10 Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes From Cauliflower Mash to Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cups

While preparing a vegetarian-friendly Thanksgiving can be rather simple (just skip the turkey), you may find yourself at a loss for seasonal vegan recipes. After all, even mashed potatoes usually require milk or cream.

Even your vegan family members will feel festive with these plant-based recipes. (Image: gilaxia/E+/GettyImages)

However, your guests following a vegan diet shouldn't miss out on the festivities — and with these vegan Thanksgiving recipes, they won't have to. As you prepare your Thanksgiving feast, try to incorporate some (or all) of these animal-free options.

Want more healthy recipes? Download the MyPlate app and get simple, tasty meals and snacks tailored to your nutrition goals.

A Vegan Thanksgiving Appetizer

Creamy Vegan Pumpkin Soup

You don't need dairy to make this soup creamy. (Image: Jackie Newgent, RDN/LIVESTRONG.com)

Pumpkin-flavored foods are a necessity at Thanksgiving and this creamy soup is a great way to check that box. This seasonal soup is only about 104 calories a serving and requires just a little over 30 minutes to prepare. The hearty recipe calls for coconut milk, instead of dairy, to create a creamy texture.

Get the Creamy Vegan Pumpkin Soup recipe and nutrition info here.

Vegan Thanksgiving Main Dishes

Saucy Braised Root Vegetable Entrée

This dish will give your Thanksgiving a pop of colorful veggies. (Image: Jackie Newgent, RDN/LIVESTRONG.com)

If you're looking to enhance your holiday table with a pop of color, this veggie-heavy dish will do the trick. Our braised vegetable dish is not only high in nutrients but also provides 9 grams of plant protein 7 grams of fiber per serving.

Especially for your vegan guests, it's important to provide some plant-protein-heavy and fiber-filled options. Protein keeps you full and fiber is a nutrient that actually slows the speed of your digestion, which can help keep you feeling full for longer, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Fiber can also help keep digestion regular and may even help reduce cholesterol.

Get the Saucy Braised Root Vegetable Entrée recipe and nutrition info here.

Stuffed Pumpkin With Herbed Quinoa and Pomegranate Arils

It's safe to say these mini pumpkins will be a crowd pleaser. (Image: Jackie Newgent, RDN/LIVESTRONG.com)

This decadent dish is sure to impress your guests, both vegan and not. These individual mini stuffed pumpkins pack 26 grams of protein per pumpkin and 25 grams of healthy, unsaturated fat.

This recipe is topped with pomegranate and may provide some heart-healthy benefits. Pomegranate has been known for its antioxidant content and anti-inflammatory benefits, however, the juicy fruit may also help lower blood pressure levels, according to a January 2017 study published in Pharmacological Research.

Get the Stuffed Pumpkin With Herbed Quinoa and Pomegranate Arils recipe and nutrition info here.

Vegan Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Smoky Maple Sweet Potatoes

Instead of candied yams, go with these maple sweet potatoes. (Image: Susan Marque/LIVESTRONG.com)

Swap your candied yams with these lower-sugar smoky sweet potatoes. This recipe doesn't call for oil but is still rich in flavor, thanks to the smoked paprika seasoning. All you need is 15 minutes to whip up this quick side.

Sweet potatoes are very high in vitamin A, providing more than 500 percent of your daily recommended value per one tater with the skin on, according to the National Institutes of Health. This vitamin helps promote good immune, vision and reproduction function.

Get the Smoky Maple Sweet Potatoes recipe and nutrition info here.

Roasted Beets

Including some beets on your plate can help counteract the affects of sodium. (Image: Maria_Lapina/iStock/Getty Images)

Considering Thanksgiving feasts are usually high in sodium, which can have some negative effects on blood pressure, incorporating some roasted beets is a great low-calorie way to counteract the effects of salt.

Beets are high in nitrates, which your body converts to nitric oxide during the digestion process, according to Harvard Health Publishing. While sodium can cause blood pressure levels to rise, nitric oxide can help widen and relax your blood vessels, which helps to lower blood pressure.

Get the Roasted Beets recipe and nutrition info here.

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

Butternut squash is high in vitamin C. (Image: Jackie Newgent, RDN/LIVESTRONG.com)

With few ingredients and only about 43 minutes of prep time, this vegan salad recipe will make an excellent side dish for all of your guests. Plus, it's low in saturated fat and packs only 269 calories per serving.

One cup of butternut squash provides 29 milligrams of vitamin C, which is about 33 percent of the daily recommended value. This vitamin is great for helping regenerate antioxidants in the body and it even helps you process protein, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Get the Roasted Butternut Squash Salad recipe and nutrition info here.

Sweet-Tart Cranberry Sauce

Swap regular table sugar for coconut sugar in this recipe. (Image: Jackie Newgent, RDN/LIVESTRONG.com)

Although most cranberry sauces are already vegan, this recipe calls for coconut sugar, which contains a bit more vitamins and minerals than your standard table sugar. The tropical-fruit-derived sugar packs in small amounts of vitamin C and minerals like iron, potassium and zinc.

Coconut sugar is also lower on the glycemic index than standard white sugar, which means that it won't spike your blood sugar levels as much.

Get the Sweet-Tart Cranberry Sauce recipe and nutrition info here.

Cauliflower Mash

This mash is a great lower carb mashed potato option. (Image: razmarinka/Adobe Stock)

Although mashed potatoes can also be a vegan dish, this cauliflower mash is a great lower-carb alternative. With 3 grams of both fiber and protein, this decadent veggie mash makes a great side dish for all diets, whether your guests are vegan or keto.

Get the Cauliflower Mash recipe and nutrition info here.

Vegan Thanksgiving Desserts

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cups

Peanut butte and chocolate is a delicious combo and this dessert even adds pumpkin. (Image: Sheri Silver/LIVESTRONG.com)

Who doesn't love the peanut butter and chocolate combo? This recipe even adds some pumpkin into the mix, giving your peanut butter cups a seasonal twist. These peanut butter cups are relatively low in sugar and even provide a little protein and fiber with each serving.

Although it can be a calorie-dense snack, peanut butter is high in healthy unsaturated fats, according to Harvard Health Publishing. While you're picking out your PB, go with an unsalted variety to spare your Thanksgiving dinner more sodium.

Get the Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cups recipe and nutrition info here.

Pumpkin Pie Freezer Fudge

Skip the oven with this freezer fudge. (Image: Sheri Silver/LIVESTRONG.com)

This fudge is not only vegan, but it's also low in carbs and sugar — and doesn't even require any baking! Due to the coconut oil content, this no-bake dessert is a little high in saturated fat. However, coconut oil may help raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels, according to Harvard Health Publishing, but you'll still want to enjoy it in moderation.

Get the Pumpkin Pie Freezer Fudge recipe and nutrition info here.

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