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Whole-Food Plant-Based Thanksgiving Recipe Round-Up

Thanksgiving. You don’t want to burn yourself out cooking, but you feel that Thanksgiving should taste at least a little bit indulgent and really special. I also feel like it is a justified time for special-occasion ingredients, such as a little oil, white flour, and sugar (although I’m not saying that food can’t taste indulgent without those ingredients). As Michael Greger says, “It’s not about what you eat on your birthday or Christmas (or Thanksgiving), it’s about what you eat every OTHER meal of the year.”

Here’s our typical menu for a WFPB Thanksgiving:

Mashed potatoes
Roasted vegetables
Nutmeg and Thyme Carrots
Cranberry sauce
Lentil loaf or other main
Green Salad
Green bean casserole
Fruit turkey
Pumpkin pie
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

Mashed Potatoes

I simply boil, mash and add some soy milk and salt and pepper much like this recipe from High Carb Hannah. For fancier potatoes, though, use this Rustic Mashed Potatoes recipe from PlantWhys, which uses blended cashews that make potatoes super creamy.


There is a super simple 5-minute gravy recipe in my cookbook Plant-Based Cooking for Kids (go grab it if you haven’t already!) we all like. But for a more sophisticated gravy, try this mushroom gravy from Minimalist Baker.

Roasted Veggies

This recipe from Nuts About Greens is how I usually make my Thanksgiving veggies. It adds the green and orange that every plate needs! You can skip the 2 tablespoons of olive oil if you like, but if you do, I recommend steaming the Brussel Sprouts a bit first.
overview shot of entire bowl of roasted maple balsamic spiced butternut squash and brussels sprouts


I love this stuffing recipe and have made it three times. For an oil-free version, though, use this one from Shane and Simple.
overview shot of the entire pan of the best vegan stuffing ever

Cranberry Sauce

I use this easy recipe from Shane and Simple. It’s a beautiful ruby on your plate! I love it with a bite of stuffing and mashed potatoes.
Plain cranberry sauce on table cloth with wooden spoon.

Lentil Loaf

There are a lot of delicious lentil loaf recipes out there, including this Lentil Nut Vegan “Meatloaf” from Minimalist Baker. For other main course ideas, It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken has so many ideas! I’m kind of always trying a new main dish idea because they all look so good, so I don’t have a tradition here yet. I’m also totally good without a main dish since the sides are so filling.

Roasted Nutmeg and Thyme Carrots

This delicious recipe for roasted carrots is from my sister Carrie. She’s an inspiration. She’s lost so much weight by switching to a whole food plant based diet, and all while her husband four kids are not necessarily fans of eating this way. Anyway, her carrots are SO yummy. Nutmeg and thyme seemed like an odd combination to me at first, but they are so good together! I like that they’re not doused in sugar or butter like many carrot recipes.

Fruit Turkey

This idea is all over the internet and for good reason. It’s the perfect thing for kids, who love fruit and kabob sticks, and often don’t have a lot of things offered to them on Thanksgiving that they like (besides mashed potatoes and rolls, for some kids). This is the turkey I made last year, 2022. I didn’t have kabob sticks, but I could have pierced each line of fruit onto one. The beak and legs are pieces of orange peel, and the raspberry gaggle and raisin eyes are stuck on with peanut butter.

Sweet Potato Casserole

This is a controversial side dish, I know. Some love it, some think sweet potatoes shouldn’t be prepared with more sweetness. But if you’re a fan of sweet potato casserole, try this recipe which will 100% compare with the traditional butter and marshmallow version. Actually, this is way better in my opinion! To get the recipe, you can either buy my Holiday Recipe E-book, or leave a review for my cookbook, Plant-Based Cooking for Kids, and I’ll send it to you free! (You don’t have to buy my book to leave a review, you can even just check it out at the library!).

Green Salad

I love to eat a big green salad as the first part of a big meal. It blunts the blood sugar spike and just tastes and feels good.  This Pear Pecan Green Salad with Maple Balsamic Dressing is the BEST. I promise it will be a crowd pleaser! However, a poppyseed dressing is also really yummy and you can either make one or buy Brianna’s at the store, which is vegan. I like to pair it with pomegrante seeds, apples, and candied walnuts.  Another current favorite of mine is my friend Valeria’s incredible Roasted Broccoli and Sweet Potato Green Salad.

Green Bean Casserole

I’ve made this recipe from Krissa’s Vegan Kitchen several times and like it. (For a more creamy but more fatty recipe using vegan butter, I can also vouch for this recipe from Minimalist Baker. It’s one that no one would guess is vegan.)
Green bean casserole in a cast iron pan with a dark wooden spoon.

Pumpkin Pie

Dreena Burton’s recipe is the classic WFPB pumpkin pie. It uses a healthy crust, and has a custard-like filling. It does taste a bit healthy. For cashew-free, use the filling from Chocolate Covered Katie’s recipe or this one from Nuts About Greens. It truly doesn’t feel like Thanskgiving to me without pumpkin pie! If you want whipped cream, you can make coconut whipped cream, or buy dairy-free whipped cream by Reddi Whip or So Delicious.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Silk Pie

As a second pie option, I must suggest this recipe for no-bake chocolate peanut butter silk pie. It’s heaven for chocolate lovers like myself. The peanut taste is subtle, and you can use almond butter if you need to.

Berry Crisp

I just want you to have dessert options. 🙂 Instead of a berry pie, I make this berry crisp which is SO GOOD. In the blog post, I have suggestions for plant-based ice creams to go with it. You can use frozen berries since berries are not in-season at Thanksgiving time.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know this is an unconventional Thanskgiving dessert, but I always want something chocolate to end the big meal of the year, and cookies are so kid-friendly and easy. When I want to go all out and toss nutrition to the wind (which is only about once a year), I make these vegan cookies from Nora Cooks (I at least use whole wheat flour though). I like to use Miyokos butter which is made with healthier oils and has more whole ingredients than most. My Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies would be perfect, too (they have almost no fat but are so yummy). My main go-to recipe is chickpea chocolate chip cookies, which would also be great!
marble background with a cooling rack with lots of cookies
Thanksgiving is so much less about the food than it is about gratitude. I don’t want to forget that. Enjoy your many blessings!


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