9 Must-Try Vegetarian and Vegan Thanksgiving Dishes

Food Network's Wild Rice Stuffed Butternut Squash For Vegan and Vegetarian Thanksgiving as seen on Food Network

Photo by: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Stephen Johnson, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Although turkey is the holiday’s iconic dish, Thanksgiving dinner is actually a pretty great meal for vegetarians. Heaping dishes of autumn vegetables and glorious carbs often outshine the bird, anyway. Vegans have a tougher challenge, since the many of the holiday’s traditional vegetable sides are laden with dairy and eggs.

If you’re expecting vegetarians or vegans at your feast, it’s nice to have something substantial on the table that can serve as their main dish. For vegans, a special dessert is also a thoughtful touch, since most classic pie recipes are off-limits. Just be sure to make enough: Omnivores won’t be able to resist these, either.

This impressive autumn-inspired dish can be served as a main course for vegan and vegetarian eaters or can be enjoyed by everyone at the table as a side dish. The small amount of curry powder gives the squash a nice warmth and depth.

Food Network Kitchen's Vegean Gravy For Vegan and Vegetarian Thanksgiving as seen on Food Network

Photo by: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Stephen Johnson, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Gravy’s not just for the turkey – make this one for vegans and vegetarians to pour over their mashed potatoes and stuffing. Umami is the Japanese name for savoriness, an essential characteristic of foods, like sweetness or saltiness. This gravy features vegetables that are high in glutamate, an amino acid that plays an important part in umami. Give them a quick char before simmering them down to a rich, flavorful stock used for gravy.

Damaris Phillips's Veggie Pot Pie with Cornmeal Pie Crust for Vegetarian Thanksgiving, as seen on Food Network's Southern at Heart

Photo by: Alice Gao ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Alice Gao, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Build these individual pot pies with fall vegetables like celery, yams and potatoes. Don’t worry about rolling out perfectly round pie crusts — your guests will appreciate the rustic, homemade touch.

Jamie Deen's Kale and Cauliflower Casserole for Dads Just Wanna Have Fun! as seen on Food Network's Home for Dinner With Jamie Deen

Photo by: Alice Gao ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Alice Gao, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Slow-cooked kale adds vibrant green color to this ample vegetarian casserole. Mash together red potatoes, Parmesan and sour cream for a creamy top layer.

Food Network's Vegan Stuffing For Vegan and Vegetarian Thanksgiving as seen on Food Network

Photo by: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Stephen Johnson, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

All the usual suspects are here (minus the butter and eggs) to recreate the comforting flavors of traditional stuffing. Although green tea may seem like an oddball ingredient, the earthy flavor makes it a better replacement for chicken stock than vegetable stock, which can be too sweet and high in sodium.

Food Network Kitchen's Whole Roasted Mustard Parmesan Cauliflower For Vegan & Vegetarian Thanksgiving as seen on Food Network

Photo by: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Stephen Johnson, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Even meat eaters will want a piece of these impressive, high-fiber veggies. The Dijon mustard concentrates in flavor as it roasts, resulting in a powerful punch of umami. Prep and brush your cauliflower ahead of time, then let them sit at room temperature until you’re ready to cook.

Food Network's Vegan Scalloped Potatoes For Vegan and Vegetarian Thanksgiving as seen on Food Network

Photo by: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Stephen Johnson, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Nutritional yeast, which is grown on molasses and then dried out, adds a nutty cheesiness (plus an extra helping of vitamin B12) to these bubbly spuds. Silken tofu and tender new potatoes add creaminess without dairy and browned onions give the dish a deep savoriness.

Food Network Kitchen's Vegan Pumpkin Pie For Vegan and Vegetarian Thanksgiving as seen on Food Network

Photo by: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Stephen Johnson, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Use a few vegan-friendly stand-ins for this can’t-believe-it’s-vegan pie. Unrefined coconut oil provides a flaky, buttery texture for the crust, and silken tofu lends creaminess to the filling.

Food Network Kitchen's Vegan Apple Pie For Vegan and Vegetarian Thanksgiving as seen on Food Network

Photo by: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Stephen Johnson, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Extra-virgin coconut oil is a great substitute for butter in both the pie dough and the apple filling to make this all-American fruit pie vegan-friendly. We use a mix of apples for the filling: The Golden Delicious keep their shape and are a nice contrast to the soft McIntoshes, and the Granny Smiths give a nice tartness.

See more vegan and vegetarian-friendly recipes for Thanksgiving and get help with the whole feast at Food Network's Thanksgiving Central.

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