10 must-cook easy vegetarian and vegan recipes for autumn

by Great British Chefs 25 September 2019

As the bounty of the summer months comes to an end, it's the time for root vegetables, mushrooms, brassicas and squash to get their turn in the spotlight. Take a look at ten vegetarian and vegan recipes that showcase the autumnal larder in exciting new ways.

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Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews as well as access to some of Britain’s greatest chefs. Our posts cover everything we are excited about from the latest openings and hottest food trends to brilliant new producers and exclusive chef interviews.

We're cooking and eating more vegetarian and vegan food than ever before – but it can be pretty easy to get stuck in a rut week in, week out. The same old pastas, curries and stir-fries are easy to make, but when you want to push the boat out it can be hard to find the inspiration to create something both impressive and packed with flavour. That's why we've been working on exciting new vegetarian and vegan recipes for autumn, celebrating the best of the season's produce.

The ten recipes below are simple to cook, boast just as much flavour (if not more) than their meat- and fish-filled counterparts and celebrate the flavours of autumn at their peak. Take a look and add a bit of variety into your meat-free meals.

Puy lentil Bolognese

Rich ragus were made for cool nights in. The most famous (outside of Italy) has to be spaghetti Bolognese; a dish most Italians wouldn't recognise (the original ragu alla Bolognese contains chicken livers and is always served with tagliatelle rather than spaghetti). There's no denying it's found a place on the British dinner table though, and this vegetarian version swaps out the mince for nourishing puy lentils for a fantastic dish that boasts all the flavour of its meaty counterpart.

Beetroot tarte Tatin

Traditionally made with apples and served as dessert, tarte Tatin was the result of a kitchen accident. This version replaces slices of apple with beetroot, packing it full of earthy autumnal flavours. You can serve it hot or at room temperature, making it ideal for buffets, quick lunches or – if the weather holds – a picnic amongst the colour-changing leaves.

Vegan mushroom miso soup with udon noodles

Mushrooms are a vegan's best friend – their umami-rich flavour and meaty texture make them a fantastic centrepiece to any vegan dish. In this recipe, beautiful little brown beech (or shimeji) mushrooms are cooked in an intense mushroom miso broth, with crunchy pak choi, slippery udon noodles and seaweed for a Japanese-inspired bowl of deliciousness.

Potato, olive and preserved lemon tagine

Potatoes are fantastic carriers of flavour, absorbing sauces and spices with ease. This one-pot tagine sees slices of waxy potato paired with briny green olives, crunchy roast chickpeas and plenty of spices – a cracking dish to feed the family.

Red cabbage malfatti with brown butter and orange

Malfatti are Italian dumplings traditionally made with ricotta and spinach, but giving it a seasonal twist is simple. Swap out the spinach for red cabbage, add plenty of warming spices and finish it with sage and charred orange for a pretty little starter that will see you right through to Christmas.

Sweetcorn millet, king oyster mushrooms and crispy cavolo nero

Millet is a woefully underused ingredient, despite being packed with nutrition and fibre. For a few short weeks, as summer turns into autumn, you can find mushrooms and sweetcorn at their very best. This dish combines the two, using millet as the base. Finish off with a few crispy cavolo nero leaves and you've got a healthy, filling supper.

Celeriac croquettes

Croquettes have to be one of Spain's best inventions. Crunchy on the outside, fluffy in the middle and small enough to eat in one bite (so you can go back for plenty more). These are given the autumnal treatment, replacing some of the potato with celeriac. Serve on a blob of damson ketchup for a truly seasonal treat.

Chestnut gnocchi with mushroom veloute and wild mushrooms

You can't get more autumnal than this dish, which combines wild mushrooms with a silky mushroom sauce and pillowy gnocchi made with chestnut flour. Best of all? It's vegan, thanks to the oat cream in the velouté. The oaty flavour of the cream actually complements the other flavours in the bowl, making this a fantastic dish to rustle up whether you're vegan or not.

Salt-baked beetroot with whipped ricotta, apple and hazelnut

Salt-baking beetroot ensures the vegetable has both a soft, yielding texture and is perfectly seasoned throughout. Paired with apple matchsticks, creamy ricotta and crunchy hazelnuts, it also makes use of beetroot leaves, eliminating food waste.

Curried squash tartlet with apple and chicory salad

Butternut squash seems to take on curry spices better than any other vegetable, amping up the warm, sweet and comforting flavours of this little tart. The simple apple and chicory salad on the side provides contrasting crunch to the smooth puréed squash and the pastry tart can be made ahead, which makes this a good option for a dinner party.