28 Delicious Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes To Try This Year

Explore various tasty and nutrient-rich vegan Thanksgiving recipes for appetizers, mains, side dishes, and desserts.

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by
Sarah Bullard, MS, RD, LD
— Signos
Dietitian and Nutrition Writer
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Updated by

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Science-based and reviewed

Published:
May 17, 2024
November 1, 2023
— Updated:
November 2, 2023

Table of Contents

Are you following a vegan diet this year and wondering what to include on your menu for a vegan Thanksgiving dinner?

Or one of your dinner guests is vegan, and you want to include some vegan dishes for them on the Thanksgiving table. 

While Thanksgiving is typically associated with turkey, many healthy vegan recipes exist. You will be pleasantly surprised that many classic sides and desserts are already vegan or only take a simple ingredient swap to make them vegan. 

In this article, you’ll find easy vegan Thanksgiving recipes to try this year. Even non-vegans may find themselves exploring new dishes this holiday season.

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Vegan Thanksgiving Side Dishes and Appetizers

1. Vegan Cashew Boursin Cheese

This is an oil-free, Paleo, soy-free, yeast-free, and only five ingredients vegan cashew cheese. Boursin is a spreadable garlic and herb cheese. Many people eat this cheese on a cracker, bread, or vegetables.  

For this recipe, you will need 1 cup of raw cashews, 3 ½ tablespoons of non-dairy milk, 2 ½ tablespoons of lemon juice, two teaspoons of garlic powder, sea salt, and 3 to 4 tablespoons of fresh herbs like parsley and chives.

This recipe only takes 10 minutes of active preparation, but the cheese is to chill for four hours until cold and firm. 

Nutritional Information per tablespoon: 40 calories, 3 g of fat, 2.5 g of carbohydrates, and 1.3 g of protein. Glycemic Index: low, ranging from 15 to 30 for similar cheeses.

2. Vegan Focaccia

This 7-ingredient no-knead bread rivals most restaurants. Bread is a loved appetizer and would go well with the Boursin cheese. 

For this recipe, you will need two tablespoons of vegan butter, six tablespoons of olive oil, 3 ⅓ cups of all-purpose flour, one packet of instant yeast, 1 ½ teaspoons of white sugar, one teaspoon of salt, 1 ⅔ cups of warm water, and fresh rosemary. 

Focaccia bread takes 5 minutes of preparation time, one hour of rise time, and 20 minutes of cooking time. 

Nutritional Information per 1/12 of the bread: 199 calories, 8 g of fat, 27 g of carbohydrates, 1 g of fiber, and 4 g of protein. Glycemic Index: medium, 63.

3. Stuffed Mushrooms

These Greek-style vegan stuffed mushrooms are packed with flavor and are a perfect appetizer with their savory flavors. 

For this recipe, you will use four large portobello mushroom caps, 1 cup of bread crumbs, two minced garlic cloves, 4 ounces of chopped baby spinach, one chopped small onion, ¼ cup of roasted red peppers, oregano, dill, and olive oil. 

First, you will saute the onion, peppers, and seasonings with the breadcrumbs and then spoon the filling into the mushroom caps. Preparation time is about 25 minutes and an additional cooking time of 25 minutes. 

Nutritional Information per mushroom: 165 calories, 6 g of fat, 22 g of carbohydrates, 4 g of fiber, and 8 g of protein. Glycemic Index: medium due to the breadcrumbs.

4. Roasted Peach Salsa

Who doesn’t love salsa and chips? This salsa recipe includes peaches, tomatoes, green chiles, onion, garlic, and apple cider vinegar. Incorporating fruit adds delicious fall flavors and a different spin on traditional salsa. 

This salsa is quick and easy to make in about 15 minutes and 25 minutes of roasting time for flavor. Then, you just blend it in a food processor and store it in the refrigerator for about a week.

