Let's face it, Thanksgiving is mostly about the food. Yes, while Thanksgiving might be a national holiday and a time where we give thanks for everyone and everything in our lives, it is really about the amount of food we can pack away.
Thanksgiving food is mostly centered around meat dishes, turkey, stuffing, chicken, bacon, even the meaty gravy. However, these days, more and more people are switching off their meat intake and choosing the life of the vegetarian. Thankfully, vegetarian food is just as good, if not better, with thousands of exciting and scrummy recipes to choose from. Here are 10 Thanksgiving vegetarian meals.
10 Tofu Turkey
Let's be honest, tofu turkey has a bad reputation. It doesn't sound appetizing and it is usually used as a punchline to a joke or ignored altogether. However, tofu is actually rather tasty, and perfect for those wanting to avoid meat all while eating something healthy and delicious.
Annoyingly, when it comes to celebratory events such as Christmas and Thanksgiving, the only thing on offer when it comes to vegetarians is a wet salad and some risotto. Thankfully, tofu turkey includes vegetarians. Think about it? Vegetarians never get to carve the turkey and are usually left to their own devices at the end of the table, so why not let them feel wanted?
9 Vegan Garlic Mash Potatoes
Mash potatoes are a must-have for any Thanksgiving table. Yes, not only are they incredibly delicious but they are also one of the most traditional Thanksgiving dishes of all time, excluding Turkey of course.
Sadly, not everyone is included in the Thanksgiving staple, with vegans unable to try the delicious mash potatoes due to different dairy products that can be included in the mash. However, instead why not make vegan mash potatoes, just change the butter for coconut oil and the cheese to vegan cheese. Seriously, it really is just as delicious, so why not give it a go?
8 Vegetarian Pot Pie
Pot pies are an all American dish, even though they are originally from Greece, and are a sure-fire hit for any Thanksgiving meal. In the USA, chicken pot pie is one of the most popular pie dishes in the country and is a regular in most family homes.
However, pot pies usually come with meat, meaning that vegetarians are once again left out of the fun. Instead, why not create some vegetarian pot pies? All you need you to do is substitute the meat for more amazing veggies along with vegetable broth and almond milk if you are catering for vegans.
7 Vegan Gravy
Gravy can really make or break a Thanksgiving meal and is often considered to be one of the most important things at a Thanksgiving table. Yes, gravy really is important. However, most gravy contains some kind of meat, thus making it inedible for those of the vegetarian and vegan kind.
Instead, why not offer vegan gravy as well as meat gravy? All you need is a ton of vegetables, a splash of oil and herbs, some port and some jam, flour, tomato puree, and vinegar. And the secret ingredient? Marmite! Yes, marmite gives the gravy a kick, sending your tastebuds into meltdown.
6 Vegetable Shepherds Pie
Shepherd's pie first originated from the UK in the late 18th century. The dish is usually made with a variety of meats. However, it is only true Shephards pie when cooked with lamb. Shephard's pie is great for Thanksgiving due to the cooked meat and the potatoes topped crust. Plus, it is a good way to make any Brits feel at home.
However, sadly vegetarians are once again left out of the fun, so why not make a vegetarian Shepard's pie instead? All you need to do is replace the lamb with lots and lots of veggies and away you go. You could even exchange the regular potatoes for sweet potatoes to give it that extra kick.
5 Vegan Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin pie is one of the classics when it comes to Thanksgiving desserts, therefore it is a must-have at any Thanksgiving dinner. The super sweet dessert usually contains various forms of dairy, leaving it unsuitable for vegans. Next time, instead of using milk, why switch it up for almond or oat milk.
There is also a number of vegan shortcut pastry to choose from. However, if you feel like the pie is missing that extra sweetness, you could try using full-fat coconut milk instead of oat or almond milk. The coconut milk will give it that extra bit of silky sweetness that a pumpkin pie usually contains and will leave you guests completely unaware that it is vegan. In fact, they will probably like it more.
4 Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto
Roasted butternut squash is a perfect light meal for a perfect fall day. Therefore, it is also perfect for any Thanksgiving table, especially amongst all those heavy dishes. All you need is 1kg butternut squash, olive oil, sage, vegetable stock, butter, big juicy onion, 50g parmesan, and 300g of risotto rice.
If you have vegans at the table you can change the butter and cheese for vegan alternatives, and it will work just as well. Finally, because it is Thanksgiving, and you deserve a little treat, make sure you add one small glass of white wine for some flavor and pour one large glass of white wine for yourself.
3 Vegetarian Lasagna
Every Thanksgiving needs a vegetable lasagna, whether there are vegetarians at the table or not. That's right, a veggie lasagna is the staple of any family meal and in most cases, it is much better than a meaty lasagna.
Firstly, choose your vegetables wisely. The best vegetables are peppers, zucchini, tomatoes, mushrooms, and onions, but most vegetables work. Next, get around 300g of fresh lasagna sheets, you don't need to bother making them from scratch, but obviously you can if you prefer. Finally, whip up some white sauce and start layering, making sure to finish with a thick layer of mozzarella cheese.
2 Broccoli and Cheddar Quinoa Casserole
Quinoa is great for both vegetarians and vegans and can be used in a variety of different dishes and meals. One of the best dishes including quinoa is broccoli and cheddar quinoa casserole, a perfect meal for any Thanksgiving event.
All you need is some quinoa, broccoli, one large onion, some vegetable broth, milk, a nice sharp white cheddar, and some sea salt. You can switch out the milk and cheese for a vegan alternative if necessary, and it will work just as well, just make sure the vegan milk isn't too sweet. The best thing about this dish is that it tastes pretty much exactly the same as mac and cheese but without the calories.
1 Vegan Pecan Pie
Pecan pie is a must-have at any Thanksgiving table and is often considered as one of the most delicious pies of all time. Therefore, it is important to give your vegan guests a chance to experience the pleasure of the pecan.
Furthermore, it also gives you a chance to see just how easy vegan alternatives are if it is something that you have been considering. Firstly, for the pie crust, just switch out the margarine but a vegan alternative. Secondly, when it comes to the filling, use coconut milk. The coconut milk will bring a certain kind of silky sweetness to the pie that is actually much better than regular milk.