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75 Thanksgiving Recipes for Special Diets

Don't let a dietary restriction interfere with your holiday menu. These gluten-free, low-carb, vegetarian, non-dairy and vegan Thanksgiving recipes are so delicious everyone will be asking for second helpings.

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Wild Rice Stuffed Squash Exps Hplbz17 29144 B06 02 4b 1

Gluten-Free Wild Rice Stuffed Squash

I made this recipe when we invited both our families to celebrate our first Thanksgiving in our new home. There were 37 of us, and those who tried this dish raved about it. —Robin Thompson, Roseville, California

Editor’s Tip: Make sure the rice mix you buy is gluten-free. Rice on its own is safe to eat, but some mixes contain additives that contain trace amounts of gluten.

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Exps45340 Sd163324d08 11 2b 4

Gluten-Free Moist & Tender Turkey Breast

This easy turkey recipe is sure to be popular in your home. Everyone will love the taste, and you'll love how quickly it comes together. —Heidi Vawdrey, Riverton, Utah
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Roasted Green Beans With Lemon Walnuts Exps166677 Hck143243c08 29 6bc Rms 5

Gluten-Free Roasted Green Beans with Lemon & Walnuts

I first tasted roasted green beans in a Chinese restaurant and fell in love with the texture and flavor. This is my Americanized version and it's always a big hit at our holiday table. —Lily Julow, Lawrenceville, Georgia
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Pumpkin Creme Brulee Exps Pcbz18 41369 B04 25 4b 7

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Creme Brulee

I've never met a creme brulee that I didn't love! I'm not a big pumpkin fan, but this is fantastic. —Tamara Leonard Merritt, Raleigh, North Carolina
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Gluten-Free Slow Cooker Creamed Corn with Bacon

Every time we take this super rich corn to a holiday potluck or work party, we leave with an empty slow cooker. It's decadent, homey and so worth the splurge. —Melissa Pelkey Hass, Waleska, Georgia
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Rum Vanilla Cranberry Sauce Exps Thca18 188538 D09 22 3b 5

Gluten-Free Rum Vanilla Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce is one of my favorite things—this jazzed-up version combines vanilla with rum to create a rich flavorful sauce that's far from the usual! —Ashley Lecker, Green Bay, Wisconsin

Editor’s Tip: Plain rum is gluten-free (both dark and light), but some flavored rums may contain gluten. If you’re not sure, double-check the brand’s website before you buy.

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Roasted Cauliflower Brussels Sprouts With Bacon Exps89821 Sd132779c06 11 4bc Rms 4

Gluten-Free Roasted Cauliflower & Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

This deeply delicious recipe is a surefire way to get my husband to enjoy Brussels sprouts. Between the roasted flavor of the veggies and smoky, crisp bacon, it will convert even the pickiest eater. —Lisa Speer, Palm Beach, Florida

Editor’s Tip: Some balsamic vinaigrettes contain malt or other gluten-based additives. Double-check the label before you buy.

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Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Blondies

I converted these blondies to be gluten-free so that my family could enjoy a comforting dessert. We were really craving brownies one night, and this cakelike treat hit the spot! They're an enticing spin on gluten-free peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. —Becky Klope, Loudonville, New York
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Slow Cooker Loaded Mashed Potatoes Exps Thnd16 88006 C07 26 5b 2

Gluten-Free Slow Cooker Loaded Mashed Potatoes

Every year my Mom made cream cheese mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving. I tailored the recipe to my family's taste and carried on the tradition. I make them a day ahead and use my slow cooker to free up oven space for other dishes. —Ann Nolte, Tampa, Florida
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Warm Apple Pistachio Spinach Salad Exps Mcmzsp17 197366 B01 10 3b 8

Gluten-Free Warm Apple & Pistachio Spinach Salad

I'm really not a salad person, but this unusual salad is actually worthy of bringing to a dinner party or even eating by itself. It's also super quick and easy to make. —Justine Kmiecik, Crestview, Florida

Editor’s Tip: Almost all mustards are gluten-free, but of course there are a few exceptions to the rule. Double-check the label to be sure.