Nutritional Information for ⅛ of the recipe: 15 calories, 0 g of fat, 3 g of carbohydrates, 1 g of fiber, and 0 g of protein. Glycemic Index: low, medium with tortilla chips or bread. 

5. Almond Flour Vegetable Nuggets

People of all ages love nuggets. These are packed with cruciferous vegetables (broccoli and cauliflower). They are also gluten-free, grain-free, and keto and quick to make. 

These nuggets use one and a half cups of chopped cauliflower or broccoli,  ½ cup of chopped carrots, ⅔ cup of almond flour, and salt and pepper to taste.

You only need five minutes to prepare them and 30 minutes to bake in the oven. These can also be made ahead of time and frozen. Just add about five minutes to the baking time.

Nutritional Information for one nugget: 35 calories, 2.7 g of fat, 2.1 g of carbohydrates, 1 g of fiber, and 1.4 g of protein. Glycemic Index: very low,1-10. 

6. Pumpkin Bean Dip

This delicious dip is sure to please, simple to make, and healthy for you. The white beans and pumpkin puree pack on the protein and fiber to stabilize blood sugar levels. 

This simple recipe uses pumpkin puree, white beans, balsamic vinegar, water, rosemary, garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste.

Blend all the ingredients in a food processor and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and you are done in five minutes or less. 

Nutritional Information for ¼ of the recipe: 113 calories, 14.4 g of fat, 21 g of carbohydrates, 6 g of fiber, and 7 g of protein. Glycemic Index: low, around 35.

7. Baked Vegan Onion Rings

These baked vegan onion rings are a healthier alternative to fried onion rings. Plus, they are egg-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free. They are high in fiber and protein. 

Ingredients required are oat flour (or oats ground into flour), nutritional yeast, smoked paprika, sea salt, chickpea flour, cornstarch, onion powder, and two medium onions. 

The recipe is in written form, or they provide a helpful video to make these onion rings. You will need about 20 minutes to prepare them and another 20 minutes to bake them. 

Nutritional Information for ¼ of the recipe: 142 calories, 2 g of fat, 24 g of carbohydrates, 4 g of fiber, and 7 g of protein. Glycemic Index: low.

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Vegan Thanksgiving Mains

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1. One Pot Red Lentil Pumpkin Soup

This simple recipe will add flavor to your Thanksgiving without extra stress. The lentils provide additional nutrients like fiber and protein to keep you full. Serve with Foccacia Bread from above. This soup offers all your daily vitamin A needs and over 40% of your daily iron needs. 

You need a Dutch oven to saute carrots, onion, oil, and spices. Next, add vegetable broth, pumpkin puree, lentils, and spinach. Lentils are a fast-cooking legume. This recipe only requires five minutes of preparation and 20 minutes of cooking time. 

Nutritional Information for ⅙ of the recipe: 160 calories, 5 g of fat, 24 g of carbohydrates, 9 g of fiber, and 7 g of protein. Glycemic Index: low.

2. Vegan Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s pie is a comforting and filling food and is a great replacement for a traditional pot pie. This vegan version is also gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, and egg-free. The pot filling is thick and creamy, with lentils, mushrooms, peas, carrots, coconut milk, and garlic mashed potatoes. 

This dish takes 20 minutes of prep time with 80 minutes of baking time.  This recipe includes lentils rich in fiber, iron, B vitamins, and minerals. The peas and carrots provide vitamin A, which is a powerful antioxidant. 

Nutritional Information for ⅛ of the recipe: 352 calories, 15 g of fat, 26 g of carbohydrates, 6 g of fiber, and 11 g of protein. Glycemic Index: medium.

3. Vegan Turkey

Sometimes, you just want to replicate a turkey for Thanksgiving. This vegan turkey is made of firm tofu, wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, white miso paste, vegetable broth powder, spices, and rice paper for “crispy skin.”

This recipe takes 10 minutes of preparation and almost 2 hours of cooking. After cooking, this vegan turkey needs to cool overnight for eight hours. This recipe is almost a 5-star recipe with 115 votes. 

