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May 6, 2009 07:46 AM

Vegetarian main dishes?

I need to make a vegetarian main dish for a crowd, but I have some strict guidelines. It would be great if it were fairly cheap, had some sort of protein (cheese, egg, or bean, although I'm open to tofu) and required less than an hour of cooking time.
-no pasta
-no risotto
-no curry
Can you help? Thanks in advance!

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  1. i posted to a similar request a while back - here is the thread, check it out.

    without using pasta drops alot of stuff but one of my faves that would fall into your specs would be mexican food - maybe cheese enchiladas with beans (black or refried) on the side with a salad, veg or rice?
    eggplant parm and sub a side of pasta with....something?

    1. I am veg, and my favorite dish is Chili. Chili can be made in so many different ways that it can be done within the hour time frame (hello food pro). Also, I love adding cashews to veg chili. It gives it a much heartier texture and taste. Good luck.

      1 Reply
      1. re: NeduolCaz

        I also recommend a vegetarian chili. Easy to make for a crowd, on a budget & very filling. Can always side with corn bread, rice or even baked potatoes!

      2. lots of main course salad ideas around. how about portabellos? you can do many good things with them. what size crowd are you hosting?

        3 Replies
        1. re: davmar77

          I would be cooking for about 15 people-all college students...portabellos could be a nice option. didn't think about those. have any recommendations for those? i also forgot to mention that i want to stay away from eggplant.

          1. re: whitepeaches

            here's the one we do. we serve it with sweet potato fries.


            we also do them broiled or grilled filled with a layer of goat cheese over a big salad. a bit of olive oil and season to taste.

            1. re: whitepeaches

              Try a good old fashioned Quiche!
              Onions, cheese, spinach and mushrooms in all or any combo would be luscious.
              I also make this one all the time-gets raves!

              ZUCCHNI PIE
              4 cups unpeeled zucchini, sliced thin
              1-cup onion chopped coarse.
              ½ cup butter or margarine (1/2 stick, a tablesp. Olive oil for lighter version)
              1-cup carrots sliced thin.
              (mushrooms can also be put in-use 1 sm. 4 oz. Can, sliced and well drained)
              ½ cup parsley or 2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
              ½ tea. Salt
              ½ teas. Black pepper
              ¼ teas. Garlic powder
              ¼ tea. Sweet basil leaves (or fresh about 2 tablespoons)
              1.4 tea. Oregano
              2 eggs, well beaten
              8 ounces (2 cups) shredded muenster or mozzarella, or mont.jack. (Even shredded mixture of cheddar or mexican mix is o.k.)
              1 pie shell or 8-oz. Can refrigerated crescent dinner rolls.
              2 teaspoons dijon or prepared mustard.

              1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. In 10-inch skillet, cook zucchini and other veggies in butter until tender.
              2. Add herbs and spices, cook 2 mins. Longer.
              3. In large bowl, blend eggs and cheese. Stir in veggie mixture.
              4. Place pie dough in 10 inch, ungreased, pie pan or baking dish, press over bottom and up sides to form crust. (Or separate crescent dough into 8 triangles. Place in ungreased 11-inch quich pan, 10—inch pie pan or 12 by 8 inch baking dish. Press over bottom and up sides to form crust.) Spread crust with mustard. (Can use 8-ounce can of crescent dinner rolls, separated into 8 triangles, instead of pie shell). Pour veggie/cheese mix evenly into crust.
              5. Bake at 375 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. (If crust becomes too brown, cover with foil during last 10 minutes of baking. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting into wedges. Serves 6.

              Protein 15%
              Vitamin A 37
              Vitamin C 28
              Thiamin 14%
              Riboflavin 28%
              Niacin 10%
              Calcium 35%
              Iron 10
              Phosphorus 0%

          2. Spoon bread! Check out Madhur Jaffrey's recipe in World Vegetarian. It is basically a polenta souffle minus any souffle fear, and is even tastier with cheese. I often serve it with some kind of sauted greens with garlic and chillis. I've gotten rave reviews and it is totally to fail, impressive, cheap and easy.

            1. I find cannellini beans very satisfying, i usually saute up spinach, roasted red peppers, onion, garlic and kalamata olives - then add the beans to warm through and simmer to absorb the flavor - would be good with fresh basil added at the end. I sop it up with kalamata olive bread - very filling, cheap and yummy!

              1 Reply
              1. re: jmullen1251

                I agree. A lot of the other suggestions are delicious, but they are not meals. Playing with beans definitely makes them filling. Chickpeas are great for this, too, or polenta. I'd even saute up the ingredients that jmullen recommends, maybe with some diced tomatoes, too, and mushrooms, to make a nice vegetarian ragu, and then serve on top of the beans or polenta.