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Meatless Or Meat? Flexible Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes

Updated on October 30, 2013
Portrait with Vegetables, The Greengrocer, by Giuseppe Arcimboldo.
Portrait with Vegetables, The Greengrocer, by Giuseppe Arcimboldo.

Meat or No Meat?

While not everyone may become a vegetarian or vegan, we probably all can add more vegetable foods to our diets for increased health and varity in nutrition. These days, increasing numbers of people are growing home vegetable gardens to combat the price of some grocery store vegeatbales and in ordr to take advantage of many heirloom seeds on the market.

The meat/no-meat debate is gaining heat every year. In fact, some agricultural breeders are adding vegetables to their livestock feeds, including their Thanskgiving turkeys. From time to time, it has been discovered that commercial livestock were eating their own brand of meat and byproducts and this has been another reason for many individuals to become vegetarian. Another issue in meat production is the possibility of breeding pain-free agricultural animals -- This might elimanate pain, but coult it also lead to rougher and more inhumane handling overall?

The following recipes are vegetarian, but can be adapted for meat dishes or used with them for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.


Cook Time

  • Prep time: 30 min
  • Cook time: 40 min
  • Ready in: 1 hour 10 min
  • Yields: 6 to 8 Servings

Readers' rating for this vegetarian lasagna

5 stars from 1 rating of Vegetable Lasagna

Vegetable Lasagna


For Sauce:

  • Olive oil for saute
  • 3 Cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 Medium sized white onion
  • 2, 15-16oz. cans of tomato puree
  • Fresh basil, oregano, cilantro, chopped, to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Finely chop garlic and onion
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, saute vegetables in olive oil.
  • Add all of the tomato puree at once and stir.
  • Add all seasonings, stir, and simmer over low heat while you prepare the filling.

For Filling:

  • Pot of boiling water
  • Olive Oil for saute
  • 1/2 Red bell pepper
  • 2 Carrots, cleaned
  • 1 Broccoli head, cleaned and separated
  • 1 Zucchini
  • 4 Large mushrooms
  • 8 oz Ricotta cheese
  • 12 oz Shredded Mozzarella
  • 1 Pound of lasagna noodles
  • Parmesan, grated for final garnish


Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.

  • Chop vegetables and saute in olive oil.
  • Into a pot of boiling water, put pasta and boil 8 minutes or to al dente, and drain.
  • Spread 1/4 of the sauce in a rectanglar baking dish.
  • Use 1/3 of the cooked noodles and spread with sauce.
  • Place 1/2 of the vegetables, Ricotta, and Mozzarella as a layer over the noodles.
  • Repeat with another 1/3 of the noodles and the rest of the ingredients.
  • Cover the dish with foil and bake 30 minutes.
  • Remove foil and sprinkle the top with Parmesan to bake 5 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and rest the dish 10 minutes and serve.

Cashew Carrot Chili


  • Olive oil for saute
  • 3 Cans dark red kidney beans, chopped
  • 3 Large white onions, chopped
  • 2 Green bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 Large ribs celery, chopped
  • 3 Cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • Spices: 1 tsp each of basil, cilantro, and cumin; 1 Tbsp chili powder; salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Cans diced tomatoes and juice, with green chillies
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1/4 Cup dry white wine
  • 1 Cup cashews
  • 1/4 Cup raisins - golden or dark
  • 2 Tbsp Cider vinegar


  • Saute onions, bell pepper, celery, and garlic in a large pan or Dutch oven with oil. 
  • Add spices, stir constantly, adn continue to cook until fragrant.
  • Add tomatoes, bay leaf, cashews, raisins, and wine; stir.
  • Add beans, reduce heat, and simmer covered 30 minutes. If the pot becomes too dry, add water or some tomato juice.
  • Add cider vinegar, stir, remove Bay Leaf, and serve.  

The cashew plant.
The cashew plant. | Source

Vegetable Nut Loaf


  • 2 Tbsp margarine
  • 1 Yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 Carrot, chopped
  • 1 Large rib celery, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Cup chopped tomatoes
  • 2 Whole eggs or equivalent of egg substitute
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 Cups chopped nuts
  • Chopped green onions and parsley for garnish. Add a few red onion rings if you like.


  • Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Melt margarine in a large pan; add onion, carrot, and celery; cook until softened.
  • Add tomato paste and tomatoes, stir, and cook 5 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, beat together eggs, parsley, and salt and pepper.
  • Stir in nuts and cooked vegetables.
  • Cooking spray a baking dish and add all food mixture.
  • Bake 30-35 minutes.
  • Upturn loaf onto a serving platter and garnish with green onions and parsley and red onion rings (optional).

Rabbits enjoying cilantro.
Rabbits enjoying cilantro. | Source

Mexican Enchilada Sauce

This vegetarian sauce is great over the vegetable loaf above, burritos, enchiladas, omelets; even chicken, turkey, and pork chops.


  • 1 Medium white onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6 Cups vegetable stock
  • 12 Green chillies, roasted, peeled, and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. flour or cornstarch
  • 1 Cup of hot water
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  • Sauté the chopped onion and garlic in a skillet or Dutch oven with olive oil.
  • Add in the green chilies and vegetable stock and stir.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste. Adjust seasonings as you like.
  • Mix the flour or cornstarch in a cup of hot water; add to skillet and stir well.
  • Simmer over medium low heat for 35 - 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add cilantro, stir, and serve.

Sweet Potato and Pumpkin

Ravioli with Pumpkin - 15/8.8 oz
Ravioli with Pumpkin - 15/8.8 oz

Pumpkin and sweet potato are also good in ravioli for a meatless dish.


Sweet Potato Pumpkin Soup


  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 Large white onion
  • 1 Cup each fresh weet potato and pumpkin, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 2 tsp each ground ginger and cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp chopped green onion
  • 4 Cups vegetable stock
  • 2 Tbsp sliced almonds
  • 1 Green chilli seeded and chopped
  • 1 tsp light brown sugar or honey
  • 4 oz grated coconut
  • Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish


  • In a large saucepan or Dutch oven heat the oil, add onion and cook 5 minutes.
  • Add cubed vegetables and toss over medium heat 5 minutes.
  • Add marjoram, ginger, cinnamon, salt, and pepper.
  • Redcue heat and simmer 10 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add the green onion, stock, almonds, green chilli, and sugar or honey.
  • Simmer 10-15 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
  • Taste and re-season.
  • Add coconut and stir.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Comments and Additions

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    • CarolineVABC profile image

      CarolineVABC 7 years ago from Castaic

      Luv this hub! I will surely use it this Thanksgiving and I will try some of these in the coming weeks. Thanks for sharing, Patty!:-)

    • neysajasper profile image

      neysajasper 8 years ago

      Nice hub and thanks for sharing vegetarian recipe. Let people taste it and feel the difference what they missed.

    • dusanotes profile image

      dusanotes 8 years ago from Windermere, FL

      We used to be vegetarians, Patty. Great Hub. I'll print these recipes for my wife. I like all of these ideas. I'm hungry already. Thanks, Don White

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 8 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      That must have been an interesting relationship :)

    • lorlie6 profile image

      Laurel Rogers 8 years ago from Bishop, Ca

      Vegetable lasagna is one of my absolute favorite dishes. Thank you, Patty, for all the other recipes, and of course, the portrait up top-I believe I dated the man once...

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 8 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      These should come in handy, then. 3-4 days a week, i don't eat meat coz there's not enough room for that and all the good vegetables LOL. I just created a dish with mashed potatoes, tender-crip vegetables, and cheese and have to figure out how to describe it.

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Thank you for all the great recipes, Patty! I'm now dating a vegetarian and I love to cook, so this couldn't have come at a better time! Thanks.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 8 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Definitely a strong opinion. Thanks for airing it.

    • skgrao profile image

      S K G Rao. 8 years ago from Bangalore City - INDIA.

      When a Elephant is vegetarian why you people eating meat can't learn what to eat.See how a animal is butchered and how it suffers,the animal has a soul like yours.The Animal may Die but the soul won't and will see you get Cancer and other Incurable diseases and you will die slowly suffering unbearable pain.STOP EATING MEAT.8-0