It’s that time of year again. Time to spend countless hours in the kitchen preparing your vegan Thanksgiving dinner. Right? WRONG! Today I’m sharing a meal plan and recipes for an Easy Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner. Because I’m trying to prove a point: vegan can be easy too! Hey, if you love Vegan Thanksgiving dishes, check out my Vegan Seven Layer Salad recipe. It’s so good! And then there’s my recipe for Vegan Chocolate Meringue Pie. Seriously! I went there.
Look, being vegan doesn’t have to mean you have a martyr complex in the kitchen. You don’t have to spend hours upon hours making everything from scratch. Can I get an oh yeah?!
You can enjoy a relatively easy vegan Thanksgiving dinner and I’m showing you how to do that with 10 major products.
Caveat: The claim that you can do this with 10 major products is assuming the use of some kitchen staples like olive oil, vegan butter, plant-based milk, etc. They are explained in each recipe.
My Easy Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner: Dishes
First of all, let’s go over the 10 products you’ll need to make this super easy vegan Thanksgiving dinner.
Disclaimer: None of these products have endorsed this post. I’m sharing this with you because I want you to know how easy it is to have a vegan Thanksgiving feast! Also, I wanted to show products that are accessible. Most of these are things you can find at your local grocery store.
Your easy vegan Thanksgiving dinner meal plan should include the following dishes/products:
- Vegan Turkey. We chose Field Roast for today’s recipe, but you could easily use a ToFurkey or even Gardein’s Holiday Roast. Any of these will work. We can find any of these at our local health food stores. Also, this time of year you can find some of these products in the health food section of some grocery stores too. Obviously stores like Sprouts and Whole Foods will carry them as well.
- Vegan Mashed Potatoes. This is a dish that is very easy to make vegan. We use red potatoes, garlic, plant-based milk (plain, not vanilla), and vegan butter. However, you can replace the vegan butter with olive oil.
- Balsamic Roasted Carrots. You’ll need a 24 oz package of baby carrots. The recipe is below and it’s super easy to make.
- Salad. Now, most years we make the Vegan Seven Layer Salad (see link above), but that recipe is multi-step (but oh so worth it!). However, a much simpler step to take would be to buy a salad in a bag, pour it into a serving bowl and serve it with Just Mayo Ranch dressing (you can buy this at Target). Of course you could add some other things to the salad like cherry tomatoes, chopped peppers, chopped green onions, and maybe even some Candied Bacon Flavored Almond Slivers.
- Stuffing. Were you expecting a recipe for vegan stuffing to take hours? When my mom used to host the family dinner each year she would make the stuffing and it was a multi-step, hours-long process. My Vegan Stuffing recipe is not only easy (it takes around 30 minutes), it’s delicious too! I use Pepperidge Farms Cornbread Classic Stuffing mix available at most local grocery stores. It’s free of animal products and my recipe turns it into a delicious vegan side dish for your vegan Thanksgiving dinner table!
- Cranberry Sauce. You know, it’s not quite Thanksgiving without it. So buy a can and place it in a bowl and serve it. Now, of course, you can make your own homemade cranberry sauce. It’s so good. But we’re going for a super easy meal plan today and Ocean Spray’s Cranberry Sauce does not include gelatin, so it will be a nice addition to your vegan dinner.
- Bread. Your Thanksgiving table must have dinner rolls and there’s nothing like homemade. Right? Rhodes Warm N Serve Soft Dinner Rolls happen to be the next best thing to homemade. Better yet? They happen to be vegan. Simply follow the instructions on the bag and serve with vegan butter.
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie. Look, you can’t have Thanksgiving without dessert. The trick for me was to find something that required minimal ingredients and would be easy to make. This recipe uses a big box of Chocolate Cook N Serve Jell-o Pudding (yes, it’s vegan) and an Oreo Pie Crust (it’s vegan too). It took several tries, but I finally landed on this recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie (see link below). It’s super easy, chocolatey, and delicious!
Also, we are assuming the following kitchen staples are on-hand for your recipes:
- Vegan butter — We mostly use Earth Balance which we can find out our local grocery stores and the health food stores.
- Creamy Peanut Butter — For this recipe the creamy kind is best and not the oily, natural kind.
- Olive oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Plant-Based Milk — having both vanilla flavored and plain is great, but if you have only one, make sure it’s plain. You can always add vanilla to a recipe, but you can’t take the vanilla out once it’s already in. Words to live by, people.
