Deliciously Sustainable: Easy Thanksgiving Recipes for 2023

Deliciously Sustainable: Easy Thanksgiving Recipes for 2023

Thanksgiving is here again. This yearly celebration is a good time to spend with family and friends and reflect on what you are grateful for. But did you know that about 200 million pounds of turkey is tossed during Thanksgiving week in America? Most people view the upcoming holiday season as a time for a feast; but often, most of the food ends up in the trash.

Think about the resources that went into preparing the classic Thanksgiving turkey, mashed potatoes, turkey or cranberry sauce, talk of water, the carbon blueprint of all the cars used in transportation, the landfills, and the loss of the nutritional value of the meals. The holidays don’t have to be wasteful. The best way to prevent that is to stop it from happening in the first place. What if you added a little diversity to the menu with vegan options such as green beans, mushroom burgers, sweet potato, and cauliflower mash? 

If you want to reduce the amount of meat in your diet or are exploring vegan options, this is one way to love a sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle. You can also reduce waste by using freeze dried products, which allow you to use products even when they are out of season due to their long shelf life. If you are looking for easy, sustainable Thanksgiving recipes, look no further. Here are our top four sustainable recipes that you can make for your guests this Thanksgiving. 

  1. Green Bean Casserole1

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour

Servings: 4


For The Onion Topping

  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced or our chopped dried onions (¼ cup)
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • A pinch of salt to taste 
  • A pinch of black pepper

 For Casserole


To make the onion topping

  • Preheat the oven. Then, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil
  • Toss the onion in olive oil in a medium mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the flour and breadcrumbs and toss until they cost the onions evenly.
  • Broil in the preheated oven on medium for about 8 minutes while tossing every 2 minutes.
  • Then, reduce the heat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  •  To make the casserole

  • Prepare an ice bath.
  • Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add the green beans and cook for about 6 minutes. 
  • Transfer the green beans to the ice bath using a spoon or tongs and let them cool. Then, drain and transfer the green beans to a large bowl.
  • Heat two tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook while stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook for five more minutes or until the mushrooms are golden.
  • Stir in the garlic, then transfer to the bowl with green beans.
  • Heat the remaining four tablespoons of olive oil in the same skillet you used over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook for two minutes or until golden. Gradually whisk in the almond milk and let it simmer for 4 minutes or until thickened. 
  • Turn off the heat, season with salt and pepper, add to the green beans mixture, and mix until evenly combined. Transfer the mixture to a casserole dish.
  • Bake the casserole until warm enough and it has started bubbling at the edges for about 20 minutes. Top with the fried onions and bake for five more minutes. Serve warm. Enjoy
  • 2. Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Mash3

    Make this tuber desert a healthier alternative to candied yams, which are a staple for Thanksgiving. The sweet and savory dish is delicious and easy to prepare in under 30 minutes. You’ll definitely make it more than once a year. 

    Preparation time: 5 minutes

    Cooking time: 5 minutes

    Servings: 2



  • Rehydrate the sweet potatoes and cauliflower and warm them for 2 minutes in a microwave. You don't need to boil them since they are precooked.
  • Transfer the sweet potato and cauliflower to a mixing bowl. Add the olive oil, minced garlic, and oat milk or milk of choice. 
  • Blend until smooth with an immersion blender. Season with salt and black pepper, then sprinkle the chopped parsley.
  • Serve. Enjoy.
  • 3. Potato Leek Soup4 

    The creamy soup is not common in the traditional Thanksgiving menu, but it is a comforting appetizer option for guests who are vegetarians. It uses whole ingredients and is one of the best sustainable Thanksgiving recipes. 

    Preparation time: 25 minutes

    Cooking time: 40 minutes

    Servings: 6



  • Add butter to a large soup pot and melt over medium heat. Add the leeks and garlic and cook until soft for five minutes under low heat. 
  • Add the potatoes, thyme, bay, and broth and season with salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil. Then cover and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Remove the thyme and bay. Then transfer to a blender and purée until soft, or use an immersion blender. With the standard blender, you may need to add a small portion at a time or fill it halfway since it's too hot.
  • Add the heavy cream, put it back in the pot, and let it simmer. Add more seasoning according to your taste.
  • If the soup is thick enough, turn off the heat. If it is too thick, add some water; if it's too thin, let it simmer for a few more minutes. Garnish with chives or your preferred herbs.
  • Serve hot. You can prepare in advance and freeze the soup for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, defrost in the fridge for 12 hours, then reheat over medium heat just before serving.
  • 4. Mushroom and Bean Burgers5

    Veggie burgers are a perfect substitute for turkey during Thanksgiving. They are delicious, easy to make, and are a healthier alternative to meaty burgers. Combining the meaty mushrooms with fiber filled beans makes a protein powerhouse for your Thanksgiving menu.

    Preparation time: 5 minutes

    Cooking time: 20 minutes

    Servings: 4



  • Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the white onions and sauté until soft for about three minutes.
  • Add the mushrooms, three onions soup mix, garlic, and cumin and toss. Cook the mushrooms until browned for about five minutes. Set aside.
  • Mix warm water and ground flaxseed or egg replacer until well combined. Set aside.
  • Rehydrate and mash the pinto beans with a fork until soft or pulse them in a food processor in a coarse consistency. Mix in the egg replacer and stir until combined.
  • Add in the onion and mushroom mixture and parsley, and season with salt and pepper. Combine everything until you have a homogenous mixture.
  • Shape the mix into patties with just an inch of thickness and set aside.
  • Heat the remaining oil on a large skillet over medium heat. Then, cook each patty for 3 minutes on each side. You can also use an indoor grill pan to cook the patties.
  • Arrange each patty on the burger bun, top with your favorite vegetable toppings, and serve. Enjoy.
  • Final Thoughts

    You don’t have to eat turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. Try these sustainable Thanksgiving recipes this holiday season and reduce the statistics on wasted food. If you have more than you can eat, freeze the leftovers or donate to the homeless shelters. Don’t forget to buy our freeze dried supplies to enjoy the long shelf life and reduce the worry of wasting food.

    Happy Thanksgiving from Mother Earth Products.



    1. https://www.nrdc.org/bio/andrea-spacht-collins/thankful-feast-not-wasteful-one
    2. https://www.delish.com/holiday-recipes/thanksgiving/a23013030/easy-vegan-green-bean-casserole-recipe/
    3. https://madetosustain.com/sweet-potato-and-cauliflower-mash/
    4. https://www.onceuponachef.com/recipes/potato-leek-soup.html
    5.  https://www.thespruceeats.com/vegan-mushroom-bean-burger-recipe-3378623

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    • Branden Evans
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