A Thanksgiving Feast for (Nearly) Every Diet

So you’ve got quite a cast of characters coming to the table this Thanksgiving. Dad’s a staunch meat-and-potatoes carnivore – forget the f-word, for him,”tofu” is the true four-letter word. Auntie Ashley is a vegetarian – dairy and eggs are fine, but no meat, please. Uncle Roger is a lifelong vegan (and marathon runner, of course). No animal products whatsoever! And young Sammy was just diagnosed with celiac disease – absolutely no gluten for the little guy.

Whew!

So what’s a host to do?! Whip up a fantastic and easy Thanksgiving dinner, that’s what!

I’ve posted several Thanksgiving recipes these past couple of weeks with the intent of rounding them up here, along with a few other classics from years past. Together, along with a few other incredible blogger recipes, they make up one terrific Turkey Day (or No-Turkey Day) feast for all. It’s doable – promise!

A Thanksgiving Feast for (Nearly) Every Diet - one meal for carnivores, vegetarians, vegans, and gluten-free guests

Here’s what’s on the table:

Appetizers & sippers

A light selection of drinks and snacks with something for every diet.

The main feast

Dessert!

So who eats what?! Here goes!

Note: I realize I’m over-generalizing here, and that everyone has individual tastes. The generalizations are not meant to be jerky or ignorant, they’re just here to show that one meal really can appeal to – and work for – most everyone!

Meat-and-Potatoes Carnivore

a-thanksgiving-feast-for-every-diet-meat-and-potatoes-carnivore-option

turkey | mashed potatoes & gravy | green beans | cranberry sauce | dinner roll | pumpkin pie a’la mode

Nothing but the classics for this guy (or gal). And that’s cool. Hopefully he or she will be a little open-minded because the stuffing, gravy, and beans are a bit non-traditional, but not over-the-top weird.

Adventurous Carnivore

A Thanksgiving Feast for (Nearly) Every Diet - one meal for carnivores, vegetarians, vegans, and gluten-free guests
turkey | mashed potatoes & gravy | herbed wild rice & quinoa stuffing | green beans | cider-glazed sweet potatoes | cranberry sauce | dinner roll | a little of each dessert

Hopefully the Adventurous Carnivore came hungry, because he or she can eat everything at the table!

Vegetarian

A Thanksgiving Feast for (Nearly) Every Diet - one meal for carnivores, vegetarians, vegans, and gluten-free guests

herbed wild rice & quinoa stuffing | cranberry sauce |  cider-glazed sweet potatoes | mashed potatoes & gravy | green beans | dinner roll | a little of each dessert

 No turkey for the resident vegetarian, of course, but everything else is fair game.

Vegan

A Thanksgiving Feast for (Nearly) Every Diet - one meal for carnivores, vegetarians, vegans, and gluten-free guests

herbed wild rice & quinoa stuffing | cider-glazed sweet potatoes | green beans | dinner roll | cranberry sauce | vegan gingerbread pear bundt cake

It can be tough being a vegan at Thanksgiving – but not with this spread. The hearty quinoa stuffing doubles as the perfect main for the vegans in the house.

Gluten-Free

A Thanksgiving Feast for (Nearly) Every Diet - one meal for carnivores, vegetarians, vegans, and gluten-free guests

turkey | mashed potatoes sans gravy | green beans | cranberry sauce | herbed wild rice & quinoa stuffing | cider-glazed sweet potatoes | gluten-free cranberry tart

The gluten-free diner needs to stay away from the dinner rolls, the gravy, and some of the desserts, but otherwise, the feast is on! Another dessert option for gluten-free guests is a scoop of ice cream with caramel sauce.

I know it’s easy to feel put off by family and friends with dietary preferences (or necessities), especially if it gets in the way of traditional dishes – and it can feel like more work for the host, depending on how willing the host is to allow others to bring dishes. But here’s the thing: if a little variation, creativity, and compromise helps everyone feel welcome at the table, what a wonderful way to show our thanks for our beloved friends and family. And isn’t that what Thanksgiving is all about?!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Karen Raye

Kare is a vegetarian home cook living among carnivores. She loves creating irresistible and flexible recipes that help multi-vore families like hers keep the peace - deliciously.