We all know the best part of any holiday meal is the side dishes. Sure, the entrée is delicious, and we all want seconds. The soup is warm and comforting while the salad is light and flavorful. But the array of side dishes is what really excites us. There is so much variety – there are potato dishes, rice dishes, and vegetable dishes. Of course, there are also cranberry sauces, gravies and dinner rolls.
Every family has their own traditions. Some serve mashed white potatoes while others insist on sweet potatoes. Do you like your yams candied or more savory? Green beans are a must on some holiday tables while Brussels sprouts are the top choice for others. Maybe you make several versions of each to satisfy everyone!
Side dishes are where we can most exercise our creativity, trying new combinations or flavor profiles. If you need ideas or inspiration, check out The Ultimate Guide to Vegan Thanksgiving Sides.
Change up the menu from the usual side dishes to something new and exciting. How does cheesy polenta, fried smashed potatoes with lemon vinaigrette or roasted acorn squash with spiced pumpkin seeds sound? Get the recipes for these 5 Side Dishes Everyone Will Love. We have even more recipes to share. Here are 25 incredible vegan side dishes you’ll love for your Thanksgiving table.
1. Peas with Mushrooms, Shallots, and Tarragon
Peas Please! These Peas with Mushrooms, Shallots and Tarragon is a wonderful side dish to share at your holiday dinner or any dinner for that matter. The fresh flavor of the green peas goes so with the buttery shallots, rich mushrooms, and peppery tarragon. So yum!
2. Root Veggie au Gratin
This Root Veggie au Gratin needs to be on your holiday table. It’s a version of potatoes au gratin but with different root veggies such as parsnip, turnip, celery root, and rutabaga. They all get baked with a creamy cashew based sauce. Trying something new has never been so delicious.
3. Skordalia (Greek Mashed Potatoes)
Spice up your usual mashed potato dish by going Greek. Skordalia or Greek Mashed Potatoes is one of the most traditional dishes in all of Greece. This vegan version is creamy, “buttery,” and garlicky. All the flavors of Greece make this dish remarkably delicious.
4. Sweet Saffron Roasted Cauliflower and Peppers
Cauliflower gets some Spanish-inspired flair in this Sweet Saffron Roasted Cauliflower and Peppers dish. The flavorful combination of turmeric, saffron, and roasted red peppers really makes it something special. This is perfect for your holiday table!
5. Easy Roasted Sunchokes
If you’ve never tried sunchokes or Jerusalem artichokes, start with these Easy Roasted Sunchokes. They taste like a cross between artichokes and potatoes. These are simply roasted to perfection with garlic, thyme, and olive oil for an easy and delicious dish.
6. Scalloped Potatoes with Seitan Bacon
Pass the potatoes, please! These Scalloped Potatoes with Seitan Bacon are a beloved comfort food made vegan. Soft, bubbling baked potatoes in a cheesy coconut cream sauce are topped with crispy seitan bacon. These are so good; you may have to beg to get them passed to you.
7. Cheesy Cauliflower Gratin
Everyone loves potatoes made au gratin, but that can be heavy. This Cheesy Cauliflower Gratin is a lighter way to enjoy those same flavors and textures. They’re rich, creamy and cheesy. To make them extra-special, use purple and orange cauliflower for their bright colors!
8. Garlic and Thyme Pan Seared Mushrooms
If you like mushrooms, you’ll love these Garlic and Thyme Pan-Seared Mushrooms. They’re simple to make and you can use any kinds of mushrooms you like – chanterelles would be extra-fancy. Just add garlic, a splash of white wine, and a generous pinch of thyme. Everyone will devour them.
9. Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Apples and Chestnuts
Thanksgiving is that time of year when Brussels sprouts are welcome on the table, especially when they’re roasted to perfection. These Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Apples and Chestnuts have roasted sprouts cooked in a buttery sauce and topped with chopped apples, chestnuts, and cranberries for a dish that screams Thanksgiving.
10. Easy Roasted Root Veggies
Sometimes the simplest recipes are the best. These Roasted Root Veggies are easy and delicious. Choose whatever veggies you like. This recipe has pumpkin, beets, broccoli, sweet potatoes, carrots, and onions.
11. Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Mint Parsley Pepita Sauce
For a side dish that will steal the show from the entrée, make this Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Mint Parsley Pepita Sauce. The sauce is made from a quick blend of mint, parsley, and pepitas. It’s bright, fresh and makes a beautiful presentation.
12. Greek Scalloped Potato Gratin
There’s nothing like creamy comfort food and this Greek Scalloped Potato Gratin proves that point. Made with rich, creamy coconut milk, and nutritional yeast, the potatoes taste cheesy good. They’re accompanied by green kale and salty Kalamata olives for that distinctive Greek flavor.
13. Masaledar Sem (Spicy Green Beans)
Masaledar Sem is an Indian-spiced dish perfect for changing up your usual green bean recipe. Made with chile, spices, and a ginger garlic paste. The smell alone will have everyone at the table drooling before they even taste the dish.
