If it’s too warm to turn on the oven or you’re simply searching for an outside-the-box take on vegan Thanksgiving dinner, look no further than these Thanksgiving kebabs.
Cooked on the grill, this vegan Thanksgiving main dish has all of your usual holiday favorites in a deconstructed form.
I’ve heard this theory that in whichever season you celebrate your birthday, that will be your favorite.
So if you spend your birthday sledding snowy hills, you’ll have an affinity for winter.
If your birthday means going to the beach and wearing cotton sundresses, then summer will be your favorite.
If you spend your birthday skipping in puddles and smelling budding flowers, spring will have your allegiances.
And if your birthday is spent raking crisp autumn leaves and sitting by an outdoor fire pit, fall will warm the cockles of your heart.
I doubt this is true across the board, but it certainly rings true for me.
July is laden with joy and celebrations and is easily my favorite month of the year. Added to that, summer means vegan grilling – with flame-licked skewers on the grill.
Once the temperatures begin to drop and sweaters come out of storage, I begrudgingly accept it but not happily.
The only thing that makes the bitter cold go down easier is thoughts of crackling Christmas records, festive lit-up houses, and plans of gathering together with family and friends to play an annual game of backyard football on Thanksgiving.
On that fourth Thursday of November, I watch the Thanksgiving Day parade, read the newspaper, and settle in to a cup of hot apple cider. It may not be summer’s jubilance, but fall does have a few perks.
Today’s vegan Thanksgiving main dish recipe is a true holiday mash-up representing both Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July.
Vegan Thanksgiving main dish
These kebabs are Thanksgiving in a deconstructed form:
- Stuffing: Chunks of sourdough bread, mushrooms, onions, and bell pepper
- Savory seitan in a lemony marinade
- Yukon gold potatoes
- Sweet potatoes with vegan marshmallows
(FYI: I toasted the marshmallows separately and added them to the finished kebabs just before serving. I recommend placing a chunk of sweet potato in the penultimate spot on the kebab, so that you can have a single marshmallow at the very end.
Who knows how kitschy sweet potatoes & marshmallows became a thing. But regardless, it’s a regular at the holidays. If you’d rather, you can certainly leave that part off.)
Deconstructed Thanksgiving Kebabs
For tangy lemon marinade
- 8 ounces seitan in medium-sized chunks. I used Upton's Naturals traditional seitan. It's already in perfectly portioned pieces.
- 5 Yukon Gold potatoes small
- 1 sweet potato small to medium-sized , cut into ¾ inch thick slices
- ½ red bell pepper cut into medium-sized pieces
- 1 medium yellow onion cut into medium-sized pieces
- 5 cremini mushrooms or white button
- 2 heaping cups sourdough bread cut into roughly 2 inch chunks
- Optional: 5 vegan marshmallows I used Dandies
To make tangy lemon marinade
- Combine marinade ingredients in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
To make kebabs
- Put seitan into the large mixing bowl with marinade and briefly combine. Let it marinate while you continue cooking, chopping, and preparing the remaining ingredients.
- Fill a pot (that can hold a steamer basket insert) with a few inches of water and bring to a boil. Put the potatoes and sweet potato slices into the insert and steam for about 15 minutes. Test the doneness of the potatoes with a fork. If fork tines can go in easily, the potatoes are ready. (They should be easily pierced, but you don't want the potatoes or sweet potatoes to fall apart when skewered.) If the potatoes aren’t quite soft enough, remove the sweet potatoes and continue steaming until done.
- Add the bell pepper, onion, mushrooms, sweet potato, and potatoes to the mixing bowl with marinade and toss to combine. Marinate for 10 minutes. During the last couple minutes, add the sourdough chunks and toss those with the marinade as well. The bowl will be heaping full at this point.
- Heat the outdoor grill to 500 degrees. Put all of the ingredients onto long metal skewers, alternating ingredients between each one. Ideally finish the top of each skewer with a sweet potato slice, so that it can be next to a marshmallow when all is said and done for maximum kitsch-effect. Don't put the marshmallows on yet, however.
- Grill the Thanksgiving kebabs for 10 minutes, rotating a couple of times to evenly brown all sides. When the kebabs are done, set them aside.
- Spear each marshmallow with a fork and toast them over a small flame. You can use your gas stove or a candle. Once each marshmallow has browned, carefully top each skewer with a vegan marshmallow. (Don't burn yourself on the fire or metal skewer.)
- Serve right away with cranberry sauce, cranberry salsa, and/or gravy.