Thanksgiving is not a vegan-friendly holiday. There’s cream in the mashed potatoes, bird juices in the gravy, butter in the stuffing, oh and there’s the turkey too.
Vegans are usually stuck with a plate full of green beans or bringing our own vegan food. It’s time to change that.
As we know, it’s so easy to veganize recipes these days and make them scrumptious enough for our meat-eating family and friends.
With this in mind, I pulled together a menu of traditional Thanksgiving dishes from family recipes and other fabulous bloggers to create an entirely vegan spread.
Now, I’m not responsible for cooking the Thanksgiving meal this year so I figured I would use these recipes in a mock Thanksgiving for my hubby and me. We now have food for days. I will definitely be bringing some of these dishes to our family Thanksgiving dinner.
Share these recipes with your family and friends and make this year’s Thanksgiving a meal where everyone can eat to their heart’s (and stomach’s) content.
Short of molding tofu into the shape of a turkey, this is the trickiest Thanksgiving dish to veganize while still keeping it traditional. A good Thanksgiving main dish should be hearty and filling and (I feel) should bring up happy memories.
This day isn’t only about food, after all. It’s a time for family and friends to share stories, laughs and good times. A dish I always enjoyed as a child was the controversial meat loaf. Meat-eaters either love it or they hate it. I loved getting to make it with my mom. It was a special time we shared. So, I found a veganized version of meat loaf: Glazed Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf from Oh She Glows.
Some of the ingredients are the same as what I add to the stuffing so I knew the flavors would work well in a Thanksgiving meal. Although this recipe is a bit labor intensive, the end result is a delicious, nostalgia-filled main dish that is worthy of replacing the turkey.
Stuffing (or is it Dressing?)
Like many of you, stuffing is my absolute favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal. I usually treat it like my main dish and pile my plate with the fluffy goodness.
Since I got married, I’ve been spoiled with my mother-in-law’s stuffing. It’s crunchy in all the right places, sweet and savory all at once, and it goes fast so you better get some while it lasts. I would be doing you all a disservice if I didn’t include it in this list.
The only part of her recipe that needed to be veganized was the 2 eggs it included. I swapped the eggs out with Follow Your Heart’s VeganEgg but feel free to use another egg substitute (as long as it’s an ingredient that will bind).
To be honest, I haven’t always been a fan of mashed potatoes. They were always the one item I would leave off my plate on Thanksgiving. It wasn’t until I went vegan that I really fell in love.
I feel like mashed potatoes should be kept simple. There’s no need to get fancy with them. I know some of you think I’m crazy right now. No, I don’t want milk, cheese or veggies in my mashed potatoes. This Forks Over Knives recipe for Basic Mashed Potatoes gives me just that.
And the beauty of this recipe is if you are one of those people who like more ingredients in their mashed potatoes, you can add in whatever makes them delicious to you.
Delicious mashed potatoes can’t sit on your plate naked. They must be drenched in savory, mouth-watering gravy. And let’s be honest, it’s not just the potatoes that need the gravy. We pour it over every.single.thing on our plate.
Because gravy is usually made from the meat drippings, which is full of flavor, make sure you use a quality vegetable stock that’s flavorful enough to stand on it’s own. Or better yet, you could make your own stock.
This Vegan Mushroom Make-Ahead Gravy from the NY Times offsets the hard work you put in with the Lentil Loaf. It’s an easy recipe that doesn’t require a lot of your time. You can also make it ahead of time and just reheat when you’re ready to serve.
Another family recipe from my husband’s side of the family. James always raves about how great of a cook his abuelita was. Fortunately, his mom has carried on some of her recipes and shares them with us.
I have a confession: I am not a fan of green beans. There are many other vegetables that appeal to me more than these crispy green sticks. For the sake of Thanksgiving though, I kept an open mind and open taste buds. I was pleasantly surprised.
Don’t let the ease and simplicity of this recipe fool you. If cooked right, the crisp green beans marry with the toasted almonds perfectly. This is another fast recipe that will keep you from slaving in the kitchen for hours.
The pièce de résistance. The bow that ties together a satisfying Thanksgiving feast. You can’t mess this one up. I mean that. You literally can’t mess this up. This Easy Vegan Pumpkin Pie from It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken is so creamy and spice-filled, you’ll have even non-vegans wishing you made more.
And the best part: it takes about 5 minutes to put it all together. Just toss everything in the blender, pour it over your pie crust and bake. Take note that you’ll definitely want to make this one early because it needs to refrigerate for several hours.
You’ll finish off your Thanksgiving with a beautiful and flavorful pie that’ll make your guests want an encore. Congratulations, you just rocked Thanksgiving.
Try any of these recipes for your Thanksgiving and let me know how it goes over with you carnivore friends and family. Already have a tried and true recipe? Share it in the comments!