We all know the best part of any Thanksgiving 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 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 its 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.
For those interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App – with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest meatless, vegan, plant-based, and allergy-friendly recipe resource to help you get healthy!
Also, don’t forget to check out our ultimate guide to plant-based recipes for Thanksgiving!
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 by Lisa Lotts are 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
Source: Root Veggie au Gratin
This Root Veggie au Gratin by Molly Patrick 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 by Kiki Vagianos 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.
Gratitude: Plant-Based Thanksgiving Cookbook
No other holiday captures the spirit of home cooking the way Thanksgiving does. This is why you need the ultimate Thanksgiving cookbook, One Green Planet’s Gratitude: Plant-Based Recipes to Create your own Thanksgiving Tradition! In the cookbook, you’ll find our 100 most popular plant-based thanksgiving recipes like Soft Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts, Spiced Apple Cake with Cashew Frosting, Sweet Potato Chocolate Pudding with Nut Crumble Topping, Cinnamon Apple Hand Pies, and hearty entrees like Roast Root Vegetable Stack With Dukkah, Vegducken: Butternut Squash Stuffed With Eggplant, Zucchini, and a Mushroom Lentil Stuffing, and Seitan Roast With Sausage and Pear Stuffing and Apple Cider Gravy and so much more!
4. Sweet Saffron Roasted Cauliflower and Peppers
Cauliflower gets some Spanish-inspired flair in this Sweet Saffron Roasted Cauliflower and Peppers dish by Alison Marras. The flavorful combination of turmeric, saffron, and roasted red peppers makes it something special. This is perfect for your holiday table!
5. Easy Roasted Sunchokes
Source: Easy Roasted Sunchokes
If you’ve never tried sunchokes or Jerusalem artichokes, start with these Easy Roasted Sunchokes by Dawn Kriss. 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 by Laura Peill 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
Source: Cheesy Cauliflower Gratin
Everyone loves potatoes made au gratin, but that can be heavy. This Cheesy Cauliflower Gratin by Rhea Parsons 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 by Renee Press. They’re simple to make and you can use any kind 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 by Michaell Johnson 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
Source: Roasted Root Veggies
Sometimes the simplest recipes are the best. These Roasted Root Veggies by Pauline Hanuise 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 by Liz Moody. The sauce is made from a quick blend of mint, parsley, and pepitas. It’s bright and fresh and makes a beautiful presentation.
12. Greek Scalloped Potato Gratin
Source: Greek Scalloped Potato Gratin
There’s nothing like creamy comfort food and this Greek Scalloped Potato Gratin by Kathleen Henry 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)
Source: Masaledar Sem
Masaledar Sem by Courtney West 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 by Rhea Parsons. 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 by Olivia Lin 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 by Lisa Lotts 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
Source: Buttery Skillet Cornbread
You might expect this Buttery Skillet Cornbread by Brandi Doming 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 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 by Christin McKamey 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 by Kimberly Espinel. 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
Source: Rosemary Buttermilk Biscuits
You can’t have a Thanksgiving table without buttermilk biscuits on it. These Rosemary Buttermilk Biscuits by Pamela Elizabeth 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 by Stephanie Darby 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 soup. They can be the star of a dish like these Caramelized Leeks with Romesco Sauce by Lara and Eduardo. 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
Source: Cheesy Sweet Potato Tots
There should always be side dishes that the kids will love. These Cheesy Sweet Potato Tots by Diana Johnson 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 platter of these babies.
24. Pumpkin Spice Biscuits with Feta Cheese
Yum, yum, yum! These Pumpkin Spice Biscuits with Vegan Feta by Rhea Parsons are outrageously delicious and a 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 by Cody and Natalie Gantz is a beautiful side dish that is satisfying, earthy, and delicious. Is there anything that cauliflower can’t do? We think not.
Easy Ways to Help the Planet:
- Eat Less Meat: Download Food Monster, the largest plant-based recipe app on the App Store to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy. You can also buy a hard or soft copy of our favorite vegan cookbooks.
- Reduce Your Fast Fashion Footprint: Take the initiative by standing up against fast fashion pollution and supporting sustainable and circular brands like Tiny Rescue that raise awareness around important issues through recycled zero-waste clothing designed to be returned and remade over and over again.
- Support Independent Media: Being publicly funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!
- Sign a Petition: Your voice matters! Help turn petitions into victories by signing the latest list of must-sign petitions to help people, animals, and the planet.
- Stay Informed: Keep up with the latest news and essential stories involving animals, the environment, sustainable living, food, health, and human interest topics by subscribing to our newsletter!
- Do What You Can: Reduce waste, plant trees, eat local, travel responsibly, reuse stuff, say no to single-use plastics, recycle, vote wise, switch to cold water laundry, divest from fossil fuels, save water, shop wisely, donate if you can, grow your own food, volunteer, conserve energy, compost, and don’t forget about the microplastics and microbeads lurking in common household and personal care products!