Vegan Delights for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is typically a time of indulging in traditional dishes like turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. However, for those with dietary restrictions, such as vegans, it can be challenging to find suitable options for the holiday feast. Luckily, there are plenty of delicious and satisfying Thanksgiving vegan recipes that can impress even the most carnivorous of guests. From savory main courses to decadent desserts, there is no need to sacrifice flavor or tradition when it comes to a plant-based Thanksgiving meal. Let’s explore some recipes that will make your holiday table a hit with vegans and non-vegans alike.

What is a Vegan Thanksgiving?

Vegan Thanksgiving is a celebration of the holiday that centers around food that is entirely plant-based. People who follow a vegan diet exclude all animal products, including meat, dairy, and eggs, so traditional Thanksgiving dishes like turkey, gravy, and stuffing are avoided. A vegan Thanksgiving involves a completely different approach to the traditional holiday meal, with a focus on fresh produce, whole grains, and legumes.

Why Choose a Vegan Thanksgiving?

There are many reasons why someone might choose to have a vegan Thanksgiving. One of the most common reasons is for health benefits. A plant-based diet is known to be more heart-healthy, can help reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases, and is typically lower in calories. Another popular reason to choose a vegan Thanksgiving is for ethical and environmental reasons. Many people choose a vegan lifestyle because they are concerned about animal welfare or the impact of animal agriculture on the planet. A vegan Thanksgiving is a perfect opportunity to celebrate these values and focus on a more sustainable way of living.

Foods to Avoid on a Vegan Thanksgiving

  • Meat (turkey, ham, etc.)
  • Dairy (butter, cream, cheese, etc.)
  • Eggs
  • Honey (some vegans avoid honey because it is produced by bees)
  • Gelatin (made from animal bones and skin)
  • Bone broth (made from animal bones)

Benefits of a Vegan Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time to gather with loved ones and celebrate the blessings of life. For some, it’s also an opportunity to indulge in a feast of traditional dishes that include meat, poultry, and dairy products. However, choosing vegan Thanksgiving recipes can offer many benefits, such as reducing your carbon footprint, improving your health, and promoting animal welfare.

Environmental Benefits

Choosing vegan Thanksgiving recipes can significantly reduce your carbon footprint and help to mitigate the effects of climate change. According to the United Nations, animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the entire transportation industry combined. By choosing plant-based meals, you can help to reduce the demand for meat production and its related environmental impact, including deforestation, water pollution, and land degradation.

Furthermore, producing meat and dairy products requires more resources, such as land, water, and energy, than producing plant-based foods. A vegan Thanksgiving is an opportunity to enjoy a delicious meal that has a lesser impact on the environment, as well as contribute to the preservation of our planet for future generations.

Health Benefits

Vegan Thanksgiving recipes can provide you with a range of essential nutrients that are essential for good health. Plant-based foods are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals and can help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancers.

Furthermore, vegan Thanksgiving recipes are typically lower in saturated fat and cholesterol, which can contribute to better heart health. Research has shown that a plant-based diet can help to reduce the risk of heart disease by up to 32%. By choosing vegan Thanksgiving recipes, you can enjoy a delicious meal that is not only good for your taste buds but also your health.

Ethical Benefits

Choosing vegan Thanksgiving recipes can promote animal welfare and ethical treatment. The production of meat and dairy products often involves cruel and inhumane practices, including confinement, mutilation, and neglect.

By choosing vegan Thanksgiving recipes, you can contribute to a more compassionate and humane society that values the lives and welfare of animals. Furthermore, you can lead by example and inspire others to adopt a vegan lifestyle, thereby creating a more compassionate world for all sentient beings.

Top 6 Vegan Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas

Thanksgiving is a time to enjoy delicious food with loved ones. For vegans, creating a holiday feast can be a challenge, especially when trying to put together a menu that satisfies the dietary needs and preferences of everyone at the table. This guide will provide you with six easy and delicious vegan recipes that are sure to impress your guests and satisfy everyone’s taste buds. Each recipe comes with step-by-step instructions and a list of required ingredients.

Pumpkin Soup

This creamy and rich pumpkin soup is the perfect way to start your Thanksgiving feast.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium pumpkin, peeled and diced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream

1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté for 3-5 minutes or until onions are translucent.

2. Add diced pumpkin and sauté until tender, about 10-15 minutes.

3. Add vegetable broth, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.

4. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 30 minutes.

5. Allow to cool slightly then transfer to a blender and blend until smooth.

6. Return soup to pot and stir in coconut cream. Reheat soup on low heat until heated through.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

This classic side dish is an easy and healthy addition to any Thanksgiving meal.

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a bowl, toss Brussels sprouts with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.

3. Spread Brussels sprouts on prepared baking sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes or until tender and slightly browned.

Sweet Potato Casserole

This sweet and savory casserole is a crowd-pleaser and the perfect addition to any Thanksgiving table.

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup plant-based milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.

2. Boil sweet potatoes in a pot of water until they are fork-tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

3. In a blender, mix together maple syrup, plant-based milk, coconut oil, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt until smooth.

4. In a large bowl, combine sweet potatoes and blended mixture and mix well.

5. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish.

