7 Hearty Quinoa Recipes for a Plant-Based Thanksgiving Meal

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the things we’re most grateful for – this year we’re thankful for quinoa (and of course our farmers who grow it)! This intriguing whole grain is packed full of protein, essential amino acids, fiber and iron – the perfect ingredient to balance out any holiday dish! Whether you’re planning a meatless Thanksgiving, searching for gluten free recipes, in need of something to bring to your first annual Friendsgiving or simply looking for a lighter take on your favorite side, these plant-based quinoa recipes will be the talk of your holiday dinner! So before you break out the turkey plates and stretchy pants, take a look at these awesome (and easy to make gluten-free) Thanksgiving quinoa recipes!


1. Autumn Kale Apple Quinoa Salad



One of the reasons we love Thanksgiving so much is the abundance of delicious seasonal flavors. There are so many great options for an autumn quinoa salad to kick the meal off with a generous helping of fruits, veggies and greens. Apples, kale, cranberries, squash, walnuts, almonds... mix and match your favorite ingredients until you find your perfect Thanksgiving quinoa salad.  If you're looking for something mouth-wateringly easy try out this Autumn Kale Apple Quinoa Salad by Cooking Classy.


2. Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes


It's common for Thanksgiving sweet potatoes to come accompanied with a generous lathering of butter and sugar (and occasionally marshmallows). While those are decadently tasty, opt to shed a few calories from this year’s meal with a savory Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potato. It’s an excellent main dish if you’re choosing to forgo the turkey this year, but you can also serve it as a hearty side! We guarantee it will satisfy your sweet potato cravings while cutting out the extra dose of sugar!  


3. Brussels Sprouts Quinoa Gratin


If you're hoping to impress your friends by bringing a gourmet dish to your potluck, this Creamy Roasted Brussels Sprouts Quinoa Gratin by Cookie and Kate is perfect for you. Roasted brussels sprouts and quinoa combined with Gruyere, Fontina and Parmesan provide a savory mix of decadent flavors. While this recipe isn’t technically gluten free, you can easily make it so by using gluten-free bread!


 4. Quinoa Stuffing


A Thanksgiving meal isn't complete without a huge helping of stuffing. While your grandma's recipe might be a family favorite, this vegan and gluten free Quinoa Stuffing is so good that your family will be begging you to make it again next year. With zucchini, butternut squash, apricots, green onions, cranberries and parsley this recipe has all the goods, without the extra carbs typical of Thanksgiving stuffing. Warning: save room for seconds.


5. Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash Rings


While you may have thought we were finished stuffing seasonal vegetables with quinoa, we’re not quite done. These Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash Rings by Oh My Veggies can serve as a wonderful main dish option for vegetarians, however the manageable portion of the squash rings makes this an excellent choice for a side as well! If you’re feeling really creative you can fill the squash rounds with leftover stuffing for an easy Fair Friday meal!


6. Sweet Potato Pie With Quinoa Crust


No matter how full you may feel, Thanksgiving dinner isn't complete without dessert. You will be pleasantly surprised by how much you enjoy this Quinoa Crust Sweet Potato Pie. The quinoa crust gives this dish a satisfying extra punch of protein and this delicious pie can easily be modified to suit a vegan or gluten-free diet.


7. Pear and Apple Quinoa Crisp 


This Pear and Apple Quinoa Crisp by Simply Quinoa is the the dessert of your Thanksgiving dreams! Your dairy-loving family won't even realize it's vegan AND gluten free! The quinoa provides a perfect subtle crunch, while keeping this dish from being overly sweet (the downfall of many a Thanksgiving pie). You might just call it your new favorite Thanksgiving dessert.

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