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How to Have a Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Paleo-Friendly and Vegan Thanksgiving Feast

When friends and family gather together for Thanksgiving, it’s hardly debatable that the bountiful dinner table is the focal point of the day. Seriously though, isn’t that what the holiday is all about, anyways—to eat until you can’t eat anymore? Oh, well, yes and giving thanks, of course—but it’s hard not to make it all about the food when there is so much deliciousness for all to feast upon. And because we want to make sure that truly everyone can enjoy the spread and the subsequent food coma, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite Turkey Day recipes for each course, tailored towards those with special dietary needs. So whether you’re contributing to a potluck, or hosting for a large group with different tastes, you now know exactly what to make. See, don’t we always have your back? Now, let’s dig in.

The Corn Bread

6-cornbread-rolls

Is Thanksgiving really ever complete without this essential soup sopper-upper? Done right, corn bread can make or break the meal, and this recipe checks off on a ton of dietary sensitivities so it can be devoured by all. Just don’t fill up on these before you get to the rest of the goodies.

  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Vegan
  • Soy Free
  • Egg Free
  • Nut Free

Ingredients

  • 1 cup certified gluten-free cornmeal (Buy organic cornmeal for GMO-free.)
  • 1/2 cup white (or brown) rice flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch (Non-GMO cornstarch is available in many markets or online.)
  • 1 tbs baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar (You can substitute your favorite sweetener here, decrease the amount, or omit the sugar entirely.)
  • 1 cup milk (Plant- or dairy-based will work. I use unsweetened coconut milk.)
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • Egg replacer (prepared according to package directions) to equal 2 large eggs (or you may use 2 large eggs OR 1/2 cup egg substitute, like Egg Beaters, if you prefer.)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Grease an 8-inch square glass baking dish (or similar sized dish of your choice, or a cast iron skillet, if you have one.)
  3. Place the baking dish or skillet in the oven as the oven preheats while you mix the bread. A hot skillet before you pour in the batter ensures a crisp outer crust, which is a must with cornbread!)
  4. In a mixing bowl, whisk dry ingredients to blend.
  5. Add milk, oil, and eggs; stir until batter is completely smooth.
  6. Carefully remove hot pan from the oven using an oven mitt, and pour the batter into the hot pan (this seals a crisp edge on your cornbread).
  7. Return the pan to oven and bake 20-25 minutes, or until cornbread is golden brown on top and deep golden brown around the edges.
  8. Cut into squares and serve hot from the oven either on its own or with a drizzle of honey.

Photo and recipe credit: Gluten Free Gigi

The Soup

4-soup

Like we already said, cornbread is a great soup sopper-upper so if we were making those than this one was a given. And because it’s in season and—oh yeah—scrumptious as can be, we thought you would be as excited as we were about this Butternut Squash Soup recipe that already has us licking our lips.

  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Vegan
  • Paleo

Ingredients

  • 1 Butternut Squash – Peeled and cubed
  • 1 Onion – Chopped
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Not Chick’n Stock Cubes
  • 3 Cups Water
  • Freshly Ground Sea Salt and Black Pepper
  • Coconut Cream – Optional or Heavy Cream for non Paleo
  • Chives – Finely Chopped

Instructions

  1. Brown onion in a pan with a little oil (coconut or avocado). 5-8 mins.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and cook until squash is soft. 20-30 mins.
  3. Blend with a hand whisk or a blender.
  4. Add a Tbs Cream and a sprinkle of chives and serve.

Photo and recipe credit: Going Cavewoman

The Stuffing

7-stuffing

With a name that’s basically asking you to stuff yourself full, this dish is an obvious contender for prime placement on the dinner table. We love it because it somehow tastes good with whatever else finds its way onto your fork in the same bite—but now we love it even more because our gluten-free, dairy-free friends can get in on the action too.

  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Vegetarian/Vegan

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Cornbread (~ 6 cups), broken into bite size pieces
  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped leeks or onion
  • 10 ounces mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tsp rubbed sage
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup vegetable broth

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet.
  3. Saute celery, leeks, mushrooms, sage and thyme until vegetables are just soft, about 4-5 minutes.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with cornbread pieces.
  6. Add broth and toss gently.
  7. Transfer to a casserole dish and bake, covered, about 25-30 minutes until heated through.

Photo and recipe credit: Jeanette’s Healthy Living

The Potatoes

6-potatoes

As far as essential side dishes go, potatoes are another no-brainer and we enforce a judgement-free zone when it comes to stacking that mound of taters sky high on your plate. That being said, this year we wanted to put a twist on the classic with this flavorful spicy recipe for 5 Spice Mashed Sweet Potatoes that we’re sure will be a hit for even the most stark of traditionalists.

  • Vegan
  • Paleo

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 tsp Chinese 5 Spice
  • 1 orange zested and juiced
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Bring 1 to 2 inches of water to a boil in a large saucepan fitted with a steamer basket over high heat. Add potatoes to the basket, cover and steam until a fork can be easily pressed into the potatoes and pulls out without resistance, 19 to 22 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, melt coconut oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant and just starting to brown. Add ginger and 5-spice and stir to combine. Remove from the heat and immediately and carefully stir in juice from the orange to stop the spices from over cooking. Stir in ½ teaspoon zest and salt until the salt is dissolved.
  3. Remove the steamer basket from the saucepan. Transfer the sweet potatoes to a food processor fitted with the steel blade attachment. Scrape coconut oil mixture into the food processor. Puree, scraping down the sides and mixing together once or twice, until completely smooth. Alternatively, for a more rustic texture, pour the boiling water out of the saucepan, and dump the cooked sweet potatoes out of the basket into the hot saucepan. Pour the coconut oil mixture over the sweet potatoes and mash with a potato masher until smooth.

