It’s almost Thanksgiving and time to plan the biggest dinner of the year. Whether you’re having a seitan roast, a casserole, or a giant platter of pasta, we think the best parts of the holiday dinner are the soups and side dishes.
You may think you’re serving so many dishes, you don’t need to make soup but you don’t have to serve huge bowls of soup. A small bowl of soup is a delicious way to whet everyone’s appetites. You could even serve the soup in shot glasses like an appetizer.
When it comes to side dishes, every family has their own traditions. Some want mashed potatoes while others want candied yams, some want Brussels sprouts while others want green beans. Whatever your traditions are, we have recipes to cover everyone’s favorites and even show you a few new ideas. Check out 25 Meatless & Dairy-Free Soups, Salads, and Starters for Your Thanksgiving and Side Dishes Are Always the Best Dishes: Here are 25 Incredible Vegan Side Dishes for Thanksgiving. Here are 20 more recipes for amazing soups and side dishes that everyone will be thankful for.
1. Scalloped Sweet Potatoes in Cauliflower Sauce
Rich, creamy, and oh, so very comforting, these Scalloped Sweet Potatoes in Cauliflower Sauce are a delicious addition to any dinner. This healthy carb meal is composed of thinly sliced sweet potato layered in between a velvety and garlicky Alfredo-like sauce made with cauliflower and almond milk. After some time in the oven, the potatoes become tender and the thick sauce becomes golden brown on top. Sprinkle with parsley and pepper and serve steaming hot!
2. Sweet Potato Soup With Kale and Crunchy Pine Nuts
When the days get shorter and colder, a bowl of hot soup like this Sweet Potato Soup With Kale and Crunchy Pine Nuts is the perfect thing to warm you up. Not only is this recipe easy to make but it also combines the richness of a potato soup with the healthy boost of kale and creamy coconut milk. Apples add a unique sweetness that is balanced out by the tanginess of the onions and the toasted pine nuts on top add a desirable crunch. Trust us, there is nothing better than this soup on a gloomy day.
3. Potato and Eggplant Bake
This warm and cozy Potato and Eggplant Bake is a guaranteed winner for any family gathering or party. Thinly sliced potatoes and eggplant are slathered in thick coconut cream, layered on one another, topped with bread crumbs and herbs, and then baked in the oven until crispy on top. Creamy and nourishing goodness at its finest!
4. Shorbat Adas: Middle Eastern Red Lentil Soup With Pita Croutons
Shorbat adas is a very popular Middle Eastern soup of lentils that is seasoned with lemon, cumin, and olive oil that’s typically served with pitas. In this Red Lentil Soup, collard greens are added for a boost of nutrition. Instead of pita bread, it’s served with crunchy za’atar spiced pita croutons. Overall, this is a tasty, nutritious, easy, and quick soup to get on the lunch table.
5. Curried Stuffed Mushrooms
Hollowed out mushrooms and mashed chickpeas may not sound that amazing on their own, but put them together and you have all the makings of a delicious and unique dish. In this recipe for Curried Stuffed Mushrooms, chickpeas are blended with onions, tomato, dried currants, and raw cashew butter, seasoned with curry powder, and then stuffed into white stuffing mushrooms. Serve these on a bed of fresh spinach leaves with some pumpkin seed garnish.
6. Braised Red Cabbage With Apples and Pecans
Fall is a time when even the side dishes are rich and comforting. In this Braised Red Cabbage With Apple and Pecans, red cabbage is cooked in apple cider and balsamic vinegar, and red wine with a touch of coconut sugar for added sweetness. Those notes of sweetness are rounded out by tart Granny Smith apples and toasted pecans for savoriness and crunch. This would be amazing served with a hearty veggie roast.
7. Moroccan Roasted Acorn Squash Soup
Roasted acorn squash is spiced with garlic, fresh ginger, and warm spices, then puréed with coconut oil into this smooth and decadent Moroccan Roasted Acorn Squash Soup that’s perfect for fall. Dates add to the sweetness of the acorn squash and play nicely with the warm spices. This thick, full-bodied creaminess is guaranteed to make you feel warm and cozy.
8. Spicy Fried Toffee Sweet Potatoes
Play up the naturally juicy and sweet flavor of sweet potatoes with this recipe for Spicy Fried Toffee Sweet Potatoes. In it, sweet potatoes are cut into thick slices, tossed in a thick caramel-like toffee sauce, and then sprinkled with sesame seeds for some added texture. These saucy potatoes are the perfect compliment to an otherwise savory dinner.
