Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

This post that I shared in 2015 has been updated with more recipe resources and tips. I hope that you enjoy the new additions! Thanksgiving is the time to celebrate with family and friends and enjoy the fall’s bounty. It can also be a time where those of us eating a plant based diet may feel a little left out with all the meats, cheese and other animal products. Years of having a vegan family member in our house, inspired me to get creative with new family recipes to have on our table that everyone including those folks eating meat will love. I hope that you will enjoy them as much as we do!

Here is our favorite plant based Thanksgiving Menu which includes a wonderful vegan thanksgiving main dish recipe and lots of vegetarian thanksgiving sides!

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Holiday Menu

Holiday Fruit Compote

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Onions & Walnuts

Roasted Garlic & Rosemary Potatoes

Caramelized Onion Gravy

Cranberry, Wild Rice, Cornbread and Sourdough Dressing

Denise’s Famous Holiday Nut Loaf (this can also be a vegan thanksgiving loaf)

 

This relish is a refreshing change from the usual cranberry relish!

This holiday fruit compote is a refreshing change from the usual cranberry relish and is a wonderful vegan Thanksgiving side!

Holiday Fruit Compote

Fresh cranberries, pears and a little bit of spice and it turns the ordinary cranberry side into something fresh and different!

Makes 6 servings.

2 cup cranberries

1 chopped pear, unpeeled

1 chopped apple, unpeeled

1 1/2 cup apple cider

1/3 cup maple syrup

Add fruit, cider and sugar to a small sauce pan. Simmer until fruit is soft. Refrigerate and let the flavor meld until serving.

Having a little green adds some contrast to the other foods!

Having a little green adds some contrast to the other foods!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Onions & Walnuts

Roasting these Brussels sprouts gives them a sweetness that everyone will love!

Makes 4 or 5 servings.

1 bag fresh Brussels sprouts

1/2 medium onion sliced

1/2 cup nuts chopped

Olive oil

Salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss Brussels sprouts in olive oil and place in a shallow pan. After 5 minutes toss around and add onions. Roast about 10 more minutes and then add the nuts. Heat about 5 more minutes until nuts are toasted and vegetables are caramelized.

A little variation to mashed potatoes!

A little variation to mashed potatoes!

Roasted Garlic & Rosemary Potatoes

Rosemary provide a delicious flavor to potatoes but you can also substitute thyme for it also. You can make mashed potatoes vegan by using plant milk, Earth Balance margarine and vegetable broth.

6-8 servings

2-3 garlic

1 sprig fresh rosemary

3 pounds potatoes

1/3 Earth Balance margarine

1/2 cup plant based milk

Salt and pepper to taste

In a small pan, roast garlic until translucent and soft. (I roast mine when I roast the Brussels sprouts). In a large stock pot, add four inches of water. Heat to boiling. Peel and chop potatoes. Cook until potatoes are soft. Drain almost all of the water. Mash potatoes until soft at the same time as the peeled garlic. Add Smart Balance, salt, pepper and milk. Mash it all up until smooth. Mix in the fresh, chopped garlic at the very end.

 

Don't forget the gravy!

Don’t forget the gravy! This savory vegan gravy is so delicious that everyone will love it!

Caramelized Onion Gravy

Brewer’s yeast is a great source of vitamin B12 and provides a nutty, savory flavor to this gravy but it is optional.

4-6 servings

1 medium onion chopped onion

1/3 cup Earth Balance margarine

2 tablespoon flour

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried sage

4 cups vegetable stock

(a drop of soy sauce to make browner if desired)

1/2 tablespoon Brewer’s yeast if desired

Salt and pepper to taste

In an iron skillet over medium heat, melt the margarine and saute the onions until they begin to caramelize. Turn own low and add the flour and make a roux. Let flour slightly brown and add seasonings. Turn up to medium heat and with a whisk slowly add enough broth til the gravy begins to lightly bubble and is at the desired thickness.

Stuffing or Dressing? You decide!

