Vegetarian Thanksgiving Main Dishes
Thanksgiving may have the nickname of "Turkey Day," but that doesn't mean you can't celebrate with a wow-worthy vegetarian main. From stuffed squashes to pasta bakes and savory bread puddings, these are our favorite meat-free options for decking out the dinner table and impressing guests. These dozen delicious recipes will make everyone forget about the bird and focus on plants instead.
Roasted Cauliflower Steaks
Using a savory blend of ingredients like miso, tamari, and herbs, tofu is transformed into a dish that can rival turkey. Reviewer Can Can says, "I was very impressed with the way this turned out. I served it for Thanksgiving to nine meat eaters and EVERYONE said it tasted like turkey! I couldn't believe it."
Veggie Pot Pie
Thanksgiving is all about comfort food, and what's better than a pot pie? This vegetarian version is stuffed with mushrooms, carrots, potatoes, and cauliflower, all in a rich brown gravy.
Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash
Highlight one of the season's best veggies, acorn squash, by stuffing it with a blend of wild rice, fresh sage, and cornbread dressing. "Delicious," raves Kathleen Woods Rubino. "I'm a vegetarian and I had this as my main course for Thanksgiving. It was amazing."
Portobello Penne Pasta Casserole
Pasta may be an unusual choice for the Thanksgiving dinner table, but one bite will make you want to recreate it year after year. "Meaty" portobello mushrooms pair up with penne and spinach before getting tossed in a creamy cheese sauce.
Traditional Style Vegan Shepherd's Pie
Layered up with vegetarian ground beef, veggies, and creamy mashed potatoes, this homey casserole deserves to be the star of your Thanksgiving meal. Reviewer prgr2007 says one particular aspect sticks out, "The potatoes alone get 5 stars. I wanted to eat them all out of the bowl before they made it to the oven!"
Loaded Vegetarian Quiche
Quiche is one of those dishes that can easily be served at any time of day. This vegetarian version is loaded up with onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, and plenty of gooey cheese.
Zucchini with Chickpea and Mushroom Stuffing
Beautiful in presentation, and easy to serve with individual halves for each guest, these zucchini add a pop of color to the Thanksgiving spread. The chickpea and mushroom filling is seasoned with earthy spices, like cumin and coriander, and brightened with a dash of lemon juice.
Delicious Lentil Loaf
Lentils don't get enough love during the Thanksgiving holiday, so change that with this vegetarian spin on meatloaf. Feel free to swap in your favorite thick gravy in place of the smoky barbeque glaze.
Savory Rosemary Bread Pudding
Crunchy and creamy, herbaceous and rich, this savory version of bread pudding will have you rethinking the entire dish. If you have a smaller guest list, follow some reviewers' suggestions and cook individual servings in ramekins.
Ellen's Vegan Stuffed Peppers
Both gluten-free and vegan, this plant-based main dish can feed guests who may have a variety of dietary restrictions. Use a variety of bell peppers for a pop of color.
Lentil Rice and Veggie Bake
This bold bake is an all-in-one dish, featuring lentils, rice, and vegetables. Top with a handful of fresh chopped herbs to add extra flavor and amp up the presentation.