3-Course Vegan and Gluten-Free Holiday Menu – Step-by-step!



It’s a really good thing that I love to cook because you told me loud and clear that you wanted some help with menu planning. I understand it’s not easy, but now it can be much less stressful. It looks like we’re going to be eating really well for the next few days. No complaints here.

Not that this is the first time I’ve posted a holiday menu on the blog. There was that time in 2010 for Project Food Blog and then again in 2011 just for kicks. I guess I was due for an update! I truly think this is the best one yet. Maybe I’m biased, but I think my recipes improve over the years. That means there’s always room for a fresh take on a menu. Yeehaw!

I’d like to walk you through a relatively simple holiday meal plan today for 4 people. Adapt it as you see fit. My goal was to create some dishes that could be made the day before. I also wanted the prep on the day of to be minimal. So no, I’m not throwing a ton of recipes at you today and telling you to spend 3 full days in the kitchen. I did my best to simplify things without sacrificing flavour. It’s a fine line! My prep time the day before was under 2 hours and my prep time the day of was about 1 hour. Not too shabby, right?

This isn’t meant to be a huge, extravagant holiday meal, but rather a delicious and special menu for 4 people. If you are serving a big crowd, you will definitely need to multiply this to suit your group size.

Prepare the day before:

  1. Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Oat Crust (this pie needs to sit in the fridge overnight to set)
  2. Cranberry Pear Sauce
  3. Lentil Walnut Balls (prepare, but do not cook until the day of your meal)

Prepare the day of:

  1. Maple Cinnamon Mashed Sweet Potatoes (easiest side dish ever!)
  2. The Best Shredded Kale Salad
  3. Bake the lentil walnut balls
  4. Coconut Whipped Cream (if serving with the pie – optional)

Shall we begin? [Note: where ever you see a green link you can click it to be brought to the recipe page.]



The Best Shredded Kale Saladvegan, gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free

Prepare this salad the day of your meal. The flavour is much better when served shortly after preparing it compared to letting it sit overnight. (Yes, I compared the two! I thought the overnighter was going to win, but it didn’t).


[note: in the photos below I served the salad with the main course, but you can serve it either before or with your meal. Your call.]

Main Course:


Lentil Mushroom Walnut Balls with Cranberry Pear Saucevegan, gluten-free, soy-free

Prepare both the day before, but do not cook the balls until the day of. I shaped the mixture into balls, placed them on a plate, covered with wrap, and refrigerated until the next day. Then I cooked as directed just before the meal. Easy! You can also cook and freeze the balls for up to 1-1.5 weeks. Thaw on the counter or fridge and reheat in the oven.


Side Dish:


Maple Cinnamon Sweet Potatoesvegan, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, soy-free option

{recipe follows}

Prepare this quick and easy side dish the day of. This side dish stole my heart! I absolutely love mashed sweet potatoes made with a bit of vegan butter, maple syrup, sea salt, and cinnamon. Nothing beats it. If you haven’t tried them prepared this way, you really should. The prep is just 10 minutes! I used 2 large sweet potatoes, but you could easily get away with using 3 potatoes for 4 people.

If you are looking for another side dish to add to the fun, I recommend my Cranberry, Apricot, and Pecan Wild Rice Pilaf. You can probably prepare this pilaf the day before.

Maple Cinnamon Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free



Like little fluffy clouds of pure bliss, these maple cinnamon mashed sweet potatoes make a lovely addition to any holiday meal. It reminds me a bit of sweet potato casserole, only without the marshmallows. The prep is just 5-10 minutes, so it makes a quick, last minute side dish without much fuss at all. This batch will just barely serve 4 as a side. You could easily get away with increasing the potatoes to 3 instead of 2 (and adding more of the other ingredients as needed). No one ever complained of having too many sweet potato clouds, you know.

3-4 small servings
Prep Time
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Total Time


  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • a couple generous pinches of fine grain sea salt, to taste
  • cinnamon, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Add peeled and chopped potatoes into a medium pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are fork tender, about 5-8 minutes. Drain.
  2. Add potatoes back into the pot and with a potato masher, mash in the vegan butter until smooth. Now add the rest of the ingredients to taste. Serve immediately.

Note: Instead of vegan butter you can try using coconut oil, although I haven't tried this yet. For a soy-free option, use soy-free vegan butter or coconut oil.




Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Oat Crustvegan, gluten-free, soy-free

{recipe follows}

Prepare this pumpkin pie the day before. A simple pumpkin pie filling with a delectable nutty crust! This pie is lightly sweetened and doesn’t feel too heavy or give you a sugar crash after indulging. Tip if you need a nut-free pie, feel free to use a store-bought crust (or your favourite homemade crust recipe). I really think this crust makes the pie though, so if you can swing it, definitely make it! It’s so easy too – all you do is press it in…no rolling involved.

Optional: Serve with Coconut Whipped Cream

Not feeling pumpkin pie? Try my Chilled Dark Chocolate Pie instead. A little chocolate around the holidays is always appreciated.


Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Oat Crust

Vegan, gluten-free, soy-free



A simple pumpkin pie filling with a delectable nutty crust! This pie is lightly sweetened and doesn't feel too heavy or give you a sugar crash after indulging. Prepare this pie the day before, so it has time to set in the fridge overnight. Crust is adapted from my Chilled Dark Chocolate Pie and the filling is adapted from my Vegan Pumpkin Pie Squares with a Graham Cracker Crust.

8 slices
Prep Time
Cook time
Total Time


for the pecan oat crust:
  • 3/4 cup pecan halves
  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/2 cup + 1/3 cup gluten-free oat flour
  • 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats.
for the pumpkin filling:
  • 1/4 cup full-fat canned coconut milk (the white cream portion) OR almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 6 tablespoons pure cane sugar (or granulated sugar of choice)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1.5 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • pinch of fine grain sea salt


  1. For the crust: Preheat oven to 350⁰F and lightly grease a 9-inch pie dish with coconut oil. Add pecans into a food processor and process until a fine crumb forms, the size of sand. Be sure not to process the pecans for too long, or the oil will release. Now add the coconut oil, maple syrup, salt, and oat flour and process again until the dough comes together. Finally, pulse in the rolled oats until the oats are finely chopped, but still have some texture to them. The dough should stick together when pressed between your fingers. If it doesn’t, try processing for a bit longer.
  2. With your fingers, crumble the dough evenly over the base of the pie dish. Starting from the middle, press the mixture firmly and evenly into the dish, moving outward and upward along the side of the pie dish. The harder you press the crumbs into the dish, the more it will hold together. Poke 5-6 fork holes into the bottom to let the air escape.
  3. Bake pie crust, uncovered, at 350⁰F for 10-13 minutes, until lightly golden and fragrant. Remove from oven and set aside to cool on a rack for at least 5 minutes.
  4. For the filling: In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut milk (or almond milk) with the arrowroot powder until smooth.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all of the pumpkin filling ingredients, including the arrowroot and cream/milk mixture. If your pumpkin puree is firm and grainy - add this filling into a processor and whirl it until smooth. You might need to add a bit more cream/milk if your pumpkin was really dense. Pour this filling into the baked crust and smooth out.
  6. Bake the pie, uncovered, at 350F for 37-45 minutes until the pie is semi-firm, but still a bit soft. Watch the crust and cover with tin foil if necessary. My crust was nice and golden at 40 minutes (when I took it out), but not burned.
  7. Cool the pie for 2 hours on a cooling rack and then cover with foil and transfer to the fridge overnight to set.
  8. Serve the pie straight from the fridge, with some coconut whipped cream, if desired. Note that the pie will get quite soft at room temperature so I don't suggest keeping it out for longer than 10 minutes at a time.

Note: 1) To make the oat flour, add 1/2 cup + 1/3 cup rolled oats into a high speed blender. Blend on high until a fine flour forms. 2) Note that using the coconut cream will give the pie a light coconut flavour. Use almond milk as an alternative if desired.

Edited to add: We’re having a small issue with our recipe plug-in (in this post) and we’re working on fixing the bug. Thanks for your patience!


Well, we have full, grateful, and happy bellies going on over here. And the best part is, I don’t feel like sleeping on the couch for 6 days. Success!

Let me know what you think of the recipes if you try them out. Love ‘em, hate ‘em, find a new way of doing something? Let us know in the comments, as always.

Wishing those of you in the US a happy, safe, and fun Thanksgiving! xo

Let's get social! Follow Angela on Instagram (@ohsheglows + @theglowspot), Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+

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{ 100 comments… read them below or add one }

Anele @ Success Along the Weigh November 26, 2013

Oh man, it all looks so good! Especially the sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie! DELISH!!


