3 Easy Last-Minute Thanksgiving Recipes For The Surprise Vegetarian Dinner Guest

by Jeffrey

green recipes, partying green, Thanksgiving, vegan, vegetarian

So there you are preparing your Thanksgiving feast when the phone rings… and wouldn’t you know it, it’s Last Minute Lucy.

She invites herself over and cleverly inserts a remark such as, “I know how health conscious you are, so I know there will plenty of non-meat options on your table for me to eat… since I’m a vegetarian.”

Being the caring friend and good host/hostess that you are, you quickly begin to altar your menu of salted ham, fried turkey, and green beans cooked with a pork fat back — but what do you include?


Check out these 3 easy and last minute vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes that you can whip together for any surprise vegetarians you find at your Thanksgiving table. (Of course you could make them for the omnivores of the bunch too!)


#1 – Stuffed Pumpkin

Cooking and recipe blog, Kitchn (no, that’s not misspelled), recommends trying a pumpkin stuffed with vegetable stew.


Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 fennel bulb with fronds
  • 2 medium parsnips (1/2 pound total), peeled, quartered, cored, and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 pound celery root (sometimes called celeriac; 1/2 of 1 medium), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 14 small shallots (about 1 pound), peeled and left whole, plus 1/2 cup chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 (8- to 9-lb) pumpkin (preferably cheese, pie, or Sweet Meat variety)
  • Roasted-vegetable and wine sauce, heated
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 pound fresh cremini mushrooms, trimmed and halved
  • 1/4 pound fresh chanterelle mushrooms, trimmed
  • 1 pound seitan (seasoned wheat gluten), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme, divided
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Hit up Epicurious for the rest of the preparation instructions.


#2 – Martha Stewart’s Hearty Vegetarian Stuffing

Both Ecorazzi and VegDaily recommend trying out this recipe from Martha Stewart.

VegDaily said:

Martha dedicated her whole show to “Vegetarian Thanksgiving.” The show offered, “a fresh approach to Thanksgiving cooking with meat-free recipes for side dishes and ’stuffing’ the whole family will love from Ubuntu chef Jeremy Fox. Plus, tips for turbo-charging your health — and helping the planet — through dietary choices from [Eating Animals] author Jonathan Safran Foer, and a look at the commercial food industry with Food Inc. filmmaker Robert Kenner.


One of the tastiest recipes that I saw from Martha Stewart’s vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes was the celery root, persimmon, and swiss chard stuffing.


Check out the recipe here and pop over to Martha Stewart’s page for the rest of the details.

  • 2 1/2 pounds celery root (about 2), trimmed, peeled, and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 (1-pound) baguettes, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for pan
  • 2 large bunches Swiss chard, rinsed, tough stems removed
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • Large pinch crushed red-pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 3/4 cups Mushroom Stock, plus more for Swiss chard – as needed
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 Fuyu persimmons, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces, plus slices – for serving
  • 3/4 cup golden raisins
  • 3/4 cup whole blanched almonds, toasted and chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Fresh herbs, such as rosemary, sage, and thyme – for serving


#3 – Pumpkin Thyme Rigatoni

Hey, who says that you have to have a hearty and fall-themed meal for Thanksgiving?

If you’d like to put a nice spin on a vegetarian Thanksgiving dish, check out this pumpkin thyme rigatoni from Whole Living.


My friend Lacey sent me Whole Living’s list of turkey-free Thanksgiving main dishes and the ideas were just too tempting to not include at least one.

Here’s the recipe — you can see the rest of the details at Whole Living.

  • 1/2 pound rigatoni
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium-size onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 small sugar pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
  • 2 cups Homemade Chicken Stock or low-sodium canned chicken stock, skimmed of fat
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

What are some dishes you’re fixing for your vegetarian Thanksgiving guests — whether that be yourself or someone else sitting around your table?