7 Plant-Based Thanksgiving Recipes Everyone Will Love
Published on November 9, 2021
Last updated November 12, 2021
By Samantha Schwab
Whether you live a plant-based lifestyle or you’re trying to add more meat-free dishes to your table, this is the ultimate guide to this year’s vegan-friendly Thanksgiving. And you don’t have to be vegan to opt for a turkey-less dinner: you’ll save time, money, and, most importantly, have more room in your stomach for sides. (After all, Thanksgiving dinner is totally about the sides.) Even if you choose to have a turkey at the table, offering a few vegan Thanksgiving sides is a great way to be more inclusive, eco-friendly, and healthful this year.
Here are eight of our favorite plant-based dishes for the upcoming holiday. Mix and match to create a spread of Thanksgiving sides, or choose one to be the star of the show. Either way, all of these recipes are made with feel-good ingredients, so they’ll leave you feeling energized, not heavy.
If you’re looking for a side dish with a serious wow factor, try this stuffed acorn squash. It’s impressive in its presentation, but thankfully simple in execution. Roast the squash until the edges are perfectly caramelized, then stuff with a delicious quinoa filling. Top with grated parmesan for extra flavor and texture, or simply enjoy as-is.
Would any Thanksgiving round-up be complete without a mac and cheese recipe? We think not. This dish may be cheese-less, but it’s so delicious, you won’t even miss the dairy. It gets its creaminess from soaked cashews, and its cheesy flavor from the addition of nutritional yeast. As a final touch, it’s topped with a buttery thyme-panko crust guests will love.
A play on Beef Wellington, this plant-based version would make a fantastic main course for a vegan Thanksgiving. It uses the same flaky puff pastry, and satisfies any meat cravings thanks to a big umami hit from the mixed mushroom and truffle oil filling. But the thing we love most about this recipe? You can make the filling ahead of time so you’re not rushing on Thanksgiving day.
This vegan shepherd’s pie hits all of our main points for Thanksgiving cooking: ease, high yield, and flavor. It takes only 15 minutes of prep time and serves about six. It’s loaded with hearty vegetables and lentils, and topped with creamy mashed potatoes (which is a great excuse to make extra mashed potatoes to serve as their own side). Filling and rich, this even works as a main dish for a vegan Thanksgiving.
We’re head-over-heels for this broccoli gratin. Here’s why: it’s rich, creamy, and surprisingly, manages to be vegan, paleo, and gluten-free. The cheesy sauce is made from potatoes, cashews, and nutritional yeast, which comes out as silky-smooth deliciousness.
Everything about these lasagna roll-ups has our mouths watering. They’re stuffed with a sun-dried tomato “ricotta” and a savory mushroom-spinach filling, then topped with a creamy butternut squash sauce. The recipe yields 12 roll-ups, so it can serve anywhere from four to 12 people depending on how much other food you serve alongside it.
Does it get any more comforting than pot pie? This recipe is creamy on the inside and has a perfectly flaky, crispy crust on the outside. You can follow the recipe as-is, or give it your own spin by adjusting the types of vegetables or proteins involved. (This recipe uses Tofurky brand chicken, but we’re also fans of the Quorn frozen version — and this would be great with just vegetables, too!) We like the idea of serving it as one large pie, but for added cuteness, double the crust to make individual mini pot pies.
8. (BONUS) Pumpkin Pie
What would Thanksgiving even be without dessert? Pumpkin pie may be traditional, but this recipe is anything but. For a creamy pumpkin center, this recipe uses silken tofu instead of eggs and dairy. It also has a nutty oatmeal pecan crust that adds more depth and flavor than the pie you’re accustomed to. The end result? Absolutely addicting.