Vegan Thanksgiving Sides

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Thanksgiving can be tough for vegans. The good news is that with just a little effort, a little soy milk, and some thickener, all of the most popular Thanksgiving sides can be recreated without any meat for vegans.
Thanksgiving can be tough for vegetarians and vegans. The holiday has become synonymous with eating massive amounts of food, particularly massive amounts of turkey. While there are meatless turkey alternatives out there, they only cover the main course and can leave out all of the things you make with turkey: gravy, dressing, etc. The good news is that with just a little effort, a little soy milk, and some thickener, all of the most popular Thanksgiving sides can be recreated without any meat.


Call it dressing or stuffing, either way making a vegan version of this quintessential Turkey Day dish is easy. All you need is one recipe's worth of vegan cornbread, or about half a loaf of vegan bread (the denser the better). In fact, this recipe would work well for those trying to avoid gluten if you used a gluten-free loaf since they are very dense.

All you need to do is crumble the bread and put it into a greased, oven-safe container. Sauté 2 to 3 stalks of sliced celery and a diced onion with several sprigs of thyme and black pepper until the celery is soft. Pour the vegetable mixture over the bread, then pour in vegetable stock until the bread is fully saturated. Bake in a 350 degree F oven until the top is brown and crusty.

>>>Check out the FabulousFoods roundup up our favorite Thanksgiving recipes!

Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are a little more challenging because people like them creamy, which usually comes from heavy cream and butter. However, the same effect can come from beating the potatoes with soy milk and a little of the water in which they were cooked. Also, because the butter and cream help give flavor to the potatoes, you might want to add garlic, green onions, or vegan cheddar to enhance the flavor. Using celery root instead of potatoes would also be a nice change and give the mash a very different flavor. 


Of all the traditional vegan sides, gravy seems like it should present the greatest challenge since most Thanksgiving gravies are made of milk, thickener, and meat drippings. However, delicious vegan gravies are very easy. 

First, roast carrots, celery, onions, and garlic cloves in a 250 degree F oven for an hour, until they start to caramelize. Put the vegetables into a soup pot, add veggie stock, and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the broth has taken on the flavor of the vegetables. Then add an arrowroot or corn starch slurry (2 tablespoons arrowroot to 1 tablespoon of water) and mix well. The sauce should thicken almost immediately and you will have delicious brown gravy.

Cranberry Sauce

Forget the stuff in a can. Even if you can find a canned cranberry sauce that claims to be vegan, why go for something that has been processed when you can make your own? Just add 2 cups of cranberries to a saucepan and add just enough orange juice to cover them. Bring the orange juice to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Continue cooking until the cranberries pop, stirring occasionally.

>>>Get even more Vegan Thanksgiving recipes!