14 Perfectly-Satisfying Vegetarian Meals for Your Thanksgiving Dinner

You don't have to resort to imitation turkey.

If you're a vegetarian, Thanksgiving dinner may be a bit underwhelming. You can't exactly fill up on your aunt's cranberry dressing. So we've rounded up our favorite protein- and flavor-packed recipes for the vegetarians in your family.

Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

This vegetarian side dish is a tasty addition to your Thanksgiving table. Fiber-rich and packed with vitamins, health-conscious guests will dig right in.

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

No fall meal is complete without a piping-hot bowl of soup. A spiced-up version of the Thanksgiving favorite, this curried butternut squash soup is a warm and creamy addition to your meal. Serve in a large footed tureen and let guests serve themselves. Get the recipe: http://www.hgtv.com/entertaining/curried-butternut-squash-soup-with-fried-sage-leaves/index.html

Smoked Gouda and Herb Puffs

Smoked Gouda and Herb Puffs

Smoked Gouda and Herb Puffs

These bite-sized balls of smoked, cheesy, herby goodness are the perfect appetizer for a dinner party. Just be careful — they’re so addictive that it’s impossible to eat just one or two (or three)!

Creamy Pumpkin Lasagna Rolls

Host Giada de Laurentiis' dish, Pumpkin Alfredo Lasagna Rolls, as seen on Food Network’s Giada’s Holiday Handbook, Season 1.

Photo by: Eddy Chen

Eddy Chen

Maple Sweet Potato Souffle

Maple Sweet Potato Souffles

Maple Sweet Potato Souffles

Maple syrup adds just the right amount of sweetness to this light and airy Fall side dish. Top with toasted pecans for an earthy crunch.

Quinoa, Roasted Eggplant + Apple Salad

Giada De Laurentiis' Quinoa Roasted Eggplant and Apple Salad with Cumin Vinaigrette for Ladies Empowerment Lunch as seen on Food Networks Giada at Home

Photo by: Alice Gao

Alice Gao

Spicy Pumpkin Pasta

Tasting Spicy Hazelnut Pumpkin Pasta

Tasting Spicy Hazelnut Pumpkin Pasta

Enjoy the fall flavors of this slightly spicy pumpkin pasta dish.

Make This: Spicy Pumpkin Pasta

Carrot Ginger Soup

Carrot-Ginger Soup Shooters

Carrot-Ginger Soup Shooters

This spicy, vegetarian carrot-ginger soup can be served hot or at room temperature. Spoon single servings into shot glasses for the perfect party-sized portion. Get the recipe.

Make This: Carrot Ginger Soup

Green Bean Casserole



Photo by: Kana Okada Prop Stylist: Marina

Kana Okada Prop Stylist: Marina

Parmesan Cheddar Chive Biscuits

Parmesan Cheddar Chive Biscuits

Parmesan Cheddar Chive Biscuits

Fresh chives and both cheddar and Parmesan cheese give these soft, flaky biscuits a savory bite your guests will love.

Tofu Edamame Falafel

Tofu Edamame Falafel With Tofu Tahini

Tofu Edamame Falafel With Tofu Tahini

Serve these tasty bites as a warm appetizer that both vegetarians and meat lovers will enjoy.

Photo by: Courtesy Lee Anne Wong ©2012 CookingChannelTV.com

Courtesy Lee Anne Wong, 2012 CookingChannelTV.com

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

A combination of three tasty cheeses — white Cheddar, Gruyère and Swiss — make this mac 'n' cheese a creamy comfort food that's destined to become a go-to indulgence.

Thyme-Roasted Carrots and Parsnips

Thyme-Roasted Carrots and Parsnips

Thyme-Roasted Carrots and Parsnips

Roasted root vegetables are a hearty seasonal staple of many tables in the fall. Seasoned with olive oil, thyme and citrus, this fresh take is sure to become one of your family's favorite dishes.

Roasted Butternut Squash

Roasted Butternut Squash With Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Roasted Butternut Squash With Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Savory and flavorful, butternut squash tops the list of favorite fall side dishes. As a tasty twist, top this healthy comfort food with toasted pumpkin seeds for crunch.

Set Up a Rustic Thanksgiving Dessert Buffet

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Sweets for the Sweet

The arrival of fall means company's coming. What better way to entertain guests of all ages than to decorate your home in autumn's hues and fill a table or sideboard with layer upon layer of tasty treats? A dessert buffet is sure to be a crowd-pleaser because everyone can serve themselves.

Set the Tone

Ensure that guests save the date with this printable invitation. Traditional fall colors paired with a trendy trellis pattern create a fresh take on Thanksgiving.

Festive Fall Decor

Celebrate the season by decorating with pumpkins, autumn-hued leaves and sunflowers. Take a stroll outdoors to discover natural elements you can use to enhance the tablescape.

