Easy Vegetarian Thanksgiving Dish Ideas (for those who don’t usually celebrate)

I, like many, have grown up in America as a child of immigrant parents. Some families adopt American holidays with full force, but others tend to shy away from the celebrations for their own reasons. My family in particular never grew up celebrating Thanksgiving, and when we eventually began trying to celebrate, we never made a whole feast, or truly immersed ourselves in the holiday of gratitude. 

I would look at other friends’ and peers’ celebrations and mouth-watering feasts quite enviously, wondering why my family did not want to participate and go all out just like everyone else. Finally, in 2020, the stay-at-home orders sparked us to truly celebrate. We finally committed to making a feast. So for any other first timers who are celebrating, and find the task of preparing an entire feast, or multiple dishes, daunting, here are a couple easy, relatively simple/straightforward dishes that are vegetarian friendly!

  1. 1. Garlic Mashed Potatoes

    mashed potatoes with gravy, carrots and peppers, and steak on plate

    By far, the easiest dish to prepare; mashed potatoes are a Thanksgiving staple, and absolutely delicious. You can add cheese or bacon bits if you’d like. All you truly need for mashed potatoes are: potatoes of course, milk/heavy cream, butter, salt & pepper, and for extra flavor, garlic, and some garnish. There are numerous videos and recipes on the internet, but the base ingredients for garlic mashed potatoes are stated above. This takes 20 minutes to make and is sure to be a success. We just made ours and it was divine.

  2. 2. Baked Mac & Cheese

    A star dish in many kitchens’, baked mac & cheese again requires everyday ingredients: Cheese(s) of your choice, milk/cream, egg, and macaroni pasta. Of course there are numerous variations, so if you’d like to spice it up and make a more complex mac & cheese you can always do so.

  3. 3. Sticky Toffee Pudding

    baking ingredients

    Now this dessert is an amazing dish that although requires a few new ingredients, is again relatively quick and simple to achieve. All you need for this dessert is: pitted dates, all purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, brown sugar, butter, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and eggs. A lot of these ingredients are baking staples, so if you buy them now, you can use them for many recipes in the future as well. If making an entire cake feels too difficult, then, you can easily make just the toffee sauce to pair with someone else’s dessert or even to drizzle on top of ice cream. All you need is brown sugar, butter, and heavy cream.

These are just a few vegetarian friendly options. There are many more recipes that you can check out so do not let this holiday daunt you or make you stressed out. All that matters is the celebration of the people we love while appreciating what we have. After all, we only have this one life that we know of, so let's try to make the most of it and celebrate whenever we can, because there will always be a plethora of  darkness attempting to break us down and keep us that way.