RECIPE

Our 24 best vegan Thanksgiving sides for meatless magic

Featuring greens, roasted veg, and dinner rolls galore — we're equal-opportunity eaters

By Nikkitha Bakshani

Published November 24, 2021 11:00AM (EST)

 (Julia Gartland / Food52)
(Julia Gartland / Food52)

This story first appeared on Food52, an online community that gives you everything you need for a happier kitchen and home – that means tested recipes, a shop full of beautiful products, a cooking hotline, and everything in between!

A vegan side dish or two at your table this Thanksgiving is, like Audrey Hepburn once said about Paris, always a good idea. (Better, in fact, as it's much more doable.) Whether your centerpiece is turkey or plant-based, these sides will stitch your feast together to make a wonderful and very edible tapestry.

24 best vegan Thanksgiving side dishes

Greens

1. Grilled Broccolini Salad with Basil-Walnut Vinaigrette

Don't let "grilled" put you off if you don't have a grill! You can use a grill pan or just sear on a hot cast iron skillet. Make extra of the vinaigrette, too, to keep on hand for future salads.

2. Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pears and Pistachios

The winner of our Best Green Holiday Side contest, this dish comes together in one baking sheet. It has only five ingredients and you know three of them (the others you almost certainly have already).

3. Suzanne Goin's Slow-Cooked Cavolo Nero (aka Tuscan Kale)

This kale side was originally conceived as a step in a recipe, but it's so good just as is that a lot of cooks who've made it just abandon the other steps to eat it on its own.

4. Roasted Endive with Walnut Vinaigrette

We're so happy somebody roasted an endive, typically spotted in salads, and confirmed it is indeed very good, especially contrasted with a sweet walnut vinaigrette.

5. Molly Stevens' Roasted Fennel, Red Onion, and Orange Salad

It's hard to resist a dish with a description like this: ingredients "walk into an oven together, and morph into a warm winter salad that virtually dresses itself."

6. Spicy Oven-Roasted Okra

Not the usual green you expect to see at the Thanksgiving table, but it won't disappoint (no slimy texture here).

7. Cashew Milk–Braised Cabbage with Crunchy Chile Oil

This savory, spicy, dramatic dish has main course potential, but is just as good as part of a larger spread.

8. Miso–Brown Sugar Cabbage

This dish comes together in a flash—perfect for making last minute if you have these staples in your cupboard.

Roots

9. Balsamic-Roasted Shallots

While this recipe does require one special ingredient (sherry), if you have it or plan on getting it, there's no excuse not to make this with any onion of choice.

10. Roasted Vegetables with Bright and Crunchy Herbed Topping

This dish is a celebration of MSG, but if you're skeptical, replace it in equal parts with nutritional yeast.

11. Carrots Cooked Forever, à la Roy Finamore

The rare find that's sophisticated enough for adults but simple (and soft) enough for babies, this is a good recipe to have going in the background as you prepare the other players of your feast.

12. Miso-Maple Roasted Roots

Use a medley of any roast vegetables you like for this neat little concoction.

13. Whipped Hummus with Roasted Carrots and Za'atar Oil from Hetty McKinnon

The star of this recipe is 100% the whipped hummus, the result of a kitchen "accident." Use it with any roasted roots or crudité, or on its own as a dip.

14. Vegan Mashed Potatoes

If you need a solid back pocket plant-based mashed potato recipe, this is it.

More colorful things!

15. Crispy Delicata Rings with Currant, Fennel, and Apple Relish

The winner of our Best Vegetarian Holiday Side is vegan, and who doesn't love delicata, the least fussy squash of them all?

16. Roasted Cauliflower with Cumin and Cilantro

A sort of pared-back aloo gobi you can make in the oven, this is a dish you can keep on rotation well after Thanksgiving.

17. Moro's Warm Squash and Chickpea Salad with Tahini

Think of this as a gratin without the cheese—rich but not food coma-inducing (on its own, anyway).

18. Mushrooms with Caramelized Shallots and Fresh Thyme

This recipe comes with a warning that you may need to have someone by the smoke alarm fanning away the fumes—and that's how you know it's worth it.

19. Bon Appétit's Radicchio Salad with Sourdough Dressing

Bread masquerading as dressing? Sign us up.

20. Better-Than-Canned-Pumpkin Butternut Squash Purée

It's not a bad idea to sub this in for a pumpkin pie recipe, either!

We love bread

21. No-Fuss Vegan Cornbread

A go-to for any vegan feast.

22. Mama's Bread Rolls

A mash-up of bread and potatoes that's then deep fried to perfection, this is a crowd-pleaser of a dish that's just as good at room temperature.

23. Scallion Star Bread

Vegan butter comes to the rescue in this festive showstopper you should probably repeat in December and beyond.

24. Kombucha Muffins from Jerrelle Guy

Ready in less than 30 minutes, this Genius recipe shape shifts between sweet and savory based on what you serve it with.

25. Vegan Sweet Potato Biscuits

Like the muffins above, you can choose your own sweet or savory adventure here.


Nikkitha Bakshani

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Food Holidays Recipe Sides Thanksgiving Vegan