Simple Satisfying Thanksgiving Menu: Healthy, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free & Vegan Option

Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving? Thanksgiving 2017 is mine! I am thankful for memories of loved ones and joyful fellowship around the dinner table. Thanksgiving 2020 will be celebrated differently due to restrictions on gatherings in our state.  Enjoying a traditional meal with close family will maintain some familiarity and comfort in these unsettling times. 

Using the Simple Satisfying Thanksgiving Menu will save you time and energy when planning your holiday meal. If you are inviting guests for dinner, send them a link to one of the recipes to help with the turkey day preparations. In addition to this meal plan, I’ve also provided a step by step Thanksgiving Day Meal Prep Guide to help you organize your cooking day. These two tools, the Thanksgiving menu and the meal prep guide, are my way of supporting you this Thanksgiving.

Simple Satisfying Thanksgiving Menu 

  1. Turkey 

I always cook my turkey in an oven bag. I love the easy clean up! The turkey comes out moist and delicious.  I plan to follow How to Roast Turkey in a Bag using GF flour. I will substitute refined coconut oil for the butter or omit it. I haven’t decided yet. 

  1. Turkey Gravy

There are 2 ways to make gravy. You can either add GF flour to cold water making a slurry or add GF flour to hot fat making a roux. Then mix in the tasty turkey broth for a delicious gravy. I prefer to make a slurry and will use Easy Turkey Gravy recipe.

Holiday Butternut Squash Wild Rice Pilaf
  1. Cauli-Mashed Potatoes

Cauli-Mashed Potatoes is a dairy-free recipe made in a food processor for quick creamy mashed potatoes. If you don’t have a food processor, I would mash everything together in a mixer. 

  1. Holiday Butternut Squash Wild Rice Pilaf

Instead of stuffing, I decided to make Holiday Butternut Squash Wild Rice Pilaf.  This dish is satisfying for those that choose not to eat turkey. Another delicious vegan option is Lentil Stuffed Squash with Herbs and Mushrooms

  1. Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Quick and easy Roasted Brussel Sprouts is the perfect side dish for your Thanksgiving meal. 

Pomegranate Apple Salad
  1. Pomegranate Apple Salad

Pomegranate Apple Salad will add some healthy raw food into your delicious holiday meal. 

  1. Cranberry Sauce 

I decided to purchase cranberry sauce from the grocery store instead of making my own. 

  1. Vegan No-Bake Pumpkin Pie 

My favorite part of the meal is Vegan No-Bake Pumpkin Pie. This will be a satisfying way to finish off your Thanksgiving meal. Included in the pumpkin pie recipe is a link to homemade coconut whipped cream which is so good.

Vegan No-Bake Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving Day Meal Prep Guide

4 ½ Hours Ahead:

  1. Prep the turkey and preheat the oven to 350°F. See above 1. Turkey for instructions in the recipe link.

3 ½ Hours Ahead:

  1. Put turkey in the oven. Check cooking time based on your turkey size – calculate 13 min. per pound of turkey. 
  2. Make Pomegranate Apple Salad and refrigerate.
  3. Make Coconut Whipped Cream  and refrigerate. 
  4. Prep Roasted Brussel Sprouts. The weather is cool where I live, so I cover and store the pan of Brussels sprouts on an outdoor patio table or in a garage to save on refrigerator space. 

2 Hours Ahead:

  1. If you didn’t pre-make the wild rice mix and roast the squash for Holiday Butternut Squash Wild Rice Pilaf, make that now. If you pre-made the rice and squash from the Thanksgiving Week Meal Plan: November 23 –  November 29, you can take a break. 

1 ½ Hours Ahead

  1. Make Cauli-Mashed Potatoes. Ask for help in making either the potatoes or pilaf. 
  2. While cauliflower & potatoes are cooking, make Holiday Butternut Squash Wild Rice Pilaf.
  3. Cover and keep both the potatoes and pilaf warm once they are finished.  If you have a second oven you can use it as a warming oven. 
  4. Check on the turkey. It’s ready once the internal temperature reaches 165° in the thickest part. 
Roasted Brussels Sprouts

45  Minutes Ahead

  1. Remember to ask for help.
  2. Remove the turkey from the oven and let rest for 20 minutes before carving. Reserve the drippings for the gravy.
  3. Turn oven to 425°F for roasting the Brussels sprouts.
  4. Make the gravy.  
  5. Ask for help to carve the turkey. 

20 Minutes Ahead:

  1. Roast the Brussels sprouts.
  2. Ask for help putting the food on the table. 

Dessert – Vegan No-Bake Pumpkin Pie with homemade coconut whipped cream.

Congratulations! You did a fantastic job preparing all this wonderful healthy food for your Thanksgiving dinner. 

I hope this menu and meal plan will help to make your Thanksgiving day special with less stress. Wishing you and your family a relaxing day full of memories and love. Happy Thanksgiving!

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