30 Vegetarian Comfort Food Recipes for a Cozy, Plant-Based Dinner

Shepherds pie
Photo: Kate Mathis

Creamy, cheesy, saucy, and sometimes crunchy, these vegetarian comfort food recipes are the cozy meals you crave. Our collection shows how hearty and delicious plant-based dishes can be. They're packed with vegetables, from broccoli to eggplant to sweet potatoes. And then come the carbs—noodles of various kinds are featured, along with rice, potatoes, and tortillas.

Our stovetop and baked pasta, creamy risotto, cheese-topped casseroles, nourishing bean stews, and more are the recipes you need to put comfort on your plate or in your bowl.

01 of 30

Broccoli-and-Chickpea Parmesan

broccoli-and-chickpea parmesan
Johnny Miller

Is this our ultimate vegetarian comfort food dinner? We think so. Our meatless riff on chicken Parmesan is just that good. There's a base of store-bought marinara, a layer of mozzarella, another of canned chickpeas, and tender florets of roasted broccoli. A crunchy Parmesan-panko topping finishes this hearty, nutritious dish.

02 of 30

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

shepherds pie
Kate Mathis

A dinner that's more casserole than traditional pie, this iteration of shepherd's pie doesn't have pastry—but there is plenty of delicious flavor. It's a mélange of green lentils, cremini mushrooms, carrots, and peas, topped with a crown of fluffy mashed potatoes.

03 of 30

Vegetarian Bolognese with Bucatini

vegetarian bolognese with bucatini
Con Poulos

Warm up with this homemade "bolognese" sauce made from minced mushrooms; it's thick enough to coat long strands of noodles for the ultimate bowl of comfort food pasta.

04 of 30

Roasted Eggplant Sandwich with Soy Lime Glaze

eggplant banh mi topped with cilantro
Con Poulos

This vegetarian spin on the beloved Vietnamese banh mi will satisfy even the most serious of sandwich cravings. The secret? An umami-rich soy glaze is brushed on the eggplant slices before roasting, imparting an ultra-savory flavor to the sandwich filling.

05 of 30

Weeknight Vegetarian Chili

weeknight vegetarian chili served with tortillas
Con Poulos

A steaming bowl of comforting chili can be yours in under an hour when you make it in a skillet, which cuts the simmering time in half. Top it with plenty of cheese while it's still piping hot, for maximum melt.

06 of 30

Broccoli, Potato, and Cheddar Soup

broccoli potato and cheddar soup
Nico Schinco

Consider this a fully loaded baked potato, but in soup form. It's a soothing bowl that melds nutritious broccoli and hearty potatoes with two cheeses—butter Havarti and bold cheddar.

07 of 30

Cauliflower-Sweet Potato Curry

cauliflower-sweet potato curry served with cilantro and lime
Con Poulos

Coconut milk is the creamy base for this downright wholesome vegetable curry. Make a batch over the weekend and enjoy it spooned over rice or quinoa for quick lunches.

08 of 30

Baked Mac and Cheese with Broiled Tomatoes

baked macaroni cheese broiled tomatoes
Armando Rafael

This famous comfort food is as creamy as ever and uses a panko breadcrumb topping to achieve the perfect balance of textures.

09 of 30

Eggplant Meatball Casserole

Mike Krautter

These meatballs require a delicate hand when forming, but once they're baked, they become a hearty main that is destined for a plate of spaghetti or polenta.

10 of 30

Cheese-Stuffed Portobello Burger

cheese-stuffed portobello burger topped with arugula
Con Poulos

With this pan-fried portobello burger, no one will be missing the meat. It's a hearty patty thanks to a crunchy panko breading and a hidden surprise of melty provolone cheese in the middle.

11 of 30

Brothy Beans and Greens on Toast

brothy beans and greens on toast served with lemon wedges
Con Poulos

"Quick and Cozy" should be the alternate name for this recipe, which brings together garlicky stewed greens and white beans in a quick sauté, then lays them over toasted slices of rustic bread.

12 of 30

Broccoli Frito Misto

Broccoli Fritto Misto recipe
Yuki Sugiura

Sometimes a comfort food craving can only be satisfied by something fried. This Italian-style appetizer does just that—but it won't sacrifice your serving of green vegetables in the process.

13 of 30

Coconut-Miso Mushroom Soup

coconut-miso mushroom soup
David Malosh

Comfort food can come in many formats and, believe it or not, doesn't always have to involve heaps of cheese or cream. Case in point: A bowl of this coconut-miso soup keeps things dairy-free and still manages to warm the soul.

