Oct 08, 2019

Feeding a Vegetarian This Thanksgiving? 6 Turkey Alternatives

Gone are the days when cooking a Thanksgiving meal was straightforward. All you had to do was pop a whole turkey in the oven and everyone was happy. However, not everybody eats meat nowadays. So before committing to an unnecessary faux pas, it’s important to learn a few vegetarian turkey alternatives.


  • There’s nothing like a cauldron in the middle of the table, filled with bubbly vegetable goodness that’ll keep everyone full and warm. Apart from the initial chopping of vegetables and herbs plus some light frying, a vegetable stew is super easy as it can stay simmering for ages while you have time for other things.

    You’ll basically need a lot of vegetables, plenty of herbs, and some balsamic vinegar and white wine. It’s also a good idea to have some corn-starch to make it thicker and creamier.

  • While vegetarians might not want a stuffed turkey, there are plenty of vegetables that can be stuffed and equally soak in the flavors. This dish can work with bell peppers, large firm tomatoes, or courgettes in case someone doesn’t like portobello mushrooms. Many traditional recipes use rice as a filling, though couscous and quinoa are trendy nowadays.

    For this particular dish, you’ll use eggplants, sun-dried tomatoes, and Gorgonzola cheese.

  • The idea here is to reimagine a classic French onion soup as a tart. Could it work? You bet!

    While many people avoid cooking caramelized onions as it tends to take a long time to prepare — up to one hour, in fact — don’t be put off as it’ll be worth it. Additionally, the Swiss cheese and sherry vinegar add that special flavor to the dish. Plus, the wholemeal flour in the pastry crust makes it a bit richer ensuring everybody’s satiated.

    You can always change it a little bit and use smoked Gruyere cheese for a nutty flavor.

  • The easiest way to feed vegetarians is by giving them a lot of tasty vegetables. Much like vegetable stew, this root vegetable pie is super straightforward and people will fall in love with it.

    If the pie crust cooking process seems a bit involved, remember you can always cheat a bit and use a ready-made one. When you tell your guests about the bed of mushrooms, the purple potatoes and sunchokes in the middle, and the mashed sweet potatoes on top, have napkins at the ready as they may start drooling.

  • A list of vegetarian recipes wouldn’t be complete without a potato gratin dish. However, in keeping with the Thanksgiving theme, you’ll swap potatoes for sweet potatoes and add kale to the mix. This will make it even more appealing and nutritious for your veggie guests.

    Here are a couple of tips to make your life easier when making this dish. First, if for some reason you don’t have a lot of time, use a mandolin slicer to cut the potatoes. Finally, instead of cooking the traditional Béchamel sauce, you could use whipping cream.

  • It’s worth noting that you don’t necessarily need an entirely different vegetarian alternative dish, just a meat alternative. Nowadays, as more and more people become vegetarians and vegans, there are new “fake” meat products popping up everywhere.

    The Tofurky is arguably a great choice as it resembles the firmness of a turkey, but it’s made of tofu. Another option is the “turkey” made from Quorn, a type of mycoprotein that comes from the fungi family.

    You can also find vegetarian gravy, veggie sausages, and even vegetarian fish fingers for the little ones. The options are endless.

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