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.
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!
Here’s what’s on the table:
Appetizers & sippers
A light selection of drinks and snacks with something for every diet.
- Crock Pot Hot Spiced Cider
- Classic Red Sangria
- A selection of olives & nuts
- Hummus with pitas or pita chips and veggies
The main feast
- Turkey – I don’t have any turkey recipes here on Kitchen Treaty, but these look fantastic:
- White Wine Ginger Thyme Brined Roast Turkey from Boulder Locavore
- Herb-Roasted Turkey from What’s Gaby Cooking
- Mom’s Roast Turkey from Simply Recipes
- Deep-Fried Sriracha Turkey from Tori Avey
- Best-Ever Mashed Potatoes
- Vegetarian Onion Gravy (or Caramelized Onion Gravy from Oh My Veggies)
- Herbed Wild Rice & Quinoa Stuffing
- Sauteed Green Beans with Smoky Shallots
- Apple Cider Glazed Sweet Potatoes from Oh My Veggies
- Store-bought dinner rolls (made without dairy or eggs)
- Orange Maple Cranberry Sauce
- Vanilla Praline Pumpkin Pie
- Vegan Gingerbread Pear Bundt Cake with Caramel Sauce from Oh My Veggies
- Gluten-Free Cranberry Lemon Tart from Cafe Johnsonia
- Store-bought vanilla ice cream
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?!
This is great–thanks for the breakdown! Now if you can add Diabetes-Friendly and Heart-Healthy (low sodium/low fat) to the mix, I’d be all set… Again, thanks for all the thought put into this meal. I know a lot of us find it very useful this harried time of year.
Hm, great offers for meaty dishes during the holidays!
I don’t exactly need this post at the moment post-holiday season but I just felt the need to come by and tell you that this is an awesome post that a lot of thought and time went into and that you deserve kudos for that!
Thanks so much, Arielle!
Never to be forgotten… Gravy can be made gluten free quite easily. I use a combination of super fine rice flour and potato starch. Also, you can rarely trust the caramel sauce that comes from the store in a jar…so best to make your own, if you choose to go that route. I’d much rather a yummy chunk of gluten free pumpkin bread anyway! Using orange juice and coconut oil, you can make a mighty fine vegitarian g-free quick bread! The vegan won’t be happy but everyone else will!!
This blog post sums up my life exactly. I’m the mildly lactose intolerant vegetarian who love eggs and cheese. Husband is the non vegetarian who shouldn’t really eat beef though, because we don’t have it in the house. Younger son is the picky one who only wants pizza, or things you can dip in Ketchup. Mom and older son’s girlfriend are gluten free. Sister in law is no dairy, no corn or pork products. Dad is lactose intolerant with an allergy to eggs. Thank you so much for the wonderful Thanksgiving menu ideas. I’m really super looking forward to making the onion gravy for my mashed potatoes this year. I’m so happy to have found someone who understands the challenges of a multi-vore family, and I have subscribed to your blog so I can get all the latest news. Cheers!
It’s never simple, is it?! It’s funny, when I started this blog, it was just about my husband being a carnivore and me being a vegetarian. Since then, I’ve discovered I shouldn’t eat dairy, I occasionally dabble in gluten-free, and we’ve had a daughter who is so so SOOOO picky (it’s hard isn’t it?!) Our extended families don’t really have dietary restrictions (yet!) so I’m a bit of a dietary black sheep in the extended fam. 😉