Best thanksgiving vegetarian recipes


Vegetarian Thanksgiving Dinner on a Sheet Pan

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This full vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner has everything you want in an easy Thanksgiving meal, from the beautiful centerpiece to the cranberry sauce-topped melted brie bites!

I’ve never quite understood why turkey has to be the center of attention when it comes to Thanksgiving. I mean it’s finicky as frick, dries out easily, and isn’t actually all that nice to look at.

But then there are the bounties of autumn harvest, namely butternut squash and pumpkin, with their bright colors and versatility and foolproofness. Can we make a Thanksgiving main course with them? Heck to the yes!

But why stop with a vegetarian Thanksiving main dish? Today we’re making the whole damn meal. It’s the gourmet vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner that dreams are made of. Especially if those dreams entail a Thanksgiving dinner that’s relatively easy and doesn’t dirty up the whole kitchen. You ready for this? Let’s do it.

The ultimate vegetarian Thanksgiving menu

  • Herby Rice Stuffed Butternut Squash
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries
  • Crispy Roasted Potatoes
  • Brie and Cranberry Sauce Stuffed Puff Pastry Bites

Scroll down to see how all of this can be made using just a sheet pan and a muffin tin!

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Main Course

Let’s start with our main course, an herby stuffed butternut squash. Wild or regular rice will be the base of this recipe, laced with herbs, veggies, cranberries, apples, feta…the whole arsenal of fall flavors, y’all.

We’ll pre-cook our butternut, scoop out the insides, and mix it into the rice mixture. Then all that downright deliciousness will be stuffed back into the butternut, tied together, and baked once more.

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Sides

Then there are the sides, Brussels sprouts and crispy potatoes! The Brussels sprouts are tossed together with fresh (or frozen) cranberries and olive oil then roasted to perfection. The potatoes take a page out of Jamie Oliver’s book. We’ll parboil them first then shake shake shake to chuff up the edges, making for maximum crispiness while roasting.

And to finish off this vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner…CHEESE! Specifically, Brie and cranberry sauce stuffed puffed pastry bites. This simple side is quick to prepare and you can pop it in the oven when the main sheet pan is nearly finished.

And that, friends, is what I call a meatless Thanksgiving! If you’d like a printable PDF with all of the instructions and a grocery list, enter your email here and it will be sent right to ya.

Hungry for more Thanksgiving inspiration? Here are 31 of our favorite vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes!

This full vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner has everything you want in an easy Thanksgiving meal, from the beautiful centerpiece to the cranberry sauce-topped melted brie bites! Pin Course: Main Dishes Cuisine: American Keyword: meatless thanksgiving, stuffed butternut squash, thanksgiving, vegetarian thanksgiving Diet: Vegetarian Occasion: Christmas, Thanksgiving Time: 60 minutes or more Prep: 1 hr Cook: 50 mins Total: 1 hr 50 mins Servings: 3 people Calories: 1271kcal Author: Sarah Bond 4 from 10 votes


Stuffed Butternut Squash
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil 15 mL
  • 1 carrot peeled and diced
  • 1 rib celery diced
  • ½ cup finely chopped white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup rice 200 g, wild, regular, or a combination
  • 2 cups vegetable broth 480 mL
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese 113 g
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries 25 g
  • ½ granny smith apple diced
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh sage
  • ½ tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil 15 mL
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1.5 lbs small red potatoes about 5 cups, 680 g, quartered
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil 30 mL
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • ¼ tsp each salt and pepper
Brussels Sprouts
  • 3 cups trimmed and halved Brussels sprouts 350 g
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen cranberries 40 g
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil 30 mL
  • ¼ tsp each salt and pepper
Cranberry Brie Bites
  • 6 4-inch puff pastry squares thawed
  • 4 oz Brie 113 g, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup cranberry sauce 60 g
  • 1 medium egg whisked
Vegetarian Gravy
  • 1 Tbsp butter 15 g
  • 2 Tbsp flour 10 g
  • 1 cup vegetable broth 240 mL
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce 15 mL
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast 10 g
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder



  • Make Butternut Stuffing: Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a medium pot over medium heat then add carrot, celery, onion, and garlic. Cook until fragrant and veggies are brightly colored, about 3 minutes. Add rice and broth, cover, and let simmer until rice is cooked and broth is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Stir in feta, cranberries, apple, rosemary, sage, salt, and pepper. Cover to and set side.
  • Boil Potatoes: Bring a large pot of water to a boil (about 6 cups water) then add baking soda and 1 Tbsp salt. Add quartered potatoes and cook until fork tender, about 10 minutes. Drain water and let potatoes sit uncovered for 2 minutes to dry. Put on the lid then vigorously shake to chuff up the outside of the potatoes. Add olive oil, rosemary, salt, and pepper, then shake once more to evenly coat. Set aside.
  • Prep Brussels Sprouts: Toss to combine sprouts, cranberries, oil, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

1st Bake

  • Bake Main Sheet: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C). Cut butternut in half lengthwise and spoon out seeds. Liberally coat all sides with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and lay face down in the middle of a large rimmed baking sheet. Spread out potatoes onto one side of the butternut and Brussels sprouts on the other (it’s okay if they’re not completely in a single layer now). Bake for 30 minutes, or until butternut is fork-tender.
  • Prep Brie Bites: While that bakes, press each puff pastry into a muffin tin well. Add a few pieces of Brie and top with a dollop of cranberry sauce. Brush dough with egg. Set aside.

2nd Bake

  • Stuff the Butternut: When butternut is fork-tender, scoop flesh from the inside, being careful to not puncture the skin and leaving a thin layer on the outside (hold it with some paper towels if it’s too hot to handle). Stir the scooped out flesh in with the rice mixture, then stuff the mixture into each half of the butternut, firmly packing it in (you’ll have leftover stuffing). Stick the two halves together and secure it by tying with kitchen string. Set back on the baking tray.
  • Flip Side Dishes: Flip the potatoes and Brussels sprouts for even cooking, spreading out into a single layer if possible.
  • Bake Everything: Into your oven place your main baking sheet with the butternut and sides (lower rack) and the muffin tin with the Brie bites (upper rack) and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until puff pastry is golden and crip. Remove Brussels sprouts if they begin to darken too much.
  • Make Gravy: While that bakes, prepare gravy. Melt butter in a small pot over medium heat. Add flour then, whisking constantly, slowly pour in the broth until your reach a thick gravy consistency (you may not need all of the broth). Whisk in the remaining gravy ingredients, remove from heat, and cover to keep warm.
  • Serve: Carve stuffed butternut into 1-inch thick slices and serve topped with gravy. Extra rice stuffing makes a great side (room temperature is okay!) along with your crispy potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and Brie bites. Happy Thanksgiving!


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 1271kcal | Carbohydrates: 137.1g | Protein: 35.2g | Fat: 63g | Saturated Fat: 23.1g | Cholesterol: 147mg | Sodium: 2683mg | Potassium: 2085mg | Fiber: 20.5g | Sugar: 33.1g | Calcium: 410mg | Iron: 9.4mg

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Vegetarian Thanksgiving Dinner…Even Easier

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Published: 11.02.18 Updated: 01.18.20

33 Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes Made With Real Food (Not Tofurkey)

Vegetarians at a family Thanksgiving dinner are accustomed to getting the stink eye, the exasperated sigh, and the classic, “I think these mashed potatoes are meat-free… oh wait, it’s made with chicken stock.” On a day that emphasizes indulgence to the point of a bellyache, those who choose to avoid meat are often the odd ones out. But instead of complaining, they slap a smile on their faces and fill up on not-so-satisfying green bean casserole, dinner roles, and pumpkin pie.

