13 of our favourite vegetarian recipes for all occasions

Posted by Welcome Lishivha on 1 October 2018

We know how tricky it is to sustain a meatless life in a world where so much meat is consumed in almost every imaginable dish. To help solve that problem and as part of our celebration of World Vegetarian Day today, we’ve put together a list of some of our favourite vegetarian recipes for any occasions.

Some of these recipes include are suitable for lacto-ovo vegetarians – who don’t mind eggs and or dairy in the case of cheese or eggs.


1. Sweet potato & black bean enchiladas recipe

This sweet potato and black bean enchilada recipe is a favourite in the Getaway office. The combination of warm Mexican spices, fresh coriander, and lime juice is absolutely mouth-watering, and topped with the roasted red pepper chipotle sauce and melted cheese is worth all the effort. Recipe by Rachel Robinson.

Ingredients for the filling

Serves four

• 2 large sweet potatoes (about 300g each)
• olive oil salt & black pepper
• 1 tsp each oregano, allspice, ground cumin
• 1/2 large red onion, finely chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
• 1 Tbsp chipotle chilli sauce
• 1 tin (400ml) chopped tomatoes
• 100 ml water
• 1 tin (400 g) black beans, drained & rinsed
• 10 x 8 inch tortilla wraps
• a big handful of grated manchego cheese
• a handful of fresh coriander, chopped plus garnish
• lime/lemon juice to taste
• sour cream, or goat’s yoghurt to serve


Cooking method

• Preheat the oven to 200 C and line a baking sheet with baking paper. Scrub the sweet potatoes well and cut into 1-2 cm dice.

• Put them on the baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, oregano, cumin and allspice if you have it.

• Toss it together with your hands to evenly coat then spread it all out in a single layer.
Roast for 15-20 minutes until tender.

• Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat and add the red onion. Cook for 3-4 minutes until softened, then add the garlic and cook for two minutes more.
Add in the cooked sweet potatoes, tomatoes, chipotle sauce and water.

• Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes to cook the tomatoes.

• Mash the sweet potatoes in the pan then add the black beans, stir through and add the chopped coriander.

• Season with salt & black pepper and a squeeze of lime/lemon juice. Taste and adjust as required. (Try not to eat it all.)


Ingredients for the red pepper sauce:

• 1 jar/tin, roasted red peppers (about 200-250 grams), rinsed and drained
• about 100 ml tomate frito /puree tomato/tomato passata
• 4 or 5 tsp chipotle chilli sauce
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• the other 1/2 large red onion, finely chopped
• 4 or 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 1  1/2 tsp palm sugar/brown sugar
• 1  1/2 tsp ground cumin
• 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (vegetarian)


Cooking method

• Blend the drained, rinsed peppers, tomato puree, chipotle sauce, sugar, cumin & Worcestershire sauce in a food processor until smooth.

• Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and cook the onion and a pinch of salt for 4-5 minutes until softened, then add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.

• Remove from the heat and add to the processor with the red pepper sauce and blend again. Season with salt & black pepper and taste. Adjust as required.


To assemble the enchiladas

• Preheat oven to 190 C. The number of tortillas depends on your dishes so just fill as many as you need.

• Spread a layer of the red pepper sauce on the base of your dish(es). Take a few heaped tablespoons of the filling and lay it at one end of the tortilla (as in pictures above), roll up the tortilla and place it in the dish seam side down.

• Continue with the rest until your dish is full (you may have to trim some).

• Tip the rest of the red pepper sauce all over the top of the wraps spreading it out evenly. Top with the grated cheese and bake for about 15 minutes. Then turn the grill/broiler on high and leave it under there for about 5 minutes. You need to give it that caramelised-at-the-edges, crispy cheese topping, but there’s a fine line between brilliance and burnt beyond repair.

• Leave it for 5 minutes before serving with a dollop of sour cream/goats yoghurt, fresh coriander and a wedge of lime/lemon to squeeze over. A nice green salad would be good if you need something to accompany it.

