Turkey Alternatives for a Vegan Thanksgiving

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There are several ways to go when considering what to make for a vegan Thanksgiving dinner: using a store-bought vegan alternative, making a homemade turkey alternative, or making a feature dish that’s totally unrelated to turkey. Whichever style you choose, the festive options below would make anyone on a plant-based diet feel thankful.

*Images in this post are clickable! Some links go to Amazon and as an Amazon associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.

A Novel Idea

First, this probably isn’t what you were expecting when you came to this article, but if you really want to carve a vegan turkey for Thanksgiving, why not get this festive beauty… that’s made out of chocolate! (Yes, it’s entirely vegan!)

The above chocolate turkey is 10 inches and large enough for many people to have a piece.

Another option is to get individual ‘turkeys’ that can be set out as table favors for each guest. Here are two ideas from Amazon:

Chocolate Turkey Lollipops

Mini Chocolate Turkeys

Store-Bought Turkey Alternatives

Now that we’ve covered some festive turkey-shaped ideas, lets move on to the real meat(less). Below are some ideas for vegan turkey alternatives that are sold in stores and/or online. If you’re looking for something gluten-free, check out number 7: Amy’s Veggie Loaf.

1) Tofurky Holiday Roast with Gravy

Tofurky is probably one of the original vegan Thanksgiving dinners as it’s been around for many years. This company makes several roast options (more listed below), however their Holiday Roast with Gravy seems like the most traditional option for a Thanksgiving celebration. It’s even filled with a wild rice and bread crumb stuffing that adds to the festive feeling. Each roast has approximately 5 servings.

Use the Store Locater on the Tofurky website to find this roast near you.

2. Gardein Turk’y Cutlets

Don’t be deceived by the breading; these turkey fillets taste very much like turkey and the breading makes them feel even more fancy. These turkeys are probably one of the easiest plant-based alternatives to find in local stores. Each packet contains four fillets and two gravy packets, which is estimated to be two servings. This vegan turkey option is very easy to prepare with just a quick oven cook time of 20 minutes. These can often be found at major grocery store chains, including Walmart; in fact, they can even be found on the Walmart website to determine if your local store has them available.

If you don’t have a Walmart nearby that carries these, check the product locator on the Gardein website for more options.

3. Hazelnut Cranberry Roast En Croute by Field Roast

If you really want to go all out with something fancy, the dough wrapped (in French, “En Croute” or “in crust”) vegan roast by Field Roast that is filled with a hazelnut cranberry stuffing is sure to wow guests. Not only is it wrapped in a pastry crust, the center of the roast is stuffed with rosemary, candied ginger and vegan sausage. Each roast contains approximately 8 servings.

Use the Store Locator tool on the Field Roast website to find one near you.

It is also available online from New Season’s Market.

4. Field Roast Celebration Roast

There is both a large and small version of this celebration roast. The larger roast (pictured) serves 8, contains a traditional bread stuffing and comes with a porcini mushroom gravy. The smaller roast serves 5 and has a stuffing of butternut squash, apples and mushrooms. These roasts are definitely something to celebrate. In fact, I have used this roast myself for several holidays and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Use the store locator tool on the Field Roast website to find one near you.

5. Tofurky Ham

Thinking of having a ham for Thanksgiving instead of turkey? Vegans have this option too thanks to the Tofurky Ham Roasts! You read that correctly: roasts, plural, as in there’s more than one! Choose from the Everyday Ham Roast and the Amber Ale Glazed Ham Roast (pictured). Both of these ‘hams’ provide approximately 5 servings per roast.

Find these plant-based ham products near you with the store locator on the Tofurky website.

7. Amy’s Veggie Loaf Dinner

For those looking for a gluten-free option, the Veggie Loaf dinner by Amy’s has recently gone vegan and comes with its own serving of mashed potatoes, gravy and vegetables. Each box is a single serving. With the vast number of stores that carry Amy’s products, finding this roast should be easy.

Use the store locator on the Amy’s website to find this gluten-free vegan Thanksgiving option near you.

8. Artisan Grains Nut Roasts

If you’re looking for something new, or something that can be ordered from Amazon, these European nut roasts from Amazon are a great festive option. There are three flavors that you can choose from: Country Veg & Cashew,  Mediterranean Sun-dried Tomato, and Cashew Nut & Cranberry. Each package contains approximately two servings. Note that since these roasts are coming from England, delivery time is 8-12 days so be sure to order them well in advance.

Homemade Vegan Turkey Recipes

There are some amazing recipes for plant-based turkey that can really make a homemade meal feel special. Here are four recipes that are highly rated:

1. “Gluten Gobbler”

Vegan turkey made of tofu and seitan (wheat gluten) – Recipe by VeganYumminess.com who came up with the clever name of “Gluten Gobbler.”

2. Tofu-Free “Gluten Gobbler”

Vegan turkey made primarily of seitan (wheat gluten) – Recipe by TheCheekyChickpea.com 

3. Gluten-Free Gobbler

Vegan turkey made of tempeh – Recipe by VeganGlutenFreeLife.com

4. Tofu Gobbler

Stuffed vegan tofu street – Recipe by TheSpruce.com

Non-Turkey Vegan Thanksgiving Ideas

1. Stuffed Acorn Squash

This dish has such a spectacular appearance and is incredibly easy to make. In fact, this looks so inviting that we’d suggest preparing it for everyone as they will surely want one! Simple halve as many acorn squashes as needed, roast them, then set out a large bowl of quinoa or rice medley to self- serve fill them. Brought to you by yours truly, here’s the full recipe: Savory & Sweet Stuffed Acorn Squash!

2. Cauliflower Steaks

Again, these are extremely impressive to see and we’d recommend making enough for everyone. Luckily, one cauliflower typically yields 4-5 steaks. These are also incredibly easy to make which is a big bonus when there’s so much to cook: simply slice, sprinkle with seasonings and roast. See the full recipe here: Cauliflower Steaks!

3. Vegan Meatloaf

If you’re looking for a whole-foods plant-based Thanksgiving recipe, there are many meatloaf options that would be a great choice. Here are a few suggestions:

Other Tips

  • Although the main focus at a traditional Thanksgiving dinner is the turkey, that’s actually only a small portion of the dinner plate. This is good news because many side dishes like corn, green beans and dinner rolls are typically vegan.
  • Most traditional side dishes for Thanksgiving that aren’t already vegan can easily become available for everyone simply by swapping the dairy for plant-based butter or milk instead.
  • Talk to your vegan guest ahead of time. By letting them know what the menu is, they can offer to make a dish for everyone or prepare their own to bring instead.

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