Skip to Content

Vegan Thanksgiving: Mission Possible! Great Vegan Thanksgiving Tips for Successful Holidays

Happy Thanksgiving Week everyone! If you are newly vegan/plant-based like I am, you’re probably getting quite nervous about the upcoming Thanksgiving dinner. What to make? How to please everybody? What to do if I’ll be traveling? Today I’m sharing my ultimate vegan Thanksgiving tips to make the upcoming holiday a success.

Ultimate vegan Thanksgiving tips and recipes - vegan Thanksgiving survival tips and recipes for beginners and experienced vegans

Here are a few questions that the newly vegan folk ask the most right before Thanksgiving:

  1. Where can I find good recipes of veganized classic Thanksgiving dishes?
  2. I’m traveling to another house and won’t be in charge of the menu. How can I make sure there will be something on the table that I can eat too?
  3. How should I act around my family and friends who might be skeptical of my newly adopted plant-based/vegan diet?
  4. Is it ok if I cheat?

Let’s tackle these questions one at a time.

Great Recipes for a Classic Vegan Thanksgiving


The Best Vegan Green Bean Casserole by Susan Voisin from I’m a big fan of Susan’s plant-based creations, and have always had good results when making her recipes.

Southern Asparagus Casserole by This dish sneaked in from the current Virtual Vegan Potluck!

Greens and salads:

Brussels Sprouts and Mushrooms, Get your greens on! Brussels sprouts haters might just reconsider after trying these.

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Chickpeas by Leanne at Nice Middle-Eastern touch.

Sautéed Beet Greens and Kale from Some sautéed veggies are a must on my table!

These three salad recipes from greens with hearts of palm, coleslaw, and a three bean salad.

In addition to these, a nice salad of fresh vegetables sprinkled with some lime juice always works!

Stuffing, a.k.a. dressing:

Vegan Southern-Style Cornbread Dressing, also from Sounds very hearty!

Gluten-Free Wild Rice Stuffing with Cornbread from Use Veggie broth for a vegan version.

Gluten-Free Stuffing with Persimmons from

How to survive Thanksgiving as a vegan - useful tips and recipes

Main Dishes:

Thanksgiving Meatless Loaf from This loaf is gluten- and grain-free, and should work well without gravy.

Savory Lentil Loaf from Lentils will add a nutritional punch to your holiday dinner.

No-Fu Loaf by Dreena Burton at I’ve made this one before, it’s delicious!

Seitan Stuffed with Walnuts, Cranberries and Mushrooms, once again from This dish might require a bit too much work, but it looks absolutely sensational!

Portobello ‘Steaks’ – the brain child of Lindsay at, and Ricki at Lots of flavor, none of the saturated fat of cow meat.

Gravies and sauces:

Gluten-Free Mushroom Gravy by Maggie from Maggie swears it’s the best gravy on Earth!

The Ultimate Vegan Gravy (mushroom-free) from

Cranberry Relish from Canned cranberry sauce doesn’t do it for you? Try this recipe instead.

Still want the sauce? Check out this Cranberry Citrus-Cider Sauce recipe from


Vegan Pumpkin Pie – the best tofu-free version, courtesy of renowned vegan chef Bryanna Clark Grogan.

Lemon Pie with Oatmeal Cookie Crust from Looks delicious, and the crust is nut- and margarine-free.

Double Chocolate Beet Bundt Cake from Another recipe from the current Virtual Vegan Potluck. Chances are, I’ll be making this for our Thanksgiving dessert!

More vegan holiday inspiration:

Looking for even more inspiration? Don’t forget about the ultimate cookbook called Google, as well as the mighty Pinterest!

Vegan Thanksgiving recipes and tips for new vegans

What to Do if You’re Going to Somebody Else’s House for Thanksgiving

If you’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving at a relatives’/friends’ house, there are a few things you can do to make sure vegan-friendly dishes are available for you and the party goes smoothly:

1. Let the host know that you’re vegan well in advance. ‘Well in advance’ means not the day before, and definitely not the moment you arrive at the party!

