11 Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes For a Meat-Free Meal

Our suggestions for a deliciously plant-based Thanksgiving.


Caitlin Bensel

Despite what you may think, there’s no reason to abide by the traditional Thanksgiving menu. Whether you’re vegan yourself or have a vegan guest, it’s completely possible to cook a Thanksgiving meal that’s satisfying for everyone at your table. Instead of attempting vegan versions of Thanksgiving classics, we recommend making cozy, autumnal dishes that just so happen to be completely plant-based. Keep reading to discover 11 vegan recipes for a Thanksgiving to remember, and trust us when we tell you that these dishes will not leave you hungry.

01 of 11

Walnut Mushroom Bolognese

Walnut Mushroom Bolognese Pasta in a White Bowl with Bronze Fork and Spoon to its Left
Caitlin Bensel

To make this rich, nutty pasta completely vegan, use non-dairy creamer instead of half-and-half, and skip the sprinkling of Parmesan on top. This recipe treats walnuts and mushrooms the same way you’d treat ground beef in a traditional Bolognese—with aromatics, white wine, and tomato paste. Bolognese might not be traditional for Thanksgiving, but it’s an undeniably delicious option for a main course.

02 of 11

Spinach and Artichoke Quinoa Casserole

Spinach-Artichoke Quinoa Casserole
Antonis Achilleos

Spinach-artichoke dip is a fan-favorite, and this clever casserole recipe turns it into a vegan main, fit for the center of your Thanksgiving table. Instead of using dairy products for a creamy texture, this casserole includes a blend of cashew butter and non-dairy milk, which has a cheesy effect.

03 of 11

Red Lentil Squash Soup With Lemon

Citrus Recipes: Red Lentil Squash Soup With Lemon
Caitlin Bensel

This silky soup makes for a lovely make-ahead starter. Carrots, butternut squash, and red lentils give it a vibrant orange hue—perfect for Thanksgiving. Spiced with coriander, cumin, and turmeric, this soup is full of warm, earthy spices.

04 of 11

Chocolate Rice Crispy Treats

Healthy Desserts Recipes: Chocolate Rice Crispy Treats
Jennifer Causey

You only need chocolate, coconut oil, and crispy rice cereal to whip up a batch of these vegan treats. Sprinkle with flaky salt to make them feel a bit more adult, and set them out alongside (or in lieu of) your Thanksgiving pies.

05 of 11

Squash, Mushroom, and Kale Soup With Dill

Squash, Mushroom, and Kale Soup with Dill
Christopher Testani

Packed with vegetables like mushrooms and butternut squash, this soup comes together quickly and freezes well, so you can make it in advance and save the leftovers (if there are any!).

06 of 11

Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Pecans

Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Pecans
John Kernick

For an easy side dish, roast halved Brussels sprouts and pecans in a hot oven with olive oil and garlic. Roasted cut-side down, the Brussels sprouts will get a nice char, while the pecans will get toasty and golden.

07 of 11

Winter Lentil Soup

Winter Lentil Soup
Kana Okada

Without the Parmesan, this lentil soup is totally vegan, and it’s exactly what you want to eat on a cozy fall or winter evening. Caramelized leeks, canned tomatoes, and fresh thyme give the soup an Italian feel. Serve it as a starter or as a vegan main; the lentils provide plenty of protein to keep you full.

08 of 11

Chocolate-Oat-Date Bars

Chocolate-Date-Oat Bars
Greg DuPree

Pick up some vegan butter to make these plant-based treats vegan; it’s an easy swap for butter, and well worth the trip to the grocery store. If you’re a Thanksgiving guest this year, these salty-sweet, chocolatey treats are a perfect gift for your host. Packed with oats and dates, they’re equally great for dessert as they are for breakfast with a cup of coffee.

09 of 11

Loaded Sweet Potatoes With Coconut and Kale

Loaded Sweet Potatoes With Coconut and Kale
Victor Protasio

These loaded sweet potatoes are a total showstopper, and packed with flavor thanks to a serrano chile, coconut milk, and curry powder. Anything but boring, this dish would be a dreamy vegan main course, and with the help of your microwave, you can make it in 30 minutes from start to finish.

10 of 11

Skillet Polenta in Creamy Tomato Sauce

Skillet Polenta in Creamy Tomato Sauce

With oregano and tomato, this one-skillet meal tastes like pizza, hold the cheese. Tender, golden polenta dots the surface of the tomato-bean mixture, inviting you to tuck in. Anyone would be happy to see this beautiful skillet on their Thanksgiving table—vegans and non-vegans alike.

11 of 11

Swiss Chard With Chickpeas and Couscous

Swiss Chard With Chickpeas and Couscous
John Kernick

This vegan side is nourishing and elegant, and would pair well with all of the Thanksgiving staples. Don’t skip the pine nuts, which lend a sweet nuttiness to the dish, and make sure to gently toast them so they’re extra-fragrant.

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