The Best Meatless Meals to Bring for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is the #1 popular American holiday, meaning that Americans all over the world are lugging around 25 lbs birds, bags of cranberries and 5 lbs bags of potatoes and sweet potatoes to bring together all the people they love to complain about most for a big family extravaganza.

Vegetarian Thanksgiving

For vegetarians and vegans though, this holiday can come with even more stressful family encounters than the average Thursday afternoon dinner. How many tofurkey jokes can you possibly be expected to put up with? How many times did you explain to Uncle Dave last year that no, you won’t eat just the stuffing with chicken broth in it? Are you ready to watch everyone eat while you fill up on rolls and pumpkin pie?

The Better Plan

Put Thanksgiving on autopilot this year and get prepared to fill up to your heart’s content like the rest of the family. You won’t even have to slave away roasting veggies and preparing quinoa to do it. A meal delivery kit is going to free up your Thanksgiving weekend for the fun stuff, letting you order, heat, and bring healthy, hot, nutritious food with you to enjoy with the fam. Who knows? It might be time for a new family tradition that doesn’t involve any tofurkey or dirty looks from grandma, who badly wants you to eat her bacon mashed potatoes. Meal kits are restaurant quality, can be vegetarian or entirely plant-based and are even good for your carbon footprint.

Here’s a list of 5 of our favorite vegan and vegetarian delivery options that are sure to impress even the most carnivorous family member.

1. Sun Basket’s Tempeh Sloppy Joes

With tangy coleslaw and pickled jalapenos.

Sun Basket’s Tempeh Sloppy Joes

This Sun Basket meal is dairy free, vegan and entirely plant based, coming together in under 20 minutes. A pre-prepped bag comes with 2 servings, but you can easily order extra if you’re bringing the joes for a few friendly cousins.

  • In the bag: Flax tempeh, coleslaw dressing based, shredded cabbage, shredded carrots, yellow onion, sloppy joe sauce base, vegan whole wheat buns, pickled jalapenos
  • Price: Starting at $7.24 per serving

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2. HelloFresh’s Harissa Sweet Potato Pockets

With cucumber dill salad.

HelloFresh’s Harissa Sweet Potato Pockets

Rated at the top of HelloFresh Best Recipes this sweet potato picket is sure to raise some jealous eyebrows. It’s completely veggie based, so as a perk, you’ll have some room to indulge in pumpkin pie later. You can choose between 2 and 4 person meals.

  • In the bag: The best sandwiches you’ve ever had, cucumber dill salad
  • Price: $5.99 per serving

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3. Home Chef’s Chipotle Cream Gemelli 

With queso fresco and cheddar scallion biscuits.

Home Chef’s Chipotle Cream Gemelli

Home Chef brings Italy and Mexico together in this cheesey (sorry vegans), carby, delectable comfort food dish, with a hint of spice. In case pasta alone doesn’t do it for you, the cheddar scallion biscuits with be the hit of Thanksgiving dinner--topping those rolls your aunt makes every year.

  • In the box: corn, gemelli pasta, green onions, queso fresco, chipotle pesto, light cream, shredded cheddar-jack cheese, buttermilk biscuit mix
  • Price: Starting at $7.99 per serving

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4. GreenChef’s White Bean Puttanesca 

With Fennel-spiced white beans, artichokes, and zesty broccoli.

GreenChef’s White Bean Puttanesca

This italian style pasta dish from Green Chef features whole grains, balsamic roasted red peppers, artichokes, olives and capers in a filling homey yet adventurous meal bound to one-up the turkey drumsticks. Like almost everything else from Geen Chef, it’s vegan.

  • In the box: Great northern beans, fennel and orange peel seasoning, whole-wheat spaghetti, garlic, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, balsamic roasted red pepper sauce, parsley, broccoli, lemon, red pepper flakes, capers
  • Price: Starting from $9.99 per meal

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5. Winc’s 2018 Porter & Plot Pinot Noir

From Sonoma, California.

Winc’s 2018 Porter & Plot Pinot Noir

It’s true, this wine isn’t a meal, but it can certainly enhance yours! What family gathering is complete without a little something extra to liven things up? Winc has a huge selection of vegan wines, with this one happening to also be organic. Many wines are made using animal by-products, but this one is just right for the animal rights activist or sustainable food guru to share with everyone. Taste notes of cranberry, dried herbs, strawberry and tomato leaf.

  • This bottle is: Medium body, dry, 14.1% alcohol
  • Price: $41.99 for non members, 34.99 for members. Buy 4, get free shipping

Don’t Just Survive It

Turkey day is hard enough with all the preparing, overindulgence and family bonding. Whether you love the seasonal foods and together-time or can’t wait for it to be over, there’s no reason you can’t set yourself up for success. Talk to your host ahead of time to clue them in to your dietary restrictions and what you’ll be bringing for yourself (and to share).

If you’re the host, don’t surprise your guests with the plant based turkey substitute of your dreams, but not necessarily theirs. Let people know, ask for their input, and see how you can help make it as easy for the cooks and other guests as possible. Some people would be happy to accomodate, but just don’t know that almond milk or olive oil make great mashed potatoes, and vegetable broth is great for stuffing. Offer to buy some of the alternative ingredients they may need.

Don’t Sweat It

There’s always that older brother you try to avoid most of the year who just can’t help but press all your buttons, reminding you (again) that animals wouldn’t be made of meat if we weren’t supposed to eat them and moaning in mock pain with each bite of his turkey. The best way to handle those people is to simply ignore, or remind them that you’re just trying to enjoy the apple cobbler and the rest of the family. If you’re lucky, someone else will stand up for you--if not, well, there’s always another glass of wine. He wants you to eat meat reeeeaaly badly? That’s just too bad.

If you’re still looking for a meal kit that will make the family happy, take a look at the top vegetarian meal delivery services for more information. Relax, enjoy the football game, and enjoy your food. Happy Holidays!

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