2. Bring a few dishes of your own! This will work best if you agree on the menu with the host so that to eliminate competing vegan and non-vegan versions of the same dish.

3. If all fails and you don’t have a large variety of vegan dishes to eat, let it be! You came to the party to socialize, and not to stuff your mouth, right?

4. Make peace with the fact that there will be meat and other non-vegan foods at the table. This is not the best time to get snobby. After all, the main purpose of Thanksgiving is spending time with our family and friends while being thankful for what we have – not being judgmental.

Vegan Thanksgiving survival tips and recipes

Speaking of judgmental people…

How Should I Act Around My Family and Friends Who Might Be Skeptical of My Vegan Diet?

We’ve all been there: we fall in love with an idea, and then inevitably face criticism from others when we try to tell them about how great that idea is. I’m not trying to convince you to hide the fact that you are a vegan now – that will be pretty obvious to everyone at your party. What I’m trying to say is, being nice and neutral in your answers to tricky questions will take you further than getting defensive.

Actions speak louder than words: if your family and friends see the improvements in your health, appearance and outlook after you’ve been eating a plant-based/vegan diet for a while, they’ll be more likely to believe that your new diet might have some merit. Thanksgiving table should not be turned into a battleground where you’d want to conquer other people’s opinions, or defend your opinions until you’re the last one standing.

Speaking of the actions that are louder than words…

Is It OK if I Cheat/Stray from My Vegan Diet during the Holidays?

Yes, taking a bite of something that’s nowhere near vegan is not a crime that will put you in jail. But here’s the deal: how are you ever going to show your friends and family that you are serious about your newly adopted diet if they see you cheating on it left and right? That is, of course, if you indeed are serious about being vegan/plant-based.

Ask yourself why you decided to commit to this diet/lifestyle after all. Evaluating my own reasons helps me every time I feel weak and want to take a piece of cheese from some delicious-looking cheese plate selection. However,  that little piece of cheese most likely won’t even taste that good, and the feeling of regret I’ll get will outweigh any pleasure from eating it!

It took me a few months after going vegan to realize that, in a way, I am (sort of) an ambassador of this lifestyle to everyone around me. The non-vegan people will only stop bullying and start respecting my choices if they see my strength in making them, and witness the success that follows after I’ve been following this diet and lifestyle for a while.

Are you an ambassador of plant-based/vegan diet and lifestyle, for whatever reasons you might have? The answer is yours this Thanksgiving.

turkey decor (2)

Okay, let me soften the blow a bit: if you find yourself craving some non-vegan dish, how about you research the ways to make a vegan version of it next time? You just might be surprised with how good it can turn out! As I mentioned above, cheese is my weak spot, but there are lots of festive homemade vegan cheese recipes out there, like this one from for example!

Anyway, I hope you have a great time celebrating Thanksgiving this week! Go out there and have fun, and remember: ’tis the holiday to celebrate everything we are grateful for, and not just eat lots of food!

Images for this post courtesy of

If you’ve enjoyed this post, share it with your friends on social media! And stick around for more awesomeness – subscribe to Vegan Runner Eats to receive the latest posts (I’ll send you a free copy of my vegan dinner recipe e-book as a thank you), or follow the blog on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

author avatar
Alina Zavatsky - Vegan Runner Eats
Alina first made a switch to a vegan diet in 2013 to optimize her athletic performance as a marathon runner. Eventually she embraced veganism as a way to be kinder to fellow living beings and the environment. Alina hopes that this blog helps its readers on their path to becoming vegan and making this world a better place.

Shannon @

Monday 25th of November 2013

Oh man, does that lemon pie with oatmeal cookie crust look great or what? That's one I'm saving!


Tuesday 26th of November 2013

I know, I've been thinking of making it one of these days...

Stephanie, The Recipe Renovator

Monday 25th of November 2013

Thanks for including my stuffing recipe in this great round-up Alina! Happy UnTurkey Day!


Tuesday 26th of November 2013

You're welcome Stephanie! Your stuffing looks delicious!