Are you stressing about what to make for a vegan friend or family member coming to your Thanksgiving dinner? Or perhaps this is your first time celebrating Thanksgiving on a plant-based diet and you don't know how to convert your traditional celebratory meal to being a plant-based Thanksgiving meal?
Never fear, you are in the right place to find lots of ideas for simple, easy to prepare dishes that will delight everyone at the table and give a sumptuous vegan Thanksgiving feast.
The traditional Thanksgiving meal is quite heavy on the animal products and dairy products. Luckily, it’s quite easy to convert most of the traditional dishes to being plant-based with a few simple swaps and tricks.
In this blogpost, I show you how to make a fabulous vegan Thanksgiving dinner with my favorite vegan thanksgiving recipes. So ditch the turkey and the heavy cream and prepare a delicious vegan thanksgiving spread to be proud of!
Canapés and Nibbles
Canapés and nibbles are my favourite part of entertaining! I just love chatting and grazing (and I always end up eating too many of the nibbles!). My advice is to keep it fairly simple so that you can enjoy being with your guests rather than being in the kitchen.
For a really easy option, you could put together a big graze board with a few vegan dips (like my speedy muhummara, or guacamole), some vegetable crudités, crisps, nuts, and olives and everyone can just help themselves as they chat.
You could also add some roasted cauliflower and chimichurri or some olive and artichoke canapes. If you really want to impress your guests with amazing vegan food, these black garlic and mushroom bacon tartlets are divine!
Starters and Appetisers
To make life simple, I often forego starters completely and just have more substantial nibbles with the welcome drinks. However, if you want a formal starter, then soup is always a good option because you can make it in advance and just re-heat it on the day. Alternatively, you could make a lovely salad with all the constituent parts made ahead so that it can just be quickly assembled on the plates just before serving.
My favourite vegan appetizers for the Thanksgiving table would be:
- Spiced pumpkin and sweetcorn soup – this is a lovely rich soup with warming spices. The pumpkin is of course perfectly seasonal for this time of year!
- Creamy vegan white bean and spinach soup – creamy soups are so comforting and I can think of no better recipe than this for that homely start to your family Thanksgiving dinner.
- Roasted beetroot and walnut soup – for a shock of colour and wow factor, this is a fab way to start your meal!
- Spinach and squash salad with vegan feta – for a fresher start but filled with fall flavours, this is a great way to start off your meal.
If you want to keep things traditional, this delicious nut roast would make the perfect centerpiece for the Thanksgiving main dish. This also doubles up as a great vegan stuffing option if you are also serving a turkey for the meat eaters at the table.
Alternatively, you could make my comfort favourite creamy vegan pot pie which has the advantage of being able to make it in advance and just bake on the day. Or you could serve these elegant wild rice and mung bean stuffed peppers with garlic cashew cream which are utterly delicious! This vegan pumpkin curry would be a great choice for a non-traditional main meal while capturing the traditional Thanksgiving flavours of pumpkin and green beans!
There are so many delicious vegan side dishes you could serve for your plant-based Thanksgiving meal but here are a few of my favourite vegan recipes for the classic side dishes for Thanksgiving.
- Easy vegan green bean casserole – This is a delicious vegan version of the traditional American green bean casserole. It is so easy to make and rich and creamy. You really can’t have a vegan Thanksgiving without this dish!
- Roasted brussels sprouts with chestnuts – Served with or without the chestnuts, this recipe for brussels sprouts is so simple and so delicious!
- Vegan boulangere potatoes – I have to admit, we Brits really don’t understand the sweet potato casserole with marshmallow on top! I would prefer this vegan boulangère potatoes instead, and you could switch it up to use sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes so that it is almost like a more savoury sweet potato casserole.
- Vegan mac and cheese – Another thing we Brits don’t really understand is serving mac and cheese as a side dish to a big meal, alongside other carb heavy foods like sweet potatoes! It is a family favourite though and with this healthy vegan cheese sauce, you can also make a vegan mac and cheese to include at the holiday table!
- Vegan wild rice salad with cranberries and pecans – This is a warm rice salad that can be made in advance. It’s another simple recipe but full of fall flavors!
A good thanksgiving meal is finished off perfectly with delicious sauces to accompany it. In all honesty, it’s all about the sauces for me! !
- Spiced Cranberry Sauce – Homemade cranberry sauce is a world away from the sugary jarred versions. It’s tart and sweet and perfectly cuts through the rich flavours of the rest of the food. Once you’ve made your own cranberry sauce, you’ll never buy it again!
- Vegan Red Onion Gravy (gluten-free) – This easy vegan gravy is perfect for serving with your Thanksgiving meal for both the meat eaters and the veggies alike!
People often struggle with what to make for vegan desserts, especially if, like me, you are also gluten-free. Other than the obvious fruit salad or vegan ice cream (there are so many delicious brands making vegan ice cream nowadays), here are some additional ideas for vegan thanksgiving desserts.
- Gluten-Free Blackberry & Apple Crumble (Vegan) – for a hearty pudding filled with autumnal fruit. Serve with vegan cream or custard.
- Chocolate Beetroot Brownies (vegan and gluten-free) – another vegan dessert that is universally loved. These brownies are vegan and gluten-free and fudgy and delicious.
So hopefully this gives you some lovely recipes and ideas about what to make for your vegan or plant-based Thanksgiving meal this year!
Although I'm not American, I do love the Thanksgiving celebration! Maybe it's because we've all seen it on TV so much and want that pre-Christmas family get-together, all going round the table saying what we're thankful for or maybe it's just a nice way to kickstart the "holiday season" and start preparing for the Christmas festivities! Either way, I'm fully embracing it! So Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
I hope you enjoy making the recipes and, if you do, please come back and leave a star rating or comment on them!
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