37 best vegan Thanksgiving recipe ideas for a meat-free feast

Author: Molly Pickering

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we've collated our favourite vegan Thanksgiving recipes to help you create a meat-free feast like no other. From a vegan ham joint to a classic pumpkin pie, these recipes are sure to make your vegan Thanksgiving one to remember

Thanksgiving is when families and friends come together to give thanks and enjoy delicious food. Traditionally, roast turkey is the centrepiece of most families’ tables during the festive holiday.

It is reported that a staggering 46 million turkeys are killed in the US for Thanksgiving alone, with that figure reaching 245 million throughout the year.1

Fortunately, more people than ever are making the switch to meat and dairy-free diets meaning more families will come together to enjoy a vegan Thanksgiving feast.

Whether you’re hosting a small group or feeding the masses, we know that putting together a menu for such a big occasion can seem daunting. But fear not, we’ve compiled our favourite vegan recipes to ensure your Thanksgiving table is filled with delicious food everyone can enjoy.

In this article, you will find everything you need to make an impressive vegan Thanksgiving feast, including:

Vegan Thanksgiving appetizers

We would argue that the appetizers are one of the most crucial parts of your vegan Thanksgiving feast. This is your chance to kick off the meal with a bang and impress your guests from the get-go.

Whether you’re looking for a light nibble of our delicious easy courgette crostinis or something more cheesy like the indulgent vegan cheese fondue, these plant-based Thanksgiving appetizers are sure to make your dinner a memorable one.

1. Vegan Leek and Cheese Parcels

For a delicious crispy starter, these vegan leek and cheese parcels are the one. Stuffed with pan-fried leeks and garlic smothered in a creamy, cheesy sauce.

Serve these golden parcels with the luxurious black forest dipping sauce for a fruity kick.

Vegan leek and cheese parcels

2. Rosemary Garlic Tofu Bites

There are so many amazing ways to prepare tofu. You can freeze it to change the texture, marinade it, or coat it in a delicious dry rub and cook it so it’s crispy.

This easy recipe combines the classic flavours of rosemary and garlic that makes this vegan starter perfect for any autumnal or winter dinner.

Rosemary Garlic Tofu bites

3. Easy Vegan Crispy Courgette Crostini

Crostini’s are one of our favourite recipes to make for any dinner party, they are simple to prepare and are incredibly tasty.

You can use whatever topping you fancy but for this recipe, we’ve opted for a refreshing grated courgette mixture flavoured with fresh mint and spring onion.

Make the mixture ahead of your dinner party and simple toast the bread before serving – it’s as simple as that!

Crispy courgette crostinis

4. Vegan Cheese Fondue

Fondues are a great way to get your guests to engage with your food and are simple to prepare.

We love dipping warm toasted bread into a pot of molten gooey vegan cheese. You can serve these as individual pots or get a large fondue kit and place it in the middle of the table and invite everyone to get stuck in.

Vegan cheese fondue

5. Creamy Vegan Mushroom Soup With Truffle Oil

Soup always makes a great vegan appetizer but often it can be bland and just a bit disappointing.

Take your soup from bland to indulgent with this creamy vegan mushroom soup topped with truffle oil. Serve with a slice of warm sourdough for a heart, warming starter.

Creamy mushroom soup with truffle oil

6. Vegan Wontons

For an alternative vegan Thanksgiving appetizer, these vegan wontons pack a flavoursome punch and are sure to impress your dinner guests.

These wontons are packed with carrots, mushrooms, leeks, and spring onion, but you can use whatever spare veggies you have in the fridge.

The addition of vegan cheese may seem like a rogue choice, but trust us, it works!

Vegan cheesy wontons

7. Easy Queso Fresco

Making your own vegan cheese is a great way to make a statement and let your guests know you mean business.

While some vegan cheese recipes can be tricky, this easy queso fresco recipe is simple to follow and produces the creamiest and crumbliest vegan cheese that is true to its traditional taste and texture.

Serve on a board with crackers or bread and get stuck in.

Vegan queso fresco

8. Broccoli & Chive Puff Pots

Vegan soufflés may seem like a challenge, but this take on the classic dish is one that anyone can follow.

