5 Easy Vegetarian Friendsgiving Dish Ideas

In case you didn't realize, it's nearly the most wonderful time of the year.

Sure, Christmas is also coming, but we're talking about FriendsgivingThis underrated (and unofficial) holiday doesn't need to abide by the same traditions and rules as your usual Thanksgiving with the family, which means that it can involve whatever food you want—which is great news for those of us who tend to avoid that massive turkey in the middle of the table!

Whether you're a vegetarian or vegan and hosting a Friendsgiving gathering or simply attending one with plenty of plant-based friends, finding recipes to make for this occasion can be a little harder without the mainstays like turkey and meat-based gravy. However, that doesn't mean the table needs to be short on flavor! You can Google some actual recipes once you get a few ideas in your head, but here are some easy vegetarian dish ideas for your next Friendsgiving to get you started:

1. Not-Boring Salads

Sure, salads tend to be the basic boring go-to for people who don't understand what plant-based people eat, but they don't have to be so sad! All you have to do is mix up your greens (try less-popular ones like arugula or kale massaged with olive oil), add in a hearty ingredient like some chopped sweet potatoes, create (or buy) a delicious dressing and throw on all the add-ons you want to create a green goddess's masterpiece.

Shutterstock: Healthy fresh bowl salad with spinach, pickled raw beets, carrots cucumber, quinoa, avocado, pumpkin seeds and green goddess vinaigrette dressing

(via Shutterstock)


2. Make Sides the Star

If you simply can't give up the main components of the traditional Thanksgiving table, you don't have to. Just make sure to make slightly larger portions and avoid ingredients that might be secretly non-vegetarian friendly—a few common culprits are powdered gravies, stuffing mix, marshmallows and certain hard cheeses like parmesan. If you cook them right, the sides can really steal the show so much you won't even miss the main dish.


3. Try a Different Cultural Cuisine

The beauty of Friendsgiving is that it can be whatever you want it to be, meaning you don't need to stick to the classic staples! You could go with a theme like taco bar, pasta night or even Indian buffet if you really want to commit, or simply create a dish from a cuisine you love that tends to be a bit more friendly to those of us who typically shun animal products.

Shutterstock: Paneer Butter Masala also known as Panir makhani or makhanwala. served in a ceramic or terracotta bowl with fresh cream and coriander. Isolated over colourful moody background. selective focus

(via Shutterstock)


4. When in Doubt, There's Always Tofurkey

If you aren't necessarily the greatest chef and can't whip up an impressive recipe with your own two hands, worry not. These days, plenty of grocery stores keep meat-free mains stocked around the holidays, including things like faux turkey or other stuffed meats that provide all the tastiness without any of the guilt. Most just have to be popped in the oven, too, saving you time and stress in the process.


5. Dessert Goes a Long Way

Many of us vegetarians know that when it's time for the holidays, the dessert table might be our only safe space. Again, things like marshmallows are best avoided unless you find a specific vegan, gelatin-free variety, but otherwise, now is your time to shine! Try baking something fun and vegan-friendly (there are plenty of butter and egg-replacements out there nowadays that can make the recipe work like magic) or you could always just stop by your local supermarket's bakery aisle and buy the first thing that calls to you. Pumpkin pie is always appreciated too, especially if you decide to make it yourself.

Shutterstock: Homemade Pumpkin Pie for Thanksgiving Ready to Eat

(via Shutterstock)


Haven't even decided if you're doing a Friendsgiving this year? Well, what are you waiting for? Click HERE to explore 4 reasons why you should definitely throw (or at least attend) a Friendsgiving this year.