It's that time of year again; time to travel across the country to sit with your family and eat the driest of turkey meat, hydrated back to life by the most corn-starchy of gravies, while you argue with your insane conservative uncle about the destruction of native communities.
Sure, these are the Thanksgiving tropes we've all come to accept, but you can do something about it, and it starts with the food. If you really want to break with tradition, we've put together some of our favorite vegan recipes that would be a perfect fit for Thanksgiving, and the perfect way to passive-aggressively get back at your uncle.
RECIPE: Orchard Smoke Cocktail
Time to settle into Thanksgiving vibes with a little help from your old friend hard alcohol. Evoke the smells of autumn with cinnamon, smoky whiskey, maple syrup, and apple cider in a cocktail that is equal parts seasonal and boozy. Now that you have a drink in your hand, you can start cranking out animal-free Thanksgiving classics that will satisfy even the crankiest eaters.
RECIPE: Maple Roasted Root Vegetables
There's nothing like sneaky sugar to boost the flavor of root vegetables, and there's no sugar quite like maple sugar. There's no harm in sweetening the healthy stuff when it's with a syrup that is pure, delicious, and from the inside of a tree.
RECIPE: Vegan Corn Pudding
What's more comforting and hearty than a baked corn pudding? This one has creamed corn, corn starch, corn flour, cornmeal, and corn kernels all baked into one block of corny goodness.
RECIPE: Vegan Sweet Potato Casserole
Just because you want to break with tradition, doesn't mean there isn't room on the table for an old school Thanksgiving classic like sweet potato casserole, and no one is going to lose any sleep over marshmallow substitutes. This pecan crumble is way more interesting texturally and is seasoned with a combo of nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger that's way more comforting than any industrial marshmallow mix.
RECIPE: Green Bean Casserole
The words "green bean casserole" may evoke kitschy images of soggy canned beans floating in bland liquid, but we promise that this vegan version is all flavor. From the soy sauce to the cremini mushrooms and crispy onions, this recipe is full of little tricks that will turn the green beans into umami dynamite sticks.
Hey, did you know that the funky smell of roasting brussel sprouts is purely optional? You can shave those little guys razor thin instead and eat them raw as the base of a citrusy salad that will cut through the richest of Thanksgiving dishes.
Who says cranberry sauce needs to sit atop dried-out turkey breast? A great cranberry sauce is a side dish unto itself and garnish for any food you see fit. This version is seasoned with cinnamon, cloves, and the flesh of an orange, putting it head and shoulders above the canned crap we're all used to. It could also be a great adhesive for a morning-after Thanksgiving burrito.
RECIPE: Vegan Shepherd's Pie
There is no need to sacrifice a lamb to have a decent meat pie, so leave the Biblical symbolism out of the equation for this pagan celebration and throw together a vegan shepherd's pie. It's a hearty main that, if well-executed, will confound even the most carnivorous of dinner guests.
RECIPE: Wild Rice Stuffing
Not only is this stuffing vegan, but it's gluten free and it's wild. The vegetables here are a loose guideline: you can bulk it up with any fall vegetables you want. This side is as satisfying as the starchiest of stove top stuffings, but packs a way deeper savory punch thanks to dehydrated mushrooms.
RECIPE: Vegan Pumpkin Pie
Time for dessert and it's silken tofu to the rescue for the filling of this pumpkin pie. No cream? No problem. Coconut cream is an animal-free substitute that tastes even better than the real thing.
There you have it, all the makings of a truly memorable Thanksgiving meal, void of meat, dryness, sadness, and guilt.