14. Potato and Spinach Cheddar Fritters With Horseradish Dipping Sauce
For a simple side dish that will look impressive, make these Potato and Spinach Cheddar Fritters. All you need are potatoes, spinach, and your favorite vegan cheese. They’re crispy and cheesy and the horseradish dipping sauce adds a touch of elegance to a humble dish.
15. Sauteed Chinese Hollow Stem Spinach (Kong Xin Tsai)
This Sauteed Chinese Hollow Stem Spinach dish is simple and delicious. You can use any leafy green such as broccolini or bok choy. Saute the spinach with garlic and soy sauce for a dish so delectable, you won’t have to remind anyone to eat their greens.
16. Jeweled Yellow Rice with Pignoli Nuts and Golden Raisins
If you’ve ever made boxed rice pilafs, don’t do that anymore! This Jeweled Yellow Rice with Pignoli Nuts and Golden Raisins is easy, fragrant and so delicious. You’ll never make boxed rice again and that’s okay because you’re worth it.
17. Buttery Skillet Cornbread
You might expect this Buttery Skillet Cornbread to have vegan butter or oil in it. Nope, all the rich, buttery taste comes from a magic secret ingredient: pecans! These amazing nuts are ground into a flour and mixed with cornmeal to make a supremely moist, nutty, and luscious cornbread – without any added oils. We suggest making extra of this because everyone will want seconds.
18. Cheesy Polenta with Creamy Artichoke Pesto
Instead of potatoes, try polenta for a change. This Cheesy Polenta with Creamy Artichoke Pesto combines all the best things in life: soft polenta, nutty pesto, and tangy artichokes. It’s a hearty and comforting side dish everyone will love.
19. Savory Butternut Squash and Chestnut Pie
Showcase the seasonal bounty of autumn with this Savory Butternut Squash and Chestnut Pie. It has a cauliflower-almond “crust” that is light and delicious and is filled with squash, chestnuts, and autumn spices. Top with mushrooms for a presentation that will greatly impress your guests.
20. Rosemary Buttermilk Biscuits
You can’t have a Thanksgiving table without buttermilk biscuits on it. These Rosemary Buttermilk Biscuits from Blossom Du Jour are the epitome of comfort food. There is nothing more comforting than buttermilk biscuits except knowing the biscuits are entirely dairy-free.
21. Artichoke and Spinach Risotto With Lemon Cashew Cream
Everyone loves the cheesy, gooey goodness of spinach and artichoke dip so turn it into an elegant side dish. This Artichoke and Spinach Risotto with Lemon Cashew Cream will brighten up any dinner table. The lemon cashew cream makes this risotto extra rich, super creamy, and decadent.
22. Caramelized Leeks with Romesco Sauce
Leeks are so much more than a skinny onion that gets tossed in a soup. They can be the star of a dish like these Caramelized Leeks with Romesco Sauce. This unique, elegant and Spanish-flavored veggie side is easy to make and delicious. Leeks will never be in the shadows again.
23. Cheesy Sweet Potato Tots
There should always be side dishes that the kids will love. These Cheesy Sweet Potato Tots are super easy, kid-friendly and delicious. They taste sweet, cheesy and so good. Make two batches because the adults are going to want their own platter of these babies.
24. Pumpkin Spice Biscuits with Feta Cheese
Yum, yum, yum! These Pumpkin Spice Biscuits with Vegan Feta are outrageously delicious and a really clever way to use pumpkin spices. The sweetness of the biscuits perfectly complements the tangy and salty vegan feta. You couldn’t find a more perfect side to have on your holiday table.
25. Cauliflower ‘Rice’ with Mushrooms and Spinach
Cauliflower rice is a light alternative to regular rice. This Cauliflower ‘Rice’ with Mushrooms and Spinach is a beautiful side dish that is satisfying, earthy and delicious. Is there anything that cauliflower can’t do? We think not.
What an amazing list of side dishes! With these on the table, no one will be paying any attention to the main dishes. That’s okay, we all know side dishes are the best part of any meal.
BONUS Recommendation: Download the Food Monster App
If you enjoy articles and recipes like these and want more, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App. For those that don’t have it, it’s a brilliant food app available for both Android and iPhone. It’s a great resource for anyone looking to cut out or reduce allergens like meat, dairy, soy, gluten, eggs, grains, and more find awesome recipes, cooking tips, articles, product recommendations and how-tos. The app shows you how having diet/health/food preferences can be full of delicious abundance rather than restrictions.
The Food Monster app has over 8k recipes and 500 are free. To access the rest, you have to pay a subscription fee but it’s totally worth it because not only do you get instant access to 8k+ recipes, you get 10 NEW recipes every day! You can also make meal plans, add bookmarks, read feature stories, and browse recipes across hundreds of categories like diet, cuisine, meal type, occasion, ingredient, popular, seasonal, and so much more!
Lead image source: Jeweled Yellow Rice With Pignoli Nuts and Golden Raisins