Over the years I've tested and gathered vegan Thanksgiving recipes, many of which started out as popular non-vegan recipes that I just veganized.
In fact, when I host non-vegans for Thanksgiving, I don't even mention that all the side dishes are vegan. They never know because the recipes are that good. All they know is that everything is delicious.
Just like with other vegan holidays, many of the typical Thanksgiving dishes can easily be veganized by simply using a non-animal substitute. Mashed potatoes, for instance, are easy. You just trade in nondairy milk and butter, and you can use your grandma's recipe.
Stuffed to the gills with homemade garlic mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing, sweet potato and pineapple casserole, and Tofurkey with mushroom gravy.
You can look for rolls made without dairy products or check out my favorite vegan bread recipes, which I turned into an ebook. I love the whole wheat crescent rolls for Thanksgiving recipes.
There are many dishes you can do in a semi-homemade Sandra Lee fashion, like looking for canned cranberries that have no gelatin and buying vegan gravy. Most stuffings are already vegan, so as long as you don't stuff them into any body cavities, you can use them as is. There are even vegan creamy vegan soups, so you can substitute them in traditional green bean casserole recipes with incredible results.
Some people really miss the big show stopper turkey on their first attempt at vegan Thanksgiving recipes, and others have no problem with it. One of the easiest to find substitutes for the least adventurous cooks is the Tofurky. Field Roast also makes a really nice seitan roast that you can turn into a Thanksgiving "turkey." I've even seen vegan roasts at Trader Joe's recently.
If you don't have problems making super chewy seitan, flavor your favorite recipe with the herbs normally used on poultry, like sage.
Food from scratch always tastes better, doesn't it?
Depending on my time and motivation that year, I sometimes prefer to make everything myself, and that's what you can find on this page of vegan Thanksgiving recipes.
The most important thing is to remember that your decision to change your eating habits has a positive impact on the animal kingdom, your body, and the world around you. If you need encouragement on remembering this during your vegan Thanksgiving, I put together some great tips on keeping a positive, healthy attitude focused on the most important part of Thanksgiving; family and friends.
My husband's plate, loaded with garlic mashed potatoes, roasted beets, carrots, and Brussel's sprouts, sweet potato casserole, Tofurky, and mushroom gravy.
I think part of the reason so many people associate Thanksgiving with eating a lot of food is because of the side dishes. Without them, it's just a big bird on a platter. They're also an easy way to sneak almost an almost entirely vegan celebration in front of your family; they'll never know you're using almond milk and Natural Balance butter. These are my favorite vegan Thanksgiving recipes for side dishes.
Dips and Chips
You can start with traditional chips and dip style vegan appetizers, especially for those who are munching and watching football. This page has my favorite hummus recipe, an excellent quick, straight-forward guacamole, and a white bean dip. All of these dips are great with crudite, chips, pita bread, or crackers.
Mashed and Spiced Sweet Potatoes
A standard at Thanksgiving is the sweet potato; sometimes baked, sometimes turned into a casserole, and sometimes mashed.
I love this vegan Thanksgiving recipe for its ease in fitting in with any celebration. Another delicious way to serve it is to add chopped pineapple and maple syrup, top it with vegan marshmallows*, and then put it in the oven to brown the marshmallows!
You can adjust the spices to fit your tastes, and no one will be the wiser about its small amount of non-dairy butter.
*My favorite vegan marshmallows are by the brand name Dandies. They actually brown and melt just like the real thing. You can get them from Vegan Essentials, which is where this link takes you.
French Bread Dinner Rolls
This is a perfect vegan Thanksgiving recipe because it's easy and delicious. Dinner rolls that are great at the big meal, and even better stuffed with some seitan turkey and gravy the next day!
I also love the whole wheat crescent rolls recipe, and my nephews get a huge kick out of making and eating my monkeybread recipe on Thanksgiving.
You can find my entire ebook on vegan bread recipes here.
Vegan Green Bean Casserole
You can't have Thanksgiving without the standard green bean casserole. You could go for a really easy version by simply substituting a good quality non-dairy creamy soup instead of the typical cream of mushroom soup into your favorite traditional recipe. This vegan Thanksgiving recipe takes it one step further by making its own sauce. It is really simple and delicious.
Vegan Soup Recipes
A lot of people like to serve a soup to start their Thanksgiving meal, and I love these vegan soup recipes. This page houses a really nice, light butternut squash, sweet potato, and apple soup recipe that would be perfect for Thanksgiving. You can also find a chili recipe and my favorite split pea soup recipe.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
I have always loved homemade mashed potatoes, and I discovered the secret to perfect creamy mashed potatoes with a hint of garlic in them. No vegan Thanksgiving would really be complete without mashed potatoes.
What would Thanksgiving be without the big stomach stuffer? A nice Tofurky roast is yummy, but if you can master a homemade dish, you are going to be the life of the party. This is my favorite vegan Thanksgiving recipe for your entree.
Seitan Roast with Cashews and Cranberry Stuffing
Happy Thanksgiving memories should always be filled with thoughts of this delicious, fragrant seitan roast. I adore the crunchiness of the nuts with the soft sweet-tart cranberries. You can use a store-bought plain seitan, or get adventurous and make your own.