Photo and recipe credit: Healthy Seasonal Recipes

The Green Beans

1-greenbean

We love a good cold green juice, but on such a glorious holiday as Thanksgiving these verde veggies are best served hot and whole—and preferably with a lot of garlic (mistletoe season isn’t for a few weeks so don’t even stress about that breath). And because this recipe is low-carb and low-key awesome you’ll want to make extra room on your plate.

  • Gluten Free
  • Paleo

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 2 tbs ghee, butter, or bacon drippings
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced.

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. Season with salt and add the green beans to the water. Cook for 5-7 minutes.
  3. Drain the water and place the green beans in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.
  4. Heat the ghee/butter/bacon drippings and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  5. Add the garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes or until lightly browned (be sure to stir frequently to keep the garlic from burning.
  6. Drain the green beans from the ice water and add the green beans to the skillet.
  7. Toss to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Cook until the green beans are heated through.

Photo and recipe credit: Holistically Engineered

The Brussels Sprouts

brussels-2

These days it seems like brussels sprouts are on every dinner menu in town, and we definitely aren’t mad about it. Because they can be prepared so many ways it’s hard to get tired of this food trend and that’s why we insist on including them in our dinner menu for Thanksgiving. This recipe for Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Squash with Creamy Almond Butter Balsamic gives the dish the perfect fall touch.

  • Gluten Free
  • Vegan
  • Paleo

Ingredients

Brussels:

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbs pure maple syrup
  • ½ tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 2 lbs acorn squash* (butternut, or carnival also works)
  • 2 lbs brussels sprouts
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup sliced almonds, toasted

Dressing:

  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup natural almond butter
  • 2 tbs pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp stone ground mustard
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbs water to thin

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F and grease a large rimmed baking sheet with oil, or line with silicone mat.
  2. In a small bowl combine maple syrup, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Whisk together and set aside.
  3. Prepare squash by peeling and scooping out seeds, cut into cubes. Place on baking sheet.
  4. Prepare brussels sprouts by trimming ends and cutting in half, length wise. Add to baking sheet with the squash, pour on the maple syrup mixture and stir with spatula to combine.
  5. Roast vegetables for 20 minutes, then stir and roast for another 10-15 minutes, until squash is soft and brussels sprouts are golden.
  6. While the vegetables are roasting, make the dressing: combine all ingredients into small blender or combine in medium bowl, and whisk vigorously by hand.
  7. When the vegetables have finished roasting, transfer to serving dish. Add dried cranberries, sliced almonds (reserving some for garnish on top if desired), and dressing. Gently stir to combine, enjoy warm.

Photo and recipe credit: Fit Mitten Kitchen

The Gravy

7-gravy

Ahhh, the pièce de résistance, the magnum opus, the tour de force! The topper of all toppers! The beauty of gravy is that it’s an equal opportunist; once your plate is full, it invites you to pour itself on everything and anything without a care in the world. Which is why it should be enjoyed by everyone and anyone without a care in the world. And this tasty recipe comes close to making that happen.

  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Vegan/Vegetarian

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups vegetable broth or a combination of broth and non-dairy milk
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 – 2 tsp poultry seasoning or your choice of seasonings (see notes)
  • Generous grating of black pepper
  • Soy sauce, tamari, or salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan.
  2. Cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until gravy boils and thickens.
  3. Check seasonings and add more as needed.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. If it’s too thick, add additional broth or non-dairy milk to thin.

Photo and recipe credit: Fat Free Vegan

The Dessert

3-coconut-cake

There are two types of eaters in this world: the kind who gets too full from dinner and passes on dessert, and the kind who gets too full from dinner and powers through because obviously everyone has a second stomach reserved for dessert. We’re hoping you’re the latter because this recipe for Coconut Flour Pumpkin Bread is one you might regret missing out on. Luckily, most won’t have to because this feast finale caters to multiple dietary needs.

  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Paleo

Ingredients

Pumpkin Bread:

  • ⅓ cup + 1 tbs maple syrup
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup applesauce, unsweetened
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Crumb Topping:

  1. ¼ cup coconut sugar
  2. 3 tbs coconut flour
  3. 2 tbs coconut oil, room temperature
  4. ½ tsp cinnamon
  5. ¼ cup walnuts, finely chopped

Instructions

For the Pumpkin Bread:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine maple syrup, oil, applesauce, and eggs. Mix with a high speed mixer on medium for 1 minute. Add pumpkin puree and vanilla and mix for an additional 30 seconds.
  3. In a separate, medium-sized bowl combine coconut flour, soda, powder, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Add dry ingredients into pumpkin puree mixture and stir by hand. Mix until all ingredients are just incorporated, making sure not to over mix.
  4. Line a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper and spritz with non-stick cooking spray. Fill pan with pumpkin bread batter.

For the Crumb Topping:

  1. In a medium-sized bowl combine coconut sugar, flour, oil and cinnamon. Using the back of a fork, cut in the sugar and flour into the coconut oil until it just starts to stick together. Add walnuts and continue to do this until mixture starts to clump together.
  2. Sprinkle crumb topping over the pumpkin bread batter. Press crumb topping lightly into the batter.
  3. Bake pumpkin bread in preheated oven for 50-55 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  4. Let bread cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting into it. Serve warm or at room temperature. Pumpkin bread tastes awesome toasted with a little butter!

Photo and recipe credit: Gluten Free With LB

After poring over all those savory recipes, it’s safe to say that Thanksgiving couldn’t come fast enough and we’re thankful for all the cooks in the kitchen that made these dishes come to life.

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