If your goal is to make Thanksgiving more sustainable this year, you’re in luck: By swapping some of the traditional meatless dishes for some vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes, you’ll wind up with a holiday dinner that’s not just delicious but also planet-friendly.
While classic Thanksgiving dinner staples like turkey are undoubtedly delicious, they come with a cost: A 16-pound Thanksgiving turkey has a carbon footprint of 34 pounds of CO2. By choosing a meatless main, your meal will instantly have a lower environmental footprint. Or, source a more ethical turkey and opt for vegetarian sides to create a more sustainable spread.
No matter which route you choose, we have plenty of vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes that even your pickiest dinner table guests will love.
12 Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes to Make This Year
This vegetarian main course will certainly get people talking. The acorn squash is stuffed with a “meaty” mixture of tempeh, mushrooms, pecans, kale, and plenty of savory seasonings for a healthy and delicious dish.
Baked apples are the perfect dessert to pair with vanilla ice cream. While the dish is naturally gluten-free and vegan, it’s also easily modifiable to be nut-free.
One way to take classic mac and cheese up a notch is to bake it in casserole-form. This dish is creamy, super-rich, and just begging to be added to your holiday spread.
Yep, vegetarian steaks are totally possible with some portobello mushrooms on hand. This dish is grilled and seasoned to perfection, then topped with creamy pesto aioli.
Stuffing is a Thanksgiving staple. This vegetarian version uses day-old sourdough bread (a great way to use leftovers!), salted butter, veggie broth, fresh veggies (like celery and leeks), and flavorful herbs.
Artichoke dip is a classic appetizer that usually doesn’t have a kick. This recipe promises to change that by adding jalapeños to balance the cool cream cheese and simple artichoke flavors. This dip can be eaten with anything from vegetables to crackers to chips, making it the perfect pre-dinner snack.
This fruity harvest salad is sure to be a favorite with its big flavors from feta, honey, apple, pomegranate, and a light homemade dressing. Don’t be surprised if your guests go for seconds.
This flavorful lasagna is stuffed with vegan truffle ricotta made with tofu, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and a handful of other simple ingredients.
People have been finding ways to spice up traditional cranberry sauce forever, but here’s a must-try: adding sustainable red wine and freshly-squeezed orange juice. This combination doesn’t stray too far from what you’d expect of a cranberry sauce, but its likeness to sangria gives it a cosmopolitan twist.
If you’re getting tired of eating plain old dinner rolls, give these flaky feta biscuits a try. With just the right amount of cheese and inclusion of Mediterranean flavor, they’re neither overwhelming nor predictable. And while they’re fantastic on their own, they also make for the perfect turkey (or tofurky) sandwich with leftovers.
11. Marinated Cheese
Marinated cheese is a holiday fan favorite. It can be eaten on crackers, with a salad, or straight from a spoon. It’s also incredibly easy to make, requiring short preparation time and simple ingredients.
While pumpkin pie tends to dominate the Thanksgiving dessert scene, apple pie isn’t all that far behind. This healthy twist on the classic features a crust made from Medjool dates, shredded coconut, and unsalted almonds.
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