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40+ Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Look no further for some Thanksgiving recipes that will inspire a perfect menu for your Thanksgiving dinner including appetizers, main courses, side dishes, and desserts!

And with these wholesome recipes, you're guaranteed inspiration with accessible, affordable ingredients.

vegan thanksgiving recipes and ideas

Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes, Ideas, and Inspiration For Your Thanksgiving Menu

Contents of this guide:

Appetizers
Side Dishes
Main Course & Turkey Alternatives
Desserts
Drinks
Tips, tricks, and helpful bonus content!

Whether you're catering to some plant-based eaters, are a new vegan, or a long-time vegan, this guide will help provide you with recipes that are affordable, accessible, easy to do, and won't take a week of planning to make happen. We wanted a nice list of recipes that are really approachable to do for anyone.

How About Food Shortages?

That's definitely another issue to keep in mind this year. With this Thanksgiving recipe list, most of the recipes will work throughout the holiday season and uses ingredients that you probably already have stocked in your kitchen or pantry already. If you're missing one ingredient, you can substitute for another. If the recipe uses an ingredient you can't find, we offer a couple more suggestions that uses different ingredients. When planning, try to get any needed ingredients in advance of time so you can avoid a missing ingredient. We mention substitution options for each recipe below.

What Makes a Traditional Thanksgiving Meal?

A traditional American Thanksgiving usually consists of a few appetizers, a main course which is either roasted turkey or ham, and a lot of side dishes like mashed potatoes, greens, bread, stuffing, corn, cranberry sauce, a vegetable casserole, and at least one dessert which is usually a pie like pumpkin, apple, or sweet potato.

What Do Vegans Eat on Thanksgiving?

It depends on the person - some people want the exact same thing they grew up eating and others like venturing out to try new dishes. Our list of recipes have a mix of both new and old and include appetizers, main courses, side dishes, and lots of dessert. Recipes below also include gluten free, whole food, or raw options as well, in case you are vegan and also following a strict diet.

ALL of these recipes are terrific throughout the Holidays!

Thanksgiving Appetizers

Christmas Guacamole Recipe

Christmas Guacamole Appetizer

This Christmas guacamole appetizer recipe focuses on a subtle flavor that will highlight your favorite bread, cracker, or chips. Perfect for beginners and definitely a crowd pleaser! You can't substitute the avocadoes in this recipe, but you can use ANY bread or chip available and this recipe will work. Garnish with sprouts, a little cranberry compote or sauce, or pomegranates to make this appetizer very festive-looking.

Vegan Terrine

Beet & Cheese Terrine

This beetroot and cheese terrine appetizer looks beautiful and tastes amazing. While it looks impressive, it's very easy to put together! You'll need a way to cut the beets very thin, and using a mandoline is much faster than a knife, but certainly not required - just keep in mind about that time needed if doing the cutting by hand. This recipe requires vegan cream cheese and suggests using a store-bought brand. If that isn't available, seek out a vegan cream cheese recipe using cashews or tofu as a good substitute.

Smooth & Spicy Corn Soup

Smooth & Spicy Corn Soup

This one-pot, gluten-free corn soup recipe is a little spicy, very smooth, and a bit sweet. The corn here is not able to be substituted but you can certainly use frozen corn is fresh is not available. You can substitute the yellow bell pepper for a green or red bell pepper but keep in mind it will change the color.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Rich and creamy roasted butternut squash soup is a great cold-weather treat. Using only a handful of ingredients, you can make this soup an oil-free, whole food, or you can add cheese to garnish for a more savory taste. A very simple soup to make, use any squash to substitute if needed.

Beet Hummus

Beet Hummus

Beet hummus is a great appetizer, providing a traditional hummus flavor hinted with sweet beets. It's beautiful pink color will brighten your Thanksgiving menu and is a great option for a Thanksgiving full of hustle-and-bustle where people eat walking around and mingling versus sitting at the table.

Cream Cheese and Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms Appetizer

Cream Cheese and Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms

Baked stuffed mushrooms make a terrific appetizer, combining savory fillings with juicy mushrooms. This recipe creates tempeh bacon from scratch and mixes it into a cream cheese mixture creating a complex, delicious appetizer! This recipe requires vegan cream cheese and suggests using a store-bought brand. If that isn't available, seek out a vegan cream cheese recipe using cashews or tofu as a good substitute.

Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Garlic Truffle Mashed Potatoes

Garlic Truffle Mashed Potatoes

These have the perfect texture, packed with amazing creamy flavor of garlic, butter, and white truffles. We are offering this up first as the BEST mashed potato recipe available but it does require a few special ingredients. So if you can't find these...

Easy Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Coconut Oil

Easy Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Coconut Oil

This recipe is the easiest way to make mashed potatoes! Garlic, herbs, and coconut oil come together with red-skinned potatoes to create a smooth, delicious side dish. This is the perfect recipe to use if you can't find vegan butter! Substitute coconut oil for your favorite oil if you would like as well.

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

A classic side dish, this recipe creates chunky mashed potatoes and thick gravy. These vegan mashed potatoes and gravy are savory, fulfilling, and simple to make. You should DEFINITELY make this gravy and keep it in a little dish for your menu!

The Best Collard Greens

The Best Collard Greens

Traditional, sauteed collard greens that could pass as your grandmother's classic recipe in a new heart healthy version. This will become a new staple in your house and you'll love how easy it is to make!

The Best Dinner Rolls

The Best Dinner Rolls

This is THE classic recipe for vegan dinner rolls that will become a staple in your household. Fluffy, tall, buttery, and delicious!

Raw Brussel Sprouts

Raw Brussel Sprouts

Learn how to dehydrate brussel sprouts with a food dehydrator and make a terrific side dish for your Thanksgiving menu. These brussel sprouts have a great balance of pepper, herbs, and sweetness.

Dehydrated Sweet Potato Chips

Dehydrated Sweet Potato Chips

Learn how to dehydrate sweet potatoes with a food dehydrator and season them to fit the Thanksgiving theme with cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Great raw recipe that you can use with any sweet potato including Japanese sweets or purple yams.

Gluten-Free Stuffing

Gluten-Free, Raw Stuffing

Gluten-free, vegan, and raw, this buckwheat stuffing recipe really hits the spot for a Thanksgiving side dish that is both very savory and very healthy!

Whole Food Stuffing

Whole Food Stuffing

This delightful whole foods stuffing recipe is vegan, uses cornbread, whole wheat bread, apples, and herbs for a rich, delightful side dish for your Thanksgiving dinner. Whole Foods meaning it doesn't use processed ingredients and that is good news to avoid food shortages, since the processed items are usually the ones limited. This recipe just uses fresh vegetables, fruit, whole bread, and herbs.

Hasselback Potatoes

Hasselback Potatoes

A side dish originating from Sweden using simple ingredients featuring potatoes and herbs. This recipe is quick to prepare and easy to cook, great for beginners!

Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole

This easy green bean casserole family recipe uses ready-made ingredients for a simple side dish that is cheesy and substantial. If you can't find cream of mushroom soup, use cream of cauliflower soup. If this isn't available for you, try searching for a potato soup or other thick vegetable soup.

Maple Pecan Roasted Acorn Squash

Maple Pecan Roasted Acorn Squash

Buttery, sweet, and fun-to-eat, this roasted acorn squash recipe features maple syrup and pecans. Not only a great and easy recipe, but it also helps your home smell amazing!

Healthy, Whole Food, Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Healthy, Whole Food, Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Healthy sweet potatoes mash done right, keeping it vegan, oil-free, and very simple. Easy to make, this recipe allows you to use any sweet potato variety and is surely a crowd pleaser.

Sweet Potato and Mushroom Herbed Stuffing

Sweet Potato and Mushroom Herbed Stuffing

A buttery, chunky stuffing of pieces of french bread mixed with sweet potatoes, mushrooms, herbs, and walnuts. This stuffing has a savory, deep, and complex flavor profile that can accompany any main dish for Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Main Courses and Turkey Alternatives

Tourtiere (Meat Pie)

Tourtiere (Meat Pie)

Mushrooms, lentils, TVP, root vegetables, spices, and herbs, come together in a savoury vegan meat pie with a super flaky crust.

