Seven Top Plant-Based Chefs Share Their Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes
When you imagine your favorite plant-based chefs preparing their Thanksgiving celebrations, visions of amazing gourmet feasts come to mind. So we went out and asked some of our favorite chefs to share their kitchen secrets to creating a picturesque spread, filled with crispy pan-seared Brussels sprouts, herbed turkeyless roasts, slow-roasted beets and parsnips, mashed potatoes melting with dairy-free butter, sizzling caramel-colored pecan pies, and enough food to keep your whole family full for an entire week of leftovers. We wanted to experience for ourselves, the incredible smells of dishes cooking wafting through their kitchens.
With the help of these chefs' recipes, shared exclusively here, your Thanksgiving can look exactly like a professional's: These recipes are from the best, award-winning plant-based or vegan chefs for delicious, mouth-watering, restaurant-quality meals, sides, and desserts. So without further ado, hit the grocery stores and grab your apron because you can eat the same dishes as these plant-based powerhouses:
- Empire-builder and vegan icon Matthew Kenney
- Bettina's Kitchen Academy founder Bettina Campolucci
- LA's Crossroads Kitchen founder Tal Ronnen
- Popular plant-based chef and author Ellen Charlotte Marie
- The popular Latinx TV host Chef Eddie Garza
- Founder of By Chloe who is still innovating and creating, Chloe Coscarelli
- Head chef and founder of the popular Beyond Sushi, Guy Vaknin
1. Matthew Kenney, celebrity chef, and James Beard Award winner
Matthew Kenney's Thanksgiving feast must be a pristine presentation of clean plant-based indulgences, just like the dishes in his world-famous plant-based restaurants. If you've eaten at Los Angeles' Plant + Food and Wine, or New York City's Bar Verde or Double Zero, you know exactly what we're talking about. Matthew Kenney is the Bergdorf Goodman of Vegan Food, so we expected nothing less when we asked, "What is your favorite plant-based Thanksgiving recipe?" Without hesitation, he sent his magnificent: Pumpkins Roasted in Almond Oil and Makrut Lime Leaf, the one Thanksgiving dish your guests won't forget.
Master the creation of an award-winning chef in your own kitchen, and capture your families' Kodak-moment reactions.
Pumpkins Roasted in Almond Oil and Makrut Lime Leaf
- 1 large kabocha squash
- 1 small cheese pumpkin
- 12 makrut lime leaves
- 24 sprigs lemon thyme
- 2 cups cold-pressed almond oil
- 1 tablespoon of sea salt
- 2 cups red grapes
- 2 tablespoons cold-pressed almond oil
- 1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
- 12 sprigs lemon thyme
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds, roasted
- 1 tablespoons pumpkin seed oil
- 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1⁄2 cup raw almond
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Cut squash and pumpkin in half and remove the seeds.
- In a large Dutch oven, place half the lime leaves and half the thyme on the bottom, then place squash and pumpkin, cut-side up, and top with almond oil.
- Sprinkle with salt and top with the rest of the lime leaves and thyme.
- Cover and roast for 35 minutes. Remove lid and let roast for 10 more minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Toss grapes in almond oil and sprinkle with salt.
- Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and top with thyme. Roast for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
- Toss all ingredients and set aside.
- Remove squash and pumpkin from oil and place on paper towels to absorb excess oil.
- Break into irregular-shaped pieces and scatter on a large round plate.
- Place roasted grapes around pieces of squash and pumpkin and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds. Using a Microplane, shave almonds over the whole plate.
2. Bettina Campolucci Bordi, celebrity chef and founder of Bettina's Kitchen Academy
Unconventional Thanksgiving recipes are where it's at...after all, a plant-based feast isn't all that traditional in the first place. Bettina Campolucci Bordi, of the famous Bettina's Kitchen, is Danish and only celebrates the holiday when she's with her American friends.
Bettina’s favorite Thanksgiving recipe is as unlikely as it is delicious, a Swedish-inspired meatless meal, essential to your turkey-free lineup: Plant-based "meatballs", carrot mash, gravy, and pickled vegetables. As we wrapped up our drool-worthy conversation about Scandinavian food, she shared a message to pass along to The Beet readers: "Although I'm not celebrating Thanksgiving this year, I will use the day as an opportunity to give thanks and highlight everything that we appreciate and are grateful for ♥️."
Swedish Nonmeatballz, Carrot mash, Gravy, and nan’s Quick Pickle
For the Meatballs
- 75g of brown rice
- 2 1/2 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1 sprig of thyme
- 6 tbsp of tamari, or more if you’d prefer saltier meatballs
- 1 tbsp of Dijon mustard
- 240g of black beans, from a tin or a jar (good-quality shop-bought), drained
- 60g of oat bran, (check these are gluten-free if necessary)
- 3 1/2 tbsp of grapeseed oil, or olive oil
For the Pickle
- 1 cucumber
- 125ml of cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp of maple syrup
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp of chopped dill
- 6 large carrots, peeled
- 125ml of coconut milk
- salt, preferably pink Himalayan
- Black pepper
- Olive oil, for frying
- 1 shallot, diced
- 2 tbsp of tamari
- 1 tbsp of cornflour, Bettina uses Maizena
- 1 tsp coconut sugar
- 375ml of coconut milk
- Seasonal greens
- Lingonberries, optional
- Start by cooking the rice following the packet instructions.
