Vegan Thanksgiving Ideas

Looking at the calendar yesterday I realized that we’re a lot further into November than I’d realized.  That means Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and I’d better start figuring out what I’m going to make!

With that in mind, I thought I’d go through past posts that would be appropriate for the holiday.  Let’s start with appetizers!  (Click on the photos for the original post and recipe.)


Hot Artichoke Dip

This Hot Artichoke Dip makes a great holiday appetizer.  It’s really easy to make, so you can spend more time on everything else you’ll be cooking.  It’s also a great dish to make for skeptical non-vegans because it’s creamy, decadent and delicious!

Cheezy Crackers

Cheezy Crackers are another great choice for pre-meal snacking.  They take just a little more effort, but you can make them a day or two ahead of time.  And your guests will be so impressed that you made crackers from scratch that it will be totally worth it!

Marinated Cheeze

Another make ahead dish is this Marinated Cheeze.  It’s so tasty on crackers or crusty bread, and you won’t have to worry about any vampire attacks during your meal since you and all your guests will have plenty of garlic breath perfuming the air.

Pepper-Crusted Cashew Goat Cheese

Since we’re talking cheese (creamy and cheesy seem to be a theme with me…), I have to post my favorite vegan cheese!  This Pepper-Crusted Cashew Goat Cheese does require some advance planning, but it’s so worth it.  It’s not difficult to make, though, so don’t be intimidated by the recipe.  I can also guarantee that it’s a safe bet to serve to non-vegans.  Whenever I make this it disappears almost as fast as I can put it out.

Union Square Cafe’s Bar Nuts

And finally, one of my all-time favorite snacks, The Union Square Cafe’s Bar Nuts.  These are incredibly easy to make, can be made ahead of time and reheated, and are so incredibly tasty.  You can use whatever nuts you like best, and the herbs and seasonings are perfect for Thanksgiving.

Okay, so now that we have a few appetizer ideas, let’s move onto to soup.  Normally I don’t serve soup with my Thanksgiving meal, but I’m thinking about doing it this year.  I have my eye on a cranberry and wild rice soup that I’d like to try out, but any of the following would be perfect on your Thanksgiving table.


Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

This soup is sweet, savory and really yummy.  The recipe is a little bit more advanced, but the end flavor is worth the time and effort.

Cauliflower Bisque with Buttered Breadcrumbs

Ummmm… bisque.  This Cauliflower Bisque with Buttered Breadcrumbs is so delicious, and as I look at that photo I’m kicking myself for not making this more often.  Again, this is something you can very confidently serve to non-vegans.

Delicata Squash Bisque

Delicata Squash Bisque is incredibly easy, and one of the best soups I’ve ever tasted.  The quality of the vegetable broth you use is important here, so make sure to use a good one!

Okay, time for the main event.  For me, Thanksgiving is about sides (and it was even when I still ate turkey).  The past couple years I’ve also made a nut roast (two different ones last year) so that it feels like there’s a “main dish.”  Here are some of my favorite sides, along with that tasty nut roast.


Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Don’t let Roasted Brussels Sprouts scare you.  If you’re afraid of them or have had bad experiences in the past, you have to try cooking them this way, and I promise you’ll feel differently.  These were such a huge hit last year.  They’re another one of those easy dishes that free up your time for the more complicated ones.  And you don’t have to sacrifice any flavor.

Green Bean Casserole

This Green Bean Casserole is one of my favorite dishes.  The recipe is a little more involved, but making this classic dish from scratch is worth it.  I plan to double the recipe this year since it went so quickly last year.

Mashed Potatoes

Of course it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without Mashed Potatoes, at least for me.  I make a giant pot of these every year, mostly so that there’s enough for me to stuff myself on them.  I mean, let’s just be honest with each other.

“Poultry” Gravy

There’s only one thing that can possibly make mashed potatoes better and that’s…”Poultry” Gravy!  This stuff is magical.  I make a huge batch in the morning and keep it warm in a crock pot.  You have to have plenty for the meal, and extra for the leftovers!

Holiday Nut Roast

The gravy is also amazing on this Holiday Nut Roast.  This is another recipe that takes a bit more work than the others, but that’s what makes it special.  What seems like a very disparate list of ingredients come together to make a perfectly textured savory and delicious roast.  It’s almost like stuffing and a main dish combined.  Definitely worth the effort.

