The Cookie Writer; Savory Nothings

18 Vegetarian Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes Because It's About the Sides Anyways

If you think all vegetarians eat on Thanksgiving is tofurkey, then think again - that stuff is too weird, even for us. What we want is savory, comforting dishes like squash risotto or maple walnut twice baked sweet potatoes. Really, we want all the sides and even some main courses that celebrate the autumn harvest. With squashes in season, pomegranates back on the table, and apples ripe for picking, a vegetarian Thanksgiving is really the only way to go.

From curried butternut squash right down to the flaky, homemade rolls, these 18 vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes are so delicious, you'll be skipping the Thanksgiving turkey.

1. Pumpkin Risotto with Goat Cheese and Dried Cranberries

Leave the pumpkin spice flavoring to the latte, and use real pumpkin in your Thanksgiving risotto. A pumpkin lover's dream, this Pumpkin Risotto with Goat Cheese and Dried Cranberries is filled with the vegetarian flavors of autumn. Creamy goat cheese, dried cranberries, a hint of nutmeg, grated parmesan cheese, and of course a can of pumpkin puree meld together for one fantastic, creamy risotto.

Chef's Note: When cooking, ladle in one cup of veggie stock at a time to achieve the perfect risotto consistency.

Get the recipe here. 

2. Stuffed Acorn Squash with Hazelnut, Quinoa, and Kale

What better time to serve your guests their own individual stuffed acorn squashes than on Thanksgiving?!

Packed with the bounty of fall, this Stuffed Acorn Squash with Hazelnut, Quinoa, and Kale recipe has it all. Vegan, gluten-free, and incredibly filling, this is the main course recipe that everyone can enjoy.

Find the recipe here.

3. Honey Butter Roasted Acorn Squash with Burrata and Pomegranate

This Honey Butter Roasted Acorn Squash with Burrata and Pomegranate side shows that when it comes to Thanksgiving, vegetarians do it right. Acorn squash is roasted with butter, honey, brown sugar for a hint of sweetness, and some crushed red pepper flakes for heat.

With chunks of fresh Italian Burrata cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, juicy pomegranate arils, and some hazelnuts for crunch, this is really all you need on Thanksgiving.

Get the recipe here. 

4. Roasted Brussels Sprouts Gratin

While you can't go wrong roasting some Brussels sprouts and top with cranberries and goat cheese, mix things up this Thanksgiving and try this Roasted Brussels Sprouts Gratin. Quinoa is cooked in veggie broth for a boost of flavor, then mixed with Fontina and Gruyere cheese.

It's then sprinkled over roasted brussels sprouts, along with a layer of parmesan cheese and garlicky breadcrumbs. Baked until golden brown, the result is a comforting, hearty, and satisfying dish you'll want on your Thanksgiving table this year.

Get the recipe here. 

5. Vegetable Spiral Tart

Once this Vegetable Spiral Tart hits the table, your guests won't be able to stop eyeing it. While it may require some work, your family and friends are worth it. The flaky crust is filled with a bottom layer of three kinds of cheese and sour cream and then layered with thin slices of carrot, eggplant, and zucchini. Flaky on the outside and full of mouthwatering cheesy vegetable goodness on the inside, the flavor is just as impressive as the presentation.

Chef's Note: The trick to getting this tart just right is using a vegetable slicer and a tart tin with a loose bottom. This will help roll the vegetables and free the delicate crust from the pan.

Get the recipe here. 

6. Roasted Mushroom Pot Pie

This Roasted Mushroom Pot Pie recipe will have meat eaters ditching their shepherd's pie for this vegetarian recipe. Perfect for a Thanksgiving meal, this pot pie has a crisp, flaky crust on the outside with a hearty filling on the inside.

We're talking a mushroom medley, carrots, celery, onions, herbs, and spices stuffed inside with a cream cheese sauce that's simply oozing with goodness. With twenty minutes of prep and an hour to cook, you won't have to worry about basting a bird.

Get the recipe here. 

7. Butternut Squash and Kale Quiche

Butternut Squash and Kale Quiche make for a great side, or even main dish, for a vegetarian Thanksgiving. Requiring less than ten ingredients, the trick is using a quality store-bought pie crust.

The pie crust is filled with seasonal butternut squash, kale, cheese, and half and half. The final product is so good, even guys will be saying they eat quiche.

Find the recipe here. 

8. Stuffed Roasted Butternut Squash

For the vegetarian main dish, you'll be delighted to try this Stuffed Roasted Butternut Squash. An appetizing centerpiece for any Thanksgiving table, this butternut squash is like the vegetarian version of turducken.

The butternut squash is roasted in half, then stuffed with a wild rice, Basmati medley of veggies, fresh sage, cranberries, garlic, and walnuts. To add more depth, serve with a side of this simple homemade gravy.

Get the recipe here. 

9. Curried Butternut Squash Soup

This 30-minute Curried Butternut Squash Soup from Minimalist Baker is the end all, be all, of fall soups that need to make the Thanksgiving menu line-up.

