13 Turkey Alternatives For Thanksgiving That Don't Skimp On Flavor

A little creativity goes a long way.

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Thanksgiving dinner is a time to share family favorites and recipes passed down between generations. But, just because it's Turkey Day doesn't mean there has to be an actual bird on the table. There are plenty of vegan alternatives to turkey and delicious vegan Thanksgiving recipes that make for amazing dinners the whole family can share. If you live a vegan lifestyle or you know someone who does, all it takes is a little creativity and a lot of tasty ingredients to put together a Thanksgiving meal you can all enjoy.

Of course, there are many incredible vegan side dishes and desserts to prepare for Thanksgiving, but when it comes to the main dish, turkey seems to be on everyone's mind. So, for anyone out there who doesn't eat turkey, coming up with a main course that everyone will want to dig into can be difficult. But, this list of recipes is here to help you come up with the perfect idea for what to serve at your Thanksgiving feast this year.

From different chilis and casseroles to tofurky and even seitan (wheat) turkey, the main course doesn't always have to be turkey or ham when it comes to Thanksgiving. Even if your friends and family don't live a vegan lifestyle, trying out an alternative to the traditional Thanksgiving main course is a great way to shake up the routines of Thanksgiving dinner and make it a year to remember. So, check out these delicious and easy-to-make main courses with plenty of different alternatives to serving turkey for dinner. Your taste buds will thank you later.

1. Stuffed Mini Pumpkins

What could make for a cuter and more aesthetically pleasing Thanksgiving dinner than serving your friends and family these mini stuffed pumpkins? These adorable pumpkins are stuffed with wild rice and shredded brussels sprouts. The best part is that you can even eat the bowl — that is, if you can manage it (since they're so dang cute). Find the recipe at Half-Baked Harvest.

2. Vegan Chili With Homemade Sour Cream

Thanksgiving is a time for a meal that's warm, hearty, and reminds you how much you love spending time with the people around you. Chili is the perfect homemade dish to throw together for almost any occasion. Packed with bell peppers, onions, celery, kidney beans, pinto beans, and more, this vegan chili will make everyone feel right at home. Find the recipe Oh She Glows.

3. Butternut Squash Vegducken

An unspoken rule of veganism: the more colors you use in your dish, the more flavor. In this take on the meaty turducken, this recipe swaps out the meat but not the flavor. Find the recipe at Epicurious.

4. Vegan Tofu And Vegetable Pot Pie

Pot pie always warms the belly and the heart — and this tasty recipe will do both without the bloated regret. Find the recipe at Well Vegan.

5. Mushroom Lentil Loaf

If you're a fan of a good lentil burger, then this tasty mushroom and lentil loaf will be a great alternative to turkey for you this Thanksgiving. Using ground chia seeds in place of eggs and mushrooms for a nice, meaty texture, this lentil loaf may not be a full-on roast turkey, but it definitely brings some flavor to the table. Find the recipe at Making Thyme For Health.

6. Roasted Cauliflower With Turmeric-Tahini Sauce & Pistachios

Cauliflower doesn’t get enough credit for its versatility. Though a bit lengthy on the prep time, this roasted cauliflower roast will leave you feeling satisfied and is well worth the wait. Find the recipe at Food 52.

7. Avocado & Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

Not only are they cute, but they're delicious, too. Stuffed with quinoa and avocado, these acorn squashes will fill your stomach with the flavors of autumn. Leave out the feta cheese and replace it with your personal favorite brand of vegan cheese for an extra bit of flavor on top. No one will be missing that turkey anytime soon. Find the recipe at Love And Lemons.

8. Jumbo Stuffed Shells

You really can't go wrong when it comes to pasta. As much as pasta is a part of many's every day meals, many people can't get enough, and Thanksgiving is no exception. Filled with a homemade tofu ricotta and covered in basil and chunky tomato sauce, these pasta shells will satisfy everyone at the dinner table. Find the recipe at Oh She Glows.

9. Butternut Squash Chipotle Chili With Avocado

A beautiful combination of Mexican flavors and seasonal autumn ingredients, this chili is a fresh and delicious dish everyone can enjoy — vegetarian, vegan, and even gluten-free. With a prep time of only 20 minutes and a cook time of one hour, this chili will save you plenty of time to focus on all of your other side dishes this Thanksgiving. Find the recipe at Cookie + Kate.

10. Seed Loaf

Possibly even more flavorful than the lentil loaf, this vegan seed loaf uses puréed vegetable and flax eggs (water and finely crushed flax seeds) to bind together this nutritious and flavor-packed loaf. Using your favorite mix of spices, you can customize this dish to make it all your own and prepare it to suit your family's tastes. Find the recipe at Healthful Pursuit.

11. Layered Eggplant & Zucchini Casserole

As long as you have a casserole dish, you have everything you need to make a casserole. This Thanksgiving, try layering together some eggplant and zucchini with a creamy garlic, bean sauce and tomato sauce to create a warm and filling main course. It might sound a little strange at first, but it's definitely worth a try. Add some nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan cheese on top for an extra dash of flavor. Find the recipe at Oh She Glows.

12. Glazed Lentil, Walnut, Apple Loaf

More simple than many lentil loaf recipes out there, this glazed lentil, walnut, and apple loaf is just about as easy to put together as an ordinary meatloaf. Whether you choose to make one for everyone or individually portioned mini lentil loafs, this recipe is a great alternative to turkey this Thanksgiving. The secret to this tasty lentil loaf is the balsamic apple glaze, which is made out of ketchup, maple syrup, and a dash of apple butter. Find the recipe at Oh She Glows.

13. Tuscan Portobello Stew

As Thanksgiving is usually a bit brisk, it's nice to have something warm and hearty for the soul. This Tuscan Portobello Stew is perfect as it does just that while also making prep and cleanup super easy as it’s a one-pot recipe. Find the recipe at Taste of Home.

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