It’s time to start planning for the most anticipated meal of the year – Thanksgiving dinner. Some dishes are easy – you know you’ll serve Dad’s favorite mashed potatoes and gravy, Mom’s apple, and mushroom stuffing, the green bean casserole Uncle Dave can’t get enough of, and the pumpkin pie from the recipe Grandma says was passed down from her grandmother.
When it comes to the main dish, however, things might get a little more complicated. If you’re eating plant-based, it’s easy to veganize all the other dishes but what will you do when the turkey is off the table?
Not to worry, we have you covered. There are plenty of meat-free options that are so delicious, so satisfying and so incredible, no one will miss the turkey. You can make a vegan roast or serve a “meaty” dish of tofu, seitan, or tempeh. Veggies make great main dishes as well as pasta dishes.
If you need a few tips, check out 7 Delicious Ways to Celebrate Thanksgiving Without Turkey. Then browse through these 25 Meatless Thanksgiving Main Courses and you’re sure to find a few that you’ll be excited to try this year. Need more? You got it.
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 more meat-free main dishes for your Thanksgiving feast.
1. Bœuf Bourguignon Végétalien
Source: Bœuf Bourguignon Végétalien
This Bœuf Bourguignon Végétalien by Renee McKenzie is a vegan version of the beloved traditional French dish. Made with tofu and mushrooms, it’s rich, hearty, and delicious. You can also make it in the crockpot while you prepare dessert. Julia Child would be proud!
2. Black Bean Chili Pot Pie with Cumin Sweet Potato Crust
Nothing says love from the oven quite like pie! These Black Bean Chili Pot Pies with Cumin Sweet Potato Crust by Alison Murray are comfort food personified. These hearty, individually-sized veggie pies are healthy and delicious with black beans, veggies, and a spiced sweet potato crust. Guests will love being served their own little pot pie – no sharing is required.
3. Not Your Mama’s Seitan Pot Roast
Source: Seitan Pot Roast
Pot roast is a family meal, and this Seitan Pot Roast by Dawn Kriss is kind of what your mom would have prepared for dinner but meat-free. It has 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, work on the rest of your holiday feast and it will be ready and waiting at dinnertime.
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. Pumpkin Gnocchi in Spiced Butter Sauce with Lemon Cashew Cream
Source: Pumpkin Gnocchi
Serve your guests a dish that looks and sounds gourmet but is easy to make. This luscious homemade Pumpkin Gnocchi by Rhea Parsons is blanketed in richly spiced vegan butter sauce and then served with lemon cashew cream. They’ll think you sweated it out in the kitchen all day. Let them.
5. Stuffed Seitan Roast
Source: Stuffed Seitan Roast
Sure you can buy a vegan roast but why not make your own? This Stuffed Seitan Roast by Josephine Watmore 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.
6. Comforting Kale Pesto Pasta Casserole
Source: Kale Pesto Pasta Casserole
This Kale Pesto Pasta Casserole by Florian Nouh is filling, delicious, and so easy to make! It has an especially savory, umami twist thanks to the addition of sun-dried tomatoes and olives. Thin strips of sautéed eggplant are mixed in with the pesto. An absolutely lovely highlight is the crust, which is made of gluten-free bread crumbs mixed with olive oil and garlic. It’s crunchy, hearty, and perfect!
7. Country ‘Meatloaf’ With Gravy
Source: Country ‘Meatloaf’ with Gravy
This Country ‘Meatloaf’ with Gravy by Katie Koteen is a wonderful recipe for feeding a crowd during the holidays. It’s hearty and savory enough to satisfy meat eaters and healthy enough to get us through the holidays without putting on a few extra pounds. Serve it with or without the gravy or top it with sautéed mushrooms.
8. Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms With Maple Miso Balsamic Sauce
Source: Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
These Italian-inspired Farro Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms by Sophia DeSantis look like they waltzed right off of a fancy restaurant menu, but they’re super easy to make! Creamy kale-radicchio pesto and umami maple miso balsamic sauce drizzled on top elevates this dish into a real work of art. It’s perfect for any holiday feast or dinner any night of the week!
9. Tempeh Shepherd’s Pie
Source: Tempeh Shepherd’s Pie
This Tempeh Shepherd’s Pie by Katie Koteen is the perfect autumn meal made vegan. Crumbled tempeh and veggies make up the flavor-packed filling, and it’s topped with your traditional mashed potatoes. Hearty and delicious, this is a crowd-pleaser.
10. Lemon and Walnut Linguine with Roasted Broccoli
Sometimes the best dishes are deceptively simple like this light and delicious Lemon and Walnut Linguine with Roasted Broccoli by Sarah Gory. It has mellow and sweet roasted garlic; broccoli roasted with lemon and chili flakes and a toasted breadcrumb-walnut mixture that gives the whole dish a depth of flavor.
11. Mushroom Ravioli with Creamy Leek Sauce
This Mushroom Ravioli with Creamy Leek Sauce by Kyra Howearth is a total Italian grandma recipe – hearty mushroom ravioli coated in a creamy, comforting leek sauce. It’s hearty, satisfying, and delicious. Make sure everyone gets seconds (and thirds) as a true grandma would.
12. Roasted Vegetable Phyllo Bundles
Source: Roasted Vegetable Phyllo Bundles
These Roasted Vegetable Phyllo Bundles from Noming Thru Life are a beautiful way to put a bunch of veggies on everyone’s plates. Just imagine a bunch of roasted veggies topped with vegan cheese and wrapped in light, flaky phyllo dough. Mmm … these little phyllo bundles are just flaky bowls of roasted veggie goodness.
