For anyone that doesn’t eat meat, the holidays can be challenging. But there are plenty of vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes that are just as delicious as traditional dishes and bring a breath of fresh air to a standard Thanksgiving spread.
Foods to Avoid in Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes
Vegetarians stay away from eating all forms of meat, including fish. There are plenty of meat alternative options to incorporate into a Thanksgiving dish.
You can also replace meat from any recipe with certain foods such as tofu, lentils, TVP, and Jackfruit.
Gelatin is a protein found in the collagen of animals. Because this product is sourced from animal bones, it may not be suitable for some vegetarians.
There are some vegetarians that aren’t as strict with their diet. So they may consume gelatin while still refraining from eating meat.
Beef and chicken broth are the most common bases for Thanksgiving dishes. When cooking a soup or gravy, many times broth is an added ingredient.The problem with broth is that most aren’t vegetarian-friendly. Fortunately, broth can easily be substituted.
If you’re worried about losing the savory flavor of meat-based broths, there are vegetarian broths made specifically to taste like real beef or chicken without containing any meat at all.
Cheeses Made with Rennet
Rennet is a substance derived from the lining of a cow’s intestines. It is found in many hard cheeses, making them unsuitable for some vegetarians.
There are some vegetarian cheeses that contain non-rennet enzymes. However, they may be difficult to find. Many vegetarians don’t restrict themselves from eating cheese, even if it contains rennet.
Turkey Alternatives for a Vegetarian Thanksgiving
- Baked Tofu – marinated tofu is easy to cook. In addition, you can season it to mimic the taste of meat or add a savory component.
- Pulled Jackfruit – this fruit is almost flavorless and has a similar texture to real turkey.
- Tempeh – is similar to tofu but much denser. You can marinate, shape, and cook it to resemble turkey or any meat.
- Mock meats – there are many mock turkeys on the market. You bake them like a traditional turkey. Also, they bake much quicker than the real thing.
- Loaf – you can make a mock meatloaf with lentils or other beans for your main dish.
25 Best Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes
1. Potato and Lentil Soup
Soup is a delicious option for vegetarians on Thanksgiving if you like potatoes and lentils, head on over to Lemons for Lulu for their healthy vegetarian recipe.
2. Healthy Green Bean Casserole
If you prefer to make your meals from scratch, you’ll enjoy this healthy green bean casserole recipe found on Lively Table. You can also make this recipe gluten-free.
3. Lentil Salad With Mango
Salads are a great appetizer, especially ones that are bright and fresh. Lemons for Lulu has a lentil salad with mango full of flavor and freshness. Additionally, this salad pairs well with other savory meals.
4. Air Fryer Brussel Sprouts
When you’re cooking for Thanksgiving, you don’t always have enough room in the oven. You can still enjoy a tasty and healthy side by making these Brussels sprouts in the air fryer.
5. Roasted Carrots and Goat Cheese
If you’re looking for a sophisticated Thanksgiving dish, Lively Table has a delicious recipe for you. Their maple dijon roasted carrots with goat cheese are an aesthetic side that will elevate your Thanksgiving spread.
6. Instant Pot Cauliflower Soup
Another great soup is one based on Cauliflower. This recipe for cauliflower soup is creamy, hearty, and filling. In addition, the soup can also be made easily in the Instant Pot.
7. Instant Pot Vegetable Soup
Vegetable soup is a standard for the cold month of November. It’s a soup that everyone in the family will enjoy. It’s also relatively easy to make.Lemons for Lulu has an easy soup recipe recommended to make in an instant pot for your convenience.
8. Air Fry Carrots
Carrots are a delicious side dish full of Thanksgiving flavor. You can free up vital space during your Thanksgiving preparations by simply roasting carrots in the air fryer. You’ll end up with a crispy on the outside and tender on the inside flavorful vegetable side.
9. Wild Rice Delicata Squash Kale Salad
Every Thanksgiving meal needs a delicious salad to be complete. Spice up your salad with this hearty recipe found on Lively Table, made with wild rice, delicata squash, and kale.
10. Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip
Spinach artichoke is a holiday favorite that many of your Thanksgiving guests will enjoy while waiting for the main course. Lemons for Lulu has a vegan spinach artichoke dip recipe suitable for vegetarians and anyone looking to avoid dairy.
11. Skillet Cornbread
Cornbread is a southern comfort food and pairs well with Thanksgiving macaroni and vegetarian turkey. Lively Table has a healthy skillet-made recipe that’s easy to make and full of flavor.
