I can’t believe how time flies! Thanksgiving is just around the corner and people are already talking about Christmas presents! How crazy is that?! It kinda feels like it was just yesterday when it was super hot and we were spending the day at the lake.
When people asked me if I’d planned on posting a vegan Thanksgiving menu on the blog, I sure knew that it was about time to get started and make something festive. I ended up with this vegan Thanksgiving lentil loaf with a mashed pumpkin and sweet potato casserole with a nut-oat topping, vegan gravy, and cranberry pear sauce. We already had a similar version last Christmas and everybody just loved it!
I’ve always loved meat loafs, so I decided to make a vegan version that uses cooked lentils instead of ground meat. It’s really easy to make, it’s high in fiber and protein and most of all it’s incredibly DELICIOUS!!
Of course this vegan Thanksgiving menu is a bit more time-consuming than most of the recipes you can find on my blog, but I can assure you it’s totally worth the work! It’s perfect to show people how amazing vegan food can be! Plus, the lentil loaf can easily be prepared the night before, which gives you some extra time. Just put it in the oven to reheat before you’re serving it. I always love preparing at least some parts of the holiday meals ahead. It’s just a good feeling when you know it’s waiting for you in the fridge and you already did most of the work the day before. The lentil loaf is also really delicious with tagliatelle and mushroom gravy. Or it can be enjoyed cold with a salad.
For the lentil loaf, I used brown lentils, rolled oats, carrots, tomato paste, onion, garlic, walnuts and lots of spices. First, cook the lentils according to the instructions on the package. Then put about 6 tablespoons of the cooked lentils aside. You’ll need them later on to give the lentil loaf a bit more texture. Sauté the onion and garlic and add the chopped carrots and cook them for a couple of minutes.
Put all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until you have a sticky but chunky mixture. It’s very important that you make sure to not overdo it, so you still got some texture. Add the remaining lentils and season with thyme, oregano, salt, pepper, and fresh parsley. Place the mixture into a loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Make sure to let the parchment paper overlap the loaf pan, so it’s easier to remove the lentil loaf once it’s done. Bake the vegan meat loaf for 60 minutes at 350°F.
In the meantime, make the pumpkin and sweet potato mash. Cut both into small cubes and cook for about 10-15 minutes or until soft. Mash with a potato masher and add some vegan margarine, salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg.
For the nut-oat topping, chop some walnuts or Brazil nuts into small chunks and roast them in a small pan for about 2 minutes. Then add the oats and some more vegan margarine. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Pour the mashed sweet potato and pumpkin into a baking dish and sprinkle with the nut-oat topping. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 °F.
For the cranberry pear sauce, cut the pears into medium-sized cubes. Put them into a small sauce pan together with the cranberries.
Add some water and coconut sugar and cook for about 15 minutes until the cranberries are popped and the pears are soft. To give it some more flavor, add some ground ginger. Instead of the coconut sugar you can also use brown sugar if you want.
As a kid, I’ve always loved gravy sauce and at first I was a bit skeptical if vegan gravy could be just as good as regular gravy sauce. But it definitely can! And it’s so easy to make. All you need is an onion, garlic, carrots, celery, tomato paste, red wine, vegetable broth and some spices.
I hope you like this vegan holiday menu as much as I do. It’s meant for about 4 people. If you want a 3-course vegan meal, you could start with a simple pumpkin soup and how do black bean brownies with vegan vanilla ice cream and fresh berries or mini matcha cheesecakes sound for dessert? I’ll better stop right now or I’ll get really hungry!
As always, I love hearing from you! Do you already have any special plans for Thanksgiving?
Have a great start into the new week everyone! xx