Butternut squash is blended with yellow curry, fragrant garlic, spices, a touch of maple syrup, and then is topped off with garlic chili paste, pumpkin seeds, and more coconut milk fat. Creamy, comforting, savory, gluten-free and completely vegan, no matter what your diet is, everyone will love this soup.

Get the recipe here.

10. Harvest Wild Rice Skillet

A healthy heaping of this savory side dish will have all your family talking about your wonderful vegetarian Thanksgiving menu. Incorporating all the fall flavors, this Harvest Wild Rice Skillet has it all with butternut squash, apples, baby kale, provolone cheese, and wild rice.

Simply make the wild rice the night before, then come dinner time toss all the ingredients in the skillet and your ready for a feast that will have you wanting to eat nothing but all the Thanksgiving sides.

Find the recipe here.

11. Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells

This Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells recipe is a real Thanksgiving treat. Creamy, savory, and full of holiday flavor, jumbo shells are stuffed with a cheesy butternut squash stuffing, and then topped with a bechamel sauce, along with more cheese and sage.

It's so creamy and comforting, you'll be ready to take a notch off the old belt and settle in for a post-Thanksgiving nap.

Find the recipe here. 

12. Mashed Potato Cakes with Spinach


There are so many ways to do mashed potatoes, but this Thanksgiving, try something new with this Mashed Potatoes Cakes with Spinach recipe.

Requiring only seven ingredients, these flavorful potato cakes are crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside. And by including spinach, you can feel a little less guilty indulging in cake after cake.

Find the recipe here.

13. Maple Walnut Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potato casserole, move aside because Maple Walnut Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes are here. Using simple, everyday ingredients, these sweet potatoes are baked, scooped out, and then mixed with Greek yogurt (or sour cream), pumpkin pie spice, and maple syrup.

Then comes the twice baked part by baking again, and then topped with walnuts, butter, and brown sugar. Top with a drizzle of syrup and let your family and friends dig in.

Get the recipe here. 

14. Autumn Harvest Salad with Pomegranate

Every Thanksgiving dinner needs a good salad base. Not just because this carb-overload holiday needs a little color, but because so many delicious vegetables are in season. This Autumn Harvest Salad with Pomegranate was made for Thanksgiving.

Fresh kale provides the green base, while the toppings of pomegranate arils, fresh chevre cheese, farro, roasted delicata squash, and a homemade apple cider vinegar dressing top it off. With greens like these, nobody will be skipping salad this holiday. If you can't find delicata squash, other winter squashes will do. You can also sub farro for barley and omit the cheese if you're vegan.

Get the recipe here. 

15. Skillet Green Beans with Blue Cheese

How do you take a delicious vegetable and amplify it in the simplest way? You add blue cheese of course. Ditching the cream of mushroom soup green bean casserole for a healthier, punchy version, Skillet Green Beans are an easy side to add to your vegetarian Thanksgiving.

Simple, yet tasty, green beans are cooked in a skillet with crushed garlic cloves then topped with chunks of blue cheese. Who said Thanksgiving had to be a hassle?

Find the recipe here. 

16. Roasted Vegetables with Rosemary Maple Balsamic

Newsflash, your Thanksgiving roasted root vegetables are probably already vegetarian and dare I say it, vegan. So embrace this vegetarian side and give it a little twist with this Roasted Vegetables with Rosemary Maple Balsamic recipe.

A medley of root vegetables like parsnips, carrots, rutabagas, sweet potatoes, and onion are drizzled with olive oil then roasted until tender. Once they're done, they're drizzled with a maple balsamic reduction that gives a whole new meaning to the word vegetarian.

Find the recipe here.

17. Easy Flaky Pull-Apart Dinner Rolls

In my opinion, the best part about Thanksgiving is the rolls. I know, I know, it's the one thing you shouldn't fill up on because of the feast to be had, but it's the one carb-filled food that Thanksgiving lets you gorge on without guilt. If you are one to not skip the rolls when it comes to Thanksgiving, then you'll go crazy over these Easy Flaky Pull-Apart Dinner Rolls.

Requiring only seven ingredients, these rolls really don't take much of your time. Except for the yeast. You'll want to allow a few hours for the dough to rise, but once it does and these flaky rolls come out of the oven golden brown and piping hot, you'll be happy you skipped the store bought rolls.

Get the recipe here. 

18. Cranberry Apple-Sage Stuffing

While this Cranberry Apple Sage Stuffing recipe may call for chicken broth, replace it with veggie broth for a tasty vegetarian stuffing so easy it's like making it out of a box. Tearing up an artisan sourdough loaf, let it sit overnight so it's hard enough to not get soggy in the stuffing. Then, add in crisp apples, fresh cranberries, cooked onions and celery, and fresh sage.

All baked in one casserole dish, there's no need to stuff a bird for a satisfying Thanksgiving stuffing worthy of the holiday table.

Need a drink pairing for your sides? Check out what beer, wine, and big batch cocktails go smashing with your Thanksgiving dinner.

Get the recipe here. 

Watch: How to Make Cranberry Rosemary Sangria