How to Host the Ultimate Vegan Thanksgiving
There are a few holidays that are so focused on food, but a vegan Thanksgiving is the most fun!
There is so much creativity out there when it comes to incorporating plant-based culinary ideas to a holiday that has traditionally been very meat-based, so we really go for it. When designing our Thanksgiving menus, we really think about the traditions around the holiday and, maybe more importantly, how the food is going to taste on that day. Sure, maybe we think a little bit too much about food (to be fair, it is our job!), but that kind of intensity is completely acceptable when it comes to holiday meals!
Thoughtful courses make for a great dinner.
What a lot of people tend to forget is that food is about pacing, it’s about building up the experience of the meal itself. Which fine, might sound a little over the top, but think about it— you want to balance different flavors while giving people time to digest between courses and savor the food.
Ideally, the meal should be structured with:
- A light appetizer. We like soups and crackers as a starter, like our Winter Squash Soup with Truffle Pepitas. Just enough to set the tone of the night (awesome food, of course) without guests being too full.
- A few different options for mains and sides. We recommend about 3-4, and a balance between sweet and savory. You can do different kinds of stuffings to go with tofu, tempeh, beans, and other plant-based proteins that could offer sweetness to the salty foods.
- One to two desserts. This is often the tricky part since guests might be too full to really indulge, but don’t ignore those with a sweet tooth! We like to mix it up, so our menu has a Bourbon Maple Pumpkin Cheezecake for the adventurous ones, and a Spiced Apple Pie for the traditional ones. We’d recommend something similar so that guests can truly indulge in the flavors of Thanksgiving.
Go outside the flavor box.
We always advocate for going outside the box— an idea intertwined in our cooking philosophy— and we encourage you to do it too! You can use various plant-based proteins such as tofu, beans, and tempeh to recreate traditional options such as turkey and sausage for a true Thanksgiving feel.
For example, for our Thanksgiving menu, we opted to do a Tempeh Sausage and Leek Stuffing, plus two kinds of casseroles— Organic Green Bean Casserole and Local Sweet Potato Casserole. Both balance between traditional Thanksgiving flavors, with a more adventurous taste. Ingredients like apples, mushrooms, butternut squash, and other root vegetables can all be incorporated into a vegan Thanksgiving meal that tastes just as good as it looks.
Think about your dinnerware.
When we talk about environmental impact, we often forget that even our small choices such as dinnerware do have an impact. So to really minimize that, we recommend breaking out the fine china or, if going disposable, choosing compostable options.
It’s great because not only is the clean up quick (score!) but it’s better for the environment, too. Try to opt for vegan and eco-friendly dinnerware options where possible. As we all know, every little bit helps!
Or you know, don’t cook…
Wait…what? Yes, you heard us. Here’s the thing— we fully believe that Thanksgiving should be fun. And during the holidays, cooking can be stressful, especially when it’s a big dinner and you’re the host!
So in order to ensure that you have a great and stress-free time, we’ve gone ahead and designed a menu that is a true feast. Whether you just need a few quick dishes to lighten the cooking load, or you’d rather have it all (I mean, we do have a traditional Spiced Apple Pie on the menu…and a Bourbon Maple Pumpkin Cheezecake. Just saying…), we’re here for you.
Sometimes, the best Thanksgivings are the ones where you don’t do much work and just focus on actually enjoying the holiday itself. And we’re here to make that dream come true. Let us do the cooking. All you need to do is relax and enjoy the food!