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The smells of pumpkin, cinnamon, and spices galore always conjure up mouth-watering day dreams of the Thanksgiving meal — even as a vegetarian. The warmth surrounding Thanksgiving doesn’t have to leave vegetarians and vegans out in the cold, or snacking on only a few carb-heavy options. As a vegetarian, there is no need to feel like you’re missing out on protein or nutrients because you don’t eat turkey. Vegetables and grains, like quinoa, provide important proteins that fill those requirements — no animal needed. Check out sites like and the New York Times for a variety of additional ideas to get your creative and healthy juices flowing.

Using some of the same basic foods, these recipes below are some of my vegetarian favorites but they're only a few of the MANY options available for vegetarian Thanksgiving foods. So without further ado, here are 10 of my favorites to help you enjoy your delicious, vegetarian Thanksgiving!

1. Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Grapes with Walnuts

2. Creamy Faro Pilaf with Mushrooms*

*Note: no cream is actually involved, soaking the faro in broth gives it a creamy texture. For the vegetarian version, just substitute chicken broth for vegetable.

3. Coconut Mashed Yams

4.  Mushroom and Leek Stuffing 

5. Squash-Spiked Mashed Potatoes


6. Stuffed Acorn Squash with Quinoa and Pistachios

7. Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce

8. Salads

We may not see salads on the typical Thanksgiving table but it would help our overall health if we did! Fall veggie salads are delicious and a great option as a side dish. Check out WholeLiving’s Maple Roasted Pumpkin Salad for inspiration.

9. Cauliflower

My favorites — I had to include two here ... which is slightly cheating on the top 10 but ... Roasted Cauliflower Salad or Quinoa and Cauliflower Kugel

10. Desserts! Luckily, we aren’t really limited in this area. Pumpkin pie and banana bread are two of my favorite desserts, so I am extra-excited to try this Banana Infused Pumpkin Pie this year!

And for those who prefer fruit flavors, here are some alternatives to pumpkin pie: Apple-Cranberry Pie

Or for vegans, try a Streusel-Topped Harvest Fruit Pie.