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Jun 14, 2008 10:31 AM

Quick--vegan italian main dish recipes needed

So I'm doing a dinner party for ten and I thought I had it all sorted out with easy, make ahead dishes: bruschetta and roasted peppers for appetizers and lasagne main dish. Now it turns out two guests are vegan.

Please provide main dish vegan recipes that will fit the Italianish theme. Desset ideas, too. (Appetizers are already vegan). Thanks!

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  1. I just recently had a nice breaded pan-fried eggplant dish with really good homemade marinara at a restaurant in Brooklyn, so maybe something similar would work?

    As for dessert, maybe some sort of plum tart? I saw this Apple Tart on a vegan website, and have been wanting to make a summery version with good Italian plums and maybe sprinkled with slivered almonds.

    1. Maybe some sort of pasta dish with chickpeas, tomatoes & zucchini? Serve parmesan on the side. And some sort of soup that has beans in it, maybe a vegetarian minestrone?

      For dessert, something simple if you're not familiar with vegan baking (it's an acquired taste).

      1 Reply
      1. re: Halie

        Thanks for the responses. RE: dessert, I confess I'm not much of a baker.

      2. Soft polenta topped with roasted seasonal vegetables and spicy tomato sauce. (I use Muir Glen Fire Roasted tomatoes -- they add an interesting flavor.) Pass good Parm for the non-vegans to sprinkle on top.

        Individual meringues topped with fresh berries are nice with a simple sauce made by blending Cassis with melted seedless red raspberry jam.

        6 Replies
        1. re: pikawicca

          Do you have a good vegan meringue recipe? I've been on the hunt for one for a while.

          1. re: corgette

            I'm not sure how one would make meringues without egg whites. Is there a vegan egg replacement?

            1. re: MMRuth

              My bad -- I recently made the meringues for a vegetarian dinner party, and the two vegans in attendance gave in to temptation and ate the, easing their guilt in with the knowledge that the eggs came from free-range, "happy" chickens. I have made some lovely vegan olive oil cookies, though, and served them with a Banyuls vinegar sorbet.

              1. re: MMRuth

                There was a thread awhile ago on the Post Punk Kitchen where a poster had proclaimed success, somehow, but had not posted the recipe. I'm not vegan, but I'm really curious how it can be done, so I got excited that someone had successfully accomplished vegan meringues.

                As far as I know there are vegan egg replacers, but I think they're mostly used in baking, rather than on their own, so I don't know how it can be done. I like to imagine vegan mad-scientists hard at work at this.

            2. I have friend who is vegan and I have tried a bunch of vegan dessert recipes, usually with great results. One thing you could try, in keeping with the italian theme is to make a coconut mill "panna cotta" using agar agar powder as the thickening agent instead of gelatin. If you are totally averse to coconut falvors you could also try a rice pudding but use soy or almond milk in the pudding.

              For a main course that does well for a crowd, try a vegetable stew or if you want a pasta, how about a baked sicilian style baked ziti with garlic and eggplant. Omit the cheese (there are some decent vegan cream cheese things you could try instead of ricotta) but leave plenty of shredded mozzarella and parm for guests to add to their plates.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Super Salad

                I have a great recipe for a Tofu Ricotta. You don't have to just count on your tomato sauce to cover the blandness of crumbled tofu. This Tofu Ricotta adds a nice flavor and texture to pasta dishes. It is from the cookbook Vegan Homestyle.
                Tofu Ricotta
                Mash 1 lb. firm tofu with a potato masher or use a food processor, add 2 T. lemon juice, 1 T. onion powder, 2 T. nutritional yeast flakes, 1 t. basil, 1 t. garlic powder, 1 t. salt. Mix together and refrigerate for awhile to blend flavors. This is nice to crumble in lasagna.

              2. Make eggplant rollatini using firm tofu in place of ricotta. The blandness of the tofu can be somewhat masked by utilizing that killer tomato sauce you're going to prepare [for your lasagna]. I would normally suggest a healthy dose of Reggiano, but vegans object to using cheese (sigh).