We don’t mean to raise any panic, but Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching. With all of the careful planning and orchestrating that it takes to put together an amazing Thanksgiving dinner, we can understand that stress levels can be high. But truth is, they don’t have to be. …Okay, so the holidays will likely never be stress-free, but planning your dinner doesn’t have to be! That’s why this year, we’re here to help you plan everything from the mashed veggies, gravy, sides, desserts, and yes — the entrée.
What can you make for Thanksgiving dinner when turkey is off the table? While browsing the Food Monster App, we came up with three ideas: plant-based meatloaf, meaty recipes, and seasonal vegetable-based entrées. So, without further ado, let’s jump right into it. Here are 30 show-stopping, plant-based dinners that’ll be the star of Thanksgiving:
If you’re looking to quench your cravings for meatloaf or simply need an effortless, nutrient-dense recipe that doesn’t disappoint, you need to try out this Lentil Loaf With Celery Root Mash. Lentils can have the same hearty texture as meat and are perfect for recreating classic umami flavors. For a healthier alternative to mashed potatoes, this recipe uses celery root! When mashed, it is starchy and fluffy- just like the cozy mashed potatoes you grew up with.
2. Lentil Loaf With Tomato Glaze
This Lentil Loaf is a hearty, wholesome, and healthy meal that is far better than any old meatloaf. The tomato glaze recipe is made with just three simple ingredients; ketchup, yellow mustard, and brown sugar. Even picky eaters will love this sauce on top of your lentil loaf!
This delicious Black Bean, Quinoa, and Walnut Loaf won’t fall apart on you. It holds together really well, just like a classic meatloaf. This loaf hits all the high notes for nutrition. It’s made with black beans, quinoa, black rice, chia seeds, rolled oats, and walnuts. It’s also made with mushrooms, but you don’t really taste the mushrooms in the loaf, instead they are in there to add depth and a savory taste. You can also substitute the mushrooms with zucchini. The loaf can be served as a main course or a side dish. It tastes great as is or with mushroom gravy.
This Nut Roast With Cranberry Orange Compote is packed full of festive holiday flavors, with no added sugar and is 100 percent tasty. It’s made with a mixture of walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, and cashews to create a flavorsome, moist, and textured entrée. A seasonal cranberry orange compote is complementary to this festive dish. This would be the perfect dish to serve up for your Thanksgiving dinner along with seasonal vegetables.
5. Lentil Vegetable Loaf
This Lentil Vegetable Loaf is pure comfort food! A blend of aromatics, spices, lentils, vegetables, and nuts, the ingredients are extremely simple and yet the result striking, little seasoning, and extremely rich flavors. This is perfect for all occasions, from weeknight dinners to potlucks.
Need an entrée that will please all palates? This Thanksgiving Vegetable Loaf With Cranberry Glaze is it. The combination of the quinoa, oats, mushrooms, and nuts provide this dish with the perfect “meatloaf” texture — and it’s speckled with cranberries, so it’s perfect for the season. Finish it off with your choice of our cranberry glaze recipe or a traditional meatloaf glaze.
This gluten-free Cranberry Lentil Loaf With Maple Glaze is definitely one to be thankful for and it’s super easy to make. Black lentils create a meaty, hearty base speckled with chia seeds, vegetables, and bright red cranberries that provide a burst of flavor. It’s finished off with a sweet maple-mustard glaze that’s like icing on the cake … err, loaf.
Who needs regular meatloaf when this Hazelnut and Orange Nut Roast With Cranberry Sauce makes a unique, beautiful, and most importantly delicious centerpiece for any occasion. It is made with fluffy quinoa, hearty lentils, and a rich assortment of vegetables including leeks, mushrooms, onion, and celery. The citrusy notes from the orange and the fruity flavor from the cranberries are a wonderful contrast to the otherwise savory profile of this loaf.
This hearty Lentil Cashew Loaf is as tasty as it is simple – and it really is simple. The lentils and cashews make a dense moist loaf while the sundried tomatoes accent the flavor perfectly. The loaf is finished with a savory glaze that puts this dish over the top.
This hearty, colorful Lentil Potato Nut Loaf is made from red lentils, chickpeas, vegetables, and potatoes. It’s nutty, savory, and slightly sweet thanks to the addition of roast sweet potatoes and carrots. The loaf goes extremely well with vegan cheese sauce, a salad of Romain lettuce, steamed kale, oven roasted tahini-sauce coated Brussels sprouts, and raw red cabbage.
Seitan is a meat substitute derived from the protein portion of wheat. There are several different ways to prepare this meaty wheat – this Seitan recipe is one of the most basic, requiring only bread flour and water and then some seasoning. The process is pretty involved but the savory, meaty result is worth it! Use this seitan on sandwiches, as a salad topper, or as a delicious main that will stun your guests!
Here’s a “seitan” that is gluten-free. This Gluten-Free Seitan contains oats though, so make sure to get certified gluten-free oats if you have celiac disease or are gluten-intolerant. Oats gave it that meaty “chew” that makes it perfect for Thanksgiving entrées.
Forget the store-bought stuff. This Vegetable Stuffed Seitan Roast is an entrée that will satisfy all your guests. Herbs like rosemary, thyme, and smoked paprika are worked into the seitan dough, adding to its flavor and visual appeal. The stuffing is made from meaty mushrooms, carrots, apple, and nuts and raisins, if desired and then the whole roast is boiled in savory vegetable broth in order to infuse it with umami flavors. Yum.
