Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Creamless Creamed Corn with Mushrooms and Lemon
Photo: © Frances Janisch

Seasonal vegetables like squash, beets and mushrooms are key to making vegan-friendly dishes that are festive for Thanksgiving. Add quinoa, pistachios, and beans (like chickpeas or lentils) to create satisfying entrees that even non-vegans will want to try. From an inventive cream-less creamed corn with mushrooms and lemon to delicious vegan pimiento cheese, here are great vegan Thanksgiving recipes.

01 of 21

Roasted Spiced Cranberry Pie

Roasted Spiced Cranberry Pie
Photo: Victor Protasio / Food Stylist Torie Cox / Prop Stylist Claire Spollen

Tart cranberries are roasted with lemongrass and gochugaru (Korean chile flakes) to give this vibrant pie its fruity and fragrant kick.

02 of 21

Quinoa Salad with Sweet Potatoes and Apples

Quinoa Salad with Sweet Potatoes and Apples
© Christina Holmes

This delicious plant-based salad is a great meal-in-one; it makes an ideal vegetarian option at the Thanksgiving table.

03 of 21

Vegan Pimiento Cheese

Vegan pimento cheese, served with fried saltine crackers and pickles green tomatoes
Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Pimiento cheese is an iconic snack in the South, and beloved all over. For this vegan version, sweet pimientos stud a creamy and savory base made with extra-firm tofu. The pickle brine and apple cider vinegar lend an acidic brightness to the mixture, while nutritional yeast and miso provide deep umami notes that keep you coming back for more. Be sure to chill this spread for at least two hours to let the flavors meld and achieve the right consistency. Serve it with fried saltines, pickled green tomatoes and fresh celery.

04 of 21

Miznon's Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Miznon’s Whole 
Roasted Cauliflower

In 2018, Food & Wine named this recipe one of our 40 best: The cauliflower served at Miznon in New York City calls for the best quality ingredients, each essential for creating the dish. Fresh cauliflower with tight, closed florets surrounded by a crown of crisp leaves; sel gris (coarse gray sea salt), which packs a mineral flavor in bits of crunchy saltiness; and spicy, fruity extra-virgin olive oil.

05 of 21

Curried Spaghetti-Squash-and-Chickpea Toasts

Curried Spaghetti-Squash-and-Chickpea Toasts.
© David Malosh

Jonathon Sawyer makes his own curry and cooks his own chickpeas for this vegetarian dish, but this simplified recipe calls for store-bought curry paste and canned chickpeas.

06 of 21

Coconut Milk Cake with Pistachios, Whipped Coconut Cream and Strawberry Glaze

Coconut Milk Cake with Pistachios, Whipped Coconut Cream and Strawberry Glaze
Abby Hocking

Chef Angela Garbacz's Coconut Milk Cake has crunchy edges, a gooey, thick crumb, and it just happens to be vegan. Topped with pillowy whipped coconut cream and a gorgeous bright pink Strawberry Glaze, this cake is a showstopper. Garbacz loves this delicious recipe in part because of how adaptable it is.  You can use the same base recipe to make round or square cakes, loaf cakes, and cupcakes, and top it with whichever fruit, nuts, and toppings you like best.

07 of 21

Haricots Verts and White Beans with Shallot Vinaigrette

Haricots Verts and White Beans with Shallot Vinaigrette
© Fredrika Stjärne

At Thanksgiving, it's always great to have a couple of dishes that don't have to go in the oven. This combination of creamy white beans and slightly crunchy haricots verts makes an interesting textural mix, and it's sturdy enough to stand at room temperature for several hours.

08 of 21

Persimmons, Pomegranate, and Purslane with Pepitas

Persimmons, Pomegranate, and Purslane with Pepitas
Victor Protasio

Suzanne Goin, the chef at the famed Lucques in Los Angeles, marked 20 years of business in 2018 with a dinner that celebrated her now-classic blend of French cuisine and California produce. Goin refers to this salad as “The 4 Ps” and thinks of it as a persimmon salad with an arugula garnish, rather than the other way around.

09 of 21

Nutty Baklava Pie

Nutty Baklava Pie
Photo: Victor Protasio / Food Stylist Torie Cox / Prop Stylist Claire Spollen

This pie combines the best aspects of pecan pie and baklava. It's topped with crispy phyllo bursts, which add crispy flare.

