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33 Meatless Thanksgiving Recipes

33 Meatless Thanksgiving Recipes

“What can vegetarians eat on Thanksgiving?” Speaking as a vegetarian, I don’t need or expect a designated entrée. I’m happy enjoying hearty side dishes, like salads made with wild rice or chickpeas. Pass the mashed potatoes, please!

That said, you’ll find plenty of colorful main dishes in the list below. From veggie lasagna to stuffed acorn squash, these recipes will appeal to the whole crowd. Meat-like substitutes are typically underwhelming, so you won’t find any here.

If you’ve been wondering what to serve the vegetarian (or vegan) at your Thanksgiving table, this roundup is for you. The recipes are organized by category. You’ll find easy main dishes, filling salads, creamy soups and mostly savory side dishes. The recipes that are also gluten free and/or vegan are labeled accordingly.

At the end of the post, you’ll find links to recipes that will round out Thanksgiving Day, including breakfast options, appetizers, cocktails and desserts. For more ideas, check out my full Thanksgiving archives or use the search bar if you’re looking for something in particular. Have a great weekend!

Vegetarian Main Dishes

Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto

Gluten free and easily vegan

“This is the best recipe I have tried this year. It was scrumptious. I am going to incorporate this as a new side dish for my Thanksgiving meal.” – Rita

Roasted Carrots with Farro, Chickpeas & Herbed Crème Fraiche

Easily gluten free and easily vegan

“I made this with Christmas dinner and wow this was certainly my signature dish! It was scrumptious and so pretty. I was so intrigued by it, I had to make it and so glad I did!” – Leslie

Broccoli, Cheddar & Quinoa Gratin

Easily gluten free

“I made this for dinner last night, and my very non-vegetarian “meat and potatoes” boyfriend loved it (and so did I)! He even asked to have the leftovers for lunch today. :) Thanks for all the delicious and healthy recipes!” – Rach

Best Vegetable Lasagna

Potentially gluten free

“I just made this for a special family dinner. We ALL voted it by far the best lasagna ever! Everyone went back for seconds. :) Thank you so much for this delicious recipe! I followed your directions exactly and even doubled it for extras this week. I’m so glad I did! I will definitely be making this often for friends and family.” – Lee Anne and the Laskey Crew

Easy Brown Rice Risotto with Mushrooms and Fresh Oregano

Gluten free and easily vegan

“This is among the best risotto I have ever eaten. Even my risotto-phobic daughter was sneaking seconds. I’ve made it according to the recipe’s directions, and enjoyed it thoroughly. I have also switched it around and given it a fresh thyme and Sherry flavouring, which was just as delightful. Thank you for such a fabulous recipe. I love when they’re both nutritious and delicious – a common combination on C and K. Thank you again.” – Chelsea

Creamy Roasted Brussels Sprout and Quinoa Gratin

Easily gluten free

“We made this for Thanksgiving and it was the big hit of the meal! We’re definitely adding it to our rotation.” – Deb

Vegetarian Stuffed Acorn Squash

Gluten free and easily vegan
“A big 5 star plus for this recipe! I served this for a fall dinner and it looked so beautiful on the table. It’s beauty was matched by great flavour and texture. So enjoyable and artistic.” – Frances

Baked Ziti with Roasted Vegetables

Easily gluten free
“Omg, this turned out so well, and even my non-vegetarian friends were raving. I was looking for what was seasonal and cheap at the market, so ended up with red bell pepper, cauliflower and sweet potato. A keeper!” – Kate

Hearty Salads

Pomegranate & Pear Green Salad with Ginger Dressing

Gluten free and easily vegan

“This. Salad. Is. Everything.

