Each year, more than 46 million turkeys are killed to become food on American’s dinner tables for their holiday get togethers. Raised in inhumane conditions on a mass production scale, the treatment of factory farmed animals is why many have chosen to leave them off their dinner plates and opt for cruelty-free alternatives instead.
It’s easy to make “the fixins” or side dishes vegan by using plant-based substitutions like vegan cheese, non-dairy milk and egg replacers. There are even holiday roasts made from faux meat that can take center stage at your table, should you desire.
Vegan products are mainstream. No longer hiding amongst the shelves of specialty markets or health food stores, if one wants to purchase a vegan substitute, they need to look no further than their local grocery store – you just need to know where to look and what to look for.
This is by no means a comprehensive list. New vegan products are hitting the shelves at a staggering rate.
If you have trouble finding any of the products, use the store locator function on the manufacturer’s website to find a location near you. If you can’t locate the items in the store, ask an associate. Oftentimes, there’s a special section for plant-based foods that they can guide you to.
Field Roast brand has a Celebration Roast with Traditional Bread Stuffing & Mushroom Gravy or Hazelnut Cranberry Roast En Croute products.
Another vegan brand, Gardein –the maker of many a faux meat – has a Holiday Roast. And Tofurky brand, as mentioned earlier, has ham roast or traditional roast. Tofurky also has a Holiday Feast frozen meal that includes the traditional holiday roast, along with dessert – vegan chocolate cheese cake.
Earth Balance brand has vegan butter alternatives available in sticks or spreads. The vegan buttery sticks and buttery spreads are both available in original and soy-free. There are even recipe suggestions on the site that would be perfect for a Thanksgiving feast including Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes, Sweet Potato Soup, Pumpkin Cookies and Pumpkin Sheet Cake.
Other vegan butter brands include I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Vegan Spread, Smart Balance and
Miyoko’s Creamery – a European-style cultured butter.
Silk brand has soy, almond, coconut, cashew and oat plant-based milks as well as dairy-free yogurt and creamers.
Blue Diamond has a line of almond milks, coffee creamers, yogurt, Mexican hot chocolate and nog. The manufacturer is also selling a plant-based milk with a "hint of honey." A note on honey: it is not considered vegan as an animal was used in its creation.
So Delicious has a mega line of vegan products including almond, cashew and coconut milk, dairy-free yogurt, creamers, frozen desserts and dessert toppings: Cocowhip in original and light.
Califia Farms products include oat, almond and cashew plant-based milks and creamers.
To make a vegan buttermilk substitute, whisk together one cup soy milk with two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice and let stand for 5-10 minutes.
Just Egg is made from mung beans and is given it’s egg-like golden hue from turmeric. Its versatile nature ranges from being used to make scrambled eggs to French Toast batter. Like Just Egg, VeganEgg from Follow Your Heart can also be used to bake, scramble and use just as you would a regular egg.
There are also several brands of store bought egg replacers on the market including: Ener-G egg replacer, Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer and Neat Egg.
Or, you can make your own egg replacer using ingredients you may already have on hand, such as bananas, applesauce, flaxseed meal or baking powder.
To make a flax egg, mix one tablespoon flaxseed meal with three tablespoons water. Let set in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. Each flax egg equals approximately one egg. Double or triple the recipe if it calls for more than one egg.
Mashed banana and applesauce are two other potential egg replacers, but they may not work well in all recipes. For brownies or cookies, they should work fine, but sometimes as far as egg replacers go, you may need to experiment a little until you get your desired result. One ripe mashed banana equals one egg and one tablespoon of applesauce is equivalent to one egg.
Another egg substitute trick is to whisk together two tablespoons of water, one teaspoon of oil (such as vegetable or canola oil), and two teaspoons of baking powder. The mixture is equivalent to one egg.
Have you ever heard of aquafaba? It can be both an egg and egg white substitute. It’s made from – believe it or not – the leftover liquid from chickpeas. That’s right! Drain a can of chickpeas and reserve the liquid. Whip the liquid until it thickens. For more in depth instructions, check out this beginner's guide to aquafaba from Minimalist Baker.
There are also several brands of vegan mayonnaise on the market including Just Mayo, Hellman's Vegan Mayo and Vegenaise (pronounced VEDGE-en-aise) from Follow Your Heart. Vegenaise is a little bit sweeter of a mayonnaise alternative that tastes a bit more like Miracle Whip.
