28 Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Thanksgiving is a wonderful opportunity to connect with friends and family over delicious food and creative recipes. Even if your loved ones are only gathering virtually this year, you can still share a meal when you are miles apart.

If you follow a vegan diet, there are many different ways to build a Thanksgiving meal with seasonal produce, savory grains, and plant-based protein sources. Use these recipes to fill your holiday table with delicious and nutritious foods that everyone will enjoy.

Appetizers

Many people prefer to skip a big breakfast or lunch and snack on small bites before a big Thanksgiving meal. It's great to have finger foods prepared in advance that provide filling fiber and protein to help stave off hunger. Combine warm bite-sized foods with a bowl of nuts or a platter of crunchy veggies.

Vegetarian Stuffed Mushrooms With Vegan Sausage

Stuffed Mushrooms
tovfla / Getty Images

This delicious stuffed mushroom recipe from the Spruce Eats combines your favorite plant-based sausage, savory fresh herbs, and bell peppers. You can use button mushrooms or mini portobello mushrooms which provide a heartier taste. Mushrooms are low in calories but provide fiber and a bit of protein to help you feel full and satisfied after eating.

When shopping for ingredients, check the label of the breadcrumbs you choose. Many brands include milk, egg, honey which many people choose to avoid on a vegan eating plan.

Brands like Tofurky, Beyond Meat, and Meatless Farm make different flavors of sausage that you can use. If you're cooking for a group, make several batches with different types of sausage.

If you plan to be busy on Thanksgiving, make these a day or two ahead. Then warm them in a hot oven up before serving. If you have leftovers, wrap them in foil and save them for another day.

Soup

You can serve soup as a starter on Thanksgiving day or simply make a batch for friends and family to enjoy while the big meal is being prepared. A warm bowl of creamy soup is the perfect mini-meal on a cool, crisp, fall day.

Vegan and Gluten-Free Thai Pumpkin Curry Soup

Vegan gluten free Thai pumpkin curry recipe
The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

Spicy Thai flavors usually aren't part of a traditional Thanksgiving menu, but curry and pumpkin pair beautifully, and the spice provides a little bit of heat that might be welcome if it is blustery and cold outside.

This soup recipe from The Spruce Eats calls for pumpkin, but you can use other types of squash as well. Pumpkin provides beta-carotene which is converted into vitamin A in the body and helps you to maintain healthy skin, teeth, and vision.

Acorn squash and butternut squash also have important vitamins and minerals along with plenty of flavor. This recipe calls for chickpeas which are packed with protein and help make the soup creamy.

Garnish with pumpkin seeds or basil leaves (or both). It can be served with rice, but on Thanksgiving, you might want to skip the starch to leave room for other dishes. Save the leftovers, though, and enjoy it as a meal with rice on another day.

Salads

Salads are a great opportunity to highlight hearty grains, leafy veggies, nuts, pulses, and legumes. Cold salads can be prepared in advance and usually travel well, so if you're asked to bring a dish to a vegan Thanksgiving, a salad is a smart choice.

Roasted Chickpea and Kale Salad With Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette

vegan chickpea salad
 Serious Eats / J. Kenji Lopez

This delightful salad recipe from Serious Eats is easy to make, full of flavor, and packs a powerful nutritional punch. Kale—often referred to as a superfood—is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, and vitamin C.

It also provides plant-based calcium, an important nutrient for everyone but especially those who choose a vegan diet because dairy products are not consumed. In this salad, the kale is not overpowering because it is balanced out by nutty, roasted chickpeas.

Even the spices in this salad are associated with certain health benefits. There is some evidence that taking regular doses of cumin may help to lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. Some people even take cumin as an aphrodisiac, although scientific evidence supporting this benefit is limited.

You should plan to make this salad well in advance of the meal. You'll need time to let the chickpeas and pine nuts cool after you roast them. If you're transporting the salad to another location, keep the ingredients separate while you are en route. Then combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl, drizzle with the vinaigrette, and toss.

