14 Vegan Soul Food Side Dishes to Add to Your Thanksgiving Menu

There are no rules when it comes to pulling together a holiday meal. Start by choosing a vegan roast (there are a plethora of options) and then build around it with a mix of side dishes. This year, why not fuse components of your holiday feast with some soul food classics?

What is vegan soul food?

The term “soul food” originated in the 1960s, when it was used to describe Black cuisine. Its roots are in the rural South, where home-cooked recipes were passed down through generations. Staple foods within this cuisine include loads of veggies, such as collard greens, sweet potatoes, black-eyed peas, corn, and peaches, so it naturally lends itself to vegan cooking. Today, with more interest in plant-based eating than ever before, vegan soul food eateries are thriving, especially in its Southern birthplace. 

Vegan soul food for Thanksgiving

While spending time with family and friends makes a memorable Thanksgiving, those special holiday memories should also include good food. 

Whether you’re a Southerner who wants to veganize some of your favorite comfort dishes or you have a craving for killer vegan mac and cheese, these 14 vegan soul food recipes are sure to provide some drool-worthy dinner inspiration.

VegNews.MacaroniandCheese.HannahKaminskyHannah Kaminsky

1 Vegan Macaroni and Cheese 

Mac and cheese is a soulful side dish that should always have a place at the holiday dinner table. This version incorporates cashews, yellow potatoes, and dijon mustard  for a creamy, comforting staple that will tempt you long after it has been devoured.
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VegNews.TruffleCream'dCornCharity Morgan

2 Truffle Cream’d Corn With Vegan Bechamel

Creamed corn is a popular side dish that is traditionally made with a cream base. This truffle version swaps out the dairy for vegan béchamel sauce, making it everything you want in a comforting dish—sweet, creamy, and packed with flavor.
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3 Biscuits and Gravy 

Homemade, fresh-out-of-the-oven biscuits smothered in country-style mushroom gravy—need we say more?
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VegNews.StuffingHannah Kaminsky

4 Pecan Rosemary-Sage Stuffing 

Stuffing is a traditional holiday addition you don’t want to forget. This version is made with a medley of nuts, onions, apples, and the traditional mix of holiday herbs, and can be prepped a day in advance.
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5 Spicy Oven-Fried Tofu

Skip the chicken wings and replace them with these delicious baked tofu slices. They’re crispy, crunchy, and best-served with a drizzle of maple syrup.
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6 Southern Candied Yams

Yams are a mainstay for Thanksgiving traditionalists. Sweeten things up with this candied yam dish, which incorporates a sweet sauce made with cinnamon and brown sugar.
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VegNews.SmotheredBlackEyedPeas.HannahKaminksyHannah Kaminsky

7 Black-Eyed Pea Stew 

You can never go wrong with a simple black-eyed pea stew. It’s packed with flavor, easy to make, and quick to pull together in a hurry. 
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8 Vegan Poblano Cornbread

Cornbread is a Southern classic. This recipe infuses smoky poblano chilies for a slight kick of heat, balancing out the sweetness from the corn kernels studded throughout.
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9 Slow Cooker Southern Collard Greens With Fire-Roasted Tomatoes 

Collard greens are one of the most popular dark leafy greens in soul food culture. A rare but practical way to stew them is in a slow-cooker, so you won’t have to worry about one more thing taking up space on the stovetop.
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10 Sweet Potato Salad 

This is the time of year to embrace root vegetables, and this simple salad brings together marinated tempeh and sweet spuds in a maple mustard dressing you’ll love.
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11 Southern Green Beans and Potatoes 

In Southern cuisine, green beans are traditionally cooked with bacon. This version is elevated with hearty baby potatoes, onions, garlic, and smoked paprika. Top it with coconut bacon for a little crunch.
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12 Mashed Carrots With Cinnamon and Brown Sugar 

It’s time to level up your roasted carrots. This dish transforms them into a purée packed with warming spices, vegan butter, and coconut milk for a sweet side you’ll want all to yourself.
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13 Southern Beef and Cabbage 

A simple side that comes together quickly, this Southern Beef and Cabbage dish is best served alongside mashed potatoes.
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14 Green Bean Casserole 

A staple side dish for any holiday get-together, this casserole incorporates a homemade vegan cream of mushroom soup as the base for an extra dose of umami. Bring on the seconds and thirds!
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For more on vegan Thanksgiving, read:


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