Wondering what to serve for a plant-based Thanksgiving? I have rounded up lots of ideas to help you plan your menu whether you’re cooking for vegans, vegetarians, or just anyone who wants to add more healthy plant foods to their diets. Whether you are planning to cook for a crowd, a small family meal, or yourself, it is easy to enjoy lots of delicious fall plant foods for the holiday. Please enjoy checking out these recipes from other registered dietitian nutritionists, other bloggers, and my site.
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I like to serve a garden salad (see the pumpkin vinaigrette dressing for a fall twist), and here are fall soups, a lentil salad, and an easy layered hummus dip also.
15-Bean Vegetable Soup
Flavorful and filling – try this spicy soup to warm up on a cold day! Enjoy the textures of barley, veggies, and beans in this comforting bowl. Lots of fiber, protein, and complex carbohydrates from beans and vegetables, with little fat.
Quinoa salad with lentils and kale is fresh, crisp, healthy and so delicious. With a variety of veggies,garlic lemon dressing, topped with cranberries and almond slices. A filling salad that you will most certainly love! From Roxana Begum PhD, RD
Here are some great main course ideas so no one will miss the turkey. What makes for the perfect entree on Thanksgiving? You can just enjoy lots of vegetable side dishes, but there is nothing like stuffed vegetables like squash, mushrooms, or peppers for something satisfying:
Savory Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash Recipe with Wild Rice – Fad Free Nutrition Blog
Need a vegan main dish option for Thanksgiving? Look no further!. This Savory Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe is full of nutrients, flavors, and colors. From Melissa E. Nieves, LND, RD, MPH
Italian-style vegan stuffed peppers with butternut squash, Great Northern beans, quinoa, and herbs. A great meal for holidays and entertaining. Or, make a batch for a family meal or meal prep. This recipe freezes well too.
My favorite stuffing from my childhood was my grandmother’s Pennsylvania Dutch potato filling: which is basically bread stuffing mixed into mashed potatoes and baked. This could be made plant-based by just substituting with plant-based butter and using plain soy or oat milk instead of dairy milk.
Sesame Sweet Potatoes with Green Onions
Sesame sweet potatoes are an easy side dish with an Asian flair. A different flavor profile than the typical Thanksgiving ones: vegan and gluten-free.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pistachios and Pomegranate
Roasted brussels sprouts are nothing new, but Brussels topped with pistachios and pomegranate arils take them to another level! by Kaitlin Williams Eckstein MPH, RD, LD From Rebecca Bitzer RD and Assoc.
Homemade Pumpkin Pies | Easy and Healthy Recipes| Desi-licious RD
Homemade pumpkin pies at their best. No gluten, no dairy, and no-bake! A creamy pumpkin-cashew filling with a rich nutty-date crust, these are the perfect dessert choice this Fall. Think you don’t have time to pull off a pie, these are done in under 30 minutes. From Shahzadi Devje CDE MSc
You can make this dessert in a slow cooker or Instant Pot, which is very helpful if you need oven space.
Slow Cooker Apple Crisp – Gluten-free and Vegan
Soft apples with warm spices and a crumbly, crispy topping – just the right dessert for a cool fall evening. Easy to make in the slow cooker and fill your home with a delicious aroma. Gluten free, vegan, and with little added fat or sugar.
Plant-Based Thanksgiving Planning and Cooking Strategy
These are my tips to have a less stressful Thanksgiving day. This does not mean that I have everything done before guests arrive: in fact, quite the contrary. I thrive on a little pressure and like to take some time that morning to get out for a walk!
About 2 weeks ahead of time: write out a rough draft of your menu. Check over the recipes for ingredients and make a shopping list. This is a good time to read the recipes and print them out if they are online.
One week ahead of time: buy non-perishable foods. A convenient suggestion I recommend is Thrive Market. There you can find staples to help you cook these recipes like chickpeas, lentils, wild rice, nuts, pumpkin, and spices: all organic and shipped to your home. It’s a great time saver and they have a low-price guarantee too! Please learn more from this link:
A few days ahead: organize dining room: decide on your tablecloth, napkins, dishes, silverware, any place cards, table decor, and your centerpiece.
1 – 2 days ahead of time: buy perishable foods. Finalize menu. I usually make adjustments based on which vegetables look good at the store or farmers’ market. if you have time, prepare a dish or two.
Set out serving dishes. Make a post-it note for each food you will serve. Place a post-it note in each dish and include a serving utensil. This helps me so much!
Write out a schedule for yourself for Thanksgiving day cooking. If you are making a turkey, of course carefully check your cooking time and plan to get up early enough. Then you need to see how you will cook everything else. Using other appliances like a slow cooker, electric skillet, or pressure cooker can help.
Many people recommend not cooking new recipes for company. I disagree. I think it’s fun and exciting to try new recipes on a holiday. However, as sometimes things are unexpected, it’s not a bad idea to include some recipes you have made before too.
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