• All photos courtesy of Natalie Ward. Visit Cook Eat Live Vegetarian, for more recipes.


2. Baked falafels with tzatziki


Falafels are a great picnic food, especially when served with this tangy tzatziki. Put them in a wrap or pita, or just eat them with your fingers! You could deep-fry them, but it’s easier (and obviously healthier) to bake them. The trick is to use a muffin tray: the heat radiating from all sides helps them to crisp up evenly. This recipe is for lacto-ovo vegetarians who don’t mind eggs and or dairy. Recipe by Rachel Robinson.

Ingredients for the falafel

• 2 tins chickpeas
• ½ red onion, chopped
• 2 tsp garlic
• 1 tsp cumin
• 3 small dried chillies (reduce if you prefer a subtle bite)
• 2 Tbs chopped fresh coriander
• 2 Tbs olive oil
• 3 Tbs flour
• A good pinch of salt
• Ingredients for the tzatziki
• 250 ml greek yoghurt
• Pinch of salt
• 1 tsp finely chopped garlic
• 1 tsp olive oil
• ½ of one large cucumber, peeled if that’s your preference


• Preheat oven to 180 degrees and grease two mini-muffin tray.

• Mix all ingredients except the flour, and either blitz in a food processor or mash by hand.

• Mix in the flour, adding a teaspoon or two extra if it’s too sticky.

• Roll the mixture into balls between your palms: about the size of a ping-pong ball is what you’re going for. There’s definitely a knack to this, so don’t worry if you start with a few weirdly-shaped ones.

• Put them into your muffin tins: if you have too many leftover, it’s fine to cook some on a baking tray.

• Bake for about 40 mins, turning half-way.

How to make the tzatziki

• Finely chop the cucumber: if you have time, it’s best to gather it in a clean tea-towel and squeeze out some liquid for a few minutes. Mix all the ingredients and keep it cool.

• This is one of the easiest salads to throw together: but the combination of salt and sweet, creamy and crunchy, is more addictive than the sum of its parts. It’s a perfect picnic recipe because it can take more bashing than a leaf-heavy salad, and can withstand a fair bit more sunshine too. It doesn’t technically need a dressing because the flavours are already quite explosive, but I can recommend an Asian-inspired sesame-chilli-lime dressing to accompany it. – Kati Auld.


3. Mushroom and Apricot Biscotti

It might seem quite daring, but nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? This recipe is for lacto-ovo vegetarians who don’t mind eggs and or dairy. Recipe by Rachel Robinson.


• 50g butter
• 225g cake flour, plus a little extra for shaping
• 150g castor sugar
• Pinch of salt
• ½ teaspoon baking powder
• 100g dried mushrooms, cut into slices to retain the hint of a mushroom shape
• 75g dried apricots, sliced
• 2 extra large eggs
• 1 teaspoon truffle oil
• ½ teaspoon finely ground star anise



•  Preheat the oven to 180°C.

•  Melt the butter in the microwave and cool slightly.

•  Sieve the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and star anise into a large bowl.

•  Add the mushrooms and the apricots and mix in well.

•  In a small bowl, whisk together one of the eggs and the yolk of the second egg, the truffle oil and the butter. Retain the second egg white and whisk slightly to break it up in case you need it to bring the dough together.

•  Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour the egg and butter mixture into it. Stir until it forms a dough, you might need to add some or all of the leftover egg white to achieve this.

•  Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Very lightly dust a work surface with a little flour and shape into two logs, each about 20cm long.

•  Cover a large baking sheet with non-stick baking paper and place the logs on it leaving plenty of space between them.

•  Bake on the middle shelf for 40 minutes until golden brown and firm to the touch. Remove from oven and cool for 20 minutes.

•  Using a sharp knife slice the biscotti logs on the diagonal into slices and arrange standing up in a single layer on the baking sheet.

•  Return to the oven for 20 minutes to allow them to crisp up.



4. Homemade Tagliatelle with Exotic Mushrooms and Parmesan

This recipe is for lacto-ovo vegetarians who don’t mind dairy, in this instance cream. Recipe by Rachel Robinson.

Ingredients for the tagliatelle

•  400g flour
•  5 eggs
•  1 tablespoon salt
•  3 tablespoons oil

For the sauce

•  500g fresh mixed exotic mushrooms
•  1 large onion, cut in quarter – ring slices
•  2 tablespoons olive oil
•  ½ cup Delheim Sauvignon Blanc
•  ½ cup vegetable or chicken stock
•  ½ cup cream
•  ½ cup finely chopped Italian parsley

To serve

•  Maldon salt crystals
•  Parmesan shavings
•  Freshly ground black pepper


•  Make the pasta dough: it’s surprisingly easy (here’s a great step-by-step guide to making fresh pasta) but if that’s out the question, you could also use dried pasta in this recipe. While it’s resting, get started on the sauce.

•  Pan fry the onions in olive oil on a medium-high heat until slightly coloured, then add the mushrooms. Fry for about 8 – 10 minutes.

•  Turn the heat down slightly, then add wine, stock and cream.

•  Season and simmer for 3–4 minutes.

•  Cook the tagliatelle until al dente (if you’ve made it fresh, be careful as it won’t take as long to cook as the dry kind.)

•  Mix the pasta with the mushroom sauce. Serve with Maldon salt crystals, Parmesan shavings and freshly ground black pepper.


5. Nora’s wild mushroom risotto


Serves six
•  50g dried Boletus Edulis (porcini) mushrooms
•  125ml Delheim Sauvignon Blanc
•  1 sprig rosemary, finely chopped
•  2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
•  6 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
•  115g unsalted butter
•  350g risotto rice
•  1 litre hot chicken stock
•  A handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
•  85g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated *optional
•  Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cooking method:

•  Reconstitute the mushrooms by soaking them in 300ml of hot water for at least two hours. Keep this mushroom stock water for later.

•  Fry the garlic and shallot in half the butter until slightly coloured, then add the mushrooms, rosemary and black pepper.

•  Add the rice and stir to coat in the mixture.

•  Add a ladleful of hot stock and stir well until it has been absorbed by the rice. You may also add some of the mushroom stock for added flavour.

•  Keep adding the stock in this way, a ladleful at a time, until the rice is creamy and the broth is used up, stirring all the time. This takes about 18 – 20 minutes.

•  Add some salt, the wine, parsley, remaining butter and the Parmesan. Adjust the seasoning to taste.

•  Cover for a minute to allow the rice to rest.

•  Serve with extra grated Parmesan on the side.


6. Vegetarian camping recipe: Aubergine parmigianino

If you love vegetarian camping food, try this delicious Italian dish. Recipe by Michelle Parkin.


Serves 6
•  ½ cup olive oil, plus 15 ml for frying
•  2 red onions, peeled and finely chopped
•  2 cloves of garlic peeled and finely chopped
•  2 tablespoons fresh origanum
•  1 litre passata (tomato puree)
•  Salt and pepper
•  6-7 medium-sized aubergines
•  400g ricotta cheese
•  80g grated Parmesan cheese


Cooking method

•  Heat 15 ml of olive oil and fry the onions and garlic with origanum until soft. Add the passata and cook for 30 minutes. While the sauce is cooking, cut the eggplant into one-centimetre thick slices and brush with half a cup of olive oil.

•  Braai the eggplant slices on a grid over hot coals until golden brown, turning frequently. Once the tomato sauce is cooked, season with salt and pepper to taste.

•  Spoon a thin layer of the sauce into a flat-based cast-iron pot, top with a single layer of grilled eggplant, a layer of crumbled ricotta and a sprinkling of Parmesan.

•  Repeat the layers until all ingredients are finished, ending with Parmesan.

•  Cover with a lid, pack hot coals around the pot and on top and cook for 35 to 40 minutes. Serve with crusty bread.


7. Vegetarian braai Kebabs

For vegetarian braais, you may think there aren’t many options apart from stuffed mushrooms and butternuts in foil. Why not try these vegetarian sausage braai kebabs? Recipe by Sarah Duff.


Serves 4
•  4 vegetarian sausages – Fry’s are great
•  Half a red onion, peeled and cut into blocks
•  Half a yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into blocks
•  Half a Red pepper, deseeded and cut into blocks
•  Two baby marrows topped and tailed, cut into rounds
•  Six portabellini mushrooms, cubed
•  Four skewers
•  60 ml syrup
•  60 ml whole grain mustard


Cooking instructions:

•  Slice each braai sausage into 4-5 pieces. Skewer the sausages and vegetables onto the kebab stick in any order you prefer.

•  To make the basting sauce, combine syrup and wholegrain mustard. Pour sauce over skewers. Bake or grill skewers in the oven for 10 minutes at 180°C or place on the braai for 10-15 minutes. Serve with a summer salad or baked potato.


8. Watermelon and feta salad recipe

This is one of the easiest salads to throw together: but the combination of salt and sweet, creamy and crunchy, is more addictive than the sum of its parts. It’s a perfect picnic recipe because it can take more bashing than a leaf-heavy salad, and can withstand a fair bit more sunshine too. Recipe by Kati Auld.



•  200 grams feta
•  500 grams watermelon, de-seeded
•  A few handfuls of rocket
•  Toasted pine-nuts to garnish

How to make Watermelon and feta salad

•  Chop your watermelon into cubes, crumble the feta over it, and toss with the rocket and pine-nuts. It’s that easy! If you’re taking a dressing, make sure to only dress it immediately before serving.


10. Summer fettuccine with peas, mint and ricotta

This is a lovely quick recipe for entertaining friends and family (when you want to spend more time chatting than fussing over vol-au-vents) and the lemon and mint give a delicious summery zing to a simple dish. Preparation time 5 minutes. Cooking time 10 minutes. Recipe by Sarah Graham.



Serves 2
•  1/2 packet fettuccine
•  1-2 Tbsp olive oil
•  1/2 cup frozen peas
•  Handful fresh snap or mage tout  peas
•  1/3 cup ricotta cheese, roughly torn (or crumbled feta, if you prefer)
•  1Tbsp chopped fresh mint
•  1/2 fresh lemon
•  Salt + Pepper


•  Cook the pasta according to packet instructions, drain and set aside

•  Meanwhile, microwave the frozen peas on high for 3-4 minutes until cooked through. Drizzle the pasta with olive oil, toss with the peas, ricotta and mint. Drizzle with a squeeze of lemon juice, and sprinkle generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

This recipe is courtesy of Sarah Graham, South African food blogger, writer of the recipe book “Bitten”, and star of “Bitten: Sarah Graham cooks Cape Town” which aired in May 2013.


10. The best damn potato salad recipe

Although a braai is ostensibly about the meat, it’s the quality of the side-dishes that makes a braai into a feast. Everyone’s got their favourite twist on a potato salad recipe: some folks are passionate about the inclusion of hard-boiled eggs (shudder) while others say that the key is roasting the potatoes, not boiling them. This recipe’s secret weapon is nutty, buttery, roasted garlic, and it’s a life-changing addition. We like to keep this veggie-friendly. Recipe by Kati Auld.



•  1 kg of potatoes
•  1/3 cup mayonnaise
•  1/2 cup sour cream
•  2 tsp chopped chives
• 2 heads of garlic
•  3 tsp olive oil


•  Peel the papery outer layers of each garlic head, leaving the individual cloves intact, and slice off the top of each head of garlic, and about a quarter-centimetre of each clove.

