This beautiful Roasted Vegetable Tart features a scrumptious savory ricotta filling topped with tender seasonal veggies ... it's a delicious, impressive recipe that's perfect for special occasions!
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What does your Thanksgiving normally look like? I don't live near any of my family, so some years we fly home for the big day. Other years though, it's just my husband and I (or we even go on a trip).
Of course, this year will be different from any other. I'm not flying anywhere right now, and I think a lot of people are in the same boat. So when I starting thinking about holiday recipes, I decided to go in a less traditional direction.
This mouthwatering Roasted Vegetable Tart is perfect for any holiday gathering, especially if you need a vegetarian alternative to the turkey. With its creamy ricotta filling and tender roasted veggies, I guarantee that everyone will be sneaking a bite, whether they're a turkey lover or not!
Don't save this recipe just for the holidays though. It's perfect year round, especially if you switch up the veggies. I'm sharing an easy step-by-step recipe below with lots of helpful tips and substitution ideas ... keep reading for all the details!
This impressive Vegetarian Tart has three main components. Here's what you'll need to make it:
- Roasted Veggies - I used a combination of butternut squash, mushrooms, and red onions, plus a lemon, for this recipe, but it's actually pretty flexible (see my tips below). The veggies are seasoned with fresh thyme, and the roasted lemon get used in the ricotta filling.
- Filling - This yummy filling is a combination of ricotta cheese (use full-fat for best results), fresh thyme, garlic, lemon zest, and roasted lemon juice.
- Tart Crust - This recipe features a homemade butter pastry crust, which is actually really easy to prepare. If you've never made one, I've broken it down step-by-step to help you out. If you'd like to save time, you can substitute a pre-made crust instead. I've used these Pillsbury crusts many times with great results!
Since I had Thanksgiving on my mind, I chose fall veggies for this recipe. The basic recipe is actually fairly flexible though, so don't hesitate to substitute your favorite seasonal ingredients. This really is a recipe that can be made year round.
Here are some ideas:
- Vegetables - Almost any veg that you can roast will work for this recipe! Consider heartier root varieties and other winter squashes (like pumpkin or kabocha), as well as summer faves, such as tomatoes, eggplant, or zucchini. You could also do one variety (all mushrooms or all squash) instead of a mixture. Check out my guide to roasting vegetables for roasting times for different veggies.
- Herbs - Fresh thyme pairs perfectly with these fall / winter flavors, but other herbs, such as rosemary or sage would be delish, too. You could also take the recipe in more of a mediterranean direction with fresh basil and / or oregano, depending on the veggies you're using. Again, almost any fresh herb will work here, so choose your fave. One tip: roasting works best with tougher herbs that have woody stems (thyme and rosemary). Add tender herbs, like basil (which will burn), to the filling only.
- Cheeses - Feel free to add another cheese to the ricotta filling, such as goat cheese, blue cheese, or feta, for an extra pop of flavor. Stick to about ½ cup, otherwise the tart will be too full.
- Other Ingredients - Change up the flavor by including additional ingredients, such as olives, sundried tomatoes, or marinated artichokes to the topping. Just make sure to blot off any liquids or oils before adding them to the tart.
You'll Also Need
This tart is baked in an 11-inch tart pan with removable bottom. For the crust, you'll need a fork or pastry cutter to prepare the dough, a rolling pin to roll out the crust, as well as parchment paper and dried beans, rice, or pie weights to blind bake the crust. And you'll use a baking sheet to roast the vegetables.
How to Make a Roasted Vegetable Tart
Okay, let's get started! This tart isn't difficult to make, but it does require more time than most of my recipes. Because of that, I'd consider it more of a weekend project or a special occasion meal.
I'm going to break these steps down further below, but here's a general game plan that will keep things moving smoothly:
- Prepare the crust. The dough needs to chill, so make it first.
- Prep and roast the vegetables while the dough chills.
