Why Throw A Vegan Thanksgiving? Plus 22 Recipes | Wholesome Culture
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One of our favorite topics here at Wholesome Culture is vegan food (no surprise there!). Especially during Thanksgiving, the ultimate foodie holiday, it’s a beautiful time to bond over the act of eating with empathy. Plus, it’s fun to show off how AMAZING vegan food tastes to those who think tofu is the only thing on the menu– not that we don’t love a good tofurkey.  But before we launch into our roundup of vegan recipes for cooking inspiration, we want to explain *why* this year is a particularly good time to throw a vegan Thanksgiving.

Why throw a vegan Thanksgiving?

First things first, 46 million turkeys are killed for Thanksgiving alone — and approximately 240 million are “raised” for meat in the U.S. annually. Many times, these turkeys are confined and mutilated in factory farms where they experience de-toeing, de-snooding, and de-beaking, among other appalling injustices. It’s a stark reminder of how humans harm creatures on this Earth for purposes of holiday gatherings. But turkeys aren’t the only animals suffering, far from it.

Here are more statistics, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals:

  • The U.S. “raises” around 120 million pigs for food each year⁠
  • About 9 million cows are being used for milk production in the U.S. at any given time.⁠
  • Approximately 9 billion chickens are killed for their meat every year + 300 million chickens are used in egg production⁠

Beyond saving animals, throwing a vegan Thanksgiving is an amazing way to connect with others during this very stressful year in an empathetic, non-harming way. When there’s so much we can’t control, knowing we CAN control the food on our plate and ensure it’s not involved with animal-cruelty is something worth celebrating.

So whether or not you’re attending a virtual potluck or a small gathering with family, even bringing one or two vegan dishes to the table is an amazing place to start. Happy cooking!

Vegan Starters

1. 5-Minute Macadamia Cheese + Vegan Crudite

Minimalist Baker does it again with this picturesque Macadamia Cheese + Vegan Crudite spread of all things deliciousness.

Macadmia Cheese + Vegan Crudite
Source: Minimalist Baker

2. Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip

This dip from Nora Cooks goes with bread, veggies, or is perfectly enjoyable straight up on a spoon.

Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip
Source: Nora Cooks

3. Greek Vegan Spanakopita

You may have seen a variation of this at Trader Joe’s as spinach pies, but this spanakopita recipe from Veggies Don’t Bite is incomparable (in a good way). The flakiness of the filo combined with the spinach makes for a savory starter that tastes just as good, if not better, the next day.

Greek Vegan Spanakopita
Source: Veggies Don’t Bite

4. Texas Trash Snack Mix

Satisfy your need for a little crunch. This Texas Trash Snack Mix from Vanilla & Bean comes in two versions (vegan and vegetarian). It’s the perfect snack for chatting while cooking, or waiting for the food to get out of the oven.

Texas Trash Snack Mix

5. Classic Hummus

This is one of our favorite recipes from The Wholesome Culture Cookbook. Made with chickpeas, garlic powder, and tahini — it combines so many of our favorite ingredients in one perefectly creamy dip!

Classic Hummus
Classic Hummus from The Wholesome Culture Cookbook

Makes 3-4 servings

  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1/8 cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons water or olive oil


  1. Drain and rinse the chickpeas, then add them to a blender or food processor with the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth and velvety.
  2. Serve topped with an additional drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of paprika if desired.

Vegan Main Dishes

6. Vegan Sausage Stuffed Butternut Squash

No one will miss turkey when you have this Vegan Sausage Stuffed Butternut Squash from Rainbow Plant Life. PS, don’t skimp on the creamy garlic white sauce!

Vegan Sausage Stuffed Butternut Squash
Source: Rainbow Plant Life

7. Vegan Shepard’s Pie

Pie for a main dish? Count us in! This Vegan Shepard’s Pie from Jessica in the Kitchen is made with mushrooms, carrots, peas, and so many more ingredients we love.