Sweet Treats

Bring the outdoors in with a custom-made tiered wood cupcake stand. Cupcakes topped with fondant sunflowers or cute cupcake toppers are perfect for this occasion. To create the cupcake toppers, print the template below onto card stock and use a paper punch to create the decorative edge. Use a 1-inch white circle label to attach a 4-inch lollipop stick to the back of each topper.

Embellished Napkin Ring

It's a snap to create these decorative napkin rings. For each ring, cut a strip of burlap 1' x 1 1/2". To make the accordion-folded medallion, cut two strips of decorative paper 6" x 1 3/4", then fold the paper strips back and forth, accordion style. To form pointed ends, use scissors to clip one end of each folded strip at a 90-degree angle. Hot glue ends of strips together to create a circle, then push the edge of the paper in and hot glue the center. Hold for a few moments until glue dries. Print the attached "enjoy" party circles to embellish the center of each medallion.

Pretty Presentation

These pumpkin mousse parfaits are absolutely delicious and look so pretty on the dessert table. Use mini serving glasses to show off the layered effect. These are so easy to make and are sure to leave your guests impressed. Start with a layer of crushed gingersnaps in the bottom; using a freezer bag with a cut corner, pipe in the pumpkin mousse and whipped cream, and top the parfaits with finely crushed gingersnaps. Serve with mini spoons.

Moss Wreath

Warmly welcome guests with this easy-to-create rustic wreath. Use hot glue to attach moss to a foam wreath form, completely covering all sides. Make paper medallions in various sizes using the same technique previously explained for the napkin rings. Attach medallions to the wreath with hot glue and embellish centers of medallions with buttons. Print the attached "welcome" template onto craft paper; trim at the dashed line and fold each end toward the back. Add more folded craft paper to the ends of the "welcome" portion with hot glue. Cut triangles on both ends and attach to wreath with hot glue.

Fresh Sunflowers

A must for fall, fresh sunflowers arranged casually in a white stoneware pitcher are the perfect centerpiece. If you have a moderately green thumb and a sunny spot in your yard, you can grow your own. Or check your local grocery or produce store for an inexpensive bunch.

Coordinate Colors

Keep the look cohesive by selecting desserts from the same color palette, like these chocolate, yellow and orange cake pops.

Continue the Theme

Sunflower-embellished salad plates are an inexpensive way to carry the theme when stacked with your everyday plates. Sunflower pillows add an extra layer of comfort, inviting guests to linger.

Dessert Labels

Save guests from guesswork: Print or handwrite the names of desserts on our cute printable labels. Download and print the template below.

Know Your Place

Make guests feel at home with customized printable place cards. Pop the cards into small frames embellished with ribbon to dress them up. Bonus: Guests can take the frames home and fill them with a photo of the day's festivities.

  1. place card
  2. frame

Creative Cake

Make a spice or pumpkin cake even more special with a charming cake bunting. Use the same paper medallion technique used earlier for the napkin rings, but make the medallions quite a bit smaller. Attach the completed medallions to twine or string with hot glue. Knot each end of the string to branches and insert branches into each side of the cake. Use the same technique explained in the wreath instructions to create the "family" banner.

Simple Place Settings

Make each place setting special. Use everyday white plates topped with smaller plates along with customized framed place cards and handmade napkins rings.

Family Time

Make as much of the meal in advance as possible so you'll have plenty of time to spend with friends and family around the Thanksgiving table. This is the time of year to reconnect with loved ones and reflect on life's blessings.

Serve Seasonal Treats

Fall-flavored desserts, like these pumpkin whoopie pies, are perfect for Thanksgiving. Create a pretty display by placing them in several small dishes grouped together.

Printable Menu

Tempt your guests by placing a printed menu of the day's courses on the dessert buffet or at each place setting. This way they know what to look forward to — and will be sure to save room for dessert.

Beyond the Table

Find other focal points in your home to liven up with autumn decor. Concentrate especially on rooms that adjoin the dining room, like the living room. Here, a burlap "give thanks" banner brightens up the stone fireplace, while textured wreaths and fruit-filled apothecary jars are beautiful accents.

Burlap Banner

Dress up a mirror, mantel or entryway with this easy burlap banner. First, cut 11 pieces of burlap 6" wide x 7" tall, fold in half and cut away a triangle from the bottom of each panel (center point at approximately 1 3/4" up from the bottom). Use a circle cutter to cut 11 5-inch circles out of yellow card stock. Attach the yellow circles to the burlap panels using hot glue. Print the attached template onto white card stock, then use the circle cutter to cut out each letter. Attach the letter panels to the yellow circles using foam dots to add dimension. String the panels together with ribbon or tulle.


While cupcakes aren't typically a Thanksgiving tradition, stacked on a tiered tray they create a lovely presentation and kids will gobble them up!

Be Thankful

Send guests home with a sweet memory by filling small favor boxes with chocolates, nuts, dried fruit or luxurious fall-scented soaps. Wrap each with thick chocolate brown ribbon and top with a printable favor tag.

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