October 11, 2013

Recipes for a Vegetarian Thanksgiving

This weekend is one of my favourite holidays because it's mostly about the food - Canadian Thanksgiving! I'm sure most of you who are celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend already have your menus planned, but in case you're still looking for some ideas, I wanted to share some recipes from the blog that might fit into your meal (plus some ideas from other blogs)!

And for my American readers, you can get a head start on planning your own holiday meals next month!


Since you'll probably be busy preparing the big meal all day, a quick and portable breakfast might be the way to go. Muffins and scones can be eaten fresh out of the oven, or prepared a day or two ahead of time to save even more time!

These chai-spiced pear and walnut muffins would be a good choice for a healthy and seasonal grab-and-go breakfast or mid-morning snack to fuel you through a busy day!

Or, if you have a lot of sweet potatoes lying around, you could make these hearty sweet potato, coconut and ginger muffins (above) or these soft sweet potato cinnamon scones (below). Either of these ideas would be even easier to make the day after Thanksgiving if you end up having leftover mashed sweet potatoes from your meal!

If you're not into baked goods for breakfast, I think this sweet potato-pumpkin spread on toast would make a tasty breakfast too, plus it uses up both leftover sweet potato and pumpkin puree!

On the other hand, if a more elaborate and filling meal is more your style to kick off Thanksgiving morning, all of these vegan pumpkin inspired breakfast recipes sound pretty amazing to me too:

Other breakfast ideas:
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls from Eat, Live, Run
Pumpkin French Toast from Post Punk Kitchen
Pumpkin Spice Latte Waffles from Minimalist Baker
Whole Wheat Vegan Pumpkin Pie Pancakes from Prevention RD
Pumpkin Spice Breakfast Quinoa from Once Upon a Cutting Board


We always like to drink wine at our Thanksgiving get-together, but occasionally we'll complement the wine with a special cocktail - after all, it is a special occasion! Last year I enjoyed making these pumpkin apple cider cocktails with honey flavoured whiskey for myself around this time of year. If you're a fan of sweeter drinks, give this a try!

Other drink ideas:
Apple Orchard Punch from Once Upon a Cutting Board
Autumn Chiller (non-alcoholic) from CHOW
Cranberry Orange Spritzer (non-alcoholic) from Oh My Veggies
Hot Apple Ginger Toddy from the Kitchn to cozy up with at the end of the night!


These sweet potato bites are kind of like a bite-sized appetizer version of the classic sweet potato casserole dish found at many Thanksgiving dinners. Made from mashed sweet potato with a bit of maple syrup and spices, rolled in oats, walnuts, and coconut, and baked in the oven, these are a tasty option for people who love sweet potatoes (like me)!

Another appetizer that I've made a few times for holiday get-togethers are these goat cheese and almond stuffed dates. These are even better if you splurge on good quality dates, and you can use a flavoured goat cheese to make them even easier (I like honey-flavoured and fig-flavoured goat cheese). 

Dips and hummus are always a good option to have sitting out if people are hungry before the meal. This white bean dip with homemade multi-seed crackers would work well as an appetizer, and you could definitely use storebought crackers to save some time!

Other appetizer ideas:
Pumpkin Spice Cashew Cheese Dip from Happy.Healthy.Life
Sweet or Savory Sweet Potato Spread from Diet, Dessert & Dogs
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds from Oh She Glows (add your favourite sweet or savory spice combo)


A basket of bread is always a staple on our Thanksgiving table, and I especially like when it's freshly made! This dense and hearty sweet potato cornbread with rosemary and grated carrots would be a nice addition to your meal as something different from the usual dinner rolls. 

Another idea for a bread that would stand out in the meal is this grape focaccia, which is still one of my favourite recipes from the blog! I love the way grapes break down and get really soft and juicy in the oven, and the crispy shallots and rosemary are a nice touch too!

Other bread ideas:
Hearty Sweet Potato Braids from Once Upon a Cutting Board
Simple Vegan Cornbread from Pickles & Honey
Pumpkin Pull-Apart Rolls from Vegan Dad
Pumpkin Garlic Knots from Oh She Glows


I can only recall one Thanksgiving where we included soup as part of the meal, but if you like to serve your meal in courses rather than buffet-style, there are lots of recipes out there for warm and spiced soups to start off your meal! 

I made this curried pumpkin and cauliflower soup a couple of years ago and I can't believe that I haven't made it again since then because I loved it so much! Rich and smooth from the pumpkin puree without any dairy, this vegan soup would please everyone at the table! 

