November 16, 2020
Roasted Vegetable Thanksgiving Bowl
All of the flavors of Thanksgiving in one simple bowl! Perfect for small holiday celebrations.
Serves 4-6

roasted vegetable thanksgiving bowl

I’ve got the perfect small Thanksgiving meal for you! This roasted vegetable Thanksgiving bowl has all the flavors of traditional Thanksgiving without all the effort.

It’s just going to be me and my little family for the holidays this year, and I’m thinking that most of you are in a similar boat. I wish I was spending it like we usually do– with BL’s large family, enjoying an even larger feast, but we’ve decided to stay home and be by ourselves this year. I keep thinking the light is at the end of the tunnel, and holding out on big celebrations for a little bit longer feels doable.

So, I made you this bowl! It’s great if your Thanksgiving plans involve only only a few people, or if you don’t feel like cooking much this year. It’s packed with all of my favorites: caramelized roasted vegetables, turkey-less tofu, mushroom gravy, wild rice pilaf and homemade cranberry orange sauce.

roasted vegetable thanksgiving bowl

I shared my lentil meatballs with you last week, and I’m pretty confident that either bowl will be a winner for your Thanksgiving table. Instead of a giant traditional feast, I’ve tried to incorporate all of the flavors you expect without having to make a dozen different dishes.

How to Roast Vegetables

This is the star of the bowl for me. Truth be told, I could eat roasted vegetables (and gravy… and rolls!) for Thanksgiving and call it a day. This time of year, I roast a big platter of vegetables at least twice a week. They are so delicious and I really can’t get enough; I eat half the tray while I wait for everything else to be ready. 

Choose your own adventure here; squash works as does brussels sprouts, parsnips, sweet potatoes. You want the vegetables to be hearty enough to stand up to a savory mushroom gravy and a dollop of cranberry sauce, so I’d skip the summer squash and asparagus. If it grows well in the Fall, it’ll likely do well in this dish. 

To get the classic Thanksgiving flavor, generously rub your veggies with thyme, sage, rosemary and parsley along with a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper. I know some people like to do oil-free roasting, but I’m not one of them. I like the added oil to get a nice, slightly crispy crust on the vegetables and the added fat helps with fat-soluble nutrient absorption.  

roasted vegetable thanksgiving bowl

Turkey-Less Tofu

I almost didn’t include tofu here as I didn’t know if we needed it, but my husband insisted on some type of ‘protein.’ So, here we are. Give the tofu the same treatment as you do the vegetables– rubbed generously with both olive oil and seasonings. Place the tofu in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast until golden brown and crispy. Just like the vegetables, I could eat almost an entire tray of tofu like this. 

Mushroom Gravy

I’m a bit partial to my mushroom gravy, but I pinkie promise it’s the best. My very meat-and-potatoes father-in-law requests it every Thanksgiving, preferring it to turkey gravy which always feels like a big win in my book. It’s made with both fresh and dried mushrooms, so you know it’s got plenty of rich, umami flavor. 

This gravy freezes well, so I usually make a double batch and then freeze half to use later over homemade mashed potatoes or more roasted vegetables. 

roasted vegetable thanksgiving bowl

Wild Rice Pilaf

I almost did a mashed potato base for this bowl– but, with all of the roasted vegetables, I wanted something hearty that would stand up and contrast to the creamy veggies. Wild Rice pilaf is such a go-to side-dish for me, and I totally cheat by using a box mix. 

Feel free to make your own homemade version, grab the box like I do, or switch out another grain all together. 

Cranberry Orange Sauce

The cranberry orange compote on top is so lovely, cutting through the rich gravy and providing a light, bright bite to this bowl. What kind of Thanksgiving bowl would this be without a cranberry sauce? 

First, you’ll dissolve a smidge of sugar in fresh squeezed orange juice and zest. You can also use good orange juice if you’d like, the zest is nice but OK if you don’t have a fresh orange lying around. Then, add in fresh cranberries and simmer until the burst and soften.

I like my cranberry sauce a little chunky, though cooking it longer will create a thinner sauce. You can also smash the berries with a wooden spoon or potato masher. 

roasted vegetable thanksgiving bowl

This roasted vegetable Thanksgiving bowl takes a little more effort that I’d typically put together for a weeknight, but it’s not much work when you consider the effort normally put forth on Thanksgiving. 

For a healthy, vegan, plant-based Thanksgiving option– try this small batch bowl. 

If you try it, make sure to come back to rate it and leave a comment. Seeing you make my recipes makes my day and your feedback helps other readers. 

Print
roasted vegetable thanksgiving bowl

Roasted Vegetable Thanksgiving Bowl

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 large servings, 6 regular servings 1x
  • Category: dinner, main dish, healthy
  • Method: stove top, oven
  • Cuisine: Thanksgiving, American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Roasted vegetable thanksgiving bowl! This simple vegan dinner is perfect for a small Thanksgiving celebration. Roasted vegetables and tofu, wild rice pilaf, mushroom gravy and cranberry sauce.


  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 large servings, 6 regular servings 1x
  • Category: dinner, main dish, healthy
  • Method: stove top, oven
  • Cuisine: Thanksgiving, American
  • Diet: Vegan
  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 large servings, 6 regular servings 1x
  • Category: dinner, main dish, healthy
  • Method: stove top, oven
  • Cuisine: Thanksgiving, American
  • Diet: Vegan
Scale

Ingredients

Roasted Vegetables & Tofu

  • 4 cups vegetables of choice (Brussels sprouts, squash, sweet potatoes)
  • 1 14 ounce package firm tofu, drained and pressed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried sage
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Cranberry Orange Sauce

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 8 ounces fresh cranberries

Wild Rice Pilaf

Mushroom Gravy

Instructions

  1. Make the rice pilaf according to package directions.
  2. While the pilaf is cooking, make the mushroom gravy. (I start by soaking the dried mushrooms, then preparing the vegetables/tofu and finishing the gravy while the vegetables are cooking.)
  3. Now, make the roasted vegetables and tofu. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare the roasted vegetables. For even cooking, try and cut the vegetables roughly the same size. Toss the vegetables with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon sage, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, 1/4 teaspoon rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon parsley and 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, using your hands to try and coat everything well.
  4. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet (or two, most likely) and place in the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes, tossing halfway through, or until vegetables are done.
  5. Cube the tofu and toss with the remaining olive oil, seasonings and salt/pepper. Place in another sheet pan and roast for 20 minutes, tossing halfway through, or until golden brown.
  6. Make the cranberry sauce. Place the orange juice, zest and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisking until the sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Add in the cranberries and reduce to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, until cranberries have burst and reduced.
  7. To serve; divide the pilaf and top with roasted vegetables, tofu, gravy and cranberry sauce.

Notes

*The vegetables may take longer depending on what you choose and how large you cut them.

**I use a box wild rice pilaf for ease; but you can use any grain you’d like.

***You can make both the gravy and the cranberry sauce in advance.

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Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, Plant-Based Chef and Yoga Instructor. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

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