25 Simple Recipes for 25 Delicious Veggies


A sure sign you've crossed that invisible line into full-fledged adulthood is that you actually start enjoying vegetables. Even those really yucky ones, like Brussels sprouts, start looking appealing in the right light. If you haven't reached this milestone, adding variety to your vegetable routine might help you come around. Here 25 recipes that work to highlight — not hide — a vegetable's unique flavor. (See also: The Produce Worker's Guide to Fruits and Veggies)

1. Broccoli

With just five ingredients, this Roasted Broccoli Soup is both simple and satisfying. The author mentions that adding homemade croutons or even tossing in some cheddar cheese takes this bowl to the next level.

2. Cauliflower

Home cooks are doing just about everything with cauliflower these days. This Mac and Cheese Style Cauliflower dish is one I've made and tested myself. If you're in the mood for comfort food, it's a fantastically healthy alternative. (See also: 6 Cheap and Healthy Cruciferous Vegetables)

3. Eggplant

The cook behind this delicious Stuffed Eggplant Curry recipe asserts that those who don't like eggplant just haven't tried the right recipe. While eggplant can be somewhat bland on its own, the spices in this dish enhance its natural flavor and "meaty" texture. (See also: Tasty and Frugal Eggplant Recipes)

4. Carrots

My favorite carrot recipes are rather basic — I even like eating them raw. For example, these Roasted Carrots With Tahini Drizzle take little kitchen skill, but are an impressive and inexpensive palate-pleaser.

5. Celery

Though often added to flavor other dishes, celery can hold its own when given the chance. This tasty Celery Root Salad features both celery and celery root, along with apples for extra crunch. It's finished off with a sophisticated lemon-mustard vinaigrette.

6. Parsnips

These baked Parsnip Fries (coated in nut butter) changed my whole world when I discovered them a few years ago. I made them every single night for two straight weeks. And now I'm craving them again.

7. Kohlrabi

If you have a CSA share, you're bound to end up with this strange looking vegetable. Don't be afraid, though it tastes like broccoli. This Kohlrabi Rostilooks a lot like fritters and showcases the familiar flavor wonderfully.

8. Kale

One of my favorite vegetables — kale — just so happens to be a superfood. I try to incorporate it into many meals, including our weekly pizza night. This Kale-Topped Pizza can easily be made with packaged dough. If you'd like to toss a healthier, from-scratch crust, try this Kale Pizza Crust. (See also: Make Restaurant Quality Pizza at Home)

9. Bell Peppers

Although technically a fruit, bell peppers are a hit at our dinner table. To showcase them, I like to make easy stuffed peppers. You can use most any mix of veggies, beans, rice, etc. This Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Peppers recipe is a great place to start if you're curious.

10. Spinach

Traditionally made with aromatic basil leaves, pesto can be used to flavor many dishes and eaten on its own. This Spinach Pesto recipe, on the other hand, blends the nutrition of spinach with nutty pumpkin seeds and can even be made vegan by using nutritional yeast in place of Parmesan cheese. (See also: Frugal Items for Your Organic Vegan Grocery List)

11. Collard Greens

Collards can take some getting used to, and I'll be the first to admit it. Regardless, they are good for you! If you'd like to make them the centerpiece of your meal, try out this Skillet Collard Greens recipe with eggs and mushrooms.

12. Brussels Sprouts

I avoided Brussels sprouts for the longest time (they get a bad reputation, don't they?). When I finally caved and gave them a try, I was surprised to discover how delicious they can be. Now I make Roasted Brussels Sprouts as a side or snack at least once a week.

13. Swiss Chard

Greens and eggs is one of my go-to combinations. So, this Quiche With Swiss Chard and Mushroom looks absolutely incredible. The best part of quiche? The cheese! And this recipe uses an exotic Prima Donna, but you can also substitute Gouda.

14. Bok Choy

If you're after a fast meal, this Miso Noodle Soup With Bok Choy comes together in just 20 minutes. The light, brightly flavored broth goes famously with those delicate bok choy leaves.

15. Zucchini

Here's another one of those grey-area produce items. Zucchini, though actually a fruit, is treated as a vegetable in the culinary context. That's good news for you, because this Zucchini Bruschetta with goat cheese is absolutely divine!

16. Cabbage

I'm already planning to add the ingredients for this next dish to my weekly grocery list. This Stuffed Cabbage With Sweet and Sour Tomato Sauce is a triple threat! It's healthy, wholesome, and substantial. (See also: 15 Delicious Ways to Prepare Cabbage)

17. Rutabaga

Vegetable-based dishes aren't always savory. Try this Rutabaga Mash With Ginger Roasted Pears for a sweeter side. The author writes that, though rutabagas seem ugly and rough on the outside, all you need is a "vegetable peeler and an open mind" to enjoy them to the fullest.

18. Onion

A classic way to enjoy onions is to simmer up a French Onion Soup. Topped with crusty bread and a nice layer of melted Gruyere, this recipe can also be made vegetarian with a simple swap of veggie for beef broth.

19. Radishes

Want color? These Oven Roasted Radishes With Peas and Dill are about as vibrant as you can get. I don't often cook radishes, but this recipe has piqued my interest enough — I might just have to grab a bunch at the store to try.

20. Squash

What I appreciate most about squash is its shelf-life. If stored correctly, many varieties can last months on end. Whether delicatta, acorn, butternut, spaghetti, or some other more obscure type, like opo, there are many squash entrees from which to choose. Here are 16 Squash Recipes that are well worth a read-through on Real Simple. And if you don't want to sort through all of those, just remember that simply roasting, with a little salt and pepper, makes any squash delicious. (See also: Guide to Storing Fruits and Veggies)

21. Asparagus

Want to try something a little new and different? This Asparagus and Leek Flan is served with escarole and potato hash. For those of you who are unfamiliar, flan is just a fancy name for an open sponge-like cake with either a sweet or, as in this case, savory filling.

22. Sweet Potatoes

Thick cubed sweet potatoes steal the show in this healthy Quinoa and Sweet Potato Chili. This recipe is vegan, but the author promises it's packed with enough amazing flavor and meaty textures that it will satisfy even the most discerning of carnivores in your family.

23. Beets

If you're getting bored of the same old veggie burger recipe, give these Beet Burgers a try. Blended with beans, red peppers, and a mix of spices, those sweet-but-earthy beets give the standard vegetarian fare a refreshing twist. (See also: Slow Cooker Recipes for Busy Vegetarians)

24. Leeks

The author promises that these Belgian Style Leeks are like nothing you have ever had. Braised in lemon juice and healthy splash of Sherry, these leeks taste great on their own or as a simple side dish.

25. Artichokes

Beyond roasting with a spritz of lemon juice and olive oil, I've never done anything creative with artichokes. This Lavash Flatbread Pizza has me thinking outside the box. It's topped with a heaping helping of artichoke hearts, which is the author divulges can be found in your grocer's freezer section. Who knew?

There are many vegetables to try, and the ones above are just some of the more common on the market.

We'd love to hear some of your go-to recipes for these — and other, more exotic — veggies. Please leave a note for us to check out in the comments!

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Guest's picture

The one I checked out (French Onion soup) would not be frugal to make. Two quarts of beef broth would not be inexpensive. Fresh herbs are not cheap and if I only need a few sprigs I would be left with the rest of the (expensive) bunch. I would have been more likely to try vegetable recipes that were both delicious and frugal to make. I appreciate the idea though as I'm trying to increase my vegetable consumption.

Ashley Marcin's picture

Hello, guest. Thank you for your feedback. I suppose it depends on where you shop. In my grocery store, broth is pretty inexpensive and I usually use herbs from my garden (and a few indoor pots during these colder months). If it's the warmer market season, we save on groceries with a CSA share, and there are usually a good amount of fresh herbs each week. I'd say looking at all the options for sources of foods is helpful with paring down the costs. And best of luck with your veggie consumption! A great way to save on veggies, again, is with a CSA share through a local farmer -- or buying those veggies that are in season.

Guest's picture

Regarding #21: Flan is not a filled cake. Flan is a creamy custard. Typically, it's sweet, with a caramel sauce. In this case, pureed asparagus is mixed with the custard.

Ashley Marcin's picture

Thank you for the clarification. I suppose my wording was a bit off and I was confusing it -- mistakenly -- with the other flan. Again, thank you for the clarification and for reading this article!

Guest's picture

Great list, Ashley! Bookmarked for future reference. Thanks!

Ashley Marcin's picture

Thanks, Beth. So glad you enjoyed!!!

Guest's picture

So what about tomatoes? You can't get decent tomatoes in grocery stores, and not everyone has practical access to a farmer's market. They're easy to grow and there is a variety to please every taste.