Save the Turkey! Vegan Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas

By Lora O’Brien

The American tradition of having the President pardoning a turkey started with the hottest of leaders (if you ask me): John F. Kennedy. When presented with the bird destined for his dinner, he apparently said: “Let’s keep him going,” and won the hearts of a nation (and surely, one lucky turkey too). Subsequent Presidents have carried on the tradition, but for vegans and vegetarians everywhere, many turkeys have been ‘kept going’ thanks to alternative Thanksgiving dinner menus.

In fact, a birdless Thanksgiving dinner is actually pretty easy to do – after all, most of the side dishes served on T-day are pretty much vegetable based anyway, right? Think root veggies, pumpkins, nuts…The trick is keeping the meal varied and exciting and filling, of course!

I’ve found over 20 great vegan Thanksgiving recipe ideas that will take you and your lucky guests from soup to sweets.

1. Thanksgiving Pumpkin Soup

Warm and sweet with a detectable hint of spices, this rich pumpkin soup is easy to make and acts as the perfect starter to an autumnal meal. Serve with some bread rolls for dunking, or a sprinkling of sesame seeds on top.

Get the recipe here.


2. 10 Spice Veggie Soup

If you prefer your soups chunky, then this is the one to go for. With over 10 spices, it’s gluten free and is actually easy to make, and is a great way to spark up appetites for the feast to come.

Get the recipe here.


3. Best Vegan Spinach Dip

Usually a highly calorific dip (mayonnaise AND sour cream? Eek!) spinach dip is giving a way healthier makeover with this vegan version. Put it on the table whilst people are waiting for their mains to be served – you can dip in some bread, crudites, or even tortilla chips.

Get the recipe here.

4. Pickled Red Cabbage

Crunchy and sweet, this pickled red cabbage recipe seems to go especially well with a few raisins or cranberries thrown in. I love the tartness, mitigated by the sticky sweetness of the dried fruit. It’s a great side dish, adding both texture and taste variations to add to a really interesting dinner mix.

Get the recipe here


5. Boozy Cranberry Sauce

I feel like cranberry sauce hasn’t got the best reputation. Often dumped out of a can, it’s only on the table during Christmas time for the, uh, older members of the family who seem to love it (hi, Nan). No one else usually touches it. Until now. This cranberry sauce has had a little reinvention in the name of alcohol. And now it not only has a real kick to it, but is bursting with flavour. It will compliment so many dishes this Thanksgiving.

Get the recipe here


6. Rosemary Infused Wild Rice Mushrooms

As delicious as veggies are on their own, sometimes we want something a little special. Thats where these little mushroom appetisers come in handy. Whether you serve them up beforehand to your guests as an appetizer, or put them on the table for all to enjoy, these mouthsized mushroom bites will go down such a treat!

Get the recipe here.


7. Brussel Sprouts Sliders

These brussel sprout sliders with tempeh make for a different starter. Served with little sticks, they’re perfect for passing around before dinner, and they’re bursting with different textures, from the crispy outsides of the sprouts to their creamy insides, and the chewy tempeh.

Get the recipe here


8. Sweet Potato Casserole with Crunchy Nut Crumble

If you’re stuck for a main dish – one to serve up to everyone like the turkey normally is – then a casserole may be the solution. This one is rich, sweet and filling, and also makes a great side dish if you prefer.

Get the recipe here.


9. Crowd Pleasing Vegan Thanksgiving Stuffing

I live for stuffing. No joke, I’m barely waiting for it to be cooked and out the oven before I’m yielding my fork and digging in like I’m seeing food for the first time. But not everyone is a fan, especially since it’s usually cooked in the orifice of a bird, so it’s great to find ways of re-inventing traditional dishes like this. This recipe is packed with all the fresh herbs that make stuffing tasty (yay for sage!)

Get the recipe here


10. Roasted Acorn Squash With Quinoa-Mushroom Pilaf

Now, I’m a fan of carbs, but if you’re looking to serve something a little less starchy, then roasted acorn squash is the solution. Here, it’s stuffed with a tasty quinoa and mushroom pilaf mix, making it both healthy and filling. I’d highly recommend adding chestnuts into this just because y’know, it’s Thanksgiving.

Get the recipe here


11. Maple-Pecan Hasselback Butternut Squash

This is such a great dish to serve up either alongside potatoes – or instead of them. People will love this as the maple syrup makes the butternut both soft and creamy, whilst the thyme adds a unique flavour and the pecans, a delightful crunch.

Get the recipe here

12. Vegan Mushroom, Chestnut & Cranberry Tart

This tart is perfect for Thanksgiving, and you can even recycle it for Christmas, too! And the best part is you can actually make this the day before and simply warm it through once your guests have arrived the following day. It’s hearty, packed full of delicious flavours from the mushrooms and chestnuts and cranberry sauce. I guarantee someone will want seconds!

Get the recipe here

13. Stuffing-Muffins with Mashed Potatoes & Gravy

These bite sized muffins present a multitude of Thanksgiving flavours. You’ve got the stuffing based muffin topped with fluffy mashed potatoes and then drizzled with gravy. It’s a meal in a muffin! And they look lovely on the plate, too.

