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Top-tier Veg Recipes - Curated by Tom

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🌶️ Kung Pao Tofu
Kung pao chicken was one of my favorite meals growing up, and I’ve adapted it with fried tofu and plenty of veg. Now, I actually prefer this version to the original! This household favorite gets made at least once a month. Usually I make with broccoli and carrots, but really once you have the sauce ingredients in pantry, you can whip this up with any veg you have on hand. Hands down one of my favorite dishes.
🥬 Super Greens Soup with Lemon-Tarragon Cream
I think this might be my favorite soup of all time. The arborio rice makes it perfectly silky and smooth, and we were re-garnishing the lemon cream for the whole meal. Don’t skip the tarragon; it’s fine without it, but the tarragon really does take it up a notch. Be aware, this one can take kind of a long time unless you prep while cooking. I prep everything I need for steps 2 & 3 before starting on step 2 (skipping 1 for now) and then prep everything else (incl the cream) while the onion is caramelizing.
America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook
🌯 Baked Burritos with Pinto Beans and Swiss Chard
This is tied for my favorite book recipe. One thing I love about it is, I tend to stay stocked up on most of the ingredients, so I usually only need to get fresh greens and tortillas to be fully prepped. I sub kale instead of swiss chard because I usually don’t use the whole bunch, and I find kale easier to repurpose than chard. I’ve also used black beans, both fine. On the last step, WATCH them in the broiler! The line between “delicious, browned, melted cheese” and “blackened burrito wasteland” is quite thin, and it’s very frustrating to have the whole meal burnt at literally the last minute. Serve this with sour cream, salsa, guacamole on the side... better than Chipotle.
America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook
🥘 Butternut Squash Chili with Quinoa
This is the other tie for my favorite book recipe. I make this maybe once a month. It’s hearty and warming, great for cold days, and I find the peanut / butternut / cilantro flavors really unique. Saves well and might even be better the second day, after it thickens a bit. Note, this recipe says you can garnish with either parsley or cilantro. This is a lie. Use cilantro only. I’m still working on my timing for this one, but if you start step 3 with about 30 minutes left on the oven timer, you should pull the squash out with a few minutes left on the stovetop, just enough to blend up the puree. I usually prep while cooking, as opposed to pre-prep.
America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook
🌽 Mexican-Style Street Corn
We made these as a side and they showed up the main meal. Doing these again, I would probably roast on a grill, halve through the middle, put on a skewer, roll in the sauce, and then roll in cotija after. The sauce is so good, you could make it on its own as a Mexican dip or dressing. We saved half the corn, shaved it off the cob, and had it in a salad the next day with avocado, black beans, tostada chips, lettuce, and the extra sauce. For the main in this photo, see “Impossible Crunch Wrap Supreme” in the next section.
America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook
🍛 Braised Winter Greens and Squash w/ Coconut Curry
I’m always amazed this recipe only uses a teaspoon of curry. The pepitas add a great crunch. I add a few dried chiles in here to make it a bit spicier. Great with naan or white rice. One of my favorite curries, if not my favorite.
America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook
🥘 Roasted Poblano & White Bean Chili
I don’t know why “corn” isn’t in the title: corn is the standout here, and the smell of roast corn filling your kitchen is a huge highlight of this meal. I roast it about 3x as long as it suggests, flipping it a lot until it was very roasted on all sides. The recipe says to do it early, but it’s more efficient to roast it later, while the chili is simmering. We served with avocado, sour cream, and tostadas. Pay attention to the chile roasting part: make sure the skin is facing up. You really want to blacken them, or else they’re a huge pain to skin, which is by far the most annoying part of this meal, so do yourself a favor and don’t skimp the broil.
America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook
🌯 Chipotle Bowls
Recipe coming soon!
