Holiday Dining

Plant-Based Meal Options Meant to Impress this Thanksgiving

If you’re looking to add vegetarian and vegan options to your Thanksgiving table, here are a few ideas for appetizers, sides and desserts.


Trying to make a good impression this holiday season? Bring food. Trying to save the world this holiday season? Bring plant-based food. A 2021 report published by the Journal of Ecological Society says that animal agriculture is responsible for at least 87% of greenhouse gas emissions. 

The holiday season is the perfect time to share my passion for plant-based food with friends and family, which means I also get to share my love of animals and not wrecking the environment. By writing this article, I’m sharing all these things with you! I hope you’ll find this helpful, whether you’re tasked with bringing a dish to dinner, or you’re looking to add vegetarian and vegan options to your table. 

Laziz Foods Muhammara dip. Photo courtesy Laziz Foods


Serve a trio of Middle Eastern dips with pita chips for a simple starter, and watch everyone dig in! Baba Ghannouj is made with a tahini base and roasted eggplant and the flavor is smokey and savory. 

Muhammara is divine! Roasted red peppers, garlic, onion, and ground walnuts create a complex and delectable flavor. Hummus is a reliable staple, and you can dress it up with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of cumin or paprika.

There are brands of vegan cheese delicious enough to feed to skeptical omnivores. And to those already in the know? Upscale vegan cheese is a love language. Look for fermented soft cheese made from nuts to pair with a crusty baguette and fruit. I’m particularly fond of these brands: Treeline, Miyoko’s, and Nuts For Cheese. 


There are quite a few holiday staples that can easily become plant-based. Swap the milk and butter in your mashed potatoes with non-dairy versions. If you’re overwhelmed by the amount of plant-based milk available, look for unsweetened, unflavored almond milk. Any plant-based butter is good, but Miyoko’s Cultured Vegan Butter has the most authentic buttery flavor. 

Boxed macaroni and cheese is another option for a side dish. Look for Daiya or Annie’s. Top your vegan mac and cheese with breadcrumbs and dollops of vegan butter and brown it in the oven fancy! Green bean casserole is super easy to veganize with plant-based milk, too. 

Aziza SLC Holiday Box. Photo courtesy Aziza SLC


If you’re wondering what I have planned, I’m taking the easy way out and buying vegan desserts. Or as I call it, “supporting small, local, women-owned businesses”. 

Pumpkin pie is my favorite holiday dessert, but this year I found something better Pumpkin Lasagna from Sweet Hazel and Co. I can’t wait to see everyone’s face when they realize they’re eating pumpkin pie with a layer of cheesecake!

Aziza SLC is selling boxes of desserts that will be ideal for gifting. Each box comes with five pieces of baklava, one Mafroukeh Truffle (a semolina-based pistachio sweet with floral notes, filled with cream), one Kunafa, and one Kunafa cup. I will forever remember my first bite of sticky, sweet, and crunchy Kunafa. It’s made with crispy shredded phyllo dough, filled with custard, then doused with sweet orange blossom syrup. 

Yes, I’ll be buying an extra box of desserts to not share with anyone.

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