The typical Thanksgiving menu has many dishes – appetizers, salads, soups, side dishes, and of course, stuffing – but most of the attention goes to the main dish. After all, it is the centerpiece of the table and the most anticipated dish of all. When you’re making a plant-based Thanksgiving dinner, that dish seems even more important. It’s not just a dish anymore; it’s up for some serious scrutiny. Well, no worries, because we have plenty of delicious, meat-free recipes for main dishes that will make everyone forget about any other dish.
There are so many “meaty” dishes you can serve as well as pasta and veggie-based meals. Browse through these 25 Meatless Thanksgiving Main Courses and 25 Meat-Free Main Dishes for Your Thanksgiving Feast. Then make room on the table for these 25 amazing main dishes that will make your Thanksgiving spectacular.
1. Hazelnut and Orange Nut Roast With Cranberry Sauce
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.
2. Portobello Pumpkin Ravioli With Sage and Walnut Pesto
This dish of Portobello Pumpkin Ravioli With Sage and Walnut Pesto is made to impress. Pumpkin and sage is a classic flavor combination that can’t be beat. These hearty pumpkin ravioli are packed with Portobello mushroom filling and topped with a chunky sage and walnut pesto!
3. Stuffed Seitan Roast
Sure you can buy a vegan roast but why not make your own? This Stuffed Seitan Roast can be made in the morning and left to cool before things get too hectic. The seitan roast is packed with a flavorful stuffing and then topped with a sweet and tangy maple-mustard glaze. Get your carving knife ready!
4. Pecan and Mushroom Wellington
This deliciously flaky and warm Pecan and Mushroom Wellington is a gorgeous dinner treat for any time of the year. A pastry sheet is filled with a savory and herbed mixture of mushrooms and pecans, topped with a lattice layer of strips, and then baked until golden brown. The crispiness of the pastry is so tantalizingly tasty, and pairs wonderfully with a fresh salad or roasted vegetables.
5. Vegetable Coulibiac With Porcini Mushroom Sauce
A coulibiac is a type of Russian pirog or a baked dough with a sweet or savory filling. Typically, coulibiac is stuffed with seafood, eggs, and vegetables, but this Vegetable Coulibiac With Porcini Mushroom Sauce is all veggie. It has a seasonal mixture of Brussels sprouts, cranberries, and chestnuts. Then, it’s all topped with a savory, gravy-like sauce made from Porcini mushrooms. This recipe makes a lovely dish, perfect for entertaining. It is straightforward and the filling can be made ahead.
6. Thanksgiving Burgers
This year, celebrate all of the deliciousness of the holidays between two toasted burger buns. This Thanksgiving Burger has it all – freekeh-stuffing patty, cranberry sauce, decadent gravy, sauteed green beans, and crispy fried onions. All of the best flavors of the season are in every single bite.
7. Creamy 3-Cheese Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna
This simple (but very delicious) vegan 3-Cheese Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna recipe involves nothing more complex than a pan, a dish, an oven, and a blender. Spinach is sautéed, combined with mushrooms and cream cheese, and then laid down on a dish for the base. From there, the lasagna alternates between tender layers of pasta and velvety cheese sauce, and eventually is topped with sliced tomatoes and a sprinkling of grated “cheese.”
8. Gluten-Free Vegan Turkey
Here’s a Vegan Turkey dish that’s completely gluten-free and vegan. These cutlets are easy to make and have the taste and texture you crave. These are perfect for a holiday dinner party or sliced and put into a big ole’ sandwich. Make a double batch so you have leftovers.
9. Butternut Pasta With Lentil Bolognese
This nourishing Butternut Pasta With Lentil Bolognese is a vegan rendition of the Italian classic. Using lentils in place of beef and butternut for the noodles, this version is definitely more energizing while remaining just as tasty! Sprinkle this dish with some fresh herbs right before serving to add some earthy flavor.
10. Seitan Roast With Sausage and Pear Stuffing and Apple Cider Gravy
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.
11. Butternut Squash Lasagna
Celebrate seasonal squash with this protein-packed Butternut Squash Lasagna made from scratch with wholesome ingredients! Layers of butternut squash purée are sandwiched between tender baby spinach and creamy cashew cheese filling and topped with crispy panko. This layered pasta dish is so rich and creamy, you won’t believe it’s vegan.
12. Asian Pear and Persimmon Stuffed Acorn Squash
Sweet and savory flavors are perfectly paired inside tender Asian Pear and Persimmon Stuffed Acorn Squash. The cinnamon and nutmeg add a great flavor to the squash, pear and persimmon and the texture from the bread and crunchy vegetables bring this dish together. It strikes the perfect balance of spices, textures, and it looks amazing on any fall table.
13. The UnTurkey Roast
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. Serve with gravy.