Sweet Potato Casserole

And to transition us to dessert, here’s my favorite Thanksgiving dish – SusanV’s Sweet Potato Casserole.  This is the best sweet potato casserole I’ve ever tasted.  I love having something sweet and spicy to contrast with all the savory foods on my Thanksgiving plate.  It makes for great left-overs too.

Okay, now for the real desserts!  It’s hard to stray from the classics, which for my family were always pumpkin and apple pie.  I was never a huge pumpkin pie fan (although I bet I’d feel differently now), but pumpkin cheesecake is something I can definitely get behind.


Pumpkin Patch Cheesecake

This version is creamy, delicious and perfectly pumpkin-y.  It’s also much easier to make than you’d expect.

Easy Refrigerator Cheesecake

If you’re looking for something even easier, this (almost) no-bake cheesecake has you covered.  You do have to bake the crust of this Easy Refrigerator Cheesecake, but it’s still one of the easiest dessert options out there.  It’s almost like pumpkin mousse, and it will definitely impress your non-vegan guests.

Frangipane Pear Crostata

If you want to skip the pumpkin all-together, you could make this Frangipane Pear Crostata.  It takes just a bit more effort than the cheesecakes, but it’s an elegant dessert that’s not too sweet, making it the perfect finale for a rich Thanksgiving meal.

German Apple Cake

While I’m not a huge apple pie fan, I love apple cake!  If you want to switch things up this year you could make this German Apple Cake in place of the pie.

Chocolate Chip Date Cake

Now, I know it isn’t traditional, but this Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake is one of my all-time favorite desserts.  It’s simply delicious.  The flavor and texture are awesome, and it bridges the gap between Thanksgiving and the winter holiday season to come.  You could even make mini-bundts like Jenn over at Cookin’ Vegan.

Hopefully these recipes will help get you started on your vegan Thanksgiving menu, or maybe if you’re not vegan they’ll give you an idea of something to serve your vegan or vegetarian guests.  Now I just need to figure out what my menu is going to be.  What are you guys planning to make for Thanksgiving this year?

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23 Responses to “Vegan Thanksgiving Ideas”

  1. What incredible options! Can I come to your house for Thanksgiving this year? ;)

  2. Great post Kim! I’ve made about 5 of these recipes and they were all complete hits!

  3. Hi, Leinana! Of course you can come on by!

  4. Thanks, Jennifer! I’m so glad you liked them!

  5. wow! these all look and sound amazing. the crackers look so perfect! i’d like a sample plate of all of these right now.

  6. i defiantly will be making the artichoke dip, the pumpkin cheesecake, and the crackers….these all look SO amazing…thanks for the tips and recipes. :]

  7. Such wonderful ideas!

  8. You are amazing, Kim Garr

  9. Aw, thanks, Gary H!!!

  10. Wow everything looks so good! That apple cake is a work of art! And I just might try that poultry gravy. I’ve been looking for a good gravy recipe to go along with my dinner. Thanks for sharing!

  11. These look so delicious my mouth’s already watering in anticipation! I’ll be making the pepper crusted cashew goat cheese and something I can stuff an entire roasted pumpkin with. I’m thinking a mixture of smoky kale, roasted pumpkin, tempeh bacon, and wild rice.

  12. Hi, Adel! That roasted pumpkin sounds delicious! You had me at smoky kale.

  13. ZOMG! Your artichoke dip is on my holiday menu for sure. I want to raid my pantry and make it right now!

  14. I just made something that could have used that goat cheese recipe. Thanks for posting and it looks too easy not to try.

    Great ideas on everything else, too.

  15. Thanks, Vegan Aide!

  16. oh man, pass the green bean casserole please. :)

  17. Thank you so much for sharing these! I will definitely be adding the goat cheese and gravy to my menu, perhaps with a few others!!! It all looks awesome.

  18. These recipes look fantastic! I just became vegan a month ago, and I’m about to experience my first vegan Thanksgiving, so I’ll probably make almost every single one of your recipes!

  19. I am in awe of the recipes I am seeing! I’ve been an off and on vegan for over a year. I have been perusing sites and recipes. I have not tried all of the recipes I’ve seen but I can tell you without even trying yours you are outstanding in your field. I have been known as a good cook in the omnivore world so I know what good is!

    I look forward to using your recipes. Thank you for a job well done;)

    Diane Robuck

  20. Thanks for your kind words, Diane!

  21. Wow. I’m bookmarking this page for the recipes! That hot artichoke dip looks so good. And…also, just about everything else!


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