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Gluten-Free Cumin-Roasted Carrots

Carrots make a super side—big on flavor and a breeze to cook. Plus, I can actually get my husband to eat these fragrant, deeply spiced veggies. —Taylor Kiser, Brandon, Florida
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Gluten-Free Collard Greens & Beans

I never tried collard greens until a friend gave me this recipe that calls for bacon and pinto beans. Now I look forward to serving this Southern staple on Thanksgiving. —April Burroughs, Vilonia, Arkansas
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Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Soup

Ginger and peanut butter give this dazzling orange soup a really unique flavor. It has a mild, not spicy, taste with an Asian flair. —Hilda Fallas, Bothell, Washington
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Gluten-Free Creamy Cranberry Salad

One of my piano students taught me the perfect lesson in holiday recipes: this fresh cranberry salad. The keys are tangy fruit, fluffy marshmallows and crunchy nuts. —Alexandra Lypecky, Dearborn, Michigan

Editor’s Tip: Many marshmallow brands are gluten-free, but some still contain a starch that has gluten. Read the label first to make sure it’s safe.

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Pumpkin Pie Custard Exps Hrbz16 36446 C09 07 1b 3

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie Custard

Instead of pumpkin pie, try this flavorful light holiday dessert. My husband’s aunt shared the recipe after she brought this treat to a family party. —Nancy Zimmerman, Cape May Court House, New Jersey
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Low-Carb Herbed Turkey Breast

Like many of you, I always serve turkey for our family's Thanksgiving meal. But instead of roasting a whole bird, I opt for a turkey breast since most of us prefer white meat. The herb butter basting sauce keeps it so moist, and it's easy to carve. —Ruby Williams, Bogalusa, Louisiana

Carbohydrates per serving: 1 gram

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Green Bean Bundles Exps Ppt18 3040 E08 21 4b 2

Low-Carb Green Bean Bundles

I found this recipe in a rural newspaper years ago and have made it often. The bean bundles are excellent with chicken or beef. Sometimes I'll arrange them around a mound of wild rice to make an appetizing side dish. —Virginia Stadler, Nokesville, Virginia

Carbohydrates per serving: 5 grams

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Low-Carb Three-Cheese Creamed Spinach

Cream cheese, Parmesan and mozzarella make this dish wonderfully cheesy. Sprinkle it with french-fried onions for a crisp boost of flavor. —Kathy Vazquez, Amarillo, Texas

Carbohydrates per serving: 9 grams

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Low-Carb Sweet Potato Tartlets

My family can't resist sweet potatoes when they're mashed, placed in crunchy phyllo shells and topped with marshmallows. The bite-size tarts are fun to eat, too! —Marla Clark, Moriarty, New Mexico

Carbohydrates per serving: 6 grams

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Creamy Turkey Gravy Exps34299 Hc143213d11  06 2b Rms 3

Low-Carb Creamy Turkey Gravy

With my easy recipe, even someone who has never made homemade gravy before can be assured of success. —Phyllis Schmalz, Kansas City, Kansas.

Carbohydrates per serving: 2 grams

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Mashed Cauliflower With Parmesan Exps Ppt18 53004 E08 21 5b 5

Low-Carb Mashed Cauliflower with Parmesan

I couldn’t shake my mashed potato habit—until I tried mashed cauliflower with a similar consistency. I started making my own, and my family loves it. —Meredith Howard, Franklin, Kentucky

Carbohydrates per serving: 8 grams

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Roasted Citrus Herb Turkey Exps Hca18 45931 C09 29 6b 7

Low-Carb Roasted Citrus & Herb Turkey

Thanksgiving has never been the same since I tried this recipe. I have made it for the past three years, and it never fails to impress both in presentation and taste. This is a true showstopper! —Nancy M. Niemerg, Dieterich, Illinois

Carbohydrates per serving: 2 grams

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Low-Carb Dipped Gingersnaps

I get tremendous satisfaction making and giving time-tested yuletide treats like these soft, chewy cookies. Dipping them in white chocolate makes much-loved gingersnaps even more special. —Laura Kimball, West Jordan, Utah

