8 Make-Ahead Sides, Salads 'N' Soups For Thanksgiving by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

hi guys! popping in here real quick before the holiday to lend some thanksgiving recipe inspiration in case you're in need.  if you're anything like me (a major procrastinator!), then maybe you do ;)  we're having quite a bit of people over this year and all of our guests are pitching in, so it doesn't seem too overwhelming, at least not yet - there's still time!  

my family's general meals tend to made ahead of time, or at least parts of it get prepared ahead of time.  so i thought it might be helpful to some of you to round up some make-ahead side dishes, salads, and soups, that can be prepared (or mostly prepared) and heated up or brought to room temperature the day of.  

i wish you all a lovely holiday.  i can for sure say that i'm so thankful for you all and the opportunity to connect through this space.  big holiday squeezes to each of you! xo

turmeric carrot apple soup

this soup is definitely one of my favorites flavor-wise.  i make a version of this with winter squash each year but  swapped the squash for carrots.  the carrots make for a more subdued sweetness and a thinner consistency which is nice and light for a heavy thanksgiving meal.  mixed together with the tart apple and the earthy turmeric, makes for a beautiful flavor that only gets better the longer the soup rests.  perfect to make a couple days beforehand.

kabocha squash, fennel & ginger soup w/ spicy coconut cream

this is my go-to, never-fail, fall soup.  it has so many bright flavors that play nicely off of one another, and the spicy coconut cream brings it all together.  kabocha squash isn't easy to find everywhere, but you can easily replace it with your winter squash of choice.

charred broccoli & red onion salad w/ shaved apples & arugula

another salad that's heavy on the veg and light on the lettuce which makes for another great make-ahead dish.  the broccoli and red onion are roasted, then added to shaved, crisp apples and peppery arugula.  then it's all tossed together with a creamy lemon dressing.

twice baked sweet potatoes w/ pumpkin seed dukkah

twice baked potatoes are an easy make-ahead recipe for your thanksgiving table. you could easily make these 1-2 days before serving, and once you heat them they will be perfect for serving.

stuffed za'atar roasted acorn squash w/ pepper-lemon tahini dressing

this dish has a few steps, but it makes for a great side, or meal for any guest who's vegetarian or vegan.

fennel-roasted carrot & shallot salad w/ shaved apples

lettuce-less salad at it's best! another super simple recipe to put together ahead of time.  the only work required is roasting up some carrots and shallots, and add ing sliced some apples to it.  easy-peasy.

sprouted brown rice pilaf w/ roasted grapes & fennel

what i love about this dish it that it gives off thanksgiving stuffing vibes without the bread.  and aside from roasting the grapes, it's a one-pot wonder!  and you can totally make it ahead of time ;)

warm fingerling potatoes with garlic-turmeric sauce

if you're wanting to go a different than mashed potatoes, this potato salad of sorts is a great way to get around that.  the sauce is the total boss here.  it's a super creamy, dairy-free yogurt mixed with turmeric, garlic, and a bit of tahini which coats the potatoes each part of the in the best way.

Chipotle Black Beans w/ Collard Greens, Avocado, and Chipotle-Lime Vinaigrette by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

my cooking this summer has been pretty lack-luster.  after moving and settling in (which i feel is still happening somewhat), and trying to acclimate to a new life with a little babe, i've had zero mental space available to work/be creative/recipe develop.  the mental block is so great at times i wonder what i'm doing, or if my creativity will ever come back.  i know i've been saying this for months, but the cookbooks that have been coming out this past spring, and this summer have been what has been feeding me, both literally and figuratively.  

the recipe here today comes from hetty mckinnon's, neighborhood.  aside from the book's design, recipes, and photographs being completely gorgeous and refreshing, the central theme of neighborhood photos are so dear to my heart.  as i said goodbye to our old neighborhood in brooklyn just over 3 months ago, i found myself revisiting it through the pages in hetty's book.  my butcher shop on court street, the italian bakery i would frequent when i wanted to get my dad a treat, and my little local farmers market that i would hop over to on sunday mornings. it's all so familiar and heartening, as i have yet to find that neighborhood feel where we live now.  

the book centers around the best things in life: food, family, and friendship with the backdrop of brooklyn.  all the recipes are hearty salads that are plant-based, many of which are gluten free and vegan.  the chapters of the book are organized by different places in the world: america, france, the mediterranean, asia, and australia.  for dessert hetty invites some of friends to share recipes with us readers which just drives home that lovely community feel.  

"no matter where you live in the world, it is the daily rituals of food that connect us." - hetty mckinnon

happy august, friends!  

Chipotle Black Beans w/ Collard Greens, Avocado, and Chipotle-Lime Vinaigrette | gf & v

reprinted with permission from Neighborhood, by Hetty McKinnon

this salad is on the spicy side.  since the dressing is quite fiery i halved the portion of chipotle pepper in the salad.  hetty instructs you to chop the dressing ingredients, but i was short on time, and threw it all in a mini food processor which worked just as well i assume.  because the salad is quite hefty, it works really well as a taco filling.  i stuffed a tortilla with the salad and crumbled a veggie burger over and it was delicious ;)

| serves 4-6 |

  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
  • 1/2 red, finely diced
  • 1 dried chipotle chili, soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes, drained, and finely chopped
  • one and one half 15 oz cans (500 g) black beans (about 2 cups)
  • 1 bunch of collard greens (about 14oz; 400 g), stems removed and very finely sliced
  • 2 large avocados (about 21 oz; 600 g), diced
  • 1/2 cup squash seeds, toasted
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • sea salt & black pepper 

chipotle-lime vinaigrette

  • 1 dried chipotle chili, soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes, drained, and finely chopped
  • juice of 1 -2 limes
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon superfine sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
  • sea salt & black pepper


  • black beans: red kidney beans
  • collard greens: cavolo nero, kale


  1. heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.  add the garlic, onion, and chipotle chili and cook for 2 minutes, then ass the black beans, along with a big pinch of salt, and toss well.  continue to cook for 3-4 minutes until the beans are slightly crispy.
  2. to make the chipotle-lime vinaigrette, add the chopped chipotle chili to a bowl with most of the lime the juice, olive oil, cumin, sugar, and garlic.  whisk together, adjusting the lime juice until you achieve your preferred acidity.  season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. combine the black beans, collard greens, and avocado.  spoon over the chipotle-lime vinaigrette, season well with salt and pepper and toss everything together.  to serve, scatter over the squash seeds and cilantro leaves.