19 Recipes for the Ultimate Vegan Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving week! I’m so excited, guys. I love Thanksgiving!

Fun times shared with family and friends surrounded by an endless lineup of totally tasty and wonderfully comforting dishes…

It’s really the perfect holiday for the most enthusiastic food lovers!

If you’re vegan, or cooking for someone who is, it can get kind of overwhelming to try to find recipes that will please everyone.

Vertical image of a collage of autumnal meatless recipes, with a label in the center.

With such a focus on meat and other animal-based products – like alllll the butter! – at this holiday meal, avoiding these popular ingredients can seem difficult.

But it’s really not! It’s actually so easy to make and enjoy an entirely vegan Thanksgiving meal.

We all know that, at Thanksgiving, the sides reign supreme. GIVE ME ALL THE SIDES! And making sides 100% vegan is so easy, not to mention delicious.

But don’t worry – I’ve also included breads, main dishes, and desserts in this fun roundup.

If you’re looking specifically for some party apps to serve prior to the big meal, we have an entire article dedicated to the best vegan appetizers!

But since you’re already here

Keep on reading to find 19 awesome vegan recipes you can make for your Thanksgiving dinner.

Bread and Biscuits

Use Thanksgiving as the best excuse to celebrate all things carbs! I don’t think the holiday meal can be complete without generous baskets and bowls full of cornbread, biscuits, and rolls.

1. Cornbread Skillet Biscuits

Can’t make up your mind between cornbread or biscuits?

Why choose just one? Have both!

A close up of a stack of cornbread skillet biscuits stacked vertically. A small bowl of non-dairy butter sits next to the stack
Photo credit: Raquel Smith

Our cornbread skillet biscuits is a hearty recipe that combines the comforting flavor of cornbread with the crispy, buttery flavor and texture of biscuits.

And they are formed in individual circles, so you can keep your dinner plate neat and tidy without the crumbs you might get from cutting into a family-style format.

Read more now.

2. Flaky and Buttery Biscuits

This will be your go-to recipe for biscuits… without any animal products whatsoever!

Overhead shot of golden brown homemade biscuits arranged in rows on white parchment paper, on a brown wood surface.
Photo credit: Raquel Smith

Our made-from-scratch biscuits are flaky, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth tasty. They’re just like the “real” thing, but completely free of any dairy!

We have a few nifty tricks up our sleeve to achieve buttery greatness in this recipe.

Find out what they are right here.

3. Roasted Garlic Herb Dinner Rolls

Do you love the nostalgic tradition of passing around large baskets full of warm, aromatic rolls during every holiday dinner?

Horizontal top down view of six knot shaped vegan-friendly roasted garlic and herb dinner rolls sitting on a blackened baking pan.
Photo credit: Raquel Smith

You’ll be excited to break bread with family and friends using this flavor-packed recipe!

Mixed with roasted garlic and dried Italian herbs, learn how to craft fluffy rolls entirely from scratch. Make them into regular round rolls, or tie them into these pretty knots.

Get the recipe and step-by-step instructions now.

4. Roasted Jalapeno Cornbread

If cornbread is a must-have carb, we have that covered for you.

Photo credit: Raquel Smith

Our extra-large and extra-flavorful cornbread recipe will feed many hungry mouths at the table!

Roasted jalapenos, whole corn kernels, and a little maple syrup make this a tantalizing alternative to traditional recipes that include eggs and butter.

We bake ours in an oven-proof skillet, like a large cast iron skillet, and cut it into wedges.

Here’s the recipe for you.


As promised, we have bountiful side dish recommendations!

Still hungry for more side dish action after reading through these options? If you need further inspiration, be sure to review our list of Foodal’s best Thanksgiving side dishes. There are plenty on the list that are vegan.

5. Butternut Squash Oven Fries

I love a more casual approach to the holiday meal – and that includes being able to eat with your fingers without getting yelled at by your parents!

Top-down shot of browned sticks of butternut squash arranged on a left side of a beige serving platter with a small square glass dish of a thick white sauce to the right, on a dark and light blue cloth with a triangular pattern.
Photo credit: Meghan Yager

This recipe for butternut squash oven fries is a playful, and healthier, approach to a fall side dish.

Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, these fries are best eaten right away – a perfect option for your guests to nibble on if you’re falling a little behind on getting your other dishes on the table!

Read more now for the recipe.

6. Caramelized Red Chili Brussels Sprouts

We give this generally disliked green veggie a major, and spicy, makeover for the holiday!

Oblique overhead shot of a white serving dish filled beyond the brim with caramelized Brussels sprouts, with a metal serving spoon in shallow focus in the background, on a cloth surface.
Photo credit: Meghan Yager

We cook them on the stovetop in coconut oil, with hefty dashes of freshly milled salt and pepper and some red chili flakes thrown into the mix.

And that’s really all you need to make our simple and stellar recipe!

The true signs of success are the deeply caramelized exteriors and crisp-tender cores, all of which can be easily achieved in about 30 minutes.

Add this side to your dinner collection now.

