A familiar Thanksgiving dinner can be tricky to plan when you’re vegetarian or vegan. However, your vegan or vegetarian Thanksgiving can still be hearty, traditional, and delicious.
Jump-start your preparation for a scrumptious vegetarian or vegan Thanksgiving meal with these three mouth-watering recipes that will stuff even your carnivore friends.
Stuffing-Stuffed Whole Cauliflower
For starters: a perfect Thanksgiving centerpiece roasted in the oven and stuffed to the gills. Vegetarian turkey substitutes can be hard to find.
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 head cauliflower (about 2 1/4 pounds)
- 3 slices country white bread, toasted
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 10 fresh sage leaves
- 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- Half vegetable bouillon cube
- 1 large egg
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
- Bring a heavily salted large pot of water to a boil over high heat (the water should be very salty — even more than the sea). Carefully remove as much of the cauliflower stem as you can without cutting any of the stalk or the florets away. Remove all of the leaves including any small inner ones.
- Boil the cauliflower head until it’s just tender, 6 to 8 minutes. (Take care not to overcook, or it will break apart as you stuff it.) Carefully remove the head from the water and allow to drain and cool.
- Meanwhile, brush 2 pieces of bread with 1 tablespoon butter each. Cut into 1/4-inch cubes (it’s important that the cubes be this small or it will not pipe out of the bag) and transfer to a medium bowl. Finely chop the remaining piece of unbuttered bread and pulse in a food processor until it consists of fine crumbs. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and the Parmesan, pulsing until combined. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside. Wipe out the bowl of the food processor.
- Pulse the celery, sage, parsley, thyme, bouillon cube, egg, 2 tablespoons water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of pepper in the food processor until very finely chopped and wet. Fold the vegetable mixture into the bread cubes and stir until smooth and pipable. Transfer to a large pastry bag (or a 1-gallon freezer bag) and cut a 3/4-inch opening at the tip.
- Turn the cauliflower over, stem-side up, and start piping the filling in between the stalks of the florets until you’ve used about half of the filling. Use your fingers to push the filling down into the holes of the cauliflower. Fill the rest of the cauliflower with the remaining filling. (Use all of the filling, even if it looks like the cauliflower is going to explode — it won’t.) Transfer to the prepared baking sheet, stem-side down.
- Brush the outside of the cauliflower with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Press the Parmesan-breadcrumb mixture evenly over the cauliflower. Bake until the cauliflower is soft and can easily be pierced with a fork and the breadcrumbs are a deep golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes, cut the cauliflower into wedges, sprinkle with salt to taste, and serve.
Never Miss a Beat!
Subscribe to Our HealthBeat Newsletter!
Get Healthy Tips Sent to Your Phone!
Chickpea and Winter Vegetable Stew
Perfect for a chilly almost-winter November day, chickpea stew will leave everyone at the table wanting more. It’s hearty, flavorful, easy, and among the most creative vegetarian turkey substitutes for a vegetarian Thanksgiving.
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup (1/2-inch) slices leek
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds, crushed
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 3 2/3 cups vegetable stock, divided
- 2 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
- 1 cup (1/2-inch) slices carrot
- 3/4 cup (1-inch) cubed peeled Yukon gold potato
- 1 tablespoon harissa
- 1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound turnips, peeled and each cut into 8 wedges (about 2 medium)
- 1 (15 1/2-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
- 1 1/3 cups uncooked couscous
- 8 lemon wedges
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and leek; sauté 5 minutes. Add coriander and next 4 ingredients (through garlic); cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add 3 cups Simple Vegetable Stock and the next 8 ingredients (through chickpeas); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Stir in parsley and honey.
- Remove 2/3 cup hot cooking liquid from squash mixture. Place cooking liquid and remaining 2/3 cup stock in a medium bowl. Stir in couscous. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Serve with lemon wedges.
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Fluffy, garlicky, vegan, and delicious — not to mention the star of your vegan Thanksgiving — what’s not to love about Loving it Vegan’s mashed potatoes?
- 4 large potatoes
- Head of garlic
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 4 tablespoon vegan butter
- 1/4-1/2 cup soy milk (or other non-dairy milk)
- Sea salt and black pepper (to taste)
- Fresh chives
- Preheat the oven to 430 degrees F. To make your roasted garlic, peel the head and then chop off just the tips of the cloves. Rub 1 teaspoon of olive oil into the garlic and wrap in foil. Close the foil and bake for 35 minutes until perfectly roasted.
- Peel and halve the potatoes, and then slice each half into quarters. Place the potatoes into a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook covered for around 20-25 minutes, until soft.
- When the potatoes are cooked, drain the water from the pot and leave the potatoes behind in the pot, allowing them to sit for a few minutes; any remaining water on the potatoes will dry off.
- Add the vegan butter and mash it in with a potato masher.
- Then add the soy milk, starting with 1/4 cup and mashing it in; if it still looks a little dry, add another 1/4 cup of soy milk.
- By this time the garlic should be roasted. Remove them from the foil and smash them with a fork. Then mash them in with the potatoes.
- Lastly, add sea salt and black pepper to taste.
- Garnish with fresh chives and serve.
Vegan Pumpkin Pie
No Thanksgiving is complete without pie. With a few simple substitutions, Food Network makes it easy to have delicious pumpkin pie everyone can enjoy. (Not a pumpkin lover? Try this apple crisp instead!)
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- 1 tablespoon vegan granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- Fine salt
- 1/2 cup unrefined virgin or extra-virgin coconut oil (packed)
- 4 to 6 tablespoons ice water
- One 15-ounce can pure pumpkin puree
- 8 ounces silken tofu
- 2/3 cup vegan granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Fine salt
- Put the flour, sugar, vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a food processor, and pulse to combine. Add coconut oil in small spoonfuls, and pulse until the largest pieces are pea-sized. Add 4 tablespoons ice water, pulsing until evenly combined. Squeeze a handful of the dough together; it should just hold its shape. If the mixture is too powdery, pulse in an additional 1 to 2 tablespoons of ice water. Turn the dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap, pat into a 1/2-inch-thick disc, and chill for at least 1 hour, up to overnight.
- To make rolling easier, let the dough soften a bit — it should be slightly soft when pressed at room temperature (this may take anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes depending on the temperature of your kitchen). Roll the disc into a 12-inch round on a lightly floured surface. If the dough gets too warm, refrigerate it to firm it up. Ease the crust into a 9-inch pie plate. Fold the overhanging dough under itself; crimp the edge as desired. Chill for 30 minutes.
- Position an oven rack in the center of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees F. Line the chilled pie crust with a large coffee filter or foil, and fill with pie weights. Bake until the edges are lightly golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the coffee filter or foil and weights, and continue baking until the crust is lightly golden all over, 15 to 20 minutes more. Transfer to a rack, let cool completely.
- Filling: Blend the pumpkin puree, tofu, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a food processor until completely smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Pour the filling into the parbaked pie shell, and bake until firm and set, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack. Chill for at least 2 hours, up to overnight. Slice and serve.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on , and was last reviewed on .
Connect with UPMC
Headquartered in Pittsburgh, UPMC is a world-renowned health care provider and insurer. We operate 40 hospitals and 800 doctors’ offices and outpatient centers, with locations throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, West Virginia, and internationally. We employ 4,900 physicians, and we are leaders in clinical care, groundbreaking research, and treatment breakthroughs. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside as one of the nation’s best hospitals in many specialties and ranks UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh on its Honor Roll of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals. We are dedicated to providing Life Changing Medicine to our communities.