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20 vegetarian Thanksgiving dishes that make meatless feasting a pleasure

Mary Kearl is a digital and social media professional whose writing has appeared on Forbes and AOL, among other publications. She is a graduate of NYU’s honors journalism program, an MBA student at the Zicklin School of Business at Baruc...

Because isn't Thanksgiving all about the veggies, anyway?

Even if you grew up eating meat and enjoying the usual holiday feast, Thanksgiving can be a little challenging as a vegan or vegetarian — unless you're cool making an entire meal out of side dishes.

But thankfully, we've been gifted with lots of recipes that feel hearty and traditional without the meat. And these meat-free and dairy-free recipes are so awesome, even non-vegetarian guests will gobble them up.

Here are some veg alternatives to add to your menu this year.

More: Hearty butternut squash rice casserole is vegetarian fall comfort food

1. Tofurky roast with vegetables

Because isn't Thanksgiving all about the veggies, anyway?
Image: PopSugar

Served with carrots and yams, this main course takes a paltry one and a half hours to cook compared with the traditional big turkey of the table. The Popsugar staff omnivores prepared, taste tested and reviewed this tofurky roast with vegetables recipe.

2. Root vegetable baked lasagna

Because isn't Thanksgiving all about the veggies, anyway?
Image: Cooking on the Weekends

Prepare a delicious combination of ricotta cheese, garlic, parsnips, turnips and cinnamon for a quintessentially fall meal of root vegetable baked lasagna.

3. Vegan ratatouille with tempeh

Because isn't Thanksgiving all about the veggies, anyway?
Image: SheKnows

Buck tradition in taste and style with vegan ratatouille with tempeh as the main course on the menu, and your table will be the very picture of autumn with the reds, oranges, greens and yellows of all the roasted veggies of this dish.

4. Roasted red beet hummus recipe

Because isn't Thanksgiving all about the veggies, anyway?
Image: Mother Nature Network

You've had your share of chickpea-, black bean- and white bean-based hummus. Now Thanksgiving is the perfect time to give roasted red beet hummus a try.

5. Quinoa-stuffed acorn squash rings

Because isn't Thanksgiving all about the veggies, anyway?
Image: Oh My Veggies

Served with cranberries and maple syrup, these quinoa-stuffed acorn squash rings might just put your average Thanksgiving sides and regular onion rings to shame.

6. Vegetable arty tart

Because isn't Thanksgiving all about the veggies, anyway?
Image: Statsy

This vegetable arty tart can double as your Thanksgiving centerpiece.

More: Black bean burgers are a vegetarian's dream come true

7. Butternut squash, kale and crunchy pepitas taco

Because isn't Thanksgiving all about the veggies, anyway?
Image: Serious Eats

Why not celebrate America's original feast with fall squash and kale-based tacos?

8. Mushroom and leek cornbread stuffing

Traditional stuffing, who needs it? Try this mushroom and leek cornbread stuffing recipe -- your gluten-free and vegan guests will thank you.

9. Homemade pumpkin ricotta ravioli with brown butter walnut sauce

Because isn't Thanksgiving all about the veggies, anyway?
Image: Little Ferraro Kitchen

Pumpkin can take center stage on the dinner table this year when you serve this delish homemade pumpkin ricotta ravioli with brown butter walnut sauce.

10. Olive oil and garlic green beans with crumbled blue cheese

Because isn't Thanksgiving all about the veggies, anyway?

Who says Thanksgiving sides have to be boring? Opt for healthy, gourmet and easy-to-prepare with these olive oil and garlic green beans with crumbled blue cheese.

11. Vegetarian and sausage gravy and biscuits

Because isn't Thanksgiving all about the veggies, anyway?
Image: The Daring Gourmet

Now your veggie guests don't have to miss out on a classic: biscuits and gravy!

12. Pumpkin curry with chickpeas

Because isn't Thanksgiving all about the veggies, anyway?
Image: BBC Good Food

You might not find this on any other Thanksgiving menu, but that doesn't mean your dinner guests won't love this hearty, savory, pumpkin-based dish!

13. Butternut squash chipotle chili with avocado

Because isn't Thanksgiving all about the veggies, anyway?
Image: Coolie + Kate

The colors and flavors of fall combine for this Mexican- and autumn-inspired butternut squash chipotle chili recipe.

14. Maple-apple cider tofu with stuffing and apple-cranberry chutney

Because isn't Thanksgiving all about the veggies, anyway?
Image: Vegan Dad

Moist, mouthwatering stuffing that's vegan-friendly? What's not to like about this maple-apple cider tofu with stuffing and apple-cranberry chutney recipe?

15. Butternut squash croquettes

Because isn't Thanksgiving all about the veggies, anyway?
Image: SheKnows

Cinnamon, olive oil, salt and pepper combine for the perfect sweet and savory Thanksgiving side dish.

16. Vegetarian quinoa chili

Because isn't Thanksgiving all about the veggies, anyway?
Image: Two Peas & Their Pod

Packed with veggies and black and red kidney beans, this vegetarian and gluten-free quinoa chili recipe may be the most filling and sought-after side on your holiday dinner table.

17. Shaved Parmesan and truffle mashed potatoes

Because isn't Thanksgiving all about the veggies, anyway?
Image: SheKnows

Topped with sautéed wild mushrooms? Yes, please! Never ordinary in the kitchen? Try this shaved Parmesan and truffle mashed potatoes recipe.

18. Baked apple stuffed with candied ginger and almonds

Because isn't Thanksgiving all about the veggies, anyway?
Image: Tree Hugger

You've perfected apple pie recipes, but what about baked apple? Obviously you must try it paired with wine.

19. Vegan cranberry coffee cake

Because isn't Thanksgiving all about the veggies, anyway?
Image: Cake Duchess

Thanksgiving is truly the holiday of the cranberry, so why not celebrate the berry by making it the star of the dessert menu with this vegan cranberry coffee cake recipe?

More: The complete guide to stocking a low-carb, vegetarian kitchen

20. Vegan pumpkin spice scone with vanilla bean cream cheese frosting

Because isn't Thanksgiving all about the veggies, anyway?
Image: Healthy Happy Life

It's not just your guests who deserve to try these pretty scones — you do too! And yes, the cream cheese frosting is really vegan.

Before you go, check out our slideshow below.

Because isn't Thanksgiving all about the veggies, anyway?

Image: Yammie's Noshery

Because isn't Thanksgiving all about the veggies, anyway?
Image: SheKnows

Originally published November 2014. Updated November 2016.

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