10 of 21

Creamless Creamed Corn with Mushrooms and Lemon

Creamless Creamed Corn with Mushrooms and Lemon
© Frances Janisch

"My granny taught me that when corn is very fresh, the juices are naturally creamy," Kevin Gillespie says. "I took that as the gospel." He grates half of the corn here to make a luxurious puree that thickens without cream. Kevin's Tip: Scraping corn cobs with the dull side of a knife removes the juices.

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Mixed Mushroom Ragout

Mixed Mushroom Ragout
© David Malosh

Stephanie Izard's rich, chunky mushroom ragout is great on everything from seared halibut to sautéed scallops and pasta. Use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock for a great vegan sauce.

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Roasted Beets with Pistachios, Herbs and Orange

Roasted Beets with Pistachios, Herbs and Orange
© Fredrika Stjärne

Beets are a no-brainer for plant-based meals since they taste great even when they're simply roasted with a little oil. Naomi Pomeroy goes beyond that, topping red and golden beet slices with a lively mixed-herb dressing, pistachios, and celery leaves.

13 of 21

Vegan Enchiladas

Vegan Enchiladas
© Con Poulos

Akasha Richmond stuffs her enchiladas with squash, mushrooms, kale, and corn, then tops them with a tangy tomatillo sauce and rich cashew crema.

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Roasted Carrot and Red Quinoa Salad

Roasted Carrot and Red Quinoa Salad
© Eric Wolfinger

Anna Zepaltas grew up preparing tamales in her mother's Southern California kitchen, and she loves Indian and Middle Eastern dishes. Cumin, coriander, and cardamom punch up this salad, inspired by a favorite dish at Chloé's French Café in Santa Rosa, California.

15 of 21

Sautéed Cabbage and Carrots with Turmeric

Sautéed Cabbage and Carrots with Turmeric
© John Kernick

In this delicately spiced vegetarian dish, chunks of carrots and cabbage are added to the base and cooked until the cabbage is sweet and silky. Turmeric, the main seasoning, lends an earthy flavor.

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Lentil Soup with Broccoli Rabe

Lentil Soup with Broccoli Rabe
© Caitlin Van Horn

Cook the broccoli rabe in a separate pan, not in the soup pot. That way, any excess bitterness from the vegetable goes down the drain with the cooking water rather than into the soup. You'll find, though, that a bit of bite enlivens the lentils.

17 of 21

Spicy Raw Beet Slaw with Citrus, Scallions and Arugula

Spicy Raw Beet Slaw with Citrus, Scallions and Arugula
© Fredrika Stjärne

There's so much richness on the Thanksgiving table that a few tart and spicy things are necessary for balance, like this raw beet slaw.

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Pear, Pear, Pear

Pear, Pear, Pear
© Maura McEvoy

Jeremiah Tower's light, palate-cleansing dessert calls for poached pears, pear sorbet, and a drizzle of pear syrup.

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Maple Root-Vegetable Stir-Fry with Sesame

Maple Root-Vegetable Stir-Fry with Sesame
© Con Poulos

In Korea, cooks typically create stir-fries with just one kind of vegetable — lotus root, say, or potatoes. David Chang decided to break with tradition and stir-fry an assortment of vegetables, including Jerusalem artichokes and parsnips. Also unconventional is the maple syrup he adds to the dish; there are maple trees all around South Korea but not much maple syrup.

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Gluten-Free Winter Squash Gnocchi

Gluten-Free Winter Squash Gnocchi
© Anya Kassoff

These gnocchi are fun and easy to make. They bring more than just good autumnal looks to the plate ⁠— expect a subtly sweet squash flavor with hints of fresh sage, complete with a delightful pillowy texture. No need for eggs here; squash puree and nutritious buckwheat flour partner well together, allowing for just the right soft structure. The gnocchi are gluten-free and can be vegan if ghee is substituted with coconut oil or vegan butter.

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Roasted Delicata Squash with Quinoa Salad

Roasted Delicata Squash with Quinoa Salad
© John Kernick

To create a terrific vegetarian main course, Michael Symon tosses quinoa with arugula, apple, raisins, and fresh herbs, then spoons the salad into a halved baked squash for a nice presentation.

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