4 Vegan Recipes to Try This Thanksgiving

These recipes take a plant-based spin on the grandest of culinary holidays.


GAIL TEIGEIRO IS a skilled home cook who gives props to The Chef’s Table in Walker’s Point – which specializes in private dining experiences – for making her cooking even better. She also gives props to her sons for inspiring her passion for cooking vegan. It all started because of them. In our November issue, Teigeiro gives us a glimpse into her homemade, plant-based Thanksgiving celebrations, including tips for enjoying a stress-free holiday. She also shares some recipes – adapted from other cooking sources – that have become family favorites. We’re happy to share them with you.

Vegan Tarte Tatin


Vegan Tarte Tatin; Photo by Chris Kessler


  • For the Pie Crust
    • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 tbsp turbinado sugar
    • ¼ tsp salt
    • 8 tbsp vegan butter (very cold, cut into approximately 1-inch cubes; Teigeiro uses the brand Miyoko’s, made from coconut oil and cashew milk)
    • 2-3 tbsp of ice-cold water
  • For the Apple Filling
    • 4 tbsp vegan butter
    • 1 cup turbinado sugar
    • 5 apples, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch slices (Teigeiro uses a mix of Granny Smith and Golden Delicious)


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Make the Pie Crust

  1. Place flour in a bowl. Mix in sugar and salt. Then cut the vegan butter into the flour.
  2. Once the butter has been incorporated into the flour, drizzle the cold, iced water into the bowl slowly, mixing with your fork at the same time, until the dough comes together into a ball.
  3. Lift the dough out of the bowl and place on a sheet of cling wrap. Wrap it tight and flatten it into a disc by patting it with your fingers. Try to handle the dough as little as possible; your body heat is not kind to a pie crust. You want those buttery pockets to stay intact, so your crust gets flaky, not dense. Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes.

Make the Apple Filling

  1. Melt the vegan butter in a skillet over medium-high heat (if you plan to bake the entire tart in a skillet, a 10-inch cast-iron one works best).
  2. Once the butter is melted, sprinkle the sugar into the pan. Then add in the sliced apples. It may seem like a lot to begin with, but the apples will soften and settle down as they release their juices. At this stage, add in a small pinch of salt to help them do that.
  3. Stir the apples gently into the butter, trying not to break them. Continue to cook the apples over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, turning them over every now and then, until they are softened and have released their juices. Turn off the heat. If you’re going to continue baking in the skillet, you can just leave the apples free-form because arranging them into a pattern in a hot skillet will be tough – you’ll have a more rustic looking but still very pretty tart
  4. When using a cake tin:
    • Butter the tin, and (optional) line the bottom with parchment paper for extra insurance. The tarte tatin should slide out easily when it’s still warm without the help of parchment as long as you are careful to butter the tin.
    • Using tongs, lift out the apple slices and arrange them in circles around the cake tin, overlapping them slightly. You should have enough apples to make two layers. Pour the juice remaining in the saucepan evenly over the apples.

Assemble the Tart

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Flour the countertop and roll out the pastry dough into a circle slightly larger than the diameter of your cake pan or skillet. Make sure you keep moving your dough as you roll, flouring the surface more as needed, so it doesn’t stick to the countertop. Once your dough is rolled out, cut rough edges with a knife for a more finished look. If you have two cake tins of the same size, use one as a guide.
  3. Gently lift your pastry dough (easiest way to do this is to fold it once, and then once more before lifting), and carefully place it on top of the apples. Unfold it, and if it is slightly larger than the skillet or cake tin, just gently fold in the edges. If you’re doing this in a skillet, be careful – the skillet’s hot and you don’t want to burn yourself!
  4. Place the cake pan or the skillet into the oven and bake for 35 minutes. The crust should be a light gold when you remove the tart from the oven. Let the pan or skillet cool on a rack for 30 minutes. Then run a knife along the side of the pan to loosen the tart and place a plate (wider than your pan) on top of the pan. In a quick motion, invert the pan – the tart should drop quite easily onto the plate. If you baked your tart in a skillet, be sure to use oven mitts when inverting it. Remove the pan or skillet and the parchment paper (if using). If any of the apple slices have gone askew, rearrange them.
  5. Let the tart cool thoroughly before serving.

Gail’s Mushroom Wellington


Mushroom Wellington; Photo by Chris Kessler


  • 4 large portobello mushrooms, stalks trimmed and cleaned
  • 2 large onions, peeled and chopped
  • 3 shallots, peeled and sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 5 tbsp olive oil – divided
  • 10 oz baby spinach or Swiss chard, chopped
  • 3 pounds mixed mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 4 sprigs of thyme leaves
  • 1 sprig rosemary, chopped
  • 1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
  • 1 vegan puff pastry (most commercial brands are vegan – read label)
  • 4 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs, toasted
  • Vegan Egg Wash
    • 1 tbsp aquafaba (chickpea water)
    • 1 tbsp cashew milk
    • 1 tsp neutral flavored oil
    • ½ tsp maple syrup


Place a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the 1 tbsp of olive oil followed by onion and shallot and reduce heat to low. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes, until everything is golden brown. Turn heat back to medium and add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Remove the onion mixture from the pan and return the pan to medium-high heat. Add 2 tbsp oil and add the sliced mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté, stirring occasionally until they release their liquid and are golden in color.

Remove mushrooms from the pan and add 1 tbsp oil, the baby spinach and cook until wilted. Remove the baby spinach from the pan and leave to cool.

Increase the heat to medium/high and return the pan to the heat. Add the remaining olive oil and place the mushrooms, top side down. Cook until lightly golden (about 5 minutes) before turning over and cooking for a further 5 minutes or until golden. Remove from the heat and drain on paper towel top side up, as they will release a lot of liquid as they cool. Transfer the onions, spinach and both mushrooms to the refrigerator and cool completely. Can be prepared to this point up to a day ahead.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking tray and then place the rolled-out puff pastry sheet on top. Spread half the caramelized onions over the middle third of the pastry, making sure to leave a ¾ inch border at the edge of the pastry. Top with half of the sliced mushrooms, half the pecans, then half of the baby spinach. Spread the Dijon mustard over both sides of the portobello mushrooms and season well with salt and pepper. Place the portobello mushrooms upside down on top of the spinach. Top the mushrooms with thyme & rosemary, then the remaining baby spinach, pecans, mushroom mixture and onion mixture. Put a thin layer of breadcrumbs on top to absorb any moisture when flipped over so your pastry doesn’t get soggy.

Very carefully roll the pastry over the top of the mushroom mixture until you have a log. Press down to seal the edges. Roll over the log so that the seam is on the bottom.

To make the vegan egg wash whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl. Very lightly coat with the vegan egg wash. Place the pastry in the freezer for 10 minutes before repeating with another layer of vegan egg wash and freezing the pastry for a further 10 minutes.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, then lower heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 10-15 minutes until pastry is golden and flaky. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Gail’s Note

This recipe is a guideline for endless variation. Just be sure to sauté all your fillings ahead and make certain they are drained and cooled thoroughly before assembly.

Vegan Pecan Pie (Without Corn Syrup!)



  • 1 unbaked pie shell (Gail uses the same pastry as for the tarte tatin)
  • 3/4 cup medjool dates, pitted (about 6 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups pecan halves, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and press an unbaked pie crust in a 9-inch pan, (You can use an unbaked store-bought crust, if you like)
  2. In a food processor fitted with an “S” blade (or in a high-speed blender), combine the dates, maple syrup, flax seeds, 1/2 cup of the pecans, and the salt. Process until the dates are broken down and you have a relatively smooth batter,
  3. Pour 3/4 cup of the pecan halves into the pie crust and spread them out evenly, Pour the batter over the pecans and use a spatula to smooth it evenly. Top the pecan pie filling with the remaining 1/4 cup of pecans– I like to crush them between my fingers and sprinkle them over the top so that the little pieces are evenly distributed.
  4. Place the pie in the oven to bake at 350°F for 45 minutes. When it’s done baking, the top should look drier and the edges of the filling will be firm to a light touch.
  5. Allow the pie to cool completely, for at least 2 hours. You can put it in the fridge to speed the process. Slice the pie and serve chilled or at room temperature.
  6. Leftover pie should be covered and can be stored on the counter for up to 3 days, or in the fridge for up to a week.

Butternut Squash Vegducken with Mushroom-Cranberry Stuffing


Gail Teigeiro’s “Vegducken”; Photo by Chris Kessler


  • ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1 (8″-long) sweet potato (about 1 pound)*
  • 1 (6″-long) parsnip, peeled (about 2 ounces)
  • 1 (9″-long) butternut squash (about 4½ pounds)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
  • 16 ounces mixed mushrooms, coarsely chopped, divided
  • 2 flax eggs
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • ⅓ cup dried cranberries
  • 6 tablespoons coarsely chopped parsley, thyme and sage, divided
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided, plus more
  • 2 shallots, quartered
  • 2 bay leaves 4 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • Flaky sea salt