Stuffed Cauliflower

Stuffed Cauliflower

Stuffed with a mixture of vegetables, herbs, and spices, this Stuffed Cauliflower shines because it is then wrapped in puff pastry dough and roasted until golden brown. A perfect Thanksgiving or Holiday centerpiece dish! It's impressive-looking, but easy to make!

Seitan Thanksgiving Turkey Cranberry Roast

Seitan Thanksgiving Turkey Cranberry Roast

Try this Seitan Thanksgiving Turkey Cranberry Roast as your main dish this holiday season. Hot or cold, this tastes great alongside your favorite dishes and the leftovers make great sandwiches!

Easy Lentil Meatloaf

Easy Lentil Meatloaf

Finally an easy meatloaf recipe that uses affordable ingredients you already have stocked in your kitchen. This tastes great, looks amazing, and it's very easy to do substitutions as well! Meatloaf makes a comeback to make a cameo for Thanksgiving as it tastes amazing and works beside the traditional Thanksgiving options.

Mushroom and Chestnut Wellington

Mushroom and Chestnut Wellington

An American holiday tradition, this wellington is an impressive-looking main dish, but it's very easy to make! This recipe uses a mix of ingredients to create a deep, savory, umami flavor that goes perfectly with your favorite holiday side dishes.

Thanksgiving Desserts

Gluten Free Black Bean Brownies

Gluten Free Black Bean Brownies

Gluten-Free chocolate vegan brownies packed with protein using almond butter and black beans. Easy to make and very gooey! Perfect for Thanksgiving parties instead of formal get-togethers, these brownies can be eaten standing up with your fingers.

Whole Foods Brownies

Whole Foods Brownies

Speaking of brownies... Finally, a whole foods brownie recipe for those sweet cravings! This brownie recipe is NOT for those people who love an uber fudgy, decadent brownie, but for people who strictly follow a whole foods diet. These gluten-free brownies have a lot more fiber and are best described as cakey with a fudgy finish.

Whole Foods Baked Apples

Whole Foods Baked Apples

These luscious baked apples taste like apple pie, but aren't bogged down with added sugar, flour, and fat. Another bonus is how great your house will smell while they're baking. A whole food, gluten-free, and healthy dessert! A terrific Thanksgiving option for friends.

Easy Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Easy Pumpkin Pie

The easiest vegan pumpkin pie recipe using a store-bought crust, canned pumpkin, and spices you have on-hand. This recipe is easy, delicious, and very creamy!

Whole Foods Pumpkin Pie

Whole Foods Pumpkin Pie

This pumpkin pie is better than your classic version even though it uses only whole food ingredients. This recipe has a healthy, gluten-free crust and a beautiful pumpkin maple filling full of spice and flavor. Also a great option if your local grocery store is running low on those processed goods as this recipe uses affordable, accessible ingredients.

Raw Chocolate Cherry Pecan Pie

Raw Chocolate Cherry Pecan Pie

This sweet, gooey, chocolatey confection is my favorite dessert recipe yet! It's low-fat, completely raw and vegan and won't break the bank on your health goals this holiday season. It's so good even your non-vegan friends and family will love this amazing dessert. There isn't anything you can substitute here but what is great about this raw dessert is that most of the ingredients are shelf-stable or frozen, increasing the odds to find these ingredients easily!

No-Bake Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake

No-Bake Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake

Simple and easy-to-make, no-bake pumpkin cheesecake! A new classic in your household, this recipe focuses on the simple ingredients of graham crackers, pumpkin, pumpkin spice, and cream cheese. Want to make it larger? Just double or triple the ingredients!

Apple Pie

Apple Pie

A classic, crowd favorite apple pie recipe. This recipe dices the apples small to make the pie easier to eat and allows you to decorate your pie however you like!

Rustic Apple Galette

Rustic Apple Galette

This apple galette recipe is easy to make, impossible to fail, and takes half the time to make compared to an apple pie! It's rustic-looking but tastes just like apple pie.

Thanksgiving Drinks

Mulled Wine

Mulled Wine

A traditional European recipe for mulled wine you can make at home easily. Sweet, spicy, and warming, this classic drink will surely warm up your holiday season. A great drink to have ready for the evening hours!

Non-Alcoholic Mulled Wine

Non-Alcoholic Mulled Wine

A non-alcoholic version of a traditional European recipe for mulled wine you can make at home. Sweet, spicy, and warming, this classic drink will surely warm up your holiday season.

Bonus Tips and Recipes

Black Friday Breakfast Recipes

That's right, if you have overnight guests or want an extra special few days, consider what you will make for breakfast in the morning.

Fruit Cake

Fruit Cake

Oh Christmas, what a wonderful time of year and a great excuse to eat fruit cake with sweet wine, dried fruits, and nuts. You'll enjoy the mix of texture along with the warming winter spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. You'll enjoy the mix of texture along with the warming winter spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. You can adjust recipe to replace the wine or make it gluten-free. This is a great option for a breakfast served with other items, coffee, or tea.

Matcha Pancakes

Matcha Pancakes

Eat pancakes with a massive dose of antioxidants by using green tea powder called matcha! These pancakes are delicious, healthy, and go with all your favorite toppings. A terrific option considering the boost of caffeine you'll get, waking you out of your Thanksgiving coma!

Carrot Cake Pancakes

Carrot Cake Pancakes

Fluffy, tasty, and gluten free carrot cake pancakes. Jazz up your normal pancakes with a few extra ingredients to create these delicious, healthy, and nutritious breakfast pancakes.

Salted Caramel Hot Cross Buns

Salted Caramel Hot Cross Buns

Oh yes, a Hot Cross Buns recipe that is vegan and has a salted caramel flavor. This recipe uses a lot of whole food ingredients to create a healthier version including date sugar, dates, and some whole wheat flour. Terrific for a small breakfast as these buns are usually served warm with some butter or jam.

Pumpkin Pie Hummus

Pumpkin Pie Hummus

This hummus recipe is a twist on a classic hummus - while it still uses chickpeas, it combines cashew butter and pumpkin purée with spices to create a smooth hummus that tastes like pumpkin pie! Because it's slightly savoury and packs protein, you can serve this on toast for breakfast as a side item to a larger savoury breakfast or simply by itself.

Cinnamon Rolls with Vanilla Cashew Icing

Cinnamon Rolls with Vanilla Cashew Icing

Moist, flavorful, classic cinnamon rolls featuring a cashew-based vanilla icing. These easy-to-make cinnamon rolls are made using healthy sugars like coconut and agave.

Healthy Sweet Potato Parfait

Healthy Sweet Potato Parfait

A healthier parfait for breakfast, using whole foods like sweet potatoes, banana, and yogurt. Simple and satisfying! Could also be an option for a dessert, especially amongst casual friends.

How to Plan Your Vegan Thanksgiving Menu

Decide which recipes you will make and then gather all the ingredients together that you will need. Make a shopping list and make sure you go to the store to purchase in advance to be sure those ingredients are available to you. If any ingredient is not available, you have time available to substitute ingredients or swap recipes altogether. Then write down a schedule for your week to see what you can make in advance, including what you make the night before, and what you need to make the day of Thanksgiving.

How to Host Vegans When Also Serving Non-Vegan Food

Here are some tips we've learned from attending mixed Thanksgiving get-togethers.

  1. If it's a formal dinner, seat people based on what food items they are nearest to. You definitely don't want a plant-eater sitting in front of a turkey.
  2. Be mindful of serving utensils. I've seen a lot of vegan meals be ruined because the utensils used to grab meat were accidentally placed on top of or used for the vegan-friendly food options. This is cross-contamination. It's best to have a utensils in each dish when serving so that no one needs to share serving utensils and no one needs to think about it.
  3. Pot-lucks can be a great option for everyone but be sure to cook at least one or more extra vegan dishes as the host. You'll find most people will eat all the vegan food and you'll need extra.
  4. NO ONE will notice the dessert isn't vegan, so don't worry about making multiple desserts.
  5. Are you hosting a vegan pot-luck? Tell each person that 1 dish is required and to let you know what they will bring. You'll know what to recommend to others over time to fill in any gaps.

Practice Gratitude

No matter what food you share this Thanksgiving, be sure to take a moment amongst your company to practice gratitute for friend, family, and health.

We hope you've enjoyed this list of recipes and that it makes your Thanksgiving a little easier this year!

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