Traditional recipes

How to Cook a Dairy-Free Thanksgiving

How to Cook a Dairy-Free Thanksgiving

A dairy-free Thanksgiving is easier to achieve than you think, and your guests likely won’t even notice what’s missing.

Thanksgiving is a time when most dietary restrictions go out the window, but if you have a sensitivity to dairy or follow kosher dietary laws, a dairy-free menu is exactly what you need. Fortunately, there are plenty of traditional (and non-traditional) holiday dishes that use no milk products and easy ways to swap in non-dairy products for ones that do.

  • Flip the fats. If butter is the medium for cooking or is used to finish a dish, swap for extra-virgin olive oil or canola oil. Avoid margarine and shortening as these can contain trans fats. Recipe: Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Eating healthy should still be delicious.

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Change up milks. Instead of using milk as your liquid for mashed potatoes, substitute unsalted chicken stock or unsweetened non-dairy milk. Or, skip the mash altogether and simply roast baked potato or sweet potato wedges until browned and tender. Recipe: Truffled Roasted Potatoes

  • Do the dollop. Replace a whipped cream dollop on dessert with dairy-free yogurt or ice cream, or simply skip. You can also whip whole coconut milk until thick. Just be conscious of the added saturated fat per serving.
  • Sort out sneaky dairy sources. Piecrusts typically contain butter. Try crust-less pumpkin custards with coconut or non-dairy milk in place of milk. You can also opt for an apple crisp with a butter-free streusel topping. Or go beyond pumpkin and apple with simply poached pears and store-bought gingersnap cookies. Recipe: Hibiscus Poached Pears

A dairy-free Thanksgiving is easier to achieve than you think, and your guests likely won’t even notice what’s missing. Just know when to swap (oil for butter, non-dairy milk for milk) and when to simplify (roasted spuds instead of mashed, crisps or poached fruit instead of pies). This will be the Thanksgiving everyone, dairy weary included, can enjoy.


Classic Dairy-Free Thanksgiving Menu with Recipes Everyone Will Love

Everything you need for a delicious dairy-free Thanksgiving is here, online. But it’s organized like a book, to make it simple for you to find and follow. Click on what you need from the table of contents below, and just hit the back button if you want to come back to this dairy-free classic Thanksgiving menu. Each of the recipes on our site has a “print” button right below the recipe image. That will immediately pop up a nice clean printable PDF of the recipe with a small image and without any ads. We want to make your holiday feast as easy and seamless as possible!


How To Make Dairy Free Pecan Pie

So, let’s talk about how this pie goes down:

Make the crust. First up, we’ll prepare our dairy free pie crust and then pre-bake for about 15 minutes.

Assemble filling. Next, we’ll combine some dairy free butter, sugar and maple syrup in a saucepan, before stirring in some coconut milk, cornstarch and vanilla.

Bake until set. We’ll pour the mixture over plenty of pecans in our crust and then bake until mostly firm and no longer jiggly.

Let cool. Finally, we’ll top our pie with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt, and then cool and chill before slicing to serve.


Gluten & Dairy-free Herbed Potato Swirl


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Serves 6-8
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 1 hour
Total time
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1 hour, 15 minutes
Dietary Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Side Dish

How to Cook a Dairy-Free Thanksgiving - Recipes

No gettin’ around it, Thanksgiving this year is gonna be different. Where typically you’d see extended family gathered and sharing in the day, COVID guidelines are putting limits on many of us. But the day is what you make it, and we’re gonna make it great!

I’ve shared all my feast-level Thanksgiving recipes. Those are still available, and never changing because they’ll taste as good this year as they have the last 7. But where many of us are keeping our groups small, I wanted to share something a little different for this year. An entire Thanksgiving dinner, in one post, portioned for four people (with some light leftovers).

Instead of a whole turkey, we do a turkey breast. Instead of a pan of stuffing, we stuff and roll the turkey with vegetables and herbs. Green bean casserole is swapped for simple asparagus and mushrooms and it’s all paired with the creamiest, fluffiest mashed potatoes you’ve ever had (while still being dairy-free). Pan gravy and a cranberry glaze finish it off, and ever bite is symphonic. If I do say so myself.


Easy paleo pumpkin pie recipe

This homemade pumpkin pie recipe couldn't be easier. The crust only has two ingredients. And for the filling, you just dump everything in a food processor or blender and it comes together in just a few minutes. (See how easy it is in the video below!)

This year I used canned pumpkin puree to make the pumpkin pie. I ran out of time and didn't get a chance to make homemade pumpkin puree. If you use canned pumpkin, make sure you get one that is just pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling. That way you can control what else goes in your pie. I substitute coconut milk and honey for the traditional cream and sugar in this recipe. And I use my own pumpkin pie spice blend.

