If you can't eat meat or gluten, Thanksgiving may seem like a holiday where it's difficult to find foods that work with your diet. But, actually, that's not the case! There are several delicious and interesting recipes that will meet your dietary needs. If you are planning a vegetarian and gluten-free Thanksgiving dinner, or even a gluten-free and vegan Thanksgiving meal, there are many main dishes, sides and stuffing recipes, and of course, gluten-free desserts that all of your guests will enjoy.
Soup and Salad Recipes
Although the Thanksgiving table notoriously overflows with dishes of food, when you're not serving a large carved turkey, a soup and/or salad course is a good idea. And if you scoop out mini pumpkins in which to serve the soup (or even salad), this course will become a highlight of the meal. You can't go wrong with gluten-free butternut squash soup, pumpkin and sweet potato soup, and an easy vegetarian pumpkin soup. If you are looking for a gluten-free salad to begin, a quinoa and pecan salad with fresh mint or spinach salad with gluten-free French dressing are good choices. Or take your favorite salad and add a gluten-free salad dressing for a fresh start to the Thanksgiving dinner.
Main Dish Recipes
Unfortunately, most vegetarian turkey substitutes are not gluten-free, which means a Tofurky (or similar) is not an option for your Thanksgiving centerpiece (which may not be a bad thing since many people don't want a Tofurky for Thanksgiving). Instead, try a fall-themed entree such as quinoa-stuffed acorn squash, sweet potato and quinoa pilaf bowl, or mushroom and sage risotto. A vegan shepherd's pie with lentils or a lentil and rice vegetarian loaf are also hearty choices. Of course, anything pumpkin is welcome at the Thanksgiving table, such as vegetarian Thai pumpkin curry, vegan pumpkin risotto, or pumpkin and sage pasta sauce (serve it up with gluten-free pasta).
Stuffing and Sides Recipes
If you're skeptical that a gluten-free vegan stuffing is possible, think again. The bread in any stuffing recipe can be substituted with gluten-free bread, as in gluten-free cornbread stuffing, or swap out the bread for rice or quinoa like in a gluten-free rice and mushroom stuffing. To keep it vegetarian, eliminate any meats and use vegetable broth instead of chicken. If you are looking for alternative sides featuring a grain, an interesting pilaf is a great idea. Try a cranberry orange rice pilaf, wild rice and mushroom pilaf, or wild rice side dish with cheddar cheese.
Potato and Sweet Potato Recipes
Many traditional Thanksgiving potato recipes are already gluten-free, but if you are also planning a vegan meal you will need to watch out for certain ingredients (such as cream, cheese, and marshmallows). Keep it basic with an easy oven-roasted potatoes or roasted rosemary potatoes, or dress it up a bit with a flavorful sweet potato recipe. Maple glazed sweet potatoes adds a bit of Dijon mustard as well as carrots and parsnips to create a rich dish. Slow cook sweet potatoes with apples and spices in your crockpot for a delicious casserole, or take sweet potatoes up a notch with a citrus-tinged vegan mashed sweet potato recipe.
As we all know, pies are a quintessential dessert at Thanksgiving, and with pie crust containing wheat flour, those on a gluten-free diet are forced to pass them by. But so many desserts can easily be made gluten-free by simply using a gluten-free pie crust. Once you have this recipe under your belt, you can easily make any pie gluten-free, such as vegan pumpkin pie, pecan pie, and apple pie. For something different, surprise your guests with a gluten-free bread pudding, chock full of raisins and apples and drizzled with a bourbon-brown sugar sauce.