Cranberry, Wild Rice, Cornbread and Sourdough Dressing

Whether you call it dressing or stuffing, this lightened version is light and fluffy! My original recipe called for 2 beaten eggs and but to make it vegan used a binder of 1 tablespoon ground flax seed and 2 1/2 teaspoon water per egg or use Energy Egg Replacer.

Makes 8 servings of dressing

1/2 pan of a 8 by 8 pan of cornbread (I made just a half a recipe in a 6 inch skillet & I use the recipe from my Farm Fresh Nutrition Cookbook.

2 cups bread cubes from some sourdough bread

1 cup cooked wild rice

1/2 cup chopped onions

1 stalk celery chopped

1/2-1 cup dried cranberries

1 tablespoon fresh thyme

1teaspoon fresh snipped sage

2 tablespoon ground flax

5 teaspoon water (or vegetable broth)

1-1/2 cup vegetable broth

1/3-1/2 cup Earth Balance margarine, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush the inside of a casserole dish with olive oil. In a large bowl, crumble cornbread, add cubed bread crumbs, cooked wild rice, onions, celery, seasonings and cranberries. Mix well and ground flax, water/vegetable broth, melted Earth Balance and enough vegetable broth for desired moistness. Add to the dressing to the casserole pan with add the lid to the top (or add foil if you do not have and bake about 35 minutes. You can take the lid off the last 5 minutes if you would like the dressing a little bit crisp.

 

This nut loaf makes a wonderful vegetarian alternative at Thanksgiving!

This nut loaf makes a wonderful vegan Thanksgiving protein! I have mostly made it with eggs but have also used the Energy Egg Replacer in the amount to replace the 3 eggs! You can also make egg replacers with 1 tablespoon ground flax with 2 1/2 teaspoons per egg. You also can crumble a little more tofu in there but I would still use one of these binders!

Holiday Nut Loaf

My original recipe called for eggs, but check out the vegan variations above that can be done to make this delicious nut loaf vegan. I have worked on this recipe for years to perfect it and it is a well loved holiday recipe at my house!

famous nutloafnut loaf continued

Here is how all these recipes look together! What a pretty, tasty and delicious plate!

 

Making half of your plate vegetables or fruit makes a colorful plate!

Making half of your plate vegetables or fruit makes a colorful plate!

Vegan Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes

So many dessert recipes for the holiday feature eggs and dairy, these recipe ideas can be made entirely planted based!

2 Delicious Holiday Dessert Recipes

Low Fodmap Mini Pumpkin Bundt Cake

Low Fodmap Cranberry Walnut Coffee Cake

More Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes

If you are looking for more vegan holiday recipes, here are few more tasty ideas that I created for some low fodmap Thanksgiving menus!

Delicious Low fodmap Thanksgiving Menu Ideas

 

Tips to make Thanksgiving a little healthier!

1. Make half of your meal fruits and vegetables. The simpler the sides and main is, the healthier that they are!
2. Purchase as much fresh and local food as possible!
3. I use Earth Balance in place of butter in my recipes, it is vegan & it tastes delicious.
4. If you are going out to eat, load up on vegetables, fruit and plant proteins. Don’t over-do it with the food portions.
5. Cut back on salty foods by using herbs and spices, vinegar and citrus juice. I find the more natural and fresh the ingredients, the more flavorful.
6. If you are going out to a family member or friends house, ask what you can bring and double up on a couple of healthy menu items to bring!
7. Talk a long walk before or after dinner.
8. Remember to eat your small portions during your normal meal time throughout the day and not skipping fueling your body so you won’t be overly hungry for your celebration meal.
9. Savor and eat mindfully! Enjoy every bite!
10. Remember that the celebration is really about gratitude and those who you love.
11. Watch your portions. It’s not the food, it is how much you are eating.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration! We have so much that we can be grateful for and one of the things that I am thankful for is my good health. I am not going to take it for granted so taking good care of myself and my family is a priority even when I am celebrating! I hope that some things that I share will help you stay healthier also ! As a registered dietitian nutritionist in Asheville, I love to provide that extra support with people’s eating choices over the holidays. I am available to encourage others how to plan and make simple changes that support their health!

 

 

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