Recipes

My 2020 Vegan Thanksgiving Feast Menu: 8 Dishes Omnivores will Love too

My big vegan Thanksgiving feast last year was SUCH a hit with my vegan and omnivore family members alike, that I just have to share the dishes I made with you all! I posted my menu from 2 years ago here, but I’ve updated and swapped out some recipes to make it even better.

Usually my goal with my Thanksgiving cooking is to impress omnivores, so I make decadent, food-coma-inducing dishes rather than healthy ones.. which has worked, at least based on the fact that omnivores were fighting over the leftovers!

But this year it’ll just be my vegan husband and I, so I might do healthier versions of some dishes (but I’m including the classic recipes below)! So for this post I’m also including healthy swap options for some of the more decadent dishes.

1. Sweet Potato Casserole

This is my first time sharing this recipe–I’ve made a lot of different vegan sweet potato casseroles, and this one is the most authentic tasting. This recipe was actually passed down from my husband’s mom, and I just had to veganize it because it’s his favorite Thanksgiving dish ever.

For a healthy version, reduce the sugar or take it out of the casserole part altogether (just putting it in the topping). I actually find this recipe to be sweeter than I’d prefer it, but people who eat sugar more often than I do thought it was perfect!

Casserole ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups mashed sweet potato
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup nondairy milk
  • 2 vegan eggs (we’ve had success with Follow your heart’s and Just egg)
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Pecan topping ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2-2/3 cup vegan butter (less for healthier, more for impressing omnivores)
  • 1 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the casserole ingredients and put in a casserole dish. Stir together pecan topping and sprinkle evenly on top of the casserole. Bake for 30 mins, until the topping is golden brown and beginning to crisp up.

2. Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

I have my two potato recipes first, because, well, everyone knows potatoes are the best! (And I’m Irish 😉 ) These cheesy scalloped potatoes have, for three years in a row, been the most universally coveted dish on the table. It’s truly a sad day in the house when the leftovers run out.

For a healthy swap, try using my favorite cashew-potato cheese sauce on the potatoes instead of the vegan cheese and cream sauce.

  • 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
  • ¼ cup vegan butter (we use Miyoko’s)
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups vegan half & half
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups vegan cheese shreds, we used a mix with cheddar & white cheese
  • Paprika
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F
  2. Peel the potatoes and boil them whole until they’re starting to get tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Now make the cheese sauce. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat and add the flour, whisking constantly for about 2 minutes, or until the flour turns golden brown. Stir in half & half and cook until thickened, stirring often, for about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 2 cups of shredded cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Slice the potatoes into 1/8 inch rounds–I recommend using a mandolin to get the slices even. Place 1/3 of the potatoes overlapping in a single layer in the baking dish, seasoning with salt and pepper. Spoon about 1/3 of the cheese sauce on top of the potatoes.
  5. Repeat for two more layers. Pour all of the remaining cheese sauce over the top layer of potatoes. Spread to ensure all of the potatoes are covered.
  6. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup shredded cheese and a dash of paprika for color.
  7. Bake in the 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly.
My plate of leftovers!

3. Roast

And now for a quick intermission from recipes: we usually go with a store-bought roast (rather than lentil loaf, etc) for a meatier vibe, and so I can focus on the other dishes. In past years we’ve loved Trader Joe’s vegan roasts, but since we moved to northwest Arkansas, we no longer have a TJs near us! This year we’re planning on going with the new Whole Foods roast I’ve been hearing rave reviews about (if we can get it). Otherwise, we’re thinking of doing Gardein turkey cutlets for a more classic feel.

We also like the Field Roast roasts–I especially like the hazelnut cranberry. We do NOT like Tofurkey’s roast unfortunately.

Whole Foods Launches its Own Vegan Holiday Roast

4. Stuffing

Simple vegan stuffing recipe by the Minimalist Baker

This is always a nice healthy counterpart to the rest of my feast. It’s refreshing to load up on lentils, veggies and starches in between digging into the rich scalloped potatoes and roast. You can also do prep for this the day before by chopping up all the veggies. Or, you could even make the whole thing the day before–it was great leftover!

5. Balsamic Roasted Veggies

In the past we’ve done bacon brussels sprouts, but this year I’m doing an old classic side I love: winter veggies tossed in balsamic vinegar and roasted. It’s healthy and so simple to make, and like the stuffing, it’s nice to have something light in between the other dishes. I don’t ever measure amounts, but here’s what I go off of:

  • Equal parts carrots, red onion or pearl onions, and brussels sprouts
  • Splash of balsamic
  • Olive oil, if desired

Chop your veggies, add them to a bowl, and toss with a big splash of balsamic (and oil if desired) until they’re all lightly coated. Roast in a 400 degree oven until they’re fork tender, 20-30 mins.

