Thanksgiving is the ultimate community holiday. You spend a day with your loved ones — whether you consider that to be the family you were born with, or the family you've made as an adult — and all you do is eat food, argue about politics, and slowly adjust your belt to be looser and looser as the night goes on. Add in a dash of football, and three to four (minimum) glasses of wine, and you've got yourself the perfect Thanksgiving celebration. But for those feeling a little adventurous this year, a plant based Thanksgiving guide is just the trick you need to be the unique belle of the potluck ball.
For vegan and vegetarian chefs, a Thanksgiving without dairy or meat is the hail mary event you dream of throwing. Can you really fool your meat-loving friends into devouring your dishes? Can you create a dessert that's actually good for you? These are the questions that keep you up at night, and I'm here to help make your ambitions a reality. Plant-based dishes don't have to be a sacrifice for your palate, nor do they have to feel "healthy" in the bad (read: gross) way, if you know what I mean. When done right, and with a little prep time, a plant-based Thanksgiving can be just as scrumptious and decadent as the one filled with meat and cheese and milk. Here are a few vegan Thanksgiving dishes that are so ridiculously tasty, you'll forget all about the traditional turkey.
Vegan cornbread, at first, seems like a contradiction. How can something so buttery and crumbly not include any milk or butter?
Brown Vegan walks you through the only vegan cornbread recipe you'll ever need in this killer tutorial.
This autumn kale salad recipe via Eat Drink Garden is filled with yummy ingredients like kale, radishes, grapes, and spiced walnuts. It also comes with a recipe for a vegan salad dressing, because let's be real, no one wants to eat a kale leaf undressed.
This salad is particularly awesome because it's not limited to special events or holidays like Thanksgiving, so you'll probably end up making it once a week (at the very least) after you prepare it for Turkey Day.
OK, so I'll admit, I was originally skeptical about this one. I tend to make the stuffing every year for my family's Thanksgiving dinner, and I've seen how much milk and butter I usually put into that puppy. But after reading through this recipe, I've decided I'm officially replacing my go-to stuffing game plan with this bad boy.
I have to be honest about this: Vegan chili is not something I'm fully on board with just yet. But this vegan chili recipe via The Master Vegan is so inventive that you can't help but admire it and add it to your "must bake" list.
Fun idea: Bring this chili to your Friendsgiving and see if anyone even notices that there's no actual meat inside. For those who do notice and are looking for a little familiar comfort, bring along a little sour cream and shredded cheese in separate bowls so everyone's happy.
No Thanksgiving dinner is complete without a big bowl of steaming hot gravy. And trust me, this vegetarian gravy recipe from Genius Kitchen will make all of your family members happy, regardless of their eating inclinations.
The secret ingredient? Soy sauce, which really piques my curiosity, personally.
Brussels sprouts are a fickle veggie; you either love them or hate them. As someone who loves them as if they're something more than an inanimate object, I'm very into this balsamic vinegar brussie recipe from The Spruce. (and yes, I do have a nickname for a vegetable).
For real though, this brussels sprouts recipe is neutral enough to satisfy everyone, even your friends who insist they hate a good ol' brussie dish.
OK, this is probably the most controversial food you could possibly bring to a Friendsgiving dinner, but hey, what better place to introduce your friends to a plant-based diet than at an intimate holiday dinner?
Besides, this tofurkey recipe by The Spruce is so good, it might just convert even the most intense non-believers in your squad.
Most mashed potato recipes are basically just half-potato, half-cream. But this vegan mashed potato recipe by Kylee's Kitchen will fulfill all of your Thanksgiving hopes and dreams without using any real milk or butter.
Don't let the video confuse you; Kylee is using almond milk and vegan butter to fill out the recipe, and it still looks as tasty as ever.
After all, no Thanksgiving feast is complete without a good ol' fashioned apple pie. This Martha Stewart vegan apple pie recipe will feel and taste like home, even if you grew up eating the apple pies that were filled to the brim with butter.
The key to an unbeatable apple pie, according to Martha, lies in the type of apple you choose, so go for Granny Smith, Gala, Empire or Macoun.