Or is there?! The truth is, mainstream Thanksgiving side dishes often have meat, dairy, and/or eggs in them, but do they necessarily need to? No, no they don’t!
With more and more people opening up to the idea of plant-based cuisine, there are more delicious crowd-pleasing vegan Thanksgiving side dishes to choose from than ever. Here are 19 vegan Thanksgiving side dishes that prove the point!
Potatoes & Gravy
Mashed potatoes are usually full of cream and butter; gravy often uses meat drippings or butter. But here are some delicious alternatives that are strictly plant-based. Bring on the comfort, vegan style!
Vegan Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes with Garlic & Chives – I think this recipe is doubly awesome because I LOVE anything that uses a slow cooker on Thanksgiving. If it frees up the inevitably overstuffed oven, that’s a very good thing! With red potatoes, mellowed garlic, and fresh chives, this mashed potato recipe is sure to be a winner all around.
Rustic Rosemary Thyme Mashed Potatoes from Strength and Sunshine – loads of herbs, coconut milk, and herbed olive oil make these vegan mashed potatoes special enough for the holiday table.
Vegan Golden Mashed Potatoes – Flavored with cumin, garlic, and a bit of that yellow powerhouse, turmeric, golden mashed potatoes bring something a little different to the table.
Garam Masala Brown Gravy – A rich brown gravy elevated by garam masala spices and a hint of ginger.
Vegetarian Onion Gravy (vegan option) – Just use the vegan option to get a simple, all-purpose gravy that’s so tasty everyone at the table will want to gobble up. (Seriously, I make this every year and everyone loves it!)
Garlic Butter Scalloped Potatoes from Contentedness Cooking – I can’t imagine anyone would miss the mashed with these gorgeously creamy potatoes on the table.
Hearty Vegetable Sides
You wouldn’t think that straight-up veggies would be an area of concerned for plant-based folk, but yep, they can be a minefield too. Here are some attractive alternatives, including the Thanksgiving perennial fave, sweet potatoes:
Coconut Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Maple Pecan Drizzle – Simmer sweet potatoes right in the coconut milk, and then mash! These winning whipped sweet potatoes are decadently delicious yet so easy to make. Plus, they should complement just about anything else on table.
Cranberry Stuffed Sweet Potatoes from Thyme & Love – I love the gorgeous colors and, just, the pure Thanksgiving-ness of these!
Healthy Vegan Green Bean Casserole from Food, Faith, Fitness – I don’t know that I’d ever want to go back to the traditional version after trying this one. Those crispy onions!
One Pot Citrusy Winter Root Vegetables from Foolproof Living – I love the story behind this blogger’s family recipe of celery root, potatoes, and carrots cooked with olive oil and drizzled with orange juice. So perfect for the season.
Vegan Creamy Scalloped Cauliflower from Veggies Don’t Bite – I am totally in love with this one. I mean, just look!
Vegan Acorn Squash Quinoa Salad with Cranberry and Pistachio from Avocado Pesto – I love that this takes the fall salad up a notch with satiating quinoa. So colorful too!
Pumpkin Salad from Occasionally Eggs – Whoa! I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a more gorgeous salad. I love that this recipe uses both roasted pumpkin AND the seeds for a hearty, vibrant vegan Thanksgiving side.
Perfect Vegan Seven-Layer Salad from Namely Marly – For salad purists, here’s a version that looks and sounds like an old family recipe, but with a deliciously vegan spin.
Oh how I love stuffing, and I truly feel no Thanksgiving meal is complete without it. Luckily, there are many plant-based options!
Herbed Wild Rice & Quinoa Stuffing – This stuffing recipe hits all the special diet bases. It’s gluten-free, vegetarian, dairy-free, and of course vegan. Plus, it’s delicious! I love the flecks of dried cranberry.
Vegan Pecan Tarragon Thanksgiving Stuffing from Veganosity – Love the tarragon in this one. The perfect mainstream stuffing but with a little something extra special.
Pumpkin Cornbread Stuffing from Vegan Richa – Festive! Cornbread stuffing is a fave of many, and the addition of pumpkin makes it even more perfect for the Thanksgiving Day table.
Pasta sides are great to bring along for Thanksgiving (or serve for the vegans in the fam). Bonus: Everyone will want some! Just make sure your resident vegan gets a first crack at it. 😉
Creamy Butternut Pasta Bake – Bubbly and creamy with a nice golden layer of panko breadcrumbs on top, this pasta bake is a winner with just about everyone, no matter their dietary preferences.
Baked Pumpkin Mac & Cheese from V Nutrition – Macaroni and cheese is a quintessential Thanksgiving Day favorite. This one brings pumpkin and plant-based into the picture. Yum.
What are your favorite vegan Thanksgiving side dishes? Share in the comments below!
More for Your Vegetarian Thanksgiving (and Christmas too!)
Looking for more meatless Thanksgiving recipes? I’ve got you covered!
- All Thanksgiving recipes
- 100+ Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes – one massive round-up of every kind of meatless holiday option
- 30 Main Vegetarian Dishes for Thanksgiving & Christmas
- 15 Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dishes with Wide Appeal
- 12 Vegetarian Gravy Recipes
- 5 Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Dishes for Freezing
- An Easy Vegan Thanksgiving Menu (+ a Super Simple Centerpiece Idea)
- A Thanksgiving Feast for (Nearly) Every Diet
- Thanksgiving for Special Diets: The Ultimate Guide to Coexisting Deliciously
- Christmas Dinner Menu