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The holidays are around the corner. You wake up to the smell of freshly made coffee, hear your family laughing as they watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and you’re ready to experience a day full of gratitude and food. There’s just one problem… you’re vegan.

If you’re a vegan elder, you’ll already know how to celebrate holidays with colorful meals that will fool all of your carnivore friends and family. But what if you’re new? What do you eat on the day when you’re supposed to indulge yourself with turkey, butter, and ham?

Here’s a life tip: you can veganize anything. I’ve even eaten a vegan crème brûlée, traditionally made from almost only egg and heavy cream. If you can make a vegan crème brûlée, you can definitely make vegan mashed potatoes, stuffing, a roast, and even mac and cheese.

1. Mashed Potatoes

Alex Frank / Spoon

Let’s start easy. The only vegan replacements for mashed potatoes are non-dairy milk and some vegan butter. Cut 1-2 Yukon gold potatoes into cubes and transfer them into a pot filled with cold water about an inch above the potatoes. Turn it up to high heat and boil for about 10 minutes. Remember to add a little salt to the water to make the boiling part faster! In a separate pan, add vegan butter (I usually do about a tablespoon per potato, but that is up to you!), 1/2 cup of non-dairy milk, and a few chopped-up gloves of garlic. Let this simmer while your potatoes are boiling. Once the 10 minutes is up, drain your potatoes and throw them back into the warm pot on the stove. Add in your creamy sauce in parts and carefully fold everything in as you add more liquid. Season as you would normally, with salt and/or garlic powder. The result will be fluffy, vegan mashed potatoes, aka the best kind!

2. Stuffing!

This recipe is another one where you sub out 2-3 ingredients and you’re set. There are so many different recipes for stuffing, so I will spare you the details. What I will tell you is leave the bread out overnight when you cut it up. You want it to be dry. For the egg, I recommend either making a flax-seed egg (made by combining 1 tbsp of flax seeds and 3 tbsp of water), OR if you want to be lazy, like me, you’ll purchase an already made egg replacement like “Just Egg.” The brand “Just Egg” should be sold at grocery stores like Publix and Walmart, but Whole Foods is a safe bet if not. Another item you’ll need that I’ve only been able to find at Whole Foods is vegan chicken stock. You can always use veggie stock, but vegan chicken stock is so. Damn. Good. From someone who hasn’t tasted meat in five years, it tastes just like the real thing, but I’ll let you use your discretion.

3. A Turkey Roast, duh!

Okay, this is where I cheat heavily. You could find a vegan turkey recipe online, but most of us simply do not have time for that. What I do have time for, however, is telling you the brands that sell their roasts. If you’re already at Whole Foods for vegan chicken stock, swing by their frozen aisle and pick up their 365 “Meatless Plant-Based Roast with Gravy.” It’s a turkey roast with stuffing in the middle that comes with a packet of gravy. If you purchase this one, make sure you simmer the gravy while the roast is in the oven, and add additional stock, garlic powder, mushroom powder, and maybe even some coconut cream to thicken it up. Gardein also has its own version of this made almost the same way with stuffing in the middle. If you prefer something else to the inside, Gardein sells cutlets. Some other brands that offer vegan turkey are Field Roast and Quorn.

4. Mac and Cheese

You already know I had to save the best for last. Vegan mac may be my favorite food of all time, but that’s coming from somebody who has never enjoyed cheese, even before becoming vegan (I know, I know.) Because I’ve always disliked cheese, I’ve always disliked gross, store-bought, processed fake cheese, and if you enjoy real cheese, you’ll dislike it too. What I do love is making vegan cheese from scratch. This will be a bit more labor-intensive, but it’ll be worth it.

You’ll need more Yukon Gold potatoes, cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic and onion (in powder form or chopped), mushroom seasoning, EVOO, and salt. You will boil the potatoes just as we did above, drain them, and combine them with all the ingredients in a high-speed blender. Don’t ask me the science behind potatoes, but when blended with the elements above, they produce a gooey texture similar to actual cheese. The measurements vary depending on your preferences, but I would measure with your heart on the nutritional yeast to ensure the cheese has a nutty, savory flavor. Add apple cider vinegar to the mix if you want it to finish with a little tang. Pour the sauce over your favorite pasta, and enjoy!

Pro tip: If you want to turn this into a bake, pour the contents into a pan and top with homemade breadcrumbs from your stuffing and some fried onions. Then, put it in the oven for about ten minutes at 350°.

There you have it, your four new classic Thanksgiving recipes that won’t fool your friends, but they’ll admit it’s good. Happy Vegans-giving!

Caysea Stone, a proud Orlando native, is a journalism major with a minor in women's studies at the University of Central Florida expected to graduate Fall of 2025. Her dedication to these fields is evident in her academic pursuits and personal interests, which include following a vegan lifestyle and a deep love for yoga, meditation, and feminism. She enjoys dissecting society and culture, from discussing trends to completing in-depth film analysis. Her ability to delve deep into these topics and provide insightful perspectives is a testament to her analytical skills and intellectual curiosity. Her ultimate aspiration is to become a writer for a renowned women's magazine such as Cosmopolitan or Bustle. But beyond this, Stone's true passion lies in empowering and inspiring younger women. She encourages them to prioritize self-kindness and actively work towards overcoming any internalized misogyny they may encounter, a mission that is both admirable and inspiring.