12. Vegan Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
Not all meat substitutes have to be processed and found on the shelf in the grocery store. You can make your own substitute using portobello mushrooms.The stuffed portobello mushrooms found at Lemons for Lulu are sure to be a crowd favorite this holiday.
13. Sweet Potato Casserole
If you want to try a new sweet potato recipe, try the sweet potato casserole from Lively Table. The dish is baked to perfection and topped with roasted pecans.
14. Crispy Tofu
Sometimes, simple is better. Crispy air fryer tofu can be set out as a healthy snack or added as a side dish to help satisfy vegetarians this holiday.
15. Mushroom Vegan Pot Pie
Pot pie is hearty, warm, and comforting. Adding one of these pies to your Thanksgiving spread is sure to satisfy your guests.You can find a mushroom vegetarian pot pie recipe at Lemons for Lulu.
16. Easy Apple Cider Sangria
Sangria is perfect for getting you through all of your Thanksgiving preparation. Try the apple cider sangria from Lively Table into the holiday spirit.
17. Vegan Apple Cake with Streusel Topping
You can’t have a Thanksgiving without dessert. A vegan apple cake is a delicious option that is also dairy free. The cake is perfect for anyone who has multiple dietary restrictions to accommodate.
18. Roasted Pumpkin Spinach Salad
Nothing says harvest season more than pumpkin. Try this roasted pumpkin, and spinach salad, found on Lively Table, for a harvest appetizer many will enjoy.
19. Simple Deviled Eggs with Garden Vegetables
During the holidays, deviled eggs are commonly found on the appetizer table. Instead of opting for a standard recipe, try these deviled eggs made with Garden Vegetables from Lemons for Lulu.
20. Crispy Potatoes
Are you someone that eats breakfast on Thanksgiving morning to hold you over until the large dinner feast? Adding these crispy potatoes you can cook quickly in the air fryer to your table will not only give you a healthier alternative to regular breakfast potatoes but also keep you full throughout the day.
21. Vegan Turkey Roast
Making your own vegetarian turkey is easier than you may think. Nora Cooks has a simple recipe for a vegetarian turkey roast that can be made ahead of your holiday meal.
22. Brussels Sprouts and Farro Salad
Looking for a new way to incorporate Brussels sprouts into your Thanksgiving? Try this recipe from Lemons for Lulu that adds Brussels sprouts to a bed of farro that will create a hearty salad dish many will enjoy.
23. Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes don’t have to be boring. Lively Table has a recipe perfect for Thanksgiving mashed potatoes packed with blue cheese and caramelized onions.
24. Seitan Turkey
The Cheeky Chickpea understands the need for a delicious vegetarian turkey. The recipe is made from seitan and chickpeas, providing a moist, savory turkey that is packed with protein.
25. Vegan Jello
If you enjoy jello but refrain from consuming gelatin, Loving It Vegan has a recipe for you. Their fruit jello recipe is free from gelatin and made with agar agar instead.
Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes FAQ
What is a Vegetarian Turkey Called?
A vegetarian turkey is called tofurkey. But it is also often called mock turkey or meatless turkey. These recipes are made with meat substitutes. The meat alternatives are cooked and flavored to resemble a traditional turkey.
Is Tofurkey Healthier Than Turkey?
Tofurkey is not necessarily healthier than turkey. Both Tofurkey and turkey have their health benefits. They both have a healthy amount of protein. Some turkeys contain antibiotics and chemicals that may not be beneficial to consume.
In contrast, some tofu may contain GMOs, which some argue aren’t healthy to consume either. Whether or not one of these options is healthier depends on your own health beliefs and dietary preferences.
How Do Vegetarians Get Their Protein?
Vegetarians get their protein from a variety of food sources. They consume protein from eggs, beans, vegetables, and other added supplements to meet their daily needs.
Can Vegetarians Eat Stuffing?
Yes, vegetarians can eat stuffing. But make sure the stuffing doesn’t contain chicken or beef broth, as these are commonly found in most stuffings.By using vegetable broth instead, vegetarians can easily enjoy stuffing on Thanksgiving.
Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes Conclusion
Don’t sacrifice any of your favorite dishes this holiday. Try some of the vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes listed above and add some plant-friendly options for you and your guests.Vegetarian recipes are a great way to expand your palette, explore new dishes, and keep your Thanksgiving traditions exciting.