Carbohydrates per serving: 6 grams

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Low-Carb Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Garlic

When we have company, these sprouts are my go-to side dish because they look and taste fantastic. Fancy them up a notch with pancetta instead of bacon. —Mandy Rivers, Lexington, South Carolina

Carbohydrates per serving: 7 grams

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Spinach Dip Stuffed Mushrooms Exps Thn16 138347 D06 15 3b 3

Low-Carb Spinach Dip-Stuffed Mushrooms

I use a melon baller to hollow out the mushroom caps and make them easier to stuff. The apps fit neatly into muffin tins or a deviled egg tray for traveling. —Ashley Pierce, Brantford, Ontario

Carbohydrates per serving: 1 gram

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Low-Carb Cheese & Garlic Biscuits

My biscuits won the prize for best quick bread at my county fair. One of the judges liked them so much, she asked for the recipe! These buttery, savory biscuits go with just about anything. —Gloria Jarrett, Loveland, Ohio

Carbohydrates per serving: 7 grams

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Bacon And Garlic Green Beans Exps50471 Cw2235111b05 18 3bc Rms 2

Low-Carb Bacon and Garlic Green Beans

Adding white wine, lemon juice and garlic gives a little kick to green beans. It was enough to turn our old, traditional holiday side into a year-round favorite. —Shannon Reynoso, Bakersfield, California

Carbohydrates per serving: 7 grams

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Parmesan Roasted Broccoli Exps Sdfm17 198956 B10 04 3b 8

Low-Carb Parmesan Roasted Broccoli

Sure, it’s simple and healthy but, oh, is this roasted broccoli delicious. Cutting the stalks into tall “trees” turns an ordinary veggie into a standout side dish. —Holly Sander, Lake Mary, Florida

Carbohydrates per serving: 9 grams

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Baked Baby Potatoes With Olive Pesto Exps167818 Thca143053a09 06 3bc Rms 5

Low-Carb Baked Baby Potatoes with Olive Pesto

These little cuties pack all the appeal of a dinner baked potato into the perfect bite-sized appetizer. I top off each one with a dollop of sour cream and coarsely ground pepper. —Sarah Shaikh, Mumbai, India

Carbohydrates per serving: 9 grams

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Dutch Apple Pie Tartlets Exps Lsbz18 147754 C01 18  4b 37

Low-Carb Dutch Apple Pie Tartlets

These adorable mini apple pie pastries make a delightful addition to a dessert buffet or snack tray. The recipe calls for convenient frozen phyllo shells, so they're surprisingly easy to prepare. The lemon curd filling adds a unique flavor twist. —Mary Ann Lee, Clifton Park, New York

Carbohydrates per serving: 7 grams

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Vegetarian Acorn Squash with Cranberry Stuffing

If you have squash or cranberry lovers at the table, here’s your new go-to recipe. It’s colorful, the blend of flavors is delicious and it’s a fitting addition to a Thanksgiving menu. —Dorothy Pritchett, Wills Point, Texas
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Vegetarian Slow-Cooker Mashed Potatoes

Sour cream and cream cheese give richness to these smooth make-ahead potatoes. They are wonderful for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner since there's no last-minute mashing required. —Trudy Vincent, Valles Mines, Missouri
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Vegetarian Green Bean Casserole

This easy green bean casserole has always been one of my favorite dishes. You can make it before any guests arrive and refrigerate it until it’s ready to bake. —Anna Baker, Blaine, Washington
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Cranberry Walnut Sweet Potatoes Exps38439 Th132104a06 27 9bc Rms 4

Vegetarian Cranberry-Walnut Sweet Potatoes

If you ask me, the best part of a holiday dinner is the sweet potatoes! You can make the sauce up to a day ahead—just leave out the walnuts until you're ready to serve. —Mary Wilhelm, Sparta, Wisconsin
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Pumpkin Torte Exps Sdon17 28516 B06 28 5b 1

Vegetarian Pumpkin Torte

This beautiful layered cake has a creamy filling with a mild pumpkin flavor and a little spice. It's quick and always turns out so well. The nuts and caramel topping add a nice finishing touch. —Trixie Fisher, Piqua, Ohio
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Vegetarian Corn Stuffing Balls

