Do you love entertaining but you dread the thought of planning an entire Thanksgiving dinner menu? Or you just don’t have time and would rather it be done for you? I’ve got your back!
I recently hosted a Friendsgiving with my bestie, Malia from Lettermade, and it was a huge success! In true fashion, I was in charge of the menu and Malia (the entertaining maven) was in charge of the décor and tablescape.
>> Shop those pretty linens perfect for holiday parties here!
I had just a few requirements when putting together the menu: that it would be mostly comprised of plant-based recipes, gluten-free friendly (for my girl, Lindsay) and somewhat healthy. After all, that is my mission – to make healthy simple and delicious!
Thoughtfully crafting a menu that will please your guests can take a lot of time and effort. With so many options out there for ways to make the classic Thanksgiving dishes, it can turn into a stressful task really quick.
Thankfully, the recipes included on my Friendsgiving menu are easy to make (some of them can even be prepped ahead of time!) and still retain the traditional elements of a Thanksgiving dinner with a healthy twist!
Take a Sneak Peek at my Vegan Friendsgiving Menu
Appetizer: Pumpkin Hummus Crostini. These light bite appetizers are bursting with color and flavor! The protein and fiber from the hummus will help keep your guests’ hunger in check until dinner is served. Get the recipe, here.
To prepare: make the hummus and de-seed the pomegranates the day before to make assembly a breeze just minutes before your guests arrive!
Salad: Apple Cabbage Slaw. Instead of a green salad, I went with the apple cabbage slaw in raddichio cups. Not only are they pretty, but the cabbage is a welcomed light and refreshing addition to the plate. Get the recipe, here.
To prepare: make the slaw the morning of your party and store in the fridge until ready to serve.
Side: Sweet Potato Casserole. I LOVE sweet potato casserole. What I don’t love is how it is traditionally loaded with sugar and butter. I combined the Nutrition Stripped sweet potato filling recipe (using coconut oil instead of coconut butter and doubling up on the sweet potatoes) with the pecan oat topping recipe from Well Plated to create my own version.
To prepare: Make the casserole the night before (pre-baking) and store in the fridge. Pop it in the oven about an hour before dinner is served to finish it off!
Side: Dijon Braised Brussel Sprouts. To add more savory dishes to the somewhat sweet menu, I went with a recipe for Dijon braised Brussel sprouts by Smitten Kitchen. Brussel sprouts have really hit a popularity streak in the foodie world and I knew they would be a big hit!
To prepare: To make this dish vegan-friendly, you could add coconut cream instead of heavy cream. I also added everything to the pan instead of the two-step process of cooking the sprouts then the sauce. This dish is best served fresh, so whip out your cast-iron skillet about 30 minutes before guests arrive.
Side: Green Beans w/ Toasted Almonds. Veggies, veggies and more veggies! Instead of yet another casserole, I decided to go with simple steamed (or roasted) green beans topped with toasted almond slices for an effortless side dish that is sure to impress.
To prepare: I prefer French green beans (the long, skinny kind) because they require no prep and are more flavorful than traditional green beans.
If roasting the green beans, drizzle with olive oil, salt and lemon zest and roast in the oven at 425 for about 10 minutes. If steaming the green beans, steam first, then plate and add a drizzle of olive oil, sprinkle of salt and lemon zest. Then, top with toasted almonds for a delicious and nutritious garnish!
Side: Biscuits. With every Thanksgiving menu, there must be bread! Biscuits are surprisingly simple to make with just a few ingredients. I went with this recipe from Minimalist Baker and made sure to use gluten-free all-purpose flour.
To prepare: There’s just no way around it. Biscuits are best straight out of the oven, so make these one of the last things you prepare before dinnertime!
Main: Lentil Stuffing Muffins. Since this menu is vegan-friendly, I wanted a main that was hearty enough to stand out on its own (thank you, lentils) but still had traditional Thanksgiving flavor (I’m looking at you, stuffing). These lentil stuffing muffins were given two thumbs up by both the plant-based and meat eaters around the table! Get the recipe, here.
To prepare: It’s not stuffing (or turkey) without the gravy! This recipe for mushroom gravy from Delish was just that – delicious! I added a Tablespoon of butter at the end to give it an even richer flavor.
Dessert: No Bake Pumpkin Pie Bites. Traditional pumpkin pie takes a ride on the (raw + vegan) wild side in this recipe! These no bake pumpkin pie bites have all of the traditional flavors but are given a healthy makeover by using cashews to create the creamy filling. Get the recipe, here.
To prepare: These can be made a few days in advance and kept in the freezer! Transfer them to the refrigerator the morning of your party to allow them to thaw out and soften a bit. Serve with coconut whipped cream, or as is!
Whew! My belly is happy just looking at this menu. You’ve got all of the essentials and more included in this menu that is easy to prepare (if you plan ahead) and equally impressive on the dinner table.
To shop the pretty linens in these pictures, visit Lettermade (perfect for holiday gifts and entertaining!).
Now, who’s going to invite me over for Thanksgiving dinner?
If you make any of these recipes, be sure to tag #fitlivingeats to invite me to the party on the ‘gram!
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