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Grandma’s Secretly Vegetarian Recipes

Vegetarian comfort food is so simple to make when you follow Grandma's lead. Who knew better than she did how to stretch a food budget in the most delicious way possible?

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Butternut & Portobello Lasagna

Lasagna gets fresh flavor and color when you make it with roasted butternut squash, portobello mushrooms, basil and spinach. We feast on this. —Edward and Danielle Walker, Traverse City, Michigan
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Grandmother's Corn Pudding

My grandmother always served this pudding for holidays and family reunions. Everyone loves it. Corn pudding is a popular side dish on Maryland's eastern shore. —Susan Brown Langenstein, Salisbury, Maryland
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Stuffing from the Slow Cooker

If you're hosting a big Thanksgiving dinner this year, add this simple slow-cooked stuffing to your menu to ease entertaining. The recipe comes in handy when you run out of oven space at large family gatherings. I use this Crock Pot dressing recipe often. —Donald Seiler, Macon, Mississippi
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Vegetarian Cabbage Rolls

This marvelous meatless entree comes from my 89-year-old grandmother, who cooks a lot with grains, particularly bulgur. The zucchini is a fun change of pace stuffed inside these vegetarian cabbage rolls. —Michelle Dougherty, Lewiston, Idaho
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Creamy Parmesan Spinach Bake

My creamy, comforting side dish wonderfully rounds out any holiday dinner. Just a little of this rich casserole goes a long way. —Jennifer Bley, Austin, Texas
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Pomegranate-Hazelnut Roasted Brussels Sprouts

I converted many people to Brussels sprouts with this recipe, and it has since become my most requested dish. The richness of the hazelnuts and the sweetness of pomegranate and orange elevate the sprouts to a new level. —Melanie Stevenson, Reading, Pennsylvania
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Nanny's Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

My grandsons rave over these creamy potatoes loaded with Parmesan. That’s all the endorsement I need. Sometimes I use golden or red potatoes, with skins on. —Kallee Krong-McCreery, Escondido, California
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Butternut Squash Apple Bake Exps H13x9bz17 25281 C06 28 5b 8

Butternut Squash Apple Bake

Even those who aren't fans of squash enjoy this side dish. Sweet slices of butternut squash are topped with apples covered in a cinnamon-sugar glaze for a quick and easy dinner accompaniment. —Ellie Klopping, Toledo, Ohio
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Minty Peas and Onions

Mother could always rely on peas and onions when she was in a hurry and needed a quick side. Besides being easy to prepare, this dish was loved by everyone in our family. It was handed down to my mother by my grandmother. —Santa D'Addario, Jacksonville, Florida
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Onion Pie

My grandmother and mother always make onion pie during the holidays, but it's good anytime. This is a savory side dish that you can serve with almost any meat or main course. It's especially good with roast beef. —Mary West, Marstons Mills, Massachusetts
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German Red Cabbage

Sunday afternoons were a time for family gatherings when I was a kid. While the uncles played cards, the aunts made treats such as this traditional German red cabbage recipe. —Jeannette Heim, Dunlap, Tennessee
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Cheesy Chile Casserole

A short list of ingredients packs full flavor in this easy-to-assemble casserole. Serve it as the star of your next southwestern meal. —Phyllis Bidwell, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Creole Cornbread

Cornbread is a staple of Cajun and Creole cuisine. This version is an old favorite, and it really tastes wonderful. I found the recipe in the bottom of my recipe drawer. —Enid Hebert, Lafayette, Louisiana
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Homemade Meatless Spaghetti Sauce

When my tomatoes ripen, the first things I make are BLTs and this homemade spaghetti sauce. —Sondra Bergy, Lowell, Michigan
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Deluxe Mashed Potatoes

When it comes to mashed potatoes recipes, this is one of my favorites because they can be made ahead, refrigerated and then popped into the oven just prior to dinnertime. When my grandchildren come for dinner, I have to double this recipe. They love it! —Vivian Bailey, Cedar Falls, Iowa
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Homemade Manicotti

These tender manicotti are much easier to stuff than the purchased variety. People are always amazed when I say I make my own noodles. My son fixed this recipe for several of his friends, and they were extremely impressed with his cooking skills. —Sue Ann Bunt, Painted Post, New York
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Four-Cheese Spinach Lasagna

This rich cheesy lasagna has become one of my specialties. It's packed with fresh-tasting vegetables like spinach, carrots, red pepper and broccoli. I'm never afraid to serve the colorful casserole to guests, since it's always a huge success. —Kimberly Kneisly, Englewood, Ohio
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Crumb-Topped Broccoli Bake

Broccoli is one of the main crops grown in this area. This recipe has pleased just about everyone who has tried it, including some who said they didn't like broccoli. —Hope Huggins, Santa Cruz, California
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Zucchini Tomato Casserole

Even people who don’t like zucchini can’t seem to get enough of this full-flavored side dish. I always bring it to our family gatherings and potlucks because it goes well with any entree. —Cathy Johnston, Ranchester, Wyoming
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Broccoli Slaw

