Thanksgiving Feast for Vegetarians: Sage Biscuits, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Cranberry Pecan Salad & More

To many people Thanksgiving is all about the side dishes. The turkey is just something to pour the gravy on and cook the stuffing in. Vegetarians can enjoy a hearty Thanksgiving meal and not even realize one of the main icons associated with this holiday is missing from the table.

These recipes all call for non-dairy ingredients which makes them perfect for anyone that is lactose intolerant besides appealing to vegetarians. Although plain soy milk is called for in many of these recipes you may substitute plain rice milk if desired.

If you can’t find fresh herbs in your grocery store you may substitute dried herbs. Dried herbs are more concentrated than fresh. The general guideline is to use 1 teaspoon of dried herb to substitute for each tablespoon of fresh herb that is called for. You can make some or all of these wonderful herb and spice infused dishes to serve at your next traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

Buttermilk Sage Biscuits Recipe

This recipe makes 15 biscuits. The soy milk mixed with 1 tbsp of vinegar makes a non-dairy substitute for buttermilk.


  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons margarine – chilled
  • ¾ cup soy milk
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage – chopped fine


  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar.
  3. Add the chilled margarine to the bowl and cut into the dry ingredients using a pastry blender or two knives until it has the appearance of coarse corn meal.
  4. In a small bowl or mixing cup mix together the soy milk, vinegar and sage and stir until well blended and let sit for 5 minutes to thicken.
  5. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until all the ingredients have been incorporated.
  6. Spray a 12 compartment muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  7. Fill each compartment approximately half way with the biscuit batter.
  8. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown.

Cranberry Pecan Salad with Herbed Orange Dressing Recipe

This makes a wonderful green salad which can be served as part of your Thanksgiving dinner. It can also be served along with homemade bread for a delightful lunch time meal.

Ingredients for the salad:

  • 6 cups mixed greens (choose from iceberg, romaine, leaf lettuce, spinach etc.)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup pecans – chopped
  • 1 cup carrots – peeled and shredded

Directions for the salad:

  1. Tear the lettuce into bite size pieces and add to a large salad bowl.
  2. Add the cranberries, pecans and carrots and toss well.
  3. Prior to serving drizzle on some of the dressing and toss well.
  4. Offer additional dressing on the side served in a small bowl if desired.

Ingredients for the dressing: This recipe makes approximately 1 3/4 cups of dressing. Left-over dressing can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.

  • ¼ cup non-dairy sour cream
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves – minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves – minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard

Directions for the dressing:

1. Whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl until well blended or pour all the ingredients into a pint size canning jar, close the lid and shake well.

Creamed Onions with Thyme and Nutmeg Recipe

Pearl onions are deliciously sweet and not at all pungent like regular onions.


  • 1 pound pearl onions
  • 3 tablespoons margarine
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups soy milk
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • ½ cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon margarine – melted


  1. Slice the ends off the pearl onions.
  2. Add water to a small sauce pan and bring to a boil.
  3. Add the onions to the pan and blanch them for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, drain off the hot water and cover with cold water until slightly cooled.
  5. Drain off the cool water, peel off the onion skins and add the peeled onions to a 1 1/2 quart glass baking dish.
  6. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Melt the 3 tablespoons of margarine in a small sauce pan set over medium heat.
  8. Whisk in the flour, nutmeg and salt and cook for 1 minute.
  9. Whisk in the soy milk and heat until the sauce begins to thicken while whisking continuously.
  10. Remove from the heat and stir in the thyme.
  11. Pour the sauce over the onions.
  12. In a small bowl mix together the bread crumbs and 1 tablespoon melted margarine.
  13. Top the onions with the seasoned bread crumbs then place the dish in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  14. Let cool slightly before serving as this dish will be very hot.

Garlic and Parsley Mashed Potatoes Recipe

This recipe makes 6-8 servings. The amount of garlic that you add to these potatoes depends upon your personal preference.


  • 5 to 10 whole cloves garlic
  • ½ cup (1 stick) margarine
  • 2 pounds potatoes – peeled and cut into quarters
  • ½ cup soy milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley – chopped fine


  1. Blanch the unpeeled garlic cloves in boiling water for 3 minutes, drain, cool off in cold water and peel off the skins.
  2. Smash each garlic clove with the flat side of a large kitchen knife.
  3. Melt the margarine in a small sauce pan and add the smashed garlic cloves.
  4. Let simmer on low heat for 20 minutes.
  5. Fill a large stock pot with water and bring to a boil.
  6. Add the potatoes and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until very tender.
  7. Drain off the water.
  8. Add the garlic/margarine mixture, soy milk, salt and white pepper to the potatoes and mash well with a potato masher.
  9. Stir in the parsley and serve immediately.

Lemon Balm Stuffing with Fruit and Walnuts Recipe


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups celery – diced
  • 2 cups apples – peeled, cored and chopped
  • 2 cups mushrooms – chopped
  • One (15 ounce) package unseasoned bread cubes
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon balm – chopped fine
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage – minced
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) margarine – melted
  • 1 cup walnuts – chopped
  • 1 cup dried cranberries – chopped


  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.
  3. Add the celery and apples and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes then place the mixture into a large bowl.
  5. Add the bread crumbs and lemon balm into the bowl.
  6. Stir in the vegetable broth and melted margarine and mix well.
  7. Stir in the walnuts and cranberries.
  8. Place the prepared stuffing into a greased 3 quart baking dish.
  9. Place the dish in the oven and bake for 45 minutes stirring occasionally.

Minty Carrot Bites Recipe

This is great recipe for making cooked carrots. Even people that say they don’t like the taste of cooked carrots love this dish. The mint and honey add a nice refreshing flavor to these carrots.


  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 4 cups carrots – peeled and sliced into 1/4″ pieces
  • 2/3 cup fresh spearmint leaves – chopped fine
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice


  1. Place the margarine into a large frying pan placed over medium heat.
  2. Add the honey, water and carrots and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover the pan with a lid and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the lid, turn the heat up to medium and cook for 5 to 10 minutes while stirring occasionally until the carrots begin to caramelize and most of the liquid has been evaporated.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and mint.

Layered Pumpkin Pie Recipe

You may be so full after eating such a large Thanksgiving meal that you will have little room for dessert. For those of you desiring a sweet treat here is a delicious, no-bake recipe for pumpkin pie. Tofutti better than cream cheese is a dairy-free vegan product.


  • 4 oz. Tofutti better than cream cheese – room temperature
  • 1 tbsp soy milk
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cups non dairy whipped topping
  • 1 graham cracker pie crust
  • 1 can (16 oz.) pumpkin pie filling
  • 2 pkg. (4 serving size) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Cream together the Tofutti cream cheese, 1 tbsp soy milk and sugar in a medium bowl.
  2. Mix in the whipped topping then spread on the bottom of the graham cracker pie crust.
  3. In another bowl mix together the pumpkin pie filling, vanilla pudding mix, 1 cup soy milk and cinnamon.
  4. Spread this mixture on top of the whipped topping mixture.
  5. Refrigerate a minimum of 4 hours before serving.
  6. If desired garnish individual slices of the pie with leftover whipped topping.

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