thanksgiving meal

Thanksgiving is a time for giving thanks, laughing with family, and eating good food. This is a set of some of my favorite gluten-free and vegetarian (and a great deal of vegan) recipes taking advantage of the best fall foods to get you into the holiday spirit.

Spaghetti Squash Side Dish


  • Olive oil
  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Additional spices if so desired

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cut the spaghetti squash down the middle.

Scoop out the seeds in the middle of the squash.

Poke holes in the outside of the swash with a fork.

Place the squash on a lined baking sheet with the outside skin facing upward.

Bake for 30-40 minutes.

Remove the baked squash from the oven. 

Flip the squash so the inside is facing upward.

When the squash has lost enough heat that it can be safely touched, use a fork to scrape out the inside of the squash into strands.

Move the strands into a bowl.

Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and additional spices (garlic powder, red pepper flakes, etc.) as desired. 

Fresh Tomato Sauce


  • Olive oil
  • 6 tomatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • A garlic clove

Core the tomatoes and make an X mark on the bottom of all of them with a knife.

Blanch the 6 tomatoes (boil water in a pot and put the tomatoes in for 45 seconds and then rinse them in ice water).

Peel the tomatoes.

Chop the tomatoes into tiny pieces.

If you have a food processor, chopping the tomatoes in the food processor will make it easier to cook your sauce.

Simmer the tomatoes over medium heat for 30 minutes or more depending on the consistency you want for your sauce. 

Add in a couple pinches of salt.

Chop the onion into small pieces.

Chop a garlic clove.

Chop the carrots into small pieces.

Chop the pepper into small pieces.

In a separate pan form the sauce, sautee the onions and garlic with a dash of olive oil for a couple minutes.

Add in the carrots and pepper and stir for another couple minutes.

Add this sauteed mixture into the sauce and stir until fully combined. 

Bringing the spaghetti squash and sauce together to make it just like a pasta dish:

To make this sauce into a main dish or stew, combine it with the following black beans preparation from dry beans (to save the waste of a can!) after the sauce has been cooked. 

Protein Addition:


  • Water
  • Dry Black Beans
  • Bay leaves


The day before you want to eat this recipe (in this case, likely Thanksgiving), place the dry black beans you want to cook in a bowl covered by about 4 inches of water. 

Cover the bowl and let the beans soak overnight. 

Drain them the next day before you plan to cook and rinse them.

Place them in a large pot covered again by about 4 inches of water and add a few bay leaves. 

Bring the water in your pot to a boil.

Bring the heat down and let it simmer (the pot should be covered) for about an hour. Add more water while they are cooking if you need it to keep the beans covered with water.

Check the beans at about 50 minutes and continue cooking them until they are as tender as you would like them to be.

Drain the rest of the liquid from the beans and either combine with the sauce recipe above to get a protein-filled tomato sauce or season with more herbs and spice to enjoy by themselves. 

Cheese and Nut Loaf

Source: The Greens Cookbook


  • 1.5 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1.5 cups walnuts
  • ½ cup of cashews
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of butter (or margarine)
  • Salt
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ cup mushrooms, wiped clean and chopped
  • ½ to 1 ounce dried shiitake or porcini mushrooms, soaked for 20 minutes in hot water and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons of thyme leaves, chopped, or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon marjoram, chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon sage, chopped, or ½ teaspoon dried sage
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 9 to 12 ounces cheese, grated (use a variety of cheese, depending on what you have on hand and which tastes go well together, i.e. Gruyere, cheddars, muenster, Fontina, jack)
  • Pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Begin by cooking the rice, unless you already have some cooked. 

Roast the nuts in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes, then chop them finely.

Cook the onion in the butter (or margarine) over medium heat until it is translucent; then season with salt.

Add the garlic, chopped mushrooms, dried mushrooms, and herbs.

Cook until the liquid released by the mushrooms has been reduced. 

Combine this mixture with the rice, nuts, eggs, cottage cheese, and grated cheese.

Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper and additional salt, if needed.

Lightly grease a loaf pan.

Line it with greased wax or parchment paper.

Fill the pan with the mixture and bake the loaf at 375 degrees Fahrenheit until the top is golden and rounded – about 1-1.25 hours. The loaf should be firm when you give the pan a shake.

Let the loaf sit for 10 minutes before turning it out onto a serving plate; then take off the paper.

Asian Brussels Sprouts

brussel sprouts


  • 1 pound of fresh brussels sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons of gluten-free soy sauce (tamari)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of brown sugar


Heat the oil in a large pan on medium heat.

Sautee the garlic in the pan.

Add in the brussels sprouts, and sautee until they look caramelized.

Add in the soy sauce and brown sugar and stir until they are thoroughly combined with the sauteed Brussel sprouts and your sauce is warm. The Brussel sprouts should look a dark golden-dark brown now.

Apple Pie

apple pie


Crust Ingredients:

  • 1 and ¼ cups all-purpose flour (gluten-free all-purpose flour or oat flour work well)
  • ½ cup applesauce (you can add a bit more as is necessary if your flour is more absorbent and does not stick as a dough)
  • 2.5 tablespoons of white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum (if you have it available)

Filling Ingredients:

  • 6 apples 
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch (can omit if you do not have it available)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon of nutmeg


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix all the crust ingredients together in a bowl.

Line your standard pie dish with the crust.

Bake for 10 minutes. 

Let the crust cool.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Peel the apples and slice them thinly. 

Mix with all the other filling ingredients in a large bowl.

Pour filling into pie crust evenly.

Bake for 50 minutes and remove to see if apples are tender enough for your liking. 

If the apples are not as tender as you would like them, bake for additional increments of 15 minutes until they are your desired tenderness. 

Here’s a picture of two of the mini apple pies I made using this recipe with a little caramel sauce added on top:

Hopefully, these recipes have inspired you to use the great produce grown in fall to have a healthy, plant-based Thanksgiving.