This is the week each year I get asked for vegetarian Thanksgiving recipe ideas, so I thought I’d update my list of favorite recipes and ideas from the archives. I’ve also added a few recipes I’ve come across on other sites that looked exciting. I hope those of you preparing and celebrating have a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with friends and loved ones. Also, here’s a dedicated selection of vegan Thanksgiving recipes (and suggestions). xx, -h
Vegetarian Thanksgiving Main Dishes
Any one of these would be a welcome main dish as part of a modern Thanksgiving spread. I usually focus on one vegetarian main dish and then a collection of sides and salads to go along with it. Creating new classics is part of the fun. So anytime someone asks me, “what do vegetarians eat on Thanksgiving?” These are my suggestions.
A Rustic Scallion & Chive Panade – A show-stopping centerpiece of a meal. The combination of simmering broth, Gruyere cheese, onions, garlic, chives, and sourdough combine into a decadent pot of savory magic. If you make this you can skip making stuffing. Or make this in place of your classic stuffing. It’s *so* good.
Hazelnut & Chard Ravioli Salad – I made this a couple years back, and it makes a great vegetarian main dish. Plump raviolis tossed with toasted hazelnuts, sautéed ribbons of chard, and caramelized onions are at the heart of this ravioli salad recipe. It’s finished off with a dusting of cheese, snipped chives, and lemon zest. You can prepare most of the components ahead of time. These ravioli are stuffed with butternut squash, but use whatever you like. Mushroom stuffed ravioli are great in this dish too.
Deep Dish Quiche – A deep dish quiche like this brings drama to any table, and Thanksgiving is no exception. I love this as an option for a vegetarian main dish because it is beautiful, filling, and easy to bake early in the day. A nice slice of this is right at home nestled into a range of Thanksgiving salads and sides.
Vegan Pozole – This favorite meatless red pozole is grounded with cascabel and chipotle chiles and spiked with citrus olive oil. It’s wonderful for feeding a crowd, perfect addition to your Thanksgiving menu and you can do many of the components ahead of time. Be sure not to skimp on the toppings!
Sourdough Galette with Delicata Squash – I love this SO much. It’s a fully loaded winter sourdough galette topped with delicata squash, green chile yogurt, shallots, and scallions. Feel free to swap in another winter squash – butternut squash or acorn squash would both work well.
Mushroom Lasagna – Always a crowd-pleaser. This lasagna has layers of a vibrant, hearty and creamy mushroom ragù. There are generous dollops of ricotta and ribbons of silky pasta. The secret ingredient is plenty of grated lemon zest sprinkled into the baking dish.
Caramellized Brussels Sprouts & Apples with Tofu – Another favorite way to cook brussels sprouts. Shredded brussels sprout ribbons, apples, garlic, pine nuts, and tofu in a skillet with a hint of maple syrup.
Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dishes
Mashed Potatoes – This is the way to do them. Buttery peaks and cloud-like drizzled with a saffron garlic butter, and topped with a toasted almond, coriander, sesame sprinkle. Simple, but with enough of a twist to make them special. You might also play around with compound butters to accent your Thanksgiving mashed potatoes.
Baked Mushroom with Miso Butter – Here’s the secret, these are amazing over mashed potatoes. Baked mushrooms are the ultimate low-lift creation. Mushrooms are tossed in a simple ponzu marinade, topped with cubes of butter and citrus slices, then baked into perfection in a hot oven.
Vibrant Tasty Green Beans – Or, this one, another favorite green bean recipe and a great alternative to green bean casserole – dill, green beans, leeks, salt and olive oil. That’s it – five ingredients, one skillet – tasty green beans.
Nikki’s Sweet Potatoes- Decadent, delicious baked sweet potato recipe made from seven ingredients – sweet potatoes, ginger, coconut milk, shredded coconut, maple syrup, macadamia nuts and a bit of butter or olive oil.
Golden-Crusted Brussels Sprouts – These are the best. A quick and easy brussels sprouts recipe that will convert the biggest skeptics. Vibrant green, tender brussels sprouts that become deeply golden and crusty where they touch the pan, dusted with cheese. There’s also an oregano version linked down below.
Roasted Delicata Squash – So tasty! Pretty, scalloped-edged cross-cuts of the delicata squash, a few small potatoes, chopped kale, radishes, Marcona almonds – and a bold miso harissa dressing.
Oregano Brussels Sprouts – Pan-fried and then finished with a drizzle or oregano deliciousness, and toasted almond slices.
Pomelo Green Beans – A one-pan green bean side with a walnut-garlic dressing and highlighted with pomelo segments. Transform it into an easy main with the addition of some seared tofu or a poached egg.
Lentils with Wine-Glazed Vegetables – These simple, wine-glazed lentils, from Deborah Madison, are a long-time favorite. The perfect addition to a Thanksgiving spread.
Quinoa Skillet Bread – If you’re ready to switch it up a bit, this is a completely over-the-top alternative to your favorite corn bread recipe. Or, better put – a rustic, minimally structured, custard-topped, crusty-edged, herb-scented corn-quinoa skillet bread.
Spiced Spinach with Walnuts – The gist: a hot pan filled with all manner of things that work well with spinach – toasted walnuts, shredded mint, lemon, a host of spices, and a good amount of leeks that are cooked until silky tender.
Miso Sesame Winter Squash – Inspired by a Bryant Terry recipe – roasted winter squash (and tofu) with a miso, maple, sesame, citrus sauce.
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds – Not a side or a salad, but great on both. You can’t go wrong by having lots of toasted pumpkin seeds on hand for Thanksgiving. Toasted pumpkin seeds are the tiny, edible trophies you get for carving pumpkins and other winter squash. There are a couple of tricks to roasting perfect pumpkin seeds that I talk through.
Vegetarian Thanksgiving Salads
Broccoli Apple Salad – So good and veggie forward! This is roasted delicata squash and kale tossed w/ orzo pasta & salted yogurt dressing.
Raw Tuscan Salad – A red chile spiked, shredded raw kale salad tossed in a vibrant, lemony-pecorino dressing.
Heirloom Apple Salad- A favorite Autumn salad. You’re looking at heirloom apples, shaved celery, and toasted nuts of your choosing. The dressing is crème fraîche spiked with rosemary, garlic and champagne vinegar. The mix of textures and flavors is magic.
A Little Something Sweet
A list of vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes isn’t complete with a bit of sweet!
Shaker Apple Pie – Sliced apples, brown sugar, and a splash of floral results in a special, Thanksgiving-worthy combination. Pair it with this amazing all-butter, flaky pie crust and you have a beautiful apple pie on your hands..
And these? They look delicious as well.