Succotash is an American Indian dish, hailing from New England, that was highly popular during the Great Depression because of its affordable ingredients and filling nature. Sometimes it was baked like a casserole or as a pot pie. This Succotash is made with fresh corn, lima beans, soybeans, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, margarine, shallots, garlic, thyme, chives with some marinated smoked tofu.
10. Onion Soup With Apple
With the colder days soon to come knocking on our doors, it’s time to indulge in comforting soups like this Onion Soup With Apples. The strong flavor of onion and the subtly sweet flavor of apples meld together perfectly in a broth that can be as light or as seasoned as you want to make it. Not to mention, it’s an absolute time saver — you can make it the night before and then keep it for tomorrow’s lunch or dinner. Serve with bread for dipping.
11. Savory Sweet Potato Fall Crescent Rolls
Hot and flaky, buttery and salty with a hint of sweet – that is what these Savory Sweet Potato Fall Crescent Rolls are all about. There is something to be said about freshly baked pastry dough with its melt-in-your-mouth crust. Top that with a sweet potato filling and it creates the perfect creaminess while the mushrooms and onions bring all the flavors together.
12. Scalloped Butternut Squash
This Scalloped Butternut Squash has all of the ooey-gooey cheese deliciousness you crave, without having to use any actual cheese! Tender butternut squash, cashews, vegetable broth, and nutritional yeast, are blended together to create a velvety, silky cheese sauce that pairs perfectly with the potatoes and onions. This dish is ultra comforting, supremely flavorful, and a guaranteed hit at any get-together!
13. Cauliflower Millet Mash
This Cauliflower Millet Mash is a wonderfully healthy alternative to the usual mound of mashed potatoes present on holiday tables year after year. Millet and cauliflower florets are blended together, swirled with crushed garlic and olive oil, and garnished with pepper and nutmeg. Does it taste identical to mashed potatoes? No. Is still absolutely delicious? You bet.
14. Herb-Infused Grilled Zucchini Soup
This Herb-Infused Grilled Zucchini Soup is a very simple soup that combines the rich flavor of fresh vegetables with the coolness of mint, served with smoky grilled zucchini. It’s light, but packed with flavor and perfect alongside sandwiches or a big salad. It can be served warm, just after cooking or cool, like a gazpacho.
15. Brussels Sprouts Stir-Fry
While roasted Brussels sprouts are a delicacy of their own, in this Brussels Sprouts Stir-Fry, the green veggies are stir-fried making the process much quicker and easier. Nothing too fancy is required to stir-fry them, just a bit of salt and pepper, and a zing of lemon if you desire. Top with some coconut flakes and dried cranberries for some lovely flavor contrast.
16. Creamy Turmeric Butternut Squash Soup
The chilly weather season simply isn’t complete without a delicious and warming bowl of butternut squash soup to comfort and nourish the body. This Creamy Turmeric Butternut Squash Soup is simple to make and packed full with beneficial ingredients like turmeric, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Top this vibrant puree with toasted seeds, crushed walnuts, or garlicky croutons, for some added flavor and texture
17. Kabocha With Maple Butter Glaze and Fried Sage
Butter squash is a delicious, golden-hued favorite in the fall, but if you feel like trying something new, check out this kabocha dish! In this Kabocha With Maple Butter Glaze and Fried Sage, the orange squash is sliced, tossed in a buttery mixture of maple sugar, cinnamon, and vegan butter, and then baked until brown. As if this wasn’t delicious enough, it’s also topped with crispy, fried sage, and plenty of pine nuts.
18. Butternut Squash and Black Bean Bisque
This hearty fall Butternut Squash and Black Bean Bisque may not include cashew cream, but make no mistake, it tastes like a bisque. Butternut squash is roasted, puréed, then returned to the soup pot to act as the base for black beans and couscous. This is the kind of rich, creamy soup that fills you up and keeps you full for hours to come.
19. Creamed Pearl Onions
Elegant and flavorful, these Creamed Pearl Onions will become a staple in family reunions, we guarantee it! Soft pearl onions are simmered in a buttery sauce tinged a creamy white from vegan sour cream and sprinkled with fresh thyme, parsley, and pepper. Make sure to serve this saucy dish with some quality bread on the side to soak up all of the deliciousness!
20. Curried Cauliflower Soup With Sweet Potato Noodles
This vegetable-packed, velvety Curried Cauliflower Soup With Sweet Potato Noodles will feed your cozy food cravings all throughout fall. This cauliflower-based soup is seasoned with a good dose of curry powder and blended with nutty cashew cream, then blended until smooth. Then, it’s topped with a pile of tender-crisp, coconut-scented sweet potato noodles.