Vegetables

Finding a beautiful and delicious veggie side dish is easy at Thanksgiving because there are so many bright, colorful, fall vegetables to choose from.

Seasonal vegetables include artichokes, beets, Brussels sprouts, chard, fennel, kohlrabi, parsnips, rutabagas, and many more. Use the holiday meal as an excuse to branch out and try some veggies that are new to you.

Sweet and Tangy Maple-Roasted Root Vegetables

Sweet and Tangy roasted vegetables
Patsy Catsos, MS, RDN, LD

This vegetable dish from Verywell Fit is perfect for Thanksgiving because it is so versatile. The recipe calls for carrots, parsnips, and sweet potatoes, but there's no reason to limit yourself to those three vegetables. See what's available at your local market and use the freshest ingredients that you can find.

Better yet, support your local producer and visit a farmer's market or an actual farm—it's a great opportunity to learn about sustainable farming or alternative organic production methods.

When you're setting up your Thanksgiving cooking schedule, plan to roast these veggies fairly close to dinner time. They take about 30–35 minutes to cook (although it can vary a bit based on the veggies you choose). You'll want to serve them warm.

If you have leftovers, pack them up and put them in the refrigerator. Then make a meal out of the remaining veggies by combining them with some hearty grains, like farro, quinoa, or brown rice.

Sides and Sauces

Just because you follow a vegan eating plan doesn't mean that you can't enjoy traditional Thanksgiving favorites like stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy. Vegan alternatives are just as tasty and are sure to be enjoyed by everyone at the table, vegan or not.

Vegan Stuffing

vegan stuffing from Serious Eats

Serious Eats / J. Kenji López-Alt

Toasted pecans and mushrooms take center stage in this top-rated stuffing recipe from Serious Eats providing a hearty, meaty texture and rich flavor. Use your favorite mushrooms (button, cremini, portobello, or shiitake) or a blend.

Traditional herbs and spices such as sage, parsley, and garlic give the dish a familiar stuffing flavor that many people crave. You can make this dish in advance and reheat before dinner if you plan to be busy with other tasks on Thanksgiving.

Main Dishes

There is no hard and fast rule that says you have to have a main entree on Thanksgiving. But if you do choose to provide a main course, there are plenty to choose from that will be super satisfying.

Vegan Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash

Sprinkle with parsley

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

There's nothing more elegant than serving each guest their own beautifully plated entree. Consider serving each of your friends and family their own quinoa-stuffed acorn squash from The Spruce Eats. Even your meat-eating guests will be impressed with the satisfying heartiness of this dish—and it couldn't be easier to make.

Each roasted squash half is filled with a combination of quinoa, raisins, onion, and pecans. Serve warm and don't forget to tell your guests that you can eat the entire squash, including the skin. In fact, the skin is delicious when it is roasted. Freeze any leftover squash that you have and reheat in the oven or microwave for a quick and delicious meal.

Desserts

Don't forget dessert on Thanksgiving. Even if they overeat during dinner, almost every guest looks forward to a sweet treat to finish off the meal.

Vegan Apple Cobbler with Cloves and Allspice Recipe

Vegan Apple Cobbler with Cloves and Allspice

The Spruce / Emily Hawkes

Surprise your guests and skip the pie. Serve this crumbly, warm vegan apple cobbler from The Spruce Eats instead. Just be sure to shop for the ingredients carefully. It calls for margarine, but not all margarine brands are vegan. Some include whey, lactose, casein, and caseinate which are derived from dairy.

If you're lucky enough to have leftover cobble, cover it, and set it aside in the refrigerator. Then enjoy it with a warm cup of tea for breakfast the next morning.

Was this page helpful?
Article Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Hadi A, Mohammadi H, Hadi Z, Roshanravan N, Kafeshani M. Cumin (Cuminum cyminum L.) is a safe approach for management of lipid parameters: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trialsPhytother Res. 2018;32(11):2146-2154. doi:10.1002/ptr.6162