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Thanksgiving Tip: So You've Invited a Vegetarian...

Thanksgiving Tip: So You've Invited a Vegetarian...

Last week we highlighted a classic Thanksgiving feast and this week we've gone completely vegetarian. However, what if you're a meat-eating family who happens to have invited a few vegetarians? Do you have to follow the vegetarian menu? Can you still have your turkey? Before you start fretting, I've got a few simple tips on how to turn your classic meal into a veggie-friendly one. And no, you don't have to have to serve Tofurky.

  • Start things off by making all of your appetizers vegetarian. Serve things like cheese and crackers, olives, nuts, bread and lentil spread. Your meat-eating family and friends are not going to turn these down.
  • When it comes time to make the sides, make sure they are veg friendly. If you've got stuffing that's cooked inside the bird, make sure you have some cooked outside that is completely meat free.
  • Make sure the stock you use is vegetarian. One of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to cook for vegetarians is overlooking the kind of stock they use.
  • Consider adding a hearty side dish such as pumpkin ravioli or baked squash. This will serve as the main course for your vegetarian guests, but will also be enjoyed by the rest of the dinner party. If you don't have time to make something, place an order from a veg-friendly restaurant.
  • For a few more ways to make your classic feast veg friendly,

  • Make a separate kind of gravy that does not include the turkey drippings.
  • If you're going to make a separate Tofurky roast, make sure there is enough room in your oven and cooking time for both the roast and the turkey.
  • Speaking of Tofurky, make sure the vegetarian you're serving actually likes it before you go out of your way. Some people don't like how realistic it is, while others are crazy for it. Also, consider purchasing Tofurky deli slices instead of the entire roast.
  • If the vegetarian you've invited has offered to bring a dish, go ahead and take them up on the offer! This way you won't have to fret over whether or not they'll be able to make anything, and they won't have to worry about whether or not they'll be able to eat anything.

Do you have any great tips on how to turn your classic feast into a vegetarian one?

Join The Conversation
MsMO MsMO 8 years
They'll starve
veronicaraye veronicaraye 9 years
not as tough as it may seem
remedios remedios 9 years
I've been vegetarian for over 15 years, and I've never been to a Thanksgiving without turkey. It's never been a problem. I mean, with that much food, it almost seems like the host would have to try to make it a problem. No matter what, I have NEVER walked away hungry, and this even when a good 8 yrs of those Thanksgivings had me eating only vegan foods. There's always tons of side dishes to eat, we make black beans and rice, stuffing, though sometimes the host uses meat stock, but when it's veggie stock, no one has ever noticed the difference. I never understand the purpose of meat/chicken stock when the rest is veg. It doesn't add really to the flavor according to my carnivore husband, and it is only excluding the people that will eat it. But even so, if the stuffing is meaty, there's still tons of other food. And you might be surprised at the number of meat eaters that prefer to limit the meat product intake too.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
you can mek it work
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
no big deal...
michichan michichan 9 years
Wow, it seems like everyone is some kid of vegetarian today
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
If I invited a vegetarian and that person was the only one, i would make some seperate dishes for them, i wouldnt alter the whole meal to fit thier diet. I actually dont have any friends who are vegetarians. The one and only time we had someone come for a family dinner was a girlfriend of my nephew and she made faces all night and made us all feel uncomfortable, so he dumped her.
michichan michichan 9 years
Chickpeas are agreat tasty base for any meal.
sarahbf sarahbf 9 years
Quorn Roast is a great turkey substitute - if you are looking for something vegetarian but "meat-y"
msshellokitty msshellokitty 9 years
Great tips.I usually don't make a fuss though and usually just find things to eat.I'm using your recipes for Christmas though.
nancita nancita 9 years
These are really great tips. You make it sound far less intimidating than I would have thought.
freegracefrom freegracefrom 9 years
Thank you for this and for the Vegetarian Thanksgiving series! As a vegetarian, Thanksgiving was always the most dread holiday of the year. These are all great ideas.
SugarFreak SugarFreak 9 years
Yum, this was an awesome post. I am not a vegetarian, but both mine and my husband's parents are, so when we have holiday gatherings it's a big thing as far as what to make. You don't realize how much non-veg stuff you make sometimes. Great suggestions and things to think about.
hottpink hottpink 9 years
Thanks for the tips! I am the only veggie in my family and I always tell them to just make whatever and I will "fend" for myself! I am going to bring a couple of the dishes mentioned in the Vegetarian Menu post! Thanks again Yum for not forgetting the veggies!!! :)
mollywog mollywog 9 years
Great ideas! I've been to dinners at someone's house before where there was a vegetarian who ended up eating string beans and rolls and that was it.
Becky-Suman Becky-Suman 9 years
I always tell my family to just cook what they normally would...I will just eat what I can. That way, I'm not too much of a bother to them and I end up saving myself from indulging in those extra holiday Calories! :)
tralalala tralalala 9 years
I've always just offered to bring something. It's too stressful for meat eaters to have to try to figure out what I can eat when I go over for dinner haha
desertbanshee desertbanshee 9 years
These are really good suggestions, thanks Yum.
mamaseacat mamaseacat 9 years
Thanks for the tips. Sometimes I think salad and fruit just isn't enough - not satisfying enough. That's why potlucks are always good. Bring something you know you're going to eat.
usigebeatha usigebeatha 9 years
As a vegetarian, I was lucky enough to have a mother who cooked everything (other than the Turkey) vegetarian - stuffing baked with veggie broth, gravy made from veggie broth etc. I'm also German, and a popular dish in Germany is "gebackene Camembert mit Preiselbeern" or, breaded and baked camembert cheese with cranberry sauce which I make for Thanksgiving dinner since I don't eat meat. Of course, I have to make lots since my family ends up eating so much of it as well!
michichan michichan 9 years
hat doesn't seem like much extra work at all.
rosey_y rosey_y 9 years
The heading cracked me up so much: "So you've invited a vegetarian...". Hahaha! Thanks for the tips - I became a vegetarian only about 3 months ago and was wondering what I'm going to do at the family Christmas meals (I'm in Australia so we don't celebrate Thanksgiving). I think I'll either offer to help with the cooking so I can make a few things I can eat too, or just bring a dish that I've made. I don't want to put people out too much - I know preparing food for such big holiday lunches/dinners is a big enough job as it is!
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