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Nov 16, 2006 03:34 AM

Simple vegetarian casserole

for those at T-giving dinner not partaking of the turkey. And not taking too much oven time and space please. Would be grateful for any ideas -- tired of that same old spinach lasagne even if I don't eat it! For approx 4 diners.

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  1. Some ideas for you:
    1. There are definitely other posts about butternut squash lasagnas, which sound delicious to me
    2. I've made eggplant lasagna with eggplant in place of the noodles, ricotta and mozzarella layers, and pesto sauce layered with bechamel on the top. It was delicious and was a hit even with non-veggie people. The only trick really was to cook the eggplant very thoroughly (until soft) before making this.
    3. At a restaurant once I was served something that was sortof like macaroni and cheese except made with cauliflower instead of pasta... that description wasn't so great, but it was a yummy dish and very unique.
    4. This year for thanksgiving I am actually contributing a vegetarian side -- baked pumpkin gnocchi casserole. I'm just making ricotta-and-pumpkin gnocchi, boiling them until about halfway cooked, and stirring the gnocchi with some parmesan, sage, nutmeg and butter, and baking it through. I'm going for nouveau comfort food.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Adrienne

      Would you mind posting a recipe (or paraphrase) of the pumpkin gnocchi casserole? I am a vegetarian, and normally have no problem eat the various sides, etc. at my parents house, which is where I typically have Thanksgiving. However, this year I am going to my boyfriend's family's house, and am weary that their sides might not be as vegetarian friendly as the ones my mom and I make, (meaning their could be chicken broth in the mashed potatoes, non-veggie stuffing, etc). To avoid causing a scene, I think it would be awesome if I could bring something that I know I will eat, and that others will likely enjoy as a tasty, unusual, but not too "out there" side too. Thanks in advance!

      1. re: Laura D.

        Sure thing -- I will probably be at least doubling the recipe for Thanksgiving. And I'm pretty sure I don't have to paraphrase... I made this recipe up one night from random leftovers. Enjoy!

        Pumpkin Gnocchi Casserole

        Gnocchi ingredients:
        16-oz whole-milk or part-skim ricotta cheese
        1 large egg
        1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
        salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste
        1 TB sugar
        1 cup pureed pumpkin
        1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
        Salt, pepper, sage, parmesan, butter

        1. Mix all of the Gnocchi ingredients in a bowl with a fork
        2. Boil a big pot of water
        3. Take two big spoons and make 1 TB portions of dough, dropping them into the water as you go, going quickly and making only one layer of gnocchi in the pot
        4. When they float, remove them into a baking dish and make another layer of gnocchi on the stove until all of the dough is used up
        5. When all of the gnocchi are boiled and are sitting in the baking dish, add butter, sage and salt and stir. Then top with pepper and parmesan.
        6. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes, or until the top is browned. Serve warm.

        1. re: Adrienne

          Thanks...I can't wait to try it! One quick question, though. Do you have any secrets for maintaining the nice oval shape of the gnocchi? I'm quite experienced with making potato gnocchi, but the one time I made ricotta gnocchi they came out tasty, but rather ugly, in that they sort of expanded in the water into shapeless blobs. This isn't something I'd worry about for myself but serving them to people I don't know makes me hopeful for a neater presentation. Since your recipe above seems to use more flour, in addition to the pumpkin, than the previous recipe I used, your dough might be firmer than mine and thus this won't be an issue. But, just thought I'd ask to see if you had any tips. Thanks again!

          1. re: Laura D.

            Honestly to me part of the nice thing about making the casserole is that the shape of the individual gnocchi is less important, but I just use two small spoons and scoop the gnocchi up with one spoon and then use the other spoon to scoop it out, sortof like forming one of those perfect ice cream portions at fancy restaurants :) They're not ridged of course like potato gnocchi, but they're pretty even that way as long as you keep your technique consistent.

            Good luck and let me know how it goes!

            1. re: Adrienne

              I think in all of my obsessing over the idea that these were ricotta gnocchi and that I am "not good at those" I neglected to remember that this is in fact a casserole, meaning the shape of the gnocchi is mildly important at best. Thanks again for all of the information and I'll let you know how they are!

    2. I think this would work - tonight I made what has become a regular fave in our house - roasted delicata squash (at other times it's butternut or acorn), potatoes, and onions. Simple and not that exciting, I know. I put some olive oil into a pan and add some pressed garlic, then I roll the vegs around to coat. Salt and pepper and then into a hot oven. Usually takes about 25 minutes if the potato pieces are pretty small. With a good green salad (with peppers and cukes and the last of the tomatoes) it's heaven. We had it with petrale sole tonight.

      1 Reply
      1. re: oakjoan

        mmm, exactly like that but with fresh sage leaves and shallots fried first and added to the baking sheet with squash.

      2. How about a panade? It's like thanksgiving dressing with more veg.
        and it's very flexible as to *which* veg. Deeply tasty and homey.
        I think it's best with gruyere, if you want veg but not vegan.