December 4, 2023

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38 Vegan Thanksgiving Side Dishes for a Plant-Based Feast

Thanksgiving is traditionally all about turkey, but choosing to serve vegan side dishes at your feast makes it easier on guests who have certain dietary restrictions—and these recipes can be just as delicious as the ones you’d typically make.

A true vegan dish includes no animal-derived products including meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, and sometimes honey, depending on the person’s preference. To successfully incorporate vegan recipes into what’s usually a meat-heavy meal, try to plan a menu that still feels classic by pumping up the flavor, says Catherine Perez, M.S., R.D., the vegan dietitian behind the blog Plant Based RD.

“Without animal products, a lot of the flavor needs to be more concentrated,” Perez says. Try smoked paprika for smoky flavors, miso paste or soy sauce for savory or umami flavors, and blended cashews or nutritional yeast for added cheesiness.

One big bonus: Vegan dishes are often rich in filling fiber and essential vitamins and minerals because they’re plant forward, so your plate will feel a bit more balanced. Ready to get cooking? Check out the best vegan Thanksgiving side dishes you can make below—they’re a welcome addition to any holiday feast.


Roasted Butternut Squash with Frizzled Sage

A simple side is essential for every Thanksgiving spread. Roast the season’s best squash with a dash of olive oil, salt and pepper, and fresh sage leaves for a vegan side dish that’s as naturally delicious as it is centerpiece worthy.

Get the recipe from Prevention »


Cranberry and Apricot Compote

Dress up your holiday plate with this five-ingredient cranberry sauce. Dried apricots, shallots, and thyme bring a surprising flavor to the condiment that you’ll want to make every year.

Get the recipe from Prevention »


Easy Vegan Cornbread

Whether you make this recipe in advance for epic vegan cornbread stuffing, or slice thick to serve alongside the meal, this recipe is essential for your holiday spread. With just a few ingredients you probably have on hand, this is the easiest holiday bread you’ll make this year.

Get the recipe from A Couple of Cooks »


Vegan Cranberry Pecan Stuffing

Is it actually Thanksgiving without a plateful of stuffing? Serve this vegan version packed with classic herbs, veggies, bread, and cranberries. Bind together with the use of a flax egg, a combination of water and ground flax seeds that acts as an egg alternative in baked dishes.

Get the recipe from Plant Based RD »


Green Bean Casserole with Cashew Cream

Your family tradition of green bean casserole just got a vegan twist with a cashew sauce reminiscent of your favorite can of cream of mushroom soup. The decadent dish feeds a crowd and won’t disappoint—even meat eaters will love it.

Get the recipe from Dishing Out Health »


Vegetarian Mushroom Gravy

Just because guests opt to skip the turkey doesn’t mean they don’t want gravy. Boxed mixes tend to be flavorless and watery, but this vegetarian mushroom gravy is essential for vegan and meat lovers alike.

Get the recipe from Delish »


The Best Vegan Biscuits

It seems impossible to make a vegan-version of butter-based biscuits, but vegan butter and unsweetened almond milk come together to form a perfectly flaky, buttery biscuit that the whole family will dig into.

Get the recipe from A Couple of Cooks »


Roasted Pumpkin and Pomegranate Salad with Pumpkin Seed Oil Vinaigrette

The pumpkin seed vinaigrette is the star of this seasonal salad packed with pumpkin and pomegranate. Be sure to swap in vegan cheese or skip it altogether to keep this side vegan-friendly.

Get the recipe from Prevention »


Pumpkin-Carrot Soup

Puree pumpkin into this luxurious soup mixed with carrots and herbs. The recipe calls for sugar pumpkin, but any winter squash will do.

Get the recipe from Prevention »


Vegan Stuffing

For a super-classic stuffing recipe that doesn’t include any dairy or eggs, this vegan version is our go-to pick. It’s as basic as it gets—crusty bread, veggies, and herbs—and exactly what we want drenched in vegan gravy and cranberry sauce this holiday season.

Get the recipe from Delish »


Swiss Chard and Beets Salad

Reminiscent of a plateful of your favorite winter greens from Grandma’s house, this vegan option uses beets and a super-citrusy sauce for the ultimate holiday vegetable. Swap out the feta for a vegan cheese or skip altogether for a dairy-free dish.

Get the recipe from Prevention »


Mustard-Glazed Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are a Thanksgiving staple, and this version leans into a fruity, mustard glaze for a twist on a classic. Apricot jam, white wine vinegar, and whole-grain mustard blend together to make a sweet and tangy sauce that’s so addictive, you’ll want to eat all your vegetables this year.

Get the recipe from Prevention »


Roasted Artichoke Toss

If artichokes feel intimidating, let this recipe alleviate your fears. After a quick clean, the baby artichokes are ready to sear and roast in the oven. You’ll have a show-stopping side in no time.

Get the recipe from Prevention »


Wild Rice-Stuffed Acorn Squash

What happens when you take a veggie-packed rice dish and stuff it into sweet, peak-season acorn squash? A vegan Thanksgiving side dish that is filling, nutritious, and incredibly flavorful.

Get the recipe from Prevention »


Green Beans with Almond Gremolata

This accidentally vegan dish uses fresh ingredients like rosemary, orange zest, and parsley to take your favorite Thanksgiving side to the next level. We love that it takes just 20-minutes to prepare, and it’s a definite crowd pleaser.

Get the recipe from Prevention »


Herb Smashed Root Veggies

Classic mashed potatoes have met their match with this flavorful alternative. Parsnips, rutabaga, Yukon gold potatoes, and carrots come together with a blend of fresh herbs for a perfectly creamy and slightly sweet vegan upgrade to your favorite Thanksgiving side dish.

