Tons of roasted vegetables, orzo pasta and a quick dressing make this perfect side dish, or vegetarian main.
- 1 large eggplant, diced
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
- 2 zucchini, diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 head of garlic, broken into cloves (unpeeled!)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups dry orzo
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons apple cider
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 cups baby kale or spinach, roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 425 Combine eggplant, butternut squash, zucchini, onion and garlic cloves in a large bowl. It doesn’t matter how much of each you have, but you want about 6 cups of diced vegetables. Add enough olive oil to coat everything really well – about 1/4 cup – and salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Spread vegetables out on two baking sheets and roast for 30-40 minutes, tossing once halfway through. You want the vegetables to be browned and caramelized, and garlic to be soft when you press on a clove. Set aside until ready to use.
- Squeeze all the garlic out of the skins and lightly mash. Set this aside until you’re ready to use as well.
- Cook orzo according to package in salted water. In a large bowl (preferably the one you’ll serve this in!), add mashed garlic, mustard, apple cider and red pepper flakes. Whisk to combine, pulling a tablespoon or two of pasta water from the pot (or just regular hot water) to help move things along. Slowly whisk in olive oil and combine until you have a dressing. Add vegetables to dressing and toss to combine.
- Once orzo is ready, reserve 1/2 cup pasta water and then drain. Immediately add to bowl with vegetables and toss to combine.
- Add greens and toss again. If the pasta looks a little dry, use some of the reserved pasta water to thin things out.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
Pasta on Thanksgiving?! OKAY.
I wanted to do a vegetarian main dish this year for any of you out there not into turkey, and a simple, but delicious pasta dish seemed just right.
I know a lot of people will do a vegetarian lasagna or something, but I actually like that this is a little lighter. It still leaves room for all the good stuff (aka side dishes) and can actually BE a side dish if you want it to!
There are so many reasons this is basically the perfect – if not slightly untraditional – Thanksgiving dish:
- So many vegetables! Use whatever you love, but I definitely suggest more “fall-like” vegetables for this one. Squash, eggplant, mushrooms maybe? You want to roast them until they’re super caramelized so you need something that will hold up.
- Roasted garlic dressing. OMG. Roast up an entire head of garlic with those vegetables, and then you’ll use that garlic to make a quick dressing with apple cider and mustard. It’s SO good.
- It’s actually vegan! I meant to add cheese to this, but kind of forgot (surprising, I know) and loved it. Feel free to add some parmesan, feta or goat here because it will be delicious. But if not, you’ve got a great vegan dish for your loved ones.
- Make ahead! YES. This dish gets better as it sits, so I don’t just suggest you make it ahead, I actually insist. Which is perfect, because I know you don’t have a ton of oven room to spare for those vegetables that day. Make it the day before, or even a few days! You can warm it up before you serve, or even serve at room temperature.
I hope you guys love this one. It’s super simple, but might just be your favorite dish on the table!