5 Unconventional Dishes You Need for Friendsgiving

5 Unconventional Dishes You Need for Friendsgiving

When you think of Thanksgiving, you think comfort food, right? Fluffy mashed potatoes, decadent pies and brownies, and can’t forget the stuffing! But who said comfort food couldn’t be a little healthy?

We reached out to our favorite foodies and bloggers to bring you a list of the most delicious and unique recipes that just so happen to be on the guilt-free side.  

Healthy and whole-food based, these dishes are sure to wow your friends and family (vegans and non-vegans alike)!


1. Gingerbread Smoothie Bowl by @andapinchoflove

Kickstart your Thanksgiving morning with a yummy smoothie bowl for breakfast. Warning: may cause increase in energy, productivity and happiness.


  • 1 1/2 cup cauliflower (steamed and then frozen)
  • 1 cup pecan milk (or any nut milk)
  • 1 inch piece of ginger root (peeled)
  • 1 Tbsp coconut butter
  • 1 Tbsp cacao nibs
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cardamon
  • 1/4 tsp maple syrup to taste  
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder 
  • 1/4 tsp ashwagandha (optional)
  • 1 packet cordyceps (optional)
  • A pinch of love (not optional)


  1. Throw ingredients in blender
  2. Blend well, (if too thick, add more nut milk)
  3. Pour into bowl
  4. Top with toasted coconut flakes, black sesame seeds, bee pollen, get creative!
  5. Enjoy!

2. Vegan Stuffing Muffins with Mashed Potatoes and Gravy by @thecolorfulkitchen

Basically a Thanksgiving cupcake, this one is sure to make a mark at the table (and on everyone’s IG story)! 


  • 6-8 medium yukon potatoes, cut in half
  • 2-3 tbs Earth Balance Buttery Spread
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 cups bread cubes (about 1 loaf)
  • 3 tbs vegan butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.5 cups celery, diced
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg replacer (you can mix 1 tbs ground flax seeds with 3 tbs warm water)
  • 2½ -3 cups vegetable broth
  • oil for greasing muffin tin


  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. Spread bread cubes out on baking sheet. Bake until toasted (about 10-15 minutes).  Transfer bread to large bowl.
  3. Bring pot of water to boil. Add potatoes and simmer until tender (about 15 minutes).
  4. Drain potatoes and place in large bowl. Add Earth Balance and use a potato masher or fork to mash. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Heat vegan butter in pan on stove at medium heat. Add onion, garlic and celery and sauté until vegetables are soft (about 15 minutes). Add mixture to bowl with bread cubes.
  6. Stir thyme, rosemary, salt, pepper and egg replacer into bowl.
  7. Slowly add vegetable broth, being careful not to make bread too soggy, and stir. Add 1 cup at a time and let it absorb for a minute before adding more.
  8. Grease mini muffin tin. Spoon mixture into each spot, packing it down and filling it slightly above the top. Bake in oven for 18-20 minutes, until edges are browned.
  9. Remove from oven and let sit until cool enough to handle. Add a scoop of mashed potatoes on each muffin and top with gravy.


3. Vegan Butternut Squash Mac N’ Cheese by @holisticlyss

Comfort food at it’s finest, minus the crazy calories! Who would have thought that cashews could be so perfect for mac n’ cheese...


  • 1 cup of cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight
  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 1 cup of cauliflower florets
  • 2 garlic cloves, with the skin on
  • 1 tbsp. of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of nondairy milk of your choice (unsweetened almond, cashew or oat milk)
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • Salt and pepper
  • A pinch of paprika
  • 1 bag of macaroni pasta


  1. Soak the cashews in water overnight, 4 hours minimum. Don’t skip this step! Soaking gives the sauce a creamy texture.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  3. While you wait for the oven to heat, cook the pasta according to instructions.
  4. Cut the butternut squash lengthways and then into slices. Add to a baking dish with the cauliflower and garlic cloves and drizzle the oil over the veggies, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake (with the skin on the squash) for about 35 minutes, or until soft and lightly browned. Check on the garlic to make sure it does not burn.
  5. Remove the veggies from the oven. Peel the skin from the butternut squash.
  6. In a high-speed blender, or large food processor, add half of the roasted butternut squash, the cauliflower, the garlic, water, non-dairy milk, nutritional yeast and cashews. Add lots of salt and pepper, to taste, as well as a pinch of paprika. Blend until it becomes super creamy.
  7. When you are ready to serve the pasta, heat the sauce with a bit of water and then pour over the pasta. Garnish with fresh parsley and more nutritional yeast. You can also cut up the other half of the squash in cube form and throw on top of the pasta.
  8. Enjoy! 


4. Maple Dijon Glazed Carrots by @joyfulhealthyeats

Decorating the table with colorful side dishes are always a hit, and these baby rainbow carrots are no exception!


  • 1.5 lbs. of baby rainbow carrots
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon diced chives
  • Optional: garnish with fresh thyme


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl mix maple syrup, stoneground mustard, dijon mustard, garlic powder, and salt.
  3. Add carrots to a 13x9 inch baking dish. Pour half of the maple dijon mixture to the carrots. Using your hands toss the carrots to coat with sauce.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until carrots are tender.
  5. Remove carrots from the oven. Top with the remaining sauce. Garnish with diced chives. (optional: fresh thyme as well)
  6. Serve!


5. Gooey Chocolate Pumpkin Oat Bars by @realfoodgypsy

Imagine combining a warm, gooey brownie with a hearty bowl of pumpkin oatmeal. Better yet, here’s the recipe to bring it to life!  


  • 2 cups oat flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1.5 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1  tbsp grass-fed butter, butter substitute or coconut oil, slightly melted
  • 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees f. Prepare a 9×9 baking pan with oil or non-stick cooking spray. You can use an 8×8 but it will take about 5-10 minutes longer to cook.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the dry ingredients: oat flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and pumpkin pie spice.
  3. In a larger bowl, combine the wet ingredients: pumpkin, applesauce, vanilla, coconut oil or butter, and coconut palm sugar.
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. The batter will be very thick.
  5. Fold in almost all of the chocolate chips and pour into the baking dish. Top with a few more chocolate chips and a sprinkle of sea salt.
  6. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until a fork comes out almost clean. Let cool. These are extra gooey. Cut and serve.
  7. Store in the fridge or the freezer. Reheat for about 20 seconds.
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