Not so this year. Here are 33 of our favorite vegetarian main dishes that are far from boring, tasteless, or the dreaded Tofurkey.

1. Pumpkin Pot Pie

The classic chicken pot pie goes vegetarian and seasonal in this spotlight-stealing dish. Instead of meat, roasted pumpkin, carrots, celery, and kale take center stage. White kidney beans give the dish some protein too. Make the crust a tiny bit healthier by opting for whole-wheat flour and going easy on the Parmesan cheese.

2. Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto

This tasty risotto uses olive oil and vegetable broth to achieve a rich consistency. With an entire butternut squash, this baked dish is an easy way to get your veggies on Thanksgiving Day. Skip the grated Parm to make this meal totally vegan.

3. Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed With Eggplant and Gorgonzola

Gorgonzola, eggplant, garlic, and Parm transform these giant ‘shrooms into a rich, filling meal. Just swap in some dairy-free cheese if you’re trying to make a vegan version.

4. Thanksgiving Veggie Burger

Eating a burger on Thanksgiving—sacrilege or genius? We say the latter. This all-veggie patty is made from black beans, bell peppers, onions, and spices with some of your favorite Thanksgiving sides on top. It’s just like a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, only on a bun.

5. Swiss Chard, Sweet Potato, and Feta Tart With Teff Crust

This beautiful, healthy tart will definitely upstage the turkey on your Thanksgiving table. Sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, Swiss chard, and feta cheese hit their stride when tucked into a whole-wheat and teff crust (if teff isn’t in your pantry, just use regular flour).

6. Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash Rings

These golden rings of squash look like mini suns filled with a seasonal quinoa mixture. Perfect for a chilly late-fall dinner, right? With cranberry, sage, apple, maple syrup, and apple, the quinoa filling hits all of the season’s high notes.

7. Mushroom Pot Pie

Like a pot pie, this dish is made from layers of pastry wrapped around a tasty filling. Since pastry is, by definition, made from tons of butter, lighten up the filling by using part- or all-skim ricotta and going easy on the butter and olive oil.

8. Sweet Potato Gnocchi With Balsamic Sage Brown Butter

Who said Thanksgiving dinner had to be a meat and potatoes affair? This creative, Italian-inspired dish is a good example of why stepping out of your comfort zone can be smart (and delicious).

9. Baked Acorn Squash With Walnuts and Cranberries

Squash is a vegetarian staple, and this version stuffs in one of our Thanksgiving favorites: cranberries. With just five ingredients, this is something you can whip up quickly, even if it’s not actually Thanksgiving.

10. Warm Autumn Tart

Set a sophisticated tone on Thanksgiving Day with this veggie-loaded tart. Colorful carrots, red onions, sweet potatoes, romanesca, mushrooms, and kale come together to make a dish as healthy as it is beautiful. With a crust made of chickpea and almond flour, this tart is ideal for gluten-free eaters.

11. Vegetarian Vegetable Stew

Those who are serious about getting their veggies on Thanksgiving should bookmark this fresh stew recipe. Combine onion, carrot, celery, portobello mushrooms, white mushrooms, garlic, tomatoes, potatoes, peas, and parsley to make this hearty soup.

12. Roasted Vegetable Galette

Put veggies front and center with this rustic vegetable tart. Colorful carrots, parsnips, butternut squash, and shallots provide plenty of flavor, while the goat cheese crumbles give this dish a salty, rich finish. Experiment with a whole-wheat crust to add some fiber into the mix.

13. Vegan Thanksgiving Wraps

Chickpeas and sweet potatoes are some of our favorite staples— even for those of us who aren’t vegetarian. This recipe uses the awesome chickpea + sweet potato combo to makes these adorable Thanksgiving wraps.

14. Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

With a lentil and veggie mix instead of ground beef as its base, this shepherd’s pie is primed for a healthy makeover. This version is vegan, but if you’re a cheese-eating vegetarian, we suggest sprinkling some goat cheese on top for an added boost in flavor.