7. Creamiest Mashed Potatoes

Take our word for it: you don’t need loads upon loads of butter and milk to make the creamiest mashed potatoes!

Horizontal image of a black dish with mashed potatoes, metal spoons, a shallot, and kitchen twine on a white towel on a wooden surface.
Photo credit: Raquel Smith

There’s no way you’ll be missing the dairy, because we creatively use delicious alternatives.

You can achieve the richest and silkiest texture by using cashew cream. And for pops of savory flavor, mix in roasted garlic and garnish the mashed potatoes with crispy shallots.

A classic reimagined!

We share the recipe here.

8. Crispy Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Yes, we’re offering TWO Brussels sprouts recipes – because there can never be too many veggies, especially when they are this tasty!

Top down view of a bed of quinoa in a black skillet with roasted Brussels sprouts layered on top. A wooden spoon sets on the lip of the pan and wooden cutting board with homemade bread sits to the left.
Photo credit: Raquel Smith

After baking for just 20 to 30 minutes, depending on if you use a countertop toaster oven or your traditional large oven, they release a lot of their moisture and get all crispy on the outside.

In my opinion, the crispier, the better for the biggest and boldest flavors!

And all they need is some olive oil, salt, and pepper. And I love serving them on a bed of fluffy, tender quinoa.

Get the recipe now.

9. Dijon Mustard and Sage Roasted Squash

A super gorgeous side dish to present at the Thanksgiving dinner table, you’ll be equally as impressed by its flavors and aromas as you are with its beautiful appearance.

Close up of a pan of roasted Dijon sage flavored butternut squash with a pomegranate cranberry sauce in the background.
Photo credit: Raquel Smith

I enjoy using a mix of winter squash when the season is right – so for this recipe, I decided on dumpling and butternut, but feel free to use whatever winter squash is readily available.

Winter squash can be pretty sweet, so I wanted to balance this with something more savory.

Roasting the squash with sage and dill, then brushing the cooked pieces with a Dijon mustard dressing, created the most beautiful combination.

Read more here.

10. Easiest Stuffing

Don’t feel guilty to take a few shortcuts in order to save both your time and your sanity during the holiday dinner prep rush!

Vertical closeup image of vegetable stuffing in a casserole dish.
Photo credit: Raquel Smith

Our easy semi-homemade stuffing uses a boxed mix to start, but gets a flavorful update with a fun mix of garlic, thyme, sage, and coriander, as well as fresh vegetables like onions, celery, and mushrooms.

We also add in some sliced meatless sausages – a little goes a long way for extra heartiness.

It’s a traditional side to serve for Thanksgiving this year, for everyone to enjoy, vegan or not.

Learn how to make the recipe now on Foodal.

11. Green Beans and Soba Noodles with Crispy Shallots

This is Foodal’s healthy upgrade to the classic green bean casserole – and I think you’ll really love this unique take!

top down close up of a vegan-friendly and gluten-free side dish made with green beans, buckwheat soba noodles, and shallots.
Photo credit: Raquel Smith

If you’re dutifully staying light and fit throughout the holiday season, this is your recipe.

Serve perfectly tender soba noodles with sauteed green beans, topped with toasted pine nuts and crispy fried shallots.

Looking for a gluten-free alternative? Replace the soba noodles with 100% buckwheat noodles.

Read more now.

12. Pomegranate Cranberry Sauce

Who actually likes that weird, gelatinous, can of cranberry sauce?

Oblique view of a pomegranate cranberry sauce in a white, porcelain serving dish on a weathered, wooden surface.
Photo credit: Raquel Smith

Okay, maybe it has its loyal followers, but I’m looking for a fresh update to this – ahem, outdated – classic!

My homemade pomegranate cranberry sauce is a sweet and tart spin on the traditional fruity spread.

Made with only four ingredients – fresh or frozen cranberries, pomegranate juice, granulated sugar, and fresh pomegranate arils – it doesn’t take a lot to make an impressive side.

Find the instructions right here.

13. Sesame Sage Roasted Veggies with Barley

A colorful holiday side, you’re going to love this veggie and grain dish! It feels so fun and festive!

Closeup closely cropped overhead shot of a brown ceramic bowl filled with barley and roasted vegetables, garnished with small yellow cherry tomatoes, pomegranate arils, and fresh sage.
Photo credit: Raquel Smith

With fennel, carrots, Brussels sprouts, cherry tomatoes, and pomegranate, every serving will be a kaleidoscopic masterpiece.

And don’t forget the flavorful dressing! We drizzle this grain salad with a vinaigrette that has mustard, apple cider vinegar, spices, and sesame oil.

Read more now.


What’s the main mission of the vegan main as an alternative to turkey?

A meatless Thanksgiving entree needs to be both filling and flavorful, and should have as memorable of a presentation as a beautifully roasted bird – but without any animal-based products whatsoever!

Here are some of our suggestions that will cause a standing ovation among your vegan guests. They are sure to appreciate your thoughtfulness to include a showstopping main course.

