Thanksgiving is typically all about turkey, but these simple Thanksgiving vegetarian recipes might make you forget all about the bird.
Having a selection of vegetarian dishes can help you make your vegetarian loved ones’ holiday feast just as wonderful as everyone else’s.
A few of these recipes, such as the chickpea turkey and meatless stuffing, are specifically designed to help vegetarians get the “full Thanksgiving experience.”
However, most are just exceptional dishes that everyone can appreciate.
Other than the turkey (or ham) and dressing, most Thanksgiving side dishes are pretty vegetarian-friendly already.
Still, this list gave me an excellent opportunity to showcase 30 of my all-time favorite Thanksgiving dishes, which just so happen to also be vegetarian-friendly.
30 Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes for a Meatless Holiday
Thanksgiving just isn’t Thanksgiving without a big, golden-brown turkey on the table.
Luckily for vegetarians, chickpeas, vegetable broth, vital wheat gluten, and plenty of herbs make a pretty decent substitute.
With a bit of vegan butter and soy sauce on top, it browns up nicely, and the flavor is delicious, thanks to all those great seasonings.
I love this butternut squash soup not just because it tastes good, but also because it has such a lovely, vibrant golden color.
Butternut squash has a mild flavor, so most of the taste in this soup comes from the addition of garlic, nutmeg, shallots, and other seasonings.
It makes a tasty, light Thanksgiving lunch before the big dinner.
At my house, scalloped potatoes are as much a part of Thanksgiving dinner as the turkey.
They’re always creamier, tastier, and more tender when made from scratch.
They take some time to pull together, but the ingredients list is short, and the process is simple if time-consuming.
Even so, this is one dish everyone enjoys.
Why buy that weirdly shaped, unnatural-looking canned cranberry sauce when you can make your own with only four ingredients?
Add three cups of cranberries, a cup of sugar, a cup of orange juice (or water), and a cinnamon stick into a saucepan.
Once it starts to boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
That’s all it takes to have delicious, beautiful homemade cranberry sauce that doesn’t look like extraterrestrial Jell-O.
When it comes to mashed potatoes, no one does them quite like the Irish.
These potatoes are fluffy, buttery, garlic-y, and incredibly delicious.
You’ll never want to eat potatoes made with any other recipe again.
This cheesy rice dish has a distinctive fall flair, thanks primarily to the butternut squash.
It also has a great mixture of colors, textures, and tastes.
For example, the squash and baby spinach add a splash of yellow and green, while the sweet onions provide a bit of crunch.
It’s traditionally a Thanksgiving side dish, but I could sit and eat it by the bowl-full any day of the week.
Although it takes about an hour to make, sweet potato casserole is a must-have for Thanksgiving dinner.
This recipe is one of my favorites. It combines the soft silkiness of sweet potatoes with the crispy crunch of toasted pecans.
Don’t worry; if you like your sweet potato casserole with marshmallows, you can easily adjust the recipe and add mini-marshmallows to the top.
This simple green bean casserole takes only 30 minutes to make and is a comforting, creamy addition to any Thanksgiving table.
Don’t forget the fried onions for added crunch.
I love the touch of color whipped sweet potatoes add to the table.
Plus, their silky, fluffy consistency is almost like eating clouds, and their slight sweetness complements Thanksgiving turkey perfectly.
If you’re looking for a substitute for whipped sweet potatoes, butternut squash is a good option.
It’s just as fluffy, just as quick and easy to make, and almost as tasty.
(Sorry, but I love sweet potatoes!)
Anyone who tells you they don’t like Brussels sprouts is either 10 years old or has never had them cooked properly.
Well-cooked, caramelized Brussels sprouts are crispy, salty, and earthy. In short, they’re terrific.
Use this recipe and make a believer out of all those skeptics next Thanksgiving.
This slaw is a sweeter, more textured version of the traditional coleslaw recipe, and it’s remarkably good.
Coleslaw isn’t a favorite of mine, but even I enjoy this dish.
It’s also easy to make, taking only 20 minutes from start to finish.
13. Glazed Carrots
Preparing Thanksgiving dinner can be exhausting, especially if you’re doing most of the work yourself.
That’s why it’s imperative to have a few side dishes that are quick and easy.
This copycat recipe for Cracker Barrel baby carrots is one of my favorite “quick and easy” go-to’s.
Simply boil your carrots for 6 minutes before adding butter, brown sugar, and salt.
Then cook them for about 6 more minutes, and voila! You’ll have a perfectly sweet, lovely side dish.
This sweet potato pea risotto takes some time to cook, but it contains nearly everything that makes up a traditional Thanksgiving.
There are onions, sweet potatoes, peas, garlic, bread crumbs, and more.
The only thing it’s really missing is a carrot or two, and you can certainly add some if you like.
If you’ve never had maple-roasted acorn squash, stop reading right now and go bake one.
All you’ll need for this simple recipe is squash, olive oil, maple syrup, fresh sage, salt, and pepper.
You won’t believe how sweet and amazing these few ingredients can be.
Honestly, I don’t know why this isn’t a more popular dish on more Thanksgiving tables.
No holiday feast is complete without delicious, soft, and buttery rolls, and there are none better than those made using this copycat Texas Roadhouse recipe.
