This year, many holiday traditions are changing. You might not be able to celebrate with all—or even any—of your family members for Thanksgiving, or you might be meeting with Zoom. Or you might not even celebrate the holiday at all. For my family, Thanksgiving this year means a small group and a strict two-week quarantine period for everyone joining. My family has also put me in charge of planning a complete “ThanksVegan” feast for everyone—perhaps the start of a new tradition.
Usually, my family spends much of the day making the classic dishes, and I spend just as much time making the same exact dishes, replacing animal ingredients like butter, milk, eggs, and honey with vegan ones. So in an effort to make the day less stressful, I offered to make enough of my vegan dishes to feed everyone. It’s better for everyone, since we’ll all have more time to relax and be together. It also happens to be a great opportunity to show everyone just how delicious and easy vegan food is and how great it can feel to celebrate this holiday without contributing to animal suffering.
Here are the dishes I’m planning to serve at our “ThanksVegan” feast:
Vegan Charcuterie Board
I don’t usually eat a full lunch on Thanksgiving, but I do like to snack throughout the day while I’m cooking. I’ll be making a vegan charcuterie board, complete with some of my favorite vegan cheeses like Violife Epic Mature Cheddar and my dad’s favorite, Treeline Chipotle-Serrano Pepper. I’ll serve them alongside crackers, apples, figs, olives, dried fruit, nuts, and vegan deli slices.
Green Bean Casserole
I make Hot for Food’s green bean casserole every year, and sometimes, I even cut down on the work a little by substituting canned French-cut green beans for fresh ones.
© Hot For Food
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
© Cadry's Kitchen
Dried porcini mushrooms give this gravy a deep, rich flavor and color.
© Healthy Midwestern Girl
I don’t use a recipe for these—I just chop a few bunches of collard greens and sauté them in vegan butter with garlic, lemon juice, black pepper, and smoked salt until they’re wilted and soft. This recipe is very similar, and it adds smoky vegan bacon to the mix. I love collard greens for this, but you can use any greens you prefer.
This will be my first year making a store-bought vegan roast! I’ve made my own in the past, and last year, my “main dish” was a savory braised tempeh steak based on this recipe. In addition to a roast, we’re serving Gardein Turk’y Cutlets because my sister loves them. The options for a vegan main dish are endless, and none of them involves cutting into the flesh of a courageous, intelligent animal.
Vegan Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Cream
Pie is a necessity, even if we’re too stuffed to eat it until the next day. I’ll be veganizing my Nana’s recipe for praline pumpkin pie. I’ll have to keep that one a family secret, but here’s a great recipe you should try. Vegan whipped cream on top makes the perfect finishing touch.
I love making a festive, autumnal punch for my family to enjoy (responsibly and only for those of legal drinking age, of course). Big-batch cocktails like this Sparkling Fall Sangria are great for these occasions.
© Vegan Yack Attack
Whether you’re celebrating Thanksgiving over Zoom or safely with your family, do it with animals in mind by keeping turkey flesh and other animal ingredients off the table.
If you need more inspiration to plan your ThanksVegan feast, our helpful guide can show you the way: