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.
Cranberry and Apricot Compote
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.
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.
Green Bean Casserole with Cashew Cream
Vegetarian Mushroom Gravy
The Best Vegan Biscuits
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.
Puree pumpkin into this luxurious soup mixed with carrots and herbs. The recipe calls for sugar pumpkin, but any winter squash will do.
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.
Swiss Chard and Beets Salad
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.
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.
Wild Rice-Stuffed Acorn Squash
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.
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.
Beet, Mushroom, and Avocado Salad
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.
Roasted Sweet Potato, Pear, and Onion
Fresh Cranberry Relish
Crispy Potatoes with Vegan Nacho Sauce
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.
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.
Roasted Carrots with Cumin-Thyme Granola
Best-Ever Vegan Mac & Cheese
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.
Whole30 Hasselback Potatoes with Garlicky Basil Pesto
Roasted Autumn Panzanella Salad
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.
Thanksgiving Salad with Wild Rice and Lemon Dressing
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.
Warm Mushroom Salad With Miso Dressing
Toasted Coconut, Bulgur, and Butternut Squash Bowl
Sweet Potato Bites with Guacamole and Spiced Cauliflower
Rainbow Carrots and Chard
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.
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.
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