20 Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes
While so much of the culinary focus of Thanksgiving involves variations on a theme featuring a giant bird, vegans would like to remind the eating world that the true edible stars of late fall are—wait for it—fruits and vegetables. The bounty that comes with the chill of the autumn harvest is inspiring. There is no better place to celebrate it than on the vegan Thanksgiving table with dishes that will delight every last person at your gathering.
A stroll through the local farmers' market and farm stands will reveal a wonderful variety of pumpkins and hard-shelled squash, bins of fresh apples and pears, fleeting piles of perfumed quinces, and bunches of nutrition-rich cold weather leafy greens like kale and broccoli rabe. Supermarkets are suddenly bright with the new season's citrus, late Muscat grapes, and pyramids of fresh cranberries. Gorgeous pomegranates begin to arrive alongside trays of sunny persimmons. For mushroom hunters and shoppers alike, umami-redolent fungi beg to add complexity and substance to stuffings and sauces. Pecan and walnut trees are delivering their harvest of fresh season nuts. And cold-season staples like lentils and beans come into their own at last.
Use this bounty of seasonal food to make recipes just right for Thanksgiving, from vegan takes on Thanksgiving classics like stuffing, mushroom gravy, and mashed potatoes, to stunning vegan entrées. Here, we have curated a collection of our best vegan dishes to fuel your creative planning for the coming feast. They span the length and breadth of the Thanksgiving meal, from vivid dips, to kaleidoscopic salads, warming soups, and refreshing seasonal desserts.
Red Pepper and Pomegranate Dip
Ruby pomegranate, roasted peppers, and creamy walnuts are whizzed up with chile for this zesty and arrestingly bright dip. It's a perfect welcome for arriving guests.
Beet Salad with Citrus Mint Dressing
Mellow roasted beets are invigorated by winter citrus and refreshing mint to make an appealingly simple and striking salad.
Roasted Squash with Shallots Grapes and Sage
Real grapes are ripe in fall, and their caramelized sweetness is offset by musky roast sage—perfect for this nutty roasted squash and grain entrée.
Vegan Apple Pie
The delectable crust for this pie uses safflower oil rather than butter.
Roasted Carrots with Red Quinoa and Spinach
The secret weapon in this substantial fall dish is shiro miso, the fermented soy paste that seems made for honeyed quality of roast carrots.
Vegan Lentil Soup
Broccoli rabe's mineral depth adds complexity to a warming lentil soup spiced with fragrant cumin, toasted coriander, and a last-minute dash of red wine vinegar.
Persimmon with Roasted Chicories
When chicories are roasted they take on a deep nuttiness, complemented in this luxuriously textured salad by fresh slices of Fuyu persimmon, pomegranate seeds, and succulent oil-cured olives.
An irresistible option for a main course, these stuffed onions are filled with creamy potatoes and a powerhouse combination of mushrooms.
Refreshing, pretty, and featuring the best fruits of the season, these delightful compotes are a refreshing end to a very filling meal.
Cannellini and Kale Soup
Kale is the iron-rich cool weather star in this satisfying and simple soup where crisp garlic adds a powerful crunch.
Vegan Mashed Potatoes
Extra-virgin olive oil makes these potatoes smooth and rich. Using a ricer yields mashed potatoes with an especially light, fluffy texture. Alternatively, potatoes can be mashed with a potato masher or fork.
Stewed White Beans with Tomatoes and Rosemary
Comforting beans are perfumed with rosemary, bay, and onion before cooking in the rich juices of hearty tomatoes.
Braised Green Beans and Tomatoes
The savory depth of canned tomatoes turns the classic side dish of green beans into a bowlful of goodness whose juices you'll want to spoon up.
Poached Red Wine Pears
Pepper is the surprisingly effective aromatic in this classic dessert, where red wine turns pears sumptuous.
Curried Lentil Soup with Dried Cherries and Cilantro
An assertively spiced soup of creamed lentils combines the sweetness of coconut milk with pungency of garlic, ginger, and curry powder, with fresh cilantro and dried cherries adding layers of rewarding complexity towards the end.
A simple sourdough stuffing that everyone at the table will want to try. It has all of the traditional stuffing flavors—without the traditional poultry broth, dairy, or eggs.
Try not to inhale these luscious little mouthfuls of sweet-and-sour glazed onions. Cooked low and slow they are a meltingly good side dish for substantial fare like slow-cooked beans and lentils.
Vegan Spiced Red Fruit Tarts
These luscious little tarts have a decadent chocolate crust, are stuffed with fresh cranberries and frozen raspberries and cherries, and are perfumed with warming spices.