As someone who has been a vegetarian for almost nine years,  I have never had the a perfect Thanksgiving. The holiday has always been a tough time to find something to eat because I feel like almost anything has meat in it. Everything has turkey, bacon, red meat, or all of the above. So this year, I wanted to have the best Thanksgiving ever. 

When people talk about feeling so full on Thanksgiving that they can't walk, I don’t feel that. The only classic Thanksgiving foods I can eat are potatoes, greens, and more potatoes. I would like to try something that is not potatoes (even though I am an avid potato eater) and not processed like a fake turkey. 

This year, I wanted to have the best Thanksgiving yet, and am here to help you to have one too. Although I am not hosting a vegetarian Thanksgiving, this is one step closer if you would like to. 

So I went on a quest. I looked all over the Internet for the most classic Thanksgiving vegetarian dishes in order to have the best and most delicious Thanksgiving yet. Here's what I found.

10. Broccoli and Cheddar Casserole with Leeks

This reminds me of the broccoli and cheddar soup from Panera but even better. Casseroles are such a staple at a Thanksgiving dinner, so why not make them vegetarian friendly? Broccoli and toasted almonds are a classic duo, then add cheddar and leeks to the mix, and it’s a hearty, cheesy, and filling vegetarian dish.

9. Mushroom Pot Pie

I don’t know about you, but I am a sucker for mushrooms. I will always eat anything that has them in or on it, especially if they are cooked. Not only that, but it’s in a pot pie which is so American (although my family is very not American) and comforting.

8. Mashed Potatoes with Crispety Cruncheties

I know I said I want to enjoy things other than potatoes, but this sounded too good to not mention. A nice creamy side of mashed potatoes makes my day, and then add some crunchy breadcrumbs and potato chip toppings? You just made my mouth water.

7. Sweet Potatoes with Tahini Butter

Okay, this might also be a potato dish, but it's okay because sweet potatoes are amazing when they are cooked to perfection. Especially when they are baked. It just melts in your mouth and is sweet but not too sweet. Then adding tahini butter? It adds just a bit of savory without overdoing it. I’m Israeli, so we basically have tahini all the time. When I go home, my dad makes the best homemade tahini ever. 

6. Thanksgiving Cauliflower

I found this recipe while scrolling through Facebook (when I should’ve been doing my homework) and I thought it looked absolutely delicious and innovative. Lately, cauliflower has been getting a lot of love from the foodie community, whether it's cauliflower pizza, cauliflower gnocchi, cauliflower rice, the list goes on. So, why not a  Thanksgiving turkey-turned-cauliflower with a vegetarian gravy? I was salivating just watching this and am ready to try it.

5. Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Parsley Dressing

Cauliflower is really getting its moment here. Roasted veggies are so delicious and hearty, let alone roasted cauliflower with a dressing that is light and fresh. It is so simple that it doesn’t even need anymore explanation.

4. Baked Polenta with Mushrooms

Polenta may not be for everyone. But every time I visit my grandma in Israel, or she comes to visit, I always ask for it. Polenta is a dish made from cornmeal that can be baked, fried, or grilled. For this dish, the polenta is baked and has baked mushrooms in it. And as I mentioned above, I love cooked mushrooms, so combining two foods that I love? That is a yes from me.

3. Quinoa Salad with Sweet Potatoes and Apples

Yes, I could stuff myself with potatoes, cauliflower, and mushrooms, but I do feel like maybe I should have a bit of greens. Although I did add a salad, there obviously had to be sweet potatoes in it. It is Thanksgiving after all, or as I call it, the season of the potato.

2. Pumpkin Lasagna

Why not take a regular non-traditional Thanksgiving meal and make it one by adding pumpkin? Not only that, but pumpkin and melted cheese is too good. Then adding pasta? Name a better trio.

1. Swiss Chard Casserole with Shiitake Mushrooms 

There is nothing like a warm vegetarian casserole with mushrooms and cheese. Not only that, but this dish is so easy and quick to make. It will take just a couple of minutes to add all the ingredients together, then just pop it in the oven for 20 minutes, and voila, you have a warm vegetarian casserole perfect for the best vegetarian Thanksgiving.