Hetty Lui McKinnon’s Vegetarian Thanksgiving Menu

Hetty Lui McKinnon’s Vegetarian Thanksgiving Menu

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There are few traditions extra ingrained inside American gastronomic tradition than Thanksgiving. The canons of this vacation—turkey, stuffing, sides, pies—really feel untouchable. To problem the chicken as the primary occasion feels dangerous. However for my household, it was liberating.

As I wrote years again, it will possibly really feel alienating to have fun a vacation in an adopted residence, with conventional meals that haven’t any private context. For our first few Thanksgivings, after my household moved to America from Australia in 2015, we tried culinary assimilation. My husband cooked a dry turkey, which was solely loved once I turned it right into a pot pie the subsequent day. And I threw myself into the perimeters, which actually, as a former salad maker, was a job I relished.

I attempted variations of inexperienced bean casseroles however landed on a dish that’s extra like salad, swirled with tahini. I tried stuffing however ended up with an Australian-leaning, tacky bread-and-butter pudding. I did succeed at an excellent candy potato pie with a walnut crust, although it’s since made approach for a dessert we universally want: pavlova.

We eat what we eat for various causes, not only for deliciousness, but in addition for nostalgia and sentimentality. And I get it. Consuming to satiate a reminiscence is totally inside my wheelhouse. However what we got here to understand as a household is that we have to discover traditions and rituals which really feel true to who we’re. My family members are usually not all vegetarian—simply me—however we eat vegetable-centric, globally impressed meals daily of the week. So it feels pure to convey this ethos to our Thanksgiving.

These days, I wish to prepare dinner a vegetarian feast paying tribute to the vacation, however with none strict adherence to custom. Round my desk, there is no such thing as a cause for inexperienced beans to be coated in cream of mushroom, brussels sprouts to be dotted with bacon, or candy potatoes to be topped with marshmallows. I could make them my very own.

The menu beneath provides huge comforting moments, alongside lighter recent bites. This units greens free. Not dubbed sides, they will collect within the heart of the desk, and shine all on their very own.


Enjoying on the vacation basic of fried alliums, this recipe provides thick rings of onions and delicate shards of candy potato coated in a lightweight tempura batter, served with a full of life lemon-chive mayo. An awesome dish to graze on with visitors whereas the remainder of the meal comes collectively.

Platter of Sweet Potato and Onion Tempura With a bowl of Chive Mayo
Candy Potato and Onion Tempura With Chive Mayo

This recipe produces shatteringly crisp tempura every time.

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For a brilliant, textural dish, inexperienced beans are charred till smoky and candy, then completed with a silky brown butter French dressing, and topped with crispy hazelnut-sage crumbs. Mop up the brown butter French dressing with comfortable dinner rolls.

Platter of Charred Green Beans With Brown Butter Vinaigrette
Charred Inexperienced Beans With Brown Butter French dressing

This inexperienced bean stir-fry is a punchy vacation facet dish, that includes a crunchy hazelnut-sage topping and a lush brown butter French dressing.

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Brussels sprouts get the royal remedy due to an oozy, deeply umami maple and soy caramel. The massive-flavored sauce each tempers and amplifies the earthy, mustardy undertones of the sprouts. Make double—it should go in a flash.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts With MapleSoy Caramel in a decorative plate.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Maple-Soy Caramel

Adorn merely roasted brussels sprouts with a soy caramel sauce that’s salty, candy, and splendidly straightforward to tug off at residence.

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As with all feasts, a prep-ahead dish is vital, and this tacky strata meets that requirement. However this isn’t simply any bread pudding. Impressed by the warming notes of pumpkin pie, bread will get soaked after which baked in a tacky, herbaceous pumpkin custard. It’s a comforting dish, harking back to stuffing, however extra advanced. In case you have leftovers, fry it up the subsequent day and serve with an egg.

Pumpkin and Cheddar Strata in a casserole dish
Pumpkin and Cheddar Strata

A make-ahead casserole, like this pumpkin-infused strata with all of the cheese, is simply what your busy vacation schedule wants.

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We spherical out this meal with a not-your-everyday leafy salad. The bitter tones of radicchio are tempered with a lot of sweetness from crisp apple and fragrant leeks, whereas the mustardy croutons add texture and crunch. It is a salad that pops.

A bowl of Radicchio and Apple Salad With Mustardy Croutons
Radicchio and Apple Salad With Mustardy Croutons

A brilliant and tangy salad that includes attention-grabbing radicchio that provides drama and stability to any vacation meal.

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