Thanksgiving Recipes: Plant-Based for the Whole Family

November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving is a great time to share your favorite plant-based recipes with your family and friends! The Humane League has partnered with Lighter to bring you three fresh takes on traditional holiday dishes. These recipes will make the holidays extra special and satisfy your guests with their bold and delicious flavors. Whether you're veg already or simply looking for a more compassionate choice this Thanksgiving, The Humane League and Lighter have you covered.

White Bean and Sweet Potato Soup with Apple and Sage 'Sausage'

Each spoonful of this soup is savory, sweet and satisfying. Full of protein and Vitamins A and C, this dish will leave you full and fueled. And you might just lick the bowl clean!


  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 1/2 bunch Kale
  • 1 tsp Olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp Dried rosemary
  • 1/2 can No-salt canned white beans
  • 1 Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage Vegetarian Sausage
  • 1/2 Sweet potato
  • 2 cups Low-sodium vegetable stock/broth
  • 1/2 tsp Dried sage
  • Salt & pepper to taste (optional)


  1. Rinse the sweet potato(es) and remove soft or dark spots. Cut into small pieces. Rinse the kale. Remove the stems and dice them. Thinly slice the kale leaves. Peel and mince the garlic.
  2. Rinse and drain the beans. Cut the Field Roast smoked apple sage sausage into ¼-inch rounds.
  3. In a pan or wok, bring the olive oil up to medium heat. Add the Field Roast smoked apple sage sausages and saute until they are golden brown (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Add water or a dash of olive oil to a soup pot, and bring up to medium heat. Add the garlic and diced kale stems. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add the vegetable broth and sweet potatoes to the soup pot. Bring up to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer.
  6. Stir in the dried sage, dried rosemary and beans, and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are just soft.
  7. Stir in the kale leaves and Field Roast smoked apple sage sausages. Cook for a few more minutes, or until the kale has cooked down, but is still bright green. Enjoy it while it's hot!

Roasted Vegetable Salad with Creamy Cashew-Cayenne Dressing

Brussels sprouts are having a (much deserved) comeback! We love them roasted, with a little extra color and crispness (and LOADS of extra flavor). Vitamin A-rich sweet potatoes and protein-packed beans round out this bowl of goodness with all the delicious components of a balanced meal. To top it all off - a cashew-cayenne dressing that brings all of the flavors together into creamy, spicy harmony!

From the kitchen of Kayli Dice, a registered dietitian, yogi, and the better half (according to her husband James) of the duo behind the blog Plant Eaters' Manifesto.


  • 1/2 clove Garlic
  • 2 cups Kale
  • 3 tbsps Water
  • 1 Sweet potato
  • 1 cup Brussels sprouts
  • 3 tbsps Unsalted cashews
  • 1/2 cup No-salt canned garbanzo beans
  • 3 tbsps Apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 Dates
  • 1/2 tsp Dry mustard
  • 1 pinch Cayenne pepper (optional)
  • to taste Salt & pepper (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Produce Prep: Rinse the kale, remove the leaves from stems, and cut leaves into bite-size pieces. Wash the sweet potato and cut into ½ inch cubes. Rinse the brussels sprouts, trim ends, and slice in half. Drain and rinse the no-salt canned garbanzo beans.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the cubed sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, and beans in one layer. Bake for 30-40 minutes until veggies are tender and slightly golden. Let cool.
  4. For the dressing: Soak the dates and unsalted cashews in water for at least 30 minutes (or in the refrigerator overnight). Drain. In a blender or food processor, combine soaked unsalted cashews, soaked dates, garlic, apple cider vinegar, water, dry mustard, cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  5. Combine chopped kale and roasted veggie/bean mix. Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat.

Quinoa Salad with Dried Cranberries, Apricots, Lentils and Pecans

Simple to prepare and brimming with fall flavors any time of the year, this colorful, plant-powered dish is all about taste (and not about the fuss)! (Adpated for Lighter from The Full Helping.)

From the kitchen of Gena Hamshaw, a nutritionist, cookbook author, and the brilliant, beautiful mind behind the blog The Full Helping.


  • 2 tbsps Pecans
  • 1 tbsp Dried cranberries
  • 1 tbsp Fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Dried apricot
  • 1/4 cup Green lentils
  • 1/2 tsp Lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup Low-sodium vegetable stock/broth
  • 1/4 cup Quinoa
  • Salt & pepper to taste (optional)


  1. Rinse and finely chop the fresh parsley. Chop the dried apricots and pecans into small pieces.
  2. Place the quinoa in a medium sized pot with the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook until the quinoa has absorbed all of the liquid (about 15-20 minutes). Fluff with a fork and let sit for 10 minutes.
  3. In a separate pot, add the green lentils and cover with water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, cover tightly, reduce heat and simmer until lentils are tender, adding more water as needed.
  4. Combine the cooked quinoa and lentils with the dried cranberries, chopped dried apricots, pecans, olive oil, lemon juice, and chopped parsley. (To make this recipe oil-free, simply omit the oil.) Toss, and season with salt and pepper to taste.