Although Thanksgiving is traditionally rooted in eating turkey and ham, all of the meal's greatest dishes prove to be plant-based, regardless of if you're vegan. And whether you're avoiding the turkey à la Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, if you're catering to more plant-based guests this year, or if you're just trying to do a little somethin'-somethin' for the planet, there are so many amazing vegan Thanksgiving main dishes you can make. We promise — nobody will be missing the meat.
Try these amazing turkey-free main dishes on Thanksgiving.
As previously mentioned, even if you aren't vegetarian or vegan, most can agree that turkey-free Thanksgivings are the way to go. That said, we have so many recipes up our sleeves that don't involve the beloved bird.
Mushrooms tend to be our lord and savior, especially during the holidays. They're incredibly savory, flavorful, and make for an excellent meat substitute — which is why we're absolutely obsessed with Feasting At Home's recipe for Vegan Mushroom Wellington. It looks difficult, but in addition to vegan puff pastry, all you'll need is olive oil, mushrooms, onions, garlic, rosemary, salt, sherry wine, balsamic, toasted pecans, pepper, optional truffle oil, and melted coconut oil. Easy peasy.
Ora Organic's Vegan Vegducken is another must-try, that looks deceivingly tricky (even though it's really simple to make). Emulating the classic turducken (which is honestly too disgusting to describe) it stuffs a parsnip into a sweet potato, which is cradled by stuffing, and encased by a butternut squash. It's actually a beautiful sight to see, and your friends and family will be absolutely flabbergasted that it took you less than two hours to put together. That's our favorite kind of creation.
And if you really want to include an ode to the bird on the Thanksgiving table, try making TikTok's infamous turkey-shaped bread — it's a fun way to honor turkey without using any animal products.
There are some amazing plant-based proteins you can try.
It's 2021, so we aren't particularly surprised there are so many meat substitutes on the market these days. If you're trying to find some that are specific to the holidays, The Very Good Butchers is offering a specialized Thanksgiving box that includes a vegan "Stuffed Beast," A Very British Banger, pepperoni, breakfast sausages, and bratwurst sausages. The Stuffed Beast is intended to make for the "centerpiece" of the plant-based holiday dinner, so make sure your guests come hungry.
Gardein offers a plant-based turk'y roast that stuffs a roasted vegan turkey with wild rice, cranberry, and kale. It comes with a rich vegan gravy to keep things moist. It has a surprising amount of protein to help you refuel after that early morning turkey trot, and it's really simple to make — all you need to do is toss it in the oven, and it's done. Needless to say, it's seriously out of this world — even non-vegan Thanksgiving guests will be opting for this one (speaking from experience!).
And while it's bound to attract quite a few dad jokes, Tofurky's Roast Dinner is the OG Thanksgiving staple that every vegan has to try at least once in their lives. It fills a wheat-tofu "roast" with wild rice and bread crumb stuffing. The best part is that it's also easy to make — all you need to do is pour half the baste over the roast, cook it in the oven for an hour and 15 minutes, before uncovering, pouring the rest of the baste on top, and cooking for 10 more minutes.
If you're feeling lazy, though, Blue Apron is offering a Thanksgiving box that offers easy-to-make vegetarian dishes like Butternut Squash and Spiniach Risotto with Fried Sage and Walnuts and Flourless Chocolate Cake with Candied Pumpkin Seeds and Whipped Cream — don't worry, we won't tell anyone you used a recipe box.
Whole Foods Market has also collaborated with famous chef Chloe Coscarelli to bring those who don't feel like cooking at all a Vegan Meal for 2 — the menu consists of a cremini mushroom roast, mushroom gravy, miso creamed greens, coconut sweet potato casserole, jalapeño cornbread dressing, and pumpkin curry soup. Again, we won't let anyone know you didn't make it yourself.
Making a meatless Thanksgiving feast is truly simple — we promise everything you make will be next-level.