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How To Host A Vegan Thanksgiving

How To Host A Vegan Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving brings everyone together. But, if you need or want to host a vegan Thanksgiving, there are important considerations. Think about your ingredients, have you cooked vegan before, where can you find recipes, is anyone available to help you? Make yourself a checklist and then you’ll be on your way to the perfect vegan Thanksgiving meal.

Know What Ingredients Aren’t Vegan

If you’re unfamiliar with the vegan lifestyle, you should start with learning what products are or are not vegan. Making a vegan Thanksgiving means making sure every part of your cooking process qualifies as vegan.

Eating vegan means not consuming any animal by-product. This includes eggs, dairy (cheese, milk, cream), sometimes honey (ask your guest what their preference is), and meat. Be sure to check with your Thanksgiving guests you haven’t missed anything on your no eat list to ensure everyone feels comfortable.


An easy internet search or quick talk with your guests helps you get a better handle on what should and shouldn’t be included in your Thanksgiving spread.

What Alternatives Are Easily Accessible Or Easily Made

All hope is not lost eliminating these items from our Thanksgiving spread. Thankfully, companies offer more alternatives to traditional products, as the vegan movement demands more acknowledgment in everyday life.

Many stores carry vegan-friendly alternatives to “traditional” products or many everyday ingredients offer easy substitutions. For example, an egg is easily replaced with a flaxseed egg. You need 1 tablespoon of flaxseed meal and 3 tablespoons of water. Mix the two ingredients together and let stand for 15 minutes. Easy peasy and now you have a vegan-friendly egg to use in your recipe.


A vegan Thanksgiving inspires creativity as you broaden your horizons in what it means to cook a Thanksgiving meal. If you’ve never shopped for vegan products before, ask your vegan friends their favorite places to shop and what they normally buy. You aren’t limited to only bland fruit and vegetables. Vegan meals are as versatile and expansive as “traditional” cuisine.

Protein Sources Are More Available Than You Think

We’ve been conditioned to think only of meat as a source of protein. Exclusively. But that myth needs to be debunked. Thanksgiving prompts the image of a big fat turkey front and center. The star of the festivities. But the world is full of protein that doesn’t come from an animal and expand beyond tofu.

Bean and legumes are the most accessible source of protein for a vegan-friendly Thanksgiving. Pumpkin seeds keep you in the holiday spirit and full of protein. Quinoa, tempeh, peas, chickpeas, chia seeds, and the list keeps going. Yes, you might stray from the “traditional” meal but sometimes it’s okay to break a routine. A vegan-friendly Thanksgiving really allows you to expand your attitude and palette when it comes to Thanksgiving.


You might find you don’t even miss the dried out big bird hogging all the tablespace.

Pinterest And The Internet Are Your Best Friend

Honestly, the vegan has more recognition now than ever before. That means anyone who has been vegan for years has the experience you might need to lean on. Pinterest’s endless supply of inspiration and recipes makes your Thanksgiving meal planning a breeze. The names alone will leave your mouth watering and belly grumbling before you even make your way into the kitchen.

The best part of online recipes is they are free and easily accessible. The authors walk you through step by step. You can adjust your searches to “easy” or “minimal” if you’re not really in a Martha Stewart kind of mood for Thanksgiving.


Rest assured you’ll find the perfect recipes for your guests. When they walk through your door and smell the amazing food they’re about to consume, they won’t even worry about it being vegan. It will taste as good as it smells.

The vegan recipe bloggers always point out ingredients that could potentially be non-vegan-friendly. Often they are ingredients you might not even think about so their knowledge proves invaluable.

Main Course Ideas

Plenty of vegan main courses stay on theme for the Thanksgiving holiday. A few that stand out are the Meatless Chickpea meatloaf with a maple glaze from Rosa at “This Healthy Kitchen.” Think about it mashed potatoes and meatloaf are a classic combo and mashed potatoes are a classic on the Thanksgiving menu. The ingredients in this dish are deemed mostly pantry friendly meaning you can hit the store before all the other shoppers gather their Thanksgiving supplies.

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Plus, there isn’t a lot of substituting or finding alternative ingredients. The only exception being a chia egg (similar to a flax egg but with chia seeds).

If you aren’t a fan of meatloaf on Thanksgiving, try a whole roasted cauliflower from “Karissa’s Vegan Kitchen.”  Think pot roast but with cauliflower. A classic comfort meal that pairs perfectly with the Thanksgiving mood. To maintain flavor, you can baste the cauliflower much like you would baste a turkey so you’re not giving up a traditional “Thanksgiving feeling” if you’re craving it. Although meatless, the paired homemade gravy brings smokey and “meaty feeling” making it the perfect compromise if you still have carnivores on your guest list.


Side Ideas

If you thought you had to sacrifice some of the decadently bad for you but oh so tasty side, you’re in for a surprise. “Karissa’s Vegan Kitchen” shows you how to whip up a vegan stuffing. You can’t have Thanksgiving without stuffing so she has you covered. Even better? This recipe comes with an “easy” label. Stuffing and easy were there ever two words that belonged together more?

There’s nothing on this ingredient list that will send you to an obscure store or leave you scratching your head wondering how on earth to make it.

Do you love the green bean casserole on the Thanksgiving dinner? Kristina from “spabettie” came up with a vegan alternative vegan cauliflower creamed spinach. That’s right you don’t need dairy to make something creamy. The cauliflower in this recipe gets repurposed to make the creamy concoction to cover your spinach. Feel like you’re indulging in all the things that are bad for you and then take a bigger bite when you remember that it’s all vegetables.


Dessert Ideas

Thanksgiving: the one time of the year it’s encouraged to stuff yourself and then keep eating even more. Because dessert. Pumpkin pie still graces the Thanksgiving table with a vegan recipe. For a vegan pie, you’ll have to make both the crust and the filling from scratch. But you’ll take one bit and all your efforts will be worth it. “Yummy Mummy Kitchen” made not only a vegan-friendly but gluten-free friendly pumpkin pie.  You’ll need coconut milk and almond flour for this recipe but nothing else too far outside a normal pumpkin pie recipe.

What else screams fall besides pumpkin? Apples. “Nora cooks” has a vegan apple crisp recipe that requires either vegan butter or coconut oil as an alternative ingredient. This crispy, cinnamon, fresh dessert will be a shining star on your Thanksgiving menu.

What other tips do you have for hosting a vegan Thanksgiving? Share them below or the link to your all-time favorite vegan recipe.

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