What to Eat on Thanksgiving if You’re a Vegetarian

Being a vegetarian on Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be boring! 

 

Pasta 

I’ve been eating various forms of pasta on Thanksgiving for years. Pasta is as filling as turkey, if not more, but allows for a lot more variety and creativity. Lasagna has been one of my go-to Thanksgiving foods for a while now, and I’ve since developed my own recipe after making it so many times. Here are some of my top lasagna tips: 

 

  1. I definitely recommend including an egg in your ricotta cheese mix to help the lasagna solidify and stick together. 

  1. Spinach is a simple and healthy vegetable to include. You can barely taste it, and since it’s a flat leaf, it won’t mess up the structure of the lasagna. 

  1. Finely chopping onions, zucchini, and peppers, is another way to include tasty veggies.

  1. Lots of garlic powder! 

 

Although I have greatly relied on lasagna over the years, this Thanksgiving I may switch it up and go for Mac and Cheese instead. Lately, I have been in love with Queer Eye chef Antoni Porowski’s Mac and Cheese recipe. Some game-changing advice from him is to use plain goat cheese, frozen peas, and some of the leftover pasta water with your cream and cheese mix. 

 

Veggies, Veggies, Veggies! 

Vegetables are an obvious choice for any vegetarian. However, there’s no need for them to be tasteless. Some of my favorite Thanksgiving vegetables are potatoes, green beans, squash, carrots, and Brussel sprouts. Roasting a combination of these vegetables with garlic is an easy choice. Also, making a nice dish of cheesy potatoes is always a crowd-pleaser.  

Here are some great recipes to try: 

  1. Scalloped potatoes: https://www.spendwithpennies.com/easy-cheesy-scalloped-potatoes-and-the-secret-to-getting-them-to-cook-quickly/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=pinterest&utm_campaign=tailwind_smartloop&utm_content=smartloop&utm_term=33475816 

  1. Roasted potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and Brussel sprouts: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/roasted-potatoes-carrots-parsnips-and-brussels-sprouts-recipe2-1940760 

  2. Cauliflower Gratin: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/cauliflower-gratin-recipe-1917463

 

Protein 

Despite what the carnivore critics say, there are actually a number of sufficient protein sources available to vegetarians, and plenty of recipes to make with them on Thanksgiving. For example, there is the slightly odd Tofurkey for those missing out on the traditional bird experience. I’ve only tried Tofurkey once, and I don’t think I would recommend it based on that experience. The texture was a little strange, but incorporating it into a larger recipe might be a safer option for those still interested. You should definitely try it for yourself though. There’s also plenty of creative ways to make quinoa, a protein-packed grain, and wild rice, which is often a healthier option than white rice.  

Many of these recipes mix in nuts, veggies, and cheeses, all of which can be high in protein: 

  1. Broccoli, Cheddar, and Quinoa Gratin: https://cookieandkate.com/better-broccoli-casserole-recipe/ 

  1. Vegetarian Stuffed Acorn Squash: https://cookieandkate.com/vegetarian-stuffed-acorn-squash-recipe/ 

  1. Vegan Barley, Wild Rice, and Cranberry Pilaf: https://www.thespruceeats.com/vegan-barley-wild-rice-cranberry-pilaf-3377562 

 

Try some of these Thanksgiving recipes and open yourself up to the world of vegetables!