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.
Starters, sides and gravy
- Creamy Cauliflower and Apple Soup Shooters
- Butternut Squash and Pecan Blini with Currant "Caviar"
- Wild Rice and Cranberry Stuffing with Walnuts
- Bulgur with Arugula, Pomegranate and Hazelnuts
- Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Tempeh
- Roasted Garlic and Parsnip Vegan Gravy
- Vegan Mushroom Gravy
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?