Think hosting a vegan Thanksgiving that will satisfy non-vegans is hard? Think again! Read our curated list of tips and tricks to easily throw a vegan Thanksgiving that will leave your guests wanting plant-based cuisine every day of the year.
While everyone begins preparing for the upcoming holidays, I can’t help but feel a little worried, saddened, but at the same time very excited. Being vegan during the holidays brings up a myriad of emotions, not all of them good.
I absolutely love spending time with my family and there are so many wonderful traditions that I can’t wait to celebrate again. For Thanksgiving, my whole family hangs out in the kitchen for most of the day, cooking and enjoying each other’s company.
We always make our staples; vegan stuffing and orange cranberry sauce. But my most recent favorite tradition has to be adopting a turkey from Farm Sanctuary.
This last, fairly new, tradition is one that brings so much emotion.
I’m so happy to be able to contribute to the well-being of one of my fellow earthlings, but I can’t help but think of all of the not so lucky souls that were slaughtered for this holiday.
On a holiday that is so focused on being grateful, peaceful, and kind, I think we need to think outside of just going around the table and saying what we’re grateful for and actually think of what we put on our tables.
So, here we are to show you what an absolutely delicious, festive, and fun Thanks-Living you can have with a vegan meal!
Vegan Thanksgiving Tips & Tricks
1. SET A GORGEOUS TABLE
People are visual. The way you display the food makes it all the more appetizing, and the way you set your table is a great way to show friends and family that a vegan holiday is just as festive as any other!
This year we’ve picked pastels and neutrals to set our table.
When we made a trip to our local grocery store, we found the most beautiful pumpkins. As you can see in the photo they’re a gorgeous pale orange, almost peach color, a soft teal, and white. Then we added some extra gourds and smaller pumpkins along with fresh cut hydrangeas.
Using fresh herbs, flowers, and other foods to create a center piece can be absolutely gorgeous!
We also love to use classic white plates instead of colored ones.
Because the food should always be the central focus, we think a white plate makes the food pop! It’s a blank canvas for a landscape of colorful dishes. Outside of the plates we’ve set the table with a napkin tied with simple twine and copper flatware to give a unique and shiny finish!
2. COME PREPARED WITH ANSWERS
Something I’ve come to realize is that during the holidays, friends and relatives become increasingly curious about how we survive on a plant-based lifestyle.
When you refrain from the turkey and mashed potatoes made with loads of dairy products, non-vegans seem to feel a sense of loss.
It's no fault of their own, it's the way we were all raised. A turkey is the number one symbol of Thanksgiving. What do you do without it?
We have learned to prepare ourselves for the questions, and sometimes snarky comments that come with the day. We don't want anyone to feel uncomfortable around us, and at the same time, we use this as a time to gently answer questions that need to be answered.
For example, my grandmother used to ask me “why can’t you just take a break today? The turkey’s already there.” I know her true intent was “I made you this meal and it hurts my feelings that you won’t eat it.” So when I answer her I always say “Veganism isn’t a diet. I love you so much, but I also love the animals. I know you worked so hard, but maybe next year I can come early and instead of a turkey, we could make a Vegetable Wellington together!”
3. ADOPT A TURKEY FROM FARM SANCTUARY
As I mentioned above, adopting a turkey from farm sanctuary is such a great way to celebrate Thanks-living! All you have to do is head over to www.farmsanctuary.com and choose one, two, or even a flock of turkeys to adopt. May I also suggest printing out the picture and putting it in your Thanksgiving centerpiece?
4. GIVE YOUR GUESTS A VEGAN TAKEAWAY
When the last piece of pie is served and the coffee has been drunk, why not send your guests home with one more plant-based treat? Giving your guests a little something to take home not only serves as a reminder of the great time they had, but also reminds them of how awesome your plant-based meal was! Something we love to do is give our guests an easy breakfast.
Black Friday is still a thing for many (not us), so we like to send our friends and family home with some awesome vegan apple cider donuts in a cute little take away box. This gives them something delicious and fun to eat at 4:00am or whenever they leave for the stores.
4. MAKE AN AWE-INSPIRING MENU
If the way to the heart is through the stomach, then your vegan Thanksgiving is going to make some hearts swell.
Shiitake Mushroom & Ricotta Stuffed Wontons with Cranberry Orange Dipping Sauce
Yes, vegan cheese platters are amazing. We know that spinach dips and pinwheels are here to stay, but why not mix things up a bit? This year, we're ditching those traditional appetizers and serving our guests, crispy fried wontons stuffed with savory vegan ricotta, umami shiitake mushrooms, and drool worthy shallots!
Vegan Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad
Rather than stick with a traditional raw lettuce with vinaigrette salad, step up your Thanksgiving salad game with our game-changing Brussels sprouts Caesar salad! The dressing is tangy and creamy while the sprouts are perfectly cooked, crispy, and salty. All of the flavors and textures of this salad will leave your friends and family thoroughly impressed and excited for the next course.
Hannah Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Curry Bisque
After your show-stopping salad, how about following it up with a rich and creamy bisque? This bisque is such a fall staple and will fit in perfectly with any Thanksgiving menu.
The pumpkin brings out traditional flavors of the season while the curry brings in a pleasant surprise twist! Don't blame us if your guests just want to devour the whole pot ; )
Main Course: Stuffed Butternut Squash
We know that the frozen section of the grocery store is stocked with a variety of delicious plant-based mains (see note below), but this year we're sticking with a whole-foods plant-based option: our stuffed butternut squash.
I personally love seitan, but knowing that my husband isn't the biggest fan and my brother is sensitive to gluten, we've created a festive dish that will be the perfect centerpiece for any Thanksgiving dinner!
NOTE: We will be reviewing the most popular store-bought "turkey" rolls on Tuesday. If you're not subscribed to our blog, go to the side bar and sign up so you don't miss it.
Vegan Apple, Sage, and Sausage Stuffing
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Porcini Mushroom Gravy
Classic Pumpkin Pie
If you didn't find exactly what you were looking for here. We have many more vegan Thanksgiving recipe ideas for you to scroll through. Click here to see them.
Make all of our Thanksgiving recipes or just one, but please come back to let us know what you think. We love to hear from you! And, don’t forget to take a picture of your gorgeous creation and tag us @veganosity on Instagram.
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Christine @ Run Plant Based says
So many great tips here, thanks. Love the stuffed squash and considering a variation of that for us.
Linda Meyer says
Thank you! We just posted a review of the three top selling vegan turkey roasts. You may have tried them all, but if not, it's worth checking out. 🙂
Beautiful the idea of the stuffed butternut squash. I must copy!
Linda Meyer says
Hi Carmelina! It's a simple but lovely and delicious recipe. We're happy you like it. 🙂