•  Drizzle the garlic with olive oil, trying to ensure that it goes between the cloves.
Wrap the garlic heads in tin-foil and roast them at 180 degrees for 45 – 60 minutes.

•  While that’s going, cut potatoes into quarters and boil until soft, approximately 30 minutes.

•  Once your garlic is browned and sticky (like in photo below), let it cool slightly and then carefully remove each clove, add to a bowl, and mash them with a fork.

•  Add your sour cream, chives and mayonnaise to the roasted garlic paste, and mix well.

•  Once the potatoes have cooled slightly, pour the roasted garlic mayo-mix over the top and mix well. Season to taste.

•  Serve in a pretty bowl, with some chives for garnish if you’re fancy.


11. Mushroom and thyme pasta

This is one of my favourite dinners to make at home. It is both simple to make and very delicious. I have been adjusting and subtracting ingredients for a few years now and finally I have landed on a five-ingredient pasta. Try it out and make your own additions. Sometimes I add cream to the sauce once I have completed all the stages listed below, then I let it simmer down. Recipe by Jessica Lahoud.



Serves four
•  1 punnet portabellini mushrooms, quartered
•  half a punnet courgettes, thinly sliced
•  3 tsp of fresh thyme leaves
•  2 tbs butter/ soya margarine
• 2 cloves garlic
•  olive oil
•  sunflower oil
•  salt and pepper
•  Spaghetti or tagliatelle, cooked to al dente



•  Melt the butter and a drop of oil gently in a large frying pan.

•  Add the courgettes and garlic,  allow to fry for a few minutes. Take care not to burn the garlic.

•  Once it is par-cooked, add the quartered mushrooms.

•  Make sure to coat them in the butter and fry until soft and slightly brown.

•  In the last minute of cooking add the thyme leaves and allow to infuse.

•  Take the cooked spaghetti, which is still warm and toss in olive oil and salt. Now add the cooked veggies and toss further.

•  Serve hot with freshly ground black pepper.


11. Veggie cottage pie with cheesy mash

There is a picture of a vegetarian cottage pie in one of Delia Smith’s recipe books that we’ve been drooling over for years, and this recipe is my attempt at recreating it. The idea of whipping goat’s cheese into mashed potato is completely hers, but the veggie mince recipe is an old favourite and doesn’t involve food processors, tomato-skinning, or hours of lentil-soaking. (We love you, Delia, but it looks like you’ve got a lot of time on your hands.)

It’s comfort food at its best: cheesy crust, soft oozy mash, and tangy, garlicky mince. Yum! As usual, you can really use whatever veggies you have at hand: red peppers, peas or extra chickpeas are possible winners. Don’t skip the lentils though: they disintegrate completely, meaning that (a) sniffy eaters can’t spot them and (b) your mince-mix is thickened. Recipe by Kati Auld .



Serves 6

1•  .5 kgs of potatoes  (about 7 large ones)
•  100g chevin
•  2 tablespoons of butter
•  Two red onions, diced
•  2 tablespoons of garlic, chopped
•  2 tablespoons of tomato paste
•  1 can of chopped tomato
•  1 can of mixed beans
•  1 punnet of button mushrooms, sliced
•  250 grams green beans
•  4-5 large carrots, grated
•  50g soya mince
•  250 grams red lentils
•  1 cup of wine
•  Half a packet of soya
•  A handful or two of grated cheese



•  Peel and chop the potatoes and put them on to boil.

•  Dice onions and fry in olive oil on medium heat until tender and translucent, then add garlic and fry for a few minutes.

•  Add mushrooms and carrots, and let them cook down for about 5 minutes before adding the tomato paste.

•  Add the can of chopped tomato, lentils and wine, top up with a little water, and let simmer for about 20 minutes.

•  In the meanwhile, if your potatoes are fully cooked, drain them and mash. Then, when still warm, whisk the goat’s cheese and butter through the mash. Resist the urge to eat it all on the spot.

