Thanksgiving can be awkward for vegetarians—not because of the giant turkey looming in the distance—but because of the questions you get from family who either don’t know what a vegetarian is or who know, but don’t know why anyone would want to be one. Some common questions us vegetarians get are:

- So you don’t eat meat? But you can still have turkey, right? (eye roll)- Are you still doing the weird vegetarian thing? (face in hand)- You don’t want to eat turkey just this one time? It’s thanksgiving! (evil stare)

The truth of the matter is, most Thanksgiving sides are meatless (or should be, unless Grandma adds bacon to everything) and equally as delicious as the bird. Here are 5 reasons vegetarians love Thanksgiving.

1. Pie!Let’s cut right to the chase. Thanksgiving dessert is delicious and there’s nothing like a creamy pumpkin pie or a sweet apple pie sprinkled with cinnamon. Don’t forget a dollop of vanilla ice cream.

2. Mashed PotatoesBring on the starchy, buttery goodness of mashed potatoes. Think vegetables don’t fill you up? Eat a heap of these, and then let’s talk.

3. Green Bean CasseroleA savory, creamy casserole is the ultimate comfort food. (Veg-friendly note: Sub veggie broth instead of chicken for this recipe for a veg version.)

4. Delicious DipsThere are always a few dips hanging out as appetizers. You can’t beat the creamy goodness of artichoke dip. If you’re feeling guilty about the major calorie bomb you’re serving up, try our lighter version.

5. Sweet Potato CasseroleI love sweet potato casserole but have one requirement: If it doesn’t have mini marshmallows, forget it.

Vegetarians, what things do you love most about Thanksgiving? And non-vegetarians, what's your favorite meat-free side? Share with us in the comments.