Although it doesn’t quite rise like a traditional soufflé, these puff pots are light, fluffy, and bursting with flavour.

Broccoli and chive puff pots

Meat-free Thanksgiving mains

Creating a memorable main course for your Thanksgiving feast can either be a dread or a triumph.

Thankfully, our list of incredible vegan recipes is guaranteed to make the day easier with showstopping mains including authentic maple roast vegan ham joint, a delicious tempeh wellington, baked butternut squash and mushroom stuffing, plus so much more.

9. Squash, Chestnut & Hazelnut Nut Roast Wreath

No Thanksgiving table is complete without a showstopping centrepiece for your guests to marvel at. This nut roast wreath is certainly a thing of beauty and would take pride of place at any table.

Made with butternut squash, chestnuts and hazelnuts, this glorious Thanksgiving main serves up to 10 people so is perfect for large gatherings or making essential leftovers the next day.

Nut roast wreath

10. Baked Squash With Mushroom Nut Roast Stuffing

For those looking for a lighter but equally tasty festive main, this baked butternut squash stuffed with a delicious mushroom nut roast is the ideal dish.

The sweet butternut squash paired with the savoury nut roast stuffing is a great addition to any Thanksgivings main course.

Baked butternut squash with nut roast stuffing

11. Vegan Mustard & Maple Ham Recipe

Push your culinary skills to the next level with this vegan mustard & maple ham joint.

This simple seitan joint is guaranteed to be a conversation starter and will delight all of your guests (even the meat eaters).

Vegan mustard and maple ham joint

12. Vegetable & Tempeh Wellington with Shiitake Gravy

Tempeh often gets a bad rep for its ‘lack of flavour’, but like any ingredient, it’s all to do with the prep and seasoning.

This tempeh recipe first braises the tempeh in a rich sauce bursting with umami flavours before it is layered with tender vegetables and served with an incredible shiitake gravy.

Be sure to pack dry your veg and make sure everything is completely cold before wrapping your pastry to get a golden, flaky and soy-free wellington.

 

Vegetable and tempeh wellington

13. Vegan Nut Roast Packed With Chunky Lentils and Brazil Nuts

For those looking for a healthier Thanksgiving feast, this vegan nut roast is the one for you!

Packed with chunky lentils and brazil nuts, this nut roast is rich in selenium and protein and is bursting with nutrients.

Serve with a delicious potato salad and extra veggies for a nutritious Thanksgiving meal.

Chunky lentil and vegan nut roast

14. Cottage Pie with Potato & Parsnip Mash

If you’re looking for a more relaxed Thanksgiving meal, this heart vegan cottage pie with creamy potato and parsnips is always a winner for us.

The base of the cottage pie is made of braised puy lentils, vegetables and herbs in a rich gravy made from mushroom stock for added umami flavour.

Vegan cottage pie

15. Lentil Roast

This lentil roast is a recipe by the renowned vegan chef, Gaz Oakley.  This flavoursome roast is packed with lentils and mushrooms for an incredible meaty texture without the unnecessary cruelty.

Serve with your favourite Thanksgiving side dishes like cornbread, mashed sweet potato, and lashings of vegan gravy.

Lentil roast dinner

16. Roasted Cauliflower with Broccoli and Walnut Stuffing

Cauliflower is such an underrated vegetable and often it is not cooked correctly which resorts to a bitter flavour. This underrated vegetable has the best taste when treated and cooked right.

This whole roast cauliflower with broccoli and walnut stuffing would take pride of place at any Thanksgiving table and certainly surprise your guests with its smokey flavour and tender texture.

Whole roasted cauliflower

17. Rainbow Vegetable Pie

Bring some colour to your Thanksgiving table with this rainbow vegetable pie. The layers inside this beautiful pie consist of potato, butternut squash, roasted peppers, asparagus, and beetroot, but you can use whatever veggies you have in the fridge.

Serve with a salsa verde made up of basil leaves, capers, gherkins, and chives for a boost of flavour.

Rainbow vegetable pie

18. Paprika Jackfruit with Crushed Winter Vegetables & Vegetable Crisps

Impress your guests this Thanksgiving with this gourmet jackfruit recipe. The succulent jackfruit sits on crispy crushed winter vegetables and is topped with vegetable crisps.