Pure Ella November 26, 2013

Just stunning Angela!!!
Beautiful presentation and lovely bursts of flavour and colour ;)
Just an fyi ~ if you ever have leftovers please do give me a shout ;)
xox Ella


Candy Wirt November 26, 2013

Thank you, Angela……we’re having YOUR Thanksgiving Dinner….can’t wait!


Dayna @ The Kitchen Library November 26, 2013

Thank you thank you! The holidays are a hard time to by-pass turkey and gravy but this makes it so much easier. Plus, the outcome is so beautiful I’d be proud to take these to any diner party.


Dayna @ The Kitchen Library November 26, 2013

Oops, dinner not diner : )


Shundara@SavyNaturalista November 26, 2013

Lovely menu! Especially since thanksgiving is almost here; I like the simple meal for four people just right.


Rachel November 26, 2013

Thanks so much for putting this together – everything looks amazing!


Nicole November 26, 2013

This looks like a stunning mal, and so colourful! I will be saving these recipes for Christmas dinner. Thank you, Ange!


Seraphina November 26, 2013

Deal, deal and deal! It looks amazing, and the fact that there’ll be leftovers is a huge bonus :D


Erica { EricaDHouse.com } November 26, 2013

Can I just come to your place for Thanksgiving?


Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health November 26, 2013

Everything looks amazing! I’m impressed that it only took 3 hours total. Turkey takes all day and doesn’t look half as good as this lineup, in my opinion.

I have to try that pecan parmesan salad. I already have planned what I’m going to make for the holiday but I will definitely be making that for myself sometime soon!


kathy November 26, 2013

For the Lentil Mushroom Walnut Balls, do you think I could sub sunflower seeds or a mix of sunflower and sesame seeds for the walnuts due to a nut allergy? Any other ideas? Thanks!


Angela (Oh She Glows) November 26, 2013

Yes I totally think you could! I probably wouldn’t use a full cup sunflower seeds, but 1/2-2/3 cups might be a good amount so you don’t overwhelm it with the sunflower flavour. I would probably roughly chop them too. Let me know how it goes if you try it out! Good luck.


kathy November 26, 2013

Thanks so much for your quick reply! :)


Angela (Oh She Glows) November 26, 2013

np, enjoy :)


Jordan November 26, 2013

I spy brussel sprouts in the bottom left corner ! My personal favourite at any holiday meal :). It seems that you had trouble picking just two sides to make for this meal. But we’re not complaining. I share that flaw ;)


Angela (Oh She Glows) November 26, 2013

heh yes you do ! It’s actually a recipe already on my blog: http://ohsheglows.com/2012/10/08/roasted-fingerling-potatoes-and-brussels-sprouts-with-rosemary-and-garlic/

I ended up going with the sweet potatoes because the roasted potato + brussels crammed my oven too much. hah. The SP are nice because it’s a quick stove top recipe!


Emily November 26, 2013

I just copied down the ingredients for every single recipe in ths menu! I have yet to have my parents over for dinner to my very first “grown-up girl’s apartment” and I think this will be the very first meal I make for them! I’m very excited and love that you did a full menu – great idea! I first made your lentil loaf a while back which remains one of my absolute favourites, so I’m very excited to try these lentil balls! Happy holidays :)


Ceara @ Ceara's Kitchen November 26, 2013

I love this! I always struggle with getting everything ready at the same time and perfect timing! Can’t wait to use this for Christmas ! :)


Alexis @ Hummusapien November 26, 2013

This is just TOO gorgeous! That pumpkin pie looks beyond perfect, and I’m so excited to try out that shredded kale salad! I make a big romaine salad with almonds, scallions, cranberries and avocados dressed with your old better than bottled balsamic dressing recipe…it’s always a huge hit! Happy holidays :)


Christine (The Raw Project) November 26, 2013

Just wow, the pics are gorgeous and so elegant. The pumpkin recipes looks amazing, it all does! :-)


Jesse @OutToLunchC November 26, 2013

This menu is AMAZING! I can’t wait to try everything on it.


Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat November 26, 2013

Oh my gosh… I want it all right now!! That pie, the cinnamon mashed potatoes, the kale, the cranberries… you’ve got me salivating over here Ange!


Chelsea @ BigBitesLittleBudget November 26, 2013

No one in my family is vegan, but I bet they would love this meal. It looks fantastic and that pie would be so tasty. I may be making that to take this year!


