Veg-Giving: 14 Vegetarian-Friendly Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas
It’s almost Turkey Day but there’s still time to try out some tasty vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes. While this all-American holiday began as a celebration of peace between Native Americans and the original FOBs, the Pilgrims, we really look forward to indulging in the traditional Thanksgiving feast. And the turkey is the centerpiece of the meal—for hosts, the lengthy prep time makes it the focus of the entire day. Including leftovers, the turkey’s prominence even extends through the weekend. Which makes a vegetarian Thanksgiving sound thoroughly un-festive. But this does not have to be the case for vegetarians!
The classic mashed potatoes, then the mashed sweet potatoes, then the cranberries, maybe the Brussels sprouts, the green bean almondine…are vegetarian dishes. So who has room for turkey? Whether you’re cooking for a veg/carnivore combo of guests or you’re going full vegan this year, here are 5 scrumptious and hearty vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes that will have everyone asking for seconds.
Shallot & Shitake Seitan Wellington
This main course option is a vegan version of Beef Wellington using seitan to get that meaty texture. You may even convert a few meat eaters with this dish. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, this recipe includes instructions for making your own seitan from scratch.
Pumpkin Lasagna with Ricotta & Swiss Chard
Start a brand new Thanksgiving dinner tradition with this mouthwatering pumpkin lasagna. Seasonal veggie flavors with hearty tomato sauce, melty cheese and pasta. It’s the perfect festive, cozy entree for a holiday meal.
Cajun Deep Fried Tofurky with Okra Giblet Gravy
The punchline of every bad vegetarian Thanksgiving joke, Tofurky is the quintessential tasteless turkey substitute that dominated the 90s—a heavy, chewy concoction tossed at newly crunchified college sophomores by their exasperated parents on Thanksgiving break. Thanks to some clever seasoning and expert cooking techniques, the commercial meat substitute gets a gourmet treatment, that your granola guests and everyone else will love.
Smoked Chile Scalloped Sweet Potatoes
No list of vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes would be complete without a potato dish. This creamy, spicy, sweet dish adds a little Latin flavor to your Thanksgiving feast. With only three ingredients, these sweet potatoes are super easy to prepare.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts, one of the most underrated, much maligned, and improperly cooked vegetables of all time is not only a stunner when well prepared, but also the perfect wintry vegetable, earthy and flavorful. Combined with just some basic flavors and well seasoned, the nutritious Brussels sprout is a delicious side at the Thanksgiving table.
Boozy Cranberry Sauce
Turkey or no turkey, cranberry sauce is a must at the table on Thanksgiving. Great with starchy sides and savory food, the real debate usually arises between the lovers of canned sauce and lovers of the chunky homemade. Spike yours with a little fine liquor and everyone will forget the question altogether.
Pumpkin Sage Biscuits
Why clutter your spread with plain bread or rolls when you can harness the power of the season into the most buttery and crumbly pumpkin sage biscuits? The best part about these is that vegan shortening does the job of butter just as beautifully, and a little alternative milk makes these perfect for vegans and non-vegans alike.
Three Sisters Squash
This veggie dish honors the true spirit of the Native American bounty that inspired the first Thanksgiving. The three sisters are Native American staples beans, corn and squash. With black beans and rice, you’ve got a complete protein packed main dish.
Roasted Cauliflower & Manchego Hand Pies
If you have trouble getting your kids to eat their veggies, these savory vegetarian pot pies are sure to do the trick. They’re a nutty, flavorful treat with a yummy cheesy crust.