Is there anything vegetarian cooking can’t do? Whether it’s sweet and spicy tofu larb, an aromatic toor dal with whole boiled peanuts or the beautiful simplicity of a pile of roasted brussels sprouts, vegetarian cooking offers seemingly endless combinations of flavor profiles and textures — enough to satisfy any type of eater. The Veggie, a new newsletter from Tejal Rao, celebrates the vast and diverse world of vegetarian cooking, highlighting recipes from our archives every week. (If you haven’t signed up already, you can do so here.) Here are 11 vegetarian recipes that New York Times Cooking readers love.
Melissa Clark’s vegetarian skillet chili is by far one of the most beloved vegetarian recipes that the New York Times Cooking database has to offer. Just ask Hannah, who wrote in the comments section, “WOW. 10/10, blew away my mom’s recipe.” It’s flavorful and it hits the spot. The chili also calls for just a handful of pantry staples, so you can whip it up on a weeknight without having to do any shopping.
Recipe: Vegetarian Skillet Chili
The cucumber is celebrated in this recipe from Yewande Komolafe, which readers comment is an excellent choice for a summer side dish. Coriander and cumin are bloomed in hot oil that’s then spiced with red-pepper flakes. That oil, along with scallions and apple cider vinegar, makes a flavorful marinade for the cukes. The crisp crunch stands out against the smooth yogurt, which is brightened by the addition of mint, dill, parsley, and the zest and juice of a lemon.
It was not yet storm season, but baked feta pasta blew through TikTok and countless kitchens like a hurricane at the start of 2021. Yasmin Fahr’s recipe, which pairs feta with broccolini, tomatoes, onion and lemon slices, is the unofficial blueprint. It levels up the same concept — namely, that baked feta is great — and flavor profile for a vegetarian meal that’s ready in just 25 minutes.
Millie Peartree’s recipe for Southern macaroni and cheese will have you rethinking everything you thought you knew about macaroni and cheese. A milk-and-egg base lends richness to the dish along with generous amounts of two kinds of cheese — because it’s not a special occasion mac and cheese without a variety.
Recipe: Southern Macaroni and Cheese
Readers love Colu Henry’s roasted tomato and white bean stew for the way it packs a gratifying, flavorful punch in just a short amount of time and a handful of easy steps. It’s almost magical the way this vegetarian dish transforms simple pantry ingredients into something special, and its adaptability — mix in hearty greens or sun-dried tomatoes or top it with a pile of grated cheese — makes it a true winner.
The comments section is full of praise for Colu Henry’s take on the classic Roman dish: “I can’t stop raving about it to my friends,” one reads. Another: “For such a simple recipe this dish was astoundingly good!” Ease is of the essence here, as all it takes is one pot and about a half-hour to get this vegetarian stew on the table.
Yewande Komolafe’s recipes will make it so you never look at tofu the same way again. When not prepared thoughtfully, tofu can be flavorless and disappointing — thankfully that’s not the case with this recipe, where it’s seared until crispy, then paired with a fragrant sauce of ginger, garlic, coconut milk, soy sauce and molasses.
Melissa Clark’s mushroom Bourguignon is a master class in vegetarian cooking that’s full of flavor. Developed as part an article on eating less meat, this recipe is a delicious way to do just that.
Recipe: Mushroom Bourguignon
With more than 7,000 five-star reviews, these takeout-style sesame noodles, made with peanut butter and served cold, are a Times classic for a reason. The noodle dish, a go-to vegetarian recipe for many of our readers, became a staple of Chinese American cuisine in the United States in the 1970s. Its ease and versatility means it’ll be around for years to come.
Recipe: Takeout-Style Sesame Noodles
Chickpeas are an unsung hero of the vegetarian kitchen: They’re hearty, they have a delicately nutty flavor that doesn’t overpower, and they play nicely with almost any vegetable. Here, Melissa Clark pairs them with carrots, celery and some diced tomato (canned or fresh) for a meal that’s as simple as it is satisfying.
Recipe: Chickpea Vegetable Soup With Parmesan, Rosemary and Lemon