by Emma Overholt
For many typical American families the Thanksgiving dinner table is covered with traditional foods from roasted turkey, to stuffing, and mashed potatoes. For vegans, Thanksgiving can seem intimidating, but with the online community growing over the past few years, there are copious amounts of vegan-friendly recipes that are sure to blow you (or guests) away. Whether you are attending a family dinner party and need to bring an impressive dish, or you’re hosting the party yourself, here are some tips to make sure your “Vegan Thanksgiving” is as delicious as possible.
Note: This post is a curation of recipes from other bloggers to create a Thanksgiving “menu”, coupled with tips and tricks from my own personal experience.
BREAKFAST & COFFEE
One of my favorite Thanksgiving day traditions is having a sugary breakfast before the even more unhealthy dinner! Without fail, every Thanksgiving my family bakes store-bought cinnamon rolls. However, with ingredients you probably already have on hand, you can make your own vegan version of this staple dessert.
Since the rest of my family is not vegan, it can be a little uncomfortable for them to abandon their old ways, but with something like breakfast, they probably won’t be able to tell the difference if you take control of the kitchen and bake a vegan recipe! My personal recommendation are Vegan Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls via Vegan Richa (and they only take one hour to make!) These are a decadent, sweet treat to impress your family or friends before the real festivities begin.
Additionally, this Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte from Simple Vegan Blog is a perfect way to jumpstart your morning and have energy for the long day to come. Coffee drinks are easy to make vegan, with the variety of dairy-free milks on the market. My person recommendation is the combination of unsweetened vanilla almond milk and pumpkin pie spice/pumpkin puree.
Sides are an absolute necessity at Thanksgiving. For many, Thanksgiving is more about the side dishes and appetizers anyways! If attending a potluck or party, I would recommend to bring a vegan side dish that you know and love. Side dishes are an easy way for guests to enjoy your food and see the versatility in vegan cooking. My favorite (and I really do mean favorite) Thanksgiving side dish is Vegan Green Bean Casserole. With a simple replacement Cream of Mushroom Soup with almond milk and fresh mushrooms, a vegan version of this dish has never been easier. My favorite recipe is from Minimalist Baker and is sure to be an absolute hit with my family this year.
Next up for sides are mashed potatoes. No Thanksgiving is complete without a creamy, luxurious side of potatoes to go around. With non-dairy alternatives that are probably in your fridge now, you can whip out these mashed potatoes from Loving It Vegan in no time.
Lastly in the sides category are biscuits. These flaky, buttery, fall apart in your mouth balls of joy are one of the many things I look forward to in November. Life As A Strawberry has the perfect recipe for Fluffy Vegan Biscuits that taste exactly like the traditional biscuit, your grandmother wouldn’t even be able to tell the difference. Pair these beautiful buns with your favorite fruit spread, or dairy-free butter spread, like Earth Balance.
The main dish is usually where all the time and effort is put into for Thanksgiving and clearly is the biggest hurdle for most vegans on Thanksgiving Day. If you are cooking for yourself or other vegans, the main dish doesn’t have to be that complicated. However, if you are attending a dinner where most people are not vegan, the main dish could be a little harder to navigate. My advice would be to coordinate with the hostess to bring your dish in conjunction with any other meat dish the host is planning to cook. Make sure you let them know that you do not want to intrude or overshadow them in the kitchen and just want to provide an alternative for the meatless folks.
For the star dish, I would go one of two ways, a meatless loaf or a stuffed vegetable of your choice. My personal recommendation for a meatless loaf is a Vegan Lentil Loaf. Packed with a lot of protein, and easy on your wallet, this recipe from The Spruce Eats is sure to be a great substitute for turkey.
However, my personal choice would be to make Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms. There are so many iterations and combinations of ingredients to put inside of mushrooms, you could take any veggies, grains, (or even the vegan mashed potatoes from earlier) in your pantry and make your own cocktail. If you want a more structured recipe, look no further because Eat Healthy Eat Happy has you covered with a delectable gluten-free recipe.
Now, for what you have really been waiting for. Dessert is one of the best things about Thanksgiving. After already eating a lot for dinner and spending time with your loved ones, dessert is the perfect way to top off your night. I am a sucker for the seasonal flavors like apple, and pumpkin, but a non-traditional chocolate dessert is a great way to impress partygoers. Here are a few ways to do both!
Pumpkin is the king of all fall recipes and should definitely be a staple at whatever Thanksgiving function you attend. Chocolate Covered Katie’s Vegan Pumpkin Pie recipe is sure to blow your sock off, and is only 70 calories a slice! Additionally, the Minimalist Baker has a beautiful Vegan Deep Dish Apple Pie that is so ooey and gooey, you might just want to save the whole thing for yourself.
If you are like me and cannot stay away from chocolate, I have the perfect solution for you. To date, my most successful vegan dessert has been a “Chocolate-Three-Ways Cake” combining a chocolate cake recipe, chocolate mousse recipe, and chocolate ganache recipe (all vegan of course) into one master chocolate cake. The Vegan Chocolate Cake is from the Minimalist Baker, the Vegan Chocolate Mousse is also from the Minimalist Baker, and the Vegan Chocolate Ganache is from My Darling Vegan. While the process for this cake might take a day or two of preparation, the end result is totally worth it, as seen in my personal photo of when I made this cake last year.
This Thanksgiving vegan recipes are abundant and ready for the making. No matter who you are spending this day with, make sure you express your gratitude and thanks for family, friends, and all the other blessings in your life (food included!)