This vegan Thanksgiving recipe is adapted from Vegan Planet, a massive collection of great recipes by Robin Robertson. It will serve 8 people.
1 lb. raw seitan
1/2 cup soy sauce or liquid Aminos
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup onion, minced
1/2 cup celery, minced
6 cup whole grain bread, cubed
8 oz. cashews, cooked
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1 cup water
2 Tbsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried sage
2 Tbsp. white wine
1/2 tsp. fresh black pepper
Place the seitan and soy sauce in a ziplock bag and marinate for at least one hour, turning it several times.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a medium sized pan. Add the onions and celery and cook, covered, until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the thyme, sage, and brandy and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and set aside.
Put the bread in a large bowl with the cashews, cranberries, parsley, water, salt, and pepper. Stir in the onion mixture and mix well. Adjust seasonings and water, if necessary.
Roll the seitan to about 1/4" thick. Spread the stuffing mixture over the top, and then roll up like a cinnamon bun.
Put the seam side down in a baking pan and bake until the top is firm and golden brown, about 30-40 minutes.
Let stand for 10 minutes at room temperature, and then cut into 1/2" slabs and serve with gravy.
My mom is famous for making so many desserts at a party that each guest could have one to themselves. Yes, that's right, a 1:1 ratio. These are classic vegan Thanksgiving recipes, and so delicious that no one will know you left out the milk and butter!
To your already fragrant with cinnamon, apples, and pumpkin household aroma, this vegan gingerbread recipe adds a new dimension. This is my mom's old fashioned recipe and it's light, fluffy, and incredibly flavorful.
Vegan Pumpkin Bread (Or Pumpkin Muffins)
This pumpkin bread is outstanding and makes a perfect vegan Thanksgiving recipe for dessert, or just as something to have around for munching. It's dense, but fluffy, and the flavor is to-die-for. It works wonderfully in a loaf, but would also be fun for smaller snacks in muffin shapes.
One year I made these into muffins and people snacked on them before and after our Thanksgiving dinner celebration.
The Best Pumpkin Pie Recipe Ever
I made this pumpkin pie purely by accident, and on chance, it turned out to be the best vegan pumpkin pie I've ever had. The texture is perfectly firm and creamy at the same time, and it has the perfect amount of pumpkin flavor with just a dash of spiciness. Delicious.
Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake
This delicious recipe comes from the Fat Free Vegan Kitchen. This recipe is not fat-free, but Susan posted it because it is just that good.
This vegan Thanksgiving recipe is flawless, but if you want it to have more of a pumpkiny taste for Thanksgiving, add another 1/4 cup of pumpkin puree. I've also made this with sweet potatoes for a fun take on sweet potato pie. I bet almost any winter squash would work.
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Put the first set of ingredients (toffuti through vanilla) in a food processor and puree until completely smooth. It should be silky smooth, with no lumps at all.
Remove a cup of this mixture from the processor and spread it in the bottom of the crust.
Add the next set of ingredients (pumpkin through nutmeg) to the ingredients remaining in the food processor and process until well blended. Smooth it carefully over the white layer in the crust, heaping it slightly in the middle.
Bake until the center is almost set, about 45-55 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 3 hours.
Simple and Delicious Vegan Apple Pie
This vegan Thanksgiving recipe is adapted from The Joy of Vegan Baking, one of my favorites. It is so easy, even though there are a lot of ingredients.
I love a lattice crust, but you can also do a full crust across the top with a few holes for steam.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Combine the apples, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, flour, and lemon juice in a large bowl and let stand for 10-15 minutes until the apples have softened.
Roll the crust a few inches wider than a 9" pie pan. Roll the top layer and keep it in the fridge until ready.
Pour the apple mixture into the crust and dot the top with the pieces of butter. Brush the overhanging crust with water and put the top layer of crust on top. Pinch the edges together and crimp with a fork or your fingers.
Make slits on top of the crust to allow for ventilation. Sprinkle the crust with cinnamon and sugar and bake for 30 minutes.
Then, put a cookie sheet underneath the pie to catch any spills and lower the temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake until fruit feels tender when poked with a knife, about 30-45 minutes.
Here's the tricky part... you have to let the pie cool for 3-4 hours so it can set. It really will be tastier like this. If you like warm apple pie, stick it in the oven for 15 minutes right before serving.
It can stay on the counter for a few days once it's cut.
Join in the spirit of love and gratitude and share your favorite vegan Thanksgiving recipes below...
Thanksgiving can be a hard meal for vegans to deal with for multiple reasons. Some people feel left out of the celebration because they don't eat the same food. Others are grossed out by the stuffed animal sitting as the centerpiece. We can all use more ideas on how to celebrate Thanksgiving the right way; with compassion and gratitude for what's great in our lives.
Share your vegan Thanksgiving story with others. You can tell what you're grateful for, what your favorite Thanksgiving recipes are, what you do differently to celebrate, or anything else you want to share.
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