The Vegan's Guide to a Delicious (and Healthy) Thanksgiving
This year I'm celebrating my first Thanksgiving as a vegan, and I have to admit, I'm pretty excited about it. Yes, I'm aware that vegan Thanksgiving isn't taken so seriously by the mainstream public—people have long since made fun of it, cracking Tofurky-themed jokes and insinuating that cranberry sauce is the only thing a vegan can eat on Thanksgiving. If your family doesn't quite get the plant-based lifestyle, bringing your veganism home to dinner can often feel like bringing home a significant other that they don't really like or understand. But just like true love, there's nothing that can come between a vegan and her ethical, health-conscious views. Especially when vegan Thanksgiving can actually be this delicious.
Whether you're in a long-term relationship with veganism or just a casual flirtation, these nine plant-based takes on traditional dishes will blow your mind. We have mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, roasted veggies, pumpkin pie, and even stuffing and gravy—and it's all 100% plant-based, totally delicious, and good for you (well, some of it, anyway).
Looking for vegan Thanksgiving recipes that even carnivores will love? Keep scrolling for nine vegan versions of your favorite Thanksgiving recipes!
Your family might not understand the concept of a turkey-free Thanksgiving yet, but we guarantee this plant-based meatloaf by Connoisseurus Veg makes a scrumptious substitute. Roasted chickpeas and a delicious maple glaze make this main dish hearty, protein-rich, and festive.
Fat Free Vegan
Most cranberry sauce is already vegan, but this spicy, savory version by Fat Free Vegan shows how much fun you can have with plant foods. Fresh jalapeño peppers give the recipe a unique zing; plus, it contains an ingredient called Capsaicin, which is an anti-inflammatory, and is shown to help with weight loss, especially in the tummy area.
Oh My Veggies
This fresh, plant-based take on a classic dish puts Grandma's green bean casserole to shame (sorry, Grandma, it's true)!
Instead of canned cream of mushroom soup and processed French-fried onions, this recipe offers straightforward ways to make both from scratch. Soy milk makes a rich yet healthful substitute for cream—we promise no one will be able to tell the difference!
Head over to Oh My Veggies for the full recipe.
Impress your fellow guests with this beautiful dish by Robust Recipes. This combination of fall veggies and pomegranate is not only the perfect Thanksgiving side dish, but it also has a myriad of health benefits. First off, the flavor balance of creamy, crunchy, tart, savory, and sweet is to-die-for. But furthermore, butternut squash offers tons of nutrients, like dietary fiber, immune-boosting vitamin B6, and a whopping 437% percent of your daily vitamin A needs. Pomegranate is also amazing for your health, skin, and hair, thanks to its high concentration of polyphenol antioxidants.
Oh She Glows
Vegan butter, like Earth Balance Buttery Sticks ($5), is the key to these mouthwatering pull-apart rolls. They're not exactly the most nutritious dish on the table, but remember, carbs in moderation won't kill you, especially not on Thanksgiving.
Click over to Oh She Glows to learn how to make this surprisingly simple recipe.
This savory stuffing has the crispy outside and the tender inside you look for with stuffing; plus, it has so much flavor, you won't feel like you're missing out on anything. "The onions, garlic, mushrooms, and celery give it that classic texture and flavor we all love," says the recipe's creator, Vegan Huggs. "The aroma and flavor of rosemary, thyme, sage, and parsley will make you feel at home."
You'd think good vegan mashed potatoes would be impossible, but this simple recipe by Minimalist Baker absolutely nails it. All you need is six simple ingredients: Yukon gold potatoes, vegan butter, roasted garlic, sea salt, pepper, and chives. (Full recipe here.)
It Doesn't Taste Like Chicken
This classic pumpkin pie will make everyone at your Thanksgiving table want to go vegan. The secret to making it taste creamy and rich is good old-fashioned coconut milk. But, of course, the best part about pumpkin pie is that spicy autumnal flavor, which is naturally vegan. All you need is puréed pumpkin from a can, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and brown sugar.
PS: If you want to try a healthier Thanksgiving dessert, we highly recommend this pumpkin spice milkshake, which contains skin-loving vitamin E, fat-burning MCT oil, and an amazing monk fruit–derived sugar alternative called Lakanto ($19)!
Do you have a favorite vegan Thanksgiving recipe? Share it in the comments below!
Opening Image: Oh She Glows