I’ve always found it ironic that the unofficial mascot of Thanksgiving is a turkey. Sure, it’s the traditional main dish, but let’s be honest, most people are far more excited about the sides that accompany it. Creamy mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, corn bread—those are the true stars of Thanksgiving.
Now yes, my love of sides stems mainly from their innate deliciousness and enticing aromas, but I also appreciate how easy it can be to make them plant-based. From butter to cheeses, traditionally animal-based products are becoming increasingly easier to find in plant-based form, making vegan Thanksgiving sides more commonplace.
While it’s not the only way to make your Thanksgiving more sustainable, a plant-based diet is an incredibly effective way to help heal our ailing planet, so why not make a few simple swaps where you can?
If you need some inspiration for this year’s meal, continue reading below for a round-up of delicious vegan Thanksgiving sides that may be worthy of dethroning that old unofficial mascot.
15 Vegan Thanksgiving Sides
1. Cornbread Stuffing
This savory cornbread stuffing incorporates roasted cranberries, sautéed leeks and onions, and pecans, making for a delicious plant-based take on the Thanksgiving classic.
2. Meatball Soup
This warm, comforting “meatball” soup is the perfect complement to your Thanksgiving spread. It does take a bit of time to prepare, but it’s well worth the wait.
3. Vegan Mashed Potatoes
If creamy, fluffy mashed potatoes are your Thanksgiving go-to, then look no further. Taking only 30 minutes to whip up, this recipe is as easy as it is appetizing.
4. Butternut Squash Soup with Sage
To me, butternut squash soup is the epitome of fall meals. Creamy and comforting—just a whiff sends me into autumnal bliss, so of course I had to include it on this list. This eight ingredient recipe is simple to put together and makes an excellent first course in your Thanksgiving line up.
5. Sweet Potato Mac & Cheese
This vegan Thanksgiving side combines two traditional crowd pleasers—sweet potato and mac and cheese for a creamy and decadent dish. Bonus: it has half the fat of traditional mac and cheese.
6. Hot Broccoli Dip
If you have a family of spice-lovers, this creamy broccoli dip is the perfect appetizer to break out. Completely plant-based, and perfect with toasted bread or chips, it’s sure to receive thumbs up all around.
7. Vegan Corn Casserole
This simple recipe makes use of veggies and vegan cheese for a hearty and delicious dish that’ll have guests coming back for seconds.
8. Green Bean Casserole with Cashew Cream
This dairy-free green bean casserole puts a plant-based twist on a Thanksgiving classic. It hits all the rich, creamy notes of your grandma’s casserole, just with a few healthy substitutions.
9. Roasted Rosemary Potatoes
With just seven ingredients, these deliciously spiced potatoes are easy to prep and make a great crispy alternative to their mashed cousins (though I won’t blame you if you serve both).
10. Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole
We all know that sweet potato casserole is usually a show stopper—everyone lines up to take one (or maybe two) large scoops. Things won’t be any different with this plant-based version. Just as creamy and decadent as always, guests may even line up for a third scoop.
11. Butternut Squash Salad
With roasted butternut squash, and crisp apples, this simple salad hits all the right autumnal notes. Works well as a side or an appetizer!
12. Brussel Sprout Slaw
This deliciously savory brussels sprout slaw is simple to make and comforting to enjoy. The MVP of this recipe—the coconut bacon, which adds a delightful crunch.
13. Butternut Squash Risotto
This hearty risotto is filled with such creamy goodness that you may not even notice that it’s dairy free.
14. Roasted Pumpkin Lasagna Boats
This pumpkin-based dish gives off all the fall vibes. It combines cloves, cinnamon, rosemary and more for a delicious side oozing with autumnal comfort.
15. Broccoli and Rice Casserole
The cashew sauce is the secret to this deliciously creamy casserole. Your guests may not even realize that there’s no cheese in it.
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