A VEGETARIAN THANKSGIVING is not about simply finding a replacement for the traditional turkey (although we have a delicious one in our unusual seitan dish with shiitake mushrooms). It's also about combining seasonal produce and flavor-rich ingredients to create an inventive and well-balanced feast that everyone—including the most ardent carnivores—can enjoy without feeling either deprived or overstuffed. There are plenty of new ideas here, but we also offer the comfort foods we love—and expect—to eat this time of year, like creamy mashed potatoes and sage-scented dressing. Think of it as traditional with a twist.
Cooking Thanksgiving dinner is a labor of love, but you don't want the day to be all work. Most of these recipes can be prepared well ahead and kept warm in the oven, allowing you to spend more time with your family and friends to enjoy the true essence of the holiday. And with a nod to what some of us regard as the best part of Thanksgiving dinner—the leftovers—we've made enough of the side dishes so the next day you'll have some ready-made fuel for your post-holiday workout.