Thanksgiving can be a weird time for vegetarians, especially at big family gatherings. Because turkey or ham are usually the stars of dinner, it can be awkward to bring up vegetarian options to whoever’s in charge.
The last thing you want to do is assume certain things will be meatless. Stuffing is the only traditional Thanksgiving dish I enjoy (I LOVE it!). One year, I mistakenly assumed the stuffing would be vegetarian, but the person in charge of making it added sausage – talk about disappointment.
Maybe this year you offer to bring your own vegetarian entree to dinner. Or maybe you take the plunge and host your own fully vegetarian Thanksgiving!
Either way, a vegetarian Thanksgiving can and should still have all the fall flavors and traditional holiday ingredients. Here are 14 Delicious Vegetarian Thanksgiving and Holiday Recipes to try…. Who knows, you might even convert some turkey-lovers to the meatless side with how yummy these are!
Note: Any recipe with a (V) after the name is vegan (no dairy, eggs, or animal products)!
Check out some of our other vegetarian and vegan recipe posts:
– 11 Amazing Vegan Spaghetti Squash Recipes
– 14 Vegetarian Breakfast Sandwich Recipes
– 27 High-Protein Vegan Salads
– 15 Hearty Vegan Chili Recipes
– 22 Vegan Xmas Cookie Recipes
1. Thanksgiving Stuffed Acorn Squash
If Thanksgiving could be wrapped up in acorn squash, this is what it would taste like. It’s a big shame that acorn squash is so underutilized in fall and winter recipes – it is simply delicious! If you’re tired of the same old butternut or spaghetti squashes, give this one a try.
Squash, farro, chickpeas, cranberries, pecans, and kale make up the bulk of this recipe. Add in some delicious warm spices, and you have yourself a vegetarian Thanksgiving winner.
2. Vegan Mushroom Wellington (V)
This is a mushroom lover’s dream! Portobello mushrooms have a great texture that keeps the meatiness of the dish present. And, I don’t know about you, but caramelized onions on literally anything means I will be chowing down.
This is one that both vegetarians and meat-eaters alike will enjoy, so make sure to prepare more than needed to account for those that sneak a piece onto their plate next to their turkey and ham. The structure of this recipe makes it excellent to make ahead of time, keep in the refrigerator, and bake later at whatever location you might be.
3. Baked Gnocchi with Pumpkin Sauce
Gnocchi might be a little unconventional for Thanksgiving, but don’t knock it til you try it. This recipe still has amazing fall flavors such as pumpkin, nutmeg, and sage.
Any vegetarian recipe with goat cheese is a winner in my book. (Click here for more yummy goat cheese recipes). Plus, it’s another easily transportable and re-heatable recipe, if you are traveling for Thanksgiving.
4. Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Cranberry Apple Chutney (V)
These cauliflower steaks could definitely be served as either an appetizer or as an entree. This is a really fun and unconventional way to cut and cook cauliflower, but it works. Its thickness and heartiness truly makes it feel “meat-like” while eating.
While cauliflower is delicious no matter how you cook it, the chutney is what really makes this dish shine. The flavor adds tartness, sweetness, and a warm spiciness, making it perfect for a vegetarian Thanksgiving! The chutney has apples, cranberries, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon.
5. Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Crispy Baked Tofu with Honey-Sesame Glaze (V)
I couldn’t make this list without putting at least one tofu recipe on it! Bring a little Asian flair to Thanksgiving with this delicious fully rounded dish. This recipe can be made vegan if maple syrup is used instead of honey.
This is a very simple vegetarian Thanksgiving dish – what you see is what you get. But it certainly doesn’t lack flavor because of it. This has rice, brussels sprouts, tofu, and a delicious glaze that coats the entire plate. Serve it as a main dish or a protein-packed side dish for all to enjoy.
6. Roasted Carrots with Farro & Chickpeas
I never used to like cooked carrots as a kid. I even specifically (and embarrassingly) remember throwing a fit at the dinner table and being late to basketball practice in middle school because I wasn’t allowed to leave the table until I ate 2 cooked carrots. Yikes.
But now that I’m older, I love how sweet they get after they’ve been roasting for a while. This vegetarian Thanksgiving recipe really shows off that candied flavor of cooked carrots while balancing it with a yummy herbed creme fraiche. The farro and chickpeas provide some hearty substance that completes this dish wonderfully.
7. Stuffed Roasted Butternut Squash (V)
While it obviously doesn’t taste like turkey, this is the closest recipe I could find that visually commands the room like a stuffed bird does. This stuffed butternut squash is just beautiful and has all of the traditional Thanksgiving flavors inside. This recipe is sure to be a jaw-dropper when it comes out of the oven, and again when guests put it in their mouths.
8. Herby Mushroom Croissant Stuffing
Have you ever heard of a stuffing made out of croissants? Me either, but it sounds totally dreamy, especially with mushrooms in it. This recipe puts a little twist on the traditional stuffing, but in my experience, twists are usually unexpectedly delicious.
9. Fall Harvest Honeycrisp Apple and Kale Salad
Instead of the usual garden salad served at Thanksgiving, try something a little more in season. Apples, kale pomegranate, feta, pumpkin seeds, and a shallot vinaigrette will darken up your table, but delight your stomach. The recipe calls for prosciutto, which you’ll obviously need to leave out to keep vegetarian. The other ingredients provide enough substance and flavor that meat is not needed.
10. Sweet Potato Goat Cheese Appetizer
Sweet potatoes, goat cheese, honey, cranberries, and pecans make the perfect bite of heaven. These are definitely bite-sized, so don’t expect them to last long. Heck, they’re so good, I’ll be making them long after Thanksgiving has come and gone.
11. Cranberry Brie Bites
I’m not a big fan of cranberry sauce, and without turkey to put it on, where’s it going to go anyway? Instead, try these easy and yummy cranberry brie bites. Made with crescent rolls, brie, cranberry, pecans, and rosemary… you simply can’t go wrong.
12. Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cinnamon Butternut Squash with Pecans and Cranberries (V)
Brussels sprouts are not only nutritious and delicious, but they’re also trendy. With this recipe, you don’t have to visit a restaurant to get a yummy version of the vegetable. Vegetarian Thanksgiving isn’t complete without at least one brussels sprouts dish!
13. Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Rosemary
Absolutely no Thanksgiving would be complete without potatoes – whether mashed, roasted, or fried. Potatoes are usually vegetarian, which is why I only put one recipe for them on this list. For me, the creamier (more butter), and the chunkier (not all the way mashed), the better.
14. Traditional Herb Stuffing
As mentioned above, stuffing is my favorite Thanksgiving dish. There are many recipes and people who make their stuffing with sausage in it – this is wrong. Here’s a classic stuffing recipe without sausage, and all the herbs your little heart desires.