My mom had many "winning" recipes, and this was one of our family's favorites. I can still picture these Corn Stuffing Balls encircling the large meat platter piled high with one of her delicious entrees. —Audrey Groe, Lake Mills, Iowa
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Chipotle Butternut Squash Soup Exps36588 C2225182b07 14 3bc Rms 6

Vegetarian Chipotle Butternut Squash Soup

My hearty soup uses herbs and vegetables from the garden along with convenient pantry items, so it’s easy, fast and mostly fresh. Your family will devour it. —Roxanne Chan, Albany, California
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Easy Batter Rolls Exps Ffd21 16532 B04 08 1b

Vegetarian Easy Batter Rolls

The first thing my guests ask when they come for dinner is if I'm serving these dinner rolls. The buns are so light, airy and delicious—and help make the meal. —Thomasina Brunner, Gloversville, New York
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Caramel Pecan Apple Pie Exps Cwon17 38553 C06 20 3b 4

Vegetarian Caramel-Pecan Apple Pie

You'll love the smell in your kitchen—and the smiles on everybody's faces—when you make this scrumptious caramel apple pie recipe. It takes me back home to Virginia and being at my granny's table. —Jean Castro, Phoenix, Arizona
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Vegetarian Pomegranate-Hazelnut Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Vegetarian Pomegranate-Hazelnut Roasted Brussels Sprouts

I converted many people to Brussels sprouts with this recipe, and it has since become my most requested dish. The richness of the hazelnuts and the sweetness of pomegranate and orange elevate the sprouts to a new level. —Melanie Stevenson, Reading, Pennsylvania
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Vegetarian Quinoa-Stuffed Squash Boats

My colorful “boats” with quinoa, garbanzo beans and pumpkin seeds use delicata squash, a winter squash with edible skin that’s cream-colored with green stripes. In a pinch, acorn squash will do—but don't eat the skin! —Lauren Knoelke, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Editor’s Tip: Some goat cheese contains rennet, which some vegetarians do not eat. Make sure you buy a safe goat cheese, or leave it on the side if you’re not sure.

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Vegetarian Carrot, Parsnip and Potato Gratin

Vegetarian Carrot, Parsnip and Potato Gratin

Thanks to a challenge in the TOH community a few years back, my husband and I tried parsnips and discovered that we liked them! In fact, I started growing them in my garden and have been trying new things with them. This recipe is one of my experiments, and it turned out to be something we really enjoy! —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
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Vegetarian Pumpkin Shortbread Dessert

My family prefers this to traditional pumpkin pie, which is just fine with me. It feeds a crowd, so I need to make only one dessert instead of several pies. —Edie DeSpain, Logan, Utah
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Rustic Squash Tarts Exps Hca19 34435 E06 08 10b 7

Vegetarian Rustic Squash Tarts

This recipe is hiding a big surprise. Flaky, rustic-looking pastry shells hold a sweet and spicy pecan layer under the squash slices. —Ann Marie Moch, Kintyre, ND
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Exps22596 Hb143427b07 31 1b 5

Vegetarian Cranberry Pumpkin Muffins

Tart, juicy cranberries enhance the delicate pumpkin flavor of these muffins. Sometimes I dust the tops with powdered sugar to add a little sweetness. —Sue Ross, Casa Grande, Arizona
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Rosemary Turkey Breast Exps Ppt18 28072 E08 21 3b 8

Non-Dairy Rosemary Turkey Breast

I season turkey with a blend of rosemary, garlic and paprika. Because I rub half of the mixture directly on the meat under the skin, I can remove the skin before serving and not lose any of the flavor. The result is an entree that’s lower in fat, yet delicious—the perfect centerpiece for holiday meals. —Dorothy Pritchett, Wills Point, Texas
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Roasted Sweet Potato Prosciutto Salad Exps125109 Th132104a06 28 3bc Rms 3

