Top 10 vegetarian main courses

  • By
    Natalie Hardwick - Senior writer - bbcgoodfood.com

Finding an original meat-free option for entertaining can be a challenge. We have some ideas for individual dishes and larger sharing recipes.

Glazed carrot tart

While Christmas is a treat for those with a carnivorous side, those who follow a meat-free diet may be faced with the dreary prospect of a standard issue nut roast. Make sure your vegetarian guests are treated like royalty with one of our easy but impressive main course recipes. 

Top tips

A roll of pastry is a wise buy. It allows you to make individual pastry pies, tartlets and parcels, meaning you can avoid waste and cater for as many people as you need to. It’s also useful if you need to cater for someone at the last minute.

Vegetarian red wine gravyBe aware of your side dishes. Make sure if you’re using duck or goose fat on your potatoes you also make a batch with oil, and try not to roast your vegetables anywhere near the meat.

Remember to make vegetarian gravy so your non meat-eating guests don’t miss out on one of the best parts of Christmas dinner.

Keep things simple and make your starter vegetarian to avoid having to make separate veggie dishes for two courses.

Don’t forget dessert. Some mince pies or Christmas puddings may contain suet, which is non-vegetarian. Check packaging carefully if you’re buying your pudding, or try making your own mincemeat with vegetarian suet. If you’re making a Christmas trifle, make sure your jelly doesn’t contain gelatine. 

Our top 10 vegetarian main courses

Individual portions

Golden glazed carrot tart
Golden-glazed carrot, mushroom & hazelnut tart

You can make the mushroom mix or assemble most of this beautiful pie in advance, saving you precious minutes on the day itself. 

 

 

polenta and goat's cheese stacks
Polenta & goat's cheese stacks

This restaurant-quality main course is sure to dazzle – just make sure you don’t forget the vegetarian Parmesan, as often the regular variety contains animal rennet.

 

 

Individidual Christmas pies

Individual Christmas pies

Containing lentils, mushrooms, chestnuts, potatoes and cranberries, these little pot pies with light vegetarian suet pastry work well with all the trimmings and a healthy splash of gravy.

 

 

Pithivier


Squash & sage pithivier

These pastry parcels have the right balance of flavour and texture, from the sweet butternut squash, to the creamy mustard mascarpone. 

 

 

For a group...

Shallot tatin
Shallot Tatin

This tart adapts a classic dessert recipe from its puff pastry base and caramel glaze to its decoratively arranged topping. 

 

 

Spinach rice and onion torte


Spinach, cheese & onion rice torte

If this doesn’t get eaten on the day, it makes a great leftover dish with some seasonal salad and a rustic slaw. The sesame seed topping sets it apart from your average veggie pie. 

 

 

Squash and blue cheese wellington

Squash & blue cheese Wellington

A traditional log shaped pastry, minus the beef. It’s also freezable, so can be made in advance. It would work well with one of our vegetarian gravy recipes. 

 

 

Baked pumpkin

Baked pumpkin with cream & onions

This creamy dish served direct from the pumpkin will really impress your guests. Serve in wedges with some crispy roast potatoes.  

 

 

Parsnip loaf

Parsnip, cranberry & chestnut loaf

This modern take on the lampooned nut roast is one of our most popular vegetarian Christmas recipes. The parsnip topping is a stylish finishing touch.  

 

 

Are you tentatively ditching the turkey and having a vegetarian Christmas this year? Or are you catering for a few special guests? Share your recipe ideas with us below, or take a look through our other vegetarian Christmas recipes

 

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