Special Equipment

  • Kitchen twine


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Toast pumpkin seeds on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing once, until fragrant and slightly darkened, 8–10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool.
  2. Increase oven temperature to 400°F. Line rimmed baking sheet with foil. Cut potato in half lengthwise. Using a medium-size, quick-release ice cream scoop or heavy spoon, scoop out flesh, leaving a small divot down the center. Reserve potato filling.
  3. Place potato halves and parsnip in a large heatproof bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high 5 minutes. Carefully check to see if vegetables are fork tender; if not, re-cover and microwave in 1-minute bursts until tender. (Alternatively, roast potato halves and parsnip on a rimmed baking sheet in a 400°F oven until fork-tender, about 50 minutes for parsnip and 30 minutes for potatoes. Let cool slightly.)
  4. Meanwhile, cut squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds, and discard. Scoop out flesh, leaving a divot deep enough to fit potato inside and at least a ½” border on all sides. Reserve squash filling.
  5. Using a fork, pierce insides of squash and potato halves, then pierce parsnip all over.
  6. Pulse garlic and thyme in a food processor, scraping down sides as necessary. Add paprika, ¼ cup oil, and 1 Tbsp. kosher salt and continue to pulse until a thick paste forms, about 1 minute. Transfer to a small bowl.
  7. Working in batches, pulse squash and potato filling in food processor until coarsely chopped, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a large bowl. Pulse 4 oz. mushrooms in food processor until coarsely chopped, about 30 seconds. Transfer to same bowl and stir to combine.
  8. Heat 1 Tbsp. garlic-oil mixture in a large nonstick skillet over medium until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add vegetable purée and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is browned and moisture releases, about 12 minutes. Return to bowl and let cool.
  9. Add flax eggs, walnuts, breadcrumbs; cranberries; 3 Tbsp. parsley, thyme and sage; ¼ tsp. kosher salt; ¼ tsp. pepper; and ¼ cup pumpkin seeds to bowl and mix to combine.
  10. Place squash halves, cut side up, on prepared baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, coat inside with garlic-oil mixture. Using the back of a spoon, press 1 cup vegetable mixture into each half until interior is fully coated.
  11. Nestle potato halves, cut side up, inside squash halves. Brush with garlic-oil mixture. Using the back of a spoon, press 6 Tbsp. vegetable mixture into each half until interior is fully coated. Discard remaining vegetable mixture.
  12. Trim parsnip to fit inside 1 potato half. Brush parsnip with garlic-oil mixture and place inside.
  13. Cut 3 (18″) lengths of kitchen twine. Slip twine under 1 squash half, then top with second squash half so cut sides face each other, and press down to seal. Tightly tie twine around squash to secure. Brush top with garlic-oil mixture, reserving remaining mixture, and season with ½ tsp. kosher salt. Wrap squash tightly in foil and place in center of baking sheet. Using 2 loaf pans or small metal bowls turned upside down, keep squash secure on baking sheet.
  14. Bake vegducken, carefully flipping halfway through, until squash is tender, 1 hour–1 hour, 20 minutes. Let rest 15 minutes.
  15. Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp. reserved garlic-oil mixture in a medium pot over medium-low until beginning to brown and smells fragrant, about 30 seconds. Cook shallot, bay leaves, and remaining 12 oz. mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add broth, bring to a simmer, and cook 30 minutes.
  16. Strain mushroom mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl; wipe out pot. Cook flour and remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in pot over medium heat, stirring constantly, until nutty brown and thickened, about 8 minutes.
  17. Add wine, bring to a simmer, and cook 3 minutes. Add mushroom broth, 1 Tbsp. parsley, ¼ tsp. kosher salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper, and return to a simmer. Season to taste.
  18. Place vegducken on a cutting board and cut into 1″ slices with a serrated knife, transferring to serving plates as you go. Spoon gravy over. Top with remaining ¼ cup pepitas and 2 Tbsp. parsley. Season with sea salt and serve.

Cooks’ Note

The sizes of the squash, sweet potato, and parsnip can vary a bit from the lengths specified; the key is that they fit/nestle into one another. When possible, choose squash that has a neck and bulb and sweet potato that are as uniform in width as possible. If necessary, use 1 medium and 1 small sweet potato and trim, then stagger to fit together into the squash.

Gail’s Note

Size the sweet potato, parsnip and butternut squash to fit when choosing.


This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine‘s November issue.

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Ann Christenson has covered dining for Milwaukee Magazine since 1997. She was raised on a diet of casseroles that started with a pound of ground beef and a can of Campbell's soup. Feel free to share any casserole recipes with her.