6 vegan home-style holiday sides for your Thanksgiving table

Going meat-free this Thanksgiving? Here are 7 sides to try

Mackensy Lunsford
Southern Kitchen

With meat prices going through the roof and more people looking for healthy alternatives, meat-free meals are trending. Here, Dole has created six vegan recipes for Southern Kitchen so you can enjoy your Thanksgiving favorites without the sometimes costly animal products. Some are also gluten-free.

Vegan green bean casserole

Vegan green bean casserole.

Crisp, soothing and rich, this hits all the right home-style notes without all the dairy.

Serves: 10


Vegan nonstick cooking spray

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 carrot, chopped

½ yellow onion, chopped

1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces

½ pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered

1 cup small cauliflower florets

1 package (8 ounces) cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 cup packed baby arugula

½ lemon, juiced (about 2 tablespoons)

¼ cup all-purpose flour

1 cup vegetable stock

1 cup oat milk

¾ cup dairy-free heavy whipping cream alternative

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 container (6 ounces) crispy fried onions


Preheat oven to 400°F; spray a 13-by-9 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add carrot and onion; cook three minutes or until tender-crisp, stirring occasionally. Add beans, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower; cook three minutes or until tender-crisp, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms; cook three minutes or until tender-crisp, stirring occasionally. Add arugula; cook two minutes or until arugula is wilted, stirring occasionally. Add lemon juice; cook one minute or until most of the liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally. Stir in flour; cook two minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in stock; cook two minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently. Stir in milk, cream, salt and pepper; cook three minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently.

Spread vegetable mixture in prepared dish; sprinkle with crispy fried onions. Bake casserole for 20 minutes or until heated through and the top turns golden brown. Makes about 10 cups.

Loaded baked sweet potatoes

Loaded baked sweet potaoes.

These sweet and spicy sweet potatoes make a perfect easy entree any time of the year, especially if you're avoiding gluten. These can be topped with regular cheese and sour cream if you're not skipping the dairy.

Serves 4


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 package (6 ounces) smoky bacon tempeh strips, chopped

4 sweet potatoes

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ medium red bell pepper, chopped

½ cup halved cherry tomatoes

½ cup plant-based Mexican style cheese shreds

¼ cup drained and rinsed black beans

¼ cup frozen corn, thawed

¼ cup plain soy yogurt alternative

3 green onions, thinly sliced

¼ cup pickled jalapeños


Preheat oven to 400°F; line a rimmed baking pan with nonstick foil. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add tempeh and cook five minutes or until crisp, stirring occasionally.

Place potatoes on prepared pan; brush with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake potatoes one hour or until easily pierced with a knife.

Cut a 4-inch slit in the top of each potato; fill with tempeh, pepper, tomatoes, cheese shreds, beans and corn. Bake potatoes 15 minutes or until heated through and cheese melts.

Serve potatoes topped with a yogurt alternative, onions and jalapeños.

Squash recipes:Too much squash is never a bad thing. These Thanksgiving-themed recipes prove it

Affordable Thanksgiving: Get more bang for your buck with these affordable dishes

Potato tamales

Potato tamales make interesting Thanksgiving side dishes, but are perfect for any time of the year.

Tamales can be refrigerated, in corn husks, in an airtight container up to one week. To serve, microwave one tamale, in corn husk, in microwave oven on high one minute or until heated through.

Tamales can be made ahead of time, then heated on the grill before serving. To serve, prepare outdoor grill for direct grilling over medium heat. Place tamales, in corn husks, on hot grill rack; cover and cook three minutes or until heated through, turning once.

Serves: 14


22 corn husks

½ cup plus 1 tablespoon avocado oil

1 russet potato, peeled and chopped

1 medium poblano pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped

1½ teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon chili powder

½ teaspoon dried oregano

2¼ cups warm vegetable broth

2 cups baby arugula

2½ cups masa harina

½ teaspoon baking powder

Hot sauce and/or salsa for garnish (optional)


Linerimmed baking pan with parchment paper. Place corn husks and enough hot water to cover in a large saucepot; let stand 30 minutes and drain.

Heat1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add potato; cover and cook eight minutes or until tender-crisp, stirring occasionally. Add pepper; cook, uncovered, four minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in ½ teaspoon salt, cumin, chili powder and oregano; cook one minute or until fragrant, stirring occasionally. Add ¼ cup broth and arugula; cook two minutes or until wilted, stirring occasionally. Makes about 2 cups.

