Traditionally, people eat big meals around the holidays. Most of the big dishes (like turkey, gravy and stuffing ) are typically full of some kind of protein, and even though some people insist that a tofurkey is a great vegetarian or vegan option, a lot of people who aren’t into eating meat want holiday dishes that are just as delicious and hearty as those their more carnivorous friends enjoy.
If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, or have one coming to your next holiday gathering, check out a few of the recipes we’ve rounded up below. No odd tofu concoctions here. Just real, delicious, healthy meals that will satisfy everyone — no matter what they like to eat.
This stuffing is vegetarian, vegan and gluten free, and it’s full of good stuff like apples, cranberries, pecans and herbs. Plus quinoa is packed with protein and fiber, which will satisfy better than traditional bread stuffing.
Besides the fact that you can make these bites in less than 30 minutes, cauliflower is a favorite vegetable for people trying to lose a bit of weight because of its low calorie and high fiber count. It also bakes well, so all you’ll really be tasting is the Parmesan. If your kids have no idea they’re eating vegetables, chances are they’ll keep on eating them!
Not all gravy has to be beef broth based. This gravy is made from oyster mushrooms, vegetable stock, and a lot of herbs, and it’s so rich that no one will know it’s completely vegetarian.
Thanksgiving can often be won or lost with appetizers, and who doesn’t love a good spinach dip? This spinach dip is extra amazing because it’s made in the slow cooker, meaning you can set it and forget it. But once everyone tastes this cheesy, garlicky, insanely good dip, they won’t be forgetting that you’re the one who made it.
Green Bean Casserole has a long and somewhat messy Thanksgiving history. Most people remember being forced to eat it as kids, and really not enjoying the mushy texture. This vegan version still has the fried onions, but they’re homemade, and there’s nothing mushy or tasteless about a casserole made with coconut milk, garlic, mushrooms and green beans. Change this creepy tradition into something everyone will be asking you the recipe for.
Sure, it sounds a little odd, but take it from us, the combination of hearty lentils, carrots, walnuts, raisins and apples makes for a perfect vegan side dish or appetizer that’s guaranteed to intrigue even the most experienced eaters.
Beef Wellington is a very traditional dish, but if you want to change up your Thanksgiving centerpiece in a very non-traditional way, try this vegan version. Does it take some time and prep? Sure, but so does that turkey, and you’re sure to satisfy everyone with this flaky, buttery meal, whether they eat strictly vegetables or not.
If you want something for your family to munch on that isn’t fried or covered in cheese this Thanksgiving, these apple chips may be exactly what you need. Dehydrated slowly in the oven, they’re sweet, crunchy and satisfying while being naturally gluten and fat free.
These elegant vegetarian bites make the perfect appetizer. Store-bought puff pastry is the secret, making this delicate dish much easier to make than it looks. Do you have relatives to impress this year? This will do it!
Sometimes you need a little sweet before a big Thanksgiving meal, and this cranberry orange bread is just the ticket. Lightly tart, real cranberries and orange juice make this the perfect breakfast before the big day.
Speaking of cranberry, and having a little bit of sweet before the big meal, this ginger cranberry smoothie is another great breakfast option before diving into all that food. It’s antioxidant rich and full of immune boosting goodness, plus the chia seeds will keep you full until dinner.
Put the words “magic” and “custard” together and you have us sold. Add in the word “pumpkin” and we’re making this sweet dessert in our sleep. Gooey but still light (because of added egg whites), this cake might just replace that traditional pumpkin pie from now on.
Carrots, pomegranates, maple syrup, sesame seeds and coriander, this side dish is unbelievably delicious — dare we say, even exotic — and pretty simple to put together. And nothing says Happy Holidays like sweet, sweet pomegranates!
Another vegetable-based dip that’s guaranteed to impress people, this recipe is full of onion, roasted eggplant and Greek yogurt. Served with some toasty pita bread, it’s the perfect snack while everyone is waiting for the turkey (or vegetable wellington!) to roast.
We’re a big fan of honeycrisp apples, and this soup is the perfect combination of sweet and starchy. Parsnips have a light flavor, and when combined with sage, cream and cheddar cheese, make an A+ pre-dinner soup.
Everyone loves scalloped potatoes. They’re like a Thanksgiving right of passage, and now, everyone can enjoy them, even the vegan in your life. What makes them so creamy? Nut milk and cashew sauce (if you’ve never tried cashew sauce, you are missing out. The stuff is amazing).
Like the new take on green bean casserole earlier on the list, this new version of a vintage (and slightly scary) recipe makes it appealing again. Onion, garlic, red pepper flakes and cream (or coconut milk if you want to make it vegan), will turn even the pickiest eaters into kale lovers.
Corn, cornmeal, green onions, coconut milk and applesauce combine together (with a few other ingredients) to make a vegan cornbread that might trick even the most diehard cornbread lovers into thinking this is the stuff they’ve always eaten. Who knows, they might even like it better!
No Thanksgiving holiday is complete without the pecan pie! Luckily, this one is full of healthy ingredients like spinach, pears, pecans and molasses, so you can have all that sweet pecan taste without those empty calories.
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