- In a medium pan, heat the olive oil and add the onion, thyme, 3 tablespoons of tamari soy, and mustard. Cook for 5 minutes until the onion is nice and tender. Once cooked, take off the heat and set aside.
- In a food processor, add the onion mix along with black beans and pulse. Don’t overmix but blend until you have a sticky consistency.
- Empty into a bowl and add the oat bran, cooked rice, and remaining 3 tablespoons of tamari and give it a good mix.
- Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and with a small or big ice cream scoop, scoop out balls of the mixture and gently roll until you have a round shape.
- Place them on the paper and store them in the fridge until you are ready to cook them.
To make the pickle, slice the cucumber thinly on a mandolin or use a cheese slicer. Add the slices to a bowl, followed by the rest of the ingredients. Give it a good mix and set aside.
- Next, make the carrot mash. In a large pan, boil the carrots until soft, then drain. Add to the blender with the coconut milk and blitz until you get the most beautiful orange mash. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- For the gravy, heat the olive oil and fry the shallots until nice and soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tamari, cornflour, and sugar. Take off the heat and slowly add the coconut milk, a little at a time, to create a roux, whisking to avoid lumps.
- Put the pan back on the heat and let it simmer for 5 minutes until you have a lovely shiny gravy, then set aside.
3. Ellen Charlotte Marie, popular vegan chef, and author of a plant-based cookbook.
Pumpkins are for craving, stuffing, baking, and indulgent pies. In this Thanksgiving-inspired recipe by talented plant-based chef and author Ellen Charlotte Marie, each bite will taste better than the next as bursting flavors of fresh, crisp, vegetables hit your tongue. Ellen is Dutch, and just like Bettina, will not celebrate Thanksgiving but shared her best autumnal recipe that pairs perfectly with the holiday. If you're looking for healthier options, as a strong immune system is everyone's number one priority right now, this recipe is light, clean, low in calories, and simply delicious.
Festively Stuffed Pumpkin
- 1 medium-sized butternut squash
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- A few rosemary twigs
- 1 red onion, in rings
- 1 garlic clove
- ½ lb. mixed mushrooms
- 4 endives, finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- Cooked quinoa for 4
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
- 2 firm pears, cut
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cut the pumpkin in half, remove the seeds, and place skin down in an oven dish.
- Top with olive oil and salt and pepper. Put the rosemary twigs on top. Bake for
40 to 50 minutes.
- Sauté the onion and the garlic in some olive oil. After a few minutes, add the mushrooms and endives. Keep stirring and season with salt, pepper, and turmeric.
- After stir-frying for several minutes, remove from the heat and mix in the quinoa.
Fill the pumpkin halves with the quinoa mix and bake for 5 minutes more.
- In the meantime, fry the pears in a bit of coconut oil till golden brown.
- Garnish with pomegranate seeds and the fried pear.
4. Tal Ronnen, Executive chef at Los Angeles' beloved restaurant: Crossroads Kitchen
As a full-time foodie, I could not resist connecting with the chef at one of my favorite Los Angels restaurants, Crossroads Kitchen. Tal Ronnen who is the executive chef at the celebrity-go-to restaurant knew exactly what he was cooking up for Thanksgiving and replied, "These are really yummy,' and sent over an exclusive Crossroads Kitchen cookbook recipe, Roasted Baby Parsnips with Sherry Maple Glaze and Chanterelles (say that five times fast). These thickly cut vegetables are coated in a sweet, sinful glaze and are this year's side dish that is sure to get devoured in less than five minutes, so triple the recipe!
Chef's Note: "Baby parsnips are so tender that you don’t even need to peel them. (And if you did, there wouldn’t be many vegetables left!) Parsnips have a sharp flavor reminiscent of parsley’s and become incredibly sweet when roasted. Here they are drizzled with a glaze of maple syrup, a pinch of red pepper flakes for heat, and a splash of vinegar. Chanterelle mushrooms don’t come cheap, but they add a woodsy flavor to this winter dish."
Crossroads Cook Book Roasted Parsnips
- 24 baby parsnips, trimmed, or 8 regular parsnips, root ends trimmed and peeled
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons Earth Balance butter stick
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 pound chanterelles, wiped clean, quartered if large
- Finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
- Flaked sea salt, such as Maldon
- To prepare the parsnips: Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- If using larger parsnips, peel and quarter them lengthwise so the pieces will be uniform in size and cook more evenly. Put the parsnips in a large mixing bowl, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the oil, season with kosher salt and black pepper, and toss to coat evenly.