Vegan Shepard's Pie

8. Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Again, no need for turkey when you have this Whole Roasted Cauliflower from Live Eat Learn. This delicious recipe can easily be made vegan if you swap in vegan cheese.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower
Source: Live Eat Learn

9. Creamy Pumpkin Risotto

Pumpkin isn’t only delicious in desserts — this recipe from From My Bowl shows how tasty it can be in a risotto. Made with pumpkin puree, olive oil, sage, and shallot, this dish is one you’ll look forward to every year.

Creamy Pumpkin Risotto
Source: From My Bowl

Vegan Side Dishes

10. Roasted Sweet Potato, Kale, and Farro Salad

For a side dish that can also double as a main dish, we turn to this Roasted Sweet Potato, Kale, and Farro Sald from Making Thyme For Health. It’s filling, loaded with veggies, and tastes great as leftovers.

Farro Salad
Source: Making Thyme For Health


11. Garlic Sauteed Green Beans

These Garlic Sauteed Green Beans from It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken are easy to make, so yummy, and only require 6 ingredients. Plus, they add a nice pop of color to the plate… and balance out the carbs.

12. Cheezy Garlic Potato Wedges

This recipe from The Wholesome Culture Cookbook is simple to whip up and makes for a perfect side dish.

Cheezy Potato Wedges
Cheezy Potato Wedges from The Wholesome Culture Cookbook

Makes 1-2 servings

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

  • 1 large russet potato
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Fresh parsley to garnish (optional)


  1. Start by preheating the oven to 425 and lining a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  2. Wash and dry your potato, then proceed to cut into slices around 1/2 inch thick, all equal in size (this will ensure equal cooking). 
  3. Place in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes. Flip and return to the oven for an additional 8-10 minutes depending on your desired level of crispiness. 
  4. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired. 

13. Everything Asparagus

Put your “everything” spice to goood use with this Everything Asparagus from Gimme Some Oven.

Source: Gimme Some Oven

14. Roasted Parsnips with Romesco Sauce

Parsnips may not be on everyone’s list of favorite veggies, but this recipe from Feasting At Home may just change that.  It’s super flavorful and far more filling than you’d think!

Roasted Parsnips
Source: Feasting At Home

Vegan Desserts

15. Vegan Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Pecan Crumb

We love this recipe from Vegan Richa, which is made with a streudel that adds just the right amount of crunch and sweetness.

Source: Vegan Richa

16. Vegan Pumpkin Pie

This list wouldn’t be complete without pumpkin pie! Our pick: Vegan Pumpkin Pie from Jessica in the Kitchen. It’s smooth, creamy, and packed with that pumpkin-y flavor we love.


17. Buttercup Squash Crumble Bars

Just the name of this recipe from Love and Lemons makes us smile. But the taste of these yummy bars is even better! To keep it vegan –just use vegan butter!

18. Raw Maple Pecan Pie

Running on Real Food is making our pie dreams come true with this heavenly Raw Maple Pecan Pie. And there’s no baking necessary!

Maple Pecan Pie
Source: Running on Real Food

19. Coconut Butter Gingersnaps

This recipe from The Vegan 8 is just the right amount of sweet with all the fall flavor we crave on Thanksgiving. It’s perfect alone, dunked in coffee, or crumbled over ice cream — you’ve got options!


Coconut Butter Gingersnaps
Source: The Vegan 8

Vegan Drinks

20. Thanksgiving Punch

Whether you’re craving a mocktail or cocktail, this Thanksgiving Punch from Thyme and Joy is for you. It’s also extremely easy to make — and even easier to drink!

Thanksgiving Punch
Source: Thyme and Joy

21. Spiced Apple Margaritas

You’ll embrace apple with every sip of this margarita from Cookie and Kate. Plus, you can easily make it a mocktail and skip the tequila.

Spiced Apple Margaritas
Source: Cookie and Kate

22. Golden Turmeric Latte

Two Spoon’s recipe for this Golden Turmeric Latte concludes any Thanksgiving festivities on a happy & cozy note. It truly looks and tastes like a burst of golden sunshine in a mug!

Golden Turmeric Latte
Source: Two Spoons

Read more: Your Wholesome Guide to the Most Sustainable Thanksgiving Ever

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