted by JenMarie at 12:25 PM on November 24, 2015

Best answer: I found this on Dr. Fuhrman's website. It looks pretty dang fabulous. It serves 2, so just bump up your amounts per how many you are serving.

Pecan and Sage Stuffed Acorn Squash

1 large acorn squash, halved and seeded
1 shallot, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1/4 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup diced red peppers, reserve 1 tablespoon for garnish
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
2 tablespoons pecans, chopped
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons raw cashew butter
2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
1/4 cup dried unsulfured apricots, diced
pinch cayenne

Bake acorn squash halves face down in 1/2 inch water for 45 minutes at 350 degrees F.

Saute shallot, garlic, celery and red peppers in a hot, dry stainless steel pan for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in the quinoa, pecans, vinegar, nutritional yeast, cashew butter, sage, apricots and cayenne.

Stuff the acorn squash with quinoa mixture and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
Serve with a sprinkle of diced red pepper on top.
posted by bearwife at 12:47 PM on November 24, 2015

Oh, and one more very well rated suggestion from Fuhrman's site, serves 6:

Thanksgiving Non-Meat Loaf

2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
4 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons Bragg Liquid Aminos
1 (14 ounce) box soft tofu, drained and patted dry with paper towel
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/4 cups chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 cups chopped portobello mushrooms
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon Dr. Fuhrman's VegiZest or other no-salt-seasoning blend, adjusted to taste
2 teaspoons Spike (no salt) seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons basil
1/2 teaspoon sage
3/4 cup whole grain bread crumbs
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix arrowroot powder, water, Braggs, and tofu together in a high-powered blender. Add walnuts & blend until smooth.

Saute onions, celery, and mushrooms in water with seasonings and herbs until vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally.

In a bowl, mix together tofu mixture, vegetables, bread crumbs and cooked rice.

With a paper towel, spread a small amount of olive oil in a loaf pan. Add mixture to pan and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let cool for 30 minutes. Turn loaf out and slice.

Note: May be served with low sodium ketchup and thinly sliced raw onion.
posted by bearwife at 12:50 PM on November 24, 2015

Best answer: I've done this savory squash bread pudding with butternut squash before, and it's fantastic. All of your prep is done the night before; day-of, all you have to do is bake it.

Will also nth the recommendation for stuffed squash. Stuffed delicata squash is delicious, and can be made in individual servings. The Kitchn has an excellent base recipe.

Prep & roast your delicata squash following the linked instructions from the Kitchn. In place of their stuffing, try the following for a more autumnal dish:
Cook 1-2 cups farro (scale according to the size of your squash). In a separate pan, caramelize 1-2 large onions; once done, use a splash of broth or water to deglaze the fond, then add your farro, and a large handful of dried cranberries. Season with salt, cinnamon, and cumin to taste. Fold in chopped parsley or cilantro and toasted/chopped walnuts at the end. Stuff squash (if there's extra stuffing, just serve it on the side), and bake 8-10 more minutes, then garnish with more parsley/cilantro before serving.
posted by staraling at 12:56 PM on November 24, 2015

I do baked acorn squash halves stuffed with lentil stew and served on a bed of mashed potatoes.
posted by kinetic at 1:57 PM on November 24, 2015

Do your people like garlic and black pepper? I make the following simple dish every year and am told it's quite addictive. It's very strongly flavored, though, so it may be more appropriate as a side dish (I like having something with some zing as a counterpoint to the heaviness of the Thanksgiving meal).

