Bonzai Thanksgiving: The Vegan Recipe Round-Up

November 20th, 2009 - filed under: The Food » Recipes

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, because it’s secular, it’s personal, and it’s all about family (and food!). But I know that for a lot of veg*ns, this is a very stressful time of year. It can be hard to hang with the omni relatives, nibbling on lettuce and cranberry sauce and feeling altogether left out. So this year, whether you’re bringing a dish to join in with the family, or creating a whole meal to share with your ‘family’ of friends, you can make sure it’s amazing with these ethical edibles.


  • If taking on a main course seems overwhelming, never fear – you have options! There’s the ever-prevalent Tofurkey, available at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and online. There’s also the amazing Celebration Roast from Field Roast, a soy-free ‘grain meat’ company. This one is a bit harder to find, but it’s often at Whole Foods, and online ordering is always an option.
  • For the more adventurous, you can create your own, homemade Un-Turkey. Here’s an awesome seitan roast recipe, and here’s an amazing instructional video.
  • I also love the idea of stuffed gourds for Thanksgiving! If you’re fond of traditional flavors, you’ll love this recipe, complete with video, from Compassionate Cooks. But, if you’re into something a bit more exotic, these Moroccan Couscous Stuffed Squashes sound amazing! (just replace the butter with margarine and the chicken broth with veggie stock).
  • Finally, I’m super in love with the look of this Celebration Pot Pie With Pumpkin Biscuit Crust from Susan at the FatFree Vegan Kitchen.



Whew! That should set you up pretty nicely. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Annie

    Just wanted to add my Vegan dark chocolate chip pecan pie recipe, if anyone is so inclined.

    You can find the pie crust store bought or home made.


    1 and 1/2 cup maple syrup
    3/4 cup water
    pinch salt
    1/4 cup cornstarch
         mixed with 4 and 1/2 tablespoon cold water
    2 tablespoons vegan margarine
    1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    1 cup dark chocolate chips
    1-2 cups toasted, unsalted pecan halves
    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Poke the pie crust all over with the tines of a fork and pre-bake for 3 minutes.  Remove from oven to a rack.
    In a medium saucepan combine the maple syrup with the 3/4 cup water.  Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes.  Add the salt and the dissolved cornstarch, whisking vigorously.  Stir and cook over high heat just until the mixture thickens and is clear.  Remove from heat and stir in the margarine and vanilla—stir until the margarine is melted.  The mixture will still be fairly liquid. Add chocolate chips.
    Pour this into the pre-baked pie shell.  Arrange the pecan halves on top, pressing them down into the mixture a little.  Place the pie in the middle of the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 350 degrees F.  Bake 30 minutes.  The filling will still be “jiggly”—don’t worry; it will set as it cools.  Cool on a rack for about 1 and 1/2 hours, then refrigerate until thoroughly cooled and set. 

  • Annie

    Oh, I forgot where I found that recipe. I think I have changed it a little since then too. Sorry!

  • sarah

    Annie that looks amazing!!

    Sayward THANK YOU for a great list – it will be a long time before we ever host a Thanksgiving meal, and I’m not even sure that we will need to bring anything to the ones we are attending this year… but I was still thinking about. I almost want to have our own little mini-Thanksgiving with the hubby just so I can test these recipes!

    I’ve never been a big marshmallow fan even pre-vegan days… but on occasion I do make my own. I will have to send you my from scratch, vegan, corn syrup free, marshmallow recipe – candy making complicated but quite fun! They melt, rather than roast over campfires, but make an amazing marshmallow creme!

  • Kate

    My sister went Veg*n recently and the pumpkin pie and green bean recipes are much appreciated, thanks Sayward!

  • Sayward

    @ Annie – That sounds divine, thank you!

    @ Sarah – Yes, marshmallow creme recipe! Yes please! =D

    @ Kate – Your welcome, enjoy! (and congrats to your sister)

  • Meghan

    Thanks for the gravy recipe! I had been using the gravy recipe that goes along with a Shepherd’s Pie recipe I had been using. I started expirementing with the first recipe you posted earlier in the week. I just made it for Thanksgiving Dinner, but instead of following the instructions exactly I started making a roux of 1/2 cup of flour and 1/2 cup of smart balance. I had the other ingredients all combined in a measuring cup and whisked them in, and then just heated until it was hot. Woo, roux!

    For pumpkin pie we made the recipe in La Dolce Vegan, but with the graham cracker crust in Vegan with a Vengeance.

    I made the same stuffing that I’ve been eating since I was a kid… my parents never put our stuffing in the bird because there was never enough that way, and it was soggy. We just buy a bag o’ commercial bread cubes, add smart balance, broth, onions and celery, form it in to balls and bake. Mmmmm… stuffing.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Sayward

    @ Meghan – I hope it was all delicious and you ate until your eyeballs popped out! =D Happy Thanksgiving!!!

  • Diane

    Great post! And yes Thanksgiving is not only stressful for vegans-eating with family but even more stressful for the families that are trying to please their vegan guests. I have to admit, it is a pain the ass sometimes. (Sorry, I love vegans, I really do.

    So I’ve decided that when I invite friends and family members over with “specific diets” that we just have a pot luck; even on Thanksgiving It’s less stress on everyone. And your recipes are a great find!

    I am thankful for your blog and will pass it along to my vegan friends. Happy Thanksgiving!