Recipes for My Frugal Plant-Based Thanksgiving

Tofu turkey shows stuffing inside

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Here are all the recipes, plus some tips for everything to make my Thanksgiving Dinner I wrote about earlier. It might actually cost as low as $26, depending on how much the tofu and cider cost.

Everyone eats vegan at my house. 🙂 My daughter and I are both vegan, with slight differences.  I try and follow a Whole Food, Plant Based (without oil and processed sugar) diet most of the time.  My daughter enjoys including oil and sugar in her diet.  My husband considers himself vegetarian, but always eats vegan at home.

As our family has mixed vegan preferences, my Thanksgiving menu does, too.  I imagine that is true for other vegan households as well.  Each of the recipes include an option for WFPB (no oil or sugar).  I hope you enjoy the recipes!  I have tested out many over the years, and these are the ones that made the cut!

Happy Thanksgiving! 🙂

(All the photos I took myself from our Thanksgivings; they are the actual dishes I made from the recipes).

Our Thanksgiving Menu (Serves 4-6, with lots of leftovers!)

Thanksgiving plate of food with tofu turkey, rolls, cranberries, sweet potato dish, green bean casserole

Tofu Turkey with Stuffing $10-$14 I now have a step-by-step recipe that shows how to make this HERE.  After years of making this, I made the following changes:  For the Tofu Turkey:  I have found using the food processor to mash up the tofu before pressing resulted in a more cohesive texture.   For the stuffing: Start with HALF the amount of soy sauce and spices.  Add more if needed, to taste.  The 1st year I made this, the spices were overpowering as directed in the recipe.  I have used both fresh sage and dried in this recipe.  Both are good.  The 1/4 cup sage the recipe calls for is for fresh.  (Start with half that amount).  I recommend dry rubbed sage if not using fresh (you can get this in bulk at health food stores). Start with 1 tsp. dried sage if not using fresh (a little goes a long way!) I omit the fresh celery, as my family dislikes it.  I have not tried making this without the sesame oil, but if I did I would  substitute with veggie broth. 

Green Bean Casserole $3.25  I used Brand New Vegan’s recipe HERE  for the 1st time last year and it’s the best so far.  You could omit the crispy onions and replace with homemade baked croutons, or sauteed onions for oil-free.

Mashed Potatoes and Mushroom Gravy $3  I started using Happy Herbivore’s Mushroom Gravy recipe last year, and plan to again.  It is a nice counterpoint to the mushrooms in the stuffing.  You can find it HERE. It is really good!  I also add some of the pan drippings from the tofu turkey.  For the potatoes, I whip cooked, peeled potatoes (russet, yellow, white or a combo) in my Kitchen Aid Mixer with warmed almond milk, white pepper, salt, and a bit of no chicken bouillon.

Sweet Potato Casserole $2.50  My husband is in charge of making this dish, and has used this recipe for several years.  The recipe doesn’t call for it, but we heat the glaze on the stovetop before pouring over the potatoes. If the glaze seems too thin, whisk in up to 2 TB of cornstarch (1st dissolved with water) until smooth.  You can substitute the orange juice with pineapple juice if you prefer.  You can omit the butter altogether.

Rolls $.50  Option #1 Update: I now have a recipe for these HERE

homemmade vegan buttermilk biscuits

I regularly make traditional “Baking Powder Biscuits”  (photo above) and substitute homemade sour cream for the shortening.

Option #2
I used to buy rolls for my husband and daughter, but last year, I made these and my family LOVED them!  (photo below) They do have some added vegan butter, but taste like they have a lot more than they do!  You can find the recipe HERE from Minimalist Baker.

vegan Thanksgiving dishes

In Photo: Rolls (Option #2), Green Bean Casserole & Sweet Potato Casserole

Cranberry Sauce $1 I usually use the canned ones.  This year, I am planning to try this recipe from Cookie & Kate HERE that uses fresh cranberries and maple syrup.


2 Tofu Pumpkin Pies $1.50 ea. Updated for 2020:  I typed up the adapted recipe I came up with HERE: 

There is also a Happy Herbivore crustless  Pumpkin Pie HERE.  I made this last year for the first time.  You can use maple syrup for the sugar, and increase cornstarch to 3 TB total.  It was good, but did not seem like traditional pumpkin pie. 

Apple Crisp $1  I base it off a Betty Crocker recipe HERE.  I omit the butter, and use about 1/2 c maple syrup instead of the sugar.

Coconut Cream $1  I chill 1 can of coconut cream (coconut milk didn’t work for me) overnight.  I also chill the bowl of my Kitchen Aid Mixer and beaters for about 10 minutes in the freezer before I make it.  To my chilled mixing bowl, I add the coconut cream (only the solidified part on top) and about 1/4 c powdered sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla.  Beat until fluffy.  Will hold in fridge for several hours.  I put a dollop of this on a slice of pie, and sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top.  You could also try using maple syrup for the sugar, or another sweetener you prefer.


Sparkling Cider $1-$2/bottle

Coffee, Tea $.25

Total Cost: $26.50-$31.50

centerpiece with vase of Fall flowers and two Thanksgiving target birds
Holiday Birds are from Target


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The Penny Pantry

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