Thanksgiving for Everyone: Our Favorite Vegan and Vegetarian Recipes
In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, every food-oriented magazine you flip through, cookbook you earmark and website you scour is bound to have one recipe at the helm of it all: the turkey. But what if you don't eat turkey? What if you don't want meat at all? And what if you still want to, well, eat? Thankfully, we've got game-changing vegetarian and vegan recipes to have at your Thanksgiving table, whether it's you or one of your guests who has a special diet. Even if people at your table don't have dietary restrictions, they'll go back for seconds on these hearty recipes.
Though classic stuffing gets its delectable moistness from chicken stock, it's possible to reach that luscious state without adding any trace of meat to the equation.
Vegan: If you're going without animal products altogether, go for Food Network Kitchen's Vegan Stuffing (pictured above) that's made without butter, eggs or stock. In fact, this recipe nixes stock altogether (even the vegetable kind) and uses earthy green tea as a replacement.
Vegetarian: Tyler Florence's savory Wild Mushroom Bread Pudding is a delightful riff on stuffing that's made without any meat. Bring toasted chunks of bread, sauteed mushrooms and rosemary into a casserole dish and then soak it all in a creamy egg custard before baking.
Classic scalloped potatoes hinge on their richness, and these vegetarian and vegan recipes still deliver on that with every scoop.
Vegan: It's surprisingly possible to get that stick-to-your-ribs comfort without butter or cream, and these Vegan Scalloped Potatoes (pictured above) are proof, thanks to silken tofu and tender new potatoes.
Vegetarian: Not only are these Smoked Chile Scalloped Sweet Potatoes completely meat-free, but they also take only three ingredients, excluding salt and pepper. Simply bake thinly sliced sweet potatoes in a casserole dish with heavy cream and chipotle pepper puree until they reach a browned and bubbling conclusion in the oven.
These vegetable recipes are exactly what you want them to be: vegetables — and not much else.
Vegetarian: If your family needs an extra shove to eat their spinach, Ina Garten's cheesy and creamy Spinach Gratin (pictured above) is the way to go, whether they have dietary restrictions or not.
Vegan: In lieu of loading up your vegetable side dishes with non-vegan ingredients like butter, eggs, cheese and (let's be honest) bacon, try Sunny Anderson's Crunchy Sweet Brussels Sprouts Salad, which needs none of that. Shaving the sprouts and tossing them with olive oil, ground nutmeg, walnuts and dried cranberries makes for a fresh, quick and easy alternative that guests will load onto their plates.
Gravy is a must on your holiday table, even if you're not having it cascade over a roast turkey on Thanksgiving Day.
Vegetarian: Though classic gravy gets its flavor from the browned bits and drippings left on the pan from the turkey, Food Network Kitchen's Vegetarian Gravy (pictured above) achieves that necessary umami quality by incorporating ingredients that boast a similar flavor. Shiitake mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes and more flavor-packed veggies bring a taste that even meat eaters will go for, and unsalted butter adds a delectable richness.
Vegan: To achieve a completely Vegan Gravy, Food Network Kitchen uses the same approach as it does for the vegetarian version, by incorporating umami flavors, but it cuts out the butter for a totally dairy-free end result.
If for no other reason than to sop up the gravy, bread is a must-have on your Thanksgiving table. Cornbread is the perfect subtly sweet and easy-to-make choice.
Vegetarian: It's easy to make cornbread that's vegetarian, and this Southern Cornbread (pictured above) is a hearty recipe complete with a coarse texture and a moistness that comes from buttermilk.
Vegan: Baking vegan bread is a whole different ballgame from baking vegetarian bread. This mildly sweet Gluten-Free Skillet Cornbread is made with nut milk, mashed winter squash, chia seeds and more, and it's best devoured hot out of the skillet.
It's not Thanksgiving without the grand finale: dessert. Make one that everyone at your table can enjoy.
Vegan: To bake a homemade all-American apple pie that's vegan-friendly, substitute extra virgin coconut oil for butter in both the pie dough and the apple filling. Food Network Kitchen's Deep-Dish Vegan Apple Pie (pictured above) comes with all the goodness of cinnamon, sugar and tart apples baked right in.
Vegetarian: Hey, unless you're thinking of making a meat pie, it's easy to make a vegetarian dessert. Choose one from this trove of our best-ever Thanksgiving desserts.