Thanksgiving can be a weird time for vegetarians, especially at big family gatherings. Because turkey or ham are usually the star 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)!
Vegetarian Thanksgiving Entrees
1. Thanksgiving Stuffed Acorn Squash
If Thanksgiving could be wrapped up in an acorn squash, this is what it would taste like. 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. 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 in pumpkin, nutmeg, and sage. Plus, 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 certainly be served as an appetizer as well as an entree. I’ve never had cauliflower cut like this before, but it sounds delicious. The chutney has apples, cranberries, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon.
5. Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Crispy Baked Tofu with Honey-Sesame Glaze (V)
This recipe can be made vegan if maple syrup is used instead of honey. I couldn’t make this list without putting one tofu recipe on it. Bring a little Asian flair to Thanksgiving with this delicious fully rounded dish.
6. Roasted Carrots with Farro & Chickpeas
I never used to like cooked carrots as a kid. Now that I’m older, I’ve grown to love how sweet they get when they’re warm. This vegetarian Thanksgiving recipe really shows off the flavor of carrots with some complimentary substance in farro and chickpeas.
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 mouth.
Vegetarian Thanksgiving Sides
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 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.