How Do I Choose the Best Vegetable Entree?

B. Miller
B. Miller
Grilled zucchini.
Grilled zucchini.

If you are cooking for vegetarians or deciding to go meatless even just one night a week, you will want to choose an appealing vegetable entree to serve for lunch or dinner. There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a vegetable entree, such as the amount of time you have to prepare it, and the ingredients you have on hand or can obtain at the store. One of the best ways to narrow down your options is to choose vegetables that are in season where you live; these vegetables will be freshest and taste the best. To spice things up, you might try to make vegetarian entrees from other cultures.

A variety of vegetables can be used as entrees.
A variety of vegetables can be used as entrees.

Your cooking skill and the time you have available will dictate the vegetable entree you choose to some extent. There are plenty of delicious vegetable entree options that can be made with just a little effort in a relatively short amount of time. For instance, pasta dishes made with sauteed or roasted vegetables and a simple cream sauce or olive oil and garlic sauce can be excellent entrees that take just a few minutes to prepare. There are hundreds of different pasta sauce recipes that can change the entire flavor of the dish, and there are many other vegetarian entrees using pasta as well, such as lasagna or stuffed shells.

Stuffed peppers are a filling and delicious vegetable entree.
Stuffed peppers are a filling and delicious vegetable entree.

Many people don't want to just eat pasta with vegetables all the time, however. There are many other vegetable entree options. Some people will prepare entrees using meat substitutes, such as imitation beef or chicken made from soy and chopped vegetables. These can be purchased pre-packaged or homemade, and are a good choice for a casual meal. Grilled vegetables served on a kabob or in a sandwich, such as a grilled portobello mushroom or eggplant sandwich, is also an excellent entree for lunch or dinner. Visiting a local farmer's market can be a great way to find fresh vegetables that are also in season.

Flatbread pizza with peppers, mushrooms, and tomatoes.
Flatbread pizza with peppers, mushrooms, and tomatoes.

Another way to get some inspiration and choose some unique vegetable entrees is to take a cue from other cultures. For instance, you might prepare spinach enchiladas or bean burritos, or try to make some Indian or Thai food using tofu or different spices. Of course, the foods you choose to try will vary based on where you live and what you're already used to eating, but it can be fun to try to make something that you haven't made before, or to try to recreate one of your favorite restaurant entrees.

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Discussion Comments

disciples

Soups and stews are great to serve as main dishes at vegetarian meals. They serve a crowd, they are delicious, and if you pair them with bread or a salad they can be a very fulfilling meal.

Personally, I love a good lentil soup and I do not know too many vegetarians who do not agree with me.

gravois

It really depends on the kind of vegetable entree that you are looking for and the crowd of people that it will serve. You can do a stir fry, or all kinds of Asian or Indian cuisine.

I think that my favorite is a good vegetable lasagna or an eggplant Parmesan. I think that the Italians really know how to use vegetables to decadent effect. In some other dishes you might be missing the meat, but not in a hearty lasagna.

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    • Grilled zucchini.
      Grilled zucchini.
    • A variety of vegetables can be used as entrees.
      A variety of vegetables can be used as entrees.
    • Stuffed peppers are a filling and delicious vegetable entree.
      Stuffed peppers are a filling and delicious vegetable entree.
    • Flatbread pizza with peppers, mushrooms, and tomatoes.
      Flatbread pizza with peppers, mushrooms, and tomatoes.
    • Vegetable entrees can be prepared using meat substitutes, like soya mince in place of ground meat.
      Vegetable entrees can be prepared using meat substitutes, like soya mince in place of ground meat.
    • Stuffed pasta shells is a popular vegetarian entree.
      Stuffed pasta shells is a popular vegetarian entree.
    • Grilling vegetables served on a kabob can make an excellent lunch or dinner.
      Grilling vegetables served on a kabob can make an excellent lunch or dinner.