Tips for a Vegan-Friendly Thanksgiving

Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie… Thanksgiving is all about food. And, of course, spending time with friends and family and giving thanks for everything you have in your life. While most people look forward to the once-a-year Thanksgiving feast, it can be daunting for vegetarians and vegans. Follow this guide to get the most out of your turkey-less Turkey Day.

Entree

The main dish is the hardest part, but you don’t have to eat just mashed potatoes and salad every year. Several companies, like Trader Joe’s and Gardein, make tofu-based “turkey” roasts for the holiday. They’re also stuffed with stuffing and come with vegan gravy. You’ll have delicious leftovers for days.

Another protein-packed option is to make a meatless meatloaf. This lentil loaf takes a while to make, but it’s packed with fresh veggies, whole grains, and spices that’ll be sure to satisfy meat-eaters as well.

Lastly, vegetable dishes make great entrees as well. Try this “lazy ratatouille” to impress everyone, even though the fancy, French-inspired dish will take way less time than the turkey. Pair it with pasta, quinoa, or just eat it plain.

Side Dishes

You can’t have Thanksgiving without mashed potatoes and stuffing, but unfortunately these tend to be cooked with butter, cream, and animal fats. This recipe for vegan mashed potatoes is super easy and between the roasted garlic and chives, no one will even guess that it’s vegan. Another option is to make baked potatoes. Other guests can add butter and sour cream while you can stick to olive oil, margarine and whatever else you want. Having a baked potato topping bar will make everyone happy and provides a fun update to a more traditional dish.

Stuffing is another necessity, and if the stuffing in the tofurkey isn’t enough, try this filling recipe. Bonus: it only has nine ingredients! It has fresh vegetables and hearty lentils so you don’t need to feel guilty about taking seconds (or thirds).

If you’re sick of carbs, roasting some fresh vegetables makes a perfect side dish. Roast vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus and carrots. Just chop it up, add olive oil, minced garlic, salt, and pepper and cook for about 20 minutes.

Dessert

Last but not least, you have to have desserts. Again, this can be tricky for vegans since so many recipes have eggs and butter, but you just need to change a few ingredients and the result will be just as delicious!

First, you can’t have Thanksgiving without cranberry sauce. This super easy recipe also has orange zest which will give the sauce an extra kick.

For a delicious, fall-inspired dessert, make this pumpkin bread. This one-bowl recipe is super easy and it will make enough to have as breakfast and snacks for days. Plus, the chocolate chips and walnuts give it an amazing and unique taste.

Once you've filled up with all the vegan goodies, curl up in bed with your food baby and enjoy the break. Happy Thanksgiving!

Image Credits: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6