Vegan Sides from An “Octofree Thanksgiving”

by Liz Fetchin


November 20, 2023

If you’re looking for something easy and allergen-free to take along to a gathering, or just need to round out your veg-forward side dish options, these two recipes from local writer Liz Fetchin’s new e-cookbook, An Octofree Thanksgiving, are just the thing. Each recipe requires only a handful of ingredients and simple cooking techniques, but they’re flavorful crowd-pleasers. For more of Liz’s vegan holiday recipes, including Crispy Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Vegan, Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie, Gluten-Free Vegan Herbed Stuffing and more, purchase An Octofree Thanksgiving at


Dairy-Free Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Free from: Milk, Eggs, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Fish, Shellfish, Soy, Wheat and Sesame

These mashed potatoes taste so authentic, I've served them to guests who do not have food allergies, and no one detected the missing butter and cream. Use a hand mixer for extra-creamy results.


  • Large stock pot
  • Hand mixer


  • 5 pounds of Russet potatoes (about 6–8 large baking potatoes), peeled and cut into two-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup oat milk, rice milk, or other plant-based milk
  • 5 Tbsp Soy-Free Earth Balance or other vegan, soy-free, nut-free butter substitute
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Pepper to taste


  1. Place the potatoes in a large stock pot and cover with water (you can do this hours ahead of time to save yourself a bit of time later in the day if you would like).
  2. Add 1 Tbsp salt.
  3. When you’re ready to prepare the potatoes, bring the water to a boil.
  4. Allow the potatoes to boil until they are soft enough to break open when pressed with a fork, about 15 minutes.
  5. Strain the potatoes.
  6. Add them back into the pot over low heat to dry them out a bit.
  7. Place the oat milk and Earth Balance into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave until the Earth Balance is melted.
  8. Mash the potatoes by hand using a fork or potato masher to mash the potatoes as much as you can.
  9. Pour the oat milk / Earth Balance mixture over the potatoes, add the salt and some pepper
  10. to taste, then use a hand mixer to whip the potatoes until no lumps remain and they are your desired consistency (you may need to heat up more milk and Earth Balance if the
  11. potatoes are too dry).
  12. Place in a serving bowl with a bit more vegan butter and freshly-cracked pepper.

Three-Ingredient Cranberry Sauce

Free from: Milk, Eggs, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Fish, Shellfish, Soy, Wheat and Sesame

File this under “Easiest Cranberry Sauce Recipe Ever.” The only ingredients you need are raw, fresh cranberries, oranges and sugar, but it delivers delicious flavor and adds gorgeous color to your Thanksgiving table. Bonus: While it’s cooking, it makes your house smell extra festive.

This is a great one to make the day before or ask a guest to bring along, because the flavors get more complex overnight, it’s traditionally served cold, and it travels well.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8-10


  • Large saucepan
  • Citrus juicer
  • Zester


  • 1 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice (or you can use bottled)
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 12-ounce bags of fresh cranberries
  • Zest of one orange
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Bring the orange juice, water and sugar to a boil in a large saucepan.
  2. Add cranberries, orange zest and salt and bring back to a boil, stirring often (cranberry skins will start to burst open).
  3. Reduce heat to medium and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes.
  4. Carefully transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with more orange zest, and chill until you’re ready to serve (you can make this the night before to save time and stovetop space on Thanksgiving Day).


Visit Liz Fetchin at which specializes in food allergies and vegan recipes.