Or in case you have some cauliflower haters in your family, they might prefer this curried sweet potato, apple and peanut soup instead - it's similar in texture and flavour profile, but with some extra sweetness from the sweet potato and apple, and a nice peanut butter flavour. 

Other soup recipes:
Golden Trio Chipotle Soup from Happy.Healthy.Life (I've made this once and loved it!)
Roasted Garlic Soup with Cauliflower from Healthful Pursuit

Salads & Side Dishes

For a salad full of fall ingredients, you could try this pear and roasted squash salad with toasted nuts, pepitas, cranberries, goat cheese, and a sweet and creamy pear dressing. I volunteered to make the salad for our family's Thanksgiving dinner this weekend just so I could make this recipe again!

If you're feeling a bit adventurous and are willing to change up your traditional mashed potatoes with gravy this year, you could try this mashed rutabaga with kale and chickpea gravy! It may not taste quite the same as potatoes, but it's still delicious and healthy, and the savory gravy has lots of flavour too.

And if you're really adventurous, you might be interested in making this beet and parsnip mash! Thick and creamy, with a bright pink colour, this is a fun twist on mashed vegetables and tastes even better topped with a nutty vegan almond parmesan!

For some reason, my list of side dish ideas is full of vegetables that some people really hate - first rutabaga and kale, then beets and parsnips, and now squash and brussels sprouts! But if you're like me and love both squash and brussels sprouts, then you would love this warm dish with toasted almonds and a touch of sweetness. Plus it can be made on the stovetop, freeing up some of that precious oven space!

Other side dish ideas:
Onion Flowers from Once Upon a Cutting Board (these are gorgeous if you want to impress guests!)
Mashed Cauliflower with a Butternut Swirl from Dashing Dish (yet another mashed vegetable option!)
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Grapes from Whole Living (I plan on making this one for my family)

Main Dishes

I don't have a lot of main dish recipes on my blog that would be appropriate for Thanksgiving because most of the recipes that I make are just for myself! Even though there are two vegetarians in my immediate family, we don't bother to make a vegetarian main course at Thanksgiving because there's always enough veggie side dishes to fill our plates (not to mention bread, appetizers, and dessert!).

If I had to come up with a vegetarian main course to serve though, it would probably be this butternut squash and apple quinoa. This is probably the one recipe from my blog that I've made the most (I actually just made it again this week to have for lunches!) and I love it because it's full of lots of tasty ingredients! It makes for a prettier presentation if you can find red or tricoloured quinoa, but it tastes just as good with regular white quinoa.

Another main dish quinoa recipe is this version with roasted grapes, brussels sprouts and white beans. I love the sweetness of roasted grapes and brussels sprouts belong in any Thanksgiving dish in my opinion!

Other main dish ideas:
40 Vegetarian Main Dishes for Thanksgiving from Oh My Veggies - this list pretty much covers every type of main course, from stuffed veggies to casseroles and meatless loaves!


Pumpkin pie is my favourite part of the whole Thanksgiving meal, but if you're looking for something a bit different this year, why not try a sweet potato pie? This version is completely vegan, including the coconut whipped cream, and has an easy no-bake crust. 

Other dessert ideas besides pumpkin pie:
Concord Grape and Apple Pie from Eyes Bigger Than My Stomach
Vegan Pumpkin Pie Pudding from Girl Makes Food (if you love pumpkin pie but want a lighter option) 
Cranberry Pear Tart from My New Roots

And for a few more vegetarian/vegan Thanksgiving ideas, check out my Pinterest board!

Hope you all have a great weekend - whether you're celebrating a holiday with friends and family or just enjoying this beautiful sunny October weekend! 


  1. mmmmh we don't celebrate thanksgiving here in Italy, but all those recipes look SO GOOD! I am going to try and make them all in the next few weeks and choose my favorites for Christmas :)

    1. That's true, most of the dishes that North Americans eat for Thanksgiving dinner could also fit in at Christmas! I'd be impressed if you managed to try out even a few of these recipes in the next few weeks, but hopefully you find a couple that you like :)

  2. I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving! Ours is still a month away, which is good because I am so not ready. :) But lists like this help! Thanks for the links too!

    1. Thanks! Yeah, Thanksgiving crept up on us so quickly this year, I wasn't ready either! I can't wait to see what you make :)

    2. Awesome recipes!! Keep up the great job!!



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