Whiskmasa harina, baking powder and remaining 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl; stir in remaining ½ cup oil. Stir in remaining 2 cups broth with a wooden spoon until a creamy dough forms. Makes about 3½ cups.

Placeone corn husk, short end facing you, on work surface. Spread ¼ cup dough into 5-by-4 inch rectangle over corn husk; place about 2 tablespoons plus ¾ teaspoon potato mixture lengthwise down center of dough. Fold long ends of corn husk over filling, then fold bottom end of corn husk over center of tamale; place on prepared pan. Repeat with 13 corn husks, dough and filling to make 13 more tamales. Makes 14 tamales.

Add3 cups hot water to bottom of a large steamer pot; place steamer rack in pot and line with four corn husks. Shingle tamales, open side up, in pot; cover with remaining four corn husks. Cover pot; cook over medium heat one hour or until tamales easily come away from corn husks.

Servetamales with hot sauce and salsa, if desired.

Arendelle Royal holiday stuffing

This vegan holiday stuffing can be served with or without the turkey.

Serve this vegan stuffing on the side of a traditional Thanksgiving bird so there's something on the table for everyone.

Serves: Around 16


Nonstick cooking spray

¼ cup natural buttery spread with olive oil, softened

6 stalks celery, chopped

4 large carrots, chopped

2 medium yellow onions, chopped

6 garlic cloves, chopped

¼ cup finely chopped fresh oregano, rosemary, sage and/or thyme plus additional sprigs and/or chopped for garnish (optional)

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1 loaf (24 ounces) sliced low sodium sprouted whole grain bread, coarsely chopped and toasted

4 cups unsalted vegetable stock

1 cup walnut halves & pieces

Allergens: tree nuts, wheat, soy


Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a 13-by-9 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Heat buttery spread in a large skillet over medium heat. Add celery, carrots and onions; cook eight minutes or until onions are tender, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, herbs, salt and pepper; cook two minutes or until garlic is fragrant, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.

Toss bread, stock, walnuts and vegetable mixture in a large bowl; gently press into prepared dish. Cover with foil; bake 45 minutes. Remove foil; bake 10 minutes or until top is lightly browned and crisp. Garnish with herb sprigs and/or chopped herbs, if desired. Makes about 13 cups.

Vegan macaroni salad

Vegan macaroni salad.

This vegan take on a classic potluck dish is perfect for a casual holiday feast.

Serves: 8


1 box (8 ounces) chickpea elbow pasta

¼ lemon, juiced (about 1 tablespoon)

⅓ cup plant-based mayonnaise

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon white vinegar

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

¾ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 medium carrot, cut into ¼-inch cubes

1 stalk celery, finely chopped

1 cup packed baby arugula

1 cup small broccoli florets

½ cup finely chopped red onion

½ cup finely chopped red bell pepper

Chopped fresh basil, dill and/or parsley for garnish (optional)


Preparepasta as label directs; drain and cool 15 minutes.

Stirlemon juice, mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, salt and black pepper in a large bowl; fold in carrot, celery, arugula, broccoli, onion, bell pepper and pasta. Makes about 8 cups.

Servemacaroni salad sprinkled with basil, dill and or parsley, if desired.

Fall potato-leek soup

Veggie-packed potato leek soup.

This recipe turns out an autumn-colored, veggie-packed soup.

For a twist on leftovers, try serving this soup cold topped with diced cucumber and croutons, or stir in rotisserie chicken. Mirepoix, a classic vegetable mixture consisting of two parts onion and one part each carrot and celery, is used as a flavor base in many French dishes, such as soups, stews and braises. Leeks can also be used in place of onions, as seen in this recipe. Mirepoix is available in the produce section of some grocery stores and is a great way to reduce prep time. 

Serves: 6


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large leek, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced

2 cups small cauliflower florets

½ cup chopped carrots

½ cup chopped celery

1 teaspoon dried thyme

½ teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon paprika

¾ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 large potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes

1 cup unsalted vegetable stock

3 cups gluten-free and soy-free oat milk

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley plus additional for garnish (optional)

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (from 1 fresh lemon

6 tablespoons gluten-free breadcrumbs for garnish (optional)


Heat oil in a large saucepot over medium-high heat. Add leeks, cauliflower, carrots, celery, thyme, oregano, paprika, salt and pepper; cook eight minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring frequently. Add potato, stock and milk; heat to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium; cook 10 minutes or until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork.

Purée soup in batches in a blender on high 20 seconds or until smooth, transferring soup back to the saucepot; stir in parsley and lemon juice. Serve soup garnished with breadcrumbs and/or parsley, if desired. Makes about 6 cups.