Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Thanksgiving Sides

By: Lauren Miyashiro
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In our humble opinion, Thanksgiving is superior to any other day of the year. In an effort to make this year's feast the best of all time (sorry, Pilgrims and Wampanoag tribe), we're bringing you the recipes, how-tos and decorating ideas to help you become a Turkey Day pro.

Whipped Sweet Potatoes and Bananas with Honey; Tyler Florence

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. It’s not a campaign to turn everyone in the world vegetarian or vegan; in fact, many involved are meat-lovers. Eating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish? Right now, you’re probably debating between your aunt’s famous sweet potato casserole and dad's creamy mashed potatoes. And then of course, buttery biscuits are a must and it’s not quite right without cranberries. Point being: It’s all about the sides. Thanksgiving may be known as Turkey Day but let’s face it -- the sides usually outshine the bird.

The great news is that most side dishes are either meatless or can easily (and just as deliciously) be made without meat. It’s as simple as skipping the bacon and swapping in vegetable stock for the chicken or beef varieties. From traditional fare like roasted Brussels sprouts or candied yams to unconventional favorites like mac ‘n’ cheese or pumpkin cornbread, this year’s feast should have something to please everyone, especially the vegetarians. Check out some of our favorites below.

Make-Ahead Crowd Pleaser

Roast the bananas and sweet potatoes ahead of time for quick and easy assembly day-of. Don’t question the bananas. They’re key to this five-star recipe.

Get the Recipe: Whipped Sweet Potatoes and Bananas with Honey (pictured above)

Fresh Twist on a Classic

alex-guarnaschelli-stovetop-green-bean-casserole-recipe_s4x3

alex-guarnaschelli-stovetop-green-bean-casserole-recipe_s4x3

A stovetop green bean casserole is served as a side dish.

Alex’s take on green bean casserole skips the canned soup, subbing in fresh mushrooms instead. It’s ultra rich and creamy and won’t take up room in your already crowded  oven.

Easy Last-Minute Side

Photo by: Tara Donne ©2009, Tara Donne

Tara Donne, 2009, Tara Donne

Sunny’s honey glazed carrots come together in  15 minutes, start to finish.

Get the Recipe: Honey Glazed Carrots

A Tasty Guilt-Free Addition

Most Thanksgiving spreads are in dire need of some lighter fare. Butternut squash with quinoa and and spinach is healthy and butter-free.

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Puerto Rican Pasteles: Tamales for the Holidays

Make Puerto Rican pasteles, or tamales, for the holidays with this recipe from Cooking Channel.

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