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 a traditional dinner with some soul food classics?

What is vegan soul food?

The term “soul food” originated in the 1960s, when it was used to describe African-American culture. 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 mac and cheese, these 18 vegan soul food recipes are sure to provide some drool-worthy dinner inspiration.

VegNews.SouthernCandiedYams.EatPlantsandProsperEat Plants & Prosper

1Southern Candied Yams by Eat Plants & Prosper

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. 
Get the recipe here

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2 Chili Cornbread Casserole by Jessica in the Kitchen

Cornbread is a Southern classic. This recipe transforms a hearty chili into a holiday-worthy casserole by topping it with cornbread for a seriously scrumptious two-in-one side dish.
Get the recipe here

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3 Slow Cooker Southern Collard Greens With Fire-Roasted Tomatoes by I Can You Can Vegan

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.
Get the recipe here

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4 Southern Sweet Potato Salad by Sweet Potato Soul

This is the time of year to embrace root vegetables, and this simple salad brings together Yukon and sweet spuds in a creamy herb sauce you’ll love.
Get the recipe here

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5 Baked Mac and Cheese by Vegan With Curves

Mac and cheese is a soulful side dish that should always have a place at the holiday dinner table. This version incorporates vegan cream cheese, shredded cheese, and silken tofu for a creamy, comforting staple that will tempt you long after it has been devoured.
Get the recipe here

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6Biscuits and Gravy by From the Comfort of My Bowl

Homemade, fresh-out-of-the-oven biscuits smothered in country-style mushroom gravy—need we say more?
Get the recipe here

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7Southern Green Beans and Potatoes by Healthier Steps

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.
Get the recipe here

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8BBQ Cauliflower Wings by Jessica in the Kitchen

Capitalize on the cauliflower trend with this side dish everyone will love. These cauliflower wings are crispy, crunchy, and coated with a thick barbecue sauce. 
Get the recipe here

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9Apple and Sausage Stuffing by Make It Dairy Free

Stuffing is a traditional holiday addition you don’t want to forget. This version is stuffed with vegan sausage, onions, apple, carrot, and the traditional mix of holiday herbs, and can be prepped a day in advance.
Get the recipe here

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10Coconut Creamed Corn by Plant-Based and Broke 

Creamed corn is a popular side dish that is traditionally made with a cream base. This version swaps out the dairy for canned coconut milk, making it everything you want in a comforting dish—sweet, creamy, and packed with flavor.
Get the recipe here

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11Mashed Carrots With Cinnamon and Brown Sugar by Plant-Based and Broke

An easy way to level up roasted carrots, this dish transforms them into a purée packed with warming spices, vegan butter, and coconut milk. 
Get the recipe here

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12Southern Beef and Cabbage by I Can You Can Vegan

A simple side that comes together quickly, this Southern Beef and Cabbage dish is best served alongside mashed potatoes. 
Get the recipe here

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13Black-Eyed Pea Salad by Delightful Adventures

You can never go wrong with a simple side salad. If you need to bring some color to your meal, add this salad to your “must-make” list. 
Get the recipe here

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14Slow Cooked Black-Eyed Peas and Greens by Baum Ass Foods

This slow-cooked side dish is packed with black-eyed peas and mustard greens for a nutritious and flavorful option that could be served alongside a lentil loaf.
Get the recipe here

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15Cajun Lentil Étouffé by The Geneus Life

Bring some Cajun flavors to your table with this hearty, protein-packed étouffé.
Get the recipe here

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16 Green Bean Casserole by Make It Dairy Free

A staple side dish for any holiday get-together, this casserole incorporates a homemade vegan cream of mushroom soup as the base.
Get the recipe here

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17Holiday Stuffing by The Geneus Life

Never made homemade stuffing? This recipe shares step-by-step instructions and levels up the traditional version with loads of veggies.
Get the recipe here

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18 Mashed Potatoes and Mushroom Gravy by Sweet Potato Soul

Thanksgiving is not complete without mashed potatoes and gravy. As this recipe points out, veganizing them is easy—simply swap out the butter for vegan butter and the meat for mushrooms.
Get the recipe here

For more on vegan Thanksgiving, read: