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.

(Baby-Friendly) Pumpkin Spice Banana Bread Pancakes by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

it's fall and i think i can finally say we've somewhat settled here in our new LA home.  frank and i have increasingly found our groove a bit more, navigating work schedules, the baby's schedule/non-schedule, and trying to take the time for ourselves to just be. i think part of feeling at home, and cozy in your space, is what you surround yourself with.  before making the move out here, we lived in a literal shoebox apartment in brooklyn.  the living room (if you could even call it that) and kitchen area was narrow and dark, and kind of depressing.  i know it's small change compared to a lot of other problems out in the world, but i yearned for more natural light, and real space to dress. 

when we moved, one of the first things i said to frank was that i wanted an actual dining space.  one that we could gather around as a family, share meals, and memories.  we took our old table with us during the move, and intended to use for a much longer time than we did.  but our once, too-big-for-our-former-space table was lost in our much larger dining area.  not to mention that all of our chars didn't make the move either.  and with amesy only growing bigger, and get more messy, i knew we needed something baby-friendly, and practical, so i settled on plastic shell chairs which are light weight and easy to clean.  we find ourselves having so many more meals than we did previously, which is such a welcome change.  

and now that amesy is eating actual food, we really get to share in a meal together.  breakfast is the one meal we all eat around the same time, so when the weekend rolls around we try to make it more of a point to eat together.  ames generally eats yogurt with almond butter (his favorite!), and some sliced berries for breakfast.  but for his mid-morning snack he usually munches on a couple of these pancakes.  i load them up with healthy fats, and protein (and the only sweetener used is the banana), so that way they keep amesy full for hours.  i usually make a batch on the weekends and make 2-pancake pouches for amesy's snacks during the week.  and bonus! they're totally good for adults too ;)


*chairs provided by rove concepts

pumpkin spice banana bread pancakes | gluten-free, sugar-free, grain-free

these pancakes are a bit delicate, i would advise to make silver dollar pancakes as opposed to big ones, as they can easily fall apart.  

| makes 14 silver dollar pancakes |

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 3 large pasture raised eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened full-fat yogurt (preferably grass-fed), or plant-based yogurt
  • 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • coconut oil, for cooking


  • yogurt
  • almond butter
  • chia seeds
  • banana slices


  1. place all the ingredients, except the coconut oil, into your blender (if you don't have a blender, a food processor will work as well) and lend for 45 seconds - 1 minute, scraping down the sides as needed, until the batter is smooth. let the pancake batter thicken for about 10 minutes.
  2. heat a skillet over medium heat, once the pan is hot, add a knob of coconut oil.  spoon about  1 1/2-2 tablespoons worth of batter into the pan (i usually only cook 2 at a time since the pancakes are quite delicate) and cook for about 1-2 minutes on each side.  repeat with the remaining batter.
  3. eat right away and top with yogurt, almond butter, chia seeds, and banana slices.  or, make 2-pancake packets and store in the refrigerator and/or freezer.

more breakfast recipes:

overnight oat waffles w/ lemon zest & poppy seeds

overnight oat waffles w/ lemon zest & poppy seeds

superfood granola w/ almond-macadamia milk

superfood granola w/ almond-macadamia milk

super seed power pancakes

super seed power pancakes

Apple Cider Donuts (grain-dairy-refined sugar-free) by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

fall in LA is almost unrecognizable.  if it weren't for grocery stores carrying more pumpkins and winter squash than tomatoes, you would never know that it was autumn, and that thanksgiving is right around the corner.  while i'm certainly not complaining about 75 degree weather, and plentiful sunshine, it is a bit disorienting.  i've been trying to get into the groove of the holiday season sans chilly temps, and leaves changing color, and these donuts were just the thing to get it all going ;)

where i grew up in the hudson valley, new york, little family-run farms could be found in just a short drive.  my family would drive to to schultz's farm in the next town over.  there, they sold farm-grown apples, pumpkins, fruit, and vegetables.  as soon as fall hit they also opened up their small kitchen where they would make fresh, hot apple cider donuts right in front of you, to-order.  i remember munching on them piping hot, with a cup of warm apple cider in hand.

so when i came across melissa's baked apple cider donuts on her instagram feed, i was overcome with nostalgia and longing for a seasonal donut.  i adapted her recipe to be gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free (they also happen to grain-free as well - sorry that's a lot of free's), while also maintaining the integrity of a baked donut.  and that they sooo do, guys! they're the perfect amount of light cake-y-ness, with a good balance of spice and sweetness.  but the best part (if you don't eat refined sugar - or even if you do because i think you would be surprised) is the sugar coating.  i used monk fruit sweetener (this one), 1:1 for sugar giving it that vital sweet crunch when you bite your way through an apple cider donut. definitely nudging you guys to make these 😉

hope you're staying cozy out there, xo!

baked apple cider donuts | gf & df

i'm going to anticipate any questions about substitutions, and just tell you not to.  i know it's a lot if you don't have coconut flour in your pantry to go buy a package of it for 1 tablespoon, but it does make a difference in the way these donuts turn out.  while i urge you to try monk fruit sweetener, you can certainly use granulated sugar as well.

adapted from the fauxmartha

| makes 6 donuts |

  • 3/4 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (or ground nutmeg)
  • 1/3 cup apple cider, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 3 tablespoons liquid coconut oil
  • 2 large pasture-raised eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • 1/3 cup monk fruit sweetner
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


  1. preheat oven to 350°F and grease your donut pan.
  2. in a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, arrowroot powder, coconut flour, baking powder, salt, and spices.  in a separate bowl, whisk together the apple cider, sugar, coconut oil, eggs, and vanilla.  add the dry ingredients into the wet a little at a time until everything is combined.  
  3. add the batter to a piping bag (or a large ziploc with a bottom corner snipped) and fill the donut cavities 3/4 full.
  4. bake for 12-15 minutes, checking at 12 minutes for doneness, until a cake tester or toothpick come out clean and donuts are golden.
  5. in a wide, shallow bowl, whisk together the monk fruit sweetener and cinnamon.
  6. once the donuts are completely cool, dunk them in the topping, gently turning them to cover sides, and tops.
  7. donuts are best when eaten the day of, but can be stored at room temperature under a piece of parchment paper for up to 2 days. 

similar recipes:

douple coffee pumpkin cake

douple coffee pumpkin cake

olive oil & dark chocolate chunk loaf w/ pears

olive oil & dark chocolate chunk loaf w/ pears

hemp-buckwheat blender waffles w/ spiced apples

hemp-buckwheat blender waffles w/ spiced apples