Nutritional Information for ¼ of the recipe: 234 calories, 2 g of fat, 15 g of carbohydrates, 2 g of fiber, and 39 g of protein. Glycemic Index: low.

4. Vegan Low Sodium Minestrone Soup

This recipe was made with sodium in mind for individuals needing to restrict sodium for heart conditions. It is a simple, filling, and inexpensive option to add to your Thanksgiving meal. 

This recipe includes onion, celery, carrots, tomatoes, vegetable stock, potatoes, red kidney beans, orzo pasta, basil, oregano, and parsley. 

While it does cook for over an hour after 20 minutes of preparation, this is inactive cooking time, requiring an occasional stir. 

Nutritional Information for ⅙ of the recipe: 300 calories, 5 g of fat, 50 g of carbohydrates, 10 g of fiber, and 12 g of protein. Glycemic Index: medium.

5. Vegan Lasagna

Lasagna is a filling and classic main dish. This vegan lasagna uses many vegetables like spinach, tomato sauce, zucchini, eggplant, carrots, peppers, and mushrooms. It is kid-approved and contains a high-protein cheese sauce (almond ricotta and cannellini beans). 

As a vegan, it can be challenging to eat enough protein. This recipe is high in protein, with 25 g per serving and 18 g of fiber per serving. 

This lasagna takes 30 minutes to prepare and 45 minutes to bake.

Nutritional Information for ⅙ of the recipe: 474 calories, 21 g of fat, 54 g of carbohydrates, 18 g of fiber, and 25 g of protein. Glycemic Index: medium.

6. Stuffed Roasted Butternut Squash

This beautiful vegan stuffing can be made three days in advance to save time on Thanksgiving Day. The acorn squash is stuffed with wild rice, celery, carrots, onions, cranberry sauce, walnuts, and sage. This recipe is also gluten-free and dairy-free. 

This main dish takes about 30 minutes to prepare and 90 minutes to bake. It would be ideal to prepare this entree ahead of time. 

Nutritional Information for ⅛ of the recipe: 239 calories, 9 g of fat, 39 g of carbohydrates, 4 g of fiber, and 5 g of protein. Glycemic Index: medium.

7. Roasted Thanksgiving Bowls

Bowls are a fun alternative to traditional main dishes. You combine the fall flavors from carrots, squash, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, mashed potatoes and gravy, and pecans sprinkled on top. This veggie-loaded meal will keep you full and load up on nutrients. 

This entree takes under an hour total for preparation and cooking time. This recipe serves three. The various vegetables provide 55% of daily vitamin A, 42% of daily potassium, 117% of daily vitamin C, and 110% of daily vitamin K. 

Nutritional Information for ⅓ of the recipe: 495 calories, 24.5 g of fat, 66 g of carbohydrates, 11.4 g of fiber, and 9 g of protein. Glycemic Index: medium.

Vegan Side Dishes for Thanksgiving

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1. Mushroom Gravy

For many, Thanksgiving wouldn’t be complete without gravy for the mashed potatoes or other foods. This savory vegan gravy takes less than 15 minutes and has four key ingredients. 

For this recipe, you will need mushrooms, olive oil, garlic, plant-based milk, flour or cornstarch (to make gluten-free), and seasonings. 

Nutritional Information for ⅛ of the recipe: 36 calories, 2 g of fat, 3 g of carbohydrates, 0 g of fiber, and 2 g of protein. Glycemic Index: low.

2. Creamy Vegan Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Here is a vegan mashed potato recipe to go with the gravy! These are creamy, dairy-free mashed potatoes with some ingredients to boost gut health (beans and garlic).

This recipe will need gold potatoes, white beans, garlic, oat milk, vegan butter, and seasonings. Preparation takes about 15 minutes, and cooking time is another 20 minutes, comparable to most mashed potato recipes. 

