Here Are Literally 50 More Vegan Main Dishes You Can Eat Instead of Turkey This Thanksgiving

No dead animals? No problem! There are endless ways to enjoy your feast without compromising your taste buds or your values.

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Credit: Kay Lovelace Smith

I will admit, it’s a little lazy of me but I am just going to quote my introduction to last year’s epic (if I must say so myself, and indeed I must) collection of 50 vegan main dishes to enjoy for Thanksgiving instead of turkey.

“I will start this bluntly and unappetizingly: For the Thanksgiving holiday alone in the United States, approximately 46 million sensitive, innocent birds who have been intentionally bred for painful and short lifespans in cramped, miserable environments will be killed for meals in households across the country. A much smaller number of turkeys will be slaughtered against their will on smaller farms and in nature. Why? Because somehow eating a turkey’s body has come to mean celebrating gratitude in this country on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States. Given the needless brutality inflicted on millions of animals that this tradition requires, perhaps it’s time we reassess how we engage with the spirit of gratitude.

A turkey’s carcass is literally just that, but with a plant-based main dish, you can enjoy such varied complex and captivating flavors and textures from vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains, herbs and on and on, whether it’s in the form of a traditional roast, a savory pie or something altogether different. When you think of it like that, doesn’t a beige slab of a tortured animal’s flesh seem kind of boring in comparison?

Every year at Thanksgiving, I feel grateful that there are more options than ever that are delicious and do not require anyone’s suffering and death. There is something for every palate and cooking skill level listed here.”

Are we ready to do this thing without dead animals on platters? Of course we are! We’re going to do it again and with fifty more vegan Thanksgiving main dish recipes. Turkeys are sensitive, inquisitive and complex beings. We can live perfectly happy, content lives and enjoy perfectly delicious holiday meals without inflicting violence, so why wouldn’t we? (Now is a great time to learn more about these gentle birds.)

Loafing Around

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Credit: Good Housekeeping’s 10 PM Cookbook (1958) via My Pretty Baby Cried She Was a Bird

Mushroom Lentil Loaf with Cranberries (A Virtual Vegan)
Diner Loaf (Julie Hasson)
Lentil Loaf with Stuffing and Cranberries (Namely Marly)
Beyond Meat Meatloaf with Shiitake Stuffing (gluten-free with options) (My Quiet Kitchen)
Tofu Vegetable Loaf (Whole Foods)
Turkey Loaf (gluten-free) (Vitacost)
Puff Pastry-Wrapped Lentil Loaf (It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken)
Ultimate Lentil Walnut Loaf (gluten-free) (Oh She Glows)
Turkey Roast (Shreddable Seitan With Skin) (My Quiet Kitchen)
Mushroom Lentil Loaf (gluten-free) (Making Thyme for Health)
Autumn Dinner Loaf (gluten-free) (Dreena Burton)
Classic Meat(less) Lentil Loaf (gluten-free) (One Ingredient Chef)
Seitan Roast (Baked or Instant Pot) (My Quiet Kitchen)
Free the Turkeys Meatloaf (Vegan Street)
Slow Cooker Atomic Pecan Loaf (Kathy Hester via Go Dairy Free)

This Is How We Casserole

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Credit: Kay Lovelace Smith

French Onion Shepherd’s Pie with Lentils and Creamy Cauliflower-Potato Mash (gluten-free) (The First Mess)
Spaghetti Squash Pesto Lasagna (gluten-free) (Fat-Free Vegan Kitchen)
Make-Ahead Butternut Squash Casserole (gluten-free) (Oh She Glows)
Shepherd’s Pie (gluten-free) (Tasty)
Mac and Cheese Casserole (Namely Marly)
Totsgiving Casserole (Hot for Food)
Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole (gluten-free) (Nora Cooks)
Kale, Cauliflower & Sweet Potato Au Gratin (gluten-free) (Foraged Dish)
Creamy Broccoli Wild Rice Casserole (The Veg Life)
Maple Baked Beans and Cornbread Casserole (Kristy Turner via VegKitchen)
Creamy Spinach Florentine with Almost Alfredo Sauce (Julie Hasson via Just the Food)
Potato Casserole (gluten-free) (Keeping the Peas)

The Roastests with the Mostests

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Credit: Kay Lovelace Smith

Seitan Turkey (The Cheeky Chickpea)
Holiday Roast with Squash and Mushroom Filling (Sweet Simple Vegan)
Phyllo Dough-Wrapped Holiday Roast (Bear Plate)
Deli-Sliced Turkey Breast (86 Eats)
Thanksgiving Holiday Roast (Hot for Food)
Holiday Roast (Vegan Huggs)
Pecan and Mushroom Wellington (Delightful Vegans)
Cauliflower Steaks with Lentils and Romesco Sauce (gluten-free) (Cadry’s Kitchen)
Vegetables Wellington (The Ultimate Vegan Plant-Based Holiday Roast) (Serious Eats)
Mushroom Wellington (The Buddhist Chef)

A Diversity of Divine Dishes

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Credit: Kay Lovelace Smith

Stuffed Roasted Butternut Squash (gluten-free) (It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken)
Stuffed Squash with Broccoli Rabe and Quinoa (gluten-free) (The First Mess)
Butternut Squash and Mushroom Lasagna Rolls (Vegan Yack Attack)
Stuffed Thanksgiving Burger (gluten-free depending on bread) (The PPK)
Vegetable Pot Pie (Forks Over Knives)
Heartwarming Tofu and Vegetable Pot Pie (One Ingredient Chef)
Sweet Potato Curry (gluten-free) (The Buddhist Chef)
Mushroom Pot Pie with Sweet Potato Crust (Vegan Richa)
Sweet Potato and Kale Galette with Pistachio Parmesan (Hot for Food)
Mashed Potato White Pizza (This Savory Vegan)
Roasted Acorn Squash with Quinoa Stuffing (The Vegan Atlas)
Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese (This Healthy Kitchen)
Butternut Squash Risotto (The Hidden Veggies)

Marla Rose is co-founding partner of and Please follow on Medium to get updates when each new article is posted and find us on Instagram.

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Marla Rose is a Chicago-area writer and co-founder of and

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