Our 38 Best Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes of All Time

This year, it’s all about the sides.

November  4, 2021
Photo by Ty Mecham

Roast turkey, buttery mashed potatoes, creamed greens, and eggy desserts are all staples at Thanksgiving. So what does a vegan Thanksgiving look like? Whether you follow this diet yourself, are hosting someone who does, or just want to change it up this year, we’ve got you covered. For starters, there’s probably no roast or deep-fried turkey and that’s okay. There are plenty of protein-rich dishes without a turkey at the center of them, and you can opt for a Tofurky if you’re really missing that centerpiece. But so many people wish for a sides-only Thanksgiving and this menu will deliver.

Here are 38 of our favorite vegan recipes that would make any Thanksgiving table more delicious.


1. Roasted Red Pepper & Cauliflower Dip

This vegan dip gets its gorgeous color from red bell peppers and creamy consistency from cauliflower. Serve with lots of raw vegetables and seedy crackers.

2. Romanian Eggplant Spread

Plan ahead: This custardy eggplant spread is even better after it marinates in the fridge for a day or two.

3. Pickled Pear Spears With Star Anise

Skip the honey and swap in maple syrup instead. Serve alongside a vegan ricotta, drizzled with olive oil, and crudités.


4. Vegan Caesar Salad With Polenta Croutons

Caesar dressing has Parmesan cheese, anchovies, and egg yolks, so how do you make it vegan? Cashews, kelp, white miso, and nutritional yeast.

5. Buffalo Chickpea Salad With Vegan Ranch

Ranch was made with buttermilk in mind, but it turns out, cashew cream does the job just as well—especially when lots of herbs (like parsley, chives, and dill) are involved.

6. Spicy Miso Eggplant & Broccoli Salad

This miso dressing is equal parts zingy and nutty, thanks to ginger and sesame oil. We bet it would be great drizzled over roasted squash, too.

7. Spiced Peanut Sweet Potato Salad

Sweet potatoes, radicchio, and dried dates get treated to a maple–peanut butter dressing. Lovely as a side or main dish.

8. Carrot Salad With Charred Pineapple, Avocado & Cumin-Lime Dressing

Carrots, shaved into ribbons with a vegetable, are like autumn’s answer to zoodles. Here, they turn into a bright-eyed salad with charred pineapple and a cumin dressing.


9. Butternut Squash Gratin

Vegetable gratins are all about the cheese and cream. This just-as-creamy vegan version uses plant-based milk, nutritional yeast, and almonds instead.

10. Roasted Endive With Walnut Vinaigrette

Endives get roasted until fork-tender and varnished, then drizzled in a big-personality walnut vinaigrette.

11. Mustardy, Mapley Tahini Sauce

Tahini, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, soy sauce. There, you just memorized the ingredient list. Pour on literally any roasted vegetable.

12. Steamed Broccoli With Caper-Raisin Vinaigrette

Steamed broccoli may sound less compelling than roasted broccoli, but that’s just because you have yet to top it with this caper-raisin vinaigrette.

13. Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower With Pistachio Gremolata

Turmeric gives roasted cauliflower a buttery-yellow color. Psst: This pistachio-date gremolata would be great with roasted squash, too.

14. Sautéed Brussels Sprouts

Looking for an easy, no-fuss side dish that’s totally vegan? Choose sautéed Brussels sprouts, which are at their peak right around Thanksgiving. You don’t need to do much to dress ’em up—a little bit of oil, salt and pepper, and lemon juice will do it.

15. The Only Roasted Cauliflower I Want

While we’re on the topic of keeping things simple, consider this cauliflower recipe too. The secret to flavorful, crispy, and definitely not boring cauliflower has to do with the way that you cut the stalks (slicing into thick slabs versus individual florets), roasting them with grated garlic, and then garnishing with raisins, red pepper flakes, and flaky salt.

16. Baked Sweet Potatoes with Spiced Lentil Salad & Lemon Tahini Dressing

These dressed-up sweet potatoes are hearty enough to be a vegan substitute for roast turkey (and they’re just as beautiful too). Once the spuds are thoroughly roasted, they’re topped with a spiced lentil salad, a drizzle of pomegranate molasses, and a lemony, garlicky dressing.

17. Tahini Roasted Broccoli

Clearly, we’re all about tahini. Why? Because it’s nutty, earthy, and totally vegan. It’s a super easy condiment to use to dress up a basic roasted veggie, like broccoli.


18. Miso Charred Carrot Soup

Follow this formula toward your new favorite carrot soup. Or feel free to swap out the carrots and call in parsnips.