Nutritional Information for ⅙ of the recipe: 170 calories, 3.5 g of fat, 31 g of carbohydrates, 4 g of fiber, and 5 g of protein. Glycemic Index: low to medium.

3. Healthy Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole

This healthy vegan sweet potato casserole uses simple, healthy ingredients and is easy to make. It only takes ten minutes to prepare and then bakes for an hour. 

For this recipe, you will need sweet potatoes, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla extract with a crunchy oat pecan crumble topping. This version is made without excessive added sugar from marshmallows and table sugar. It is high in vitamins C and A. 

Nutritional Information for ⅙ of the recipe: 251 calories, 10.5 g of fat, 34 g of carbohydrates, 7 g of fiber, and 5 g of protein. Glycemic Index: medium.

4. Healthy Butternut Squash Casserole 

Others enjoy butternut squash casserole instead of sweet potatoes. This version is healthier due to less sugar and fat than typical recipes. 

For this recipe, you will need butternut squash, almond milk, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, oatmeal, and pecans for the key ingredients. Butternut squash is similar to sweet potatoes in that it is high in vitamins A, C, and potassium. 

Nutritional Information for ⅛ of the recipe: 411 calories, 24g of fat, 48 g of carbohydrates, 6 g of fiber, and 7 g of protein. Glycemic Index: medium. 

5. Sauteed Green Beans with Coconut

This is a healthier option for green bean casserole. For this recipe, green beans are sauteed with Indian spices and coconut. 

This is a quick and simple side to add to your Thanksgiving meal. From start to finish, these green beans take ten minutes. 

Nutritional Information for ⅙ of the recipe: 202 calories, 14 g of fat, 13 g of carbohydrates, 3 g of fiber, and 8 g of protein. Glycemic Index: low.

6. Fall Fruit Salad

Fruit salad is a crisp, juicy side spiced to fit the fall season. Fruit is a great way to boost antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. 

This recipe requires apples, pears, cinnamon, orange juice, grapes, blackberries, and pecan pieces. 

You can easily add this to your Thanksgiving meal with a quick ten-minute preparation time. It cools for two hours and can be made ahead of time.  

Nutritional Information for ¼ of the recipe: 169 calories, 10 g of fat, 23 g of carbohydrates, 5 g of fiber, and 2 g of protein. Glycemic Index: low-medium.

7. Brussels Sprout Slaw

Brussels sprouts are an anti-inflammatory packed vegetable that can be included in your Thanksgiving line-up. Typical slaws use mayonnaise, which contains eggs, making it not vegan-friendly. This recipe uses a dairy-free and egg-free dressing. 

You will need ten sliced or shredded Brussels sprouts, one small red cabbage (grated), one cup of peas, grated carrots, and three sliced onions to make the slaw. Mix dairy-free cream cheese with vinegar, olive oil, agave nectar, ginger, and garlic for the creamy dressing. 

This slaw is quick and easy to make in about 15 minutes. 

Nutritional Information for ⅙ of the recipe: 234 calories, 0.2 g of fat, 26.6 g of carbohydrates, 5.6 g of fiber, and 4 g of protein. Glycemic Index: low-medium.

Vegan Thanksgiving Desserts

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1. Vegan Keto Chocolate Truffle Tart (No-Bake, Grain-Free)

For chocolate lovers, this is a delicious option to try this year. I love this recipe and have prepared it for many guests, and no one commented on it being vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free. Just yummy!

You will need almond flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, and coconut oil for this recipe for the crust. The filling contains coconut milk, unsweetened chocolate, and vanilla extract.

My favorite part of this recipe is the no-bake and make-ahead feature. It takes ten minutes to make and four hours in the refrigerator. 

Nutritional Information for 1/10 of the recipe: 372 calories, 37 g of fat, 14 g of carbohydrates, 6 g of fiber, and 8 g of protein. Glycemic Index: medium to medium-low.

2. Banana Cream Pie

Banana cream pie is a favorite dessert for many. This recipe is vegan and gluten-free, with only ten ingredients.  

