13 Healthy, Easy Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes

By April Dupee

No Turkey? No problem. There’s no need to settle for mashed potatoes and green beans when you have these delicious and nourishing plant-based dishes on the menu. 

Ahead, you’ll find tasty recipes—both mains and side dishes—that will satisfy all your Thanksgiving cravings—and make everyone at the table happy (non-vegetarians, too) while you’re at it. 

Even better, these vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes are simple and easy to prepare, so you can spend more time with good company and less time stressing in the kitchen. Consider us thankful.

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes

Cranberry Roasted Root Vegetables

Take your roasted veggies up a notch with a simple cranberry-orange glaze that’s bursting with flavor and antioxidants. Slow-roasted carrots and parsnips packed with immune-boosting vitamins A, C, and K are drizzled in this warming glaze for a seriously delicious and nutritious side dish.

Sheet Pan Roasted Squash and Feta Salad

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When you need a quick and easy-to-prep dish, sheet pan recipes are the answer. This one from Epicurious includes delicious squash and nutrient-dense bitter greens that provide the perfect combination of sweet and savory.

Mashed Butternut Squash

Step aside mashed potatoes, mashed butternut squash is here to take your place at the Thanksgiving table. This subtly sweet veggie is loaded with fiber and carotenoids, which are highly effective antioxidants. Roast the entire squash to skip the peeling and chopping, and you’ll keep prep time to a minimum.

Black and Wild Rice Salad with Roasted Squash

If you haven’t tried black rice yet, now is your chance. High in protein, fiber, and iron, this tasty grain pairs perfectly with wild rice, butternut squash, pistachios, and pomegranate seeds to create a delicious fall salad.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

If you want a simple and quick crowd-pleasing dish, then you need to add this roasted Brussels sprouts recipe to the menu. Cruciferous veggies like Brussels sprouts are associated with a reduced risk of some cancers and help feed the good-for-you bacteria in your gut. Just chop, toss, bake—and you’re done!

Cranberry Walnut Salad

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Add some greens to your Thanksgiving meal with this easy cranberry walnut salad. The walnuts provide anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, while chopped apples and cranberries bring immune-boosting vitamin C. Tossed in a simple olive oil and apple cider vinegar dressing, this salad will lighten up your meal.

Stuffed Acorn Squash Bowl

Antioxidant-rich acorn squash doubles as dishware in this veg-friendly recipe. Stuff this fall veggie with protein-rich quinoa salad or chili for a satisfying main dish that even meat eaters will love.

Stuffing Stuffed Whole Cauliflower

You won’t miss the turkey with this holiday-worthy main from Food Network. Raw, roasted, mashed, riced—cauliflower is delicious no matter how you prepare it. That said, this stuffing stuffed whole cauliflower might just beat them all. Plus, this nutrient-dense veggie is packed with an impressive number of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

RELATED: The Health Benefits of Cauliflower

Shaved Brussel Sprouts with Pecorino and Hazelnuts

Roasted Brussels sprouts are delicious, of course, but raw shaved Brussels sprouts deserve some love too. Shaved sprouts provide the perfect crispy salad base that’s packed with nutrients like folate, potassium, and B vitamins. Citrusy grapefruit, crunchy hazelnuts, and sweet figs are added to create a simple yet sophisticated salad. 

Spiced Cranberry Relish

This spiced cranberry relish has all the yummy flavor you want from a cranberry sauce without all the excess sugar. Not to mention, it’s rich in anti-inflammatory vitamin C and cinnamon, which can both help reduce responses to stress. Bonus: This relish is delicious with meats or added to wraps and salads, so you can use it with all your Thanksgiving leftovers.

Easy Vegan Green Bean Casserole

Lighten up the traditional green bean casserole with this vegan version from Delish. The green beans in this Thanksgiving staple are not only delicious, but also provide a healthy dose of protein, fiber, and immune-boosting vitamins C, K, and A.

Wild Rice & Bulgur Stuffing

Stuffing—but elevated. Substituting bread with wild rice and bulgur not only boosts flavor, but also adds fiber, B vitamins, and important minerals such as magnesium and iron. Make extra—your guests will go back for seconds.

Whipped Sweet Potato Casserole

Indulge in some nostalgia with this classic Thanksgiving dish. Sweet potatoes provide tons of fiber and nutrients like beta carotene, vitamin C, and potassium. Just grab some vegan marshmallows if you want to keep the whole dish veg-friendly.

(Images: Shutterstock)

About April Dupee
MS in Nutrition Interventions, Communications, and Behavior Change

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