A Vegetarian Thanksgiving Side Dish

Thanksgiving is always complicated when there’s one vegetarian in the mix. Questions like “does chicken broth count as vegetarian?” and “wait…do they eat eggs?” get throw around so often that it seems that more people have spinning heads than side dishes. Have no fear! Thanksgiving side dishes are easier than you think. 

A few notes before we get started:

  • vegetarians eat eggs – vegans do not
  • this dish contains eggs, so it is not vegan
  • chicken broth (not that we’re using it here) is not vegetarian
  • yes, we do eat animal crackers 😉

Brussels sprouts are a great winter staple. They’re easy to cook and can be pared with most meats, like turkey and ham. Not only that, they’re versatile for different types of recipes too. You can pulse them in a food processor to add to a salad. You can toss them into a stew. Add them to a roast. Roast them in the oven with chicken for an easy dinner. So many options, so few days until the day of American feasting!

This recipe uses brussels sprouts, chopped nuts, olive oil, eggs, garlic, and spring onions. You can get fancy and add in some spices if you want, but I tend to keep things simple and sauté my aromatics before roasting them with the sprouts to get the most flavor out of my produce before adding anything else into the mix.  

Garlicky Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Nuts

You’ll need:

  • 1 lb brussels sprouts
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (or two table spoons pre-minced garlic)
  • lemon zest (I used about half a lemon’s worth but feel free to add more or less)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4tbsp Olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)
  • 1/8 cup spring onions (optional)

First, put half of your oil in a saucepan and set the pan on medium heat. Once hot, add half of your minced garlic. Saute it for a minute or two before adding in the chopped nuts. Stir occasionally, making sure the nuts are toasted but not burned. 

While the nuts toast (which should take less than five minutes) prep your brussels. Preheat the oven to 400 F. The woody stem should be cut away and the brussels sprouts should be laid out evenly on a well oiled baking sheet. Drizzle the rest of your olive oil over the sprouts, sprinkle the remaining garlic on there, and pop them into the oven. Set a timer for 30 minutes. 

Once the nuts are toasted, set aside. Toss the spring onion, salt, and pepper with the nuts. Once the timer on the oven has reached fifteen minutes, take out the brussels sprouts. Toss them with the toasted nuts, spread them out evenly on the baking sheet again, and pop them back into the oven to finish baking. 

Once out of the oven, let cool before adding the lemon zest. Add jammy eggs to the top. I would recommend cutting the eggs after placing them with the brussels because the yolks can get messy fast. 

This recipe would make a perfect side dish for all of the vegetarians in your life. If you need a vegan side, just take out the eggs and add more nuts. Allergic to nuts? Use toasted sesame seeds. This dish is full of protein and (almost) as savory as the turkey.

What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving sides?

Recipe adapted from Naturally Ella’s Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Jammy Eggs

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