15. Quinoa Stuffing With Apple, Sweet Potato, and Hazelnuts

For a side dish that’s filling enough to serve as a main course, look no further. Protein-rich quinoa and hazelnuts provide protein and fat, while sweet potatoes and apples lend this dish fiber and lots of fall flavor.

16. Homemade Pumpkin Ravioli

Italian for Thanksgiving? Yes, please. Mix things up with fresh, homemade ravioli filled with seasonal ingredients. Serve ’em with a bit of melted butter and a thin sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

17. Gluten-Free Stuffed Mushrooms

Who needs meat when you can eat rich, meaty portobello mushrooms instead? Stuffing them with celery, kale, onions, feta, and wild rice turns these veggies into a full-on meal.

18. Quinoa, Mushroom, and Zucchini Veggie Burgers

Once again proving that burgers are a totally acceptable Thanksgiving fare, these quinoa-mushroom-zucchini patties will probably steal the show. Spread a little bit of cranberry sauce or mashed potatoes on top for some extra festive flair.

19. Simple Pumpkin Soup

Spice things up at the dinner table by serving—gasp!—soup as a main dish. You can’t go wrong with this flavorful dish made with just six ingredients (and an optional garlic-kale-sesame topping!).

20. Curry-Stuffed Delicata Squash

Indian flavors on the Thanksgiving table? It’s not as strange as it sounds, we promise. Stuff delicata squash with basmati rice, lentils, shredded coconut, raisins, sunflower seeds, and of course, fresh curry powder. It’s a little bit exotic, a little bit nontraditional, but definitely delicious.

21. Pumpkin Chili With Black Beans and Garbanzo Beans

Everyone’s favorite winter meal gets the royal treatment in this festive chili recipe. Instead of ground beef, this version uses chickpeas and black beans, as well as pumpkin purée and canned tomatoes. Don’t forget to serve with cornbread!

22. Roasted Cauliflower Vegetable Tart

What happens when you cross a Chicago-style pizza with a vegetable quiche? You get a deep-dish, satisfying vegetable tart that’s impressive enough for Thanksgiving dinner. The healthy cauliflower, mushrooms, and thyme filling plays off the Parmesan-quinoa crust, creating a decadent, veggie-rich main dish.

23. Savory Oatmeal With Mushrooms and Greens

If you thought oatmeal was just for breakfast, you are about to discover a whole new world. This savory recipe tops old-fashioned oats with mushrooms, greens, and chickpeas for a creative twist on your Thanksgiving dinner. You’ll be the trendiest guest at the table.

24. Creamy Spinach Salad With Potatoes, Avocado, and Maple Tempeh

Like olives and anchovies, tempeh seems to fit in the “hate it or love it” category. If you’re a fan, this richly flavored dish is ideal for the dinner table. This smoky-maple version combines potatoes, avocado, and spinach for a filling Thanksgiving salad.

25. Tomato and Vegetable White Bean Soup

Let soup take a starring role by serving this veggie dish as a main on Thanksgiving Day. Instead of turkey, this recipe features white beans, potatoes, zucchini, onions, and tomatoes.

26. Vegetable Lasagna Casserole

Casserole doesn’t exactly scream “special occasion dinner,” but this one-bowl meal will make a convert out of any skeptic. Featuring zucchini, carrots, eggs, salsa, and cheese, this Tex-Mex inspired dish is basically a vehicle for vegetables.

27. Festive Chickpea Tart

This veggie-rich seasonal tart looks complicated (and impressive), but it’s pretty simple to whip together. Save yourself a step by spreading the topping (made of ground chickpeas, cranberries, spinach, sage, walnuts, rolled oats, tamari, and celery, among other ingredients) on a premade whole-wheat piecrust. Or go full DIY and make your own from scratch.