🥘 Thai Green Curry
I’ll admit - I just made this recipe up. It’s not derived from anywhere, and I’ve got no idea of the traditional way to make a Thai green curry. If you’ve got a go-to recipe, I’d love to hear it! In the meantime, at risk of being teh white American food blogger with my take on EtHnIc FoOdS - I think my version isn’t bad. It doesn’t take much special ingredients (curry paste, coconut milk, and optionally fish sauce, all of which store) and will accept whatever veg you throw in there. It’s a great backstop meal, and nice on cold days. We like it!
Recipe coming soon!
🍝 Penne w/ Pink Sauce
This is a once-a-month comfort food with few ingredients that we make sure to always have on hand - even better if you have a basil plant nearby. The secret to the sauce is simmering it with the parmesan rind. Love it with penne, but rigatoni is also phenom. We want to try a few other permutations of this (with vodka? blending it smooth?) but as it is, this is already a huge staple in Chez Quigley.
Recipe coming soon!
🥬 Green Lentil & Crispy Kale Stew
We make this every month, if not twice a month. I love how this meal uses the kale stems, which I usually throw out. We keep the lemony yogurt handy to re-add it as we eat, and about a quarter of the kale chips never make it to the table. Out of all the blog recipes I’ve cooked, this one is a real winner. This blog goes on and on about how black lentils are the KEY to this recipe. I’ve cooked it with red, green, and black lentils, and honestly, black is the bottom of the list. Green lentils are where it’s at. Note that it’ll take a little longer to cook - defer to package instructions.
🍛 Malai Kofta
This is my “I’m trying to impress you” meal. One of my favorite meals when I order Indian food, I decided to give it a shot during quarantine, and it, was, amazing. Serve with naan and/or rice.
A few notes:
the written recipe here is not great, watch the video to get the idea.
If you don’t have solid spices (cardamom, cinnamon, etc) for the sauce, look up the conversion (it’s less than you think). If you think you’ll want
When I strained through the colander, it did... basically nothing. Mine was too thick still to get any beautiful smooth cream. If that’s your case too, don’t worry - the meal still turns out just fine.
I never deep fry in that much oil, just because I don’t like pouring it all out afterwards. I use maybe a centimeter of oil and fry different sides until it’s mostly even.
🥧 Salted Caramel Apple Pie
What can I say other than, this is just the best. It takes a while, but it’s a show stopper. I made this for quarantine Thanksgiving, and it blew everything else away. Bask in the awe dawning on the faces of your dinner guests as they take their first bites. When cooking, watch the caramel like a hawk. It’s always just a few moments away from scorching - control your heat, stir constantly, and remove from heat immediately when finished.
but originally the Four & Twenty Blackbirds Cookbook
🍝 Mushroom Bolognese
Don’t expect a perfect bolognese adaptation, but this comes pretty darn close for not using any meat. I was surprised how similar the mushrooms are to ground beef when cooking in the pan. This takes a little bit longer, but it satisfies a craving for one of my old favorite meat meals, with a twist. Note, omit the sugar from this recipe! No added sugar to Italian sauces. None. Quit it.
America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook
🍅 Stuffed Tomatoes w/ Couscous & Zucchini
You can’t go wrong with this much cheese. Good tomatoes really make a difference here. After baking, they’re so sweet and fresh, offset by the goat cheese and the basil, and the panko crumb topping... I upgraded this a star just writing this description. We have used either risotto or quinoa instead of couscous, only difference here is you need to cook them beforehand in water, and then use slightly less broth and just let it sit to absorb. We also always mix panko or breadcrumbs with the parmesan crust.
America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook
🥙 Arepas w/ Black Bean Filling
I only discovered arepas a few years back and couldn’t believe I’d been sleeping on them for so long. The cornflour arepas themselves were delicious, the filling was pretty basic, and I’d recommend having some additional toppings - guac, cheese, sour cream, whatever you like. The only downside of these is that I had to buy a big thing of masa blanca which I then didn’t really use for anything else but arepas, and sat on the shelf for months. If you’ve got the pantry storage, no worries!
America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook
🥣 Creamy Cauliflower Soup
Another stellar creamy soup with no cream whatsoever. The soup is good, but the soup + garnishes is great. Be patient with the browned butter and don’t burn the cauliflower florets. And don’t pour the browned butter into anything plastic - it boiled a hole straight through my measuring cup.
