It’s almost that time of the year—Thanksgiving is just around the corner. That means time with family and friends, football on the TV, and being thankful for all the things going well in our lives. For many of us, this holiday is the ultimate time to enjoy all of our favorite foods, like turkey, baked ham, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, or mac and cheese.
But what about the vegans? With just a little bit of planning and a few substitutions, you can plan out a fabulous vegan thanksgiving dinner that will knock your family’s socks off—and perhaps change your famously outspoken uncle’s mind about vegan food once and for all.
Not sure where to begin? We can help. We’ll show you a few classic vegan Thanksgiving recipes, as well as some vegan desserts that will have your whole family raving about your incredible kitchen skills.
Our favorite vegan thanksgiving recipes
Although we could tell you to go out and buy yourself a turkey made out of seitan (yes, they do exist), we’d rather share vegan thanksgiving recipes that won’t break the bank and are healthy to boot.
Vegan green bean salad with hazelnuts
Green beans casserole is a quintessential Thanksgiving side dish, but we think this green bean salad will be just as delicious. It’s light, fresh, and zesty thanks to the balsamic vinegar and black pepper, and the sprinkle of the hazelnuts adds an irresistible crunch. The chopped mint is optional, but we recommend going for it—the flavor combination is simply otherworldly.
Vegan Green Bean Salad with Hazelnuts
- 1 ½ cups fresh green beans (cut in half) (~5 oz)
- ½ onion (medium sized) (~2 oz)
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar/modena vinegar (~⅓ oz)
- ¾ tsp olive oil (extra virgin)
- a tiny bit of salt
- ¾ tsp black pepper
- ¾ tsp black pepper
- 2 ¼ cups water
- 1 ½ tsp fresh mint (chopped)
- Put water in a pot and bring it to a boil. In the meantime, peel and thinly slice onion.
- Wash, remove stems, and cut green beans in half.
- Add the green beans to the water and cook for 2 minutes or so, until the beans are just barely cooked through, but still crisp.
- Rinse beans in cold water
- Drain the green beans and put in a bowl.
- Toss with sliced onion, balsamic, oil, salt, pepper.
- Top with chopped hazelnuts and mint (optional) and enjoy!
Herbed mashed potatoes
What’s Thanksgiving without mashed potatoes? Honestly, we don’t know. This recipe is 100% vegan, but it tastes almost as decadent as the standard version. It’s up to you what kind of non-dairy milk you’d like to use, but if you want it to taste traditional, try to go for a full-fat, unsweetened variety.
And, if you like your potatoes with the skin on, you can easily turn this recipe into smashed potatoes. Just wash your potatoes thoroughly and skip the peeling process. It’s not for everyone, but it adds some extra nutrients (especially fiber!) to the mix.
Do you eat enough fiber? Find out how much fiber you need in a day.
Herbed mashed potatoes
- 4 large potatoes
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 cup non-dairy milk
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp chives
- salt & pepper to taste
- Peel the potatoes and garlic, then add them to a large saucepan with a pinch of salt and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil.
- Cover and reduce the heat. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
- Drain and return the potatoes and garlic to the saucepan. Add the oil, non-dairy milk and chives. Using a masher or a fork, mash until smooth.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Wholesome vegan stuffing
Another thanksgiving classic, stuffing is a must-have. We know it’s easy to buy the store-bought stuffing mix, but we promise you it’s worth it to make it homemade. Plus, you’ll know exactly what’s going in it—and you’ll have bragging rights.
This one takes just a little bit of planning—you’ll need to leave a loaf of bread out to dry overnight—but requires little active time. Try a spoon of your mashed potatoes mixed with the stuffing. Delicious!
Wholesome vegan stuffing
- 1 large loaf whole grain bread
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion
- 1 cup celery
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup canned green lentils
- 1 flax egg
- 1 tsp sage
- The night before, cube your bread and add it to a large bowl. Leave it out to dry overnight. It should have the texture of stale bread.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C) and line a baking dish with foil or non-stick spray.