13. Kale and Chickpea Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
Stuffed squash is an autumn favorite. Change it up by changing the type of squash you stuff. This Kale and Chickpea Stuffed Spaghetti Squash by Maria and Alyssa Tosoni is proof that veggies don’t have to be side dishes. It’s filled with sautéed kale, chickpeas, and toasted almonds. It’s filling, wholesome, and tastes as good as it looks!
14. Rustic, Creamy Portobello Stroganoff
This Rustic, Creamy Portobello Stroganoff by Rebecca Weller is a beautiful dish to serve during the holidays. It’s hearty enough so everyone will be satisfied and not even realize they’re eating healthy food. The Portobello mushrooms give it a deep flavor and a thick, ‘meaty’ texture while the cashew cream and herbs envelop it in creamy decadence.
15. Tempeh Marsala
Source: Tempeh Marsala
This Tempeh Marsala by Bianca Scartabello would feel right at home on the menu of any neighborhood Italian restaurant! Tender cubes of tempeh and sliced mushrooms are simmered in a flavorful and creamy marsala wine sauce, making for a hearty meal that is sure to satisfy everyone’s appetite. Call your kitchen Chez You!
16. Vegan Cioppino (Italian-Style ‘Fish’ Stew)
Source: Italian-Style ‘Fish’ Stew
This hearty and rustic Italian-Style ‘Fish’ Stew by Florian Nouh was inspired by “cioppino,” a classic fish stew. In this vegan version, tofu stands in for the fish, but the rest remains the same – vegetables and herbs simmered in a flavorful tomato broth.
17. Pesto Pappardelle with Artichoke Chickpea Meatballs
Pasta is always a winning choice and this Pesto Pappardelle with Artichoke Chickpea Meatballs by Michelle Lee gets a blue ribbon. Light, yet deeply flavored veggie meatballs are served with pappardelle pasta tossed in a homemade pesto packed with fresh herbs and greens. Seared artichoke hearts and chopped fresh tomatoes complete the dish. This recipe looks expensive, fancy, and time-consuming but it’s so easy, you’ll have gourmet pasta in no time!
18. Spicy Potato Casserole With Tofu ‘Chorizo’
Take all the flavors you love about baked potatoes topped with vegan chili and turn them into a hearty dish that can feed a crowd. This Spicy Potato Casserole with Tofu Chorizo by Kelly Williams has layers of thinly sliced potatoes doused in a spicy tomato-based sauce. Adding black beans and tofu “chorizo” increases the protein content and gives lots of texture to a saucy dish.
19. Show-Stopping Lentil and Eggplant Lasagna
Lasagna is always a great choice for a dinner that needs to feed a crowd. This Show-Stopping Lentil and Eggplant Lasagna by Lera Krasovskaya is wholesome, yet still totally satisfying. Whole wheat lasagna noodles, tofu, lentils, and eggplant give this pasta dish a hearty bite and awesome flavor. Plus, who doesn’t love hearty, saucy vegetables layered between noodles? No one we know.
20. Gluten-Free Veggie Roast
Source: Gluten-Free Veggie Roast
This Gluten-Free Veggie Roast by Anja Cass is perfect for anyone who needs a gluten-free meal and can’t eat the store-bought vegan turkey. It’s made with beans, and rice, and has tons of flavor. Now no one will feel left out of the holiday meal.
21. Pan-Fried Tofu Steaks With Coriander Cream and Asparagus Spears
Impress your guests with these beautifully composed dishes of Pan-Fried Tofu Steaks with Coriander Cream and Asparagus Spears by Rebecca Weller. These spicy tofu steaks, tangy herb dressing, and fresh, crunchy greens combine to create a delicious meal in less than half an hour, so you have plenty of time to work on dessert.
22. Portobello Mushroom Steaks
Source: Portobello Mushroom Steaks
Serve steaks this Thanksgiving – these Portobello Mushroom Steaks by Kathleen Henry, of course. Sauteed with onions, balsamic vinegar, mirin, and herbs, these steaks are juicy, chewy, and so satisfying. So dust off your steak knives for this veggie dish.
23. Seitan in a Balsamic Wine Reduction
This Seitan in a Balsamic Wine Reduction by Dawn Kriss will have your guests thinking they walked into a fancy restaurant by mistake. With tender seitan simmered in a flavorful balsamic wine sauce, you’ll probably have to insist you made it yourself at home. Make this dish if you want to impress your friends, family, or your sweetheart with your cooking prowess.
24. Lentil Chili Pot Pie With Pumpkin Cornbread Topping
Source: Lentil Chili Pot Pies
Your guests will smile wide when you put these individually-sized Lentil Chili Pot Pies by Leah Moldowan down in front of them. It’s a hearty veggie-filled lentil spicy chili topped with a slightly sweet and fluffy pumpkin cornbread that also happens to be gluten-free.
25. Tofu Piccata
Source: Tofu Piccata
This Tofu Piccata by Rhea Parsons is an elegant entrée that will impress any guest. A vegan version of the classic Italian dish, this has tofu cooked in a delicious sauce of vegan butter, white wine, parsley, garlic, lemons, and capers. This dish is so amazing; it will have people shouting, “Bravo!” and asking for an encore.
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