America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook
🎃 Stuffed Acorn Squash w/ Barley
This meal is autumn AF. One acorn squash is enough for two people; you can half the filling recipe, or just heap it up, which we did. A good balsamic really enhances it. One recommendation: after you halve the squash, slide a little divot out of the “bottom” of the each half, so it can sit flat when you’re eating. Just one word of warning: while this is definitely delicious, it’s worth having some GasX on hand. Just in case.
America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook
🍝 Baked Ziti with Eggplant
Hearty, filling, and made enough to feed an army. We used zucchini instead of eggplant, roast for 15 minutes, flipping with a spatula halfway through. We also doubled the ricotta and used penne instead of rigatoni. We’ll be enjoying this one for a week.
America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook
🥒 Zucchini Rollinis
🥣 Overnight Oats
Man, I was really sleeping on overnight oats my whole life. It’s such an upgrade from oatmeal, so easy, and makes lots of quick, powerful breakfast fast. Easy to add whatever toppings you want - fresh fruit, nuts, honey, whatever you want. I’m bad at breakfasts, so having something quick, low-prep, low-cleanup, and filling is key for me.
🌮 Impossible Crunch Wrap Supreme
Swap in Impossible Meat for ground beef here and you’ve got yourself a veggie crunchwrap. Impossible Meat cooks almost identically to ground beef and IMO tastes almost identical too. If you don’t have tostadas, you can cut tortillas to shape and toast them in the oven. Gordita-size tortillas for the outside are really key here, otherwise you won’t have enough to wrap around. This pairs well with the
@ 🌽 Mexican-Style Street Corn
from the Test Kitchen Cookbook.
🥗 Crispy Feta w/ Lemon Basil Orzo
I had a lot of trouble with this the first time through. Prepped correctly, it’s really great, plates nicely, and is very filling and balanced. Prepped badly, it’s a mess. I would highly suggest watching the video to supplement reading the recipe, as she takes different steps in each.
Your feta has to be in and out quick or else it starts melting and you are stuck in burnt cheesy pan hell. Place in a very hot pan, and start flipping almost as soon as they’re arranged. Once you get a small fry on both sides, they hold together slightly better.
Wash your pan out between cheese & chickpeas.
She doesn’t say this in the recipe, but you do remove the chickpeas from the pan before cooking the zucchini. You want your chickpeas to crisp, and the zuccs make it too watery.
I found that using drier chickpeas helped crisp them a lot better - in my case, it was extra canned chickpeas that had been in the fridge for a day. YMMV
We add arugula to the final dish to give it a bit more green-power.
🥘 Satay Soba Noodles w/ Fried Tofu
This Is delicious, but the ribboned carrots are weird - matchstick the carrots instead. I think we weren’t expecting much from this one, but were surprised by the tasty flavors, particularly in the tofu. This is apparently also a good meal-prep food (though we just cooked it as a meal). Careful not to burn the tofu (as I appear to have in this photo!) I would also halve the amount of ginger or vinegar, otherwise it’s very overpowering and sharp. To adapt the recipe for matchsticked carrots, once you remove the fried tofu from the hot pan, stir fry the carrots (and whatever other veg you want to add). Have you noodles prepped before frying tofu. Once the veg is blackened, take off heat and add noodles and sauce. Turn to coat, add green scallions, and plate with fried tofu on top.
🥞 Brioche French Toast
Not an everyday thing (or why not, who am I to judge) but this makes for a very nice impressive breakfast. Made this for the first time on Valentine’s Day and knocked her socks off.
🥣 Page’s Coconut Granola
Recipe coming soon!
🧆 Falafel Bowls
Recipe coming soon!
🥒 Skillet-baked Orzo w/ Feta & Zucchini
Fresh, Mediterranean flavors heaped with veg. We doubled up on the zucchini here - the mint, feta, and lemon gave it that Greek-isle brightness. Makes a lot of food, so great for leftovers.
