Veggie Comfort Food: 14 Filling, Warming Recipes

There’s nothing like a steaming bowl of hearty soup, stew or casserole straight from the oven on a cold day. But this kind of warming comfort food doesn’t have to contain meat to be filling and satisfying. These 14 vegetarian comfort food recipes for fall and winter, many based on traditional dishes from all over the world, will fill your home with delicious smells and your belly with nutritious, meat-free food that really hits the spot.

Henri’s French Onion Soup

(image via: the curvy carrot)

Rich, cheesy and infinitely comforting, french onion soup is readily available in many restaurants, but it nearly always contains beef broth. Try this hot and delicious vegetarian version, which gets plenty of flavor from onions caramelized in butter, plus white wine and thyme.

Baked Eggplant Parmesan

(image via: martha stewart)

Get a hearty texture without the meat using thick slices of eggplant, a porous vegetable that absorbs flavor like a sponge. Martha Stewart’s recipe for baked eggplant parmesan eliminates the fatty frying, layering baked breaded eggplant in a casserole dish with tomato sauce and cheese.

Butternut Squash and Sage Lasagna

(image via: martha stewart)

Butternut squash is a hallmark of fall and winter, with deep orange flesh that is creamy and slightly sweet when baked, sauteed, roasted or grilled. Try it in a hot seasonal lasagna with sage and nutmeg (substituting vegetable broth for the chicken broth called for in the recipe.)

Veggie Dumpling Stew

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Who needs chicken? The dumplings are the star of this show, anyway. Dough made vegan by virtue of plant-based margarine and soymilk is simmered in broth with onions, garlic, carrots, celery and sage in this meat-free version of the classic cold-weather comfort dish.

In-a-Hurry Tamale Pie

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Need a hot vegetarian meal that you can make in a flash? In-a-Hurry Tamale Pie by Eat Live Run lines a pan with sliced polenta covered in pinto beans, corn, salsa and cheese for a meal that’s done in 30 minutes with minimal effort.

Curried Black Bean, Coconut & Sweet Potato Soup

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Black beans, coconut and curry? It may sound like a strange combination, but this soup recipe is absolutely heavenly, with just enough spice to kick the chill out of your bones. Garlic, cayenne pepper, ginger root and cilantro boost the flavor even further for a final product that’s hard to forget.

Vegetarian Posole

(image via: the kitchn)

Known in the South as hominy, dried maize mote is soaked corn kernels that are used in soups and stews in whole form, or ground up into grits. The classic Mexican dish of posole uses hominy as a main ingredient in addition to chilies, beans, tomatoes and, typically, pork, chicken or turkey. But the dish is just as delicious when you skip the meat, as proven by this vegetarian posole recipe from The Kitchn.

Pueblo Corn Pie

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Adapted from a Native American recipe, this recipe for Pueblo Corn Pie by Nava Atlas is an ideal addition to the vegetarian Thanksgiving table. Layers of bean chili, cheddar cheese and cornmeal make for a well-rounded dish that’s hearty enough to eat on its own.

Pumpkin Chili Empanadas

(image via: vegan yack attack)

No fall vegetarian feast is complete without pumpkin in some form, and these pumpkin chili empanadas are not only cute and convenient finger-foods, they’re also a novel way to get more of that pumpkin flavor. Pumpkin chili flavored with jalapeno, bell peppers and smoked paprika is simply scooped into rounds of dough, shaped and baked. Cut cute pumpkin faces into the pies to make them perfect party hors d’oeuvres.

Vegetarian Moussaka

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Bulgur wheat stands in for ground beef in this vegetarian take on Greek moussaka. Layers of allspice and clove-scented eggplant and diced tomatoes are slathered in béchamel sauce and covered in Romano cheese.

Vegetarian Green Chili

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Chili nearly always contains red beans and tomatoes – but not this vegetarian green chili recipe, which swaps them out for edamame and avocado. Packed with protein and healthy fats, this dish is warming without being sinful.

Mushroom Turnovers

(image via: martha stewart)

Another delicious hand-held hot vegetarian snack for fall uses nothing more than salted mushrooms, onion, olive oil and frozen puff pastry. For this mushroom turnover recipe, use any variety of mushrooms you like – mild button mushrooms, meaty portobellas or exotic morels – and serve with sour cream or plain greek yogurt.

Vegetarian Gumbo

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Nothing says Louisiana like a steaming bowl of gumbo. While this classic dish – found in either Creole or spicier Cajun varieties – usually contains shellfish, most vegetarians will find that it tastes just as good without it if you’ve got the right recipe. The secret is really in the roux. Learn how to make it the right way first, then try this recipe.

Veggie Paella

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This simple one-pan dish skips the seafood usually associated with paella, focusing on the deliciousness of veggies like green beans and artichokes. Paella is a traditional Spanish dish made up of saffron-infused short-grain rice and diced tomatoes, cooked in a skillet until the rice is tender and the bottom is cooked into a crust.

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