Here's my favorite twist on broccoli salad. It's so easy to make and has an irresistible tangy crunch. —Konny Thomas, Citrus Heights, California
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Eggplant Parmesan

We really like eggplant and would rather have it baked than fried. This can be served as a side dish or main dish. —Donna Wardlow-Keating, Omaha, Nebraska
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Black Bean and Rice Enchiladas

I love Mexican food, but I'm always looking for ways to make it more healthy. I "renovated" a dish that I have enjoyed in restaurants to suit my taste and lifestyle. —Christie Ladd, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
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Olive and Red Pepper Linguine

With 16 grandchildren, I find that someone is always hungry. This is a quick dish to fix when I'm busy. I sometimes serve it along with garlic bread for an easy meatless meal. —Betty Carpenter, Hookstown, Pennsylvania
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Artichoke Blue Cheese Fettuccine

Store-bought Alfredo sauce speeds along this flavorful, meatless entree. I use dry pasta, but you can use refrigerated fettuccine to make this recipe even faster. —Jolanthe Erb, Harrisonburg, Virginia
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Scalloped Cranberries

This warm cranberry casserole is a nice substitute for traditional cranberry relish. It's been a staple on my holiday table ever since my aunt gave me the recipe many years ago. —Ellan Streett, Clear Spring, Maryland
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Rustic Squash Tarts

Rustic Squash Tarts

This recipe is hiding a big surprise. Flaky, rustic-looking pastry shells hold a sweet and spicy pecan layer under the squash slices. —Ann Marie Moch, Kintyre, ND
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Southern Fried Okra

Golden brown with a little fresh green showing through, this fried okra recipe is crunchy and addicting! My sons like to dip them in ketchup. —Pam Duncan, Summers, Arkansas
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Nutty Cheese Tortellini

I like to plant Italian flat-leaf parsley in a long terra-cotta planter so I always have some on hand. It adds bright, fresh flavor to this pasta dish. —Barbara Penatzer, Vestal, New York
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Cranberry-Walnut Sweet Potatoes

Cranberry-Walnut Sweet Potatoes

If you ask me, the best part of a holiday dinner is the sweet potatoes! You can make the sauce up to a day ahead—just leave out the walnuts until you're ready to serve. —Mary Wilhelm, Sparta, Wisconsin
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Scented Rice in Baked Pumpkin

This easy, delicious and healthy side is a showpiece that always delights. You can use grain, squash, fruits and nuts to suit your taste—it's impossible to go wrong! —Lynn Heisel, Jackson, Missouri
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Roasted Asparagus and Leeks

No vegetable says spring quite like asparagus. In this recipe, we combine pretty green spears with leeks. Crushed red pepper adds a bit of zest.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Leek Potato Pancakes

I received this recipe from my great-grandmother. She brought this over from England, where they enjoyed leeks immensely during the fall and winter. —Suzanne Kesel, Cohocton, New York
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German Potato Dumplings

Potato dumplings (called Kartoffel Kloesse in Germany) are a delightful addition to any German feast. The browned butter sauce is delectable.—Arline Hofland, Deer Lodge, Montana
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Holiday Green Bean Casserole

Try this green bean casserole and you'll never go back to the old stuff. — Laura Fall-Sutton, Buhl, Idaho
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German Noodle Bake

This is a recipe I serve each year for my holiday open house because everyone looks for it. Store-bought noodles can be substituted, but I prefer homemade noodles...and so does everyone else. —Kathleen Meineke, Cologne, New Jersey
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Gnocchi Alfredo

This gnocchi is one of my go-to's for company and potlucks. It’s pure comfort food, especially in the wintertime. —Jessica Silva, East Berlin, Connecticut
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Eggplant Rollatini

Want to learn how to cook eggplant? Here's where to start. These authentic eggplant roll-ups may take some time to prepare, but the end result is restaurant-quality. Your family will request this recipe time and again. —Nancy Sousley, Lafayette, Indiana
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Pumpkin Lasagna

I especially like this comforting fall dish because it's vegetarian. Even friends who aren't big fans of pumpkin are surprised by this delectable lasagna. Canned pumpkin and no-cook noodles make it a cinch to prepare. —Tamara Huron, New Market, Alabama
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Creamy Pasta Primavera

When I think of springtime, asparagus comes to mind. This pasta dish is a wonderful blend of tender, crisp, colorful vegetables and a creamy Parmesan cheese sauce. —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon
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Sweet Potato Chili Bake

I’m a vegetarian and wanted to develop some dishes that are a little heartier than traditional vegetarian fare. I created this recipe, and even my 1-year-old loves it! —Jillian Tournoux, Massillon, Ohio
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Mashed Cauliflower au Gratin

Unless someone tells you, you might not know you're eating cauliflower. Even my grandchildren love this buttery, cheesy, creamy dish that tastes like mashed potatoes. —Sandie Parker, Elk Rapids, Michigan
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Veg Jambalaya

This flavorful entree uses convenient canned beans in place of the meat—and never lets you leave hungry. —Crystal Jo Bruns, Iliff, Colorado
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Potato Kugel

