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What to Serve Last-Minute Vegetarian Thanksgiving Dinner Guests

Updated on October 7, 2014

Help! Unexpected Vegetarian Dinner Guests!

Your Thanksgiving dinner is already planned and you find out vegetarian guests are coming. What can you serve? What can they eat? No problem! Your answers are here.

It need not be difficult to accommodate vegetarians at holiday meals. With a few quick adjustments to your current plan, you'll be able to make everyone happy -- including you!

So relax and read on for super simple vegetarian Thanksgiving tips, ideas, and a recipe or two.

Delicious vegan Thanksgiving dinner plate photo by Tyler Love via Flickr

Ten Tips for Feeding Vegetarian Guests - (at the last minute!)

  1. If there are at least five good (completely) no-meat foods on the menu, relax. Most vegetarians are happy to enjoy extra mashed potatoes, yams, rolls, green beans, pumpkin pie... and more!
  2. If most everything on the menu contains meat, drippings, gravy, bacon etc., consider offering meat-free mashed potatoes, yams, veggies and rolls. Make these gluten-free, low salt, and/or low fat and they're sure to be appreciated by other guests, too.
  3. If time allows, it may be enjoyable to make one new vegetarian dish for all to share. Search Squidoo (using the search box at the top) for vegetarian recipes.
  4. Consider adding a list of ingredients to each dish. Make mini signs using paper place cards glued to toothpicks, for instance. Add helpful tags, such as Vegetarian, Vegan, Milk-Free, Egg-Free.
  5. Vegetarians and vegans are used to dealing with situations revolving around meals. If you are interested in trying new dishes, ask your guest(s) for suggestions.
  6. Stuffing is a huge part of Thanksgiving dinner, but often contains turkey or meat broth. Consider making a no-meat version in a casserole. Mrs. Cubbinson's Cornbread Dressing (available at grocery stores) is fast, simple, and yummy.
  7. There can be very little difference between a veg and non-veg dish. For instance, when making green beans with bacon, simply leave the bacon out of one casserole.
  8. Vegetarians avoid meat-based broths in soups and casseroles. Remember to make a note of hidden ingredients and let guests know.
  9. No way to change the menu? Consider asking a vegan or vegetarian to bring his or her own meal. Most vegetarian guests will be happy to do so.
  10. Feel free to ask guests to bring a veg-friendly dish to share with everyone. Tofurkey, anyone?

Tofurkey? Yes or No?

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Fresh fruit is easy and delicious.
Fresh fruit is easy and delicious. | Source

Simple Meat-Free Meal Additions

* Green salad

* Sliced cheeses

* Fresh fruit

* Asparagus spears

* Black beans

* Potatoes

* Fresh breads

Everyone loves this easy combo of peaches and bananas; even kids!


  • Canned Peaches in Syrup
  • Bananas


  1. Estimate about 1/2 can of sliced peaches in heavy syrup and 1/2 a medium banana per person. Feel free to add more or less of either. Serve in small dessert dishes from serving bowl.
  2. Pour peaches and syrup into serving bowl.
  3. Slice banana(s) and immediately (to avoid browning) stir gently into peaches.
  4. That's it! Serve right away.

Vegetarians won't be missing the turkey

when there's yams and stuffing

and warm rolls and pie and

mashed potatoes smoothed in mushroom gravy...



Have you ever cooked a vegetarian meal?

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Kindly sign the guestbook... - Best wishes for a lovely holiday season!

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    • profile image

      TanoCalvenoa 5 years ago

      Without meat, protein will have to come from other stuff. Non-meat animal foods like cheese and eggs have protein.

      Non-animal sources are grains (including corn, wheat, oats, quinoa), legumes (soybeans, etc), nuts, and seeds.

      Thanksgiving favorites yams, sweet potatoes, fruits have very little protein.

    • danielmccarthy lm profile image

      danielmccarthy lm 5 years ago

      We don't celebrate Thanksgiving but it was the veg title that caught my eye.

      I have become a vegetarian twice, I really enjoyed it both times but was tempted by meat at bbq's. The second time I lasted for about 4 months. Tofurkey sounds strange... I do like some meat alternatives but it gets a bit expensive.

      Great lens, thanks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Super delicious ideas. Great page

    • shandigp profile image

      shandigp 6 years ago

      Nice lens! I need to show this to my Dad; he always FREAKS when I come to dinner.