Recipes to Satisfy the Vegetarian at your Thanksgiving Table
By: Sarah Frazier, acac Membership Coordinator / Nutritionist
I don’t know about you, but Thanksgiving is my personal favorite holiday! It’s all of the fun and food of Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa, without the obligation to give gifts. For this reason, a good quality meal is on the top of the priority list when preparing for Thanksgiving. But what do you do if you find yourself with a vegetarian or vegan friend at your table for the holiday? What if this is your first holiday as a vegetarian or vegan yourself? Read below for several delicious recipes to satisfy the holiday palate of all different kinds of guests!
Tip: If you DON’T have any vegans or vegetarians at your table, don’t stop reading! These recipes are delicious for anyone looking to lighten up their holiday plate. Enjoy!
Brussels Sprout and Butternut Squash Bake
This sweet and savory dish is a great vegan side dish that can take the place of Green Bean Casserole or Sweet Potato Casserole. It’s easy to make and is sure to be a crowd pleaser! Here’s how it’s done:
3 cups of Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1.5 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
3 tbsp. maple syrup
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
2 cups pecan halves
1 cup dried cranberries
Salt to taste
- Pre heat oven to 400 degrees F and lightly grease 2 foil lined baking sheets with olive oil
- In a medium bowl, toss Brussels sprouts, 2 tbsp. of olive oil, and salt to taste. Place on the first baking sheet
- In a second bowl, toss butternut squash, 1 tbsp. olive oil, maple syrup, and cinnamon. Place on the second baking sheet.
- Place both sheets on the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until soft, flipping half way through.
- In a large bowl, toss the roasted butternut squash and Brussels sprouts, pecans, and dried cranberries. For added sweetness, add 2-4 tbsp. maple syrup as needed.
This version of gravy is perfect for the vegetarians or vegans at your Thanksgiving table. And it’s so good, you won’t miss the meat! Here’s how it’s done
8 cups high quality vegetable stock
8 dried shiitake mushrooms
½ cup olive oil
1 minced shallot (optional)
½ cup all purpose flour
1.5 tbsp. soy sauce
½ tsp. Marmite
Salt and pepper to taste
- Pour vegetable stock and shiitake mushrooms into a medium pot and bring the stock to a boil. Remove from heat and steep for 30 minutes. Pour the stock into a large bowl or measuring cup and wipe out the pot
- Heat the olive oil in the pot at medium-high heat. Add the shallot and cook for a minute or so. Add the flour and cook for about 2 minutes, until very light brown.
- Pour the stock into the pot, whisking the whole time until completely combined. Add the soy sauce, Marmite, and a few grounds of pepper.
- Bring the stock to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes. Season to taste and remove mushrooms before serving.
Roasted Potatoes with Crunchy Onions
This recipe is a satisfying alternative to everyone’s beloved mashed potatoes. These can be served alone, or with the vegetarian gravy recipe above. Here is how it’s done:
2 lbs. baby red potatoes, quartered
1/3 cup olive oil
1 package of onion soup mix
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil
- Place the potatoes in a large mixing bowl and toss with oil and onion soup mix
- Pour the potato mixture on the baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes until tender, flipping half way through
- Serve hot!
Lemon Herb Rice
This delightful dish is a great vegan/vegetarian substitute for stuffing this Thanksgiving. It’s herb-y and lemon-y and just right! Here’s how it’s done:
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups cooked brown rice
¼ cup water
Juice of ½ a lemon
½ tsp. lemon zest
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1/8 cup minced fresh parsley
1/8 cup minced fresh sage
1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
½ tsp. dried thyme
2 tbsp. pine nuts, lightly roasted
Salt and pepper to taste
- At medium temperature, heat olive oil in a pan and sauté the onion until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute
- Add the rice to the pan and mix in the water, lemon juice and zest, soy sauce, and herbs. Cover and cook on low heat until warm
- Add the toasted pine nuts and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with fresh herbs if desired.
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