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Thanksgiving can be a special time of year – not least because of all the delicious food. But if you’re watching your diet, or trying to eat more plants and fewer animals, Thanksgiving can be hard to navigate – especially if you’re not the one hosting.

But that doesn’t mean you need to miss out on all those warm, rich, hearty foods nor compromise your diet. There are still plenty of plant-based, gut-healthy, sugar-free variations on some of the holiday’s most favorite dishes.

If you’re hosting, you can embrace these variations wholeheartedly and no one will be the wiser. If you’re a guest for Thanksgiving, why not offer to take along a few dishes to help your host? It will, no doubt, eliminate the host’s stress over not knowing exactly what’s ok to serve.

Read on below for these mouthwatering, ActivatedYou-approved vegan Thanksgiving recipes:

Vegan Recipe #1: Wild Mushroom and Apple Stuffing

A gluten free, meat free stuffing? It is possible – and delicious! This stuffing combines some of our favorite grains with all the classic Thanksgiving flavors you’ve come to love for a new twist on the old favorite.

Ingredients (Serves 4-6):

  • 3 cups cooked wild rice, barley, quinoa, or a mix of the 3.
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups diced wild mushrooms
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 4 ribs celery, diced
  • 2 green apples, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup fresh sage, diced
  • ¼ cup fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 Tbsp poultry seasoning
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp sea salt, or to taste
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup vegetable or mushroom broth


  • Preheat oven to 350. Brush a 9×13 casserole dish with oil and set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add mushrooms, onions, celery, and apples and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender.
  • Add garlic, thyme, and sage, and continue to cook until very fragrant, 2-3 more minutes.
  • Toss in the rice, as well as the poultry seasoning, paprika, sea salt and black pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until well combined.
  • Transfer mixture to casserole dish. Drizzle in vegetable stock and bake for 25-30 minutes, until top is crispy and stuffing is very hot.
  • Serve on its own, or use to stuff butternut squash for a show-stopping entree

Vegan Recipe #2: Spiced Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Whether used together as “pumpkin spice” or individually; cloves, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice can all pep up both savory and sweet dishes.

Thanksgiving sweet potatoes are a great example of this. Though normally drenched with sugar (and sugary marshmallows), sweet potatoes are actually loaded with plenty of their own natural sugars. And when cooked with coconut milk and festive spices, they’re as healthy as they are delicious.

Ingredients (Serves 4-6):

  • 4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup coconut milk, plus more as needed
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • ½ onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp sea salt, or to taste


  • Place sweet potatoes, coconut milk, and water in a pot with a lid. Cover and simmer over medium heat until potatoes are tender.
  • Meanwhile, heat the coconut oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and spices, and cook, stirring frequently until until onions are translucent and mixture is very fragrant. Set aside.
  • When potatoes are tender, mash until smooth, adding coconut milk until you achieve the texture you like.
  • Fold in onion mixture along with salt.
  • Taste, and adjust seasoning as needed before serving.

Vegan Recipe #3: Green Beans with Herbs, Pomegranates, and Oranges

Green beans need not be drenched in rich cream and butter to be delectable. Using a sprinkling of herbs and some zesty, fresh seasonal fruit can easily transform this dish into a new family favorite.

Ingredients (Serves 4-6):

  • 2 lbs green beans, trimmed.
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • Zest of 2 oranges
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ¼ cup dill
  • ¼ cup parsley
  • ¼ cup thyme
  • ½ cup pomegranate arils
  • Segments from 2 oranges


  • Steam green beans until tender. Cool in ice water, and set aside.
  • Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add green beans, garlic, orange zest, sea salt, and herbs and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is golden brown, and beans are beginning to brown in places (4-5 minutes).
  • Remove from heat, then toss with pomegranates and oranges before serving.

Vegan Recipe #4: Vegan Pumpkin Pie

But is it still possible to make pumpkin pie without butter in the crust? Oh, yes. How about a healthy pecan, date, and oat crust filled with a pumpkin, coconut milk filling!

Ingredients (Serves 8-10) –

The Crust:

  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 1/2 cup gluten free oats
  • 2 Tbsp coconut butter
  • 4 pitted dates
  • 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

The Filling:

  • 1 14-oz can pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup canned full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch or tapioca starch
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • First, make the crust. Preheat oven to 350. Brush a pie pan with olive oil, and set aside.
  • Pulse all crust ingredients in a food processor or high speed blender until a crumbly dough is formed.
  • Press into the pie pan evenly, and bake 10-15 minutes. Set aside.
  • Next, make the filling. Pour all filling ingredients into a blender, or into a large mixing bowl. Whisk or blend until smooth.
  • Transfer to prepared pie crust and bake until set, 45 minutes – 1 hour.
  • Let cool to room temperature before serving.

Wishing you and your family a happy holiday with these healthy, vegan Thanksgiving recipes!


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