The secret to keeping your potatoes their whitest is to switch back and forth when grating the potatoes and onion in your food processor or box grater. —Ellen Ruzinsky, Yorktown Heights, New York
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Garlic-Sesame Green Beans

Sauteed bits of garlic and shallot, with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds, turn ordinary beans into something special. Keep the recipe in mind for your garden crop in summer. —Deirdre Cox, Kansas City, Missouri
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Festive Three-Grain Salad

Wholesome ingredients and a festive appearance make this colorful side one of my holiday staples. Plus, I can assemble it the night before and store it in the refrigerator. —Teri Kreyche, Tustin, California
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Favorite Cheesy Potatoes

My family loves these potatoes. I make a large batch in disposable pans and serve them at all our get-togethers. The holidays aren't the same without them. It's also a super recipe for Christmas morning brunch. —Brenda Smith, Curran, Michigan
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Slow-Cooker Frittata Provencal

This recipe means that a delectable dinner is ready when I walk in the door from work. The meatless slow cooker meal also makes an elegant brunch for lazy weekend mornings. —Connie Eaton, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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Simple Orange-Glazed Beets

In our house, we prefer our beautiful red beets served simply—with a touch of butter and a hint of orange from a marmalade glaze. —Mary Beth Jung, Hendersonville, North Carolina
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Swiss Chard with Onions & Garlic

I like to make this sauteed Swiss chard a main dish by serving it with pasta, but it’s also a tasty side dish all on its own. My boys love it and ask for it often. —Rebekah Chappel, Portales, New Mexico
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Tomato & Garlic Butter Bean Dinner

On the days I get home late and just want a warm meal, I stir together tomatoes, garlic and butter beans. Ladle it over noodles if you're in the mood for pasta. —Jessica Meyers, Austin, Texas
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Brussels Sprouts in Rosemary Cream Sauce

Brussels sprouts in a rosemary-infused cream sauce have the power to bring friends together – but watch out for fights over who gets the last of the sauce. —Liz Koschoreck, Berea, Kentucky
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Homemade Polish Pierogi

My mother made many dozens of these and measured ingredients using the palm of her hand. We've passed the recipe down over the years as the family has grown. —Veronica Weinkauf, South Bend, Indiana
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Super Simple Scalloped Potatoes

I’ve made many types of scalloped potatoes but I always come back to this rich, creamy and fail-proof recipe. This is a dish where the bottom gets scraped clean. —Kallee Krong-McCreery, Escondido, California
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Creamed Spinach & Pearl Onions

When I was a culinary student, this creamy dish wowed me, and I don't even like spinach. This side is a keeper! —Chelsea Puchel, Pickens, South Carolina
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Roasted Carrots & Fennel

This addictive fennel recipe is a fresh take on one of my mother's standard wintertime dishes. I usually add more carrots—as many as the pans will hold. —Lily Julow, Lawrenceville, Georgia
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Simple Vegetarian Slow-Cooked Beans

When I have a hungry family to feed, these tasty beans with spinach, tomatoes and carrots are a go-to dish. This veggie delight is frequently on our menu. —Jennifer Reid, Farmington, Maine
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Roasted Vegetable Strata

With the abundance of zucchini my family has in the fall, this is the perfect dish to use some of what we have. Cheesy and rich, the warm, classic breakfast dish is sure to please! —Colleen Doucette, Truro, Nova Scotia
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Chickpea & Potato Curry

I make chana masala, the classic Indian chickpea curry, in my slow cooker. First browning the onion, ginger and garlic really makes the sauce amazing. —Anjana Devasahayam, San Antonio, Texas
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Greek Salad Ravioli

Turn the fresh flavors of a Greek salad into a warm dish for cold winter nights. I like to make a large batch, freeze it, then simply drop ravioli into simmering water for dinner in about five minutes! —Carla Mendres, Winnipeg, Manitoba
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Hearty Chickpea Potpie

This veggie potpie is so savory and satisfying! The spring veggies, easy prep and impressive presentation make it a perfect addition to Easter or other family dinners. —Deanna McDonald, Grand Rapids, Michigan
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Mushroom Marsala with Barley

This vegetarian recipe is a tasty mashup of chicken Marsala and mushroom barley soup. It's terrific as a main dish, but it can also be served, with or without the barley, as a side. —Arlene Erlbach, Morton Grove, Illinois
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Butternut-Pineapple Crumble

I tried this sweet and crunchy casserole out on my 80-year-old parents and they loved it! Butternut squash now has a place at our holiday table year after year. —Barbara Busch, Henrico, Virginia
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Carrot, Parsnip and Potato Gratin

Thanks to a challenge in the TOH online community a few years back, my husband and I tried parsnips and discovered that we liked them! In fact, I started growing them in my garden and have been trying new things with them, including this recipe. —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin

Kristin Sutter
A big fan of homegrown cooking, Kristin has been a writer and editor for nearly 20 years. She has mastered the art of learning from her inexpert riffs on other people's truly good recipes.

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