If your’e looking for vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes that meat-eaters will like too, I am the perfect person to help. Because two years ago during the holidays, my paleo husband decided to turn vegan. Really. And he hasn’t had so much as one cheese stick or single chicken nugget since. That means, I’ve had to figure out how to make a meatless Thanksgiving for my family that doesn’t feel like a bunch of random side dishes.
Now of course if you have multiple -vores at your table, you can mix things up. But if you want to go all vegetarian with your Thanksgiving, these ideas will totally have you covered.
Now I’ll admit, the vegan Trader Joe’s Breaded Turkey-less Stuffed Roast was a big hit for all of us as our main course last year, but this year I’m feeling like I can go more homemade all around. If you’re in the same boat, or just looking to change up your Thanksgiving table and cut back on meat, here are some truly great vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes that everyone at your family dinner — or Friendsgiving celebration — will enjoy.
A Vegetarian Main Course for Thanksgiving…
Let’s start with a main-course worthy recipe! Skip the turkey and try this Vegan Wellington from Vegan Huggs. It offers layers of puff pastry wrapped around a yummy blend of mushrooms and chickpeas. Besides, without the traditional beef, it’s much easier to cook. At least for those of us who haven’t had the pleasure of being berated by Gordon Ramsey in our kitchens yet.
A Smaller Vegetarian Main Course for Thanksgiving…
Hand pies aren’t normally on our Thanksgiving table, but if you’re sticking with Turkey for the meat-eaters, and looking for an alternative for the vegetarians or vegans, I love the idea of these individual-serving Lentil Hand Pies from Planted Purpose. The hearty mushroom, veggie and lentil filling makes them a solid main course option, especially if you’re not feeding dozens.
Or, if you like the idea of getting in your carbs with puff pastry instead of dinner rolls, it can work as an interesting side.
Lauren recommends vegan cheddar cheese as an optional ingredient (or use regular, if you’re not serving vegans), and that does sound like it would add a rich, creamy element to the dish.
A Vegetarian Stuffing for Thanksgiving…
Stuffing is such an easy recipe to make vegan or vegetarian, if you skip the sausage or cheese that may be traditionally added. While there are lots of options, I’m loving this Apple, Leek & Mushroom Stuffing at The Domestic Dietitian, because it’s rustic. (Read: not too fussy or time-consuming). It’s also got tons of flavor, so no one will notice it’s missing meat.
For another option (can you ever have too much stuffing?!) take a look at the Vegan, Gluten-Free Cornbread Stuffing we shared from Jessica Hylton of Jessica in the Kitchen which uses one flax egg, but you can always use a regular egg if you’re feeding ovo-lacto vegetarians.
A Vegetarian/Vegan Sweet Potato Dish for Thanksgiving…
My family has a marshmallow-topped sweet potato tradition (and Delish offers a solid list of vegan marshmallows, if that helps), but I’m excited to add this savory alternative to our table: Stuffed Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes via Healthy Taste of Life. If you are doing a lot of the cooking on Thanksgiving, I really like that this is an easy recipe to start ahead of time. I’d cook the filling before Thanksgiving and store it in the fridge. Then about an hour before you’re ready to serve, fill the baked sweet potatoes and cook again. Simple! Just remember to save oven space.
A Fabulous Vegetarian Vegetable Dish for Thanksgiving
(which is rarer than you might think!)…
On my in-laws’ Thanksgiving buffet, even the green beans and Brussels sprouts are off-limits for the vegetarians in the family. I get it, loads of bacon certainly makes veggies tasty. But as an alternative for vegetarians that’s still flavorful and festive, I’m excited to find this Roasted Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad recipe at The Endless Meal. It promises just 5 minutes of prep time (at least if you’ve bought pre-cut veggies), which means it will be a breeze to add to our Thanksgiving menu. If you’d rather cut veggies yourself, just prep them a day or two ahead of time. They’ll keep.
A Tastier Vegetarian Alternative to Green Bean Casserole for Thanksgiving….
Is it just my family, or is green bean casserole a Thanksgiving must-have? My family members from out West, up North, and down South all serve it at their dinner. But I have to say, this cheesy, creamy Green Bean Casserole at The View From Great Island skips the canned condensed soup in favor of fresh Gruyere cheese. (Um, yes please!) And of course, no need for bacon when your Thanksgiving side dish is this flavorful.
A Sweet and Savory Vegetarian Side for Thanksgiving…
For make-ahead fans, the savory-sweet stuffing in this Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe at Vintage Kitty can be made up to 2 days ahead of time, which is a big help. It’s a smart side that everyone will enjoy, with a quinoa filling that pops with cinnamon spice, walnuts and pomegranate. So it really looks and feels like the holidays — in fact if it’s a hit at Thanksgiving, you can bring it back for Christmas or New Year’s Eve dinner too.
And of course it can also work as a vegetarian main course that isn’t loaded down with pastry. (As much as I love pie crust and puff pastry).
A Simple Roast Vegetable Dish For Thanksgiving to Please All the Eaters…
If you need a last-minute dish to fill in your Thanksgiving buffet, whipping up a tray of various roast veggies is always a delicious idea, and we have a post to help with that. Or, keep it simple and just go with…carrots? Yes!
This simple recipe for Roasted Carrots with Maple Glaze at Be Plant Well is perfect. You just have to roast those veggies, drizzle that maple glaze over the top, and you’re done. With so many other time-consuming dishes on the menu for Thanksgiving, this is a fantastic one to add to the mix.
Bonus: A Delicious Vegetarian Pot Pie Adaptation for Thanksgiving…
If you don’t have the puff pastry dishes covered with the ideas above, pot pie can be a fabulous idea. But…it’s generally not for us herbivores. This Turkey & Wild Rice Pot Pie recipe at Halfbaked Harvest isn’t vegetarian, but I adapted it for dinner the other night with two simple switches for my vegan husband… it was so good we ate the entire pie.
I simply switched vegetable broth for the chicken broth, and substituted chickpeas for the turkey. So easy. In fact, we liked it so much I’ve already decided it’s going to be the centerpiece of our own Thanksgiving dinner this year. Yay for new food traditions!