Top with Brussels sprouts leaves and a spoonful of the rich tomato sauce for an unforgettable meal.

Jackfruit stack

Vegan Thanksgiving sides

Sides are arguable the best part of any Thanksgiving feast. This is your chance as a host to get creative and really bring your main course to life with a range of delicious side dishes.

From baked chilli sweet potato and maple roast roasted carrots and parsnips to easy vegan cornbread and the best simple gravy, we’ve got plenty of plant-based side ideas to inspire you.

19. Easy Vegan Cornbread with Spicy Potatoes

Over vegan cornbread recipe is simple to prepare and ready in just over 1 hour. Cornbread is often made with buttermilk which gives the bread its sour taste, this recipe uses vinegar and soya milk as a replacement.

Serve with spicy potatoes for a touch of heat to your Thanksgiving dinner.

Easy vegan cornbread

20. Roast Potatoes with Seasonal Salad & Cranberry Sauce

Who can resist the perfect roast potato? We sure can’t! Take your potatoes to the next level with this seasonal salad and cranberry sauce recipe.

Serve your crispy roast potatoes on a bed of fresh leaves and toss through toasted hazelnuts for added crunch. Drizzle with the homemade cranberry sauce and tuck in.

Roast potato seasonal salad with cranberry sauce

21. Vegan Savoury Vegetable Crumble

A good crumble doesn’t have to be sweet, just look at this savoury vegetable crumble!

Packed with delicious vegetables like baby corn, sweet potato, and carrots, this dish makes a great side to your festive plate.

The crumble topping is made with oats and walnuts for an added boost of omega-3.

Vegan savoury vegetable crumble

22. Vegan cheesy garlic mashed potatoes

Potatoes are wonderful things and so versatile. While roast potatoes are often seen as everyone’s favourite variety (who doesn’t love a roastie?), a hearty bowl of creamy mashed potatoes is the way to our hearts.

Adding nutritional yeast and garlic to your creamy mash is a great way to boost its flavour while adding extra vitamins. Make sure your mashed potatoes are smooth and creamy before serving.

cheesy vegan mashed potato

23. Festive Mac ‘n’ Cheese Balls with Mince & Cranberry

Fancy adding something exciting to your Thanksgiving plate? These festive mac ‘n’ cheese balls are sure to be a hit with your guests.

The creamy vegan mac ‘n’ cheese is moulded with meat-free mince and juicy dried cranberries before coated in breadcrumbs and deep fried! Serve these as a side dish or as vegan cânapes.

Festive vegan mac and cheese

24. Vegan Red Wine Gravy

Nothing beats homemade gravy. Its deep flavour can bring any dish to life and is essential on any Thanksgiving table.

Sure it’s easy to buy store-bought gravy, but why not make your own? This richly-flavoured vegan gravy recipe has a wonderful depth of flavour that makes it the perfect pairing for a vegan roast.

Best Ever Vegan and Vegetarian Red Wine Gravy

25. Spiced Maple Roast Carrots & Parsnips with Mustard Polenta Mash

Maple-roasted carrots and parsnips are the essence of Thanksgiving dinner and a great way to eat seasonal produce.

These roasted carrots and parsnips are served with sweet caramelised red onions and a heart polenta mash. This is comfort eating at its finest!

Spiced maple roast carrots and parsnips

26. Baked sweet potato salad with chilli, coriander and tamari

Bring a touch of vibrance to the festivities this year with this delicious baked sweet potato salad.

Using just 7 ingredients, this simple recipe is bursting with flavour and brings a welcomed freshness with the fresh mint, coriander, and limes.

Baked sweet potato salad

27. Maple Glazed Brussels Sprouts with Sweet Potato Mash

Brussels sprouts can be hit or miss for some people, but we love them. Often a bad-tasting sprout is down to how it is cooked. Overcooking Brussels Sprouts can leave a bitter, soggy taste in your mouth which no one enjoys.

Thankfully, this recipe shows you how to cook the humble sprout to perfection! Coated in a sweet and spicy maple glaze, these sprouts are anything but bitter and soggy.

Maple glazed Brussels sprouts

Vegan Thanksgiving desserts

No good meal is complete without a showstopping dessert. There are so many iconic Thanksgiving desserts to choose from, it can be hard to choose just one.