The crust uses gluten-free rolled oats and almonds. Other key ingredients are unsweetened almond milk, vanilla extract, bananas, and coconut cream. 

You must plan as this recipe requires almost 8 hours of chill time but only 40 minutes of actual cooking time. Bananas for the topping should be sliced within 24 hours of serving.

Nutritional Information for ⅛ of the recipe: 369 calories, 26 g of fat, 34 g of carbohydrates, 4 g of fiber, and 5 g of protein. Glycemic Index: medium to medium-high.

3. 3-Ingredient Almond Flour Shortbread Cookies

These almond flour shortbread cookies are simple; you may already have the ingredients at home. These would pair well with after-dinner coffee or tea. 

You will need blanched almond flour, coconut sugar, coconut oil, water, and sea salt. From start to finish, these take 17 minutes. 

Nutritional Information for one cookie: 85 calories, 7 g of fat, 4.6 g of carbohydrates, 1 g of fiber, and 2 g of protein. Glycemic Index: low.

4. Vegan Apple Pie

This vegan apple pie contains no added sugar, is naturally dairy-free, and uses a simple 4-ingredient filling. The eight apples and spices provide natural sweetness! 

The recipe includes two vegan crust choices, one gluten-free as well. Apple pie takes about two hours from start to finish, including preparation, cool time, and baking time. 

Nutritional Information for one slice (12 slices in the pie): 269 calories, 8.5 g of fat, 46 g of carbohydrates, 5 g of fiber, and 3.6 g of protein. Glycemic Index: medium to medium-high

5. Vegan Pumpkin Pie

This vegan, low-added sugar pumpkin pie is gluten-free as well. The lower carbohydrate and sugar content will help reduce the impact on blood sugar levels. You can check out another lower-sugar pumpkin pie recipe from Signos. 

You will use pumpkin puree, coconut milk, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, maple syrup, brown sugar, and cornstarch. This recipe provides a gluten-free crust recipe. You can purchase a store-bought gluten-free crust. 

If you use the store-bought crust, preparation time is minimal at 15 minutes and one hour of cooking time. 

Nutritional Information for ⅛ of the recipe: 172 calories, 6 g of fat, 30 g of carbohydrates, 2 g of fiber, and 1 g of protein. Glycemic Index: medium to medium-high.

6. Raw Chocolate Cheesecake

This vegan cheesecake crust is made from seeds and dates. The filling is made from coconut cream, dates, and cocoa powder. This is a simple cheesecake recipe to make. You just have to wait to eat it while it freezes for six hours.

Nutritional Information for 1/12 of the recipe: 189 calories, 9 g of fat, 29 g of carbohydrates, 5 g of fiber, and 3 g of protein. Glycemic Index: medium.

7. Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies

Sometimes, you just need a classic, simple dessert recipe. This crowd-pleaser is dairy-free and vegan. Nuts and nut butter provide healthy fats and fiber. 

These peanut butter cookies take about 25 minutes from start to finish. 

Nutritional Information for one cookie: 125 calories, 6 g of fat, 15 g of carbohydrates, 1.2 g of fiber, and 3.3 g of protein. Glycemic Index: low to medium.

If you want to view more healthy vegan desserts, click this link.

Learn More About Nutrition and Healthy Diets with Signos’ Expert Advice  

Swapping to healthier vegetable and whole food ingredients can help control blood sugar spikes and provide vegan options for your Thanksgiving meal. 

A continuous glucose monitor (CGM) can help you know how your body responds to different foods and more plant-based options and help you see the benefits of lower sugar intake. 

A Signos’ CGM can help you improve your health. Take a quick quiz to determine if Signos fits you well. Learn more about nutrition and healthy habits on Signos’ blog.

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References

About the author

Sarah Bullard is a registered dietitian and nutrition writer with a master’s degree in nutrition. She has a background in research and clinical nutrition, personalized nutrition counseling, and nutrition education.

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