Thanksgiving might be the unofficial holiday of the turkey, but let’s be honest, it’s the squash, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pies that we really look forward to. Whether you’re hosting an entirely plant-based feast, or simply serving a few vegan or vegetarian guests, you have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to creating an unforgettable meal.
1. Thanksgiving Cranberry Deviled Eggs
Deviled eggs are the perfect vegetarian Thanksgiving starter, because they work equally well as a finger food for your guests to nibble on as they mingle before the feast, or as a sit-down appetizer served at the table. In this version, a mini-dollop of cranberry sauce with mustard seed and sage seasoned eggs adds a festive Thanksgiving twist, making this starter creamy, savoury and sweet – score!
2. Butternut Squash Soup
Alternatively, get your vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner party started with a bowl of hearty soup, featuring fresh seasonal flavours. Lusciously smooth, this soup is just the right balance of roasted squash, herbs and spices. A few teaspoons of ground cumin and ground ginger add a warm, earthy sweetness.
3. Slow Cooker Vegan Portobello Pot Roast
Vegan Thanksgiving entrees can be a bit daunting. Sure, you could pick up a vegan turkey substitute at the store – but it doesn’t take long to create a memorable main course at home. Meaty mushrooms slow-cooked with red wine, vegetable stock, and the perfect blend of rosemary and thyme make this “pot roast” intensely flavourful. And, as a bonus, it’s both vegan and gluten-free. Serve it on a bed of vegan mashed potatoes and top with vegan gravy for even more flavour.
4. Butternut Squash Vegan Mac & Cheese
Thanksgiving is the time to indulge – and this plant-based spin on mac and cheese is the way to do it. So rich and creamy, you may even prefer it to more traditional versions. Make it vegan and gluten-free by using both gluten-free pasta and bread crumbs.
5. Slow Cooker Cranberry Apple Stuffing
It’s just not Thanksgiving without stuffing. While a classic herb stuffing is a great way to go, why not add a new twist this year? Cranberries and chopped granny smith apples add just the right amount of sweetness, while sage, parsley flakes and garlic salt bring the savoury flavours you love. Best of all, this stuffing cooks in the slow cooker, which means you can prep it a few hours ahead of time to lower the stress of entertaining. Just use vegetable stock in place of chicken stock to make it vegetarian, and a butter alternative in place of butter to make it vegan.
6. Green Beans Marjoram
Veggies are a key component of any Thanksgiving menu but, with turkey off the table, they can easily steal the show in a vegetarian or vegan feast. Make the most of your seasonings, and let marjoram help green beans burst with flavour.
7. Vegan Vanilla Coconut Ice Cream
Speaking of dessert, this dairy-free, egg-free take on the classic frozen vanilla sweet treat tastes so rich and creamy it’s hard to believe this homemade ice cream is vegan. Scoop and serve sprinkled with toasted coconut flakes, if desired next to your favourite slice of vegan pie.
8. Vegan BBQ Pulled Jackfruit
Though not your typical Thanksgiving meal, this barbecue pulled jackfruit recipe is a fun way to add some spice and variety, vegan style, into your Thanksgiving rotation. It's easy to get BBQ taste without the meat - smoked paprika with unsalted vegetable stock and chipotle chili pepper is the trick here. Slow cook this tropical fruit with molasses, brown sugar and a few other ingredients - and serve the juicy, tender meat piled high onto Thanksgiving dinner rolls.
Hungry for more? Discover additional vegan and vegetarian recipes to round out your holiday meal.