Chris and I have been hosting Thanksgiving for our families for several years now. The first year I was so excited to make every possible holiday dish that I took on WAY more than I could handle. We ended up eating two hours later than I had planned and had a ton of food (sorry not sorry?). It’s taken some time, but over the past few years I finally nailed down my trusty always-delish recipes that make Thanksigiving a meal to remember.
I wish I could say that I make everything from scratch and make it up as a I go, but I don’t. I look to various cookbooks and food bloggers for recipes and inspiration and adjust as I see fit. My Thanksgiving menu is paleo-ish. Dairy-free and gluten-free, but not free of grains completely. New Cascadia and Bastion (local to PDX – sorry!) both make awesome gluten-free bread with simple, clean, ingredients that I use in the stuffing recipe. I also use coconut sugar or maple syrup in place of regular sugar in all of the dinner and dessert recipes.
I know some might moan and roll their eyes about a dairy-free meal given that the holidays are known for being a time to indulge, but I’m a firm believer that if you don’t tell people that it’s dairy-free, and the food is delicious, then they will have no idea. For Thanksgiving specifically, I use Miyoko’s Vegan Butter for the turkey and mashed potatoes. In my opinion, it’s one of the cleaner vegan butter’s on the market and doesn’t contain canola or palm oil.
Below is a round up of what has become my Thanksgiving Menu. Tried, tested and approved by my New England born and raised father. The best thing about these recipes is that they are not just for Thanksgiving!
A Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Thanksgiving Menu
Herbed Roast Turkey and Gravy – I scored big when I found this turkey recipe 3 years ago and have used it ever since. It-is-awesome and I kid you not, outside of the the herb + “butter” rub under the skin, is the easiest, most low maintenance turkey recipe I’ve ever encountered.
Gravy – I’ve had issues with this in the past. I always get a free-range organic turkey, but, because they are so lean, they don’t produce a ton of drippings for gravy. If I’m going to attempt a traditional gravy recipe with the turkey, then I will add a whole jar of Epic Provisions turkey bone broth (it’s generally in most natural food stores or Whole Foods) to the roasting pan halfway through the turkey cooking time and followed the gravy directions from the turkey recipe. Truth be told, we’ve made this mushroom gravy the past few years in place of a turkey gravy because it was so much better!
Caramelized Onion and Apple Stuffing – I found this in a 2017 Thanksgiving issue of Eating Well and have loved it ever since. The caramelized onions are a pain. I make it two days ahead of time so the house has enough time to air out. I’m not going to sugar coat it – they take forever and stink up the house, but, its makes the stuff oh so delicious.
Mashed Potatoes – I use The Minimalist Baker’s recipe for The Best Vegan Mashed Potatoes and sub half of the potatoes for steamed cauliflower. This year I made a batch for 10 people and did 9 potatoes and whole head of cauliflower. Simply steam the cauliflower and mash it with the potatoes.
Brussel Sprouts with Pickled Carrots, Dukkah, and Tahini – I created this recipe based on a recipe in Joshua McFadden’s Six Seasons cookbook. For 10 people I roast roughly 4 lbs of brussel sprouts. We definitely had leftovers, but I kind of feel like that’s the point of it all right?
Spiced Cranberry Sauce with Star Orange and Star Anise – I grew up with a cranberry relish that had orange and ginger it so when I set out to find a cranberry dish I wanted something that was reminiscent of what my Mom would always make. There’s something about the citrus and star anise that makes it a bit more refreshing that some of the more traditional cranberry sauces. I sub the white sugar for coconut sugar and typically use a large 1/2 cup vs. the full 3/4 cup. It still tastes great!
Radicchio and Fennel Salad with Pomegranate, Toasted Pistachios, and Citrus Vinaigrette – I try to keep the salad super light to balance out the rest of the dishes. I love the Citrus Vinaigrette because it lasts for several weeks in the fridge.
Pumpkin Pie – Tried, tested and approved by my pumpkin pie obsessed brother. So goo that we make two every year and delicious with homemade whipped cream.
Gluten-Free Vegan Apple Crisp – Another Minimalist Baker recipe. I use coconut sugar in the filling and the topping vs. white sugar and brown sugar. I’ve double the recipe for the topping because I’m a firm believer in that one can never have enough crumble topping. Best tip is to put this in when you sit down for dinner so it had plenty of time to cook and cool. I serve it with my homemade vegan vanilla ice cream or Coconut Bliss Madagascar Vanilla ice cream.