- Spread the parsnips out in a single layer on a large baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes, shaking the pan from time to time, until tender and slightly charred. Set aside. (The roasted parsnips can be prepared a couple of hours in advance, covered, and held at room temperature. Reheat before serving.)
- Meanwhile, prepare the glaze: Combine the maple syrup, vinegar, and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, swirling the pan around occasionally, until the mixture is reduced and syrupy about 10 minutes. Cover and hold warm.
- To prepare the mushrooms: Put a large sauté pan over medium heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the butter substitute. When the butter substitute has melted, add the shallot and sauté until soft but not browned, about 1 minute. Add the garlic, tossing to combine. Add the mushrooms and sauté, stirring frequently, until they lose their moisture, soften, and begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- To serve: Crisscross the parsnips on a platter, overlapping them just slightly. Drizzle with the maple glaze and top with the mushrooms. Scatter chopped parsley on top and season with flaked sea salt.
5. Chef Eddie Garza, celebrity chef, and popular Latinx TV host
Even if your celebration is small this year, with tasty plant-based meals like these, your Thanksgiving will be a fiesta. Chef Eddie Garza cooks for many well-known vegan stars like Harley Quinn Smith, Kate Mara, Daisy Fuentes, and Richard Marx, so we had to reach out and ask which recipes are beloved by him and his celebrity clients. This Thanksgiving-inspired recipe, influenced by Eddie's Latino background, Mexican Chocolate Dessert Tamales, is perfect to add variety to your feast. Yes, you will have the pumpkin and apple pies, but this surprising dessert is sure to be unexpected and remembered for a lifetime. Get creative, get the kids involved, and get cooking!
Mexican Chocolate Dessert Tamales
- 12 large corn husks, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes then patted dry
- 3 cups corn masa flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup of sugar
- 5 tablespoons vegetable shortening
- 3 cups warm water
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- In a large bowl, combine dry masa flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and sugar. Mix well. Add vegetable shortening and use hands to combine with the dry mix. Little by little, add water and mix until the batter is consistent in texture.
- Using the back of a large spoon, place about 3-4 tablespoons of batter in the center of the corn husk. Spread batter evenly across the wide end of the husk.
- Place spoonful chocolate chips in the center. Gently roll husk over to surround the filling. Fold the bottom under to finish forming tamale.
- Repeat until all 12 husks are filled. In groups of 4, gently tie tamales together using kitchen twine.
- In a medium deep steaming pot, place tamales upright on their folded ends, tightly packed together. (Tip: Fill empty space with heat-resistant cup or mug, but make sure to leave room for steam to move around the pot.)
- Add about 2 inches of water at the bottom of the pot, making sure the water line is below the steamer basket. Cover and steam for 35 to 40 minutes, adding more water to the pot as needed. Remove from heat.
- Let tamales sit uncovered in the pot for about 15 minutes or until tamales are firm and pull away from husk easily. Serve tamales warm.
6. Chef Chloe Coscarelli
After the award-winning plant-based chef, (who specializes in pastries), teamed up with Whole Foods to create a Plant-Based Thanksgiving feast, we hoped to get a sneak peek of her holiday meal on social media. In her latest recipe post, she shared a Vegan Pumpkin Curry Mac and Cheese that's gooey, cheesy, rich, and created by the master chef herself. So we decided to share this recipe, which is located in the caption, to all our The Beet readers, because with this mac and cheese, your side dishes will win Michelin stars.
7. Chef Guy Vaknin, founder, and owner of Beyond Sushi
Guy Vaknin, who put plant-based sushi on the map, continues to innovate and elevate vegetable preparation and presentation. If you've eaten at Beyond Sushi, you understand, if not, the description of one of his best rolls says it all: Black rice, pickled cabbage, mango, hickory-smoked jackfruit, baby arugula, and mint topped with tomato guajillo sauce. Guy kindly shared his staple Thanksgiving recipe, butternut squash soup, a top seller at Beyond Sushi.
Every sushi roll he creates looks like a work of art and tastes out of this world, so we can only imagine the exquisite, subtle flavors of his soup. If you're hosting a Thanksgiving or bringing a dish, soup is a warming, filling, healthy, delicious starter, and stores well if you're traveling or prepping days in advance.
Butternut Squash Soup
- 1 large butternut squash
- 1 large onion
- 3 tablespoons vegan butter
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 cups unsweetened plant-based milk
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 cup white wine
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup Violife feta
- 1/4 cup roasted pistachios
- Few mint leaves
- In a soup pot, sweat chopped onions, whole garlic cloves, and butter until translucent.
- Turn up the heat to caramelize.
- Deglaze with white wine, reduce to evaporate the alcohol.
- Turn heat down and add cubed butternut squash, milk, and nutmeg.
- Cook covered for 30-40 minutes.
- In a blender or food processor, mix until smooth.
- Serve hot garnished with cubed feta, roasted pistachios, and mint leaves.