Stick With It!

Less than a week’s time separates today from the Great National Food Coma, otherwise known as Thanksgiving. More hotly anticipated than any splashy movie premier, most plans for this year’s grand event have long since been laid, solidified, and are now gradually shifting into gear. Menus are set, tasks have been doled out to eager participants, and non-perishables have been procured; no detail, neither big nor small, shall be left unattended.  Only the actual cooking remains for the particularly well organized and industrious few.

Knowing just how much work goes into such a grand production, I wouldn’t dream of waltzing in here and suggesting that you turn your carefully crafted game plan completely upside-down with crazy new dishes, not yet passed the test of time. You’ve already got the raw components for the typical fixings, right? I’m merely imploring you to consider them from a new perspective.

All the classic accoutrements threaded neatly onto portion-controlled, hand-held, and highly dippable little packages, Thanksgiving kebabs are the answer to menu malaise. Stick with tradition, keep the Brussels sprouts and “turkey,” but present them in a whole new light. Consider this concept with an open mind for the greatest degree of success, since all the ingredients can be effortlessly swapped with your own holiday favorites, or tweaked to achieve ideal proportions and flavors.

Mix and match to make them your own:

  • Consider adding cubes of sourdough or sturdy cornbread to evoke stuffing
  • Pumpkin or sweet potato could be excellent understudies for butternut
  • Trimmed green beans can comfortably slip into any empty spaces

These kebabs are limited only by a lack of imagination.

Small skewers could be fun teasers for guest to enjoy while awaiting the full spread, but more generous cuts fit perfect on the dinner plate for the main event, too. Send out a heaping platter of kebabs nestled cozily atop a bed of creamy mashed potatoes, gravy for dipping on the side, and you could be on the cusp of a whole new annual tradition, with all the familiar flavors comfortably intact.

Yield: Amounts will vary depending on how many people you plan to serve and which vegetables/add-ins you choose, but the concept remains the same. What follows is largely a reflection of what is pictured above, but the formula is entirely open to interpretation.

Thanksgiving Kebabs

Thanksgiving Kebabs

All the classic accoutrements threaded neatly onto portion-controlled, hand-held, and highly dippable little packages, Thanksgiving kebabs are the answer to menu malaise. Stick with tradition, keep the Brussels sprouts and “turkey,” but present them in a whole new light.



  • Seitan, Tempeh, or Vegan “Turkey,” Cubed
  • Peeled, Gutted, and Cubed Butternut Squash
  • Small Brussels Sprouts, Cleaned and Trimmed
  • Large Fresh Cranberries*


  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Tamari or Soy Sauce
  • 2 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 – 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Rubbed Sage

To Serve:

  • Mashed Potatoes (Optional)
  • Gravy, for Dipping (NOT Optional!)


  1. Before you start prepping vegetables or turning on the heat, submerge your wooden skewers for at least 20 minutes to prevent them from burning (or worse, catching fire) while in the oven. If using metal skewers, go ahead and skip this precaution.
  2. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and lightly grease a shallow baking dish that can accommodate the full length of your skewers.
  3. Thread individual vegetables and “meat” on the skewers in any pattern or proportion you like. There’s no right or wrong answers here, just do what’s easiest, looks good, and tastes good. Just make sure that all your components are roughly the same size so that they cook evenly. Place the finished skewers in a single layer in your prepared baking dish. If you’re making enough for a big party, you may need to consider a second vessel.
  4. Whisk together the ingredients for the marinade and brush it generously over the skewered “meat” and veggies. If you have any leftover, reserve it to baste the skewers once more halfway through the cook time. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes, depending on the size of your vegetables, flipping after 10 and basting if desired. The vegetables should be nicely browned and tender when done.
  5. Serve immediately over hot mashed potatoes with a small bowl of gravy for dipping on the side.


*When selecting cranberries, be sure to use particularly large berries and skewer them precisely in the center, as they have a tendency to wither and/or split while baking.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 122Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 485mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 7g

All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.

22 thoughts on “Stick With It!

  1. What a fun idea! I’d probably skip the mashed potatoes and just do the gravy – no need for the extra for me :) I like this dip idea, will be trying with the niece.

  2. It’s a good thing the GNFC comes along at this time of year…it’s like a giant happy hibernation just when chilly weather is rolling in. :)
    I love kebabby things! This looks so yumful, though I might sub in dried figs for the cranberries which aren’t a favorite in my family. Many thanks for the recipe…Cheers!

    1. Such great thinking! Figs are brilliant, and I bet they’d be lest finicky when it comes to skewering and cooking, aside from the incredible flavor they’d add. Now I need to revisit this idea and try it your way next time.

  3. This is so creative Hannah and so much more fun than the typical presentation. I think I’m going to have to make an extra special meal next Thursday (or at least a mini pie!) so I don’t feel like I’m missing out not having Thanksgiving here.

  4. Those skewers look fantastic, grilled to perfection and that marinade? Magnificent :)


    P.S I have recently lost around 1000 subscribers and I have no idea how, so if it is not too much trouble, if you were subscribed before, could you please resubscribe? Thank you!

  5. Such a great idea – the only problem I could see is that it would end up being self defeating: if we had Thanksgiving over here, I’d make these so I wouldn’t eat too much, then I’d think ‘well, they’re only small’, so I’d have another, and another… yum!

  6. Great idea and beautiful photos (as always), Hannah. We do small things, too–homemade ravioli with a walnut sauce. :-) Have to make them this weekend since we’re traveling to Philly for the weekend.

    Have a blessed Thanksgiving!


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