Don't Let A Plant-Based Diet Stop You From Enjoying Thanksgiving


Try a plant-based Thanksgiving menu this year!

For those who have been choosing to eat more plant-based meals, holidays like Thanksgiving have always been choosing between nostalgia and commitment. As food technology continues to develop meat- and dairy-free alternatives that are better and better at mimicking the usual ingredients, it's becoming easier than ever to enjoy the traditional feast without the meat.

If you feel like flocking to a turkey-free feast this year, try these suggestions for a delicious Thanksgiving meal.

Turkey might be the star when it comes to prep time, but for many people, Thanksgiving sides are the true stars of the meal. If you're trying more plant-based cooking, side dishes are also fairly easy to adjust for guests who are vegetarian, dairy-free, gluten-free or bringing other food allergies to the party.



With a nearly endless buffet of bread choices and add-ins, stuffing can be as simple as you desire. Sourdough bread adds a great taste to traditional herb stuffing. It's also the main element in the cult favorite artichoke Parmesan stuffing. A vegetarian cornbread stuffing gets pops of texture from chopped nuts and apples.

Mashed potatoes can also take on a variety of flavors to make them stand out as a starring dish. Garlic is a particularly friendly pairing to potatoes, especially when it's roasted. Make roasted garlic rosemary mashed potatoes or garlic-olive oil mashed potatoes, or add in another vegetable like cauliflower.


The key to an all-sides Thanksgiving is to serve a diverse lineup of flavors and textures such as:

• stuffing and bready carbs like dinner rolls

• soft and creamy: mashed potatoes, potato gratin, corn pudding, or macaroni and cheese

• roasted or sauteed vegetables: Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, or green beans

• tangy, snappy and sweet: typically cranberry relish, or salads with ingredients such as cranberries and apples or pomegranate seeds and pears


While an all-sides Thanksgiving might sound like a dream dinner for some, it might not feel complete to others. Luckily, you don't have to forego a main dish entirely when planning a 

However, if plant-based meat substitutes aren't your ideal meal, there are a host of equally impressive vegetable-focused main dishes. Stir up a seasonally appropriate pumpkin risotto, or bake a savory galette filled with wild mushrooms or caramelized leeks.

Offering a plant-based option gives people a chance to expand their palate, and if it's one choice of many dishes on the table, it's more likely to increase the odds of sampling and decrease resistance to a new way of eating.

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