I’ll tell you upfront, though, double – or maybe even triple – the recipe because people devour these, especially if you serve them with warm, honey cinnamon butter.
Nothing beats Irish mashed potatoes.
However, if you have loved ones cutting carbs, mashed cauliflower makes an excellent alternative to carb-heavy potatoes.
You’ll only need five ingredients and about 20 minutes to make them, and remember, the secret is in the seasonings.
Cauliflower will never taste precisely like mashed potatoes, but with the right seasonings, you can get pretty close.
Holiday or no holiday, there’s never a bad time for roasted veggies.
Use the vegetables listed here in the recipe, or fill the baking sheet with your favorite options.
Again, as with mashed cauliflower, the secret’s in the seasonings.
You don’t have to chow down on plump, juicy turkey to enjoy good Thanksgiving stuffing, and you don’t have to resort to Stove Top to make it, either.
This vegan stuffing recipe combines all the tastiest, most fragrant ingredients – celery, sage, onions, vegetable broth, flax, etc. – to make a stuffing that’s as warm and moist as it is tasty.
Cooking it will make your kitchen smell wonderful, too.
Cheesy and buttery, this vegan-friendly cauliflower casserole is so good, even the staunchest meat-eaters will enjoy it.
It has plenty of flavor and lots of gooey, wonderful cheese. The slightly tangy flavor will put you in mind of squash casserole; only this one has more crunch.
This colorful rice dish makes a lovely centerpiece on any table.
It’s sweet and savory, with dried cranberries and a zesty, tangy orange honey dressing.
The pecans add texture and a delightful earthy nuttiness.
22. Smashed Potatoes
I first began making smashed potatoes as a way to get the kiddos more interested in potatoes.
But everyone loved them so much that I now make a double batch.
They are spectacular – super crispy with warm, fluffy insides – and supremely buttery.
I add a little garlic salt to mine, but of course, I add garlic to pretty much everything.
This salad is a lovely fall treat. It’s sweet and earthy and more hearty and filling than a salad has any right to be!
The wheat berries take some time to cook, but you could always make them ahead of time if you’re frequently in a rush.
24. Candied Yams
Candied yams take about an hour to make, but ¾ths of that time is idle bake time. The actual prepping process isn’t hard at all.
Truthfully, though, I wouldn’t care if these took 6 hours to make. They’re one of my favorite Thanksgiving treats.
They’re soft and buttery, covered in cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, clove, ginger, and vanilla extract for a super sweet, truly candy-like taste.
I could eat a dozen in a single sitting.
25. Cauliflower Soup
This thick, creamy soup requires only eight ingredients and about 40 minutes to make.
It’s warm and comforting, perfect for a fall evening or as a precursor to Thanksgiving dinner.
Take the mild, unassuming flavor of cauliflower and “kick it up a notch!” by adding garlic, thyme, rosemary, and onions.
You may notice the recipe instructions call for an immersion blender.
If you don’t have one, don’t worry; you can still make it in a regular blender. It just may take a little bit longer that way.
This salad is one of my all-time favorites because it’s simple, healthy, and tasty.
You won’t use any lettuce, spinach, or kale for this one. Instead, its base is entirely composed of shredded Brussels sprouts, and they are superb!
Throw in some dried cranberries and chopped pecans, and the salad is done. How much simpler can you get?!
The only real work goes into making the dressing, and that’s not difficult either. It is, however, delicious.
You’ll make it with honey, red wine vinegar, sea salt, black pepper, Dijon mustard, olive oil, and garlic and onion powders.
It’s sweet, tangy, and zesty all in one.
27. Pumpkin Pie
Do I even have to tell you about pumpkin pie? Pumpkin pie is a Thanksgiving must, and this recipe is perfect.
If you love a thick, silky filling and a warm, crunchy crust, this is the pumpkin pie recipe for you.
This gorgeous pie is sweetly tart and has the consistency of a gooey blondie.
It’s a real treat for the senses because it looks pretty, smells delightful, and tastes marvelous.
It takes a little over an hour to make, but only about 5 minutes of that involves actual hands-on preparation. After that, the rest is cooking and cooling time.
I’m not sure who first decided to make fudge from sweet potatoes, but whoever it was, I applaud them.
It’s a somewhat healthier, vitamin-packed way to enjoy fudge.
It’s a little softer than traditional fudge, but it has the same rich, decadent taste we all know and love.
Quick Note: In the recipe, you’ll notice the sea salt is optional. Don’t leave it out! The contrast between salty and sweet is what I love about this recipe.
If you want to enjoy the incredible, sweet taste of fudge but don’t want to buy a ton of ingredients or spend a lot of time making it, try this recipe instead.
You can make it with only three ingredients – powdered sugar, unsalted butter, and creamy peanut butter – in about 5 minutes flat.
I know; it sounds impossible, right? It’s 100% true, though!
Simply microwave your butter and peanut butter for about a minute. Then stir the mixture and microwave it again.
Next, add your powdered sugar and keep stirring.
Once it’s thick enough, spread it over a parchment-lined baking sheet and smooth it out.
Finally, pop it in the fridge for a couple of hours to let it harden. That’s all it takes!
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