Available in block, shreds or slices, Daiya's cheese line includes cheddar, mozzarella or pepperjack style. Daiya also has a line of vegan cream cheeses and cheese sauces. So, if you're looking for a Velveeta substitute and don't want to make your own vegan cheese sauce, you could use a store bought brand.
Daiya's website also lists cooking tips and recipes including a 5-minute cheese sauce recipe and baked buffalo cheezy mac.
Follow Your Heart brand also has a large selection of plant-based cheeses including slices and shreds in a variety of flavors and even a parmesan cheese alternative. There's also a vegan cream cheese and vegan sour cream alternative. Check out some of the recipes on their website for some holiday inspiration, such as vegan mac and cheese and Thanksgiving lasagna.
Violife is a newer brand on the market. Products include mozzarella and cheddar-style shreds and slices. Violife also has vegan feta and parmesan products as well as a vegan cream cheese.
Chao Creamery cheese slices by Field Roast are available in Creamy Original, Tomato Cayenne and Garden Herb flavors. Chao also has a line of frozen mac and cheese meals.
Tofutti brand has vegan cream cheese, vegan sour cream and vegan ricotta.
Kite Hill has a variety of products such as almond milk and greek-style yogurt, ricotta cheese and cream cheese spreads in a variety of flavors.
Miyoko's Creamery has your fancier cheeses including cheese wheels, Buffalo mozzarella style vegan mozzarella, cream cheese and cheese spreads.
Looking for vegan marshmallows to top your sweet potato casserole? Dandies Marshmallows brand is available in select stores or online. Trader Joe's has their own brand of vegan marshmallows as well.
Dairy-free ice creams are mainstream now and often available either right alongside dairy ice creams or next to them in a designated section. Just pay attention to the labels. There are too many brands on the market now to list them all, so here are a few you are likely to find: Ben & Jerry's non-dairy pints, So Delicious frozen desserts, Häagen-Dazs non-dairy desserts, Tofutti frozen desserts, and Halo Top dairy-free pints. Trader Joe's also has non-dairy ice cream: Soy Creamy non-dairy frozen desserts in vanilla or cherry chocolate chip.
Want a little whipped cream to top your pumpkin pie? Reddi-wip has a non-dairy coconut or almond milk whipped cream and So Delicious has frozen coconut whipped cream: Cocowhip original and light. Or, you can make your own like this recipe from Minimalist Baker.
Many store bought pie crusts contain lard, but there are some brands that do not, including: Marie Callender's Frozen Pastry Pie Shells, Walmart's Great Value brand pie crust, Wholly Wholesome Organic Pie Shells and Keebler's Ready Crust Graham Pie Crust. Always double check the ingredients list. In the mood to make your own? There are tons of recipes online, including this one for an Easy Vegan Pie Crust from It Doesn't Taste Like Chicken.
If you'd like to skip the hassle of making a homemade pie or baking is not your thing, there are a few frozen pie store brands that have vegan pies. They won't be marked vegan, so you will just need to read the label to be sure they are dairy, egg and lard-free. Check out Sara Lee and Marie Callender's brand frozen pies. The fruit pies tend to be vegan friendly, but again, always double check the ingredients list to be sure. Daiya has a line of cheezecakes in chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, key lime pie and pumpkin spice – all 100 percent vegan!
If you'd like to bake your own pie, try this tofu pumpkin pie recipe. It's so simple and only one of many recipe variations available online.
Recipe Roundup & Recap
Sweet Potato Soup
Pumpkin Sheet Cake
5-Minute Cheese Sauce
Baked Buffalo Cheezy Mac
Tofu Pumpkin Pie
Easy Vegan Pie Crust
Vegan Mac and Cheese
Coconut Whipped Cream
If you'd like to make your dinner as cook-from-scratch-free as possible, you could get a package of frozen vegetable medley and season with vegan butter and spices, or get a box of wild rice to prepare. There are many frozen food brands with vegan options such as Amy's Kitchen and Simply Plant Powered by CedarLane Foods if you want to just heat something up.
We hope you have found this guide useful and are inspired to try a vegan Thanks-living this year!