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Vegetable Broth
- 3 – 4 cloves of garlic
- One yellow or white onion
- 3 – 4 stalks of celery
- Optional: So Delicious Vegan Coconut Whipped Cream (for the pie)
Now that you have a good idea of what to expect for the meal’s ingredients, let’s discuss the meal plan. These are the best steps to follow to make your Easy Vegan Thanksgiving dinner as quickly as possible!
How to Make your Easy Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner
To me, cooking is like running a bunch of errands. You need to think through your route to minimize backtracking and optimize driving time. I like to think of preparing a big meal the same way. You can get some things going early and simply keep them warmed up while others are cooking…miraculously having everything come together at the same time!
The Day Before the Feast:
- Make the Easy Vegan Stuffing (see link below). Sure, it only takes a few minutes to make this, but the flavors grow stronger with time and you can simply reheat before dinner is served.
- Next, make the Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie recipe (see below). Again, this recipe doesn’t take a lot of time, but it does need to set and so spending a day in the fridge won’t hurt anything.
The Morning of the Feast:
- Remove the dinner rolls from the freezer, and follow directions on the package to allow the rolls time to thaw out and raise.
- Make sure your Field Roast (or other vegan turkey product) is out of the freezer and thawing out as well.
- Chop the potatoes, place them in a pan and pour cold water over them. You can put a lid over the potatoes and refrigerate or just set aside.
Two Hours Before the Feast:
- Heat your oven to 400F and follow the recipe to make the Balsamic Glazed Carrots. Place in a serving dish and set aside.
- Place the Field Roast (or other vegan turkey) in a pan and follow instructions on the package to bake for the appropriate amount of time.
One Hour Before the Feast:
- Reduce your oven’s heat to 350F.
- Bring potatoes to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, until done. Follow the rest of the recipe for Vegan Garlic Mashed Potatoes.
- Reheat the stuffing by placing it in the heated oven for about 15 – 20 minutes.
- Bake the rolls based on the instructions on the bag.
- Place the salad in a serving bowl and add any extras like chopped mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, etc. Place the Just Ranch dressing next to it.
- Pour the cranberries into a serving bowl and use a fork to mash it up a little so it doesn’t look like it just came from a can.
- Make sure your table is set (including napkins, salt and pepper, vegan butter, and more) because you’re just about ready for showtime! Go ahead and get your serving utensils out and ready as well.
- We like to stand in a circle, holding hands, and have each of us say one thing we’re thankful for from the previous year. Gratitude is important!
- Either set your food out buffet style in the kitchen or place on the table to serve family style.
- Dig in!
- After dinner, set out dessert plates and forks and remove the pie from the fridge. After a big meal, I like to make the pie slices smaller. You can also serve the pie with vegan whipped cream if you’d like. It adds a nice touch.
After the Meal:
Be sure to place leftovers in the fridge as soon as possible, whether that means transferring the leftovers into a lidded container or simply covering with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Maybe make plates of extra food to send home with friends and family as well.
Easy Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes
So, here are the recipes for each dish to be included in your Easy Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner meal plan:
Easily my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner, this Easy Vegan Thanksgiving Stuffing tastes just as good as the stuff my mom spends hours on. Seriously. And this recipe takes only 30 minutes.
Best of all, if you make it a day ahead of time it allow the flavors to set even more. Then, all you have to do is heat it up on the day of your big dinner.
My nephew used to hate mashed potatoes. I never understood that. Maybe he should have had these Easy Garlic Mashed Potatoes, because they include lots of hearty potato flavor. This is our go-t0 mashed potatoes recipe!
Of course, you need some color on your plate in addition to another vegetable and this Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole plays the part perfectly! We love sweet potatoes as a side dish. I think you will too after trying this recipe!
I worked hard to prepare the perfect pie recipe that would be tasty, accessible and most of all super easy. Therefore, this vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie uses only five ingredients and will have your family singing your praises. You don’t have to tell them how easy it was to make. It’ll be our secret. [wink, wink]
So, those are the recipes for part of the meal. Then, just follow the instructions on the back of the packages for the Field Roast (or other vegan turkey alternatives) and the Rhodes Dinner Rolls and you’ll be singing, “Come and Get It!” before you know it!
Finally, here are some other delicious vegan and/or vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes you might want to check out:
- Well’s Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes from the New York Times Cooking
- Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes from 101 Cookbooks
- Meatless Thanksgiving Mains from Martha Stewart
- Vegan Thanksgiving 101 from Kathy at Healthy Happy Life
- Vegan Banana Cream Pie by yours truly!
If you’re into the numbers, here’s a breakdown of Vegan Thanksgiving benefits! Wanna know something I’m grateful for this Thanksgiving? YOU! Thanks for checking out this Easy Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner meal plan.
Happy holidays to each and every one of you!