28. Classic Nut Loaf

If the word “meatloaf” still brings to mind scary cafeteria mystery meat, it’s time to revisit the concept with this vegetarian version. Lots of veggies, spices, and nuts make this meat-free loaf positively healthful. Top with some grated cheese, because everything is better with cheese.

29. Pomegranate Apple Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

These roasted gourds loaded with pomegranates, quinoa, goat cheese, and nuts are bound to satisfy vegetarians, vegans, and meat-eaters alike. The best part? It’s basically quinoa salad in an edible bowl, so there are fewer dishes to wash at the end of the night.

30. Kale and Ricotta Stuffed Shells

What happens when you combine an Italian classic with a Thanksgiving classic? You get these delicious, healthy, totally main course-worthy stuffed shells. Butternut squash adds moisture and flavor, so it’s possible to cut down on the cheese for a healthier dish.

31. Sweet Potato Crusted Spinach Quiche

This rustic quiche combines all the colors (and flavors) of fall. It’s a beautiful dish that will surely tempt every person at the table. Extra quiche makes for great breakfast leftovers too.

32. 4-Ingredient Eggplant Balls

These super-easy eggplant balls are great with all your traditional sides or leftover with some pasta the next day. Just combine eggplant, garlic, shallots, bread crumbs, and a bunch of spices (that you definitely have in your kitchen) in a food processor, and you’ll get a creative vegetarian dish.

33. Mushroom and Stout Pot Pies With Sweet Potato Crusts

A savory pie that combines beer, sweet potatoes, and mushrooms is the perfect melding of decadence and healthy food. As a Thanksgiving entrée, this dish is pretty simple and speedy, with just a few steps and minimal dishes to wash.

Originally posted November 2015. Updated October 2016.

“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!

13 Irresistible Recipes for a Vegetarian Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving seems centered around turkey. From the hearty stuffing to the thick ‘n’ juicy gravy, almost everything is made with or around the turkey and its drippings. So, how do vegetarians get by? Easily! Meatless lasagnas make for a great main, stuffing can be made delicious without the bird, and those perfectly cooked veg sides can be hella filling. See for yourself with these 13 tempting vegetarian-friendly holiday recipes.

1. Vegan Meatloaf: Loaded with chickpeas and lentils, this hearty cheatloaf makes for a perfect main to go alongside all of those tasty sides. (via Jessica in the Kitchen)

2. Green Beans With Brown Butter, Crispy Shallots, and Hazelnuts: This recipe kicks your regular ol’ green beans up a few notches by adding crispy fried shallots, crunchy hazelnuts, and browned butter. (via Two Peas and Their Pod)

3. Brown Buttered Glazed Carrots: Roasted and tossed in brown butter and brown sugar, these delightfully sweet and savory carrots will be the talk of the evening. (via The Modern Proper)

4. Kabocha Squash Lasagna: Not into “tofurky?” Don’t worry, because this veggie-layered lasagna is delicious, filling, and meets all the requirements of being a Thanksgiving main with its autumnal flavors and comforting textures. (via Umami Girl)

5. Roasted Squash, Pecan, and Pomegranate Salad: With minimal prep, this mouthwatering squash and sweet potato salad is the perfect addition to your holiday spread with sugared pecans and a drizzle of pomegranate molasses dressing. (via Minimalist Baker)

6. Butternut Squash and Apple Soup With Fried Sage and Halloumi: Throughout the cooler months, a starter soup is the way to go — especially if it’s a silky butternut squash soup slightly sweetened by apples. (via Floating Kitchen)

7. Veggie Pot Pies With Crispy Potatoes: These vegan and GF pot pies are brimming with robust mushrooms, carrots, and wholesome greens, then topped with crispy potatoes. (via Natural Girl Modern World)

