It’s still pretty hard to imagine a Thanksgiving dinner without a turkey for most people when they conjure up their image of the traditional meal. Heck, “Turkey Day” is a pretty common euphemism for the holiday. But with more and more people adhering to vegetarian or vegan diets, it’s important to have some heartier vegetarian sides on the table that both provide a nice balance to the turkey on offer as well as to have enough flavor and heartiness to please any vegetarians in the crowd.
If you’re serving a more traditional plated meal, it may be important to have a special vegetarian dish to replace the turkey specifically, but if you do your Thanksgiving serving more buffet-style a few well-thought out side dishes can often make for a pretty wonderful vegetarian meal without creating a lot of extra work for the host or hostess.
A vegetable tian is a traditional vegetable bake from Provence, France that is sort of a casserole-esque cousin of Ratatouille. For our version, we’ve individualized the layered dish into individual stacks in a muffin pan to make for easy serving whether as part of a plated meal or on the buffet line. For any easy way to get the kids to be excited about vegetables, the stacked tian also resembles the ratatouille from the Pixar film of the same name, so you can whip up some excitement by claiming Remy helped you prepare it!
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Thinly slice the zucchini, squash, and tomatoes and place the slices of each ingredient in its own separate bowl.
Halve the potato and slice thinly, again keeping separate from the other ingredients in its own bowl.
Pour 1 Tbsp of the Italian dressing and a pinch of thyme into each bowl and with your hand turn the ingredients to coat evenly. Add another Tbsp if necessary.
Once coated, build your stacks in a muffin pan. Layer the ingredients to stack upwards. The order we used was potato, tomato, squash, zucchini, but feel free to go with whatever you think looks best. You should have
Your stack should repeat once, so in our instance: potato, tomato, squash zucchini, potato, tomato, squash zucchini. If you cut your vegetables less thinly, you may only do one. Your stack should be roughly the same height as the muffin tin is deep.
Top each stack with grated parmesan cheese.
Cover tightly with tin foil and cook for about 40-45 minutes.
Remove tin foil and continue cooking for another 15 minutes or so, until the cheese has browned and the veggies are softened.
You can transfer onto individual serving plates or you can just allow people to serve themselves from the tin. Enjoy!