14. Baked Sweet Potatoes with Cranberries Wild Rice Stuffing

When you have so many uniquely shaped veggies available to you throughout the fall and winter, stuffed is the way to go to take advantage of an unforgettable presentation with an edible foundation.

These stuffed sweet potatoes are the dreamboats you’ve been waiting for all year long.

Horizontal image of a grain mixture in a roasted yam on a white plate next to fruit and a blue napkin.
Photo credit: Fanny Slater

After baking to a golden crisp, they’re filled with balsamic-glazed cranberries, crunchy pecans and pepitas, and wild rice mixed with a fresh citrus dressing.

Garnish with lots of fresh parsley, and serve while warm.

Don’t worry about being too neat when you’re filling each potato. Rustic autumnal recipes like this work best when you embody an effortless approach.

Read more.

15. Farro Risotto with Butternut, Mushrooms, and Kale

My vegan risotto recipe is an alternative to your traditional rice risotto, made with nutty farro.

Oblique view of a nonstick frying pan full of a Farro Risotto with Mushrooms & Kale dish. the pan is sitting on a white, linen towel and a rustic wooden table top.
Photo credit: Raquel Smith

Everyone will love the earthy flavors of the mushrooms and the grassy notes of the kale. Roasted butternut squash provides a slightly sweet flavor, striking the perfect balance of flavor and texture.

Get the recipe now.

16. Pumpkin Curry

This recipe for pumpkin curry is not only simple to make, but also extremely comforting and filling.

One-Pan Pumpkin Curry | Foodal.com
Photo credit: Felicia Lim

Garnished with cilantro and served alongside basmati rice, this makes the perfect main course on the chilliest of Thanksgiving nights.

This satiating meal is big on flavor, with the inclusion of red curry paste, lime juice, and lots of garlic.

Learn how to make it now.


17. Apple Maple Walnut Cake

You’ll like this hybrid between a quick bread and a cake for an easy and effortless dessert idea – a refreshing alternative to pie!

Closeup closely cropped image of a loaf-shaped breakfast cake, on a rectangular piece of parchment on a slightly larger brown wood board, on a pastel aqua-colored cloth on top of a white wood surface, with half an an apple to the left that is cut side up.
Photo credit: Raquel Smith

Flavors of fresh autumnal apples, pure maple syrup, and crunchy walnuts come together in this delicious dessert idea.

I also include an optional glaze, made with vegan powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and almond milk.

Get the recipe now on Foodal.

18. Chocolate Pumpkin Swirl Muffins

For a fun and no-frills dessert option, skip the cakes, cookies, pies, and candies…

Make muffins instead!

Photo credit: Raquel Smith

Nothing says autumn like pumpkin puree mixed in with baked goodies. Add some chocolaty swirls into the equation, and you have something special with a hint of decadence.

These vegan-friendly chocolate pumpkin swirl muffins will be the best casual ending to the big meal, for herbivores and carnivores alike.

And you don’t have to worry about the extra anxiety of slicing perfect wedges as you need to do for pie – these individual treats are easy to serve.

Read more here for the recipe.

19. Perfect Pumpkin Pie

And for the ultimate vegan dessert to serve for the ultimate vegan fall feast, pumpkin pie takes the cake!

Top down view of pumpkin pie with one slice removed. This slice is on a separate saucer at the lower right on the frame. The remainder of the pie is in the upper left sitting on a milk glass pie pan.
Photo credit: Raquel Smith

There aren’t any eggs or dairy, but it still has that great custardy texture we all know and love with the classic recipe.

And best of all, it has no hard-to-find alternative ingredients! Choose to use a canned pumpkin puree, or use an equal amount of a homemade puree.

Pair the filling with our recipe for homemade vegan pie crust.

Learn how to make the dessert now.

Create new Memories!

With recipes for breads, sides, main courses, and desserts, you are set for success to build your own customizable dinner plan, free of any animal-based products.

I hope that you’ll be able to build tasty memories with many of these options, and perhaps start your own food traditions that everyone will look forward to year after year.

What are your own tried-and-true vegan recipes you like to cook or bake for the holidays? Oh, and let me know in the comment section below which one among my own list!

Image of a collage of assorted autumn-themed meat-free recipes with a label in the center.

Let’s continue the celebration! Read through more of our Thanksgiving recipes, tips, and tricks – it’s best to be as prepared as possible! Start with these articles next:

Photos by Raquel Smith, Meghan Yager, Fanny Slater, Felicia Lim, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on November 23, 2015. With additional writing and editing by Nikki Cervone. Last updated on November 22, 2023.

About Raquel Smith

Raquel is a whole foods enthusiast, an avid mountain biker, and a dog lover. She works by day at Food Blogger Pro and formerly maintained her food blog "My California Roots" (now merged into Foodal).

2 thoughts on “19 Recipes for the Ultimate Vegan Thanksgiving”

  1. Thanks for spreading the vegan chocolate cream pie love, Raquel! It’s such a dream, and would be particularly AMAZING following all these other dreamy dishes.


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