~ Looking for vegetarian meal recipes for your Thanksgiving celebration? We’ve got ya covered! Vegetarians and meat-eaters alike will be fighting over these fabulous (healthy!) Thanksgiving vegetarian main dishes! In fact, with so many veggie-filled main attractions, the turkey just might be forgotten this year! ~
This time of year, I always feel a little worried about my friends and family who happen to be vegetarian. With so much focus on the Thanksgiving turkey … will they find enough that’s special for them?
Particularly since my sister-in-law’s vegetarian, and we’re almost always with her at Thanksgiving, I typically have this dilemma in the back of my head, wanting her to have a meal to look forward to, just as much as those of us who’ll be tucking into the turkey.
Seems that, a lot of times, at a big Thanksgiving feast, vegans and vegetarians settle for picking through the side dish offerings, with no hope of enjoying a main dish.
In fact, I was talking with a close (vegetarian) friend just yesterday, and she actually seemed surprised that I would worry for her. She said nobody else had ever been particularly concerned about what she would find to eat at the Thanksgiving buffet. She’d simply gotten used to cobbling together her Thanksgiving dinner out of some homemade stuffing, sweet potato casserole, and green beans.
I personally adore Thanksgiving side dishes, and often I’d much rather eat those than the turkey, to be honest. But still – why can’t vegetarians and vegans have their own Thanksgiving main dish to look forward to each year? A centerpiece-jaw-dropper doesn’t have to be all about the meat – especially when there are so many wonderful ways to turn autumn’s beautiful produce into main-dish superstars!
Plus, my collection of “everyday” family Vegetarian Dinners was such a crazy-popular blockbuster hit … I knew there would be interest in special occasion, holiday vegetarian meals, too.
So I got to work, searching for the most inspired, eye-popping, delicious (and healthy!) Thanksgiving vegetarian main dish recipes I could find (many actually happen to be vegan, too).
With fall-favorite ingredients like squash and pumpkin, cranberries and sweet potatoes, these recipes are perfect for Thanksgiving, but most of them would also be gorgeous for winter holiday celebrations (or hey – even to class-up a typical weeknight dinner).
While they’re all specifically chosen to be showcased as satisfyingly filling main dishes, several of these recipes can double as lovely side dishes that vegetarians can share with their meat-loving friends. Everyone wins, right?!?!
There’s just one problem I feel I should mention: after one look at the vegetarian main dish you’re enjoying … all those meat-loving friends just might ignore their turkey!
See what I mean …
Stuffed Pumpkins with Wild Rice Stuffing from Briggitte at Vegan Guide to the Galaxy
Vegetarian Wellington from Marina at Yummy Mummy Kitchen
Healthy Instant Pot Cauliflower with Delicious Gravy from Swati and Tushar at Watch What U Eat
Vegan Lentil Loaf with Gravy (includes recipes for Pumpkin-Sweet Potato Mash and Cranberry Pear Sauce) from Sina at Vegan Heaven
Vegan Polenta Stacks with Squash & Cashew Cream from Cadry at Cadry’s Kitchen
Vegan Stuffed Acorn Squash from Aysegul at Foolproof Living
Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie from Debi at Life Currents
Smoky Southern-Style Meatless Meatloaf from Linda at Veganosity
Rustic Sweet Potato & Beet Galette with Sea Salt & Herb Coconut Oil Crust from Kare at Kitchen Treaty
Savory Pumpkin Lasagna from Mary at Goodie Godmother
Sweet Potato Seed Loaf Roast from Trinity at Trinity’s Conscious Kitchen
(Trinity also has a similar recipe for Seed & Carrot Roast Loaf you might like to try.)
Mini Vegetable Wellingtons from Alex at Delish Knowledge
Stuffed Butternut Squash from Jyothi at Curry Trail
Vegan Lentil Loaf from Marina at Yummy Mummy Kitchen
One Pot Cheesy Broccoli Chickpea Rice Casserole from Marcie at Flavor the Moments
Vegetarian Stuffed Kabocha Squash from Sandi at Fearless Dining
Mushroom Seitan Roast from Susan at FatFree Vegan Kitchen
Healthy Vegetarian Pot Pie from Elena at Happy Kitchen.Rocks
Portabella Stuffed Sweet Potatoes from Cassie at Wholefully
To round out your Thanksgiving menu, be sure to check out our collection of:
- 53 Best Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes (lots of vegetarian ideas there!)
Or try some of our own THK-favorite vegetarian side dish recipes, like our:
- 5-Minute Savory Pumpkin Hummus with Fresh Sage Appetizer (vegan)
- Thanksgiving Salad with Goat Cheese, Pears, Candied Pecans and Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Blistered Green Beans (vegan)
- Microwave Spaghetti Squash with Sage-Browned Butter and Toasted Walnuts
- Easy Cranberry Sauce with Apples, Pecans and Pineapple (5 Minutes and No Cooking!) (vegan)
And if you love Instant Pot cooking, be sure to take a peek at our list of:
- 17 Healthy Instant Pot Thanksgiving Recipes (That Save Precious Oven Space!)
Hope you’ve found plenty of inspiration to make this holiday the very best (and most delicious) ever!
Wishing you all a healthy, very happy Thanksgiving!
2 thoughts on “19 Best Healthy Thanksgiving Vegetarian Main Dishes”
I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 30 years now. I love thanksgiving, but yes, I’m often forgotten about. And, your friend that cobbles together a lackluster meal, that’s all too familiar for me. It’s better now than it was years ago, and I have a wonderful Aunt Kitty who makes me a special stuffing all my own. Honestly though, it really isn’t hard to make vegetarians not only welcome, but loved! Thanks for putting together this wonderful list. Happy thanksgiving to you and yours, and thanks for making me feel loved!
Oh Debi, you’re always such a total sweetheart, and it made me so ridiculously happy to hear from you – it’s been waaaay too long since we’ve done much checking in on each other, hasn’t it?!? It makes my heart hurt a little to hear you echo the sentiments my friend shared with me, and it makes me wonder all the more if I’ve done enough over the years to be sure to include menu items that will make my vegetarian friends and loved ones feel special and included. I’ll have to re-double my efforts! No one should feel forgotten at Thanksgiving! Happy, happy Thanksgiving to you, too – and thank you for sharing your recipe and your story, and for keeping in touch! Hugs, my friend! 😀 ~Shelley