6. Create a topping for the casserole by mixing chopped pecans, brown sugar, flour, and melted coconut oil. Spread evenly over the sweet potato mixture in the baking dish.

7. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until topping is crispy and browned.

Mushroom Gravy

This rich and flavorful gravy is the perfect complement to any main dish.

  • 1/2 cup vegan butter
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a skillet over medium heat, melt vegan butter.

2. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 5-7 minutes.

3. Add mushrooms and sauté until tender and slightly browned, about 10-15 minutes.

4. Sprinkle flour over the mushroom mixture and stir until mixed well.

5. Gradually add vegetable broth, soy sauce, salt, and pepper while stirring continuously. Bring to a boil.

6. Lower heat and let simmer for 5-7 minutes or until the gravy thickens.

Stuffed Bell Peppers

This hearty and tasty main dish is a perfect vegan option for Thanksgiving.

  • 4 bell peppers, any color
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup vegan cheese, shredded

1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking dish with parchment paper.

2. Cut off the tops of the bell peppers and remove the seeds and membranes.

3. In a skillet over medium heat, sauté onion and garlic in olive oil for 2-3 minutes or until slightly translucent.

4. Add cooked quinoa, black beans, corn, diced tomatoes, chili powder, salt, and pepper to the skillet and stir until well mixed.

5. Stuff the mixture into the bell peppers and top with vegan cheese.

6. Place stuffed bell peppers in prepared baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes or until peppers are tender and cheese is melted.

Apple Crisp

This sweet and delicious dessert is perfect for ending your Thanksgiving feast.

  • 6 medium apples, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 375°F and lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.

2. In a large bowl, mix together sliced apples and lemon juice. Spread evenly in the baking dish.

3. In another bowl, mix together flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

4. Mix melted vegan butter into the flour mixture until it forms small clumps.

5. Spread the flour mixture evenly over the apples in the baking dish.

6. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes or until apples are tender and topping is crispy and browned.

How to Convert Traditional Thanksgiving Recipes to Vegan

If you’re planning to host a vegan Thanksgiving dinner, you might be worried that you won’t be able to enjoy traditional Thanksgiving dishes. However, you can transform your favorite recipes into vegan-friendly versions by substituting meat, eggs, and dairy with plant-based ingredients. Here are some tips and tricks for converting traditional Thanksgiving recipes to vegan.

1. Substitute Meat With Plant-Based Protein Sources

One of the main ingredients in Thanksgiving dishes is meat, but you can substitute it with plant-based protein sources like tofu, tempeh, seitan, or legumes. These ingredients provide the texture and flavor that you’re used to, and they’re cholesterol-free, high in fiber, and rich in nutrients.

  • To replace meat in stuffing, use crumbled tofu or tempeh or cooked lentils.
  • To replace meat in casseroles and stews, use seitan, lentils, or chickpeas.
  • To replace meat in roasted dishes, use marinated mushrooms or roasted vegetables like cauliflower, sweet potato, or carrots.
  • To replace meat in gravy, use vegetable broth and flour instead of meat broth and flour.

2. Substitute Eggs With Plant-Based Egg Replacements

Eggs are another common ingredient in Thanksgiving dishes, but you can make them vegan-friendly by using plant-based egg replacements like aquafaba, flax eggs, or chia eggs. These ingredients bind ingredients together and provide moisture and structure to baked goods.

  • To replace eggs in baked goods like pies, use 3 tablespoons of aquafaba or 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed or chia seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons of water for each egg.
  • To replace eggs in savory dishes like quiche or frittata, use silken tofu or chickpea flour mixed with water.

3. Substitute Dairy With Plant-Based Alternatives

Cheese, milk, cream, and butter are essential ingredients in many Thanksgiving dishes, but you can easily find plant-based alternatives that are just as delicious and creamy. Plant-based dairy alternatives are available in most grocery stores and come in various flavors and textures.

  • To replace cheese in casseroles, use nutritional yeast or vegan cheese made from nuts, soy, or coconut.
  • To replace milk or cream in mashed potatoes, use soy, almond, or oat milk.
  • To replace butter in baked goods and stuffing, use vegan butter or margarine made from plants or coconut oil or applesauce.

4. Experiment With New Flavors and Ingredients

Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with new flavors and ingredients. Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate abundance and diversity, so why not explore new cuisines and ingredients to make your vegan dishes more exciting and flavorful?

You can use spices and herbs like sage, thyme, rosemary, cinnamon, or nutmeg to add depth and aroma to your dishes. You can also use seasonal vegetables and fruits like pumpkin, squash, cranberries, or apples to create unique and colorful dishes.

Here are some vegan Thanksgiving recipes to inspire you:

  • Pumpkin Soup with Roasted Chickpeas
  • Apple Cranberry Quinoa Salad
  • Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Chimichurri Sauce
  • Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Topping
  • Vegan Stuffing with Wild Rice and Mushrooms
  • Chickpea and Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie
  • Maple Glazed Roasted Carrots
  • Vegan Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Coconut Cream

Choosing the Perfect Vegan Thanksgiving Wine Pairings

Thanksgiving is a time for giving thanks and gathering around the dinner table with loved ones. If you’re vegan, it can be challenging to find food options that cater to your dietary requirements, but selecting the perfect wine pairing doesn’t have to be. Here are some suggestions for the best vegan wine options to go with your Thanksgiving dishes, including white, red, rosé, and sparkling wines.

