Who needs turkey when you can eat tofurkey? Okay, just kidding but I have the perfect substitutes for your classic Thanksgiving dishes, so you don't have to miss out on the best holiday food! Here's a vegetarian Thanksgiving-don't miss out!  

If you are a vegetarian or someone in your family is a vegetarian, you know that there are great alternatives to meat dishes, it just takes a little creativity. 

Thanksgiving is a holiday that traditionally revolves around the turkey, however, what really makes Thanksgiving dinner special are the various and flavorful side dishes. Therefore, we are mainly going to focus on the sides, although if you feel you are missing out on the turkey, you can sauté tofu or even try seitan (wheat) turkey. To make them taste like your common turkey dish, add the same flavors you would add to your family's turkey (tofu is bland on its own, so it absorbs whatever flavor/spice you add to it). 

Common side dishes eaten on Thanksgiving range from stuffing to cranberry sauce to sweet potatoes with marshmallows. Quite easily, you can make stuffing vegetarian (the others are vegetarian), but I have a few more dishes to give your standard table some flare. 

First up: vegetarian chili. A good chili is always the right answer. You can't really go wrong with chili, as you can add pretty much anything to it you want in order to build flavor. In order to ensure your chili is flavorful, start by cooking down vegetables such as carrots, onions, and celery. Then, you can throw in various beans to thicken the chili and other vegetables of your choice. 

Next: stuffed shells. My family loves bringing Italian flare to our Thanksgiving, and I'm telling you, the stuffed shells are the best thing on the table. Classic stuffed shells are made with a ricotta cheese filling (vegetarian), but if you are vegan and would like to enjoy, substitute the cheese filling for tofu ricotta crumble filling. 

Third: acorn squash. When cut in half, acorn squash acts as a flavorful bowl to hold more delicious food! This side dish is extremely versatile because you can essentially fill the squash with anything (a food you like) and it will turn out well (when baked in the oven, of course). Acorn squash is also a vegetable that encompasses the flavors of Autumn, perfect for this time of year. Personalize it your way!

In addition to the dishes above, I have one last way to spice up your Thanksgiving. Every year, around Thanksgiving, Food Network launches magazine catalogs with some of their chefs' favorite holiday recipes. When the catalogs launch, my mom and I look at them and pick out new dishes to try and make that year! This is a fun way to try out some new recipes, catered to your likes. 

With all these delicious foods, you definitely won't be missing that turkey anytime soon! How was that for a vegetarian Thanksgiving?