Seriously, this is so good. I will be making it forever. Thank you.” – Debbi

Honey Mustard Brussels Sprout Slaw

Gluten free and easily vegan

“I had to work this Thanksgiving – it’s the first time I haven’t been home in Virginia, and a good friend of mine invited me to join her at her family’s celebration this year. I brought this dish along, and it was such a huge hit that her family applauded me at the dinner table! I just wanted to say thanks for sharing this one – loved it.” – Devon

Hearty Sweet Potato, Arugula & Wild Rice Salad with Ginger Dressing

Gluten free and easily vegan

“My husband first said “this is one of the best salads you’ve ever eaten, right?” followed definitively by “this is the best salad I’ve ever had.” Thank you for this phenomenal recipe, Kate!!! “Meal in a bowl” is right!” – Jill

Balsamic Butternut, Kale and Cranberry Panzanella

Easily vegan

“Made this tonight for the fam- this recipe is booming with flavor! Filling. Tasty. Everyone loved it! Can’t wait to make it again :)” – Sara

Arugula, Dried Cherry and Wild Rice Salad with a Zippy Lemon Dressing

Gluten free and easily vegan

“I have made this salad so many times – everyone loves it – kids, adults, veggie and meat lovers alike. Thank you!!” – Eija

Herbed Quinoa & Chickpea Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing

Gluten free and easily vegan

“I made this salad tonight and it was delicious. All of the ingredients are perfect together. We have enjoyed all of your recipes that we have tried so far!” – Nancy

Hearty Roasted Butternut Squash & Apple Salad

Easily gluten free and vegan

“I have made this salad so many times; it’s become a go-to recipe for me. Thank you! I’ve never even roasted apples before! I love that trick.” – Josie

Autumn Kale Salad with Fennel, Honeycrisp and Goat Cheese

Gluten free

“I don’t want to sound dramatic, but this salad could possibly be life changing. No, ya know what, I’m going to say it….. this is the best salad I have ever had in my entire life, and I have had A LOT of salad. Thank you so much!” – Lindsay

Farro and Kale Salad with Goat Cheese

Gluten free and vegan options available

“I made this tonight and it was really good! I like kale in theory more than actuality, but fixed this way it was so tender and flavorful. I will be making this again.” – Elizabeth

Quinoa Broccoli Slaw with Honey-Mustard Dressing

Gluten free and easily vegan

“I made 1/2 this recipe tonight for a store bought bag of broccoli slaw and omitted the crushed red pepper due to a guest who can’t take any slice at all. It was PERFECT! It will be my go-to slaw recipe from now on. Thank you!” – Lynda

Favorite Green Salad with Apples, Cranberries and Pepitas

Gluten free and easily vegan

“A favorite in our house, we eat this salad at least once a week!” – Sherie

Shredded Brussels Sprouts & Arugula Salad with Sunshine Dressing

Gluten free

“Want you to know I love this recipe! I’ve never toasted my own pecans before and the aroma is glorious. Chopped brussels go so well in a salad and this will be a regular in my weekly dinner recipes!” – Jessie

Fall Soups

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Gluten free and easily vegan

“I just made this soup for my family. I think it is the best soup I have ever made. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe.” – Christa

Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Gluten free and easily vegan

“Omg this is the best cauliflower soup recipe I have ever made and I have made a lot. This will definitely go into my soup rotation. Thank you Cookies and Kate for providing such great tasting recipes.” – Angie

Creamy Roasted Pumpkin Soup

Gluten free and vegan

“Oh my gosh!! Best soup I’ve made in a long time! I live in Reno, NV and it’s finally Fall like weather. I figured it was a good time to make a comfort soup, and this Roasted Pumpkin Soup hit the spot! Thank you for the recipe! I will definitely be sharing with my family and friends” – Julie

More Vegetarian Side Dishes

Lucille’s Mashed Potatoes

Gluten free

This is my family’s go-to mashed potatoes recipe! I hope it makes an appearance on your holiday table.

Savory Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Gluten free and potentially vegan

“Wow! I was really skeptical about this recipe, but asked my three children if they wanted this recipe or a sweeter sweet potato recipe, and they picked this one! So I had to give it a try. This will definitely be our go-to for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners! Absolutely wonderful. Thank you!” – Kimberly

Kale Colcannon

Gluten free and potentially vegan

“The family loved this version of Colcannon…it had a nice tang and was a good addition to our potluck dinner. Next time I will half the recipe for just my husband and I.” – Mary

Rosemary Parmesan Sweet Potato

Gluten free

“Hi Kate. Just wanted to pass on how much my housemates enjoyed this for dinner tonight! We’ve all been under the weather and wanted something simple and healthy. This totally fit the bill but we couldn’t get over how incredible it tasted too!!! It was definitely more than the sum of its parts – we’re already planning to make it again this weekend. Thanks for a spectacular recipe!” – Anna

Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries & Pecans

Gluten free and easily vegan

“Made these the other night with some stuffed chicken and rice. It was delicious. Even the boyfriend enjoyed them. We enjoy roasted Brussels sprouts, but the addition of the walnuts, cranberries and balsamic vinegar was a nice change. Thank you for sharing!” – Robin

Honey Butter Roasted Carrots

Gluten free (see other flavor variations provided in post for vegan options)

“Just made the roasted carrots, wow! These were fantastic.” – Michael

Cranberry-Maple Skillet Cornbread

“Kate, this is SO delicious, and pretty to look at, too! Taking a few cues from your baked dessert recipes, I made this dairy-free by substituting the butter with coconut oil and the buttermilk with almond milk (made “sour” with a bit of white vinegar). It came out great! I have been so happy since I recently discovered your blog, Kate! Loving these amazing and beautiful recipes.” – Nicole

Almost Homemade Green Bean Casserole

Easily gluten free

“I made this last night for our ‘Friendsgiving’ dinner, and it was the hit! Everyone absolutely loved it. :) It’s what the classic recipe has been asking for—fresh green beans and lots of flavor. Thank you for such a fantastic recipe!” – Leah

Vegan Mac and Cheese

Easily gluten free; vegan

“I made this at my daughters request and have to admit I was skeptical as we are neither vegan or vegetarian. It was awesome, all three of my children and my wife raved about it, we will definitely be making this again.” – Patrick

Naturally Sweetened Cranberry Sauce

Gluten free and easily vegan

“This is my second year making this. DELICIOUS! I eat most of it. I make it a few days in advance. My whole family enjoys it. Thank you!” – Bev

More Thanksgiving Day Recipes

Appetizers & Snacks

  • Baked Jalapeño Poppers
  • Cranberry Sauce and Goat Cheese Crostini
  • Dukkah (Egyptian nut, seed and spice blend for dipping bread)
  • Naturally Sweetened Candied Pecans
  • Pimento Cheese
  • Stovetop Popcorn
  • Sweet & Spicy Roasted Party Nuts
  • Torn Olives with Almonds, Celery & Parmesan
  • Ultra Creamy Hummus

Breakfast & Brunch

  • Apple Steel-Cut Oatmeal
  • Apple & Carrot “Superhero” Muffins
  • Cinnamon Toast Breakfast Quinoa
  • Cranberry Orange Muffins
  • Cranberry Orange Steel Cut Oats
  • Frittatas (Stovetop or Baked)
  • Gluten-Free Pumpkin Oat Pancakes
  • Pumpkin Bread
  • Pumpkin Chai Lattes
  • Pumpkin Muffins
  • Pumpkin Oat Waffles
  • Pumpkin Pecan Scones with Maple Glaze
  • Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes
  • Brunch cocktail: Best Mimosa (Plus Tips & Variations!)
  • Brunch cocktail: Homemade Bloody Marys

Cookies & Desserts

  • Gluten-Free Apple Crisp
  • Gluten-Free Apple Tart
  • Lemon, Rosemary and Olive Oil Shortbread
  • Naturally Sweetened Pecan Pie
  • Pear Cranberry Crisp
  • Peanut Butter Oat Cookies
  • Pumpkin Pecan Polvorones
  • Spiced Oatmeal Cookies
  • Whipped Cream

Thanksgiving Cocktails

  • Cinnamon Maple Whiskey Sour
  • Classic Hot Toddy
  • Cranberry Margaritas
  • Irish Coffee with Homemade Whipped Cream
  • Maple New York Sour
  • Moscow Mule
  • Pear Nectar with Reposado Tequila
  • Red Sangria
  • Spiced Apple Margaritas
  • Vegan White Russian
  • Wassail (warm spiced and spiked apple cider)

Happy Thanksgiving from Cookie and Kate!


Watch the video: 20 Vegetarian Thanksgiving Sides. Holiday Vegetable Side Dish Recipe Compilation. Well Done (December 2021).