Category Archives: Meatless Main Dishes

Vegetarian, meatless main dishes, many of European extraction. See individual recipes in all sections for vegan or plant-based versions of original recipes.

Vegetarian Liver-Style Pate

This is a vegetarian paté, although not vegan, is made with peas, beans, nuts, and hard-cooked eggs.

Ingredients for Vegetarian Liver-Style Paté

  • 4 T oil
  • 1 lb. drained peas
  • 4 hard-cooked eggs
  • 1/2 lb. fresh string beans
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • salt and pepper

Sauté onions in oil until golden. Chop and grind together the peas, eggs, cooked string beans, and walnuts. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with crackers.

Servings: 6

Green beans (Vegetarian Pate)



Quesadillas are traditional Mexican cornflour pockets or folded tortillas (corn or wheat) filled with many savory stuffings, from sauteed hot chiles and onions (rajas) to beans and from squash blossoms and huitlacoche (corn fungus) to seasoned ground beef. They usually, although not always, contain cheese. When using ready-made corn or flour tortillas, they can be pan-grilled with very little or no oil. When using fresh masa harina, they are deep fried in very hot grease.

  • 2 cups masa harina (tortilla flour)
  • 2 T wheat flour
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 T melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk, approximately

Mix dry ingredients well; add butter, egg and enough milk to form a fairly stiff dough. Form into medium-thin tortillas rounds either using a tortilla press, rolling or patting between palms of hands. Stuff with any of the following stuffings, fold and seal the edges by pinching together, and fry in hot lard or oil. Drain and serve.

Stuffings: Cheese and epazote herb (known as Mexican Tea or wormseed). Mushrooms sauteed with onions and peppers. Squash bloosoms seauteed with onions. Spiced ground beef. Beans.


The common Spanish name, epazote (sometimes spelled and pronounced ipasote or ypasote), is derived from Nahuatl: epazōtl (pronounced [eˈpasoːt͡ɬ]) meaning skunk sweat.

Wikipedia contributors. “Dysphania ambrosioides.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 15 Feb. 2016. Web. 24 Mar. 2016.


Baked Noodles and Eggplant

A layered eggplant and noodle casserole one-dish meal.  Make it vegan with a couple of simple tweaks.


  • 3 large eggplants, sliced
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • Oil and butter
  • 1 14-oz. can tomatoes
  • 1-1/2 lb. spaghetti noodles
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 4 hard cooked eggs, sliced thinly
  • 2 oz. grated Parmesan

Sprinkle eggplants with salt and let sit in colander for 30 minutes. Drain and dry to remove bitter juices before using in the recipe below.

Fry onion in 2 T oil until soft. Add tomatoes, oregano, salt and pepper. Add a little water, if necessary, and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.

Fry the drained and dried eggplant slices in a little oil until very tender, turning once. Drain on paper towels.

Cook the pasta until just tender. Drain and mix with tomato sauce and 1 T butter.

Butter a large oven dish. Spread a layer of pasta and sauce over the bottom; cover with a layer of eggplant and one of sliced eggs, and sprinkle with 1/4 of the Parmesan cheese. Repeat all layers twice more. Cover with a thick layer of pasta and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake at 375º F for about 30 minutes or till golden.

Vegan Baked Noodles and Eggplant

To convert this into a vegan dish, use oil instead of butter to grease your oven dish. Slice 1-4″ thick rounds of baby zucchini and steam or sauté them in oil for a couple of minutes to soften, then use those rounds to replace the sliced egg in each layer. Replace the Parmesan cheese in the recipe with a faux-Parmesan blend made of coarsely ground raw cashews mixed with a little sea salt and nutritional yeast.


A typical dish from the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, made with a wonderful creamy sauce of ground pumpkin seeds. Paptzules are similar to enchiladas in that they are filled and rolled tortillas smothered in a sauce that has chiles in it but is not necessarily very spicy.

Ingredients for Papatzul

  • 3 cups hulled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 6 serrano chiles
  • 1 sprig epazote (or 2 tsp dry)
  • 3 cups hot water
  • 24 corn tortillas
  • 12 hard cooked eggs

Pulverize the pepitas in a blender. Add seeded chiles and epazote and blend again. Place in a pan and add hot water gradually, stirring. Do not boil. Bring to a bare simmer and cook until sauce is like cream. Dip tortillas in sauce, fill with sliced or chopped eggs, roll, place in a baking dish and cover with remaining sauce. Place in oven until just heated through.

pumpkin seeds - Pepitas

Cabbage with sour cream

1 cabbage, shredded
1 T wine vinegar
2 oz. fat
1 pint sour or double cream
1 large tomato
3 or 4 green peppers
2 tablespoons flour
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon caraway seeds

Cook the shredded cabbage in very little salted water with the quartered tomato, the seeded and sliced peppers, caraway seeds and seasoning. Cook till all vegetables are tender. Make a light roux with the flour and fat and mix it into the cooked vegetables. Stir in the cream and heat through before serving.

Potato Mushroom Croquettes

Croquettes are popular appetizers, bite-sized and easy to handle in party situations. They’re usually made with mashed potatoes or some other starchy base combined with other ingredients such as fish, mushrooms, herbs, meat, etc., that impart flavor. Egg or a white sauce is often added as a binder. Croquettes are breaded or rolled in breadcrumbs or cracker meal and then deep fried until golden.

In Spain, croquetas are found on all tapas menus, many times flavored with Spanish Serrano ham (jamón Serrano, cod, mackerel, or shrimp.

Potato Mushroom croquettes

Ingredients for Potato-Mushroom Croquettes

  • 1-1/2 lb. potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 lb. mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 t oil
  • 1 T water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup Matzo or cracker meal

Boil potatoes in water until tender. Drain and mash.

In a separate pan, saute onions and mushrooms in oil and water over medium heat for three minutes.

In a large bowl, combine mashed potatoes, sauteed onions and mushrooms, seasonings and matzo meal.

Form into 10 croquettes.

Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and fry croquettes for 8 minutes on each side.

Pesto Tortellini with Chard

Lighten up your pesto tortellini by combining it with a bed of lightly steamed Swiss chard.

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 T toasted pine nuts
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 T Parmesan cheese
  • 1 package fresh tortellini
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard
  • Parmesan cheese

Blend together basil, parsley, oil, 2 T Pine nuts, garlic and 1 T Parmesan to make the pesto sauce.

Chop chard slightly and steam till tender. Drain.

Cook tortellini in hot water until al dente and toss with pesto sauce.

Spread chard on plates, mound the pesto-dressed tortellini on top and sprinkle with the remaining pine nuts.

Serve with extra Parmesan on the side.


Potato Paprikash (Paprikás Borgonya)

Paprika is sweet and/or pungent dried red pepper and a staple in the Hungarian kitchen. Paprikash is made by stewing your ingredients in a thick, paprika-based gravy-like base.

paprika red pepper

Recipe from Az Ìnyesmester Szakácskônyve (The Expert’s Cookbook)

Ingredients for Potato Paprikash

  • 1-1/2 kilos (3-1/4 lbs) potatoes
  • 4 oz bacon or 3 oz lard
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 or 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 1 t paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In frying pan, cook bacon or lard, add finely chopped onion, and brown till golden. Add chopped tomatoes, green pepper rings, and paprika. Cook until pepper is well wilted.

Peel and quarter the potatoes. Add the bacon/tomato/pepper mixture, barely cover with water, and simmer until tender and liquid is reduced to a thick gravy. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cabbage Noodles

Hungarian Cabbage Noodles

  • 1 head white cabbage, finely grated
  • Oil or lard*
  • Salt (lots)
  • Pepper (lots)
  • 1 lb. bow or spiral noodles

CEJXJEHPlace grated cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkle liberally with salt. Allow to sit for an hour or two. Squeeze out excess water.

In large, heavy frying pan, heat oil and add cabbage. Cook over moderate heat, stirring, until cabbage is well browned, adding more oil as needed. Some people sprinkle on a teaspoon or so of sugar to help brown the cabbage without actually sweetening it. Season with extra salt and pepper to taste.

Cook noodles, toss together with cabbage and serve in liberal quantities.

Many recipes for Hungarian Cabbage and Noodles also call for a small, finely chopped onion to be fried with the cabbage. I haven’t tried that version but I have added one small, crushed garlic clove and just a pinch of crushed, dried basil just before tossing the cabbage together with the noodles, and it’s one of my favorite taste treats.

* The recipe calls for lots of lard or oil, and the cabbage seems to sop up whatever grease you throw at it. However, I have several times used only the minimum of oil (avocado oil or any other mild, unrefined vegetable oil will work) to keep the cabbage from sticking and burning, and it has come out fine, albeit drier than the traditional version. I’ve used grated cabbage and coarsely shredded cabbage, and the coarser cabbage tends to hold the moisture better. I’ve even used the dry cabbage pulp left over from making cabbage juice in my masticating juicer. It works, too, although, since the pulp is super fine, it is also much drier.