Vegetarian Thanksgiving Sides

Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year? Maybe it’s your first time hosting or you’re an expert. Either way, if you’re trying to please all of your guests, don’t forget about the vegetarians.

Generally, vegetarians are people who don’t eat meat, poultry, or seafood. There are many types of vegetarians. Some eat eggs and dairy (lacto-ovo vegetarians), some eat fish (pescatarian), while others eat zero animal products (vegan).

There is also a growing trend of eating a plant-based diet. While there are many definitions of this, the main idea is that people are focused on eating more vegetables, fruit, beans, and nuts, and less animal product.

This means many people at your table might enjoy a Thanksgiving with a variety of plant-based sides without any meat.

Here are some options that will please vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.

Scalloped Potatoes  – mashed potatoes are also usually vegetarian friendly but if you want to switch things up this year try this recipe for scalloped potatoes.

Parmesan Roasted Brussels Sprouts – Yum! This is a great side dish for all.

Harvest Delight – This nontraditional fall dish combines some of the best produce of the season – carrots, apples, butternut squash, bakes it, and adds maple syrup.

Roasted Butternut Squash – A traditional Thanksgiving side. You can also mash the roasted squash and add butter for a richer take on mashed butternut squash.

Sauteed Green Beans – This recipe calls for canned green beans but you can use fresh or frozen instead.

Cranberry Chutney – Rethink your canned cranberry sauce. This chutney is good or bread or stuffing. For non-vegetarians, put this directly on your turkey.

Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash – This hearty dish is a beauty and could be served as a meal in itself.

Do you have a Thanksgiving food you can’t do without? Submit the recipe to us and you could see it featured next year!


Written by Rachel Caty, MPH, RDN, LDN