Get the recipe here

14. Melting Sweet Potatoes with Maple-Pecan Sauce

Crisp on the outside, fluffy on the inside, the name of the recipe alone is enough to induce drooling, right? . Though these are drizzled in butter, you can sub in coconut oil for the same texture and in my opinion, an even better taste. Once they’re out the oven, top with the maple-pecan sauce and devour!

Get the recipe here.


15. Roasted Vegan Thanksgiving Bowl

Buddha bowls aren’t just for breakkie – they’re great for special occasions, too! This is really easy to make – you just roast your veggies, toast your pecans, mash those potatoes, then whip up a little vegan gravy to go over the top and voila!

Get the recipe here.

16. Stuffed, Roasted Butternut Squash

This makes such a wonderful main! It can be carved up like a turkey, and it’s packed with wholesome veggies and grains, making it quite hearty. Got super hungry guests? It goes really well with some roasted potatoes and parsnips, which you can pop in the oven whilst this is cooking.

Get the recipe here

17. Vegan Walnut Sage & Cranberry Stuffed Holiday Mushrooms

Whether these are served as an appetiser, a starter or a main they’re going to go down well with your guests this festive season. The savory mix of walnuts, dried cranberries and holiday inspired herbs is stuffed into cremini mushrooms and then topped with vegan Parmesan and roasted to perfection.

Get the recipe here

18. Vegan Ravioli with Pumpkin & Ricotta

Who said Thanksgiving can’t be a little fun and inventive? Pumpkin puree inside this pasta dish adds some fall flavour. This could be an interesting side dish for your Thanksgiving feast, or serve as a main with an array of salads or roasted veggies to accompany the ravioli.

Get the recipe here.

19. Lentil and Root Veggie Strudel

Another perfect main, this strudel can sit in the table as the centrepiece dish, then get ‘carved up’ and distributed to guests. It calls for goat cheese, but you can simply either leave it out if you’re vegan, or add some crumbled, herby tofu instead.

Get the recipe here.


20. Vegan Caesar Salad

Creamy, garlicky and rich. Who doesn’t love a great Caesar salad? But for vegans, it’s usually impossible to enjoy, thanks to the anchovies, cream and eggs. Until now! This recipe has all the tangy flavours and zero of the animal ingredients.

Get the recipe here.


21. Vegan Thanksgiving Wraps

Got a big crowd coming over for a Thanksgiving party? These vegan veggie wraps contain all the flavours of autumn’s seasonal harvest, look sweet, and are easy to serve up. Alternatively, if you’ve had a sit down dinner, you can make these with the leftovers the next day.

Get the recipe here

22. Beetroot Tarts with Vegan Cream Cheese

Sometimes we don’t want vegan versions of meat dishes. We want something totally new and vegan to feed to our guests, and these beetroot tarts are perfect! Whether they’re an appetizer or a main, these are simply divine when served hot.

Get the recipe here

23. Crock Pot Stuffing with Almonds and Cranberries

Even if none of your guests are vegan or gluten free, they’re going to love this dish! It can be served as a main or as a stuffing, and the nutty wild rice and cranberries taste of everything autumn, whilst the mushrooms give the stuffing a lovely savoriness and depth.

Get the recipe here.

24. Wild Rice Stuffed Pumpkins

How beautiful are these? They make the perfect, stunning main course for a vegan Thanksgiving. All you need to do is serve up some mashed potatoes, salad and corn bread, and you’ve got yourself a healthy feast.

Get the recipe here.

25. Roast Stuffed Seitan Roulade

I absolutely love this seitan roulade simply because it reminds me of the roasts I grew up on, and yet no animals had to suffer for me to eat it. It’s packed with veggies, brimming with goodness and as with every good roast – it goes wonderfully the next day as leftovers into sandwiches and wraps, hurrah!

Get the recipe here

26. Mini Vegan Pumpkin & Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

Personally, I don’t discriminate when it comes to donuts. I eat them all year round. But when they have the spices of winter infused in them, it’d be rude to not make these especially for Thanksgiving. Dip them into a bit of coffee or tea for a fun, informal dessert.

Get the recipe here

27. Easy Vegan Pumpkin Pie

How can you have Thanksgiving and not cook up a pumpkin pie? This is a really quick and easy recipe if you don’t have much time to spend baking this year. And why not add a bit of pumpkin ‘N’ice’ cream on the side? (recipe below).

Get the recipe here.



28. Pumpkin Banana N’Ice Cream

Perfumed with winter spices, creamy thanks to it’s banana base and topped with some crunchy nuts, this ‘nice’ cream is the ideal cool dessert for Thanksgiving. And of course, it goes perfectly with some pumpkin (or apple) pie!

Get the recipe here.

29. Gingerbread Hot Chocolate

Everything about this recipe screams warmth and love! Of course you don’t have to wait for Thanksgiving to enjoy this hot chocolate, but I guarantee it will taste that little bit sweeter drunk in the presence of loved ones whilst sat round a crackling fire.

Get the recipe here.

30. White Sangria Cocktail

Sangria is normally a summer drink, but when you infuse it with rosemary, cranberries and citrus fruits, it becomes a wintry treat instead. Perfect for sharing a pitcher before your big meal. And you get to nibble on all that wine infused fruit, too!

Get the recipe here.


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    Good good links #199 – Let's get living
    Nov 26, 2017 at 1:37 am

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