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May 30, 2011 11:28 PM

No-meat brunch

It's my turn to host a brunch and the group is vegetarian (NOT vegan). Over the years I've made a Spanish tortilla, an Algerian egg and potato dish called marcoude, a vegetarian pastel de Moctezuma, a vegetarian posole, and grits with chanterelle ragù.

I'm searching for something new to feature. Any ideas? Something with protein for the main course.

I've been looking at recipes for strata, but without meat, they sound like a lot of cheese and butter. I can't do anything à la minute, so need something that can be prepped and hot when folks arrive.


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  1. Load your strata up with with veggies. It doesn't need meat at all. Onions mushrooms, spinach or broccoli, even potatoes would be good.

    1. I've made Smitten Kitchen's Spinach and Gruyere Strata a few times and it gets raves. You can pull it out of the oven when you guests arrive. It should stand a good 20 minutes before serving.

      The recipe is on her website.

      3 Replies
      1. re: mcel215

        Second this, it's amazing. Add some extra spinach and also put it on a cookie sheet for both the overnight soak and the baking, I have had it overflow.

        Couple of other thoughts: Moosewood's mushroom strudel (absolutely key to use fresh dill), or spanakopita (just made Martha Stewart's Easy Spanakopita with extra feta and an added bunch of chopped scallions and it was really good).

        That grits with chanterelle ragu sounds very tasty!

        1. re: mcel215

          I think this spinach and cheese strata from Epicurious is the same as Smitten Kitchen's. It is excellent.

        2. Agreed with the others about strata. You can add any combination. Another good option is Ottolenghi's cauliflower cake, which is just a bit on the cakey side of a quiche. The flavor is awesome.

          1. Since you are willing to move beyond egg dishes, how about enchiladas? I do one with green sauce that has a filling of goat cheese, roasted corn and onions, and you could do the other with a red sauce and zucchini piccadillo filling. Refried beans on the side and you have a wonderful brunch. If you have drinks, you might want to serve Sangrita which is equal parts OJ and tomato juice, hefty splash of fresh lime juice and tequila as you see fit.

            4 Replies
            1. re: escondido123

              Sounds fantastic and would be visually appealing. That's my problem with quiche and frittata...not much visual pizzazz.

              1. re: escondido123

                Butternut squash enchiladas with red bell peppers and Ancho chile sauce:

                I tried a new enchilada variation recently that was also stunning -- filling = roasted butternut squash with a little garlic and some blackened red bell peppers, plus the cheese of course. Sauce -- a fantastic red sauce with Ancho chiles or maybe Pasilla and a little toasty cumin and a splash of cream actually.

                Day before -- roast the squash for the filling and blacken your peppers (don't need to blacken, up to you). Grate the cheese. Make the sauce.

                Brunch morning -- assemble enchiladas and pop in oven. Refried black beans, yes, maybe a mango smoothie as a beverage.

                a guideline for the enchiladas (quesadillas here, adapted of course)


                idea for the sauce (definitely make the night before -- and don't use mayo. Instead go for a little half and half or sour cream or vegetable broth, even, until you get the consistency you like. Toast and grind the cumin seeds yourself if possible).


                  1. re: Discerning1

                    agree, the enchiladas sound excellent (sorry for posting in an old thread!)!

              2. A savory bread pudding, asparagus, greens mushrooms sharp cheddar...beautiful and delicious