Vegetarian and vegan Thanksgiving recipes: Alternatives to classic holiday dishes

Vegetarian and vegan Thanksgiving recipes: Alternatives to classic holiday dishes

Thanksgiving is a food-focused occasion, with friends and families gathering to gorge on traditional dishes such as roast turkey, stuffing, sweet potato and pumpkin pie.

For those who follow vegan or vegetarian diets, it can therefore be quite difficult to navigate the dinner table when the annual harvest holiday comes around.

Fortunately, there are numerous vegan and vegetarian alternatives to the traditional animal-based offerings.

From lentil loaf to pumpkin pie, here are some of the best vegan and vegetarian recipes for you to try this Thanksgiving:


Stuffed mini pumpkins

Make the most of the proclivity of pumpkins that have been grown over the autumn with this inventive recipe by Tieghan Gerard, creator of Half Baked Harvest.

In her recipe, Gerard stuffs the pumpkins with nutty wild rice and shredded Brussels sprouts, before roasting them in the oven.

Gerard recommends baking the pumpkins for around 10 to 20 minutes before serving them hot for all the family to enjoy.

Grain-filled soup

For a healthy soup with a burst of flavour, try this spicy grain soup recipe by chef Mary Ellen Diaz, from the First Slice soup kitchen.

This soup recipe combines ingredients including barley, brown rice, bulgur, garlic, chilies, shiitake mushrooms and black beans for a healthy concoction.

Arugula and wild rice salad

Kathryne Taylor, creator of popular vegetarian food blog Cookie and Kate, has created a recipe for an arugula and wild rice salad that will provide your Thanksgiving guests with a refreshing and tasty start to their meal.

This salad features ingredients including wild rice, almonds, arugula, cranberries, crumbled feta and honey syrup.


Butternut squash risotto

Butternut squash is a quintessentially autumnal ingredient, perfectly apt for the Thanksgiving table.

This Everyday Food recipe shared by Martha Stewart takes 45 minutes to make and combines Arborio rice with garlic cloves, olive oil, fresh thyme, white wine, vegetable broth and butternut squash.

Jumbo stuffed pasta shells

Angela Liddon, founder of Oh She Glows, specialises in creating inventive and delicious plant-based recipes.

This recipe for pasta shells stuffed with an assortment of vegetables and fresh herbs was inspired by Terry Walters, author of the Clean Food cookbook.

Liddon uses tofu to create a vegan mixture that tastes like ricotta, which she uses to stuff the pasta shells.

Glazed lentil, walnut and apple loaf

Another recipe that Liddon has adapted from Walters is the glazed lentil walnut and apple loaf, a dish that will provide Thanksgiving guests with a treat that's both savoury and sweet.

Liddon combines ingredients including uncooked green lentils, finely chopped walnuts, garlic cloves, diced sweet onions and raisins among others to create the unconventional loaf.


Vegan pumpkin pie

It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without a serving of pumpkin pie.

Jessica Hylton-Leckie, founder of vegan food blog Jessica in the Kitchen, has devised a vegan pumpkin pie recipe that's sugar-free, gluten-free and made with all natural ingredients.

Cranberry apple crisp

Make the most of fresh autumn fruits with this innovative vegan and gluten-free cranberry apple crisp recipe by Jessica in the Kitchen.

The dessert dish is best served warm with a dollop of dairy-free ice cream added on top.

Vegan pumpkin cheesecake swirl brownies

These vegan pumpkin cheesecake swirl brownies look mouth-wateringly good and are likely to delight friends and family galore.

Hylton-Leckie uses a combination of vegan cream cheese, pumpkin puree, coconut sugar, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract and an egg yolk substitute for the pumpkin cheesecake swirl portion of the recipe.

The vegan brownie is made from vegan chocolate chips, oat flour, sea salt, baking soda, flax eggs, coconut sugar, coconut oil, water and vanilla extract.