Non-Dairy Roasted Sweet Potato & Prosciutto Salad

I still think there's no better combo than sweet potatoes with pork, or prosciutto in this case. I'm a retired physician and am glad that sweet potatoes are being given their due as nutritional powerhouses. —Helen Conwell, Portland, Oregon
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Easy Potato Rolls Exps Cwdj17 984 08b 19 2b 1

Non-Dairy Easy Potato Rolls

After I discovered this recipe, it became a mainstay for me. I make the dough ahead of time when company is coming, and I try to keep some in the refrigerator to bake for our ranch hands. Leftover mashed potatoes are almost sure to go into these rolls. —Jeanette McKinney, Belleview, Missouri

Editor’s Tip: Make sure you use potatoes that are just mashed. To keep the dish dairy-free, avoid using leftover potatoes that contain added milk and butter.

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Texas Pecan Pie Exps Ppp18 28155 D05 08 7b 2

Non-Dairy Texas Pecan Pie

I won a blue ribbon for this pie at the Texas State Fair. In the military for over 20 years, I didn't really start cooking until after I retired. Now I enjoy spending my time in the kitchen.—Michelle Shockley, Wichita, Kansas
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Non-Dairy Cranberry-Walnut Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are one food that picky eaters often resist. This recipe will change their mind. You can also add garlic and dried fruits. —Jennifer Armellino, Lake Oswego, Oregon
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Non-Dairy Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes with Pancetta

Classic American mashed potatoes take a trip to Italy with the flavors of olive oil, garlic, and pancetta. —Bryan Kennedy, Kaneohe, Hawaii
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Chicken With Sugar Pumpkins Apricots Exps Thd16 195744 C07 20 2b 2

Non-Dairy Chicken with Sugar Pumpkins & Apricots

When we have family gatherings, we give the slow cooker kitchen duty. This yummy chicken with pumpkin and apricots has the warm flavors of Morocco. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Swedish Apple Pie Exps Fbmz18 48558 C05 11 6b 2

Non-Dairy Swedish Apple Pie

This decadent apple pie serves up homemade flavor in every bite. This is a perfect snack with coffee or as an after-dinner treat. —Sarah Klier, Grand Rapids, Michigan
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Non-Dairy Orange Pomegranate Salad with Honey

I discovered this fragrant salad in a cooking class. If you can, try to find orange flower water (also called orange blossom water), which perks up the orange segments. But orange juice adds a nice zip, too! —Carol Richardson Marty, Lynwood, Washington
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Non-Dairy Pumpkin Bread

I keep my freezer stocked for our harvest crew with home-baked goodies like this deliciously spicy, easy pumpkin bread recipe. —Joyce Jackson, Bridgetown, Nova Scotia
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Maple Glazed Green Beans Exps Thn18 89504 C05 30 4b 9

Non-Dairy Maple-Glazed Green Beans

After I picked my first green beans one year, I wanted to make a savory dish that was unique, quick and packed with flavor. I loved this so much I couldn't stop eating it, so the next day I picked more beans and made this delicious side dish again. —Merry Graham, Newhall, California
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Non-Dairy Rosemary Walnuts

My Aunt Mary started making this recipe years ago. Each time we visited, she would have a batch ready for us. The use of cayenne adds an unexpected zing to the savory combo of rosemary and walnuts. When you need a good housewarming or hostess gift, double the batch and save half for yourself. —Renee Ciancio, New Bern, North Carolina
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Smoky Cauliflower Bites Exps Thd17 188282 B08 11 2b 3

Non-Dairy Smoky Cauliflower Bites

These healthy little treats work well as a side or as fun bite size appetizers. Roasting the cauliflower adds deep flavor and gives it an irresistible crunch. —Courtney Stultz, Weir, Kansas
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Non-Dairy Moist Pumpkin Tube Cake

This pumpkin cake recipe is perfect for fall. As it bakes, the aroma fills the house with a spicy scent. —Virginia Loew, Leesburg, Florida
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Non-Dairy Cranberry Meatballs

Lots of people have asked me for this recipe, but I knew I had a real winner when my grandmother asked me for it! —Tammy Neubauer, Ida Grove, Iowa
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Vegan Rice Pilaf with Apples & Raisins

