Below is everything you need to make the most delicious Thanksgiving feast ever. There are lots of vegetarian options, a few vegan ones and some fabulous fall desserts. Some are old favorites, some are new favorites - I've added four new savory dishes (all vegetarian, two vegan) and three new desserts including my prize-winnning pumpkin ginger pie. Enjoy!
Butternut Squash Lasagna with Leeks & Béchamel Sauce
Treat the vegetarians in your life to this decadent dish. It's a perfect winter meal - elegant and hearty at the same time. The combination of sweet, nutty roasted squash, mellow leeks, sage and garlic-infused béchamel, and gooey, melted Parmesan cheese makes it very hard to stop eating.
Roasted Curried Cauliflower Soup
This soup is creamy and rich with the lovely nutty flavor of roasted cauliflower, the sweetness of caramelized onions and the warm, spicy flavors of places where the birds never need to fly south. And it's VEGAN to boot.
Nutty Farro and Chickpeas Topped with Honey Roasted Carrots and Herb-Spiked Crème Fraîche
Another vegetarian show-stopper. Carrots roasted with honey and a sprinkle of sea salt, black pepper and dried cumin are served atop a jumbled bed of farro and chickpeas that have been tossed in a very simple garlic, olive oil and lemon juice dressing all of which is drizzled with a rich, tangy, cilantro and mint-spiked crème fraîche that ties all the flavors together and a sprinkle of salty, roasted pepitas.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Garlic, Parmesan, Buttered Breadcrumb Topping
Nutty, sweet roasted Brussels sprouts topped with a blanket of garlicky, buttery breadcrumbs and Parmesan. Scrumptious!
Nutty Forbidden Rice, Roasted Beet & Kale Salad
This is a gem of a salad. Forbidden rice is a special dark purple - almost black variety that was apparently so nutritious and tasty that it was reserved for royalty only in the not-so-distant past. Loaded with antioxidants it has a lovely, nutty flavor and a toothsome, slightly chewy texture. Sweet roasted beets and fresh, mineral-tasting kale are tossed in a simple dressing of garlic, apple cider vinegar, olive oil and whole grain mustard and topped with some crunchy toasted pecans.
Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Garden Herbs & Garlic
This is about the simplest potato dish going and it's always really good. Toss fingerlings (or sliced potatoes of a larger nature) with olive oil, garlic and savory herbs and roast until they're crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
Maple Roasted Yams With Bacon & Beer
A killer combination of rich, sweet and smokey flavors - a guaranteed winner with the meat-eating crowds.
Celeriac Potato Gratin
Gratins of all kinds are just gooood. In this one, you layer thin slices of celery root a.k.a. celeriac (not to be confused with celiac which is a very serious gluten intolerance) with thin slices of potato and cook in a garlic and thyme infused cream bath. It's quite nice.
Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
Bacon and maple syrup is a simply magical combination. And they both go beautifully with the sweet, homey flavor of Brussels sprouts. The bacon adds a rich, crispy saltiness and the maple syrup adds a smoky sweetness to these hearty little cabbages. Roasting also enhances the natural sugars in these petits choux.
Shoestring Brussels Sprouts with Garlic, Whole Grain Mustard & Parmesan
Do NOT be influenced by this sub-par photo, please... Roasting sliced Brussels with a splash of white wine, some whole grain mustard, garlic, olive oil and grated Parmesan cheese yields a wonderfully delicious side dish. I could eat the whole bowl...
Roasted Butternut Squash & Red Peppers With Rosemary & Parmesan
Roasting does magical things to both the squash and the peppers, bringing out their natural sweetness, crisping their edges and adding a delicious, smoky flavor. Paired with bright, astringent rosemary and salty, rich Parmesan cheese, it all adds up to a big bowl of goodness.
Sweet Potatoes & Winter Greens
This recipe is from chef Sam Kass, formerly of the White House kitchen. A hearty mixture of chard (or kale) and sweet potatoes is cooked with a little lemon juice, some maple syrup, cinnamon, cloves and red pepper flakes for a delightful side dish. Once again, please ignore the sub-par photo...