6. Healthy Pumpkin Soup with Pepita Cream

This is actually a new one I’m adding in this year–I plan to make it on Tuesday or Wednesday and have it around to tide us over if we start getting hungry before the feast is ready. (Anyone else struggle to juggle getting a bunch of dishes out right on time?) It’s hearty and high protein because it’s actually sneakily based on chickpeas, so if you’re trying to avoid overeating this Thanksgiving, it’s a great dish to start with because it’s very satiating.

Get the recipe in my full post on it here.

7. Dutch Apple Pie

Move over, pumpkin desserts. This ridiculously addictive dutch apple pie is our new dessert centerpiece. I have a full post devoted to the recipe, so check that out to see how to make it.

Warning: if you don’t make enough, it could cause drama over who gets the last slice. It’s that good.

8. Pecan Pie Bars

If you want a decoy dessert to prevent apple-pie-induced family feuds, these pecan pie bars are a nice classic option. These were my go-to dish to bring to nonvegan Friendsgiving potlucks in the past, and they ALWAYS disappear really quickly.

For the crust:

  • 1.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil

For the filling:

  • 6 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup coconut cream (or coconut milk for a lighter version)
  • 2 cups chopped pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350, and line a 9″ pan with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the crust ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, and coconut oil) and stir until they combine into a dough. Press into the bottom of the pan and bake for 15 minutes or until the crust is slightly firm to the touch.
  3. Now for the filling: stir the coconut oil, maple syrup, and sugar in a sauce pan until combined, then boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add in the coconut cream and the pecans.
  4. Pour the filling onto the crust and spread it evenly.
  5. Bake until the filling is bubbling and set (no longer runny), 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool completely before cutting.

9. Bonus: Healthy Pumpkin Risotto

I’m calling this a bonus recipe because I don’t think I’ll actually make it this year–we had it for the last few days and LOVE it, but now we’re up for some variety. But if you’re looking for something a little different to include in your Thanksgiving spread that’s healthy, oil-free, and yet decadent-tasting, this is a great option. See the full post on it for the recipe.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, either virtually or safely spent with the ones you love. ❤

 

Recipes

The Best Vegan Dutch Apple Pie Recipe


The best vegan Dutch apple pie. Bold title choice, I know.

My husband’s favorite dessert is Dutch apple pie, so he’s tried a lot of them in his life: a few vegan ones I’ve made for him since he went vegan 3 years ago, and lots of nonvegan ones from before that. When I made him this one for his birthday the other day, he went on and on about how it was the best pie he’s ever had, by far. (And he tends to give honest feedback about my cooking, positive or negative!)

And I agree. So, to us at least, this one wins the award for being the best Dutch apple pie.

It’s got a classic pie crust on the bottom, and a slightly crispy crumble topping on top. And of course, deliciously caramely apples in between. Comfort in a pie pan.

We served it up with the incredible new Eclipse vanilla ice cream, from the same food scientist/chef that came up with Just Mayo! (We’re such foodies that we actually ordered the ice cream online. Worth it.)

We just ate the last slice yesterday, and now I’m craving it again…

Ingredients:

Bottom crust

(The bottom crust is from Nora Cooks–all her recipes are amazing!)

  • 1.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup cold vegan butter; I used Earth Balance
  • 1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening
  • 3-5 tbsp ice cold water

Filling

  • 6 cups peeled and sliced green apples (~5-7 apples)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup vegan white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

Topping

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup vegan white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegan butter

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. First, make the pie crust. Make sure your butter, shortening, and water are cold, or the dough won’t come together well. Add the flour, sugar, and salt to a food processor, and pulse until blended. Add the cold butter and shortening, and pulse it over the course of 10-15 seconds until it starts to look like a coarse meal. Then, while the food processor is running, gradually add the ice water one tablespoon at a time until it starts to clump together; you may only need 3 tbsp. Roll out the crust on a floured surface to fit your pie pan. Don’t worry if the edges crack, you can repair those with pieces you trim off! Lay the crust in the pie pan and trim off the edges that hang over, and repair cracks in the crust as necessary. Refrigerate the crust while you make the filling and topping.
  3. Make the filling: place the sliced apples in a large bowl. I recommend adding the lemon juice to the bowl when you first start slicing the apples, and give it a shake occasionally to get lemon juice on the new apple slices–it will prevent them from browning. Add the flour, sugars, and spices to the bowl once all the apples are sliced. Stir and/or shake to coat.
  4. Make the topping: stir together the flour and sugars. Using a fork, cut in the butter until it is evenly distributed and clumping together. If it won’t form clumps (this can happen with Miyoko’s butter because it is a bit drier, but tastes amazing!), add more butter a tablespoon at a time.
  5. Remove the crust from the refrigerator, and evenly distribute the apples on top of the crust. Sprinkle the topping evenly on top.
  6. Bake for 50 minutes, or until the edges and topping just begin to get brown. Don’t let the edges get fully brown!
  7. Slice, serve with vanilla vegan ice cream or coconut whipped cream, and watch out–it’ll disappear quickly 😉

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