7-course, gluten free, vegan Thanksgiving menu (with a lot of help from our Vitamix)
Life is NOYOKE does simple vegan Vitamix recipes. That’s our niche.
I (Shalva) host dinner parties. That’s my wheelhouse.
So when I offered to host my girlfriends for a Thanksgiving-themed wine night it made perfect sense to combine what I do with what NOYOKE does.
A vegan Thanksgiving using our Vitamix, no problem. But we also had a gluten-free guest. So the ante was upped.
We were up for the challenge and successfully created an entire menu (with soup, salad, 2 sides, entree, dessert, and signature drink) within the confines of vegan AND gluten-free. No flavor (or holiday cheer) was sacrificed in the making of this meal. Hope you enjoy!
Appetizer 1 – Balsamic Butternut Squash Soup.
We started with our Balsamic Butternut Squash Soup.
Not only is this soup beautiful, but it’s rich and complex, too.
It’s a great way to wow your guests on their first bite.
Another great, Thanksgiving soup: Thai Pumpkin
Appetizer 2 – Muhammara
If you’re not feeling soup (or don’t think it’s enough), try this Middle Eastern dip: Muhammara.
Salad – Simple Fall Salad with Tahini dressing
Easiest part of this Thanksgiving meal was a simple fall salad with this tahini dressing.
The basic template was arugula, honeycrisp apples (we used pears and regret the decision), and candied walnuts.
This salad is light and fresh a perfect addition to a hearty meal.
Side 1 – Veggie Tort
This veggie tort was a bit of work. (You can tell because I didn’t have time to do my makeup and my hair is still wet).
But it was worth it!
For me, this was the highlight of the meal. It packed a flavor punch with Indian spices and really brightened up the table.
This tort was a more interesting way to serve basic vegetables and was totally Instagram worthy.
Side 2 – Cauliflower Mash with Vegan Mushroom Gravy
We tried to keep it healthy, so skipping the extra starch in potatoes was an easy choice.
The mushroom gravy brought the mash to a whole new level. It was salty, and thick and I wanted to pour it on my whole plate.
Side 3 – Green Bean Casserole
Our green bean casserole is great year round. But it has a holiday feel, for sure.
Main – Vegan Loaf
For this being our first time making a vegan loaf, I think we did pretty well.
It certainly was not meat, but it wasn’t trying to be. For the most part, this loaf gave us a hearty way to serve the classic Thanksgiving flavor profile (sage, thyme, garlic, etc).
It was a pretty awesome entree that smelled and tasted just like the holidays.
Dessert – Pumpkin Parfait
Dessert is my favorite. I do not skimp on dessert.
This pumpkin parfait is not only pretty, but met the gluten-free and vegan requirements.
The best part of this dish was the homemade coconut whipped cream. So good!
Alternative Dessert – Triple Ginger Cookies and Pumpkin Pie
Beverage – Cider Sangria
If you’re having a dinner party, you should have a signature drink.
We didn’t use cranberries in our meal, so I wanted to feature them in our beverage.
We mixed vodka, triple sec, unsweetened cranberry juice, apple cider, a bottle of red wine, and some soda water. We sliced up some apples, oranges, and lemons, and threw some whole cranberries in too.
It was delicious, colorful, and very festive!
Also great: Cranberry cocktail starter. Good with sparkling water or any clear alcohol!
Recap and Recipe Links
Here’s all the recipes we used in a quick list.
- Appetizer 1- Balsamic Butternut Squash Soup.
- Soup alternative – Thai Pumpkin
- Appetizer 2 – Muhammara
- Salad – Simple salad with tahini dressing.
- Side 1 – Veggie tort.
- Side 2 – Cauliflower mash with vegan mushroom gravy.
- Side 3 – Green Bean Casserole
- Main – Vegan loaf
- Dessert – Pumpkin parfait.
- Dessert alternative – 5 ingredient pumpkin pie (from Healthy Happy Life)
- Beverage – Cider sangria (loosely based on Flavour and Savour’s Cranberry apple cider sangria).
- Beverage alternative – Cranberry cocktail starter
5 random learnings from hosting this gf, vegan thanksgiving dinner
- Set your table the night before. Save yourself the time and energy on the day-of.
- Make plenty of food to go around. If people don’t say they are full by course #4, you aren’t feeding them enough.
- When you ask what people’s favorite dish is, there is no better answer than an inconsistent one. If everyone had a different favorite, it means everything tasted good!
- Do not shy away from gluten-free or vegan dishes. Even if your guests don’t stick to those diets all of the time, people appreciate a healthy dinner party.
- When people ask what they can bring the answer is wine. Always wine.
Happy holidays from Shalva and Lenny!