8. Vegan Spiral Thanksgiving Tart: Impress your fam and friends with this jaw-dropping tart filled with mashed potatoes, eggplant, carrots, cabbage, earthy rosemary, and your favorite plant-based gravy. (via The Colorful Kitchen)

9. Tempeh Sausage-Stuffed Squash: Replace the iconic stuffed turkey by packing a flavor-filled tempeh sausage stuffing into soft roasted acorn squash boats. (via Hummusapien)

10. Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole: This crave-worthy side tops a velvety sweet potato and apple sauce blend with crunchy pecans for a fall-inspired dish. (via Joy Food Sunshine)

11. Curry-Roasted Brussels Sprouts: Roasted to a golden crisp, these Brussels sprouts bring warming spices and a hint of sweetness to your plate with curry powder and dried cranberries, and it.is.awesome. (via The Missing Lokness)

12. Butternut Squash Dal: Stock up on naan, because you’ll want to dig into this vegan and GF dal all evening with its combination of lentils, onions, tomato, cumin, and curry leaves. (via Cook With Manali)

13. Simple Vegan Cornbread Sage Stuffing: This recipe puts a vegan spin on a Thanksgiving fave so that *everyone* can enjoy it. Made with vegan cornbread, it’s packed with all the right flavors. (via The Full Helping)

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10 Top Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes

Looking for vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes? Here are the very best meatless main dishes that will be loved by everyone around the table!

For some people, Thanksgiving will always be about turkey. How about you? These days, eaters are getting more adventurous and love incorporating interesting new traditions at the Thanksgiving table. Since Alex and I eat mostly vegetarian and a plant based diet, at Thanksgiving, we like to offer options to make all diets happy. Since there are often meat eaters and veggie lovers at our table, we always turn to vegan and vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes. And guess what? It’s the vegetarian recipes that turn out to be the best loved dishes around the table!

Here, we’re sharing our top 10 favorite vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes: each of them a meatless main dish that will satisfy everyone around the table. Of course we have so many vegan and vegetarian side dish recipes too, like our famous Best Green Bean Casserole. For each of these vegetarian main dishes, we can vouch that they’re something the entire family will love. A few other great resources, before we start:

  • Want sides with that? We’ve got you covered. Here are our Top Thanksgiving Side Dishes.
  • If you’ve got an Instant Pot, it’s perfect for holiday cooking since it frees up the oven and stove! Go to our Instant Pot Thanksgiving Recipes.
  • Eat vegan? Here are lots of delicious Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes.
  • Need a signature drink? Try our Mulled Cider or Fall Sangria.

And now, our top vegetarian Thanksgiving main dish recipes!

First up in our vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes: baked gnocchi! The gooey gnocchi are drenched in savory pumpkin sauce with creamy pockets of goat cheese—need we say more? We’ve made it for a few occasions and it gets rave reviews. If you’d like to make this gluten-free, pick up some gluten-free gnocchi (while potato based, traditional gnocchi contain flour).

More with pumpkin sauce? Pumpkin Pasta Sauce with Penne

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The creamy squash is roasted until tender, then it’s draped in a toasted pecan rice stuffing that makes your kitchen smell like a fall paradise! You know that scent of onions, celery and leeks cooking in butter? Well, this recipe delivers it in spades. It’s vegetarian, easily made vegan, and naturally gluten-free, so it works for all sorts of eaters. Even better: it’s seriously crowd pleasing. Everyone we’ve served it to becomes a believer…and then immediately asks for the recipe.

Scroll down for the recipe!

Got an Instant Pot? Try Instant Pot Acorn Squash

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In this cozy bake, pumpkin is mixed with ricotta cheese and a bit of fresh sage for a savory, gooey filling. It’s baked in a marinara sauce that’s homey and complex in flavor. It takes a bit of effort to put together, so pull in some friends and family for the assembly. It’s a filling meatless main that would pair well with Thanksgiving sides.