Whether you’re looking for the classics like vegan pumpkin pie or apple pie or something a bit more creative, you’re sure to be spoilt for choice with the following vegan dessert recipes.

28. Vegan Chocolate & Peppermint Whoopie Pie

Whoopie pies are an American dessert staple. These delightful vegan cookie sandwiches are filled with a dairy-free buttercream flavoured with peppermint.

You can whip up these whoopie pies in just 30 minutes. Serve piled high on a big plate for an after-dinner treat or Thanksgiving brunch.

Chocolate and peppermint Whoopie pies

29. Salted Caramel Apple Pie

A big slice of perfectly baked apple pie does wonders for the soul. Indulge in the ultimate comfort food this Thanksgiving served with a big jug of delicious salted caramel.

This recipe shows a simple way to make vegan shortcrust pastry, but you can always use shortcrust pastry to speed up the process.

Salted caramel apple pie

30. Vegan Pumpkin Pie

No Thanksgiving is complete without vegan pumpkin pie. Baking this autumnal dessert will fill your house with the sweet flavours of autumn like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.

Bake the sweet mixture and serve with a big dollop of vegan cream and enjoy!

Vegan pumpkin pie

31. Vegan Cranberry Pecan Pie

We love the flavour of pecan and cranberry, the sour taste from the cranberry pairs so deliciously with the sweet, nutty pecans.

In this recipe, we’ve soaked the cranberries in brandy and orange juice to give the fruits added flavour. Once soaked, the liquid gets reused to create a linseed meal slurry that is poured on top to keep the pie moist.Pecan cranberry pie

32. Vegan & Gluten-Free Salted Caramel Cupcakes

If you’re throwing a Thanksgiving buffet, these vegan and gluten-free salted caramel cupcakes make the perfect buffet dessert.

The salted caramel shards that sit on top of the vegan cupcakes are studded with hazelnuts and are sure to impress your guests.

Salted caramel cupcakes

33. Vegan Salted Chocolate Peanut Tart

This elegant tart is a feast for the eyes and the perfect dessert to end a memorable Thanksgiving. The olive oil-infused crust encases a rich chocolate ganache made with dark chocolate and homemade peanut cream.

In this recipe, we’ve used berries as a topping but you can use any fruit you’d like. Bananas would make a great alternative, or pear and apple.

Salted caramel and peanut tart

34. Vegan Pear & Pecan Cake

Pears are in season during the autumn and winter months making them the perfect fruit to use in any Thanksgiving dessert. At their ripest, pears are juicy and bursting with flavour, making them perfect for this pear and pecan cake.

The moist sponge is studded with pecans chunks topped with layers of baked pears and more pecans.

Vegan pear and pecan cake

35. Banana Cream Pie

Banana cream pie is a guilty pleasure of ours. This fun dessert fills us with the nostalgia of being young children hungry for a big slice of indulgent banana cream pie topped with lots (and lots) of whipped cream.

Recreate the childhood classic with this delicious recipe, it’s low in refined sugars but still tastes incredibly indulgent.

Banana cream pie

36. Pear and Cardamom Vegan Cheesecake

Cheesecake is always a crowd pleaser and is a great recipe to be creative with. Try something new like this pear and cardamom vegan cheesecake recipe.

This elegant dessert is bursting with warming flavours of cardamom and juicy pears. It’s also coeliac-friendly thanks to its gluten-free rice cracker base.

Pear and cardamom vegan cheesecake

37. Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake

Bring two classic desserts together with this caramel pumpkin cheesecake. Indulge in the flavours of pumpkin pie whilst enjoying the irresistible textures from the creamy cheesecake.

Top this vegan cheesecake with crunchy pecans coated in an agave and cinnamon glaze. Cut a slice and enjoy!

Vegan caramel pumpkin cheesecake

Planning your Christmas menu?
Here are our favourite 48 vegan Christmas recipes to get you inspired…

Reference:

  1. https://www.humanesociety.org/sites/default/files/docs/investigation-report-wpc.pdf

Written by

Molly Pickering

When she's not reporting the latest vegan news, Molly's other passions are tattoos, 80’s horror and good vegan food

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