Mushroom Gravy, Savory Stuffing, Fudge Brownie Pie, and 8 Other Plant-Based Swaps for Your Thanksgiving Feast
Thanksgiving is a time for family, giving, and gratitude. But it’s also the time for stuffing…and starches, and birds, briskets, casseroles, cranberry sauce, gravy, dressings, and desserts!
But as we know from Thanksgivings past, the entire family doesn’t always agree, especially when it comes to the food on the dining room table. So, whether your guests prefer dark meat, white meat, or no meat, it’s important that your Thanksgiving spread accommodates everyone. Fortunately, the classic Thanksgiving fixings can be made completely plant-based without compromising tradition or taste.
We’ve compiled a collection of simple plant-based Thanksgiving swaps that allow everyone — from the newly vegan to the traditional omnivore — to enjoy the holiday feast, together.
Sometimes your secret recipe is store bought. We won’t tell. Trader Joe’s has an impressive Organic Savory Vegan Gravy made with onion, garlic, coconut milk, tamari, mushrooms, and a whole bunch of seasonings and zero work for you. Oh, it’s also gluten free.
The secret to incredibly light and fluffy dairy-free mashed potatoes isn’t much of a secret. After boiling and mashing your potatoes (you can use a potato masher or hand mixer; if you use the latter, be careful not to overmix), fold in non-dairy butter and a whole head of roasted garlic to pump up the decadence.
A Thanksgiving spread is judged not on its turkey, but rather the quality of its stuffing. We scoured the internet to find the most satisfying stuffing recipe available. Chopped mushrooms, wild rice, bell peppers, vegetable bouillon, plant-based sausage, cubed up bread, and Thanksgiving seasonings — fennel, garlic, parsley, fresh rosemary — make this stuffing simply irresistible.
Oh, sweet potato casserole; you sit innocently on the Thanksgiving table masquerading as a member of the main meal, but we all know you’re our pre-dessert dessert…with your delightful topping of crushed pecans, coconut sugar, oats, and marshmallows. But the sweet and creamy nature of this indulgent side dish is a necessary counterbalance to all the punchy herbs and spices. This recipe adds another dimension to the traditional sweet potato casserole by using non-dairy milk, ground flax seeds, and melted coconut oil.
No bacon necessary for these magical root vegetables. The recipe suggests fennel, carrots, and Cipollini onions, but you can add any of your favorite seasonal vegetables.
A spin on the classic, this curried green bean casserole adds a new dimension to the Thanksgiving table. Traditional green bean casseroles typically rely on a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup and a topping of bread crumbs and fried onion straws. This recipe is just as easy to make, but offers your taste buds so much more!
Turkey doesn’t always have to be the star of the Thanksgiving spread. Meatloaf traditionally plays a supporting role, but this holiday season let it take center stage with this smoky, savory plant-based chickpea loaf. After it’s covered with a tangy ketchup glaze and baked in the oven, its look and texture become indistinguishable from its meaty counterpart.
There’s something extraterrestrial-looking about the maroon cylinder of congealed cranberry “sauce” that you always find sitting menacingly next to the gravy boat. It’s Thanksgiving, you deserve better. Treat your family (and yourself) with this simple-to-make four-ingredient cranberry jam. All you need is fresh cranberries, sugar, water, orange zest, and about twenty minutes. Your dinner rolls, stuffing, and other Thanksgiving starches will thank you.
Need an alternative centerpiece for your Thanksgiving meal? Look no further than this elegant whole roasted cauliflower with a smoky chipotle finish. Top your cauliflower “steaks” with a tart and briny caper vinaigrette for a perfect alternative to the big bird.
Some people eat to live, others eat to get to dessert. Your patience has paid off. This plant-based chocolate fudge brownie pie looks sinful, but it really isn’t. The crust uses a combination of almond flour, rolled oats, date sugar, and flax eggs (coagulated flax seeds), while the filling is as healthy as hummus, using chickpeas, nondairy milk, date paste, cocoa powder, rolled oats, and vegan chocolate chips.
What makes this pumpkin pie filling so much more luxurious than the rest? A rhinestone-studded crust? Nope, this pie gets its extra decadent flare from a can of full-fat coconut milk. Fold in some brown sugar, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, and a little bit of cornstarch, and you’ve got yourself the ultimate Thanksgiving dessert.
Invite your friends and family to try (and share) these plant-based Thanksgiving swaps. If you’re looking for more meatless recipe inspiration, check out our recipe gallery.