14. Cranberry Lentil Loaf With Maple 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.
15. Stuffed Eggplant Cutlets in Red Pepper Sauce
These savory roasted Stuffed Eggplant Cutlets in Red Pepper Sauce are rich with Levantine flavors: curry powder, turmeric, cumin, and ginger. A small handful of raisins add contrasting texture and sweetness while the simple sauce is a variation of regional red mojo sauce. In combination with the eggplant and curried textured vegetable protein, the flavor is outstanding. You’ll find that this is a meal worthy of serving to all guests.
16. Sweet Potato Stuffed Shells With Cashew Alfredo
This pasta dish of Sweet Potato Stuffed Shells with Cashew Alfredo is a crowd-pleaser! Tender sweet potato mash is stuffed inside of a brown rice pasta shell, smothered in pasta, and topped with a dollop of creamy cashew Alfredo sauce. Topped with herbs, this dish is elegant, satisfying, and surprisingly easy to make.
17. Raw Veggie Loaf
This raw vegan “meatloaf,” or Raw Veggie Loaf to be accurate, is primarily made from vegetables – carrots, radish, sun-dried tomatoes, celery – herbs, spices, and sprouted grains. This loaf is dehydrated until crispy on the outside with a perfectly soft inside. Serve this hearty and healthy loaf with some vegan ketchup or a drizzle of homemade gravy.
18. Baked Penne With Spicy Rose Sauce
This Baked Penne with Spicy Rose Sauce is the perfect pasta dish if you like a little spice. It’s a pretty versatile meal and if you make it in bulk, it can be changed up very easily just by using different sauces and toppings. This version has lots of fresh vegetables, a creamy sauce, and minimally processed ingredients. The sauce is a little spicy, which you can adjust to your preference, and can be made in a matter of minutes with a blender.
19. Spaghetti Squash with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
This Spaghetti Squash with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto will become a fan-favorite in your household. Roasted spaghetti squash noodles are tossed with a savory sun-dried tomato pesto with fresh basil and pine nuts, sweet caramelized onions, and a sprinkle of vegan goat cheese. It can be eaten as a side, or as a main dish. It also stays great in a refrigerator for a few days and makes the perfect to-go lunch.
20. Cauliflower Steak with Caper Dressing and Crushed Celeriac
These Cauliflower Steaks with Caper Dressing and Crushed Celeriac will leave even the pickiest diner wanting more. Roasted until tender, but crispy on the edges, they’re topped with herbed, crushed celeriac. When combined with roasted cauliflower steaks and a gorgeously tangy green dressing of capers, lemon, pickles, fresh herbs, and garlic, it’s just amazing.
21. Curry Gravy Vegetable Pot Pie
This Curry Gravy Vegetable Pot Pie brings comfort food to the table. The vegetables in their thick curry gravy are tender and delightful. The pie crust makes the whole meal so special and inviting. Welcome the chill in the air with this warm scrumptious dinner.
22. Maple-Glazed Mushroom and Lentil Loaf
This Maple-Glazed Mushroom and Lentil Loaf will remind you of that Sunday evening meatloaf so many of us grew up with. Made from mushrooms and lentils, it’s dense and meaty, with a delicious maple ketchup glaze that sinks in as it bakes. This loaf is tender, moist, and full of these beautiful savory flavors that paired so perfectly with the sweet bite of the ketchup glaze.
23. Pumpkin Gnocchi in Spiced Butter Sauce With Lemon Cashew Cream
Serve your guests a dish that looks and sounds gourmet but is really easy to make. This luscious homemade Pumpkin Gnocchi in Spiced Butter Sauce With Lemon Cashew Cream will impress everyone. The gnocchi is blanketed in richly spiced vegan butter sauce and then served with a lemon cashew cream. They’ll think you slaved away in the kitchen all day. Let them.
24. Autumn Mushroom and Squash Paella
Who knew traditional Spanish flavors and fall squash could meld so beautifully together?! This Autumn Mushroom and Squash Paella has all of your fall favorites – Delicata squash, button mushrooms, cauliflower, pumpkin seeds – seasoned with diced tomatoes, yellow onions, paprika, and saffron for a dish that is bursting with Spanish flair. This paella is perfect for bringing to a potluck or batch cooking for a week of healthy meals.
25. Savory Pumpkin Pie
This Savory Pumpkin Pie tastes almost too good to be true. The crust is made from oat flour and almond flour combined with plenty of herbs and spices, like Italian parsley, sage, and thyme. It is topped with a delicious filling made from roasted pumpkin, leeks, and chickpea flour, which gives it a unique texture. This pie is the perfect addition to your holiday feast.
The most special dinner of the year deserves the most special main dishes. We, at One Green Planet, wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving.
Lead image source: Hazelnut and Orange Nut Roast With Cranberry Sauce