12 Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes to Try This Year
Incorporate these vegan Thanksgiving recipes into your holiday spread this year. Find mains, sides, and sweet desserts.
Thanksgiving is one of those holidays where food is the main event. For many, that includes turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and other staples. But what's on your plate when you're plant-based? Much more than you think, and these delicious vegan Thanksgiving recipes are proof.
Researchers at the University of Oxford and the University of Minnesota published a study exploring how plant-based foods can be lower in carbon emissions than meat and dairy. Whether you're vegan or not, adding some plant-based options to the menu can be a great way to have a more eco-friendly holiday.
Even swapping one recipe helps: According to our past research, the average carbon footprint of a turkey is 64 pounds of CO2, and the carbon footprint of an entire Thanksgiving dinner is 103 pounds of CO2.
No matter how you and your family choose to celebrate the holiday, consider trying out a couple of these vegan Thanksgiving recipes for a planet-friendly spread.
Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes to Bookmark
1. Vegan Shepherd's Pie
Photo: The Edgy Veg
What’s Thanksgiving without a good Shepherd’s pie? This vegan Thanksgiving recipe uses veggie ground beef and mushrooms to give it a great meaty texture with lots of flavor. Plus, who doesn’t love fluffy mashed potatoes?
2. Vegan Cauliflower Roasted Skillet
Photo: Hot for Food
Did you know you can roast an entire cauliflower? Before you start to wonder where the delicious flavors come into play, it also includes herbs and veggies, so we promise you won’t even miss the meat. It's a lighter main course so you'll still have plenty of room for all of the delicious sides.
3. Vegan Beefy Seitan Roast
Photo: The Viet Vegan
This seitan roast uses vital wheat gluten and just the right balance of seasonings to expertly imitate a beef roast. It's a great option for anyone looking to cut back their red meat consumption over the holidays while still enjoying a classic Thanksgiving meal.
4. Vegan Lentil Mushroom Meatloaf
Photo: Stacey Homemaker
If you love lentils and mushrooms, you're really going to really love this vegan Thanksgiving recipe. To spice things up a bit, try serving it with a tangy tomato glaze or mushroom gravy. This comfort food meal is sure to become a new holiday tradition!
5. Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Apples and Pecans
Photo: Jessica in the Kitchen
Is your mouth watering? Ours, too. If you consider yourself a Brussels sprouts lover, you're in for a treat. And if you're on the other end of the spectrum and absolutely hate them, you're about to be pleasantly surprised. The roasting is the key factor here—it brings out the amazing flavors of the Brussels sprouts, onions, apples, and crunchy pecans.
6. Vegan Scalloped Potatoes
Photo: Planet Based on a Budget
If you're looking for something creamy and comforting, these scalloped potatoes are for you. This is probably one of the easiest side dishes to make for your family. Plus, with the blend of spices and vegan butter, you don’t even miss real dairy.
7. Vegan and Gluten-Free Cornbread
Photo: Minimalist Baker
Cornbread is one of the most decadent side dishes out there. This vegan version uses aquafaba as an egg substitute, leaving it with a taste and texture that's just as delicious as the cornbread you grew up with.
8. Vegan Butternut Squash Casserole
Photo: Love & Lemons
This recipe is a fresh take on traditional bread stuffing. Combine just a few ingredients—squash, purple onions, and dried cranberries—for a gorgeous color that looks almost too good to eat. But you won't be able to resist its delicious flavor. Help yourself to a helping... or three.
9. Vegan Pecan Pie
Photo: Making Thyme for Health
There is such a sweet, crunchy goodness in pecan pies that really can’t be replaced. This recipe has everything you could ever want from a pie, from its flaky crust to sweet filling. The best part? No one will be able to tell it's vegan.
10. Vegan Pumpkin Pie
Photo: Nora Cooks
Pumpkin pie is one of those holiday classics that never gets old. This vegan homemade version is just as sweet and decadent, and will make your dessert the star of the Thanksgiving spread.
11. Vegan Pecan Butter Tarts
Photo: Sweet Simple Vegan
If you’re looking for a lighter dessert, try these vegan pecan butter tarts. They’re small but pack iconic Thanksgiving flavor. Plus, they look so adorable!
12. Vegan Apple Layer Cake
Photo: My Quiet Kitchen
Already have traditional Thanksgiving pies covered? Maybe you're up for trying something new. This warm vegan apple layer cake is the perfect addition to a fall celebration. The cake features a bourbon-apple filling and is topped with a cinnamon-flavored buttercream.
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