The holiday that stars turkey isn't easy on vegans. But vegan versions of traditional turkey-day dishes do exist—and they’re delicious. Take it from Isa Chandra Moskowitz, the bestselling cookbook author behind the new Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook ($32, amazon.com), which is packed with crowd-pleasing, animal-product-free recipes for Thanksgiving and almost every other occasion you can think of (Cindo de Mayo included). Below, she shares three vegan twists on familiar favorites—stuffing (of course), green bean casserole, and chocolate pecan pie. Even the biggest carnivores in your family are sure to love them.
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Super Traditional Vegan Stuffing
½ cup olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced medium
3 celery ribs, thinly sliced
½ cup thinly sliced peeled carrot
2 tsp. salt, plus a pinch
2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. dried sage
½ tsp. dried thyme
Freshly ground black pepper
12 cups country white bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (see tip below)
1½ to 2 cups vegetable broth, purchased or homemade
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish. Preheat a 6-quart pot over medium heat. Heat 1/4 cup of the oil, then sauté the onion, celery, and carrot with a pinch of salt until the carrot is softened and the onion is lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in the onion powder, sage, thyme, remaining 2 teaspoons salt, and a few grinds of black pepper.
- Transfer the vegetables to a large mixing bowl. Add the bread cubes and toss to thoroughly coat. Add the vegetable broth ½ cup at a time, stirring well in between additions of broth. The bread should be moist but not soggy, so make sure everything is not completely soaked through.
- Transfer the stuffing mixture to the prepared casserole dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until the cubes are nicely browned, about 10 minutes more. Let cool a bit before serving.
TIP: The best bread for this stuffing is a nice, big loaf of country white bread that you dice yourself. Sliced sandwich bread tends to be sliced too thin. It’s also best if the bread is a few days old and relatively dry. If it seems fresh and springy, toast the bread cubes for 5 minutes in a 325°F oven before proceeding with the recipe.
Green Bean Casserole
1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 2 hours and drained
3 cups vegetable broth, purchased or homemade
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast flakes
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tsp. salt, plus a pinch
4 cups sliced mushrooms
1 Tbsp. onion powder
Freshly ground black pepper
1 (6 oz.) can fried onions
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish.
- Combine the cashews, broth, flour, and nutritional yeast in a blender. Puree until completely smooth; this can take up to 5 minutes depending on the strength of your machine. Periodically stop the machine to prevent it from overheating, and scrape down the sides of the blender jar with a rubber spatula to make sure you get everything.
- Meanwhile, heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Heat the olive oil, then sauté the green beans and onion with a pinch of salt until the green beans are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sauté 7 to 10 minutes more. The mushrooms should have released most of their moisture.
- Add the blender mixture to the pan, along with the onion powder, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Cook, stirring often, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add half of the fried onions.
- Transfer the green bean mixture to the casserole and top with the remaining fried onions. Bake until browned and bubbly, 22 to 25 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes before serving.
Chocolate Pecan Pie
1 single pastry crust
½ cup brown sugar
â cup granulated sugar
¼ cup agave
3 Tbsp. refined coconut oil
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
6 oz. extra-firm silken tofu (half of a 12-oz. package)
¼ cup unsweetened almond milk (or your favorite non-dairy milk), cold
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 cups pecan halves
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Press the pastry crust into a 9-inch pie plate and set aside.
- In a 2-quart saucepan, mix the sugars and agave. Heat over medium heat, stirring often with a whisk. Once small bubbles start rapidly forming, stir constantly for about 10 minutes. The mixture should become thick and syrupy, but it shouldn’t be boiling too fiercely. If it starts climbing the walls of the pan in big bubbles, lower the heart a bit.
- Add the coconut oil and chocolate chips and stir to melt. Turn off the heat, transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl, and cover it to keep warm. In the meantime, prepare the rest of the filling, working quickly so that the caramel doesn’t completely set.
- Crumble the tofu into a blender or food processor, along with the milk, cornstarch, and salt. Puree until completely smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender to make sure you get everything.
- Add the tofu mixture and the vanilla to the warm caramel in the mixing bowl and mix well. Fold in the pecans to incorporate.
- Transfer the filling to the pie crust and bake for 40 minutes. The pie is going to be somewhat jiggly, but it should appear to be set.
- Let cool at room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator to completely set for a few hours or overnight. Slice and serve!
From The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook: Entertaining for Absolutely Every Occasion by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Copyright 2016 by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Reprinted by permission of Little, Brown and Company.