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What’s more festive than a pot pie? And this vegetarian pot pie is a show stopper. It’s got a ton of veggies, pesto and Parmesan in the filling, which makes for a filling that smells (and tastes) incredibly savory and earthy. Top that with a crispy, flaky crust, and it’s crazy delicious.

Looking for vegan? This Vegan Pot Pie with Sage Crust is a fan favorite.

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This is one of our most popular vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes—and recipes in general! The mixture of nuts, vegetables, and cheese has the flavor and texture of meat, pleasing even the most passionate meat lovers. You won’t believe it until you try it yourself!

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So many vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes feature squash…why not eat it as mac & cheese? Here it’s served in the shell for a beautiful presentation. The spaghetti squash strands are drenched in a Béchamel sauce with Gruyere cheese, which gives it a sophisticated flair. A glass of tart white wine is a perfect complement to the rich creaminess. Our 9-month-old son Larson devoured this, so it’s a hit with the younger crowd.

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This is one of our favorite vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes. Instead of topping sweet potatoes with marshmallows and brown sugar like the Thanksgiving tradition, these are made up as a main dish. They’re baked, then the filling is removed and mixed with goat cheese. It’s topped with French lentils, goat cheese crumbles, and celery leaves for an aromatic twist. While this meatless main dish could work for any meal, it’s especially lovely on the Thanksgiving table.

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Acorn squash is Thanksgiving perfect: it’s a tender, sweet squash with edible skin. Here, we’ve chopped it into quarters and topped it with a Mediterranean-style wild rice stuffing. The tender grains are mixed with pistachios, kale and feta. It’s a delicious main dish that’s showy and crowd-pleasing.

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Parmesan mashed potatoes with rosemary top this cozy filling of lentils and mixed veg. The filling is flavored with miso, which brings a savory, almost meaty flavor. This one takes a bit of time to prepare, but it’s a perfect project for the friends and family to help pitch in. It makes enough to feed a crowd, and it’s a fitting dish for a special occasion.

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When it comes to vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes, squash is top on our list. Delicata squash is our favorite squash variety, for its sweet flavor and because it roasts quickly. Here, the delicata squash is roasted and stuffed with wild rice and pepitas. It’s also got some sharp cheddar cheese, but it can easily be made vegan by omitting the cheese.

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Looking for more vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes?

Here are a few more vegetarian Thanksgiving side dish recipes to accessorize with these main dishes — and a few desserts, too! And don’t forget to try out our Vegetarian Gravy, Mushroom Gravy or Vegan Gravy on those fluffy mashed potatoes!


  • Best Green Bean Casserole
  • Best Roasted Vegetables
  • Roasted Delicata Squash
  • Roasted Sweet Potatoes
  • Spinach Apple Salad
  • Best Brussels Sprouts Recipe
  • Roasted Butternut Squash
  • Massaged Kale Pomegranate Salad
  • Easy Butternut Squash Soup
  • Roasted Thanksgiving Vegetables
  • Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Pomegranate
  • Baked Brie with Roasted Cranberry Sauce
  • Cabbage Salad with Apples & Walnuts
  • Roasted Apples & Cauliflower with Dill
  • Mashed Red Potatoes with Garlic
  • Healthy Mashed Sweet Potatoes
  • Whole Grain Classic Homemade Stuffing


  • Best Apple Pie
  • Chewy Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies
  • Best Pumpkin Pie
  • Pumpkin Mousse

Instant Pot

  • Instant Pot Green Bean Casserole
  • Instant Pot Mashed Sweet Potatoes
  • Instant Pot Green Beans with Lemon
  • Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
  • Instant Pot Brussels Sprouts with Parmesan
  • Easy Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup
  • Instant Pot Acorn Squash


This delicious vegetarian stuffed acorn squash is roasted and stuffed with a hearty stuffing, featuring whole grain bread, veggies and herbs.

