Okay, so I may have somewhat impulsively planned an impromptu Friendsgiving dinner for Saturday. As in a full Thanksgiving spread 2 days from this moment. I was a glass of wine into my weekly dinner party and thinking about just how much I love stuffing (hint: it’s a lot). Before I knew it, I was telling a roomful of my dearest friends to be there or be square, turkey and all. The thing is, many of my guests are vegetarian, vegan or dairy-free. So, a vegan Friendsgiving it will (partially) be!
So of course I woke up this morning and furiously combed the internet and my own recipe stash for the tastiest vegan Thanksgiving side dishes. On the bright side, this does mean that I’ll be getting a significantly smaller bird. On the other hand, I’m going to need to get extra creative with juggling oven and stove space.
And of course Mr Never Cooks asks SPECIFICALLY for ‘meaty stuffing’ so I know there will be some dishes I’ll need to duplicate. Shouldn’t be too hard, right?!
1. Mashed Potatoes
Minimalist Baker is a go-to blog for mostly vegan recipes that always turn out splendidly. Her Best Damn Vegan Mashed Potatoes recipe will be perfect (quadrupled or so) for Friendsgiving. Kitchen Space Required: largest stock pot + 1 burner
2. Vegan Gravy (Duh)
Look, you’re a smart cookie. You saw this coming. You know that if I started this list with the mashed taters, gravy must not be far behind. The first time actually saw someone make gravy from the leftover liquid from cooking meat I was a bit squeamish, so I’ve been going the vegetarian gravy route for a while. This nice and thick mushroom gravy is also from Minimalist Baker and it immediately drew me with the promise of a peppery accompaniment for those potatoes. Kitchen Space Required: sauce pan + 1 burner
3. Stuffing — Crock Pot Style
This vegetarian stuffing recipe can be easily made vegan by swapping out the butter for vegan ‘butter.’ It also gets bonus points for not taking up any oven or stove space! You can literally set this to go in another room if you need the extra counter space. Kitchen Space Required: larger(6 quart) crock pot
4. Orange-Maple Cranberry Sauce
This is one dish that isn’t hard to find a vegan version for, but I still wanted to do something a little special. This recipe is easy to make the day before and chill overnight. Kitchen Space Required: fridge shelf
5. Sweet Potato Casserole
This one came up quite a few times when I asked around for favorite side dishes. I didn’t grow up eating it, but I was happy to add it to the list! This lightened-up version will definitely be making an appearance at our vegan Thanksgiving table. I plan to make it earlier in the day and then pop it in the oven to reheat to save space and precious minutes during the final crunch time. Kitchen Space Required: fridge shelf, a few minutes of oven time
6. Crock Pot Candied Yams
Much as I love a mostly Minimalist kitchen, I do in fact have 2 slow cookers. I know, it’s ridiculous. But if you’ve ever made a recipe that failed to fill your regular 6 quart beast even half full, you know the pain of coming home to a burnt dinner. In the name of non-carcinogenic meals everywhere, I caved and got a smaller one. This year I’ll be using it to make these candied yams. As long as you use vegan marshmallows to top, you’re golden! Kitchen Space Required: smaller crock pot (3-4 quarts)
7. Green Bean Casserole
Another dish that I didn’t grow up with, and yet it was possibly the most-requested by far. In retrospect, my mom’s (bless her heart) microwaved canned green beans may have been a passing attempt at the tradition. This casserole recipe only takes 15 minutes in the oven, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to juggle it around the bird. Kitchen Space Required: 15 minutes in the oven
8. Pumpkin Pie (Vegan Toppings Optional)
Now, you can get all fancy here and get into vegan whipped creams and vegan ice cream to top, but at the very least you need a vegan pumpkin pie. This is a straightforward recipe, and of course it needs to be chilled before serving so another score for cooking tetris! Kitchen Space Required: fridge shelf
And there you have it! With these recipes you’re well on your way to a very vegan Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, or any random Tuesday you’re feeling nostalgic.