21. Sage and Almond Pesto Roasted Potatoes
Who says sides are boring? These Sage and Almond Pesto Roasted Potatoes are crispy around the edges and fluffy and creamy on the inside. Just before roasting, they are tossed with a pesto made from almonds, bread crumbs, garlic, and fresh sage. Finish these off with fresh sage and watch them disappear faster than the main course.
22. Braised Leeks and Carrots With Toasted Crumb
It just doesn’t get any better than these Braised Leeks and Carrots With Toasted Crumb. Seriously. Spring green leeks and vibrant carrots are celebrated for their naturally delicious flavor. They are braised and brushed with olive oil, fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, and a bit of salt and pepper. This dish does not mask the essence of these veggies but rather, enhances it. It’s amazing how a little vegetable broth, fresh herbs, and a toasty oven-sauna transforms these raw vegetables into fork-tender succulence. Sprinkle with toasted pumpernickel crumbs for some added texture.
23. Sweet Potato, Carrot, and Ginger Soup
There’s nothing like starting Thanksgiving with a big bowl of this Sweet Potato, Carrot, and Ginger Soup. The carrots and sweet potatoes are roasted in the oven beforehand to give them a bold and rounded flavor. Ginger gives every spoonful an extra zing and a touch of cayenne pepper adds just enough spiciness to help keep you warm.
24. Cinnamon Roasted Pumpkin With Tahini Yogurt and Hazelnut Dukkah
Dukkah is an Egyptian spice blend made from herbs, toasted nuts, and warm spices … not what you would typically think to add to something like in this Cinnamon-Roasted Pumpkin, but the pairing is absolutely delicious. The pumpkin is perfectly tender and crispy around the edges, slighty sweet, and spicy from the cinnamon. The dukkah adds crunch while the creamy tahini yogurt adds cool flavors to the mix. This may be a side dish, but it may very well steal the spotlight.
25. Spicy Plum and Apple Chutney
Not sure what to do with all of the apples lying around your house? Here’s an idea: make this deliciously flavorful Spicy Plum and Apple Chutney! It has the sweetness of plums and apple, the spiciness from cinnamon, cumin, and ginger, and the perfect savory touch from garlic, onion, and a bit of salt. This chutney livens up any dish, tastes wonderful on a roasted piece of seitan, and perks up sandwiches instantly.
26. Cheesy Broccoli Soup
This Cheesy Broccoli Soup is so thick, rich, and creamy you would never know it’s dairy-free! Made with less than 10 ingredients, including cashews (for creaminess) and vegetable broth (for savory flavor), this dish is super easy to whip up. Enjoy this comforting soup on its own or serve it with toasted bread for dipping.
27. Thanksgiving Skillet Rolls
These Thanksgiving Skillet Rolls are like little pillowy dough puffs of happiness. They have a crispy exterior, a dense doughy center, and plenty of buttery flavor. Sprinkle with some rosemary and watch how quickly these rolls run out!
28. Roasted Purple Cabbage With Green Goddess Dressing
This Roasted Purple Cabbage With Green Goddess Dressing is proof that even cabbage can be flavorful and elegant. In this recipe, purple cabbage is roasted gently in the oven, dressed with a refreshing mixture of tahini and basil, and then topped with crunchy, smoky hazelnuts. This dish is delightfully textured, vibrant, and best of all, good for you!
29. Baked Tofu With Butternut Squash Sauce and Toasted Hazelnuts
Everyone will remember this Baked Tofu With Butternut Squash Sauce and Toated Hazelnuts. Tofu is cubed and then baked until golden on the outside and soft on the inside, then tossed with toasted hazelnuts and a creamy butternut squash sauce in this delicious Thanksgiving side. Toasted hazelnuts add a nutty flavor and crunchy texture that pairs perfectly with the soft baked tofu. Garnish with black pepper and fresh herbs for even more flavor.
30. Balsamic Mushrooms and Green Beans With Coconut Bacon
When you serve these Balsamic Mushrooms and Green Beans With Coconut Bacon chances are, your guests will want to devour an entire plate of them. Mushrooms of any kind and fresh green beans are stir-fried with a generous amount of fresh garlic, a splash of soy sauce, and just a bit of balsamic vinegar — just a small amount is enough. Coconut bacon brings some crunch and a burst of smokiness to the tangy, vinegar-y flavor of this side.
With richly flavored soups and mouthwatering side dishes like these, you may find yourself with tons of leftovers … of the main course. Happy Thanksgiving!
Lead image source: Cheesy Broccoli Soup