Maybe this is your first Thanksgiving as a vegan. Or maybe this year, the rest of your family has decided to come to your house for a cruelty free holiday and you are freaking out about how to make a meal to make converts out of all of them. Or maybe you just want an easy Thanksgiving dinner you can have on the table in about an hour. In any case, I'm here to help. I'll share some of my own recipes, and point you to a few of my favorite vegan bloggers out there who have done a damn fine job of making incredibly tasty Thanksgiving treats.
First, let's tackle those of you who have zero desire to spend all day in the kitchen on Thanksgiving, or aren't quite confident to make everything from scratch. This Thanksgiving meal will make it onto the table in under an hour using a combination of store-bought products with a few home-made touches to bring it all together. I served this meal last year to a family of omnivores, and everyone was happy! And if you want a centerpiece, instead of the cutlets, consider the Vegetarian Plus Whole Vegan Turkey, complete with butthole for stuffing. Haha. (Read about it, along with an idea on what to do with the leftovers, here.)
*Under thirty minutes
Onto the sides! There is one thing I love about Thanksgiving more than anything else in the world...and that's stuffing. If I could make Thanksgiving dinner only out of different types of stuffing, then I would. As it is, I usually make at least three different varieties. There are a million recipes for bread stuffing out there. Julie Hasson's Thanksgiving Stuffing Casserole is top notch and can be made gluten free if that's your jam, and so is Amber from Fettle Vegan's Cranberry Apple Walnut Stuffing, because fruit and nuts are almost required in a good stuffing if you ask me. But if you want something totally different, try my take on Greek Stuffing. Traditionally, this dish is made with loads of butter and ground beef, my Better Homes and Garden award winning version uses seitan instead. If seitan isn't really your thing, or you are gluten sensitive, you can replace the seitan with tempeh or TVP. Avoiding soy as well? No problem, replace with chopped an sautéed mushrooms. Don't want a fungus among us? Alright then, how about some chickpeas? Seriously, though, this wild rice based stuffing filled with golden raisins and pine nuts will be super flavorful with whatever protein you choose.
Brussels Sprouts are another favorite of mine at the Thanksgiving table, and they can be made a hundred different ways from Sunday, including my simple Garlic and Mustard Roasted Brussel's Sprouts or Jackie from Vegan Yack Attack's Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Raisin Vinaigrette. This year I'm stepping out of the traditional flavor box and going with my Garlic Orange Brussels Sprouts from Fusion Food in the Vegan Kitchen.
Garlic Orange Brussels Sprouts
*Quick and Easy
Don't like brussells sprouts? Please try these ones. They might just make you a believer.
2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 pound (454 g) fresh brussels sprouts, cut in half
1 cup (235 ml) Garlic Orange Sauce
In a large frying pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.
Add shallots brussels sprouts cut side down in a single layer and saute, about 5 minutes, until fragrant and tender and edges of sprouts begin to brown.
Flip and cook another five minutes.
Add in sauce and toss to coat.
Yield: 4 servings
And then you are left to figure out what to do with all the leftovers...if there are any. And that's where this bad boy comes in. A burger made from all your leftovers! Below is the basic recipe, from The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet, and to be honest, I would totally just make this on Thanksgiving if it were just the man and me, but you guys can pretty much squash all of your leftovers (stuffing, brussels, potatoes, seitan, green beans, corn) into this thing to make it even more delicious. And if you have any cranberry sauce leftover? Yeah, use a big old schmear of that on the bun. Can it be the day after Thanksgiving yet, please?
All-the-Fixins' Holiday Burgers
This here burger was the brainchild of my bestest friend, Jen. She said if I could pack an entire Thanksgiving dinner into a burger, she would be in heaven. So, I gave it a shot. Invited her over and had her test it out. She said it was like crack. So, there you have it. If you're in the mood for Thanksgiving, make it. It's also a good way to use up "real" Thanksgiving leftovers.
1 tablespoon (14 g) non-dairy butter
1 cup (160 g) diced onion
2 tablespoons (30 g) garlic, minced
4 cups (900 g) prepared mashed potatoes (Skin on adds more texture to the burgers)
4 cups (800 g) prepared stuffing or dressing
1 can (14 ounces, or 392 g) can of cut green beans, drained (or leftover green beans)
1 cup (96 g) French's French Fried Onions (Seriously, would it be Thanksgiving without them?)
salt and pepper to taste
Oil for frying, optional
In a skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter, add the onion and garlic, and sauté until just beginning to brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
Transfer to a bowl, add the potatoes, stuffing, green beans, fried onions, and salt and pepper to taste. Knead to combine.
Form into 8 patties. Cook as desired.
Panfry in oil for 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until crispy and golden, or bake at 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4), on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone baking mat, for about 20 minutes, flipping halfway through. Everything is already cooked—you just need to heat them up!
Oh, you probably thought I forgot about dessert! Nah, I wouldn't do that to you. I mean what's Thanksgiving without Pumpkin Pie? Hmpft. I'd rather have another serving of mashed potatoes than a slice of pie any day, but since it is tradition, and your family will probably lock you in the basement if you don't provide some pie, you can always make this Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie, which is totes easy to make, and super rich and decadent. Or try out this super impressive recipe for Pumpkin Pie Ravioli Spheres by Erin over at Olives For Dinner. Or go with Mary of Nom Yourself's Salted Caramel Apple Pumpkin Pie (umm what?!?) if you really want to go big.
Crispy Glazed Cherry Pie Bites
If you thought puff pastry was tasty when it was baked, just wait until you try it deep fried and then glazed! This simple list of ingredients will yield such amazing results you will hardly believe it was so easy.
Vegetable oil for frying
1 package (1 pound, or 454 g) vegan puff pastry
1 can (15 ounces, or 420 g) pitted cherries in heavy syrup (or vegan cherry pie filling)
2 cups (240 g) powdered sugar
1/4 cup (60 ml) soymilk
If you have a deep fryer, this is a great time to use it. If not, a pot filled with 4-inches (10 cm) of oil heated to 350°F (180°C) will work perfectly.
Thaw puff pastry according to package instructions.
Cut your sheet into 16 rectangles measuring approximately 5-inches x 3-inches (12.5 cm x 7.5 cm).
Create a pocket by folding 1 rectangle in half and sealing the 2 outer edges with the tines of a fork leaving an opening at the top.
Add 3 cherries into the pocket and seal the top.
Add 2 pie bites at a time to the oil and fry for about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes then carefully flip and cook an additional 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, or until puffy, golden and crispy.
Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil.
Repeat until all 16 pie bites are fried.
In a small bowl whisk together powdered sugar with the soymilk until smooth.
Dip each bite in the glaze and place on a wire rack to cool and dry completely.
Make sure to place a kitchen towel or paper towels underneath your rack to catch the dripping glaze.
Yield: 16 bite sized pies
Well, I think that just about covers it! If you need any help or are looking for more ideas for Thanksgiving dishes, leave a comment below, or shoot me an email! I'd love to help. One of the things I am most thankful for is the opportunity all of you have given me to share my vegan creations with you. Thanks.