If you’re serving a small party of guests for the holidays, but don’t want to compromise in extravagance, make this stuffed Seitan Roast. This savory, meaty roast is stuffed with vegan sausage, cabbage, and dried fruit, and then braised in the oven for three hours so it’s perfectly tender. As a final step, it’s pan-seared and then baked again. The top is crisp, the stuffing is sweet, savory, and tasty, and it’s served in a tangy onion-cider gravy.
This Seitan Pot Roast isn’t exactly like a traditional meat pot roast your mom would have prepared for dinner, but if you make this plant-based version for her, she’ll probably beg you for the recipe! Who wouldn’t want to know all the secrets to preparing tender homemade seitan in a lip-smacking vegetable stew? Plus, the pot roast is made in a slow cooker, so you can just throw everything in, go about your day, and come home to a warm, comforting meal.
This Savory Seitan Roast is simmered in broth to infuse it with flavor, then rubbed with cayenne pepper and baked with leftover broth to give it even more flavor. This tender roast is perfect as it is, but don’t forget to pair it with mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy, roasted vegetables, and cranberry sauce!
Don’t be intimidated — these Mini Stuffed Seitan Roasts are the easiest homemade roasts you’ll ever make. The savory bread stuffing in this recipe requires no pre-cooking at all, nor does the gravy, which takes only a minute of your time. Once everything is prepped, you just pop it in the oven and let the magic happen.
This mighty Unturkey Roast is enough to feed the family and still have leftovers, as is traditional. The roast may be cut into thin or thick slices. If desired, let cool, then bake the slices in broth until heated. The slices may also be wrapped in puff pastry with sautéed mushrooms, greens, or cooked crumbled vegan sausages and bread cubes. Follow the package directions to bake the wrapped unturkey. Serve with gravy.
This Stuffed Seitan Roast can be made in the morning and left to cool before things get too hectic. Then just slice off the portions you need for dinner and reheat for 10 minutes until hot all the way through just before serving. This way, it frees up space in the oven and makes preparing dinner more relaxed and less overwhelming!
In this recipe, Crispy Breaded Chickpea Cutlets are served with a savory homemade mushroom gravy — and the “breading” is gluten-free! Chickpeas have the perfect flavor and texture for this meal that’ll win over anybody. Serve this alongside some fresh greens or any vegetable of your choosing.
Meet the ultimate in holiday centerpieces: The Vegducken. It looks too show-stoppingly awesome to eat without taking hundreds of photos but smells st mouthwateringly delicious that you might forget all about that part. Roasted butternut squash is stuffed with eggplant, zucchini, whole scallions, and layered with a savory, filling of sautéed mushrooms, red onion, scallions, red lentil, chickpeas, and gluten-free breadcrumbs that are puréed into crumbly deliciousness. Happy Thanksgiving!
These delicious Roasted Root Vegetable Stacks are quick, easy, and irresistibly tasty. The layers of tender sweet potatoes, potatoes, and onions are interspersed with a liberal amount of dukkha and garlic that perfectly compliment the sweetness brought out by roasting root vegetables.
Filled with natural sugars from the squash, packed full of vitamins and minerals to help you stay energized and happy. Not only is this Pecan Stuffed Butternut Squash extremely simple to make, it is also easy on the eyes, filled with fragrant flavors, and is gorgeous as a centerpiece. The pecan-stuffed slices are just stunning and adding that extra pop from the pomegranates adds a wow factor as well as a burst of fruity flavor!
When you cut a head of cauliflower like you would a loaf of bread, the resulting slabs can be roasted and served as delicious steaks. This Cauliflower Piccata is seasoned with a luscious lemony piccata sauce and mushrooms atop a serving of creamy mashed potatoes will be your new favorite way to serve this versatile veggie.
This Portobello Wellington that gourmet vegan is not only possible, but can rival the classics. This dish is earthy, naturally sweet and full of flavor. Make this for your next dinner party and you will be sure to impress your friends.
This Roasted Eggplant is unbelievably simple but incredibly delicious! The roasted veggie becomes beautifully tender and its umami flavor is countered by the cashew cream. Toss in some pomegranate arils for a burst of tartness and you have an easy snack or meal that doesn’t skimp on flavor.
This Double-Baked Butternut Squash is a tribute to the fall and is the perfect accessory for the Thanksgiving table. Serve them with beautiful salad – make a dinner that is healthy, beautiful, and filling! This is a butternut squash recipe that gets twice as good for two laps in the oven!
These Brown Rice and Lentil Stuffed Cabbage Rolls are mixed with green lentils and brown rice as a healthy, plant-based meat substitute to corned beef. Topping them with vitamin C-rich tomato sauce also makes it an even better source of iron!
If you’re looking for a dish that’s big on flavor without all the hassle, then this Rosemary Roasted Butternut Squash is for you. Butternut squash is roasted until tender with garlic and fresh rosemary, enhancing its flavors in all the best ways. It’s served with a chunky lentil and mushroom tomato sauce that’s as filling and as nourishing as it is delicious. This dish makes the perfect weeknight dinner, but it can also be used as a holiday side or main.
This Maple Parsnip and Chestnut Wellington is a centerpiece worthy of any party. Wrapped in a puff pastry, maple syrup takes the natural, subtle sweetness of roasted vegetables to the next level. Serve this wellington alongside roasted mushrooms and red peppers for a real feast!
Looking for more Thanksgiving recipes? Check out these 26 Seasonal Salads for Your Thanksgiving Feast.
We also highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 8,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to ten new recipes per day. Check it out!
Lead image source: Lentil Cashew Loaf