6 Vegan Turkey Alternatives That Actually Taste Better Than The Real Thing
Since the central dish of a Thanksgiving meal is usually a big ol' turkey, it can be challenging for those who stick to vegan and plant-based foods to enjoy the feast along with everyone else. It's probably not safe to assume that you'll be sitting down at a dinner table with vegan turkey alternatives to choose from, which means it's up to you to do a little digging and experimenting ahead of time to find a delicious recipe you can take along to your festivities and impress your loved ones with.
And hey, even if you're not living a vegan lifestyle yourself, you might have someone at your Thanksgiving dinner table who is, and I'm willing to bet they'd be absolutely thrilled to have more options to indulge in aside from just a few, boring, veggie side dishes.
Also, I think we can all be real with each another and admit that, oftentimes, the classic Thanksgiving turkey is super, super dry and, you know, not exactly all that tasty, at least not without drenching it in some gravy and mashed potatoes to mask the taste. So, that gives you all the more reason to consider trying some of these recipes that'll spice up an otherwise boring dish. Who knows, maybe you'll even inspire someone at the table to go full vegan after Turkey Day is over.
1. The Classic Tofurky
We can't talk about a vegan Thanksgiving dinner without giving a shoutout to the mother of all Turkey Day alternatives, the sweet, sweet tofurkey.
Yes, there are many tofurkey products on the market at this point, but this is the one I personally swear by.
2. Homemade Tofu Turkey
If you're not into the boxed stuff, you can always try your hand at making your very own tofu turkey. There are lots of delicious recipes out there for this, but this rather lovely tofurkey roast is super simple and pre-baked in the oven, then browned for about 30 minutes just before it's ready to serve. Stuff that stuffing right in the middle, and you're golden.
3. Seitan Turkey with Crispy Skin
Guys, it's hard to argue with the fact that the whole point of eating turkey in the first place is the salty, savory skin on top. That's where all the flavor is!
This recipe calls for a nut-based stuffing and some cranberry sauce for the middle of the seitan loaf, and creates turkey skin from tofu skins. This is pure mouth-water status, and maybe the most creative vegan alternative I've ever seen.
4. A Special Lentil Loaf
Of course, there's no harm in going totally left-field and ditching a turkey altogether so you can experiment with a different, but equally delicious vegan main dish instead.
This bad boy includes lentils, flaxseed, plenty of delicious herbs and spices, and ground oats, with a sweet glaze to boot. Add veggies like sautéed onions, carrots, or peppers and you have yourself a bangin' feast to serve.
5. Vegan Thanksgiving Pot Pie
Sweet potato, mushrooms, onions, and lentils — yes, please. Oh, and don't forget about those sweet, sweet cranberries, because what's Thanksgiving without the cranberry sauce?
Yes, this is technically a vegan pot pie, but you can cut it up into pieces just like you would with a traditional turkey, and honestly, I'm not even sure your guests will be able to tell the difference.
6. Another Store-Bought Turkey Alternative
Yes, as you can see, that looks just like a turkey, shape and all, but it's... not actually a turkey. It's the ever popular Vegetarian Plus whole roasted turkey, made from soybean protein and a variety of other ingredients. The video above shows step-by-step instructions on how to prepare it, even if you low-key have no idea what you're doing as you dive into the cooking.
Happy experimenting (and Thanksgiving)!