White Wine

White wine is a staple pairing for an array of Thanksgiving dishes. When it comes to vegan options, you can’t go wrong with a crisp and acidic Sauvignon Blanc. The herbal and fruity notes in this wine amplify the flavors of roasted vegetables and sweet potato dishes. Alternatively, Chardonnay also pairs well with rich, buttery flavors of mashed potatoes and vegan gravies. If you’re looking for something lighter, a dry Riesling also works well due to its notes of apple and subtle sweetness.

Red Wine

When choosing a red wine, opt for a lighter-bodied wine, such as a Pinot Noir. This red wine has a delicate balance of acidity and fruitiness that complements the salty notes of herb-based vegan dishes. A light-bodied red wine also pairs well with a classic Thanksgiving dish such as the cranberry sauce. Alternatively, a slightly spicy red wine like Zinfandel also pairs well with savory and sweet flavors of the holiday dishes.

Rosé Wine

Rosé wine is a versatile option for Thanksgiving meals. The acidity and fruit-forward flavors in Rosé make it a great complement to vegan stuffing, cranberry-based dishes like sauce, and savory vegetable-based dishes like roasted Brussels sprouts. A good option for Rosé is a dry Rosé from a dark-skinned grape such as Mourvèdre or Syrah. These wines impart smoky flavors that balance the other flavors on the dinner table offer a perfect palette cleanser between the dishes.

Sparkling Wine

Finally, we come to sparkling wines, the perfect choice when celebrating. A crisp sparkling wine like Brut is a perfect balance between acidity and tartness, making it a great pairing for savory gravy dishes and herbaceous side plates. For sparkling wine options, many regions produce great sparkling wines, from France’s Champagne to Italy’s Prosecco or Spain’s Cava. Oregon’s sparkling wine is also an excellent choice for Thanksgiving as they are Oregon’s winemakers begin the harvest season on or around Thanksgiving every year.


Choosing the perfect vegan Thanksgiving wine pairing can be a little intimidating, but having a basic understanding of the different types of wines will help you make the right choice. Whether you choose a Sauvignon Blanc to complement your sweet potatoes or a Rosé for your Brussel sprouts, your guests are sure to appreciate the imbibing flavors that will make your dinner party extra special.

Vegan Thanksgiving Recipe FAQs

Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and food. As a vegan, it can be challenging to find recipes that will impress your guests while still adhering to your dietary restrictions. Here are some frequently asked questions about vegan Thanksgiving recipes, including where to find ingredients, how to accommodate dietary restrictions, and more.

What are some vegan Thanksgiving recipe ideas?

Fortunately, there are many delicious vegan Thanksgiving recipes to choose from. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries and Balsamic Reduction
  • Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk
  • Garlic Mashed Potatoes
  • Cornbread Stuffing with Vegan Sausage
  • Vegan Green Bean Casserole
  • Pumpkin Pie with Coconut Whipped Cream

Where can I find vegan ingredients?

Many grocery stores now have dedicated vegan sections or labels on products that are vegan-friendly. Additionally, health food stores and online retailers such as Amazon also carry a wide selection of vegan ingredients. If you can’t find a specific ingredient, you can also consider substituting with a vegan alternative or reaching out to a local vegan community group for suggestions.

How can I accommodate guests with dietary restrictions?

If you have guests with dietary restrictions such as gluten intolerance or nut allergies, it’s important to plan accordingly. Make sure to check all recipe ingredients for potential allergens and consider offering alternative options. You can also ask guests ahead of time if they have any dietary restrictions and plan your menu accordingly.

How can I make my vegan dishes more flavorful?

Vegan cooking is all about experimenting with different flavor combinations. Consider using herbs and spices such as rosemary, thyme, and sage to add depth to your dishes. You can also try using different types of oils and vinegar for added flavor. Lastly, don’t be afraid to get creative and try new things!

How can I make sure my vegan dishes are filling?

Protein is an essential nutrient that can help keep you feeling full and satisfied. Consider incorporating protein-rich ingredients such as beans and lentils in your recipes. You can also experiment with meat alternatives such as tofu or seitan to add substance to your dishes.

Can I still enjoy traditional Thanksgiving dishes as a vegan?

Absolutely! Many traditional Thanksgiving dishes can easily be made vegan-friendly through simple ingredient swaps. For example, instead of using butter in your mashed potatoes, use vegan butter or olive oil. Instead of turkey, you can consider using a meat alternative such as Tofurky. Get creative and have fun with it!

Happy Eating!

Thank you for taking the time to read through some delicious vegan Thanksgiving recipes. We hope that these dishes inspire you to try something new this holiday season, and that they bring joy and comfort to you and your loved ones. Remember to be kind to one another, including the animals, and to appreciate the abundance of plant-based foods available to us. Come back soon for more exciting vegan recipes and happy eating!

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