Thanksgiving Dairy-Free Recipes do exist! Here are our favorites for celebrating Turkey Day sans butter.
My mom gave up dairy. In the last couple of years. (She also gave up sugar, but one thing at a time.) When it comes to cooking comfort food, especially around a holiday table, dairy products are usually in abundance. With a little digging, I've discovered a few recipes so delicious, even your most passionate Cheese Heads won't know what they are missing.
Let's start with stuffing. Because honestly, it's vital. And is it possible without butter? Yes, it is. And this SlowCooker Sausage Stuffing by godairyfree.org adds SAUSAGE. Thank you. Yes. You will not miss the butter, because you have the pork. There is a Vegan option, but my Mom's not there (yet).
Also, I appreciate that this stuffing is slow-cooked. The Slow Cooker option is just as important as creating a Lactose-Free meal over here. Every holiday my mom, sister, and I fight over oven space and it is not a good scene. Did the pilgrims fight over oven space?
Next, let's talk potatoes. Can it be? This dairy-free sweet potato casserole is made without butter and is still delicious. Also, we might all feel less bloated afterward. (Maybe there is something to this dairy-free thing).
I'm used to following The Pioneer Woman for my Thanksgiving sides. She is many beautiful things, but dairy-free is not one of them. Between Ree and Paula Deen, my previous holiday cooking has been a cream fest of delights with a healthy shake of parmesan.
I have no regrets, but this sweet potato casserole reminds me of how dairy can dominate other flavors. Here, the sweet potato flavor fuses with apple cider, cinnamon, maple syrup, pecans, and shredded coconut creating perfection. (that you can enjoy without needing an immediate nap.)
While we're talking potato casserole, here's my go-to if your list of Thanksgiving sides requires dairy-free mashed potatoes. Enjoy! Trust me, you won't miss the gravy.
Brussel sprouts are my new obsession. So I may be late to the sprout game, but at least I got here. Roasted, fried, sauteed, whatever, I'm in. Last week I had a Brussel sprouts recipe with goat cheese and felt my life was complete. Do you hear me? My life was made complete by a veggie.
Mom on the Street Amy Rains does not serve goat cheese at her Thanksgiving dinner but these maple balsamic Brussel sprouts will complete your life and your meal while being dairy-free and gluten-free. It's an easy-to-make, one-pan Thanksgiving side dish. Also, again, bacon. (Is it how we make ourselves feel better about no butter?)
The cranberries add festive color and flavor, and the balsamic vinegar and maple syrup combo round out this new family favorite. You also increase your vegetable intake with this side but prepare yourself, this is the best-ever Brussel sprout side dish you will experience. There will be no leftovers and you better get ready to put it on your year-round menu.
The perfect side for any occasion!
avocado or olive oil
trimmed and halved
more to taste
Begin by heating a large skillet to medium heat. Add the bacon and cook for 4-5 minutes per side (or until desired crispness). Set aside, leave the bacon fat in the pan.
Toss in the red onion, saute for 3-4 minutes or until fragrant and lightly browned. Set aside with the bacon. Keep the skillet on the stove and the heat on.
Add in 1-2 tbsp of oil (depending on how much you have left over from the bacon,) and toss in Brussel sprouts and cranberries. Saute, stirring occasionally, for 5-6 minutes, or until Brussels are browned and cranberries begin to soften.
Pour in water and increase the temperature to high to bring to a light boil, then reduce to medium heat. Let the Brussel sprouts and cranberries continue to cook so the cranberries pop and the water is almost completely gone (about 3-4 minutes). Remove from heat.
Pour Brussel sprouts and cranberries into a serving dish, crumble the bacon and add to the dish along with the red onion. Toss in the balsamic vinegar and maple syrup to coat. Sprinkle with salt and serve warm (adding any additional salt to taste.)
After you've mastered the dairy-free dinner, you can't haul out the vanilla ice cream and traditional pie for dessert. Jessica Seinfeld designed this non-dairy version of the classic Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie. I trust her. She's not just in it for the food styling or to force cauliflower into everything.
I know Jessica Seinfeld would throw out any plant-based recipe if it didn't taste GOOD. (Unlike that time I watched Gwyneth baking a plain fish with Oprah, and I thought, "Why would I eat that?" Oprah agreed.)
The crispy gingersnap crust makes up for any lack of butter in this pie. Gingersnaps are like the bacon of the dairy-free dessert world and J.S. gives you permission to use store-bought.
More than ever, we value the people around our table, and their wellness. If rethinking your Thanksgiving menu means more people feel welcome and healthier, don't be intimidated. Dairy-free options are plentiful, and you may just stumble into making a holiday dish that becomes a favorite.