This year, you’re hosting Thanksgiving and you had the meal all laid out in your head. But now you learn that some family members are vegan or allergic to dairy. Don’t worry; your perfect plan is not ruined!  It’s easy to make room for everyone! Here are a few vegan Thanksgiving ideas.

Switch common ingredients with vegan alternatives:

For side dishes and sweets, it’s easy to veganize most Thanksgiving recipes. For milk, butter, cheese, and eggs, simply use vegan alternatives. Some ideas are plant oil spread, tree nut milk, oat milk, or flax eggs, instead of animal products. If you don’t want to buy an egg substitute, you can make your own flax egg by mixing flaxseed and water together.

Buy vegan ingredients and dishes:

Pre-made vegan substitutes are available at specialty vegan grocers, health food markets and even traditional supermarkets. Butter, cheese, meat; you name it, and there is a vegan version of it. Many side dishes and even the turkey have easy-to-find alternatives in many stores.

Mashed potatoes are an easy choice to veganize; opt for soy milk instead of cow’s milk and choose a vegan butter spread such as Earth Balance instead of dairy butter.

Order a meal kit:

Whether you order online or in-person at a grocery store, there are numerous pre-prepped meal kits on the market that cater to vegans. These kits save you the research and time of deciding upon and picking up the individual ingredients for a meal.

You will receive a box of pre-portioned and perfectly chopped ingredients along with the sauces, spices, and plant-based protein you need. Follow the included instructions and in a snap, you’ve got a separate meal for your vegan guests.

Check local restaurants and delis:

Search for local vegan restaurants and caterers who might sell special holiday meals. This is a great way to have a chef-prepared, Thanksgiving-themed meal set aside for guests amidst a holiday spread with mostly non-vegan options. Even some specialty store delis, such as Whole Foods in my area, offer specialty Thanksgiving meals

By picking up a pre-made meal, you will save time on cooking vegan foods that can be hard to recreate but that people love to eat. This will also save you some of the stress from experimenting.

Virtual Thanksgiving:

If you can’t get together with your loved ones this season, consider a virtual Thanksgiving. It is completely understandable and has become a viable option because of our new reality.

Set a time, cook your food, and join a video chat while you all eat together. It may not be the same, but at least you will be together!

More vegan Thanksgiving ideas:

Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Healthy Thanksgiving Tips

How to Have an Organized Thanksgiving

Reduce Food Waste on Thanksgiving

How to Have a Pet Safe Thanksgiving

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