by, Shari D
Time to start planning your Thanksgiving menu!
More often than not, people choose a side dish as their top Thanksgiving food. Which is why I really have no desire to recreate the traditional centerpiece of my Thanksgiving Dinner. This is how I've cooked my way through most holidays since I went vegan 8 years ago. My thought is if you make super tasty appetizers and side dishes, no one will miss the "turkey".
Now a days it's super easy to cook vegan. Supermarket shelves are now lined with vegan options and Pinterest is choked full of vegan recipe ideas. All you have to do is search "vegan thanksgiving recipes" and you'll have an array of recipes to choose from.
If you need a reminder why to leave turkey off your plate, here it is:
- Turkeys are bred to grow so large they can't fly or roost.
- Turkeys are killed between 12-18 weeks old; just babies.
- Turkeys are not protected by the Humane Slaughter Act - they're conscious when killed.
- Turkeys are slaughtered by the hundreds of millions each year - 223 million in 2021
after living in deplorable, cramped conditions and undergoing painful mutilations.
Let's start planning:
I'd like to share a few new recipes I've tried this year to help you create your menu, plus some Thanksgiving classics.
Now of course if you want to recreate the centerpiece there is always this amazing Savory Stuffed Butternut Squash dish! It's gluten-free as well.
If you want to recreate the traditional centerpiece, we will have a blog post dedicated to just that coming out in a few days.
Let's start with some appetizers:
Vegan Appetizer Platter with Hummus - you will impress your guests and family members with this eye-catching hummus and cheese platter. It does not require a lot of work yet it's simply beautiful to look at. Crunchy veggies to different types of hummus, fruity dips and a yummy cheese wheel from Miyoko's Creamery. Good luck not nibbling on this until your company arrives 😉
Vegan jalapeno poppers - This appetizer is made by stuffing non-dairy cream cheese into peppers and breading them - yum! Fry them in a pan, air fryer, or bake them. A sure crowd pleaser.
Easy Vegan Mushroom Crostini - this is so festive and impressive! You'll be so happy you made this and so will your company.
I'd add a fun festive drink to get the party started, such as a Vegan Gin Fizz!
One of my ALL TIME GO TO appetizers is Vegan Crab Cakes. These can be made appetizer size or as a main dish. Everyone I have made these for has the same reaction, these are absolutely delicious! You can find Hearts of Palm in the grocery section where you find artichoke hearts in the can. And you can find Old Bay in the spice section. You will absolutely fall in love with this recipe and will find other ways just to use Old Bay because it's so tasty.
Let's talk about the side dishes for the main meal portion of your dinner:
I always make mashed potatoes.... who doesn't like mash potatoes?? And they are so easy to make. You can even make them ahead of time and just reheat. If you do this, just add a little more non-diary milk to make the consistency creamy again. One of my favorite recipes is The Best Vegan Mashed Potatoes Recipe - Build Your Bite. I use Oat milk, lots of garlic, vegan cream cheese and diced red onion. This recipe is fun to play with and make to your liking.
Gingered Cranberry Chutney - This chutney works great with your appetizers, cornbread and also for the main portion of your meal. It's cranberry sauce with a twist. It also smells wonderful while cooking.
Stuffing is absolutely my favorite dish of Thanksgiving Dinner. There are so many recipes to make a homemade stuffing, but this is one of my favorites. The Best Vegan Stuffing!
Vegan Pumpkin Dinner Rolls - You'll only need 6 key ingredients to make this simple recipe. Enjoy the rolls warm and keep any leftovers for up to 3 days.
Now let's talk gravy. Gravy is so easy to make that I recommend doing that rather than buying store bought. My go to recipe is Easy Vegan Gravy - Nora Cooks.
This recipe calls for Nutritional yeast. This can be found in the spice section usually right below on the bottom shelf. If you've never heard of or used Nutritional Yeast be prepared for it to become your best friend. You will be looking for any way to use it. Try it in pasta recipes and on popcorn. This is what it looks like.
Now for a main-stay Vegan Green Bean Casserole (karissasvegankitchen.com) A classic, favorite holiday side dish turned vegan. This vegan green bean casserole is easy and so delicious. Green bean casserole is one of my favorite holiday side dishes, second only to stuffing. The crunchy green beans and the creamy sauce and the yummy onion topping...oh my!
Creamy Vegan Corn Chowder - this is absolutely delicious. You may not make it on Thanksgiving Day, but it would be great to make and have on hand for the day after. It's super easy to make, I used frozen corn and is hardy and delicious. Just right for this time of year. Serve with some of the tasty Pumpkin Dinner rolls noted above.
Let's finish off your wonderful dinner with dessert. There are so many vegan desserts that can be made even if you're not much of a baker. Here are a couple of my favorites.
And a must have at any Thanksgiving dinner is Vegan Pumpkin Cake with Butterscotch Swirl Frosting:
The nice thing about cooking a vegan thanksgiving dinner is that the majority of these recipes can be made ahead of time and reheated just before serving. This way you can enjoy your company and not stress about cooking in front of everyone or trying to time all the different dishes.
Serving a Compassionate Thanksgiving Dinner will be one of the best things you do for your company, the environment and for the animals. It is truly one of the best ways you can "give thanks".
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!
Here's a video that will put a smile on your face! And will show you just how awesome Turkeys are!