How To Be A Brilliant Vegan Thanksgiving Host

It’s a few days before Thanksgiving and you remember it’s your turn to host, you know you can create some magnificent foods but this specific day is all about enjoying food even more. ‘Have I got this?’ you think, as the panic starts to set in. The vegan world has come a long way and there are far more products and recipes than ever before, so yes, you got this.

I know it can be overwhelming to think about holding an entirely vegan Thanksgiving but it is completely possible and not as hard as you may imagine. I’ve gathered together some mouth-watering recipes to try out, from dinners and desserts to snacks and sides!

Four plates with cutlery and autumnal vegetables on wooden table

What Goes Into A Thanksgiving Meal

Many people associate the word ‘feast’ with Thanksgiving, a day full of a great variety of dishes with all different flavors. Green bean casseroles, sweet potatoes, cornbread, and stuffing are just a few of the foods placed on the table, with desserts and appetizers joining in too.

Turkey is known for being the centerpiece and is a tradition for many. Luckily we now live in a world that is full of alternatives and options that don’t involve any animal products at all. Whether you create your vegan version or visit the grocery store to see all the options on offer, you can put together a delightful array of treats.

What Kind Of Recipes Will I See Here?

To ensure everyone leaves smiling and satisfied, I’ve carefully selected some recipes that will do just the trick. Everything is completely vegan, and many options are gluten-free too. Here’s what you’ll find below:

  • Vegan Thanksgiving Turkey recipes/in-store options
  • Vegan Thanksgiving Appetizers
  • Vegan Thanksgiving Side Dishes
  • Vegan Thanksgiving Mains
  • Vegan Thanksgiving Desserts

Vegan Turkey

Tofu turkey
Tofu Turkey

If Turkey is something you’ve always enjoyed pre-vegan, you’ll be pleased to know there are many meat-free substitutes on the market. There are also some great recipes if you’d prefer to make your own.

It is a staple at any Thanksgiving table, so finding the right one for you and your guests is key.

Roast Vegan Turkey

If you need to win the heart of anyone who is on the fence about vegan food, allow me to introduce this recipe. With Seitan as the main ingredient, you get a meat-like texture, as well as the taste. A simple and easy method that will leave you searching for leftovers.

Stuffed Vegan Turkey

The high gluten content in Seitan isn’t always suitable for some, so for a different option, I have added this bread-based option. This recipe also mentions how you can make a gluten-free version which is also ideal if you prefer something lighter.

Tofurky Roast

If you’d rather have a ready-made turkey, look no further. Tofurky are widely known for their delicious mock-meats and making the vegan life an easier one. They also offer a ‘Holiday Feast’ pack which contains some extra delicious items without you having to spend too long in the kitchen.

Find products in Trader Joe’s, Kroger, Whole Foods, Safeway 

Gardein Turk’y Roast

More people are beginning to leave animals off their plates, the harm caused to turkeys during the holiday season is ongoing and still very awful. If you’re thinking of switching it up, I recommend trying Gardein. Another well-known vegan brand with products that will not disappoint and the added gravy in this Turk’y Roast is sure to have you scraping the plate!

Find products in Target, Whole Foods, Safeway, Kroger

Whole Foods Plant-Based Roast

To save you from shopping in too many places, Whole Foods offer their very own turkey roast which is convenient and less time-consuming for those busy days leading up to Thanksgiving. This company has a wide range of vegan-friendly items you will certainly enjoy.

Vegan Appetizers

Fresh cranberry sauce served in bowl on grey wooden table

Before you indulge in the bigger meals on Thanksgiving, appetizers are a must. They get your taste buds ready for all the deliciousness about to follow, I find you can be adventurous with your choices and not much prep is needed. Grocery stores are also stocked with a variety of ingredients for a last-minute shopping trip.

Vegan Deviled Eggs

A menu must-have takes the top of the list as I know deviled eggs play a huge part during Thanksgiving. Guests will be pleasantly surprised with this cruelty-free version!

Sun-Dried Tomato And Basil Pinwheels

Add in some extra excitement with this fun recipe, a simple starter that everyone will love. With only 8 ingredients, you’ll have more than enough for your guests.

Vegan Spinach Dip

Another essential for the holidays is spinach dip. Paired with some vegan chips, this will go down great with your friends and family. Oh, and the moreish taste of the spinach may turn you into Popeye. It’s definitely possible.

Herb Stuffed Mushrooms

If you’re a mushroom fan, you’ll be a fan of these. In 4 steps you will have the ultimate crowd-pleaser that will give you a kick of health too! They will certainly justify all the desserts to come!

