Fall is just around the corner, and it’s never too early to start planning all the dishes you’ll be serving this Thanksgiving. If you’ve ever cooked for others, then you’re no stranger to the fact that it can be very challenging and often frustrating to attempt to satisfy everyone’s palate. In addition to individual pickiness when it comes to certain types of foods, many people have health-related dietary restrictions or food allergens that further limit your options when cooking for them!
Whether you’re a vegan or a meat eater, vegan recipes tend to exclude many of the unwanted ingredients that picky eaters try to avoid without sacrificing flavor. If you’re new to the vegan lifestyle and a little nervous to give it a shot, then Thanksgiving is the perfect opportunity to try incorporating some delicious and healthy plant-based recipes into your dinner plan. Check out the following 15 vegan recipes you have to try this Thanksgiving!
1. Stuffed mushrooms
Filled with breadcrumbs, oregano, parsley, basil, and other essential seasonings, these classic Italian stuffed mushrooms are a light and flavorful appetizer that will be sure to delight all your guests! Feel free to add a balsamic drizzle to the finished product for an extra kick.
2. Spinach & artichoke dip
This plant-based spinach and artichoke dip tastes so much like the real thing that your guests won’t even be able to tell it’s vegan. Pair this savory appetizer with some toasted bread bites or rolls for dipping. I recommend Boudin Sourdough Crisps or La Brea Bakery Take & Bake French rolls.
3. Mashed potatoes with caramelized onions
With a tasty plant-based butter and some unsweetened nondairy milk, vegan mashed potatoes are even tastier than regular mashed potatoes due to the elimination of that sourness associated with cow’s milk. Add caramelized onions and some fresh thyme to give it a unique spin, and pair this side dish with literally any main course!
4. Mushroom & sourdough stuffing
Another classic side dish packed with flavor, this mushroom and sourdough stuffing is loaded with nutrients and will complement your main course perfectly.
5. Oven-roasted carrots
This simple side dish is ideal for those guests who aren’t crazy about veggies but definitely need to eat more of them. The combination of olive oil, seasonings, and oven-roasted flavor make these thyme-seasoned carrots taste much more indulgent than healthy!
6. Maple-roasted root veggies
These amazing maple-roasted veggies will appeal to all your veggie-hating guests. The combination of maple syrup, sweet potatoes, and pecans will leave even your most stubborn guests wanting seconds!
7. Scalloped potatoes
These vegan scalloped potatoes are deliciously creamy and expertly seasoned. If you’re new to cashew cream, then you’ll be amazed by how closely you can get cashews, nutritional yeast, nondairy milk, and some seasonings to imitate real cream—at a fraction of the total fat and calories. This recipe takes a little bit longer, so get it started cooking along with your appetizers!
8. Baked mac and “cheese”
Your guests are in for a real treat with this one. With so many vegan mac and cheese recipes out there, this baked version tops them all. It’s creamy, savory, and really does taste cheesy! Without all the heavy dairy to weigh down your guests, you can serve this as a side dish and still have plenty of room for the main course!
9. Butternut squash risotto
Butternut squash is a staple in every vegan chef’s kitchen because there’s so much you can do with it. This butternut squash risotto is so hearty and so flavorful that it can be served as the main course rather than as a side!
10. Sweet potato casserole
Served as either a side dish or a dessert, this sweet potato casserole is a Thanksgiving classic that pairs excellently with just about everything on this list. It’s perfect balance of spices, sweet potatoes, and toasted pecan topping will be a guest favorite for sure!
11. Lentil loaf with gravy
This lentil loaf and gravy combo is so exquisite that you won’t even miss the turkey—seriously. The best part about this dish is the cranberry pear sauce that’s seasoned with an expert balance of brown sugar and ginger. Serve this main course with the maple root veggies, oven-roasted carrots, and caramelized mashed potatoes for an ideal pairing.
12. Stuffed butternut squash loaf
More like a squash wellington, this stuffed butternut squash loaf is both healthy and insanely packed with flavor. With a stuffing that features sage, cranberries, walnuts, basmati rice, and seasonings, this loaf pairs perfectly with every side dish on this list! Make a double batch of vegetable gravy when making the lentil loaf to serve with this one!
13. Spiced apple cider
Serve this delicious spiced apple cider either as a dessert or with dinner! While this recipe calls for a slow cooker, you can just as easily pour the ingredients into a large jar, set the contents outside in the sunlight first thing in the morning, and bring the jar back inside when the sun starts to set (like sun tea). While the original recipe includes two cups of brandy, the alcohol can be eliminated without sacrificing flavor.
14. Pecan pie
Definitely a traditional Thanksgiving dessert, this vegan pecan pie does not disappoint! I chose this recipe specifically because it doesn’t include corn syrup or tofu, making this pie a much healthier alternative to other vegan pecan pie recipes out there. Make your own coconut whipped cream or visit your local market to see what nondairy whipped cream options are available for purchase!
15. Pumpkin pie
Arguably the most important and traditional dish you’ll be serving this Thanksgiving, this vegan pumpkin pie is rich, dense, and irresistibly sweet. If you’re short on time, opt for a store-bought shortening pie crust or graham cracker crust and some coconut whipped cream or almond milk Reddi Whip!
Which of these 15 vegan recipes will you serve to your guests this Thanksgiving? Try some out beforehand and let us know which are your favorites in the comments below!
Featured image source: https://ordinaryvegan.net/veganthanksgiving/
Jamie graduated from Cal Poly Pomona in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She is an aspiring writer, professional editor/proofreader, and piano player. In her free time, Jamie enjoys reading classic literary works, composing music, and playing Xbox with her husband!