F. Scott Fitzgerald may have said, "Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall," but we’d argue life gets better when autumn rolls around. Few things top a crisp fall day—the kind that encourages cozy knits and trips to the farmers market to pick from the bounty of freshly harvested produce. While most of us don’t grow our own produce, we can appreciate the true cornucopia of the harvest and healthy options it has to offer. There’s a reason the season is synonymous with pumpkins, gourds, and squash—they’re at their prime, along with a long list of fresh options like artichokes, zucchini, and apples.
While eating a plant-based diet is possible throughout the year, fall’s flavors add a little festivity to already nutrient-dense vegetarian dishes. Why just carve a pumpkin when you can enjoy it in a few dishes, too? We found 15 vegetarian recipes for fall you’ll love to make—from hearty butternut squash lasagna to meaty mushroom toast.
Keep scrolling for our favorite vegetarian fall recipes to try this season.
Pasta With Tomato Cream Sauce
The Recipe: Pasta With Tomato Cream Sauce
Why We Love It: Love macaroni and cheese and traditional, tomato-based pasta? This pasta with tomato cream sauce recipe from The Modern Proper combines the best of the two. Another plus? It’s ready in less than 30 minutes.
Pro Tip: As an option, top with fresh arugula and cherry tomatoes.
Quick Vegan Smoky Red Lentil Stew
The Recipe: Quick Vegan Smoky Red Lentil Stew
Why We Love It: What can be more fall than a comfortable, cozy stew? This recipe from The First Mess (and inspired by Pretty Simple Cooking) can be easily thrown together. The base—onions, celery, garlic, and spices—takes a smoky turn with the addition of smoked paprika. Mix it with protein-rich red split lentils and you’ll be pleasantly satisfied.
Pro Tip: Craving something a little more starchy? Try ladling stew into a baked potato, like The First Mess suggests.
Roasted Cauliflower Salad With Curry Yogurt Sauce
Why We Love It: A fresh spin on the traditional veggie side, this roasted cauliflower salad with curry yogurt sauce will first delight your eyes before shocking your tastebuds—in a good way. The recipe from Joyful Healthy Eats takes roasted cauliflower and tosses it with dry cranberries and pepitas.
Pro Tip: Add and toss the curry sauce in slowly, Joyful Healthy Eats recommends; you may not need the entire portion.
The Recipe: Jeweled Rice
Why We Love It: Great as a side or by itself, this jeweled rice from The Modern Proper is loaded with nutrients and nuts. But according to the recipe’s writer, Natalie, "The real star of this recipe is the beautiful little pieces of dried fruits that add the perfect balance of color, texture, and sweetness."
Pro Tip: For a hearty meal, writes Natalie, serve rice with "grilled fish, roasted chicken, or kofta."
Butternut Squash and Sun-Dried Tomato White Lasagna
Why We Love It: This butternut squash and sun-dried tomato white lasagna from Half Baked Harvest offers a seasonal alternative to the traditional cheesy tomato pasta. In its place: Roasted butternut squash, sun-dried tomatoes, and a creamy Béchamel sauce.
Pro Tip: Finish with pine nuts and fried sage.
Vegan Basil Tahini Pasta With Mushrooms and Burst Tomatoes
Why We Love It: A simple, but flavorful dinner recipe, this basil tahini pasta from The First Mess will not only help you use up your tomatoes, it’ll become a fall staple. A tangy basil cream combined with meaty mushrooms and umami-seasoned burst tomatoes will help your tastebuds transition to fall.
Pro Tip: For an additional nutritional boost, The First Mess writes that this recipe can stand up to a lot of chopped greens. "Just throw them in at the end of the mushroom cooking process and wilt with the pasta and basil tahini," The First Mess instructs.
Pudina Aloo (Potato Mint Curry)
The Recipe: Pudina Aloo (Potato Mint Curry)
Why We Love It: Playful Cooking's potato curry gets its creaminess from yogurt, refreshment from mint, and earthiness from garam masala and other spices, including a flavor boost from asafoetida, which is extracted from an herb in the celery family, according to Bon Appetit (though lemon zest will work in its place, writes Playful Cooking).
