Ten vegetarian recipes to make for dinner and impress your family

Pravar Mukkala, Staff writer

We all enjoy a tasty, warm dinner once in a while. Whether it’s something simple like pasta with cheese or something elaborate such as biryani, it’s always appreciated, especially by tired and stressed students who want something to eat. Take a look at these top ten vegetarian recipes you can make to return the favor and impress your family.

1. Ratatouille

Ratatouille is a dish mainly made of squash, eggplant, tomatoes, and peppers. (Pravar Mukkala)

Ratatouille, while being a famous Pixar movie, is also a vegetable dish that originated in southern France. It is made of eggplants, squash, tomatoes, and bell peppers. Onions, peppers, and tomatoes are cooked into a sauce in which slices of tomatoes, eggplants, and squash are placed. The vegetables are then drizzled with oil, sprinkled with spices, and baked. While cutting veggies is tedious work, it’s worth it. In the end, you end up with a nutritious, delicious veggie dish that everyone will appreciate.

2. Mediterranean Sweet Potatoes

The sweet potatoes in this recipe are baked and covered with hummus and popcorn-like roasted chickpeas. (Pravar Mukkala)

Sweet potatoes are a healthy, versatile vegetable that can be fried, baked, boiled, and more. They star in this dish baked and bathed in a garlic hummus-based sauce and covered in roasted chickpeas. The sweet potatoes soften up while in the oven and go well with the garlicky hummus and crisp chickpeas. Make sure you have ample amounts of ground cumin, coriander, and cinnamon—they are what bring the Mediterranean flavors to this dish.

3. Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed peppers can be filled with anything, including rice, quinoa, beans, veggies, and cheese. (Pravar Mukkala)

We’ve all heard of bread bowls to pour soup in, but what about bell pepper bowls? These bell peppers are cut in half, brushed with oil, prebaked, and filled with practically anything! Though the recipe calls for rice, the peppers in the picture are filled with quinoa and black beans. Then the filled peppers are baked again and topped with cheese halfway through baking for a stringy, crackly top.

4. Pasta Primavera

Pasta primavera can be made with any type of pasta, though it is pictured here with rotini. (Pravar Mukkala)

Primavera in Italian means “spring,” so it’s fitting that the pasta in this dish is laden with colorful and wholesome veggies such as zucchini, summer squash, bell peppers, broccoli, and carrots. No pasta sauce is needed in this dish, as the pasta is taken out of the water while they are al dente and soften up a bit while cooking in the water released by the veggies. Top the pasta with a little parmesan cheese for a little salty zing.

5. Eggplant Parmesan

Pasta goes well with eggplant parmesan. (Pravar Mukkala)

While it may seem intimidating, eggplant parmesan is really simple to make. Plan a little in advance though, as after cutting the eggplants, the slices need to be salted for about half an hour so excess water can be removed. After that, the slices are dipped in flour, then in beaten eggs, and then in flavored bread crumbs. After they are baked, the eggplant parmesan is crisp and tasty. Though many people dislike eggplant, the finished dish is delicious and does not taste like eggplant.

6. Homemade Pizza

Pizza can be topped with anything; here it is topped with yellow and green peppers, onions, jalapenos, and paneer. (Pravar Mukkala)

Pizza isn’t hard to make. It all starts with flour, water, sugar, oil, and more importantly, yeast. The yeast is whisked together with water and sugar and left to sit, which proofs, or activates, the yeast. After that, the rest of the pizza dough ingredients are mixed in. The dough then needs to rise without any kneading required. After being flattened into a circle, the dough is topped with anything you want. The pictured pizza is topped with an Indian makhani sauce (made of onions, tomatoes, a boatload of spices, and cashews), mozzarella cheese, bell peppers, jalapenos, and cubes of paneer, an Indian cheese. Other toppings work too, including basil pesto and the traditional marinara sauce, along with different cheeses and mushrooms, olives, and tomatoes for the toppings.

7. Celery Potato Soup

Celery soup is a blank canvas for toppings such as herbs, chili flakes, and cheese. (Pravar Mukkala)

Have some celery lying around? This is a great way to use it! Celery soup, no matter how odd it may sound, is really hearty and filling, especially when eaten with a slice of bread. Onions, garlic, celery, and potatoes are cooked and then blended. There are two ways to do this—with an immersion blender or with a regular blender. Either works, and the addition of the potato lends a creamy texture to the resulting soup without adding cream. While the soup is bland, it can be topped with red chili flakes, mint, parsley, and parmesan cheese for some extra taste.

8. Paneer Butter Masala

Paneer butter masala is a dish of Indian origin first created in the United Kingdom. (Pravar Mukkala)

Paneer butter masala is an Indian dish that consists of a creamy, spicy gravy with cubes of paneer and petals of onions and bell peppers swimming in it. Paneer butter masala is usually eaten with rice or flatbread. To make it, onions are fried in butter or oil, and tomatoes and cashews are added thereafter. Then they are blended into a paste, and fried paneer, onions, and peppers are added to the gravy and simmered. The cashews are part of the dish because when ground, they have a creamy texture. While there are many spices involved in the recipe, you probably already have most of them. For an alternate to this recipe, thin it out with water to make a soup that is less spicy.

9. Naan

Naan is an Indian flatbread popular around the world. (Pravar Mukkala)

Naan is a popular flatbread from the Indian subcontinent. It is usually made in a clay oven known as a tandoor. Once the dough is made, several flatbreads can be made. Apply one side with water and put the naan on a preheated pan. Let it cook, and then turn the pan upside down so the top of the naan faces the fire. This way the naan can brown on the top, creating the same effect as the tandoor. After the naan is cooked, apply butter to it to create a delectable, carby bread that can be eaten with the paneer butter masala shown above.

10. Minestrone Soup

Minestrone soup contains shell pasta, kidney beans, and many vegetables. (Pravar Mukkala)

Vegetarian in nature, minestrone soup is an Italian soup that can be made with anything you have on hand. Pasta, beans, and veggies all go into the soup to create a nutritious meal in one dish. Be aware that the amount of vegetables in the soup requires a lot of chopping.