STACKER (WSYR-TV) — Serving plant-based holiday meals with turkey as the focus may seem far-fetched, but with the fall season’s prime produce offerings and turkey in short supply, it’s the perfect time to add more plants to the table.
Butternut, apples, pumpkin, cranberries—all of these antioxidant-rich plants are worthy alternatives to your usual meaty side dishes and main dishes and deserve to be the centerpiece of your table this year.
From delicious main dishes to side dishes and even your favorite fall desserts, Thistle has compiled a list of 10 plant-based recipes that will please everyone at the Thanksgiving table.
Not having a turkey to carve can be a strange experience if you’re used to serving the bird.
But if you want to focus on the main course without compromising your goals to go plant-based this year, there are alternatives. These include dishes like Tofurki, Gardein’s Vegan Turkey Roast, Trader Joe’s Turkey-Free Stuffed Roast, or the many homemade plant-based options that make delicious replacements for conventional poultry.
If you don’t want a main course this year, you can instead serve a big feast with all the Thanksgiving side dishes and dessert you like.
Keep reading for some Thanksgiving dinner planning inspiration.
Plant-Based Alternatives for Thanksgiving Dinner
Butternut stuffed with rice
Whether you’re looking for a vegetarian main course or a tasty side dish, this pumpkin stuffed with rice would look good on your Thanksgiving table.
This recipe makes two servings. Each serving includes half a butternut squash filled with the familiar flavors you love at Thanksgiving, like walnuts and dried cranberries.
Sweet butternut squash (with a hint of coconut sugar) paired with savory wild rice will satisfy guests with any dietary restrictions.
Roast stuffed turkey
It’s made with tofu, mushrooms, soy milk, and chickpeas delicious stuffed roast without turkey is a wonderful staple if you want to make Thanksgiving plant-based this year.
The stuffing is made from a simple apple and sage stuffing bag, and the whole roast is wrapped in house-made veggie bacon. This plant-based main dish makes eight servings and is ready in less than three hours.
While this roast will definitely take some work, once you cut it into the final product, the aromas and flavors will make all that hard work worth it.
Vegan Sage Sausage Stuffing
If you’ve always loved grandma’s sausage stuffing but want to fill your plate with nothing but plants this year, this vegan sausage stuffing with sage it’s the perfect alternative.
This recipe makes some easy substitutions with vegan butter and sausage, but keeps all the usual stuffing essentials like celery, onion, carrot, garlic, and of course, bread.
This side dish makes six servings, so if you’re serving an even larger crowd, double the recipe.
Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
Pumpkin puree not only boosts the nutritional value of this dish (increasing fiber and vitamin A), but also creates the creamiest sauce in your mac and cheese.
this vegan pumpkin mac and cheese the baking uses pumpkin, nutritional yeast and non-dairy milk to give this dish the creamy texture you know and love from a baked mac.
With breadcrumbs and baked for 45 minutes, this recipe makes four hearty servings or six to eight smaller spoonfuls.
However, if you’re feeding die-hard mac and cheese lovers, you might want to double or triple the portion.
Vegan Shepherd’s Pie
this vegan shepherd’s pie makes another simple plant-based staple to replace the turkey — and it only takes an hour.
This shepherd’s pie contains lentils for a filling protein that will leave you feeling satisfied, topped with homemade mashed potatoes with vegan butter. This recipe makes six servings, making it a great alternative if you have vegetarian or vegan guests joining the Thanksgiving celebration.
If you plan to make this dish a main event, multiply the recipe accordingly.
Green Bean Casserole
What’s a Thanksgiving spread with a classic green bean casserole? In this vegan version of a classic dish, you make a roux with flour, vegan butter, and vegetable stock to give this casserole a creamy texture without adding dairy.
But don’t worry, this recipe doesn’t skimp on the crispy fried onions. Note that this is vegan Green Bean Casserole serves only four.
Casserole made from white beans
This is another savory and hearty plant-based main dish that your guests will love vegan cassoulet.
Made with mushrooms and beans, baked in a flavorful tomato sauce, and topped with breadcrumbs, this casserole takes just 20-25 minutes to bake, freeing up space in the oven for all the other delicious side dishes (and desserts) you plan to make.
This recipe already makes 10 servings, probably making it one of the easiest main meals you can throw together.
Apple Upside Down Pie
Apple pie may be a common Thanksgiving dessert, but why not take it to the next level? this vegan apple pie baked upside down, with beautifully displayed apple slices underneath.
Once finished, the cake is removed from the pan onto a plate and is immediately ready to serve. This goes perfectly with vegan vanilla ice cream or homemade vegan caramel sauce.
You can enjoy cottage cheese on a plant-based diet thanks to this recipe. this Vegan Easy Baked Cheesecake made with a blend of cashews, coconut cream and vegan cream cheese to give it that creamy texture we all know and love.
Plus, it’s gluten-free, dairy-free and naturally sweetened. This cheesecake comes in eight slices and can be served with any fruit toppings you want.
As your Thanksgiving feast draws to a close, there’s nothing better than ending the evening with a cup of decaf coffee and a slice of pumpkin pie.
this vegan pumpkin pie keeps things simple by replacing a regular can of milk with a can of coconut cream mixed with all the familiar spices and baked in a vegan pie crust.
You can even top your slices with huge dollops of vegan whipped cream – what other way to eat a piece of Thanksgiving pie?