Is It Rude To Bring an Alternate Vegetarian Dish to Dinner?

Good Questions

Q: My husband recently became a vegetarian, and although I'm adjusting pretty well in our daily cooking I'm not sure what to do about Christmas dinner with the family. We'll be at a relative's home and I know they're ordering a turkey dinner from a gourmet grocery. No one else in the family is a vegetarian.

Is it rude to bring an alternate main dish for him? I'd hate to make our host (who is over 90 years old) prepare a separate dish. Also, what are some suggestions for his meal? I'd hate for him to have a microwaved Boca Burger while we're all eating a special meal.

Sent by Laura

Editor: Laura, this is a delicate question of etiquette, but after some consideration, our opinion is no, it's not rude to bring an extra dish. Can you speak to your relative ahead of time and ask if you can bring a festive side dish? Then you can bring a vegetarian pasta bake, or this real showstopper of a baked pumpkin (see another recipe here), which everyone can enjoy and which will still satisfy your vegetarian husband.

We think that doing this is probably the most considerate option, as opposed to asking your relatives to make up a special menu for your husband.

Readers, what are your thoughts? Do you have any other good recipe ideas for Laura?

Related: Five Meal Ideas for Veg/Non-Veg Dinner Parties

(Image: Romulo Yanes for Gourmet)

84 Comments