14 Meat-Free Recipes for a Yummy Vegetarian Thanksgiving Dinner

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Okay, okay, it’s not always easy to be a vegetarian at Thanksgiving. But just because you’ve gone meatless doesn’t mean you have to subsist on dinner rolls. In fact with a little planning, vegetarians and vegans can whip up a darn yummy Turkey Day feast—just, you know, minus the turkey. Here are 14 meat-free recipes* for a seriously festive (and delicious!) holiday meal.

(*Note, not all recipes are vegan. Some include cheese and other dairy products, so plan accordingly.)




Appetizers

Pumpkin-Coconut Bisque
via Vegetarian Times

For those of you who love pumpkin and fall soups as much as I do, this is perfect. Besides, it's incredibly easy to make. Best part? The toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish.

Garlic Stuffed Jalapeños
via Our Veggie Kitchen

In my family, eating these has become an exhilarating gambling game (we're dorky, I know). You never know when you'll pick an extra-spicy jalapeno. Swap out the jalapeno peppers for mini bell peppers if you can't take the heat or for a more colorful plate.

Warm Cranberry-Walnut Brie
via MyRecipes.com

What's not to love? In addition to the warm and gooey goodness of this dish, it's also surprisingly pretty if you're looking impress guests with your culinary finesse (here's the thing: it requires none at all). Use low-fat or reduced-fat brie if you're looking to save a few calories.

Entrees

Thanksgiving No-Turkey Turkey
via Allrecipes.com

Because let's face it, we're sick of store-bought "tofurkey." This'll be a huge hit with vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.

Vegetarian Stuffed Acorn Squash
via Food.com

Opt for whole-grain bread rather than white and leave out the cheese; according to reviews, the stuffing is just as good without it. This is definitely one recipe I'll be trying out this year.

Stuffing

Whole-Grain Rice Stuffing with Apples, Pecans and Cranberries
via The New York Times

What would Thanksgiving be without stuffing? This is a healthy, sweet and savory pilaf that'll brighten up the table. Apples and cranberries are high in phenolic acids, which are believed to have antioxidant properties. Oh yeah, and it's gluten-free, too.

Quinoa Sage Stuffing
via Tasty Yummies

This is another gluten-free (and vegan!) twist on the traditional Thanksgiving stuffing made with quinoa, courtesy of Philly's own Living Simply Gluten Free. Read more about quinoa and other good-for-you grains here.

Other Sides

Roasted Brussels Sprout Quinoa Salad
via Tasty Yummies

Use the leftover quinoa that you made for your stuffing to throw together a smoky and sweet vegan salad. You'll be making it for days after Thanksgiving, I promise.

Sweet Potato Parsnip Mash
via Food52

Be sure to purchase the orange-fleshed variety of sweet potato, one of nature's greatest sources of beta-carotene. Several recent studies have shown the superior ability of sweet potatoes to raise our blood levels of vitamin A.

Gingered Cranberry Raspberry Relish
via Eating Well

Unlike cranberry sauce, this relish involves no cooking. The plump raspberries add a fresh sweetness, which is kicked up with crystallized ginger. Best served cold.

Caramelized Corn with Fresh Mint
via The New York Times

Amp up the flavors in plain buttered corn with fresh mint. Warning: the kernels may pop during the caramelization process (popcorn, anyone?).

Desserts

Vegan Pumpkin Cake Roll
via Egglesscooking.com

Use whole-wheat pastry flour for a healthier but just-as-yummy version of traditional pumpkin cake. The dairy-free cream cheese filling adds an extra sweet kick.

Vegan Sweet Potato Pie
via Better Recipes

Another vegan dessert, but no one has to know. The sweet potatoes are the star here, adding naturally creaminess and candy-like sweetness.

Dairy-free Pumpkin Bread Pudding
via FitSugar

This bread pudding is a cinch to make. The recipe requires little more than throwing all the ingredients in a bowl. Bonus: it's also low-cal. I bet it'll pair well with one of these low-cal fall cocktails.

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