Scale 1x2x3x


  • 1 cup white basmati rice*
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more for sprinkling
  • 2 small acorn squash*
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (or substitute olive oil, coconut oil or vegan butter for vegan)
  • 3/4 cup raw pecan pieces
  • Feta or goat cheese crumbles, optional


  1. Pre-heat oven to 450°F.
  2. Cook the rice: Add rice and 2 cups water to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer until tender and all the liquid is absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the heat and allow to steam with the cover on for 5 minutes. Stir in the dried sage and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt.
  3. Roast the squash: Meanwhile, chop each of the acorn squash in half and then into quarters. (You can also leave it in halves if you prefer that look.) Using a spoon, scrape out the seeds. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, place the squash on the sheet and drizzle with olive oil on the cut sides, then sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper. Turn cut side down on the sheet and roast until tender, about 40 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, prep the veggies for the stuffing: Dice the onion and celery. Mince the garlic.
  5. Toast the pecans: In a dry skillet over low heat, toast the pecans for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fragrant.
  6. Make the stuffing: Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion and celery 5 to 7 minutes until tender and translucent. Add the garlic, thyme, and oregano, and saute for an additional 2 minutes until fragrant. When the rice is cooked, stir it into the skillet. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, the fresh ground black pepper, butter, and pecans.
  7. Serve: Spoon the stuffing over the squash quarters and serve immediately.
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Roasted
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes, Thanksgiving Recipes

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

A Vegetarian Thanksgiving Menu

I hope you’ve enjoyed the week of vegetarian Thanksgiving posts that I put together with Rikki! I’ve gotten so used to working on my own as a blogger that it’s nice to collaborate with someone else once in a while and see my food through another photographer’s eyes (or camera lens). And Rikki isn’t just an amazing photographer, but she’s also a great friend and mentor who totally gets my food, so I can’t imagine working with anyone else. I’m totally thrilled with how all of her photos turned out in these vegetarian recipes for a vegetarian thanksgiving main course!

Here’s our complete menu with vegetarian recipes for thanksgiving main course:

Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash Rings // Roasted acorn squash rings stuffed with quinoa, apples, cranberries, sage, and cheddar. A main dish for vegetarians that also works as a side dish for everyone else!

Whipped Sweet Potatoes // Vanilla-scented sweet potatoes lightly sweetened with maple syrup and topped with candied pecans. The perfect alternative to the typical marshmallow-topped sweet potato casserole.

Rosemary Roasted Carrots // Heirloom carrots make this simple Thanksgiving side dish a showstopper.

Green Beans & Caramelized Shallots // Tender roasted green beans are topped with caramelized shallots.

Wild Mushroom Gravy // Don’t forget the gravy! This Wild Mushroom Gravy is the perfect accompaniment to your favorite mashed potato recipe.

French Bread Stuffing with Swiss Chard & Caramelized Red Onions // This is my favorite recipe from our Thanksgiving line-up. I’m usually not a big stuffing fan, but adding veggies and cheese to it makes it so much more flavorful.

Ginger Orange Cranberry Sauce // The secret ingredient in this cranberry sauce is ginger ale! Don’t be too intimidated to make your own cranberry sauce–it couldn’t be easier.

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Creme Anglaise // Make the creme anglaise a day in advance and let the bread pudding cook while you eat dinner and this dessert is completely stress-free. And since it’s made in the slow cooker, it frees up space in the oven too!

I hope through my recipes and Rikki’s stunning photography, we’ve been able to show you that a vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner doesn’t have to be about sacrifice or bland food or sad meat substitutes. As I like to say, when the food you’re eating is good, you focus on what’s on your plate, not what’s missing from it! Thanksgiving is about gratitude, family, and friends–not turkey.

I won’t be posting any new recipes next week, but I will be putting together a round-up of other vegetarian main dishes for Thanksgiving on Monday and I’ll be back with What I Ate This Week on Friday. I’m taking some time off next week, so if I’m a little slow with emails or comment replies, that’s why.


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