The holidays are always a tricky time when you're on some type of special diet. No matter if you're eating low carb, low fat, gluten free or vegan - it's a challenge to navigate the family gatherings and get something on the dinner table that you can enjoy. In order to help you out with that, we compiled a list of the 22 best vegan thanksgiving recipes that you need to try this year.
So, even though we always emphasize keeping your meals simple and your ingredients whole, we understand that it's a different situation during the holidays. There are people to be impressed, awesome food to be shared and minds to be changed about plant-based eating.
This is why you'll find some semi-healthy ingredients in these recipes which you can just replace or skip altogether if you like (which is very easy when it comes to oil !). But don't freak out if you choose to indulge for one night before going back to your whole foods plant-based diet - as long as you eat very healthy most of the time, you'll be fine. Now, let's dig in!
Entrees & Side Dishes
Delicious ways to start off the feast or just prepare a couple of these instead of a main meal so everyone can try all the different flavors. These are great to offer to bring to someone else's house, too!
Turmeric Red Lentil Soup
Turmeric and red lentils are what makes fall recipes so hearty and warming! This soup combines them with carrots, cinnamon, kale, and some delicious cashew cream which makes for a hearty entree.
Chipotle Maple Brussels Sprouts
Even though many people don't exactly love Brussels Sprouts, these crispy and caramelized goodies with a hint of heat and a hint of sweet can turn even vegetable-haters around. They are especially delicious when combined with other roasted veggies, potatoes or rice.
Cranberry-Pear Wild Rice Stuffing
Wild rice adds a wonderful texture to this stuffing, and the slight sweetness of dried cranberries lends a delicious flavor. This is an ideal stuffing for winter squashes and, used that way, makes for a dazzling holiday main dish.
Roasted Garlic & Pumpkin Dip
The combination of roasted garlic and pumpkin works so well together! This dip goes well with your other side dishes. You can add rosemary or cumin seeds as the extra hit of texture and flavor to make it a little more interesting.
Tempeh Stew with Brussels Sprouts, Sweet Potatoes & Shiitakes
This delectable stew of tempeh, sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts is a lovely main dish option for the Thanksgiving table. Play around with the ingredients you have on hand because just about any version of this concoction will turn out delicious and festive!
Green Bean Casserole
This is a simple, creamy, savory and healthy dish because there’s a good amount of veggies in it. Who can resist anything baked in a creamy sauce and topped with crispy fried onions? This casserole makes for a great addition to your Thanksgiving dishes.
Wild Rice Salad with Pomegranate & Pine Nuts
This crunchy and colorful salad jam-packed with micronutrients and enzymes which aid your digestion over the holidays. The pine nuts and pomegranate add an end-of-the-year touch to it and the dressing is subtle enough for the veggie flavors to do their magic.
Festive Falafel with Cranberry Pear Dip
Let's spice things up a little bit and get some falafel on the table! This is going to be a rather unusual choice but is always a hit. Combine them with a festive cranberry-pear dip and you're right in the theme of this holiday.
Spiced Cranberry, Pear & Maple Chutney
Speaking of delicious, festive dips: this sweet and spicy chutney goes very well with any of your main dishes from roasted pumpkin to nutty loafs. It's very simple to make and you can even prepare batches which you can freeze until Christmas!
Cranberry Rosemary Nut Cheese
Oh yes, we're going there. Nutty plant-based cheese that is insanely delicious and actually healthy with all-natural ingredients! It looks absolutely fantastic on the platter, is easy to make, and will surprise a few of your guests.
You will find both classical and unusual vegan Thanksgiving mains in this section. Just because some prefer a traditional roast while others are open to well-rounded fall bowls!
Roasted Vegan Thanksgiving Bowl
Now, to put all of this goodness together into one bowl, we have a fully-equipped, colorful and healthy bowl as a main dish. From roasted squash and broccoli to mashed potatoes and gravy - this amazing meal is everything you love about Thanksgiving combined.
Sweet Potato & Edamame Shepherd's Pie
This vegan sweet potato variation on shepherd’s pie makes a festive holiday centerpiece, especially for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Greens and edamame meld with mushrooms in the creamy sauce, creating a burst of flavor that’s both exciting and comforting.
Festive Butternut Roast
This beautiful main dish is a perfect example for a meatless roast. The best part is that you can prepare it 1-2 days ahead of time, store it in the fridge and simply heat it up for 15 minutes before serving it! The lentil-cranberry-spinach filling is incredibly satisfying and the right mix of sweet and savory.
Thanksgiving Power Bowl
Are you looking for a plain and healthy vegan thanksgiving bowl for just yourself and maybe your partner? This mix of all things that are so good about fall could be the perfect choice for you then. Lentils, rice, carrots, sweet potatoes, and a cranberry sauce - simple and perfect.
Let's round this wonderful vegan feast up with some delicious dessert options. We're positive that even devout non-vegans will love these!
Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake
These are actually on the healthier side for desserts and super versatile: you can make them either in muffin tins, ramekins, or round cake pans for just one large cheesecake. The texture is amazing, they don't need to be baked and can be stored for days!
Spiced Apple Pie Waffles
You can use these incredibly delicious waffles either for dessert or for breakfast during Thanksgiving! Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and drizzled with maple. What is not to love? Make sure you put them on the table around the holidays.
Butternut Pecan Sweet Potato Casserole
Who knew that sweet potatoes don't just work well for your main dishes, but also for dessert! Their slightly sweet, natural flavor and melting texture make for a great base of this healthy dessert option - including crunchy pecans and maple syrup as toppings.
Apple Cobbler with Ice Cream
This classic fall recipe is made with coconut milk, brown sugar, and doesn't require any pre-cooking of the apples! As a creamy topping, you can just use frozen coconut cream or buy your favorite brand of vegan ice cream.
Pecan Praline Pumpkin Cake
This rich dessert is aromatic, flavourful and just oozes with deliciousness! The texture on the bottom of the cake with the pecans peeking through is just too beautiful not to feature – so it's flipped it upside down! And it's made without any refined sugar, which is a plus.
Spiced & Sugared Cranberries
If you'd like to stay on the fruity side for dessert, you can make these little colorful candies. Not only are they so sparkly and pretty and fun, but completely addictive and super easy to pull together.
Pumpkin Pie Parfaits
For a little twist on the standard pumpkin pies, we have them here as little parfaits too. They are made of only 10 ingredients which include pumpkin butter, coconut whipped cream, and cinnamon-maple granola and pecans!
Pecan Pie Cookies
I want to end this roundup with the easiest and healthiest of all recipes: 4 ingredients pecan pie cookies. What's not to love about these nutritious little desserts or snacks? Let's not forget to show ourselves some love and respect through mindful and healthful indulgence.
What are your favorite healthy vegan thanksgiving recipes? Are you going to try any of these this year? And how are you dealing with family gatherings? Let us know in the comments below.
Alena has been eating a plant-based diet for 6 years and is passionate about sharing her learnings in the fields of nutrition, wellbeing, and vegan ethics. She is the co-creator of nutriciously and loves music, reading, nature, traveling, yoga & good food. Alena received training in the fields of nutrition, music therapy, and social work.