The Kitchn's Best Vegetarian Recipes of 2015

Recipes from The Kitchn

2015 was a good year for veggies and we're predicting another boom come 2016. Their incredible versatility, wide spectrum of flavors, and health benefits make them scene-stealers on the dinner plate. In dishes like vegetarian paella and a modern take on green bean casserole, vegetables make no hesitation to strut into the limelight.

1. Mushroom-Asparagus Frittata

Frittatas are great for cleaning out the crisper and they're one of the easiest ways to get dinner on the table without any fuss. This savory mixture of mushrooms, crunchy asparagus, feta cheese, and fresh thyme brings a hint of elegance to this weeknight mainstay.

2. Vegetarian Paella with Red Peppers & Chickpeas

Paella — a Spanish rice dish — is traditionally made with seafood, chicken, or sausage and a seasoning base of saffron and tomato. But in this vegetarian version, we swapped the meat and fish for fresh produce and legumes. It's a veggie-filled dinner perfect for any night of the week.

3. Butternut Squash and Pecorino Tart with Crispy Shallots

Deeply flavored with sweet and savory ingredients, this butternut squash is the ultimate autumn appetizer. A salty hit of Pecorino cheese keeps the dish on its toes.

4. Modern Green Bean Casserole

Between the savory mushrooms, sesame cracker topping, and crisp-tender green beans, green bean casserole is starting to look really good after its modern facelift.

5. Wild Rice Bowl with Red Lentil Curry and Spinach

Hearty red lentils, fresh ginger, plenty of spices, a couple handfuls of baby spinach, and coconut milk — this rice and lentil bowl is a perfect balance of heat and creaminess.

6. Herb Marinated Mushrooms

The best part about serving marinated mushrooms is that they can be made a week in advance and tucked away in the back of your fridge until you are ready to serve them.

7. Sour Cream Balsamic Sweet Potatoes

This is one of those taste-as-you-go recipes since it's so easily adapted to your own preferences. With brown sugar, balsamic, and sweet potatoes, it certainly errs on the sweeter side, but the tang of balsamic and sour cream give it a rich balance.

8. Spicy Vegetarian Breakfast Nachos

We've cracked the code on how to have nachos for breakfast: Add an egg! This protein-heavy interpretation of the bar favorite is topped with scrambled tofu and as much cheese, salsa, and sour cream as you choose.

9. Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts, Pomegranate Molasses & Shanklish

This recipe is a great way to dress up roasted Brussels sprouts. The pomegranate molasses sweetly cuts through the earthiness of the sprouts; there's a nice crunch from the walnuts, and the shanklish offers a creamy counterpoint for dipping.

10. 10-Minute Miso Broccolini

Broccolini has long, tender, and very edible stalks topped with a cluster of florets. Its flavor is much less bitter than regular broccoli; its earthiness and sweet, grassy flavor makes it an ideal candidate for getting tossed with savory, umami-rich miso paste.

11. Gnocchi Skillet with Sweet Potatoes, Greens & Goat Cheese

Late in winter, it's easy to fall into a midweek pasta rut. Gnocchi, those pillowy potato dumplings, take less than half the time to prepare and are the ideal alternative for your comfort food fix. Put your cast iron skillet to work tonight — make this quick dinner, with its hearty mix of soft gnocchi, roasted sweet potatoes, earthy kale, and goat cheese.

12. Minestrone

This recipe is a lot like one of those choose-your-own-adventure books. Choose chicken stock for your liquid and the soup will have a rich, deep taste. Use vegetable stock or even water, and the soup will become light and scented with the herbs you choose to add. Throw in a handful of zucchini and a quart of green beans and you've made a late-summer bowl, ideal for the chill that comes in at the end of August. Or go for cubed butternut squash and kale and the soup becomes a steaming winter stew.

13. Creamy Skillet Tortellini with Sweet Potato and Spinach

Sweet potato cubes soften and melt into a creamy sauce, while spinach makes the final product even more substantial. Other greens can play here, too — just keep a little extra broth on hand if heartier leaves, like kale, soak up more liquid as they braise.

(Image credits: Karen Biton-Cohen; Kelli Foster; Megan Gordon; Melissa Ryan; Casey Barber)