Delicious and fully vegan Thanksgiving recipe ideas that are quick to make and guaranteed crowd pleasers! The recipes are both dairy- and gluten-free.
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Amy’s Kitchen. All opinions expressed are the author’s.
The holidays can sometimes be a bit of a challenge for people after going vegan or vegetarian. Meat and other animal products are linked to so many traditions and cultural celebrations, as well as memories of time spent with loved ones. It’s only natural to assume that removing those products from the tradition will somehow change the experience.
This will be my eighth holiday season as a vegan; and after almost a decade without meat, eggs and dairy, I can tell you that while it’s indeed challenging at first, Thanksgiving and other holidays actually become more enjoyable, and all it takes to win over skeptical friends and family members is often a little patience and offering them delicious alternatives and veganized versions of their holiday favorites.
For this article, I teamed up with Amy’s Kitchen to show you how easily you can #InviteAmys into your home over the holidays to create meals for before, during and after Thanksgiving. Amy’s is one of the brands I rely on throughout the year, especially when I am busy but still want something that tastes amazing and leaves every craving satisfied. Since their products have a long shelf life, they’re also the perfect quick meal to always have on hand. Sometimes I eat the soups and other dishes by themselves, and other times, I #StartWithAmys and combine with other ingredients, so it never gets boring.
Let’s start with a pre-Thanksgiving recipe idea. Imagine it’s the day before Thanksgiving and some of your friends and family members arrive early, so you want to serve something filling that won’t be too complicated to make. This Vegan Rice Mac & Cheeze with roasted root veggies and mushroom bacon is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser and one of my personal favorites.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Amy’s Vegan Rice Mac & Cheeze with Root Veggies and Mushroom Bacon
(Serves 4-6 people)
⅓ kabocha squash, seeds removed and cubed
2 carrots, chopped
1 small sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 small Japanese sweet potato, peeled and cubed (or another sweet potato)
1 small parsnip, cubed
2 cups of thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms
1 tsp. liquid smoke or ¼ tsp. smoked paprika
Step 1: Roast the Veggies
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Place the squash, carrots, potatoes and parsnip on the tray, add a pinch of salt and drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil on top.
- Roast for 45 minutes then set aside.
Step 2: Make the Mushroom Bacon
- In a bowl mix the mushrooms, 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil, ½ teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke or ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika.
- Once the mushrooms are coated evenly, place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake at 400°F for 25 minutes.
- Check for crispness and bake for another 5-10 minutes if necessary.
Step 3: Prepare the Vegan Rice Mac & Cheeze
- Cook the Rice Mac & Cheeze by following the package instructions.
- Mix it in a deep dish with the roasted veggies.
- Serve in bowls, top with the mushroom bacon and enjoy!
Small Bites to Enjoy at Thanksgiving
The following two recipes can be enjoyed as appetizers, snacks or a first course during your Thanksgiving celebration. Here’s what you’ll need:
Mini Vegan Burger & Veggie Skewers
1 package of Amy’s Sonoma Veggie Burger (4 patties)
Leftover roasted winter veggies of your choice (from the recipe above, for instance)
1 small red onion
1 tbsp. olive oil
- Peel the onion and cut it into 1-2 inch squares.
- Sauté in olive oil for about 2-3 minutes then set aside.
- Reheat the roasted veggies.
- Heat the veggie burger patties according to package instructions (1 minute in the microwave oven per patty).
- Cut the patties into 4 equal pieces and start building your veggie burger skewers in the order of your choice (I used ½ patty per skewer).
- Enjoy by themselves or with your favorite dip!
Mini Split Pea Soup Cups
(Serves 4-6, depending on the size of your glasses)
2 cans of Amy’s Split Pea Soup
1 cup blanched or peeled whole almonds, soaked in water overnight or quick-soaked in boiling water for 15 minutes and drained
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
Juice of ½ lemon
1 tsp. nutritional yeast (optional)
½ tsp. garlic powder or 1 garlic clove
½ tsp. onion powder
½ tsp. curry powder
2 tsps. olive oil
1 handful of fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup water
Freshly ground pepper (optional)
Step 1: Prepare the Almond Cream
- In a food processor or blender. mix the almonds, water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic, onion powder and ½ tsp. sea salt until all ingredients are smooth then set aside.
Step 2: Toast the Curried Pumpkin Seeds
- In a small pan or skillet, toast the pumpkin seeds in olive oil over medium to high heat for 2 minutes, add the curry and a pinch of salt and pepper, mix well then remove from heat.
Step 3: Assemble the Soup
- Heat the soup in a saucepan over medium heat then let cool.
- Transfer to small glasses and top with the almond cream, pumpkin seeds and parsley.
- Feel free to also add a little freshly ground pepper then enjoy!
Note: Do make sure you let the soup cool down a little if you’re using glass, otherwise, feel free to use ceramics instead.
The last recipe idea I’d love to share with you is for the scenario we all know too well. It’s the day after Thanksgiving, and you have tons of leftovers, but you also don’t want to eat the exact same thing over and over again. In this case, I love to #FinishWithAmys and mix an Amy’s meal with leftovers, like mushroom gravy.
Amy’s Brown Rice and Vegetables Bowl with Leftover Mushroom Gravy and Maple-glazed, Multi-colored Carrots
2-3 packages of Amy’s Brown Rice and Vegetables Bowls (you’ll need 1 package per 2 servings)
10-12 multi-colored carrots
2 tbsps. olive oil
1 tbsp. maple syrup
Pinch of sea salt
4-6 servings of Ultimate Vegan Mushroom Gravy
- Preheat oven to 400°F (unless you’re using leftover roasted carrots then simply reheat).
- Slice the carrots if they’re big; leave them whole if they’re small.
- Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, coat with the oil and drizzle the maple syrup and salt on top.
- Bake for 45 minutes.
- Prepare the Brown Rice and Vegetables Bowls according to package instructions and enjoy everything together!
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Kim-Julie Hansen is the face behind the blog kimjuliehansen.com, the founder of Best of Vegan and the author of the book Vegan Reset: The 28-Day Plan to Kickstart Your Healthy Lifestyle.
She became an ethical vegan in 2011 and, in 2013, started sharing her passion online to show people how easy it can be to adopt a vegan lifestyle. While making veganism accessible to mainstream audiences is her number-one passion, she is also a certified yoga teacher and loves to travel. Originally from Brussels, Belgium, she now calls New York City home.