•  Add the soya mince, bean mix and green beans to your tomato mix. From here you have to be a little more diligent, because soya mince desperately wants to burn at the bottom of the pot. Add a little more water (or wine) if you need to, and give it a good stir every few minutes.

•  The soya mince should cook within 10-15 minutes, at which point you can move it into a casserole dish, cover with a layer of mash, and sprinkle with some grated cheese if you enjoy perfection.

•  Seeing as everything’s already cooked, I don’t much see the point of baking a veggie pie for 20 minutes; rather, simply grill it for a few minutes to brown the cheese (keeping a sharp eye on it) and enjoy!


12. Courgette fritters recipe

These tasty courgette fritters give you the best of both worlds: fried food plus green vegetables. We got the recipe form a cooking workshop with Masterchef SA runner-up Sue-Anne Allen and Isidingo star Keketso Semoko. Try them out for a quick and easy starter, or bulk them up with a carbohydrate for a main meal. We think they’d go beautifully with feta and chickpea couscous. Recipe by Kati Auld.



Serves 4 as a starter

•  500g courgettes
• 1 red birds eye chilli, deseeded and chopped
•  1 clove of garlic, minced
•  15g basil, finely chopped
•  1 Tbsp chopped spring onion
•  180g wholewheat breadcrumbs
• Salt and pepper to taste
•  1 eggs, beaten
•  Spray and cook, or olive oil



•  Grate the courgettes and drain well: it helps if you squeeze the leftovers in a dishtowel to get as much juice out as possible.

•  Place in a bowl, combine with the rest of the ingredients, and season with salt and pepper.

•  Allow the mixture to rest in the fridge, covered, for at least 15 minutes.

•  Remove mixture from the fridge and roll into balls: each fritter should use about 3 tablespoons.

•  Add olive oil or substitute to your pan on medium heat.  Drop each ball into the pan and flatten into an even round.

•  Fry for 2 minutes on each side until golden.

•  Repeat until all the balls has been used.

•  Serve on fresh rocket leaves with slices of fresh lemon or tomato.


13. Roasted Camembert and honey-glazed vegetables recipe

In this recipe, roasted Camembert acts as the silk scarf: distracting you from how thrown-together the rest of the meal is by bringing a touch of class. It’s ideal for a relaxed supper with old friends, because it’s absurdly easy (leaving more time for wine and chattering) but still feels like a treat. If you want to get even more indulgent, have a look at this cheese fondue recipe.

You can use any vegetables you like here, really, but this time we went with a hearty mix of butternut, beetroot, cherry tomatoes and button mushrooms, with broccoli standing in as the token green thing. Recipe by Kati Auld.



Serves 4

•  A vegetable mix: we’d recommend butternut, red peppers, beetroot, potatoes, cherry tomatoes, whole mushrooms, onions, and garlic
•  2 tablespoons olive oil
•  2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
•  1 1/2 tablespoons of honey
•  2 – 4 wheels of Camembert
•  A pinch of herbs de provence to garnish the Camembert
•  One French loaf



•  Chop your vegetables and add to a roasting pan, reserving anything with a short cooking time such as cherry tomatoes or broccoli.

•  Whisk the olive oil, vinegar and honey together and drizzle over the veggies, then roast them at about 180 degrees.

•  Pour yourself a glass of wine and relax for the next twenty to thirty minutes.

•  When the harder vegetables are almost done, add your quick cooking vegetables and roast for another ten minutes.

•  Push the vegetables into the corners to make space for your Camembert, sprinkle the herbes de provence on top, then put them back in to roast for 5 – 10 minutes (they don’t tend to brown, but should be very soft).

•  Serve with crusty French bread and/or a salad.

Note: be careful when cutting the melted Camembert into halves. It will spill everywhere, and unevenly distributed cheese goo can end friendships.

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