19. Cream of Mushroom & Wild Rice Soup

Vegan cream of mushroom? It’s possible, thanks to coconut milk. Try an assortment of mushroom varieties for more umami.

20. Creamy Italian Root Vegetable Soup

“While the soup comes out very creamy, it is actually vegan,” writes Sara Jenkins. “By adding a small amount of potato to the base, the soup becomes perfectly lush, with a velvet-like softness post purée.”

21. Tuscan Bean Soup With Pumpkin & Kale

Pumpkin doesn’t need to turn into pie (though we have a vegan recipe for that, too, see below). Here, it stars in a hearty bean soup with lots of ruffly kale.


22. Mac & Cheese

Just like the original, a vegan mac and cheese should be creamy in texture and cheesy in flavor. Vegan recipe developer Gena Hamshaw achieves this with homemade cashew cream, canned beans, and lots of nutritional yeast.

23. Twice-Baked Potatoes With Creamy Chive Pesto

Arugula, scallions, chives, and cashews yield a remarkably creamy pesto—perfect for baked potatoes, spaghetti, and more.

24. Baked Sweet Potatoes With Spiced Lentil Salad & Lemon Tahini Dressing

Don’t let the long ingredient list deter you. These baked sweet potatoes are bold-flavored enough to serve as a main course.

25. No-Fuss Cornbread

Cornbread without the buttermilk? No problem. Souring soy milk with apple cider vinegar creates a strikingly similar effect.

26. Sweet Potato Biscuits

Choose your own adventure: These tender, fluffy sweet potato biscuits can be made either savory or sweet.

27. BBQ Baked Gigante Beans With Polenta & Coleslaw

Baked beans may not sound like a main course, but using oversized gigante beans makes them feel extra special. And, yes, the coleslaw is made with a homemade vegan mayo.


28. Gravy

For the fullest flavor, use the best vegetable broth you can get your hands on. Caramelized onions or sautéed mushrooms would make great mix-ins.


29. Apple Crisp

Instead of butter, this vegan streusel topping uses coconut oil instead. Use refined coconut oil if you don’t want the coconutty flavor.

30. Pie Crust

Coconut oil does it again! This time, in a butter-free, flaky-as-heck pie crust. Fill with your favorite filling or crumble on top of a plant-based ice cream.

31. Cinnamon Pecan Rolls

Thanksgiving breakfast? Yes, please. The filling calls for pecans and raisins, but feel free to swap in your favorite nut and dried fruit.

32. Pumpkin Pie

Cashew cream subs in for eggs and cream in this new-classic pumpkin pie. Even better topped with whipped coconut cream.

33. Raw Pecan Pie

Classic pecan pie only uses pecans in the filling—but this overachieving recipe uses them in the crust, too.

34. Dark Chocolate Gingerbread Thumbprint Cookies

No, that one tablespoon ground ginger in the ingredient list isn’t a mistake. It’s what makes these chocolatey cookies so spicy and good.

35. Chocolate Chip Cookies With Maple Syrup & Olive Oil

If a slice of pie sounds like too much toward the end of your Thanksgiving feast, serve these itty-bitty chocolate chip cookies instead.

36. Vegan Apple Brownies

Frankly, these are closer to blondies than brownies (since there’s no chocolate or cocoa powder), but that’s no matter. Chopped walnuts, apples, and a duo of nutmeg and cinnamon are folded into the vegan batter for an easy Thanksgiving dessert.

37. Vegan Apple Pie

The filling for apple pie is generally vegan (maybe with the exception of a few pats of butter), so the real focus for this dairy-free dessert is in the crust. Instead of butter, it’s made with a combination of oat milk, coconut oil, all-purpose flour, and a wee bit of salt.

38. Poached Pears in Red Wine

For a dessert on the lighter side that feels totally apt for Thanksgiving and is vegan to boot, try poached pears, which are cooked in a vat of red wine and orange juice along with cinnamon sticks, a handful of thyme, and sugar.

What are some of your favorite vegan recipes? Tell us in the comments!
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Emma was the food editor at Food52. She created the award-winning column, Big Little Recipes, and turned it into a cookbook in 2021. These days, she's a senior editor at Bon Appétit, leading digital cooking coverage. Say hello on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.


kat3029 August 25, 2019
Honestly, guys. First Halloween and now Thanksgiving? Can't we stick to the season we're in? Why are you publishing articles for holidays that are so far in the future - especially in the case of Thanksgiving, which is a quarter of a year away?
ronyvee August 24, 2019
Thanksgiving in August? Why?