14 of 30

Cheese-Stuffed Tostadas

Cheese-Stuffed Tostadas
Ren Fuller

Comfort food doesn't have to take all day to make—sometimes it can be quick enough for a weeknight dinner, as these cheesy tostadas prove.

15 of 30

Traditional Eggplant Parmigiana

eggplant parmesan

For many meals on this list, cheese is a big part of what makes them so comforting! This eggplant parmigiana doesn't skimp on the gooey stuff, and it doesn't cut corners, either, so plan on spending an afternoon in the kitchen (it's worth it, we promise).

16 of 30

Black-Bean Stew with Rice


Beans and rice are a fortifying and nutritious comfort food across many cultures. In this Cuban-style stew, saucy spiced black beans are served alongside fluffy white rice.

17 of 30

Winter Cobb Salad

winter cobb salad with tofu and shiitakes
Con Poulos

We believe that with the right combination of ingredients, even salads can be considered comfort food. This seasonal cobb fits the criteria; crispy tofu, smoky shiitake bits, and crumbled blue cheese are the stars of this stellar winter salad.

18 of 30

Test Kitchen's Favorite Grilled Cheese

hands holding grilled cheese
Sidney Bensimon

Nostalgia is often the main ingredient for some of our favorite comfort foods. This recipe for classic grilled cheese tweaks a childhood standby for more mature palettes by adding a second cheese. For maximum coziness, round it out with a bowl of warming tomato soup.

19 of 30

Mushroom and Celery-Root Bread Pudding

Chris Court

A savory bread pudding like this one can act as part of a side dish to a winter feast or be the anchor in a simple vegetarian meal when served along with a green salad.

20 of 30

Vegetarian Pho

Mike Krautter

If cozying up to a giant bowl of brothy soup is your idea of comfort food, then this pho is just the thing. A mix of dried and fresh shiitake mushrooms infuse the vegetarian broth with a deeply savory flavor.

21 of 30

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Fried Sage Leaves


Immersing yourself in a craft can be a therapeutic way to cope with a stressful time. Why not pick a project that will end with a comforting bowl of ravioli with brown butter and sage? If you're short on time, but still want comfort food, check out this shortcut recipe that uses store-bought ravioli.

22 of 30

Potato-Feta Bourekas

potato feta turnovers
Yuki Sugiura

This portable pastry is a beloved comfort food snack in Bulgaria and countries around the Eastern Mediterranean, and like most savory-stuffed pastries, there are many different fillings and seasoning options to choose from. In this recipe, we use buttery puff pastry to encase a simple yet satisfying mixture of potatoes and feta cheese.

23 of 30

Vegetarian Gumbo

vegetarian gumbo
Sidney Bensimon

Gumbo is an iconic example of Louisiana soul food, and this vegan-friendly version is perfect for when you want a nourishing meal that will warm you from head to toe.

24 of 30

Wild Mushroom Skillet Pizza


On nights when only pizza will do, it's a good thing to have a great recipe in your favorites folder. This from-scratch pie is full of flavorful ingredients like creamy fontina cheese, savory wild mushrooms, and fresh tarragon.

25 of 30

Pressure-Cooker Corn Risotto

corn risotto with basil and tomato
Marcus Nilsson

Risotto is Italy's take on a comforting rice bowl. If you have a multicooker or pressure cooker on hand, you must try this recipe—it slashes the time in half and doesn't require constant stirring.

26 of 30

Vegetarian Enchiladas Suizas

vegetarian enchiladas suizas
Con Poulos

This skillet dinner is inspired by "Swiss-style" enchiladas and is a vegetable-packed treat that is quick enough to be made on a weeknight. Crema and cheese top layers of poblano peppers, red onion, and zucchini, with soft corn tortillas in between.

27 of 30

Tomato Cobbler


Whoever said cobblers were just for peaches has never met this savory summer stunner. Gruyère-flavored biscuits are dropped on a mixture of ripe cherry tomatoes, caramelized onions, and aromatics like garlic and chili flakes before being baked to saucy perfection.

28 of 30

Rich Artichoke and Mushroom Lasagna


This comforting veggie lasagna layers mushrooms and artichokes with no-boil lasagna noodles and a creamy bechamel sauce for an easy casserole that will stick to your ribs.

29 of 30

Toovar Dal

toovar dal
Jake Stangel

Dal, a lentil-based stew with countless variations to its name, is a beloved staple in kitchens across India. This version will warm up both your kitchen and your belly with fresh herbs and spices like curry leaves, hot green chiles, and turmeric.

30 of 30

Minestrone and Parmesan Biscuit Pot Pie


In this recipe, cozy minestrone soup and tender Parmesan biscuits combine into one super-comforting casserole.

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