Thanksgiving is just around the corner! While the traditional meal centers around meat and dairy products, it’s not only possible to have a cruelty-free, vegan Thanksgiving, it’s delicious, too!
The key to a vegan Thanksgiving is a little planning and the right mix of recipes. If you fill your table with tasty dishes, chances are few folks will miss the animal products!
I know that a vegan Thanksgiving might not be for everyone. If you feel like cutting the animal parts entirely out of your meal is too much, you can still reduce the amount of meat, eggs, and dairy on the table and have an impact! Instead of a giant, factory-farmed bird, for example, you can pick up a smaller turkey that was raised in healthy, more humane conditions. Then, round out the meal with some of these vegan options!
If you’re going to have a lot of meat eaters at your gathering, I don’t recommend going the mock meat route. For an omnivore, most fake meat products don’t replace the real deal, and it just reminds them that you didn’t get a turkey.
For folks determined to go the faux meat route, I’m a big fan of the Field Roast. It’s soy-free and delicious! You can also make your own vegan roast from scratch! Vegan Dad’s Seitan Roast with Wild Rice and Chestnut Stuffing is a delicious, home made option.
Main Dish Alternatives
Of course, there are tons of seasonal alternatives to turkey that don’t involve fake meat. Stuffed squash makes for a satisfying main dish. You can also opt for a fall-themed casserole or a hearty pan of roasted veggies. A veggie pot pie makes a great crowd pleaser, too!
>>Next: Vegan sides and desserts
Side dishes were always my favorite part of Thanksgiving, and there are a ton of delicious, vegan options out there. In fact, some classic sides are vegan already, no modification required! Things like cranberry sauce, green salad, and wild rice with sauteed mushrooms really help round things out.
If you’re looking to veganize popular side dishes, try substituting soy or almond milk for cow’s milk. You can use olive oil or non-hydrogenated margarine in place of butter and veggie or mushroom broth to replace chicken or beef stock. This works with all sorts of dishes from mashed potatoes and stuffings to casseroles.
Planet Green has a tasty vegan stuffing recipe. You’ll never miss the meat!
My favorite Thanksgiving side was always green bean casserole, and even that’s just as tasty without the dairy. Fat Free Vegan has a really delicious vegan green bean casserole that’s even better than the sort made with canned cream of mushroom soup.
You don’t need eggs and milk to make a tasty spread of vegan desserts! You can serve up chewy pumpkin oatmeal cookies, a tasty fruit salad topped with a splash of orange liqueur, or a vegan pumpkin pie.
If you want to take your cruelty-free Thanksgiving to the next level, you can look into supporting turkey rescues, like the Farm Sanctuary Adopt-a-Turkey Project.