No one likes turkey anyway, so make this easy masterpiece instead

Purple cauliflower looks especially dramatic
Purple cauliflower looks especially dramatic.
(Evan Sung / For The Times)

Swap a whole turkey for whole vegetables as your Thanksgiving showstopper. Use the best-looking vegetables here, ideally in a mix of colors. They’re impressive kept whole, but you can cut some into smaller pieces too for variety on the platter. You can garnish the platter with fresh herbs, such as sage and rosemary, and fresh fruit, such as concord grapes. Arrange the vegetables like a cornucopia and present them to the table, then carve them into slices and wedges, as you would a classic Thanksgiving centerpiece.

Here are the reasons why you should try a vegan Thanksgiving menu of classic dishes like sweet potato casserole and bread stuffing and tips that make it easy to pull off.

Slow-Roasted Winter Vegetables

2 hours, largely unattended. Serves 12.


  • 1 whole delicata, butternut or other winter squash
  • 2 whole celery root
  • 1 large or 2 regular whole cauliflower or romanesco broccoli
  • 6 tablespoons everyday extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Poultry Seasoning
  • Kosher salt
  • Bourbon Mushroom Gravy


  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  2. Peel the squash, halve it lengthwise or cut into thick slices, and scoop out the seeds. Trim both ends of the celery roots and scrub very well or peel. Poke the celery root all over with a paring knife. Trim the bottoms of the cauliflower so they can sit flat.
  3. Put the vegetables on the prepared sheet and rub them all over with the oil. (An even and generous coat of oil will ensure the vegetables brown properly and attractively.) Sprinkle everything evenly with the Poultry Seasoning and generously season with salt. Rearrange them in a single layer, with the squash cut sides down. Place the pan in the oven and pour ¼ cup water onto the sheet.
  4. Bake, basting every 45 minutes, until a paring knife slides through each vegetable easily, about 1 hour for the squash, 1 ¾ hours for the cauliflower and 2 hours for the celery root. The time will range depending on the size and density of the vegetables. As each vegetable is done, carefully transfer it to a serving platter and tent with foil to keep warm. Serve with the gravy.