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More Than Just Tofurky: Thanksgiving as a Vegetarian

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

If you have vegetarian family members but aren’t vegetarian yourself, Thanksgiving can be a tricky time. However, there is no need to fret as there are several simple options to replace turkey, stuffing and other traditional Thanksgiving foods. 

And no, it’s not Tofurky. 

Disclaimer: The foods labeled as vegetarian may still include egg and dairy products. Vegan foods exclude all animal products.


Squash is a quintessential fall food, and there are so many variations to choose from. Of course, you can’t go wrong with simply steaming up some zucchini or yellow squash, but there are other options for those who want to spice up their Thanksgiving meals. Spaghetti squash is a great substitute for pasta, and stuffed acorn squash can replace turkey and stuffing for vegetarian family members. 

Stuffed Acorn Squash by @janetsmunchmeals
Vegetable Lasagna

I may be a little biased because my grandma makes the best around, but vegetable lasagna is a staple for any vegetarian Thanksgiving meal. And it’s as simple as replacing ground beef with your favorite vegetables. For example, spinach, zucchini or peppers. What makes my grandma’s lasagna so special you ask? She uses marinara instead of alfredo typical of vegetable lasagna. You have to try it for yourself! 

Vegetable Lasagna by @smittenkitchen
Warm Peaches and Cinnimon

Everyone loves pie, but for vegetarians, a suitable option is difficult to find as most store bought pie crusts contain lard. Instead, try warming up some sliced peaches with a sprinkle of cinnamon and splash of maple syrup. Then you can top it with vanilla ice cream and have your own version of peach pie. 

warm peaches by @modernmealmakeover

Similar to squash, potatoes are very versatile. Just skip the gravy to make mashed potatoes vegetarian, or roast up a mixture of different root vegetables for a savory medley. I like to dice, season to taste, and roast a mixture of carrots, sweet potatoes, beets and golden potatoes for an easy side dish.

Roasted Root Vegetables by @forksoverknives

These are just a few of my favorite Thanksgiving foods as a vegetarian, but there are tons more options to choose from as well. And many sides, such as rolls and vegetables, are already vegetarian, so you are well on your way to the perfect vegetarian Thanksgiving. 

Jenna Bal

Kent State '24

Jenna Bal is a sophomore journalism major with a minors in English and web development. This is her second semester writing for HerCampus and the Burr. When she’s home in Toledo, Jenna enjoys working as a barista and spending time with her younger sisters. Her hobbies include reading, hiking, and journaling, and her favorite read is Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. After graduation, she hopes to write for a magazine and eventually pursue her master’s degree in library sciences.
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