America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook
🥧 Quiche w/ Leek & Goat Cheese
There are a few quiche variations in here, this was the one we tried and loved. It saves in the fridge only okay, so if you can eat it all in one go, all the better!
America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook
🌮 Tempeh Tacos
One of my old favorite meat dishes was Mexican-style beef - make a bunch in a pan, whack it in the fridge, you’re laughing. That’s what this is: a tasty standard that you can throw together quickly and that will keep you in lunch burritos for a week. Great for meal prep.
America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook
🍆 Eggplant Involtini
Don’t make my mistake: peel your eggplants! This meal is beautiful in the pan and on the plate. I would pair with something light, a salad or maybe an orzo - it’s delicious but slightly filling, two or three and you’re full!
America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook
🍄 Stir-Fried Portobellos, Carrots, and Snow Peas w/ Soy-Maple Sauce
The maple mirin glaze on this is phenomenal (even if the mirin does just sit in my fridge for months afterwards). Braising the portobellos makes them hearty and steaky, they don’t collapse into mush (I hate that). This meal is close as I’ve come to that “local Chinese takeout” taste at home, but (slightly) healthier and with fresher veg. You can repurpose the glaze for other stirfry meals to mix up the veg assortment.
America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook
🥔 Sweet Potato & Swiss Chard Gratin
This is a perfect autumn side dish; the thyme makes it very Thanksgiving-y. Perfect to bring to a Friendsgiving potluck. Makes your house smell homey and hygge!
America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook
🌾 Wild Rice & Mushroom Soup
Okay, here’s the thing. This soup is delicious. It takes a while to make, but it’s really, really good. The cornstarch thickens it to a chowder and every bite is rich, flavorful, and filling. I really want to give this more than three stars. But it loses some points for... flatulent consequences. Give it a try at least once, but make sure you’ve got some GasX handy.
America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook
🍲 Simple Vegetable Soup
It’s quick, it’s easy, it uses usually on-hand ingredients. This is definitely a cold-weather, sicky-feeling, don’t-want-to-cook meal that leaves us satisfied every time. The basil and the lemon add brightness to an otherwise basic soup. Stock matters here - I like Better Than Bouillon. We use ditalini noodles.
🍅 Pesto Pasta w/ Ricotta & Blistered Tomatoes
Recipe coming soon!
🍪 Snickerdoodles
Sometimes you just need cookies. They bill these as the “best snickerdoodle recipe ever” and honestly, maybe. Makes a lot of chewy, soft, delicious snickerdoodles perfect for a winter day.
🍪 Chocolate Chip Cookies (Doubletree version)
I grew up a Nestle Tollhouse recipe loyalist, but these cookies have changed my mind. I thought the oats would make them too oatmeal-y but they didn’t, they were barely present and added good texture. I thought the lemon might be weird, but nope, it slapped. Crumble Maldon salt flakes on top for an order-of-magnitude experience enhancer.
🌶️ Cheesy Stuffed Poblanos
I forgot to buy corn when we cooked this. And even then, it was good! I haven’t tried them again with corn, but I still recommend these. Once I do, I’ll revisit the star rating, but as of now, these were good - can’t go wrong with that much cheese.
America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook
🥗 Edamame Salad
As you might be able to tell from this list - I’m not a huge salad guy. I love a Sweetgreen as much as the next guy, but I’m bad at assembling them myself, so I rarely prepare them at home. This salad is an exception. The protein-filled edamame leaves you full, the salad is fresh and bright, and the seeds pack a crunch. It’s tasty, but I still say it’s more a side than a main.
America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook
🍋 Spaghetti Al Limoni
While we haven’t re-made this since the first time a while back, I remember it being bright, quick, filling, and tasty. Doesn’t take many ingredients, and left us totally satisfied. Would need to make again to see if it ratchets up to 3 stars.
🥣 Black Bean Soup
Mexican Salad w/ Creamy Avocado Dressing
The dressing was fine, nothing extraordinary. Wasn’t a standout. Wouldn’t make again.
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