The Vegan Dishes For Thanksgiving That Everyone Loves.

A diverse menu of vegan dishes to make your Thanksgiving exceptional.

The fashion designer Alexander McQueen said once: "You've got to know the rules to break them." Although he was talking about fashion and not national holidays, his message is still relevant. Thanksgiving is a time to bring people together, be grateful for the food, for the people, for everything that they feel thankful for. So it has more to do with having a good time than with the kind of food on the table. Never feel guilty for your commitment to being vegan. You've got your very own reasons to take that decision, and you have full control of what you decide to consume. 

As more people are going vegan or reducing their consumption of meat for a variety of reasons, it's no surprise that many Thanksgiving tables are going vegan this year, or at least they are not eating as much meat as last year. If that is your case and you are running out of ideas on what delicious dishes to cook for Thanksgiving, here are some of the best vegan options for you to share with your family this year. 

Main dishes

For many people, this is the most stressful dish to cook. Don't panic. Here are some simple yet delicious main dishes that you can cook or order ahead in your favorite vegan restaurant.

Lentil Mushroom Vegan Loaf

The texture and flavor of this meat-loaf is exquisite. Image Courtesy of Stacey Homemaker.

This loaf is not only gluten-free, but it has a meat-like texture with vegan ingredients only, not to mention that with the mixture of ingredients covered with tomato glaze, you will not miss your traditional meatloaf! The combination of lentils, quinoa, mushrooms, oats, and seasoning makes this dish a dream come true. You can look at the full recipe here.

Vegan stuffing

For many people, a Thanksgiving dinner without stuffing is incomplete. This is why a vegan stuffing must be part of your fabulous menu. It's super easy to make, and you might have most of the ingredients at home already. Make sure you use a good quality loaf bread to ensure a nice texture and flavor. Take a look at this recipe, and enjoy it!

Vegan turkey

Vegan turkey is an unexpectedly delicious dish for Thanksgiving. Image Courtesy of The Hidden Veggies.

You might be wondering, what on earth is a vegan turkey? A vegan turkey is usually made of soy or wheat gluten. It doesn't have the shape of a "traditional" turkey because there are no bones or skin on this one. Vegan turkeys usually are shaped like a loaf so that you can slice them easier. You can make a homemade vegan turkey, or if you just want to eat it and not cook it, you can find vegan turkeys at your favorite grocery store, especially if it is a store that sells a good amount of vegan food. Just don't wait until the night before Thanksgiving to look for it!

Side Orders

Understanding what your guests like and what they don't like is essential to make the decision of what side orders to cook. Suppose they don't like onions, then roasted onions are not the best idea. So here are some options for you to consider as side orders in your fabulous Thanksgiving dinner. 

Roasted Vegetable Salad with Chimichurri

A colorful salad with plant-based ingredients only. Image Courtesy of Minimalist Baker. 

The best salad is the one you love the most. Although there are many recipes on what salads should have, ultimately, you can choose the vegetables that make the most sense to you and put them together to create a cohesive and delicious salad. Ideally, there should be different colors in your salad to have a visually interesting and diverse salad. Think of the bright red of tomatoes, the bold orange of peppers, the light green of an avocado, and some yellow highlights of potatoes, vegan cheese, or dressing. By roasting your vegetables, you are adding an additional texture to your salad, which you will certainly enjoy as a side order with your Thanksgiving dinner. 

Vegan Mashed Potatoes

It is important for you to know that there is no need for you to spend endless hours in the kitchen preparing a decent meal. There are many dishes that are easy to do, with affordable ingredients, and that are actually really good. This is the case of vegan mashed potatoes. The warm and soft taste of mashed potatoes is incredibly satisfying for many of us who are potato lovers. People of all ages tend to love mashed potatoes, so if there are kids in your family, this is an excellent option for everybody. 

To make vegan mashed potatoes, you need to use oil or vegan butter and any unsweetened milk that doesn't come from a cow (soy or almond milk will give a refreshing flavor to your dish). Those are the basic ingredients to get started, but if you want to get fancier, vegan cream cheeses or herbs will add additional flavor and texture. In less than 30 minutes, your side order will be ready!

Italian Quinoa Bites

A crunchy and delicious side order. Dip them in marinara sauce for an extra layer of flavor! Image Courtesy of Shape Quinoa.

There is a reason why there are so many different dishes in the traditional Thanksgiving menu. There is something about the texture of each dish, the flavors, the warmth, or freshness that make sense altogether. For instance, as much as you may love salads, you are not going to make four different salads to eat in one night. The contrast to the freshness and lightness of a salad is this warm, and crunchy delight dipped in marinara sauce. The warm quinoa center melts in your mouth with a breadcrumb cover that your palate will absolutely love. The recipe is very straight-forward, and it will only take you 30 minutes to prepare and cook this crunchy side order. 

Desserts

The favorite part of dinner for the kids and many adults as well. The dinner was delicious, and now it's time to try something sweet, something that has some of the seasonal flavors that we know and enjoy. These are some options for your vegan dessert. 

Apple Tart with Walnut Crust

You can use the apple slices as a decoration element of the tart. Image Courtesy of Sweet Potato Soul.

If you are not into all the pumpkin desserts available out there, you are going to love this option. The texture of the apples with the crunchiness of the walnut crust is a great sensation that you and your family must experience. You can make the crust of any crunchy cookie if you don't love walnut or if you cannot find it. The idea of this tart is to be served nice and warm after dinner with a cup of hot chocolate. People of all ages will love it!

Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake

Fall gatherings mean there are pumpkins around, whether they are in your front yard for decoration or in your spiced latte. Pumpkins are a must during this time of the year. A pumpkin cheesecake is a great option for dessert during Thanksgiving. It is very fun to make, and it doesn't require many ingredients. Take a look at the full recipe here.

Apple Cranberry Slab Pie

A combination of fall and winter flavors. Image Courtesy of The Veg Life.

This dessert is the perfect transition from fall to winter flavors. After all, many people are already playing Christmas songs during Black Friday. It is a festive season, and one of our favorite ways to celebrate is by eating delicious food. The apple's warmth with the cranberries' sweetness is a very authentic way of making a dessert during Thanksgiving. The flavors make sense together; they are seasonal; they are delicious and easy to find. You can add raspberries and blueberries if you want to, or you can just let the apple and cranberry be the stars of this pie. 

Purple Sweet Potato Pie

One of the most photogenic desserts out there. image Courtesy of Pretty pies.

First of all, this is one of the most Instagrammable desserts out there. Its beautiful purple hue is 100% natural. There are no artificial colorings! Even though the pie is made of sweet potatoes, the flavor is not as sweet as other pies. There is no right or wrong here; it just depends on what you and your guests like. If you're into this pie, it is really easy to make, it looks pretty, it is delicious, and it is not the traditional pie that you will see elsewhere. 

Remember that Thanksgiving is a time of the year to enjoy, be grateful, and have a good time with the people you love. Don't panic, preparing dinner! Try to enjoy it as much as you can. If you feel that you have a lot going on, ask someone around you to assist you with simple tasks like slicing vegetables or washing the dishes. All those time-consuming tasks take your energy and your patience, so don't let that happen to you. You are in full control of this dinner, and it's going to be awesome!

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Javier Luna

Javier seeks to have a positive impact on people's lives through design. He is very passionate about sustainability, fashion and, politics. He is a writer, an award winner public speaker, a storyteller, and a person who looks for total equity. 
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