- In a pan on low-medium heat, sauté the onion and celery in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until translucent.
- Meanwhile, add most of the vegetable broth to the bowl of bread, along with the cooked onion, celery, flax egg, lentils, and sage.
- Mix everything with a wooden spoon, and add more broth if it’s too dry. It should have the consistency of meatloaf.
- Transfer the mixture to the baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for about 45 minutes.
- Then, remove the foil and increase the oven temperature to 400°F (200°C). Bake for another 10 minutes, or until the top is crisp.
Some of us love it, some of us can’t stand it—cranberry sauce divides us almost as much as politics. Still, even if you don’t like it, we challenge you to give this vegan Thanksgiving recipe a try. Our recipe uses fresh cranberries, and it’s about as far away as you can get from the canned stuff. It’ll also provide you with a good dose of antioxidants to keep you glowing through the holiday season.
Speaking of glowing: Check out these foods that'll help you glow from the inside-out.
- 24 oz fresh cranberries (≈4 ½ cups)
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ½ cup water
- 2 cups juice and zest of orange
- 1-2 Tbsp honey or to taste (optional)
- Put the cranberries, applesauce, and water into a saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to medium and stir constantly for about 10-15 minutes, until the cranberries start to burst., Reduce to a simmer and add the orange juice and zest to the saucepan.
- Simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes and remove from heat. Add the honey if you like.
- Let the mixture cool down completely and store in the fridge overnight, or for at least 4 hours before serving.
Vegan Thanksgiving desserts
And of course, you wouldn’t want to miss out on dessert. After all, it’s one of the highlights of the Thanksgiving meal—just when you think you can’t possibly eat anymore, dessert beckons you to make room for a sweet finale. Once you’ve had your dessert, you can plop yourself onto the couch and shut your eyes for a post-meal nap, content with your full belly, and drift off until it’s time for another round of leftovers.
Vegan banana bean muffins
These fluffy, light muffins are an excellent choice for your Thanksgiving dessert. Not only are they delicious, but they’re also super healthy. Our secret ingredient? Cannellini beans! They’re a great source of fiber and protein, and together with protein-rich oats, peanut butter, and banana, they’re stellar in terms of nutrition.
Vegan banana bean muffins recipe
- ¼ cups rolled oats (uncooked)
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- a tiny bit of baking soda
- ⅔ banana
- ⅓ cups white beans/cannellini beans (canned and drained)
- 2 ½ tsp peanut butter (plain, without added sugar)
- 1 ½ tsp honey or agave syrup
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 dates (dried and pitted)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line muffin cups or a baking form.
- Drain beans, rinse well, and then pat dry.
- Put all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Pour into muffin cups or baking form. Bake 20 minutes. They won’t be fluffy and will look a little underdone.
- Let them cool for 20 minutes or enjoy straight away.
Vegan chocolate chip cookies
Just about everyone loves chocolate chip cookies, and these hit the ball out of the park. They’re almost suspiciously easy—with only a few ingredients, you’d think they wouldn’t be as amazing as they actually are. Seriously, these are some incredible cookies. Nobody has to know that they’re super healthy (well, in moderation). They’ll be a massive hit with the entire family!
Vegan chocolate chip cookies recipe
- 2 Tbsp peanut butter (plain, without added sugar)
- ½ cups rolled oats (uncooked)
- ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 ½ banana
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- dash of salt
- Preheat oven to 350° F (175 ºC).
- In a bowl, peel, cut and mash the bananas with a fork.
- Add rolled oats, peanut butter, chocolate chips, cinnamon, and salt and combine.
- Roll, then flatten as many cookies as you can with the dough and place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
- Bake them at 350° F (175 ºC) for about 12 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown, as in the picture.
- Serve and enjoy!
We hope you give these recipes a shot this Thanksgiving. There's plenty more where that came from—for more tasty vegan recipes (as well as non-vegan), consult the recipe library in your 8fit Pro app.