Vegan Pumpkin Soup

Just wait until you see the presentation! To impress your guests, even more, I suggest this recipe. Instead of throwing out your pumpkins straight after Halloween, why not fill them with a creamy and flavorful soup?

Vegan Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Dip

If you’ve got any crackers stored away, now is the best time to bring them to the party.

The ingredients are minimal and the method is very easy too. I’m excited to indulge in the flavor of this!

Vegan Cranberry Sauce

There’s no holiday feast without cranberry sauce! It is a delightful accompaniment to the table and this vegan recipe is full of richness and flavor.

Vegan Potato Cakes

Nothing says snack like this recipe, as a potato lover myself these are at the top of my to-make list! Packed with veggies you can reach for these when you’re looking for something a bit more nutritious.

Roasted Butternut Squash And Brussel Sprouts

The presentation of this recipe is what makes it look particularly tasty. Butternut squash is fitting for the fall season and will tie in so well with Thanksgiving, and of course, Brussel sprouts to give you an extra festive vibe.

Vegan French Onion Soup

Yes, you read that right, the famous and very loved french onion soup can be made vegan. It isn’t at all hard to recreate and the few ingredients involved make it a worthy addition to a Thanksgiving meal.

White Bean And Pumpkin Hummus with Pitta Chips

Hummus is essential for any party, vegan or not, people always like to have it around because it’s a great dip for chips, carrots, and other vegetables. Pumpkin is a favorite in these current months, so this dip may be gone fairly quickly!

Vegan Thanksgiving Sides

Mashed potatoes or boiled puree with parsley in cast iron pot

Sides are an important part of the meal, they are what complement the main dishes and are good for cleansing the palette. Many current traditional Thanksgiving sides can be made vegan with just a couple of ingredient swaps.

Vegan Stuffing

Kicking off the list with an all-important stuffing recipe! Stuffing is easy to replicate and I know people will be searching the table for it as it’s quite a traditional dish at Thanksgiving. A simple method that tastebuds will be singing about.

Jeweled Farro Salad

If the colors in this salad don’t tempt you enough, maybe the mouth-watering aroma will get you! A real mixture of some nutritious ingredients that all combine into a tasty bowl of health. The pomegranates work beautifully and give it an even better crunch.

Vegan Creamed Corn

Would it even be a Thanksgiving list if I didn’t include creamed corn? I think not. This recipe is so inviting and wholesome that it may convince guests to stick with a vegan version.

Baked Zucchini Tian

Plates will be scraped as people indulge in this delightful dish, believe me. All the flavors come together beautifully when consumed, putting a smile on anybody’s face.

Vegan Mashed Potatoes

Potatoes are probably the best thing ever, in my opinion. Mashed potatoes are a joy to this world and belong on any Thanksgiving table. Usually, it does involve dairy but it’s easy to switch the ingredients for something plant-based.

Herbed Wild Rice and Quinoa Stuffing 

More stuffing options because it’s good to add in other versions for everyone to enjoy, it’ll also show how easy the vegan life is. You can’t go wrong with this hearty recipe!

Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese

*Warning* You may be bombarded with texts and heart emojis for weeks after Thanksgiving because of this recipe. The added breadcrumbs give it real crispiness that works well with the creaminess of the mac. An ideal recipe to change the minds of those who are unsure about veganism.

Vegan Green Bean Casserole

We all know that green bean casserole is a major Thanksgiving side. I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t involve a heavenly recipe such as this. It’s seriously impressive and utter magic!

Roasted Green Beans with Garlic

Don’t you be forgetting about the veggies! They are sometimes seen as boring and irrelevant but that isn’t the case. There’s plenty you can do to liven vegetables up, as seen in this recipe and green beans are also a great source of iron.

Vegan Cornbread

You’ll have no trouble encouraging others to try a vegan diet if this cornbread is welcomed to the table. Its fluffy and moist texture is particularly appealing and no Thanksgiving would be the same without it!

Vegan Truffle Ricotta and Mushroom Lasagne Roll-Ups

If you want to get creative in the kitchen, this recipe is adventurous and enjoyable. Eyes will wander to the presentation and many a stomach will be grateful for the taste of this deliciousness.

Vegan Thanksgiving Mains

One whole roasted cauliflower head with seeds and parsley

The vegan turkey alternatives are delicious but even though they are completely cruelty-free, you may like to leave them off the table altogether. There are plenty of other main dishes to have instead that will be just as nice.

