Not everyone eats turkey on Thanksgiving. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or just not particularly fond of the stuff, turkey-less alternatives provide the festivity and taste of a Thanksgiving roast sans the feathers. Plus, swapping out the bird can do the planet some good. An estimated 45 million turkeys are killed and sold in the United States each year for Thanksgiving alone, according to Farm Sanctuary. It takes 4.87 pounds of grain just to make 1 pound of turkey meat, according to Turtle Island Foods Inc. So shake things up this holiday season by embracing Tofurky or another tasty vegan entree. It’ll make one lucky turkey extremely thankful this Thanksgiving.


Yes, there is such a thing. In fact, it’s been around for nearly 20 years. And, yes, it is edible. In fact, it’s positively delicious. But what is it? Tofurky is Turtle Island Foods’ stuffed vegan roast made with local, GMO-free, USDA organic ingredients. A combination of tofu, wheat gluten and canola oil are molded into ham nets to make the Tofurky, with vegan stuffing in the middle. Here’s a how-to video for preparing and cooking your Tofurky roast.

You can use the Tofurky leftovers to make finger-licking chili, gumbo, stew, buffalo pizza and potpie. Erin Ransom, Turtle Island Foods spokeswoman, said opting for vegetarian choices once in a while can have a positive impact on the environment. “It doesn’t have to be all or nothing,” said Ransom, who is neither vegan nor vegetarian, but will be eating a Tofurky roast this Thanksgiving. 

Tofurky The first Tofurky was created in 1995. Now, this vegan stuffed roast counts celebrities like Christina Applegate on its list of fans. Photo: Turtle Island Foods, Inc.



This is basically Trader Joe’s version of Tofurky. The Turkey-Less Roast is filled with vegan stuffing and comes with vegan gravy on the side. The roast is made from soy, peas, wheat and ancient grains, which make it a protein-packed meal. Each Turkey-Less Roast is 2.5 pounds of vegan goodness and is available at your local Trader Joe’s for $9.99.

Trader Joe's Turkey-Less Stuffed Roast Trader Joe's Turkey-Less Stuffed Roast with Gravy. Photo: Trader Joe's



Like Tofurky, Gardein’s meat-free Turk’y is also made from non-GMO soy, wheat and canola oil. This holiday favorite is 100 percent vegan and dairy-free. The Turk’y is lightly breaded and the stuffing is made with cranberries. Each package comes with two individual stuffed Turk’ys with two packs of gravy -- perfect if you’re cooking Thanksgiving for one or two.

Gardein Stuffed Turk'y Gardein's Savory Stuffed Turk'y is another meat-free holiday favorite. Photo: Gardein



There’s nothing like a homemade meal. If you really want to personalize the flavor of your vegan Thanksgiving, you can make your own turkey-free loaf. Here’s a couple of how-to videos.