- Roll out the crust and chill it again. Blind bake it once the veggies are done roasting.
- Make the ricotta filling while the crust cooks.
- Fill and bake the tart.
Note: make sure to roast the veggies and blind bake the crust at 425 degrees, then reduce oven heat to 375 degrees to cook the filled tart.
Prepare the Crust
This crust is very easy to prepare. For best results, make sure to start with cold butter, work quickly, and handle the dough as little as possible.
Here's how to do it:
- Combine the flour and salt in a bowl.
- Cut the cold butter into small pieces with a knife, then add it to the flour.
- Using a fork or pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour. Stop when you have pea-sized crumbs.
- Add ice cold water one tablespoon at a time, sprinkling over dough, and stirring after each addition. Stop adding water when the dough sticks together in large clumps.
- Using your hands, form the dough into a ball, then flatten it into a circular disk about one-inch thick. (If the dough is crumbly, you didn't add enough water.)
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, then refrigerate it for at least one hour (two hours is even better).
To save time, you can prep the dough a couple days in advance. You could also freeze it for up to a month.
Tip: This crust can also be made in a food processor. To do that, pulse together the flour and salt. Then, pulse in the butter just until you get pea-sized crumbs. Add just enough ice water, pulsing after each addition, until the dough clumps together. Finish as directed above.
Roast the Vegetables
While the dough is chilling, start working on the veggies. Cut the butternut squash into one-inch cubes, slice the mushrooms in half, and cut the onion into wedges. Zest a large lemon, then cut it in quarters. Set the zest aside for the ricotta filling.
Combine the veggies and lemon on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Then, mix everything together ... clean hands work great for this.
Top the veggies with a small handful of thyme sprigs, then roast for 20 minutes. Flip everything, then continue roasting the vegetables until they're tender and lightly browned (about 15 to 20 more minutes).
Discard the thyme sprigs, then taste the veggies and add more salt and pepper to taste, if needed.
Roll Out the Crust
After the dough has chilled, sprinkle both sides of the dough with flour, then place on a lightly floured work surface.
Roll out the dough until you have a 13-inch circle (it doesn't have to be perfect). To keep the thickness consistent, roll the rolling pin in one direction, rather than rolling back and forth. Rotating the dough frequently as you roll it also helps and keeps the circle from becoming too irregular.
To transfer the dough to your tart pan, fold it in half, then fold it in half again. Place the dough in the pan, then unfold it.
Press the dough into the tart pan. Then, trim off the excess dough with your fingers or a knife. Refrigerate the crust for at least 20 minutes (or freeze for 10 minutes) before proceeding.
Blind Bake the Crust
After the dough has chilled in the tart pan, you will blind bake it. Blind baking helps the crust hold it's shape, and keeps it from getting soggy once the filling is added.
Start by pricking the bottom of the crust all over with a fork, then line it with parchment paper. Fill the crust with rice, dried beans, or pie weights. The weights will keep the crust from puffing up as it bakes.
Bake the crust for 15 minutes or until the edges start to turn golden brown. Remove the parchment paper and weights, then bake it for another five minutes.
Tip: Even if you are using a pre-made pie crust make sure to blind bake it.
Make the Filling
While the crust cooks, combine the ricotta, lemon zest, fresh thyme, garlic, salt and pepper, and a lightly beaten egg in a medium bowl. Squeeze any juice from the roasted lemons into the bowl as well, then mix everything together.
Fill and Bake the Tart
Spread the savory ricotta filling over the blind-baked tart crust, then top with the roasted vegetables.
I wanted my tart to look as good as possible, so I added each vegetable separately. Mushrooms first, then butternut squash, then onions. You don't need to be as picky as me though. Just get those veggies on there!
Then, bake the tart for 30 minutes, or until the ricotta is set.
Once baked, your Roasted Veggie Tart is ready to eat. Isn't it gorgeous? And trust me, it tastes even better than it looks!
