Since embarking on my new path to avoid animal products, I’ve come across persistent skepticism toward veganism and often find myself justifying my new diet to those around me. Many people assume foods that vegan food will not taste good. Others are confused why I would choose to eat products that imitate meat, considering I am avoiding meat. A few wonder if my diet means that I am judging their own food choices.

So let’s get a few things out of the way:

  1. Just like any other kind of food, some vegan foods are amazing and some are less amazing.
  2. I’m not avoiding meat because I don’t like the taste or texture of it. I’m avoiding it for ethical reasons.
  3. No, I’m not judging anyone else’s diet. What we eat is extremely personal, and I respect every single person’s decision to choose what foods fuel them up.

That said, now read on for how to build the ultimate vegan Thanksgiving feast. Even if you whip up just a few of these recipes for your Friendsgiving or family feast, I guarantee that you’ll leave the meal full, happy and fighting for leftovers with your fellow diners.

The T(of)urkey (choose one)
First thing’s first: the centerpiece of any Thanksgiving feast. These days, many companies (Gardein, Tofurky and others) make great vegan “turkey” options. Or, if you’re feeling ambitious, try one of these impressive homemade roasts:

Stuffing (choose one)
There’s one thing vegans and carnivores alike can agree on: no t(of)urkey is complete without a heaping pile of stuffing and gravy next to it.

Most grocery stores carry delicious stuffing that doesn’t contain any animal products, and many stuffing mixes are vegan, too. When shopping, be sure to check the ingredients. But homemade can be just as easy to put together, too. Here are some options:

Here’s the only gravy recipe you need. Oh, and most cranberry sauce is naturally vegan.

Sides (choose three)
To really impress your family and friends, you’ll need a ton of delectable sides. Everyone knows that’s the best part of Thanksgiving anyway. This is not the time for moderation.

Dessert (choose two)
Now, after you bring out your stretchiest pair of pants (circa Friends 2001), that can only mean one thing: it’s time for dessert. This is where all the best of fall—apples, pumpkin and cozy cinnamon—shines.

Pro tips:

  1. Try pairing any of the above with dairy-free ice cream (my favorite is Halo Top’s Vanilla Maple).
  2. If you hate baking, don’t fret. Daiya makes an insanely good Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake.

Have other vegan Thanksgiving favorites? Comment below! (And follow @TheAvocadbro for real-time vegan Thanksgiving deliciousness.)

Photo by Food Photographer | Jennifer Pallian on Unsplash