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A Vegan Thanksgiving Everyone Will Love

T-minus 10 days til Thanksgiving and still wondering how to break it to your family that you’re not going to be serving turkey? Never fear, we have just the plan for creating a plant-powerful meal that’ll wow even the most diehard carnivores in your clan.

First, serve a show-stopping main course. Try these ideas that’ll harmonize nicely with classic holiday sides:

  • Serve an autumn vegetable stew or ragout in a hollowed-out pumpkin; place the pumpkin on a baking sheet, brush it lightly with oil and sprinkle the interior with sea salt. Bake at 350°F until just softened, about 35 minutes for a small pumpkin, 50 to 60 minutes for a medium one. Fill with hot stew.
  • Use an oversized tart pan (12 inches in diameter or larger) to make a jumbo version of your favorite savory vegetable tart.
  • Make up a big batch of homemade veggie burger or falafel mixture and stir in diced onion, celery, and thyme or savory. Form the mixture into a loaf or roast shape and bake in a 350°F oven until lightly browned on the outside and heated through. Slice and serve with a rich, flavorful mushroom gravy.
  • Try this hearty and tasty Butternut Squash & Macaroni Casserole for a simple, but satisfying and crowd pleasing main dish.

Now, for the easy part of your vegan holiday menu…all those glorious side dishes! How closely you stick to the traditional roster of supporting dishes is a matter of choice. Serve the classics if your fellow diners are less than adventurous, or take the opportunity to branch out. Check out our collection of side dish recipes includes both the classics and some eclectic dishes; most are naturally vegetarian or vegan or easily adaptable.  We love Wild Rice and Cranberry Stuffing with Walnuts!

Rather than reinventing the wheel, try changing up some ingredients in your holiday favorites to adapt them to your new eating habits. Try these handy tips and substitutions.

  • Puree silken tofu in a food processor and use it in place of dairy products like sour cream in dip recipes.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • You don’t have to make everything! Check out your local Whole Foods Market for a wide variety of vegan main dishes, side dishes and desserts for your holiday table. Also, why not let your guests share some dishes for a potluck Thanksgiving?

Whether you’re a plant-happy holiday pro or a veggie newbie, we hope these ideas will help you enjoy a stress-free vegan holiday with your family and friends!  What are your favorite tips for vegan holiday meal planning?