3 Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes for Your Hudson Valley Table

These meat-free meatballs are perfect for a vegan Thanksgiving. Photos by Kaitlin Magno

A Hudson Valley food blogger offers a fresh take on gravy, spicy meatballs, and crispy Brussels sprouts to make your mouth water.

How inclusive is your Thanksgiving spread? Yes, we’ve all been there. It’s time to set the table, and there aren’t enough options for your guests with dietary restrictions. Luckily, Hudson Valley food blogger and vegan recipe tester Kaitlin Magno has you covered. The author of Plant Phorward provides three simple, yet delicious dishes that everyone can enjoy. Set the turkey aside, and prepare these animal product-free fixings and vegan Thanksgiving mains.

vegan thanksgiving

Vegan Thanksgiving Gravy

Serves 10


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1 medium white onion, quartered
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
1 medium carrot, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
4 Tbsp plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 ounce mushroom powder 
6 sprigs thyme
2 sun-dried tomatoes
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 dried bay leaf
6 fresh sage leaves
¼  cup all-purpose flour
¼  cup chopped fresh parsley
½ tsp dried tarragon
Kosher salt


Position an oven rack in the highest position, and preheat to 450 degrees. Toss the onions, celery, carrots and garlic with 1 teaspoon each oil and salt on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until the vegetables are charred in some places, or 25-30 minutes.

Bring the roasted vegetables, 1 cup water, mushrooms, thyme, sun-dried tomatoes, soy sauce, bay leaf, and 1 teaspoon salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is gone, for 8-10 minutes.

Add 6 cups water and ½ teaspoon salt, and bring back to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and gently simmer until reduced by about one third, approximately 45 minutes. Strain the stock through a strainer into a large liquid measuring cup; use the back of a ladle to squeeze all the liquid out of the solids (there should be about 4 cups of stock). If not making gravy right away, let the stock cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to a month.

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To make the gravy, warm the stock slightly in a medium saucepan if it has been refrigerated. Heat the remaining 4 tablespoons of oil in another medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the sage leaves, and cook until fried and crispy.

Remove and set aside. Add the flour to the saucepan, and stir until smooth and lightly golden. Slowly pour in the warm stock while whisking constantly until smooth and thick. This may take 8-10 minutes.

Chop up the fried sage, stir it into the gravy along with the parsley, and season to taste with freshly ground black pepper.

vegan thanksgiving

Cranberry Sriracha Meatballs

Serves 8


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2 packages Impossible or Beyond ground meat
¾ cup panko
2 Tbsp grated ginger
2 Tbsp finely minced garlic
1 tsp salt
1 tsp white pepper
18 ounce chili sauce
2 oz sriracha
2 oz Thai sweet chili 
1 14 ounce can jellied cranberry sauce
2 Tbsp orange juice
1 Tbsp brown sugar


Combine all meatball ingredients (ground vegan meat, panko, ginger, garlic, salt, and white pepper) in a bowl. Shape in to about 16 vegan meatballs.
Heat a large sauté pan on medium with a couple tablespoons of vegetable or grapeseed oil.
Sear the meatballs on all sides for 1-2 minutes each until golden-brown. Then, set aside in a dish.

Melt cranberry jelly sauce in pan. Whisk in the chili sauce, sweet chili, sriracha, orange juice, and brown sugar; stir until mostly smooth. Set aside.

Simmer on medium low for 5-10 minutes. The sauce should thicken a bit. Then, add the meatballs and toss.

vegan thanksgiving
Crispy Brussels sprouts are a must for any vegan Thanksgiving spread.

Crispy Brussels Sprouts

Serves 1


6 oz Brussels sprouts, washed and drained well
1 oz Brussels sprouts leaves
Pinch coarse salt
1 slice vegan plant-based bacon
1 oz maple glaze
Grapeseed oil to fill pan


Carefully remove some of the whole outer leaves from the Brussels sprouts and set aside.

Heat a frying pan for 8-10 minutes, or until it reaches 325F. Have a wire baking rack or large pan lined with paper towels to absorb the extra oil.

Cut the Brussels sprouts into quarters and fry them until completely cooked (hot throughout and slightly crispy). Remove from the frying oil and drain on paper towels. 

Fry the Brussels sprout leaves until crispy. Remove from the frying oil and allow to drain on paper towels. Sprinkle a little coarse salt over the crispy leaves.

Place the quartered Brussels sprouts into a mixing bowl. Add the chopped bacon into the bowl. Drizzle the maple glaze evenly over the ingredients and gently toss together. Place onto a serving plate or into a bowl.

Note: if you want to avoid frying the Brussels sprouts, you can use an oven or an air fryer to achieve crispy leaves. 

Air Fryer: Set to the highest setting. You only need a couple minutes for the outer layers. For the inner layers, lower the temperature to 350 degrees for about 8-10 minutes.

Baking: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper. Toss the outer layers in olive oil, salt, and pepper and bake for 7-10 minutes or until super crispy to your liking. Then, bake the rest at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, also tossing in oil, salt, and pepper.

Related: Try This Pumpkin Dalgona Coffee Recipe From a Hudson Valley Foodie

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