Pro Tip: Avoid using red potatoes in this recipe, writes Playful Cooking; they can get gluey when boiled, and make the curry mushy.
Harissa Spiced Moroccan Oatmeal
The Recipe: Harissa Spiced Moroccan Oatmeal
Why We Love It: While oatmeal tends to be more closely associated with sweeteners and fruity toppings, Pickled Plum's recipe works well as a savory stand-in for brunch or dinner. Green harissa (a condiment with roots in Tunisia, and a staple in North African cuisine), combine with a tomato and parsley salsa before it's topped off with a poached egg.
Pro Tip: Pickled Plum recommends garnishing with olive-oil-cured black olives for something extra.
The Recipe: Mushroom Toast
Why We Love It: If you're in the mood for a dinner that requires more assembly than cooking, whip up some mushroom toast, courtesy of Feasting at Home's formula. Sauté mushrooms (chanterelles are typically available in the fall, but any mushroom will do) in a skillet with garlic, shallots, a splash of wine; add a handful of herbs, wilt in some spinach, then pile on top of a slice of sourdough.
Pro Tip: Take your toast up a notch with a drizzle of truffle oil, a poached egg, or top with melty cheese like Gruyère, Swiss, or Brie.
Sweet Potato Gnocchi With Fried Sage, Dried Cherries, and Toasted Hazelnuts
Why We Love It: Spoon Fork Bacon's seasonal gnocchi recipe screams fall on a plate. Sweet potato gnocchi (sautéed in butter) is topped with fried sage, cherries, and toasted hazelnuts.
Pro Tip: Top with grated Parmesan as an option.
Sweet Potato Black-Eyed Pea Curry
The Recipe: Sweet Potato Black-Eyed Pea Curry
Why We Love It: Sweet potatoes and black-eyed peas meet curry in Sweet Potato Soul's nourishing recipe. Spice coconut milk and tomatoes with: Turmeric, curry powder, cumin, coriander, garam masala, garlic, ginger. Garnish with lime, cilantro, and black pepper.
Pro Tip: Claiborne provides Insta Pot cooking instructions, as well.
Autumn Zuppa di Faggioli (Bean Soup)
The Recipe: Autumn Zuppa di Faggioli (Bean Soup)
Why We Love It: We get to break out our cast iron Dutch oven (or other heavy bottomed pot) to make this filling soup recipe from Sweet Potato Soul. In go beans, potatoes, leeks, tomato, lentils, lots of herbs; and after simmering for 30 minutes, out comes hearty, warming soup for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Pro Tip: "Serve the soup with a thick slice of toasted bread and a sprinkle of red chili flakes," writes Jenné Clairborne of Sweet Potato Soul.
Vegan Macaroni and Cheese
The Recipe: Vegan Macaroni and Cheese
Why We Love It: Sweet Potato Soul's mac and cheese recipe is creamy and comforting, and vegan! Butternut squash and nutritional yeast replace dairy, and thinly sliced Brussels sprouts add texture––they'll crisp up when you bake everything. Chili flakes offer heat, and Dijon and lemon juice bump up overall flavor.
Pro Tip: Sauce should take about 3 minutes to thicken after whisking.
Creamy Pumpkin Pasta With Walnuts and Spinach
The Recipe: Creamy Pumpkin Pasta With Walnuts and Spinach
Why We Love It: The pumpkin sauce is creamy and luscious thanks to a bit of half and half, and Parmesan cheese; yet packed with nutrition (that's the pumpkin's doing). Walnuts and spinach add crunch and an extra boost of nutrients.
Pro Tip: Make this recipe vegan by forgoing dairy for more broth and olive oil; and using crushed walnuts in place of Parmesan.
Gluten-Free Noodles With Creamy Peanut and Orange Sauce
Why We Love It: Brown Sugar & Vanilla's bright and nutty noodle recipe takes minutes to prepare. Just boil gluten-free noodles, then add shaved Brussels sprouts, ginger, rice vinegar, orange, soy, peanut butter, chopped peanuts. Plus, mint and cilantro for garnish.
Pro Tip: "Start with two tablespoons of rice vinegar," recommends Brown Sugar & Vanilla. The acidity of your orange juice will determine whether to add another tablespoon of vinegar.