Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

A Vegan Thanksgiving Feast

By Elizabeth Leader Smith, November 4, 2013  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Elizabeth Leader Smith

I’m grateful for sound solutions for special diets. After hosting The Big Meal for more than five years with some vegan guests, here’s what I’ve learned.

There are a few approaches: the host offers a vegan main, a side and a dessert; vegan guests bring dishes and the host makes a couple too; or the entire meal can be vegan. Whichever strategy you choose, a vegan Thanksgiving is easier and tastier than you may think. I promise.

Recipes for Success

Here are a few tried-and-true vegan showstoppers and soon-to-be classics.

Celebration Lentil LoafButternut Squash and Macaroni Casserole

Mains

Creamy Cauliflower and Apple Soup ShootersButternut Squash and Pecan Blini with Currant "Caviar"

Bulgur with Arugula, Pomegranate and Hazelnuts Wild Rice and Cranberry Stuffing with Walnuts

Starters, sides and gravy

Vegan Pumpkin Pecan Pie  Pumpkin Pecan Cookies

Desserts

We’ve posted our favorite vegan recipes on our holiday cheat sheet, or you can search our vegan fall recipes to find even more recipes for your celebration.

Tips, Tricks and How-To’s
Going vegan doesn’t mean saying farewell to your favorite seasonal flavors. Making mashed potatoes? Replace milk or cream with unsweetened almondmilk, ricemilk or soymilk. Craving green bean casserole? Roast the beans with sliced mushrooms; top with toasted panko breadcrumbs and firmly chopped shallots.

If you’re adapting Thanksgiving favorites, here are more handy tips and substitutions.

  • Try sunflower oil to replace butter in vegetable sides; its light, nutty flavor generally blends better with traditional holiday flavors than olive oil.
  • Use coconut milk in place of cream to enrich soups, purees, sweet potatoes or pumpkin pie.
  • Puree silken tofu in a food processor and use it in place of dairy products like sour cream in dip recipes.
  • Look for 365 Everyday Value® Organic Vegan Stuffing Mix for a convenient solution. Bonus, it’s a Sure Deal!
  • Replace honey with sorghum or cane syrup; you can also use maple syrup in desserts and other dishes where its distinctive flavor won't be overwhelming.
  • Shop for 365 Everyday Value® Whole Trade® Vegan Cane Sugar for your baking needs.

Sidestep unexpected sources of animal product, like Worcestershire sauce, mixes and rolls; beware of cross-contamination with serving utensils; and make sure to offer a vegan “buttery” spread and gravy too.

Thankfully, you don’t have to make everything. Our stores will do the work for you. Choose from a variety of vegan main dishes, side dishes and desserts for your holiday table. Reserve them online and just pick them up in store.

I’d love to hear your ideas. Do you have a delicious dish or a handy tip for making a vegan Thanksgiving? 

From carving with confidence to pouring with pride, our online Holiday Cheat Sheet means more of your best for less stress. Order holiday meals online too; we'll do the work, you'll take the credit.

 

5 Comments

Comments

Chava LeBarton says ...
Thanks for the great selection of vegan recipes!
11/06/2013 7:53:25 PM CST
Sharon says ...
Thank you for the recipe ideas! Baked Fettucini has always been one of our staple holiday entrees. The first year, we took only one dish and everyone ate it. Ever since then, we take two.
11/06/2013 9:41:33 PM CST
Karen Brokken says ...
For this I give thanks. I usually feel so left out when I open my grocery store circulars looking for deals. Such elation to open this an see vegan holiday meal tips! Now I'm spreading the word that Whole Foods is inclusive the way no other major chain is.
11/07/2013 2:41:16 AM CST
randee says ...
I'm disappointed in the ingredients you are using in your recipes. please try coconut palm sugar and an alternative to ap flour
11/07/2013 7:15:02 AM CST
Rebecca Rosenstein says ...
Vegan Thanksgiving recipes
11/17/2013 5:51:31 AM CST