15 Vegetarian Dishes Everyone Will Love for Thanksgiving

These Thanksgiving dishes will leave both meat eaters and plant-based diners full and returning for seconds. Many of these vegetarian recipes can work as a side dish or a holiday hearty main meal.

I’m a fan of turkey. A briny, juicy, piece of dark meat is the center of my Thanksgiving plate. Bonus points if the crispy skin is still intact! While turkey is one my favorite parts of the holiday, I know other people prefer a meat-free affair.

The best Thanksgiving table has something for everyone: meat-eaters and vegetarians alike! My youngest son often rebuffs poultry so this year I’m coming prepared. I’ll have hearty vegetarian side dishes that can double as a main, while being tempting enough for a 10 year old to scoop onto his plate.

My plate will include family favorites, hearty fall-flavored dishes, as well as bright and fresh sides that allow the turkey to shine.


Stuffed Delicata Squash

This striking fall dish serves eight as a side dish, making it worth the precious oven space on Thanksgiving day. The quinoa and mushroom filling is made on the stovetop while the squash roasts. It’s hearty enough to serve as a vegetarian main. Extra bonus for being freezable!

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Slice of Greek Spinach Pie on a white plate, with a fork, a glass of white wine, and the casserole dish in the background,

Oven space it at a premium during the holidays, which is why this lovely spinach casserole makes a great side or vegetarian main dish. It’s beautiful, easy to assemble and can be made the day before then baked or reheated on Thanksgiving Day.

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Vegan Stuffed Squash

This one takes a little time but it’s absolutely delicious! Make the filling and roast the squash up to two days before you plan to serve it. Assemble everything and reheat it in the oven on Thanksgiving Day. Your vegan and vegetarian family members will be so grateful you took the time to make this for them. The meat eaters will be happy too.

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Side view of a flaky spring pie on a large blue platter. One slice of the pie is missing and the cheesy artichoke filling is visible on the plate. The lower left has a pile of forks on a white plate. A grey linen tablecloth is on the table and a glass is in the upper left corner.

The magic of phyllo dough once again makes a showstopper side dish or vegetarian main. It comes together in 30 minutes and bakes in under an hour. Make it up to two days ahead of time and reheat in the oven at 350ºF for 15 to 20 minutes.

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Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet potatoes are a family favorite side dish at Thanksgiving. This version tops the casserole with a pecan and brown sugar crumble topping, that adds a bit of crunch to the casserole. Feel free to prepare the sweet potato mash a couple days before serving.

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Wild Rice Stuffing

Rice is always a hit in our family. Wild rice has a nutty flavor and pairs well with dried cranberries and sage, giving this dish the classic Thanksgiving flavors. If wild rice isn’t available, feel free to substitute equal amounts of long grain brown rice.

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Classic Green Bean Casserole

It’s not Thanksgiving at our house without green bean casserole. Who can resist crispy fried onions set on top fresh green beans and mushrooms? If short on time, feel free to top with store bought fried onions instead of the homemade homemade onions in the recipe. The green bean and mushroom filling can be made up to three days in advance.

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Cauliflower Gratin

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to serve up a decadent, Gruyere-coated cauliflower bake. Seasoned with a dash of nutmeg and thyme and topped with buttery bread crumbs, this gratin takes only 15 minutes to prep and is a total family-favorite. Swiss, gouda or white cheddar are good substitutes if Gruyere isn’t available.

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate-Balsamic Glaze

This dish requires only six simple ingredients and three of those are for the glaze you can make up to a month beforehand. Shave a little time and buy pre-sliced brussels and then toss with olive oil and roast on a baking sheet. The jewel-toned pomegranate seeds (arils) are a must. They add a pop of color and a tart element to the dish. Serve hot.

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Kale Waldorf Salad

Waldorf salad is a family-favorite with a satisfying crunch from apples and celery. Kale is a sturdy green that can hold up to a mayo-based dressing without becoming soggy. This salad can be made a day in advance but I would hold off on adding the apples until ready to serve. Sweet apples such as Fuji are great choices for this salad.

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A serving spoon with homemade cream corn inside.

Corn is the perfect accompaniment for the Thanksgiving turkey. It’s mild, sweet, and creamy and one of my family’s favorite vegetables. Creamed corn can be made ahead of time and frozen. Take a different approach and make a Creamed Corn Casserole by adding cheese and baking in the oven until brown and bubbly.

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Cornbread Stuffing with Olives and Pecans

Stuffing loaded with crunchy nuts and tangy green olives will have everyone asking for seconds. Bake the cornbread at least a day in advance so you have time to let it cool before cubing and toasting for the stuffing. The stuffing can be made up to two days beforehand and warmed in the oven on Thanksgiving Day.

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Homemade Vegan mushroom gravy poured over a pile of mashed potatoes on a white and brown plate with a fork.

Serving a vegan option at Thanksgiving is a thoughtful way to ensure everyone at the table has a topping for their mashed potatoes (assuming some are vegan). Consisting of roasted mushrooms, onions, and a flavor-enriching miso, this gravy will win fans all around the table. It can be made in advance and either frozen for three months or refrigerated for five days.

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Side view of cranberry sauce homemade.

Tart cranberry sauce goes hand-in-hand with roast turkey. Using fresh cranberries makes all the difference when it comes to texture and flavor. Plus, get creative and try the addition of raisins, nuts and fall spices. Be sure to make it at least a day in advance to allow for it to cool and thicken. Fresh Cranberry Sauce can be stored for 10-14 days in the refrigerator or can be frozen for up to two months.

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Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls

Thanksgiving dinner is as much about the leftovers as it is the main event. Make extra mashed potatoes on the big day and save back one cup to use in these rolls. They make tasty turkey sandwiches for the meat eaters and are lovely topped with butter and cranberry sauce for a meat-free snack.

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Rachel Knecht

Rachel tests recipes for Simply Recipes, teaches a kid's cooking class, and develops the content for Baking with Rachel.

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