Dr. Jennifer Weinberg, MD, MPH, MBE @ www.JenniferWeinbergMD.com November 26, 2013

This is gorgeous and looks delicious! I love how you break it down to make it so easy and approachable. Thanks for being a great resource for plant-based options!


Tess @ Tips on Healthy Living November 26, 2013

This looks delicious– and healthy. Do these recipes make for good leftovers?


Shel@PeachyPalate November 26, 2013

Amazing!!! If I could go anywhere for Thanksgiving dinner…your house! :) Are you making all of the above or taking a day off yourself?


Fit Missy November 26, 2013

Looks delicious and I would love to try making that kale salad!


Beth November 26, 2013

So many recipes, thanks! The sweet potatoes say to serve immediately. What happens if I make them the day before and reheat them? Happy Thanksgiving!


Joy //For the Love of Leaves November 26, 2013

This all looks fantastic! I wish I was going to your house for thanksgiving! Have a great holiday!


Averie @ Averie Cooks November 26, 2013

Every year your Thanksgiving and holiday posts are epic and amazing and this is no exception! Have a wonderful holiday, Angela!


Olivia November 26, 2013

The pie looks delicious! Can it be warmed in the oven before serving, or is it best served cold? Thanks!


Penny November 26, 2013

Can we use a raw pie pumpkin instead of pumpkin purree? I know some recipes are specifically for raw or canned.. And also, is there any way we can sub for arrowroot powder? It’d be much appreciated if you could answer my questions before thanksgiving. Thanks!



Kristen Kelley@the vegan weirdos next door November 26, 2013

Those lentil balls look delicious.


Melissa C November 26, 2013

This meal looks amazing!! Thank you so much for the menu and for providing gluten free vegan recipes that taste amazing! I am so thankful to bloggers like you who have provided numerous recipes to make eating a gluten free mostly plant based diet easier!


janae @ bring joy November 26, 2013

This is just beautiful Angela! Such a well-rounded & colorful feast. I love it.

Since I’m 7 months pregnant & we’re doing Thanksgiving alone, I’m not quite up to doing a full spread. But we’re doing a mini version tomorrow night then going to a gluten-free, vegan restaurant that is doing a Thanksgiving family buffet. I hope that the foods served will be as lovely & delicious as your menu!



Tiffany November 26, 2013

Angela, What a beautiful spread! Thank you for the wonderful recipes :)

I pre-ordered your book and I am so excited to receive it in the mail!!


Elyse @ Lizzie Fit November 26, 2013

You did an amazing job on this! I might just make the shredded kale salad for myself for lunches :)


Anna Lee November 27, 2013

Oh, my hero! I can’t wait to try these recipes! They look so delicious. (:


Mademoiselle C. November 27, 2013

I absolutely love this. I am going to make it for my brother when he comes to visit.
Love your blog!


Christine @ Gotta Eat Green November 27, 2013

Yum everything looks delicious! And that pie… to die for. My sister in law in GF and I am vegan so it is always tricky to find a good dessert we can both enjoy!


Jenna November 27, 2013

Can cornstarch or tapioca starch substitue the arrowroot powder?


kayse November 27, 2013

Oh my goodness! A pumpkin pie recipe without tofu?! How exciting!! Thank you for sharing these wonderful recipes.


amy webster November 27, 2013

hi angela! thanks for this! it looks so beautiful and i appreciate all the work you put into it. your food photos are stunning by the way. i am watching them get better and better. i am getting into food styling ( just got hired assisting someone part time) and i really respect that you do all the cooking, styling AND photographing! i dont think people realize how much work it is. just wanted to say good job. also, i am not vegan but i am basically gluten free at the moment and upped by fresh food intake and am feeling miles better. i am thinking about doing a vegan menu for my family xmas dinner! we’ll see if they’re up for it. might be fun!! ( and less uncomfortable afterwards!!! *gas cramps bloating always follow a traditional xmas dinner for me)


Angela (Oh She Glows) November 29, 2013

Thanks so much Amy, that means a lot. Yes it is a LOT of work…the challenge is to make it look easy! ;) Congrats on your new job!


Venetia November 27, 2013

all of your recipies look amazing. I personally am not vegan or following a vegan diet, but I am looking for recipes that fit my 9 year old Niece’s diabetic diet. would you happen to have the diabetic exchange information??


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