When you're preparing for a holiday that's based around turkey, cooking appetizing dishes for the vegetarians on your guest list can be quite the challenge.
But there are plenty of crowd-pleasing plant-based dishes that satisfy and add some festive flair to your table. We've got you covered with five delicious vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes — including appetizers, entrées and desserts — that will have both your meat-free and meat-loving friends and family going in for seconds.
Video of the Day
Want more healthy recipes? Download the MyPlate app and get simple, tasty meals and snacks tailored to your nutrition goals.
1. Maple Spiced Cauliflower Roast With Pumpkin
If carving a Turkey isn't for you, try a cauliflower roast instead. Topped with a pumpkin-based gravy, this dish makes for an excellent turkey alternative for the vegetarians at the table. It only takes 16 minutes to prepare and definitely won't disappoint.
Cauliflower is loaded with fiber (about 8 grams in this dish), a nutrient that will not only keep digestion regular but will also promote satiety by preventing your blood sugar from spiking, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Get the Maple Spiced Cauliflower Roast With Pumpkin recipe and nutrition info here.
2. Vegetarian Skillet Stuffing
Thanksgiving just isn't complete without stuffing. And while the dish is traditionally prepared with chicken broth, this vegetarian recipe will satiate those stuffing cravings — no meat required.
This hearty side is prepared with whole-grain bread, making it a healthy alternative to typical stuffing made with sourdough or white bread. Whole grains are full of nutrients like fiber and iron but also contain some antioxidants you can't find in fruits or vegetables, according to the Whole Grains Council.
Get the Vegetarian Skillet Stuffing recipe and nutrition info here.
3. Thanksgiving-Inspired Ribollita
High in plant-based protein and low in fat, this recipe calls for a variety of fresh veggies, which will help keep your blood sugar low and provide you with an array of vitamins and nutrients, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Beans and legumes are a great source of cholesterol-free protein and fiber, according to Harvard Health Publishing. Beans are also high in potassium, which is especially helpful when you're eating a high-sodium Thanksgiving feast. While eating salty foods can raise blood pressure, potassium can help counteract these effects, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Get the Thanksgiving-Inspired Ribollita recipe and nutrition info here.
4. Smoky Maple Sweet Potatoes
These sweet potatoes are a great, lower-sugar alternative to candied yams. This comforting dish is prepared without oil yet maintains a rich flavor thanks to the seasonings. At only 87 calories per serving, this recipe will make the perfect carby side dish.
Plus, it boasts a host of health benefits. The starchy vegetable is high in carotenoids, like beta-cryptoxanthin, which is linked to lowering and combating inflammation, according to the Arthritis Foundation.
Get the Smoky Maple Sweet Potatoes recipe and nutrition info here.
5. Tasty Sweet Potato Puff
This sweet-potato-based treat will add a unique flavor to your dessert table. High in healthy fats and protein, this relatively low-calorie recipe needs about 50 minutes to prepare but will leave your home smelling like toasted pecan goodness.
Raw or roasted nuts, like pecans, may even help improve your artery and heart health by lowering harmful LDL cholesterol levels, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Get the Tasty Sweet Potato Puff recipe and nutrition info here.
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: "Fiber"
- Whole Grains Council: "Whole Grains 101"
- Mayo Clinic: "Vegetables and Fruits"
- Harvard Health Publishing: "Meat or Beans: What Will You Have? Part ll: Beans"
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "The Role of Potassium and Sodium in Your Diet"
- Arthritis Foundation: "Best Vegetables for Arthritis"
- Mayo Clinic: "Nuts and Your Heart: Eating Nuts for Heart Health"