I love making bulgar pilaf with apricots. So glad I tried it with dried apples and golden raisins! —Elizabeth Dumont, Madison, Mississippi
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Vegan Roasted Carrots & Fennel

This addictive fennel recipe is a fresh take on one of my mother's standard wintertime dishes. I usually add more carrots—as many as the pans will hold. —Lily Julow, Lawrenceville, Georgia
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Pumpkin Pie Tartlets With Maple Pecan Crust Exps Thca18 190678 C01 12 1b 1

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Tartlets with Maple Pecan Crust

After discovering I had multiple food sensitivities, I began developing holiday recipes that would be safe for me, but enjoyable for others, too. These tarts are delicious—with no gluten, eggs or dairy! —Chantale Michaud, Guelph, Ontario
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Vegan Mediterranean Mashed Potatoes

It's hard for our family to imagine eating mashed potatoes any other way but this. It tastes great on its own or drizzled with tahini sauce. —Nikki Haddad, Germantown, Maryland
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Vegan Roasted Pumpkin and Brussels Sprouts

While traveling to Taiwan, I had the pleasure of trying a unique vegetable dish that included fresh pumpkin. It inspired me to roast pumpkin with Brussels sprouts. —Pam Correll, Brockport, Pennsylvania
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Vegan Warm Tasty Greens with Garlic

My farm box had too many greens, so I had to use them up. This tasty idea uses kale, tomatoes and garlic in a dish that quickly disappears. —Martha Neth, Aurora, Colorado
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Vegan Red Wine & Cranberry Poached Pears

While being poached, the pear absorbs the sweetness and spice from the sugar, wine, cinnamon and peppercorn. It makes an easy, yet elegant, dessert that's perfect for a special night. —Kiersten Atkinson, Birmingham, Alabama

Editor’s Tip: To keep this dish vegan, don’t serve it with the optional sour cream or creme fraiche.

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Pomegranate Persimmon Salad Exps Sdon16 189816 C06 07 8b 2

Vegan Pomegranate Persimmon Salad

To bring some sunshine to the table, I toss up a bright salad of persimmons and pomegranate seeds, dressed with a puckery vinaigrette. —Linda Tambunan, Dublin, California
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Grilled Cauliflower Wedges Exps Thca17 193612 D05 26 6b 5

Vegan Grilled Cauliflower Wedges

This meal is incredibly easy, yet is packed with flavor and looks like a dish from a five-star restaurant. The grill leaves the cauliflower cooked but crisp, and the red pepper flakes add bite. —Carmel Hall, San Francisco, California
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Vegan Sweet Potato Lentil Stew

I fell in love with the spicy aromas in this slow-cooked lentil stew. Add whatever ingredients you have on hand, like zucchini, spinach, kale and corn. —Heather Gray, Little Rock, Arkansas
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Vegan Oven-Roasted Spiced Carrots

I started roasting veggies and serving them often with dinner. Now my children say, “Is it OK to finish the veggies?” Pinch me. —Joan Duckworth, Lee's Summit, Missouri
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Vegan Maple-Glazed Acorn Squash

With a maple syrup and brown sugar glaze, this squash becomes pleasantly sweet. This is comfort food—easy to prepare and a tasty pairing with a pork entree. —Nancy Mueller, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin
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Vegan Crusty Homemade Bread

Crackling homemade bread makes an average day extraordinary. Enjoy this beautiful crusty bread recipe as is, or stir in a few favorites like cheese, garlic, herbs and dried fruits. —Megumi Garcia, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Vegan Anise & Wine Cookies

My grandmother did not speak English very well, but she knew the language of great food. These wine cookies are crisp and best eaten after being dunked in even more wine.—Julia Meyers, Scottsdale, Arizona
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Vegan Maple-Walnut Sweet Potatoes

Topped with dried cherries and walnuts, this side is downright delicious. Even people who aren't into sweet potatoes will grab a second scoop. —Sarah Herse, Brooklyn, New York

Katie Bandurski
Katie is an Associate Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in writing and email newsletters. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and combing through antique shops.
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