Literally 50 Main Dishes You Can Eat Instead of Turkey This Thanksgiving

TBH a dead turkey is BORING in comparison to such feasts as stuffed seitan, a mushroom and onion tart, or a potato and portobello gratin

Marla Rose
Published in
3 min readNov 12, 2019


Photo: Pixabay

I will start this bluntly and unappetizingly: For the Thanksgiving holiday alone in the United States, approximately 46 million sensitive, innocent birds who have been intentionally bred for painful and short lifespans in cramped, miserable environments will be killed for meals in households across the country. A much smaller number of turkeys will be slaughtered against their will on smaller farms and in nature. Why? Because somehow eating a turkey’s body has come to mean celebrating gratitude in this country on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States. Given the needless brutality inflicted on millions of animals that this tradition requires, perhaps it’s time we reassess how we engage with the spirit of gratitude.

A turkey’s carcass is literally just that, but with a plant-based main dish, you can enjoy such varied complex and captivating flavors and textures from vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains, herbs and on and on, whether it’s in the form of a traditional roast, a savory pie or something altogether different. When you think of it like that, doesn’t a beige slab of a tortured animal’s flesh seem kind of boring in comparison?

Every year at Thanksgiving, I feel grateful that there are more options than ever that are delicious and do not require anyone’s suffering and death. There is something for every palate and cooking skill level listed here.

1. Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf (Oh She Glows)

2. Sauteed Seitan-Stuffed Filo Purse (Healthy Happy Life)

3. Tofu Turkey (The Spruce)

4. Beefless Wellington (Vegan Mos)

5. Cozy Butternut, Sweet Potato and Red Lentil Stew (Oh She Glows)

6. Roasted Butternut Lasagna with Crispy Sage (Spabettie)

7. Apple, Feel and Sage Lentil Loaf (Simple Veganista)

8. Sumac Ginger Tofu, Quinoa, Broccoli and Mushrooms (Healthy Happy Life)