For anyone who cherishes this time of year, the elaborate, mouth-watering meals are usually the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about the joys of the holiday season. These delightful dishes will not only satisfy your stomach but will also elicit a sense of togetherness among your loved ones. It is quite impossible to contain the excitement - especially with a holiday dedicated to eating. A quality Thanksgiving meal is a kick-start to the season of cheer and merriment, whisking away any of the family drama or awkward encounters with relatives that come with it. It is arguably the meal that requires the most preparation, physically and mentally, out of the entire year. For that reason, it is consequential that everyone gets the most out of it that they can - a task slightly more difficult with a vegan diet.

Having braved my first vegan Thanksgiving last year, I can confidently say that with the right mindset and the right surroundings, it can be much easier than you think. This article is for anyone who is already vegan, trying to go vegan, or simply wants to broaden their horizons and experience something that has the potential to change their perspective on food for the better. These recipe ideas take the classic meat and dairy-heavy meals of Thanksgiving and replace them with vegan alternatives that are not only better for your health and the environment, but also taste just as, dare I say more, delicious. Obviously, there are many tasty and innovative vegan recipe ideas out there, but I meticulously chose the most important dishes to include - the staples of this classic holiday feast. 

1. Stuffed "Tofurky"

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Turkey is a Thanksgiving classic, but don’t worry - veganism covers it all, and with a creative flair. There is the option to buy a pre-made “tofurky,” made from tofu, from any of the delicious vegan brands at your nearest grocery store. If you want the satisfaction and taste of a homemade masterpiece, follow this recipe for a delicious turkey alternative that will impress everyone who tries it. 

Homemade Tofurky Recipe

2. Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

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This simple but flavorful dish is not only a fan favorite when it comes to Thanksgiving but is also the easiest to vegan-ize. With a few simple swaps, you have perfect mashed potatoes that no one will even suspect are vegan (trust me, I know from experience). This recipe includes vegan gravy for a delicious added bonus! I would also recommend adding a little olive oil and garlic for extra flavor, ensuring your mashed potatoes are the best at the table.

Vegan Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

3. The Best Stuffing (Vegan or Not) EVER

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If the title does not explain it enough, I am 100% positive that if nothing else, this is the dish that will win over whoever you invite to this holiday celebration. An original recipe from my talented mother, perfected throughout the years, this stuffing is the epitome of Thanksgiving. Just thinking about it gets me through these final weeks before break. Follow this recipe and prepare for your taste buds to be blown away.

Since this recipe is simply by word of mouth via my mother, it is not very specific, but I promise it will turn out delicious:

The Best Stuffing Recipe

  • Prep Time:30 mins
  • Cook Time:1 hr 10 mins
  • Total Time:1 hr 40 mins
  • Servings:15
  • Easy


  • Cornbread separate recipe
  • One package Mirepoix chopped celery carrots and onion
  • One large apple any kind
  • Salt pepper and olive oil for sauteing
  • Vegan bacon any brand
  • Vegan sausage any brand recommend Beyond Meat
  • One carton vegetable broth
  • One can chickpeas
  • 1-2 cups unsweetened plain almond milk
  • Big handful walnuts craisins and crispy onions we never have specific measurements whatever you prefer
  • 1-2 teaspoons thyme
  • 1-2 tablespoons sage
  • Step 1

    Start by preparing the cornbread- you can follow the recipe below for a great vegan alternative. I recommend plain unsweetened almond milk instead of soy milk, and olive oil instead of canola oil. (This cornbread should be made a day or two in advance, so that it is stale by the time you are making this dish. If not stale, then toast it. Sounds weird, but trust me, it is essential to the perfect stuffing. Be sure to cube the cornbread for this recipe.)

  • Step 2

    Now make a Mirepoix, (chopped celery onions and carrots) and sauté in a pan with olive oil for about 10 minutes. Make sure to add salt and pepper.

  • Step 3

    Add in any kind of chopped apples while sauteing.

  • Step 4

    After that is done, or even during, you can cook up any kind of vegan sausage and vegan bacon following directions on the package. I recommend seitan strips for vegan bacon, and beyond meat sausage for the other supplement. Cook or sauté these in whatever way you prefer.

  • Step 5

    After both sautes are done, add them to a large bowl with your cornbread.

  • Step 6

    Next, add to the large bowl about a whole carton of vegetable broth, a cup to two cups of plain unsweetened almond milk, and a can of chickpea oil, which is essentially the liquid in a chickpea can. (The amount of liquids depends on how liquid-y you want your stuffing; my mom recommends just a little mushy.)

  • Step 7

    Once that is mixed together, add the toppings and seasoning: You can jazz it up however you want, but my recipe uses a big ole’ handful of walnuts, craisins, and pre-packaged crispy onions.

  • Step 8

    For seasoning, I recommend 1-2 teaspoons of thyme, and 1-2 TABLEspoons of sage (and of course salt and pepper).

  • Step 9

    Mix this all together until it is nice and blended. It should be on the mushy side - not too dry and not too liquified.

  • Step 10

    Spread this into a large greased pan, and bake it at 350° for about an hour, but be sure to check that it is brown and crispy on top.

  • Step 11

    Finally, enjoy your beautiful creation!

4. Sides, Sides, and More Sides!

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In order to have a full Thanksgiving meal, we cannot forget about the importance of side dishes. Even though they're not the main focus, they have the power to perfectly complement any main dish and bring variety to your palette. I decided to add a few different options to show that vegans can have it all when it comes to a complete and plentiful meal. 

Roasted Veggies: This simple dish is open to experimentation. Feel free to add any additional veggies or seasonings to make it your own.

Cranberry Sauce: an already vegan dish with a little extra flavor to impress your friends and family.

Vegan Biscuits: Biscuits are super easy to switch to vegan and are another dish that most will not even realize is different.

Vegan Cheese Sauce: The perfect vegan cheese sauce will pair well with virtually anything, from biscuits to mac and cheese to any main dish. From my own experience, this recipe is sure to liven up your mouth with a new flavor you would never imagine could come from these ingredients.

5. Sweet Potato Casserole

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I have always loved this dish, as it adds a sweetness to the main courses, yet is still separate from the Thanksgiving dessert. Like many of these other dishes, it is a lot easier than it seems to make this vegan. Be sure to serve this up and savor the reactions of your family when they find out that the vegan version is just as tasty. 

Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole: Here's a tip from my mother: you can do the sweet potatoes two ways. Turn this dish into a spicy creation with chipotles in adobo sauce and coconut milk, pureed with the sweet potatoes.

With all these delectable dishes, you might even be too full for dessert, but we all know there is always room for a sweet finish. Vegan desserts would require an entirely different article, so maybe expect that in the future. I haven't even mentioned the endless ways to turn your leftovers into a whole new dish, another possibility.

Thanksgiving is a time of abundance and creativity in the culinary world - something for which we all should be grateful. Make sure to savor these delicious meals as well as the memories and cheerful times that come with them, and don’t forget to give thanks that food like this exists solely for our pleasure. A vegan Thanksgiving may seem daunting, but with these dishes, you are all set to create a meal that will go beyond your expectations, leaving you and your stomach satisfied and full of joy.