8 Vegan Thanksgiving Main Dish Recipes
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Thanksgiving originated to give people a day to stop and reflect on the many blessings they have in their lives. While you might have graced your dining table with a turkey over the years, there’s no rule saying that the bird has to take center stage.
Why not consider throwing a cruelty-free celebration this year? There’s no need for the vegans at your Friendsgiving feast to resign themselves to side dishes. The eight Thanksgiving main dish recipes below will delight any palate — even those belonging to the carnivore crew.
What is seitan? It’s also known as wheat gluten, but unless you have celiac disease or an intolerance, it’s one of the best vegan protein sources. It’s created by washing wheat flour dough until you remove all the starch, leaving behind a fibrous mass that mimics the texture of poultry.
Another quality protein source for vegans comes from beans. This version uses cannellini and blends them with wheat gluten. Some folks put additional to the side for making a vegan stuffing to pair with the roast.
Do you long for the traditional stuffing-on-the-inside experience without killing the bird? You can’t go wrong with this vegan sourdough bread stuffed roast. You can even use store-bought stuffing for the middle — or make a healthier version with whole-grain bread you leave sitting out to go stale.
This recipe also calls for seitan, meaning you’ll enjoy a poultry-like texture if you knead the dough according to directions. It helps if you make a sample roast in preparation before the big day to experiment with getting the consistency exactly the way you like it.
What is jackfruit? It comes from a tropical tree but contains stringy flesh, making it an excellent substitute for carne asada when cooking vegan Mexican meals. When it comes to Thanksgiving, you can use it to craft a roast with a crispy skin so realistic that you won’t believe your main course never clucked.
The Herbs de Provence gives this dish a sophisticated flavor that barely needs gravy. The rice paper “skin” helps to seal in the moist flavor. Leftover slices of this roast make for an excellent sandwich.
What’s another fabulous vegan protein source? If you said “nuts,” you win first prize at the county fair. This recipe uses chestnuts to create the signature harvest flavor while filling your guest’s bellies and keeping them satisfied.
The fantastic fall flavor doesn’t stop there, however. This dish also uses squash and sweet potato. It marries perfectly with traditional Thanksgiving sides that you might already prepare using cruelty-free butters and oils to make your feast a completely vegan affair.
Are you starting to become convinced that there are plenty of vegan protein sources out there? Lentils are yet another resource to turn to for this macronutrient. These tiny legumes’ thick, hearty texture makes them a filling and pleasing alternative to animal flesh.
If you’re watching your cholesterol levels, this meal could help lower your numbers. The roast also contains beans and oats, two high-fiber ingredients with the power to bust arterial sludge. The balsamic and onion gravy is dark, savory and full of flavor to top this dish and your potatoes and stuffing.
Here’s another roast that uses nut meat to replace animal flesh. This recipe calls for hazelnuts, a slightly more bitter variety. However, the orange more than sweetens the taste, and the red lentils and quinoa soften the texture.
Cranberry sauce is already a Thanksgiving staple. This recipe comes with a fresh version you can use as a roast topper or a spectacular side by itself.
Are you seeking a slightly more exotic flavor for your holiday table? You can’t go wrong when west meets east in this barbecue teriyaki holiday roast that doesn’t need any gravy to explode with rich taste.
The traditional version of this recipe calls for you to slice the tofu first for maximum marinade flavor. You can still serve it like you would sliced turkey — the magic is all in the plating.
Finally, cauliflower makes an outstanding low-carb and vegan alternative main dish for your holiday meal. This recipe is ideal if anyone on your guest list is following a Paleo or Keto meal plan.
The mustard and parmesan give this roast a delightful crust and flavor that requires no additional seasoning. However, you can feel free to cover this in your favorite vegan gravy, too.
Even Carnivores Delight in These 8 Vegan Thanksgiving Main Dish Recipes
Who said you had to kill a bird to throw a holiday feast to remember? Even carnivores will delight in the eight vegan Thanksgiving main dish recipes here.