20 Vegan Thanksgiving Appetizers & Sides Everyone Will Love
Sides, starters, and appetizers are arguably the most important part of a Thanksgiving feast. After all, stuffing and mashed potatoes are the two most popular dishes on the holiday table. This year, we took all your favorites – including classic stuffing and potatoes – and made them vegan with simple dairy-free swaps and plant-based proteins that take the place of meat. Here, you'll find the traditional dishes your grandma makes as well as unique dishes like pumpkin curry and "Thanksgiving wraps" to introduce new flavors and create fresh memories.
Traditions remain the same: We're not taking away anything you love or altering the best part of the feast, we're just adding healthier, more sustainable, animal-free ingredients to these recipes. You'll still enjoy rich gravy flavored with umami tones of earthy mushrooms among other easy-to-create swaps that leave in all the taste and make it even better!
Our plant-based stuffing still has the same warm, spice-filled taste, and strikes the sweet and savory note everyone loves. Tell your family that the sweet potato casserole is part of the dinner lineup, but this time, the dish contains marshmallows without gelatin, that taste just like the other ones they're used to.
Surprise your loved ones with a homemade dairy-free cheeseboard with cashew cheese made with a crunchy nut outer crust and rich, creamy filling. Present this starter on a festive platter or cutting board surrounded by crackers, grapes, jam, almonds, sliced vegetables and fruit, and everything you love to eat with cheese. This year is looking deliciously vegan!
1. Cashew-Crusted Herb & Garlic Cheeseball
Begin your celebration on a high note with this homemade dairy-free cheese board featuring cashew-crusted herb and garlic recipe that's easy to make and tastes just like the real thing.
Recipe: Cashew-Crusted Herb & Garlic Cheeseball
2. Bruschetta Toast
The perfect finger food appetizer that's fresh and always vegan is this two-ingredient Bruschetta Toast with sweet tomato and earthy basil flavors.
Recipe: Bruschetta Toast
3. Autumn Pear Salad with Homemade Maple Mustard Vinaigrette
Begin your feast with a healthy, seasonal salad with a homemade mustard vinaigrette that has a sweet taste with hints of spice.
Recipe: Autumn Pear Salad with Maple Mustard Vinaigrette
4. Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup
This festive, seasonal soup is an ultra-cozy soup recipe It's rich, velvety, and full of curry flavor.
Recipe: Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup
5. Vegan Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
Everyone loves warm, comforting, cheesy mac and cheese with hints of fresh butternut squash, even more so when it's dairy-free and healthier than the traditional recipe.
Recipe: Vegan Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese
6. Pumpkin and Crispy Kale and Pasta with Vegan Parm
You can always please a crowd with a seasonal, dairy-free pasta dish that caters to everyone's allergies and dietary restrictions. This recipe features pumpkin and kale, two immune-boosting ingredients.
Recipe: Pumpkin and Crispy Kale Pasta with Vegan Parmesan
7. Vegan Butternut Squash & Chickpea Wraps
Enjoy all your favorite autumnal ingredients in a pita or tortilla wrap for a healthy starter that feeds the whole family for under $10.
Recipe: Vegan Butternut Squash & Chickpea Wraps
8. Easy Vegan Pumpkin Curry
Surprise your taste buds with this quick and easy Dairy-Free Pumpkin Curry made with Thai-inspired ingredients that's ready in just 15 minutes.
Recipe: Easy Vegan Pumpkin Curry
9. Butternut Squash Orzo Salad
Make this Easy Vegan Butternut Squash Orzo Salad, a creamy protein-rich meal that requires just 8 ingredients (like onion and vegan feta cheese) and only 10 minutes of prep time.
Recipe: Easy Butternut Squash Orzo Salad with Dairy-Free Feta
10. Green Bean Casserole
Green bean casserole is a must-have at your Thanksgiving feast. This creamy yet creamless side dish calls for a homemade mushroom sauce.
Recipe: Green Bean Casserole
11. Easy Vegan Stuffing
This meatless stuffing recipe is light, moist, flavourful, and easy to make. Enjoy this side dish with your vegan entree.
Recipe: Easy Vegan Stuffing
12. Vegan Mac 'n Cheese
This mac and cheese recipe is made with dairy-free milk and vegan butter as well as two types of vegan cheese, but you would have no idea that it's completely dairy-free and vegan and neither will your guests.
Recipe: Mac 'n Cheese
13. Garlic Mashed Potatoes & Mushroom Gravy
Thanksgiving feasts are incomplete without creamy mashed potatoes and a rich gravy. Better yet, this recipe has all that and is made completely vegan by swapping out regular butter and milk for dairy-free alternatives.
Recipe: Garlic Mashed Potatoes & Mushroom Gravy
14. Vegan Cornbread
This unique cornbread has a buttery flavor and a fluffy texture, even though it's completely dairy-free and egg-free.
15. Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole
Every bite of this festive casserole is bursting with a combination of savory and sweet flavors. The sweet potatoes add a rich, cinnamon flavor paired with the marshmallows which deliver a toasted, sugar-filled bite.
Recipe: Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole
16. Loaded Sweet Potato Rounds With Vegan Goat Cheese and Cranberries
Enjoy these Loaded Sweet Potato Rounds baked into caramelized perfection and topped with vegan goat cheese and cranberry mash for the perfect sweet and savory bite.
Recipe: Loaded Sweet Potato Rounds with Vegan Goat Cheese and Cranberries
17. Vegan Cheddar Biscuits
These vegan, dairy-free biscuits are soft, tender, cheesy, savory, and moist. They are the perfect starter to serve for a dinner party or before your Thanksgiving feast this year. They're also delicious to keep in a basket in your kitchen and nibble on for a tasty snack.
Recipe: Vegan Cheddar Biscuits
18. Roasted and Seasoned Potatoes
Crispy on the outside, yet tender and fluffy on the inside, make these roasted and seasoned potatoes to enjoy as a side at your holiday meal.
Recipe: Roasted and Seasoned Potatoes
19. Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Almonds and Chiles by Alexa Weibel
"Tossing sprouts with a simple honeyed vinaigrette brings out their natural sweetness while roasting them helps develop their deep savory notes." – Alexa Weibel for NYTCooking.
Recipe: Caramelized Brussels Sprouts With Almonds and Chiles
20. Vegan Mashed Butternut Squash
Satisfy your cravings for both sweet and savory with Mashed Butternut Squash topped with dairy-free butter. This is a must-have dish that's easy to make and serve.
Recipe: Vegan Mashed Butternut Squash
For more great plant-based dishes, check out The Beet's recipe library.
For more lists of recipes, check out:
- 7 simple plant-based recipe ideas for under $1 a serving
- 7 popular plant-based soup recipes
- 7 easy plant-based breakfast recipe ideas
- 8 heart-healthy plant-based recipes to lower your lifetime risk
- 7 one-pot vegan recipes
- 10 vegan soups and salads recipe
- 10 vegan lentil recipes to make for a healthy lunch or dinner