Add a sprinkle of fresh thyme and a pinch of lemon zest for the perfect finishing touch. Then enjoy the tart hot or at room temperature.
You can serve this delicious tart for dinner or lunch, although I love it for brunch, too. Cut it into six to eight slices to serve it as an entree, or slice skinnier pieces to serve it as an appetizer.
And by the way, leftovers reheat quite well in the microwave, so don't feel like you need to save this recipe for a party. I've been enjoying a slice for my breakfast the last few days!
This Roasted Vegetable Tart is perfect for any special occasion. Think Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, Valentine's Day, Easter, baby / bridal showers, etc.!
Since this dish does take a little work, keep the sides simple ... like a green salad or even an easy soup. I created this recipe with Thanksgiving in mind and paired it with this gorgeous Pomegranate Salad. This Roasted Pumpkin Soup or these Dijon Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots would also be delish alongside.
Are you looking for more impressive main dishes? Try one of these recipes next:
- Mushroom Wellington
- Creamy Mushroom Strudel
- Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Shells
- Moroccan Spiced Vegetarian Cabbage Rolls
- Butternut Squash Lasagna
- Vegetable Pie with Phyllo Crust
- Stuffed Acorn Squash
Roasted Vegetable Tart
For Tart Crust:
- 1 ¼ cups flour (plus additional flour for rolling crust)
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter (cold)
- 2 to 4 tablespoons ice water
For Roasted Vegetables:
- 1 large lemon
- 2 cups cubed butternut squash (about ½ a medium squash)
- 8 ounces button mushrooms, halved
- 1 large red onion, cut into ½-inch wedges
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt
- small handful fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese (about 1 ½ cups; full fat works best)
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Prepare Tart Crust:
- Combine flour and salt in a medium bowl.
- Cut cold butter into small pieces, then use a fork or pastry cutter to cut butter into flour. Stop when you have pea-sized clumps.
- Add water one tablespoon at a time, stirring after each addition. Stop when dough clumps together.
- Shape dough into a ball with hands, then press into a 1-inch thick circular disk. Wrap with plastic wrap, then chill for at least 1 hour.
- After dough has chilled, remove plastic wrap, then lightly sprinkle both sides with flour. Place on lightly floured surface, then roll into a 13-inch circle.
- Fold dough in half, then fold in half again. Transfer to tart pan, then unfold and press into pan. Trim off excess with fingers or a knife. Chill for 20 minutes (or freeze for 10 minutes).
- Prick chilled dough all over with a fork, then line with parchment paper. Fill pan with pie weights (or rice or dried beans), then bake for 15 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove parchment paper and pie weights, then bake for 5 more minutes.
Prepare Roasted Vegetables:
- While tart dough chills, zest lemon, then set zest aside. Cut lemon into 4 quarters.
- Combine quartered lemon, butternut squash, mushrooms, and onions on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Top with thyme sprigs.
- Roast vegetables for 20 minutes, then flip. Continue cooking until veggies are tender and lightly browned, about 15 to 20 minutes more.
- Discard thyme sprigs, then taste the veggies and add more salt, if needed. Set aside until crust is ready.
- Meanwhile, combine ricotta, egg, garlic, thyme leaves, salt, pepper, and reserved lemon zest in a medium bowl. Squeeze juice from roasted lemon wedges into bowl. Mix well.
Fill and Bake Tart:
- Reduce oven heat to 375 degrees.
- Spread ricotta mixture in tart shell. Top with roasted vegetables, pressing gently into ricotta.
- Bake tart until ricotta is set, about 30 minutes.
- Serve tart hot or at room temperature. Enjoy!
- Prepare the crust, then chill it.
- Prep and roast the vegetables while the dough chills.
- Roll out the crust and chill it again. Blind bake the crust once the veggies are done roasting.
- Make the ricotta filling while the crust cooks.
- Fill and bake the tart.