The Ultimate Meat-Free Thanksgiving Menu
Our intern Alex is making so many amazing dishes on Thanksgiving that we had to stop her from telling us about them and get her to write a story about all the amazing twists she puts on a meat-less Thanksgiving! Even the pickiest of us down here at the station got hungry listening to her talking about it. So here goes!
Thanksgiving is right around the corner. 2020 has been filled with surprises left and right, and holidays this year may be slightly different, but one thing that won't change is FOOD.
Turkey and dressing is a staple in just about every household, but it's 2020, and there are so many vegetarians and vegans who are loud and proud to be meat-free. Personally, I have been meat-free for 16 years; that's almost impossible in BBQ central Texas. I know how plain and bland holiday meals can be if you skip turkey and ham. I remember one year heating up Tofurkey, yes, it is a thing, in the oven for my Thanksgiving meal. It was basically the thinnest slice of fake turkey deli meat you could imagine, and I had it with a side of mashed potatoes and called it a day-- pathetic. However, those days are long gone! There are some pretty amazing recipes these days. So let's give those who chose to ditch the turkey and dressing this year a little something to look forward to this Thanksgiving.
You have to ease yourself into the feast. So let's start with some small easy appetizers to get the party started.
You cannot go wrong with hummus. The best thing about this appetizer is it's so versatile and can be customized. There are so many variations that can be done to alter this little snack to your taste buds likings. If you don't have time to whip up some homemade hummus, my go-to is Sabra Roasted Garlic Hummus. Make sure to throw in some pita bread, Naan, and pretzels to dip and you are all set.
This is such a simple appetizer that is sure to help kickstart your thanksgiving feast, right. This recipe is easy to follow and has tons of pictures, my favorite. For my vegan readers, although this recipe calls for cheese, you could easily replace it will a vegan cheese; my favorite is pretty much anything by Daiya, but this Daiya mozzarella would be an excellent replacement in this recipe.
Sides-- not to be mistaken for appetizers. These sides got a little more heartiness to them so don't go so hard, remember you go the main course coming up soon.
Loaded Mashed Taters
Mashed potatoes are a must during Thanksgiving, but there's not the reason they need to be boring. Try sprucing up your taters with some cheese and crispy veggie bacon. Chefs Secret: Add a dollop or two of sour cream to the mix for some extra richness.
I'm going to blow your mind right now. A can of black beans, a can of corn, and pico de gallo. Add a dash of salt, pepper, garlic, and lime, and BOOM! This is perfect any time of the year, so don't feel obligated to reserve it just for the holidays.
Mac N Cheese
Make it the traditional way, or get a lil fancy with some cavatini noodles, since it's the holidays. Either way, you knew mac n cheese was going to be on the list.
Okay, so it's not Thanksgiving without stuffing! But for our meat-free friends, we got to change it up a bit. I can vouch and say, do yourself a favor and go ahead and add squash to this recipe.
Here we go, now we're talking. It's the moment we have been waiting for. No need to ration out your slices of TOFUrkey, we have got something way better!
Shepard's Pie, so yum! This dish is so ideal in the colder weather, so Thanksgiving is perfect. You add your peas carrots and slaughter it with some fluffy mashed potatoes on top, yum! The best part of this recipe is the meat substitute. My absolute favorite is Impossible Meat. I've got to say that I have been meat-free for a good 16 years, and Impossible Meat is the most insanely spot on meat alternative that I have ever tried.
No, not the florets, roast the whole shebang! Ditch the turkey and grab the most giant cauliflower you can find. The best thing about this recipe is its simplicity; it only calls for five ingredients!
One hour vegan pot-pies? Say less! These pot-pies are packed with veggies and topped with a homemade thick and flaky vegan biscuit. Perfect for Thanksgiving, perfect for any chilly holiday. These pot pies are sure to be a hit for vegans and meat loves alike.
Now, this recipe takes a little more time than some of its counter partners previously mentioned, but sometimes the best things in life require a little arm work.