Kale & Brussels Sprouts Salad with Garlicky Dressing, Toasted Almonds & Parmesan
This is such a wonderful combination of flavors and textures. Thinly sliced or shredded kale and Brussels are coated in a garlicky dressing and mixed with Parmsan cheese and toasted almonds. Try it - so so good!
Cider-Glazed Delicata Squash with Rosemary & Sage
Cooking the delicata squash in apple cider renders it tender and sweet. Finish in a browned herb butter featuring the wonderfully warm, earthy flavors of rosemary and sage.
Wilted Kale Salad With Balsamic Vinegar and Orange Zest
This warm kale salad gets a nice zing from grated orange zest and balsamic vinegar. Sauteed onions provide a lovely sweetness.
Turnips are one of those vegetables (like cabbage) that tend to get overshadowed by their flashier cousins. But they have a lovely, delicate sweetness that gets a boost from being cooked in heavy cream with savory herbs and Parmesan. It's a lovely vegetarian side dish.
Autumn Crown Squash & Pear Soup with Sage
Pear adds a nice floral sweetness to the nutty squash and sage anchors the flavors with its earthy astringency. Add a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche to make this extra rich.
Sautéed Kale with Bacon & Cider Vinegar
Mellow, sweet onions, salty bacon and a splash of vinegar make the perfect companions for kale in this quick sauté.
Sweet Potato Biscuits
Sweet potato gives these soft, rich biscuits a nice sweetness and a pretty orange color. I sometimes add a little cumin and chili powder for extra pizzaz. Perfect for mopping up gravy...
Sage & Nut-Stuffed Delicata Squash
This is a nice, hearty vegetarian main dish for people who do not partake of the turkey eating. The sweet, slightly nutty flavor of the delicata squash is perfectly accented by the toasted nuts, gooey cheese and the mellow, sweet garlic. Fresh or dried sage adds a lovely, earthy note.
Candied Butternut Squash
A fantastic alternative to candied sweet potatoes. Roasted butternut squash puree mixed with cinnamon, cloves, maple syrup (or brown sugar), butter and heavy cream is homey and delicious. Top with candied pecans to make it truly decadent. You NEED this on your Thanksgiving table this year.
Curried Butternut Squash Soup
A super simple, super tasty vegan soup made with sweet butternut squash, creamy coconut milk and warm, exotic curry powder. Top with a little sour cream, creme fraiche or a vegan equivalent.
I know this photo does not exactly sell it well (it's one of my early ones - thankfully, my photography skills have since improved) but please trust me when I say this is a truly decadent side dish. It's rich, savory and a little sweet and just so good.
Zesty Cranberry Sauce with Orange
Surprisingly easy to make, this cranberry sauce is spiked with the wonderful flavors of fresh orange. So good! Sorry for the crappy photo - I promise it tastes good.
Prize-Winning Pumpkin Ginger Pie
Roasted sugar pumpkin + fresh ginger and a ginger snap crust = one heck of a delicious pie! Top with fresh, homemade whipped cream because, hey, it's Thanksgiving!
Maple Chocolate Pecan Pie
This is my favorite pie in all the world. Short pie crust holds chunks of chocolate and nutty toasted pecans in a smoky, mapley sweet filling. The recipe comes from my beloved Aunt Maggie who always brought this to Thanksgiving. I'm going to make one in her honor this year.
Maggie's Maple Butter Cookies
Another original recipe from aunt Maggie. These are the most delightful cookies - buttery and crunchy with a rich maple flavor.
Roasted Butternut Squash Pie
Why should pumpkin get all the glory? Roasted butternut squash makes an equally delectable pie filling. This recipe pairs coconut milk with the sweet, roasted squash and the traditional "pumpkin pie" spices - cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice.
Classic Pumpkin Pie
Of course there's no reason not to enjoy a traditional pumpkin pie. Choose a sugar pumpkin (sometimes called a sugar pie pumpkin or pie pumpkin) since the kind of pumpkins that make for good jack-o-lanterns do NOT make for good pies. This recipe calls for a pat in the pan pie crust which is surprisingly easy to make or you can use whatever crust recipe you prefer.
Spiced Pumpkin Bread
This batter bread is quick, easy and always a huge hit with my whole family. Fragrant and spiced with just the right amount of sweetness and a perfect, moist crumb.
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