These vegan Thanksgiving recipes are even more delicious than the traditional mains, sides, and desserts, and will please everyone around the table!
Who said Thanksgiving needs to be about turkey? Turns out, the best, tastiest holiday recipes are plant based and vegan. Alex and I eat a mostly whole food plant based diet. At first, holidays like Thanksgiving were hard to manage: especially with family. What do I even make for you? was the chorus. Little by little, there’s been lots more education and creativity showing that plant-based recipes can be showy and celebratory, too.
With that in mind, here’s 15+ of our very best vegan Thanksgiving recipes. They celebrate the produce of the season, from butternut squash to pumpkin. And don’t worry: we’ve got the stuffing and gravy too! And lots of tasty vegan Thanksgiving desserts. (Our favorite? Vegan pumpkin bread + ice cream + vegan caramel sauce. Right?) Without further ado, let’s get to those tasty plant based recipes!
At the top of our vegan Thanksgiving recipes...this stunning vegan pumpkin pie! This pie is so full of pumpkin-spiced sweetness and the flavors are so delightfully elevated, no one will guess it’s plant-based! The filling comes out creamy and beautifully flavorful: like a larger than life version of your grandma’s pie. And the flaky vegan pie crust is to die for. We’ll be making this recipe for years to come.
Stuffed squash is the perfect vegan Thanksgiving recipe! This one features tender roasted acorn squash that's stuffed with a hearty quinoa and herb stuffing. It's flecked with leeks, walnuts, fresh sage, and fresh thyme. It makes the kitchen smell like Thanksgiving!
This vegan shepherd’s pie is perfect as a Thanksgiving main dish recipe! Imagine: a creamy gravy filled with tender vegetables, lentils and scented with fennel and sage. Then a fluffy layer of mashed potatoes, topped with fresh rosemary. It’s layered together in a baking dish and then baked until golden. This one’s a whole food plant based (WFPB) stunner!
Next up in our vegan Thanksgiving recipes: vegan pot pie! It's the perfect showy main dish to impress all your guests. This one features a crispy pastry crust made with coconut oil and sage. And inside, a gooey mix of sweet potatoes, carrots, white beans and shallot all covered in a thick savory gravy. It's an absolute stunner!
This stuffing recipe takes everything that's great about a classic Thanksgiving stuffing recipe, and makes it 100% plant based! This one features cubes of rustic artisan bread as the base. Then it's flavored with onion, leeks, and fresh sage and parsley. It comes out just like your favorite stuffing from growing up, but vegan and loads tastier!
A hot oven makes magic with just about every vegetable; here it turns green beans into a tender, caramelized version of themselves. Add a spritz of lemon juice and a sprinkle of toasted almonds, and it’s an easy yet gourmet side dish that's perfect for a vegan Thanksgiving.
Roasting onions in a hot oven mellows their flavor until its deeply caramelized and sweet. Pair that with a hint of balsamic vinegar and herbaceous fresh thyme, and…just wow! Those simple flavors make an effortless side dish that goes with almost anything.
Want the best roasted vegetables ever? This master recipe results in the most colorful sheet pans that will please even the most veggie-wary eaters. They’re healthy, plant based, vegetarian and gluten-free, and even better: beautiful and delicious! It makes 2 sheet pans and takes only 30 minutes to roast. You can roast ahead and then reheat in a 400F oven prior to serving.
Why mash potatoes when you can roast them to a golden crisp? We’ve always been partial to a crispy-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside potato. These are our favorite oven roasted red potatoes, baked until crispy with garlic powder, then showered with fresh herbs. A perfect vegan Thanksgiving recipe!
Fluffy, dreamy vegan mashed potatoes are hard to make without the help of cream, butter and cheese. But don’t worry: we’ve managed to master a recipe for you! These vegan mashed potatoes are light, fluffy, and satisfying and at the same time 100% plant based. The secrets? Yukon gold potatoes have a creamy, buttery texture: add a combo of olive oil and coconut oil for big flavor!
Don't forget the gravy! This brown gravy is vegan and seriously tasty. Pour it on all sorts of Thanksgiving recipes and prepare to be amazed! The secrets: soy sauce and fennel seed, which add a meaty and savory undertone.
This vegan butternut squash soup is full of big flavor, featuring squash and carrots for a sweet body. There's no need for cream in this one: the vegetables are perfectly creamy on their own. If you have an Instant Pot, try our Easy Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup for easy prep!