Get the recipe from Prevention »


Beet, Mushroom, and Avocado Salad

Meaty mushrooms and beets star in this side salad that compliments your holiday meal perfectly. Crumbled matzo makes for a fun topper, but leftover bread from your stuffing works just as well in this vegan Thanksgiving side.

Get the recipe from Good Housekeeping »


Vegan Caesar Salad

Salad may be the talk of the meal this year with this vegan Caesar salad on your table. Crispy chickpeas and croutons work together for epic crunch, while grilled veggies and extra creamy vegan dressing bring irresistible flavor each forkful.

Get the recipe from Good Housekeeping »


Roasted Sweet Potato, Pear, and Onion


Fresh Cranberry Relish

Sometimes it’s best to not stray from tradition, and this cranberry relish is as classic as it gets. Made from fresh cranberries, sugar, and the zest of a lemon and orange, it’s the perfect vegan side to complete your feast.

Get the recipe from Delish »


Crispy Potatoes with Vegan Nacho Sauce

We’re not sure you can have Thanksgiving without roasted potatoes, so we’re taking it next-level with a decadent vegan nacho sauce everyone will love. Blended cashews, lemon juice, and spices make for an unctuous dip you’ll want to drown everything in.

Get the recipe from Good Housekeeping »


Vegan Mashed Potatoes

Who said mashed potatoes need cream and butter? In this vegan version of the Thanksgiving staple, swap in vegan butter and fresh herbs for a decadent, luscious bite you won’t even know is vegan.

Get the recipe from Delish »


Sweet Potato-and-Cauliflower Salad

The same old roasted veggies get a modern twist in this vegan salad you’ll definitely want to enjoy as leftovers. We love the contrast of the warm veggies with the cool and crisp leaves.

Get the recipe from Country Living »


Roasted Carrots with Cumin-Thyme Granola


Best-Ever Vegan Mac & Cheese

There’s no debate that mac and cheese takes a Thanksgiving meal to the next level. This vegan version of the classic, creamy dish will have guests going back for seconds without any hint that it’s dairy-free.

Get the recipe from Delish »


Apple Cider Roasted Root Vegetables

The addition of an apple cider vinaigrette over roasted carrots, parsnips, sweet potato, and onions makes for an unexpected twist—all in under 30 minutes.

Get the recipe from The Defined Dish »


Whole30 Hasselback Potatoes with Garlicky Basil Pesto

Cut the parmesan in this flavorful spinach and basil-based pesto and spoon it over perfectly crispy baby potatoes. This vegan Thanksgiving side dish is effortlessly as delicious as it is stunning.

Get the recipe from Rachl Mansfield »


Roasted Autumn Panzanella Salad

We love this fun twist on a Panzanella salad that lets fall veggies shine in each bite. Toasted chunks of multigrain bread and soft cubes of butternut squash and sweet potatoes perfectly soak up the fruity flavors of the pomegranate vinaigrette.

Get the recipe from How Sweet Eats »


Spicy Garlic Green Beans

You can’t go wrong with a platter of crisp green beans at your Thanksgiving table. Add a touch of garlic, shallot, red pepper flake, and lemon to add zest and brighten the entire spread with this crowd-pleasing side dish.

Get the recipe from What’s Gaby Cooking »


Thanksgiving Salad with Wild Rice and Lemon Dressing

This easy-to-make dressing is the bright flavor your Thanksgiving plate desperately needs. Drizzle it over a platter full of leafy greens, hearty wild rice, fruity mangoes, and more for a vegan side dish you’ll want all season long.

Get the recipe from Pinch of Yum »


The Best Vegan Mashed Potatoes


Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Cashew Butter

You won’t miss the bacon in these nutty Brussels sprouts. The veggie crisps up perfectly in the oven and stands up beautifully to the rich cashew butter sauce and tart cranberries mixed right in.

Get the recipe from Sailor Bailey »


Warm Mushroom Salad With Miso Dressing

Miso and mushrooms are a match made in heaven in this umami-packed vegan Thanksgiving side dish. Plus, faro, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds add enough heft to make each bite feel like more than just a side salad.

Get the recipe from Walder Wellness »


Toasted Coconut, Bulgur, and Butternut Squash Bowl

Dress up butternut squash in this delicious side dish starring bulgur, coconut, spinach, pomegranate, and a deliciously savory sauce. Each spoonful pairs beautifully with the rest of your spread, without feeling like an afterthought for vegan visitors.

Get the recipe from Healthy Nibbles »


Sweet Potato Bites with Guacamole and Spiced Cauliflower

Mini sweet potatoes are the perfect, bite-sized side to compliment your holiday feast. Each mini potato is topped with a dollop of guacamole and a spiced cauliflower mixture that’ll light up your tastebuds.

Get the recipe from InMyBowl »


Rainbow Carrots and Chard

Add some color to an often one-tone meal with rainbow carrots and rainbow chard in this eye-catching vegan Thanksgiving side dish. Plus, they’re tossed in a light lemon vinaigrette for a fresh, citrusy bite.

Get the recipe from Vegetarian ‘Ventures »


Za’atar Roasted Kabocha Squash

If you’ve never cooked with za’atar before, now is your chance! The Middle Eastern spice blend brings out something special in squash dishes, and especially so paired with silan (date honey). Find both in the international aisle of your local supermarket.

Get the recipe from Busy in Brooklyn »


Best Roasted Red Pepper Couscous with Garlicky Tomatoes, Onions, and Kale

A big bowl of couscous that has major flavor but can also stand up against saucy dishes, like vegan gravy, is definitely a win-win. We love that this version is spiced up with a dreamy roasted red pepper sauce and flavorful onions, tomatoes, and kale for a perfect side.

Get the recipe from DADAeats »

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