Shingled Sweet Potatoes With Harissa

It looks like a work of art, and certainly tastes like one too, but doesn’t require too much effort. Sweet potatoes have several health benefits and taste divine too so do save yourself some if the making of thanksgiving day is taking your energy!

Mini Vegetable Pot Pie

Ah, pie. It’s like a little bundle of goodness that is healthy and wholesome. Present these to your guests and they’ll really get into the festive spirit, or just ask for seconds. Either way, you can’t go wrong with this recipe.

Vegan Portobello Steaks with Pesto Aioli

What was that? 8 ingredients and only 20 minutes prep/cooking time? Sold! Mushrooms are pretty versatile and people have been using them to make vegan alternatives for years. This recipe proves that food can taste just as great without animals on the plate.

Vegan Lentil Nut Meatloaf

There may be a few confused faces when you mention this meatloaf is without the ‘meat’, but all it takes is one bite to convince everyone that this deserves a place on the table. Lentils are packed with so many essential nutrients and are good for heart health too.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Plants have power, and consuming foods made up of them – makes you pretty powerful too. This dish will make a perfect centerpiece and with cauliflower as the main ingredient, you’ll be ready to hear the endless comments about how tasty it was.

Potato-Leek Quiche

If you’d rather make something that won’t take long to prepare, here’s an option. While it does look extremely appetizing, it also doesn’t use much time to create. Plus, quiche is a true fall favorite.

Pumpkin and Sage Risotto

We can all agree that risotto puts the heart in hearty, and as far as comfort foods go I think we have a winner. A recipe that will bring everyone together with its irresistible and pleasant smell.

Butternut Squash Shepherds Pie

There is something so fulfilling about bringing out a dish of shepherd’s pie that just makes faces light up. If the day begins to get slightly colder, the colors and aromas of this recipe will make everyone’s Thanksgiving unforgettable.

Vegan Thanksgiving Desserts

Pumpkin pie on marble cutting board

Who else worries they’re too full for anything else but then realizes, there is always room for dessert? Just me? All the food has been cleared off the table (and plates!) and it’s time to present the sweet stuff. You’ve made some fantastic recipes so far, here are some ideas to show your skills even more

Vegan Pumpkin Pie

You know your guests will be wondering if this is on the menu, as it’s such a traditional Thanksgiving dessert. With an added whipped cream recipe, there’s no reason why this won’t be the talk of the table.

Chocolate Plum Cake

People often assume that baking vegan cake is a mission in itself, but with practice or proper preparation, it doesn’t have to be tough. Chocolate cake is a statement and many will be reaching for this straight away!

Cinnamon Sugar Vegan Donuts

For something that people can just pick up mid-conversation, I recommend these donuts. There is also a recipe for a glazed version if you’d prefer, so those with a sweet tooth will fall in love.

Vegan Pecan Pie

Anything pastry-based is a brilliant way to keep your guests happy. I suggest trying out this recipe that is gooey and indulgent, just watch out for anyone who takes off the pecans when you’re not looking!

Vegan Apple Crumble

Any party I host has got to have this dessert involved. It’s always so easy and fun to make, which is why this recipe is on the list. Don’t forget to add the vegan custard/cream for extra points!

Vanilla Bean Cranberry Swirl Bars

What makes these swirl bars even better, besides already being delectable, is that no baking is needed. You don’t have to worry about taking up oven space, just prepare and keep frozen until your hungry guests arrive!

Vegan Chocolate Pumpkin Truffle Pops

Following the pumpkin theme, these are ideal for kids or anyone that doesn’t want too big a dessert. A little after-dinner treat that eve non-vegans will appreciate.

Vegan Cheesecake

Cheesecake. That is all. If your non-vegan guests haven’t already considered veganism by those amazing appetizers, this could be the turning point. It’s a heavenly dessert that doesn’t require a single animal product, though don’t expect it to last very long.

Vegan Sweet Potato Pie

Thanksgiving usually means pie galore, and a sweet potato pie is not one to be missed. Oh and one other thing that really makes this recipe a candidate is that it’s purple! It fits in beautifully with the color of falling leaves.

Final thoughts

The world is changing and many people are beginning to incorporate more vegan options in their lives. Thanksgiving is a great way to show people just how easy it is to be on a plant-based diet.

There’s plenty more than just vegetables and tofu (even though they are both great), so if you get the chance to be the host of this year’s Thanksgiving, you’ll be able to present many dishes that will be talked about and passed on for a long time.

I have no doubt you’ll be amazing and will change the minds of even the toughest critics. Go get ‘em!

Lily Jaynie

Author:

Lily Jaynie

A free spirited soul with a vision to change the world. Vegan of 5 years.

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