The crust for this pie is made with almond flour. I like it because it's so simple and it doesn't overpower the filling. Almond flour crusts, like anything made with nuts, can burn easily. So keep an eye on the crust and if it looks like it's getting too brown, cover the crust with a pie shield or some aluminum foil to prevent burning.

Serve this paleo pumpkin pie with coconut whipped cream for a decadent holiday dessert. This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Read my full disclosure policy here.


What Goes In This Green Bean Casserole

  • Green Beans: Use fresh green beans if you have access to them. If not, frozen ones work just fine since they’re frozen at their peak.
  • Olive Oil: An essential for giving the mushrooms life while sauteing.
  • Mushrooms: Cremini mushrooms (or baby bella mushrooms) work great in this recipe.
  • Onion & Garlic: Adds aromatics and savory goodness to the mushroom sauce.
  • Tamari Soy Sauce: This gluten-free soy sauce gives a punch of flavor. You can also use coconut aminos.
  • Chicken Broth: For layered richness to the sauce.
  • Milk: You can use almond milk, cashew milk, or any dairy-free milk.
  • Arrowroot Powder: Works wonders to thicken up the mushroom sauce.
  • Shallots: Makes for the best crispy topping to this casserole.


Vegan Creamed Corn (Gluten Free, Dairy Free).

Holiday meals often have many different side dishes – that’s what makes them so special! And so very filling, too – bring on the stretchy pants! Although corn casserole is one of my favorite sides for Thanksgiving, you may not have time to prepare that casserole.

A nice alternative is vegan creamed corn. It’s so simple to make, and it’s a little more special than just plain corn. It’s comforting, creamy, and a perfect accompaniment to dairy free mashed potatoes.

This creamed corn comes together quickly and has a nice buttery, creamy flavor. It’s a great side dish for a holiday meal – and the best part is, it barely takes any time at all to make! If you’re going to be heating up frozen corn anyway, you may as well take the extra two minutes to make the creamy sauce.


8 Best Tofurky Recipes to Serve Instead of Turkey This Thanksgiving

When planning your Thanksgiving menu, one thing tends to be top of mind: the turkey. If you and your whole family eat meat, then the plan is simple: pick a recipe and make it. But if you or your loved ones are vegan or vegetarian, then each year you need to decide what to make instead.

The most popular alternative is tofurkey&mdashthe tofu-based substitute seasoned to resemble a boneless turkey breast. And while you technically can just roast and serve it as-is, do you really want to? We say no! There are numerous ways to dress up a standard tofurkey so it's far more festive and tasty. Check out the following best tofurky recipes: although they're all pretty easy, each has a delicious spin on the dish&mdashlike caramelized onions or mushroom stuffing.

If you can't think of what to pair with this meatless main dish, you can still accompany these tofurky recipes with all of your favorite Thanksgiving sides, which are all vegan-friendly, of course. Whether you prefer cranberry sauce and sweet potato casserole or salads packed with vegetables and the most delicious stuffings, you can easily serve any side with these tofurky ideas. What's more, we think meat eaters and vegetarians alike will definitely enjoy these dishes. After you and your family are done eating, treat yourself to traditional Thanksgiving desserts like apple and pumpkin pies and watch a classic Thanksgiving movie. Whatever you choose, these tofurky recipes prove you don't need meat to have a delicious Thanksgiving dinner.

Want to keep things simple and classic? This roasted tofurky recipe features kitchen staples like oregano, rosemary, and thyme.

Get the tutorial at I Love Vegan.

SHOP BAKING DISHES

Stuffing isn't the only way to make your tofurky flavorful. We suggest you also get creative with the seasoning too!

Get the recipe at Meet the Shannons.

A tofurky that looks as good as this one deserves an equally tasty topper. This recipe is finished with caramelized onions and dried cherries.

Get the recipe at Florida Coastal Cooking.

Skip the premade roast and make this protein-packed version instead. It's full of spinach, mushrooms, brown rice, and lentils.

Get the recipe at Full of Plants.

Channel your inner Julia Child with this dish, since it was inspired by her! Topped with lemons and herbs de Provence, the recipe is delightfully seasoned and will appeal to any French food lovers.

Get the recipe at Meet the Shannons.

Of course, tofurky isn't exempt from being used in a comfort food dish. Dice it up and add it into a hearty pot pie for those cold fall days.

Get the recipe at Go Dairy Free.

This dish incorporates one of our favorite kitchen appliances: the slow cooker. It also uses tasty maple syrup for the perfect sweet and savory Thanksgiving gravy.

Get the recipe at Healthy Slow Cooking.

If you feel like creating something a little more challenging and elevated, try this tofurky roulade. Each layer is filled with delicious mushrooms and spices.