Healthy, Vegan and Gluten Free Thanksgiving Side RecipesFor those of us who don’t dine on turkey at Thanksgiving, it’s the sides that really get us in a tizzy. Even folks who do look forward to the bird really load up on their favorite holiday side dishes. Who doesn’t love stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy? Well, below I’ve compiled some great traditional as well as non-traditional sides that will keep you happy and stuffed through to Cyber Monday!

Maple Chipotle Sweet Potato Bisque

  • 4-5 small/medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup plain soymilk (keep extra on hand if you want to thin out the soup a bit)
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup vegan sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons softened vegan butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Wash and peel sweet potatoes, then cube and boil until fork tender. Add cooked sweet potatoes in a large bowl.

In a food processor or using an immersion blender pulse the soymilk and chipotle together. In a saucepan bring the soymilk and chipotle mixture to a simmer on low. Then add the maple syrup, sour cream, butter and salt and pepper to the milk mixture. Pour the soymilk mixture over the cooked sweet potatoes and again use the  immersion blender or a hand mixer to mix the ingredients together.

Pumpkin Empanadas


  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 (1/2 ounce) packages dry yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 cups all purpose flour, divided in half
  • 3/4 cup vegetable shortening


  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 1 cup firmly-packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  •  1 – 1 1/2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • Grated orange zest, to taste
To make the dough: Combine water, sugar, salt, yeast, baking powder, and cinnamon. Using an electric mixer, gradually blend in half of the flour. Add shortening and thoroughly mix, then gradually blend in remaining flour. Divide dough into 4 equal parts, then shape each of those parts into 4 dough balls.
Slap the dough balls between the palms of your well-floured hands until somewhat flattened, then roll out on a floured surface into circles approximately 4 inches in diameter and 1/8-inch thick.
To make the filling: In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter; stir in the brown sugar. Let this heat for a few minutes until the brown sugar is dissolved into the butter.  Stir in the pumpkin and the spices. Continue to stir over medium heat for about 3 to 5 minutes, or long enough that the pumpkin begins to stiffen and hold its shape.  Test this by picking up a small amount in a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in the orange peel. Allow the Pumpkin Filling to cool completely in the refrigerator before continuing to assembling your empanadas.
To assemble the empanadas: Put about 1 1/2 tablespoons of pumpkin filling in the center of each circle, fold over, and seal edges by moistening slightly and pressing lightly with a fork on both sides.
Bake on a greased cookie sheet until golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes (watch carefully as they can burn quickly).
Green Beans Supreme
  • 6 tablespoons vegan butter, divided
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 8 ounces portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sherry
  • 3/4 cup vegan heavy cream (1 block of silken tofu (12-ounces) and 1/2 cup of plain soy milk. Blend in blender until thick and creamy and there are no more lumps)
  • 2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
  • Crispy leeks (recipe below)

Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, thyme and sage and saute until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook 5 more minutes. Next add the sherry and stir until thickened. Add the cream and simmer an additional 5 minutes. Set sauce aside.

Melt the remaining butter in a large skillet over high heat. Add the beans, toss to coat with the butter and saute until bright green, about 7 minutes. They’ll still be crispy. Season with salt and pepper and place on a platter.

Bring the sauce to a simmer and spoon over the beans. Top with leeks.

To make the leeks:

  • Vegetable oil, for deep frying
  • 1 leek
  • All purpose flour, for dredging
  • Salt and pepper

Heat a couple inches of oil to 350 degrees F in a large, heavy pot. To check the oil temperature, drop a bread cube into it. If the cube browns within 30 seconds the oil is hot enough.

Trim leek, slice in half lengthwise, and wash well under running water. Cut the root end off the leek and then cut each half lengthwise into long, thin strips.

Season flour with salt and pepper. Dredge leek strips in flour. Fry leeks for 1 to 2 minutes, or until crisp and golden. Drain on paper towels.

Garlic Rosemary Mashed Potatoes

  • 5 medium baking potatoes peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons vegan butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegan sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-2 teaspoons finely minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1-2 tablespoon soymilk, at room temperature or warmed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chives, for garnish

In a medium pot, cook the potatoes in salted water until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return them to the saucepan.

In a medium saucepan, sauté the garlic and rosemary in the olive oil until slightly brown.  Add this to the potatoes along with the butter and sour cream.

Mash the potatoes with a potato masher or hand mixer until the ingredients are blended. Add the milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the potatoes are the desired consistency. Taste and add salt and pepper, if needed. Garnish with chives.

Cornbread, Herb & Apple Sausage Stuffing

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 package Field Roast vegan apple sausage, chopped into bite sized chunks
  • 4 cups vegan cornbread
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • ½ teaspoon of each: dried sage, thyme, and savory, with a pinch of rosemary
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chinese sesame oil for brushing

Fry onion and celery in oil until translucent but still crunchy.  Add in the sausage.

Remove from heat and add bread crumbs, pour broth and remaining ingredients over, and stir well while heating on low.

Place stuffing in an 8-inch square pan. Lightly brush the top with sesame oil and cover with foil, baking for 350 degrees for 30 to 60 minutes, depending on desired crispiness.





  1. I love it! I’m not vegan/vegetarian, but I’ve been telling my family I’m doing a turkey-less Thanksgiving. What you said is exactly right! Everyone loves the sides anyway! I don’t think the bird will be missed. Thanks for sharing! Some of these may make their way onto my table this year! <3

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