Gluten-Free Vegan Thanksgiving

gluten-free vegan thanksgiving dinner akramer

‘Tis the season for holiday eats! I love this time of year as it gives me a chance to get into the kitchen and really show it what I’m made of. I embrace the challenge of cramming as many dishes as possible into my modest oven and on top of my stovetop, without compromising quality. I delight in timing the the dishes perfectly so no reheating of any delicacies is needed. A day, or two before, I insist on making one pie per person, even when it’s just the “nuclear” family. I get giddy over leftovers.

And, it feels good to give thanks.

There is just something so gratifying about taking a seat at the dinner table at the end of a long day to enjoy the fruits of my (and oftentimes many others’) labor, reflecting on how fortunate we are to have such a feast to enjoy. My mother used to wake at 6 am to start our Thanksgiving meals, and even though at one time–to me–that seemed extreme, I too am feeling the excitement and anticipating the date more than any gift-laden holidays. Instead of presents, give me laughter from family and friends and a belly full of comfort food, please. A little bubbly is always a nice touch, too.

Quinoa No-Turkey Loaf

Acorn Squash Mac N Cheese 

Cardamom Orange Broccoli

Spiked Cranberry Sauce

Garlicky Green Salad

Pumpkin Pie Custard

 My favorite recipe for Mashed Potatoes and Mushroom Gravy

 Menu Serves 6; adjust portions accordingly

Quinoa No-Turkey Loaf

  • 2 cups besan/chickpea flour
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup hazelnut meal
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal mixed with 3 tablespoons water (let rest 5 mins)
  • 1 cup Textured Vegetable Protein, cooked
  • 1 cup extra firm tofu, drained and crumbled
  • 3 carrots, shredded
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa, red or white

Preheat your oven to 350 °F. Using olive or coconut oil, liberally grease a standard sized loaf pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together the besan and water until very smooth. Add in baking powder, salt, and olive oil and stir well. Fold in the remaining ingredients and then spoon into the prepared baking pan. Rap lightly on a solid surface to even out and cover with foil. Bake for 1 hour and then uncover. Bake an additional 20-30 minutes. Let cool about 20 minutes before “carving”.


Acorn Squash Mac & Cheese

  • 2 medium sized acorn squash
  • 1/4 cup vegan sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • 1/3 cup vegan parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 12 ounces gluten-free macaroni pasta, cooked

Preheat oven to 350 °F. Cut squash in half and remove seeds. Place cut-side down onto metal cake or roasting pan. Add 1/4 cup water and bake in oven for 40 minutes to 1 hour, until softened enough to pierce skin easily.

Scoop flesh from squash and place into a medium sized bowl. Mash with potato masher and combine with the sour cream, salt, parmesan and olive oil. Toss with cooked macaroni.


Cardamom Orange Broccoli

  • 1 bunch broccoli, cut into small bite-sized pieces (about 3 cups)
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom–or use 1 whole pod, crushed lightly, and remove before eating
  • Few dashes salt, to taste

Place all ingredients into a large bowl and toss to combine. Salt lightly and evenly. Heat in large frying pan over medium-high heat just until bright green and slightly tender, tossing often to cook evenly. Serve hot.

Boozy Cranberry Sauce

  • 12 ounces, about 3 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar, any kind will do: turbinado, coconut palm, etc.
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon or brandy

In medium sized pot, place all ingredients together and stir gently to combine. Cook over medium heat until bubbly. Once bubbling, cook for 15 minutes, stirring often, until thickened.

Garlicky Green Salad

  • 1 small bunch kale, stems removed
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • Few cherry tomatoes, halved

In a large bowl, place the kale, lemon juice, olive oil garlic and salt. Using clean hands, massage until wilted, about 1 minute. Toss in all other ingredients and chill until ready to serve.

Pumpkin Pie Custard

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup sugar, either evaporated cane juice or coconut sugar will work
  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon brandy or vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch mixed well with 1/4 cup cold water (no lumps)
  • 1/4 cup crushed walnuts, for topping (optional)

In a 2 quart saucepan, whisk together the pumpkin, sugar, coconut milk, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and brandy. Heat over medium heat until warmed and then whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Continue to whisk until thickened, about 5 to 7 minutes. Pour into small serving dishes and chill completely before serving. Top with crushed walnuts.

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12 Responses to Gluten-Free Vegan Thanksgiving

  1. Very stunning food! :)

  2. Robyn says:

    Wow! It is so beautiful. If we did not already have a menu, I would totally make the quinoa loaf.

    • Robyn says:

      I am making quinoa stuffed mushrooms but the quinoa will be stuffing (dressing) flavored.

      I sauté the carrots, onion and celery with a bit of earth balance and then add the veggie broth, herbs and quinoa and cook until done.

      Stuff the mushrooms and bake until done. So good! That is what I did last year to bring to an omni dinner so I did not “compete” with the turkey.

      I had a stove top stuffing craving that this cures :)

  3. This looks amazing. I’ve been wanting to try a quinoa loaf, but have been afraid since a lot of my attempts at loaf until recently have been flops – literally. They just turned to mush when I cut them. They always taste great, but I can never get them to firm up. Recently, I had some success with a soy free product with some chickpea and nuts in it and that worked. Since yours has besan in it also, I guess that’s where I was always going wrong- I never used it in a loaf! I can’t wait to make this entire meal. We’ve already got our Gardein ready for Thursday, but next week. This. Is. Happening.

  4. LaToya says:

    This is perfect! I’ve been looking for gluten-free vegan/vegetarian recipes for Thanksgiving. This menu is so unique. Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. Such a gorgeous plate, looking forward to making a vegan feast for Thanksgiving this year.

  6. Thanks a lot for sharing this recipe! The food looks delicious

  7. Beth says:

    Beautiful food and my kind of plate — full of color! Thanks for sharing your gluten-free vegan Thanksgiving plate. I love how many beautiful vegan Thanksgiving menus I’m seeing this year.

  8. Vegyogini says:

    Allyson, this is a FANTASTIC Thanksgiving menu, thank you!

  9. Allyson, looks LOVELY! I’m actually taking my family to a 100% vegan & gluten-free Thanksgiving buffet at my fave restaurant here. I’m still going to make some Thanksgiving dishes, but we’ll have our dinner at home the day before :).

    I love your quinoa loaf–I’ve been playing around with a grain-free loaf (usually I add oats which tend to hold things together), but the chickpea flour is genius! I use chickpea flour in so many other things–why not in a loaf?

    Colorful & looks sooo tasty!

  10. Susan says:

    Wow, what a stunning looking meal! We don’t have a Thanksgiving equivalent here in Australia, so maybe I should come and visit?? ;)
    I still think that book number four should be a GF holiday cookbook. :D

  11. joanna says:

    I love Thanksgiving too and am looking forward to making a bunch of great food. Looks delicious! Happy Holidays!

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