4 lbs winter squash (I use kabocha, but butternut is good too)
~80 cloves garlic
1 to 2 Tbsp. peppercorns
1/2 c. cooking oil
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. soy sauce (for vegetarian version; non-veg version uses fish sauce)

Mince the garlic and grind the peppercorns. Cook garlic and pepper in the oil over medium low until garlic begins to brown. Cube the squash and toss in the oil mixture and brown sugar to coat. Place in a large frying pan, add soy sauce, and add not quite enough water to cover the squash. Cook over high heat, stirring often, until squash is well-cooked but still chunky and liquid is thickened and spattering (about 10 minutes). Make this a day ahead to let the flavors meld.
posted by aws17576 at 2:28 PM on November 24, 2015

Best answer: This is my yearly soup recipe:
Curried butternut squash and apple soup
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons good olive oil
4 cups chopped yellow onions (3 large)
2 tablespoons curry powder (or combine crushed turmeric, cumin, coriander seeds, mustard seeds)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper if you want somewhat spicier
5 pounds butternut squash (2 large)
1 1/2 pounds sweet apples, such as McIntosh (4 apples)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups water
2 cups good apple cider or juice

Warm the butter, olive oil, onions, and curry powder in a large stockpot uncovered over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until the onions are tender. Stir occasionally, scraping the bottom of the pot.

Peel the squash, cut in half, and remove the seeds. Cut the squash into chunks. Peel, quarter, and core the apples. Cut into chunks.

Add the squash, apples, salt, pepper, cayenne, and 2 cups of water to the pot. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook over low heat for 30 to 40 minutes, until the squash and apples are very soft. Process the soup through a food mill fitted with a large blade, or puree it coarsely in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade.

Pour the soup back into the pot. Add the apple cider or juice and enough water to make the soup the consistency you like; it should be slightly sweet and quite thick. Check the salt and pepper and serve hot.
posted by rmless at 2:45 PM on November 24, 2015

NPR had a chef on yesterday who said she makes vegetable biriyani and cooks it in a pumpkin. Her recipe is here (bottom of the page). I can't vouch for it personally, but Google turned up a bunch of similar options.
posted by jaguar at 3:12 PM on November 24, 2015

I did the vegducken for a thanksgiving at the weekend, and it was pretty good. A lot of effort though...
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 3:15 PM on November 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

Maybe it's not the most sophisticated or elegant dish, but this Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese is really good. Obviously you'll want to leave out the bacon but it'll still be yummy without it.
posted by Kangaroo at 3:15 PM on November 24, 2015

Best answer: This butternut squash and goat cheese gratin is TO DIE FOR if you eat dairy. It has become my go-to holiday potluck dish.
posted by a.steele at 3:37 PM on November 24, 2015 [2 favorites]

The butternut squash risotto is one of my favorite foods. (My husband is vegetarian. I'm not. Bonus: it can also be made vegan.) The recipe we use comes from Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure, and the recipe is made in a pressure cooker. It can also be made vegan if you leave out all the cheese (optionally, you can use balsamic vinegar to flavor it).

It's most like this recipe: (Except use vegetable bouillon and water instead of chicken broth.) I will try to remember to post the recipe I use later, when I'm home.
posted by ethidda at 5:21 PM on November 24, 2015

Best answer: I can vouch for the gratin that a.steele links to above, I have been making it for at least 8 years straight and people go NUTS for it. Every year around this time family and friends who have had it either ask for the recipe or request that I make it.

This year I'm actually trying something different, though. The blog Alexandra's Kitchen has never, ever let me down and I am really excited to try her Butternut Squash lasanga. Alexandra writes that it stole the show at Thanksgiving last year, yet it looks dead simple and requires very little ingredients. (She has a nice printable menu planner here with the lasagna, along with some other fantastic looking recipes.)
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 6:28 PM on November 24, 2015 [1 favorite]
You could try the vegducken
posted by natasha_k at 7:40 PM on November 24, 2015

This butternut squash gnocchi recipe is probably my favourite butternut squash dish ever. I have also converted it to risotto with success and replaced the fancy gnocchi with plain gnocchi with good results.
posted by keeo at 8:19 PM on November 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I ate this acorn squash stuffed with quinoa
chard and cranberries
four years ago and I still have vivid memories of how good it was.
posted by ActionPopulated at 8:44 PM on November 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

Bryanna Clark Grogans's Locro is a crowd-pleaser and extremely easy to make. It's a stew, so it won't be a fancy main course, but it's delicious.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:21 PM on November 24, 2015

Response by poster: Oh, you lovely people! Thank you so much for all the recipes!!
posted by colfax at 11:49 PM on November 24, 2015 [2 favorites]

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