These are the BEST roasted sweet potatoes, diced and mixed with a hint of garlic powder, salt and olive oil. Bake them in a very hot oven until they're caramelized, and they're the perfect Thanksgiving side.
These vegan roasted vegetables are made especially for Thanksgiving! Here sweet potatoes and carrots are roasted with garlic and a bit of rosemary. They've got a beautiful sweet flavor, and make the kitchen smell amazing.
Oh yes, these are the best vegan biscuits you'll find! They're perfectly flaky, with that beautiful layered look. And they have the best buttery flavor! Even better, they come together in just 30 minutes. As a Thanksgiving side dish, make a double recipe to feed a crowd.
Everything about this vegan Thanksgiving side dish is perfection! It's beautiful to look at AND seriously tasty, featuring hot pink roasted apples, golden cauliflower, and purple roasted red onion. It's topped with contrasting feathery fresh dill, the perfect herbaceous addition. This one is always a favorite in our house.
So many Thanksgiving side dishes are easily vegan: like this simple roasted butternut squash! Combine cubed squash with olive oil and salt and pepper, and roast it in a very hot oven until it's lightly browned and tender. It's sweet candy goodness!
Ever had a massaged kale salad? Massaging kale makes the leaves more tender and sweet, removing all the bitterness you might imagine is in raw kale. Top it with crunchy apples, tart pomegranate seeds, and a zesty vinaigrette, and it's pretty darn perfect.
Another great vegan Thanksgiving recipe: delicata squash! This variety of squash is tender and sweet, and the skin is edible: no peeling required! This makes it quick and easy to roast: and it makes lovely half-moon shapes.
These vegan rosemary roasted potatoes have a secret: thinly sliced lemon wedges are roasted with the potatoes right on the tray! It infuses a zesty lemon flavor into each tender bite of potato: truly something special.
Incredible is the best word to describe this vegan pumpkin bread. It is incredibly good: perfectly moist and flavored with just the right amount of pumpkin spice. Serve it as an appetizer or side. Or an even better idea, serve a vegan Thanksgiving dessert recipe: topped with vegan vanilla ice cream and vegan caramel sauce. (Right?!)
Want to make a show-stopping apple pie…that’s vegan? It’s 100% possible and delicious. Meet this classic vegan apple pie! No one would guess that this pie is fully made of plants, because it’s so satisfying. A flaky, golden crust encloses a filling that’s so full of cozy spiced flavor, you won’t want the bite to end. Here are all the tricks for making the most classic apple pie…with no butter to speak of.
Another tasty vegan Thanksgiving dessert recipe: rustic apple crumble! This crumble recipe is seriously tasty: the gooey apple filling is flavored with fresh ginger and spices, and the topping is perfectly crumbly. This version is also gluten-free: it's made with almond flour for even more crunch.
This pumpkin mousse is basically pumpkin pie filling made into a light and fluffy vegan mousse. It's served in a shot glass because…why not? The advantage is that it controls the portion size: all the delicious dessert goodness is packed into a tiny package! This mousse is fully vegan / plant based using coconut milk. Best of all, it’s light, airy, and filled with comforting pumpkin spices. It's the perfect vegan Thanksgiving recipe!
Last up in our vegan Thanksgiving recipes: pumpkin oatmeal cookies! These are tender and perfectly spiced, and taste just like an oatmeal cream pie (but pumpkin flavored!). It's drizzled with our easy powdered sugar icing for a little flair. Enjoy!
More Thanksgiving and plant based resources
Here are a few more of our favorite resources for Thanksgiving planning:
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice blend (store-bought or homemade)
For serving: vegan whipped cream
Make the Vegan Pie Crust Step 1 and 2, then refrigerate it while you make the filling.
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place the pumpkin puree, coconut milk, vanilla, light brown sugar, granulated sugar, cornstarch, and kosher salt in a blender and blend until smooth.
Make a pie crust shield using aluminum foil: cut a hole in the center of a large square of aluminum foil that’s the diameter of your pie plate. The foil will rest on the crust but let the pie filling be uncovered. (It will look like this.)
Roll out the pie crust and add it to a standard pie plate (notdeep dish), following the instructions in Vegan Pie Crust.
Pour the filling into the pie crust. Fill it all the way to the rim, but don’t overfill the pie plate: you’ll have about 1/4 cup leftover that you can discard (or taste!).
Bake the pie for 55 minutes total until set, adding the foil shield for the curst at the 30 minute mark. Cool 1 hour on counter, then refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.