15 Meat-Free Mains for Thanksgiving

Event Planning, Living & Spending
on November 19, 2014
Butternut Squash Pasta Recipe
Coordinately Yours

We can think of more than a few good reasons to go meat-less this Thanksgiving. For starters, you’ll save big if you skip the expense of purchasing that protein for a huge holiday crowd—but any old reason will do. We’ll take any excuse to spend time perusing these beautiful blogs, and this time, we turned up 15 fabulous meat-free mains that can easily hold their own on the holiday table.


Barley Risotto with Kale and Butternut Squash

15 Meat Free Main Dishes

Mountain Mama Cooks 

Mountain Mama Cooks has created perhaps the healthiest cold-weather comfort food in the form of Barley Risotto topped with Parmesan. Butternut squash and kale are inexpensive additions that complement each other well in this simple, pleasing main dish.


Baked Stuffed Acorn Squash

15 Meat Free Main Dishes

Making Thyme for Health

These adorable Acorn Squash Bowls from Making Thyme for Health are easier to prepare than they appear. Creamy barley and sautéed vegetables create a hearty filling that makes this an ideal vegetarian entrée.


Roasted Sweet Potato, Wild Rice, and Arugula Salad

15 Meat Free Main Dishes

Pinch of Yum

This substantial salad from Pinch of Yum is far from skimpy—it’ll fill you up just enough so you can still save room for that second slice of pumpkin pie.


Vegan Loaded Sweet Potato

15 Meat Free Main Dishes

Kara Lydon

This warm, comforting, incredibly healthy dish from Kara Lydon is any easy one to make for the exact number of people expected at your Thanksgiving table, so there’ll be minimal waste involved. This particular sweet potato is loaded with kale, black beans and a dreamy homemade Green Goddess Dressing—but you can set toppings out so guests can customize their spud.


Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells

15 Meat Free Main Dishes

Creme de la Crumb

This creamy dish from Crème de la Crumb can be prepared in just 30 minutes, and the classic combo of cheese and broccoli will be popular across the table.


Butternut Squash and Wild Rice Salad

15 Meat Free Main Dishes

Striped Spatula

Seasonal produce like butternut squash can transform any simple dish into a fall-flavored and filling Thanksgiving main. Forget intimidating ingredients you can’t pronounce, and opt for this rice salad from Striped Spatula for a super impressive—and super easy-to-make—vegetarian dish.


Browned Butter Butternut Squash Pasta

15 Meat Free Main Dishes

Coordinately Yours

This savory pasta from Coordinately Yours has a surprisingly short ingredient list for such an impressive finished product. Sage and walnuts produce a perfectly toasty flavor that will make this Thanksgiving dinner one for the books.


Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

15 Meat Free Main Dishes

Happy Healthy Mama

Happy Healthy Mama’s Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili is the ultimate crowd-pleaser. The ingredient list is simple and inexpensive, and the recipe calls for the perfect hint of spice to make it exciting.


Pumpkin Pilaf Salad with Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

15 Meat Free Main Dishes

The Simple Kitchen

The best way to make a Thanksgiving vegetarian dish is to make the main ingredient pumpkin! The relatively short ingredient list here produces large servings, making this recipe from The Simple Kitchen a no-brainer main for our table.


Leek, Mushroom and Cheddar Pasta Bake

15 Meat Free Main Dishes

Don’t Feed After Midnight

This scrumptious baked pasta casserole from Don’t Feed After Midnight combines the comfort food favorites of leeks, mushrooms and cheddar cheese, all seasoned with a touch of paprika.


Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Bourbon Maple Candied Pecans and Cranberries

15 Meat Free Main Dishes

The Roasted Root

Feeling sweet? The Roasted Root’s sugary main dish sweet potatoes will satisfy your sweet cravings while filling you up on a savory root vegetable. The cinnamon-and-Bourbon-flavored pecans make this dish a winner in our book.


Butternut, Brussels Sprout and Cranberry Stuffing

15 Meat Free Main Dishes

The Veg Life

For an easy one-dish bake that will leave you stuffed, try The Veg Life’s Butternut, Brussels Sprout & Cranberry Stuffing. This vegetarian stuffing is a no-fuss dish of diced apples, cranberries, warm breadcrumbs, seasoned squash and Brussels sprouts.


Cinnamon Apple, Walnut, Kale and Quinoa Salad

15 Meat Free Main Dishes


The Cinnamon Apple, Walnut, Kale and Quinoa Salad from ifoodreal is another filling fall salad, and it’s about as healthy as you can get on Thanksgiving Day.


Vegan Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas 

15 Meat Free Main Dishes

Minimal Eats

This glorious baked entrée by Minimal Eats is both vegan and gluten free. The combination of spices like cayenne, coriander and cumin with enchilada sauce make this the perfect main if you come from a spice-loving family. While this recipe strays slightly from the traditional Thanksgiving menu, we think the sweet potatoes justify it for the holiday. Don’t you?


Skinny Creamy Mushroom Leek Lasagna

15 Meat Free Main Dishes

Home Sweet Jones

You can’t go wrong with a lightened-up, autumn-flavored lasagna for Thanksgiving Day. This version from Home Sweet Jones is cheesy and carefully spiced with nutmeg and thyme, so even your meat-loving relatives may prefer this to traditional turkey.

Don’t miss… 8 Thanksgiving Recipes That Won’t Bust Your Grocery Budget

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