November 5, 2010

Thanksgiving In An Hour

by IsaChandra

Why in the world would someone even need to make Thanksgiving in an hour? I don’t really know. Maybe at the last minute you decided you don’t really hate your family? In any case, if Rachel Ray thinks you need to make Thanksgiving in an hour, then who am I to argue?

So here’s the game plan and menu. We’re going to do 5 dishes:

3 Ingredient Cranberry Sauce

Roasted Broccoli

Fluffy Mashed Potatoes

Savory Mushroom Gravy

Chickpea Cutlets

And before you protest that there is no stuffing, the Chickpea Cutlets do taste a bit like stuffing, especially if you add extra sage, so I think it’s ok. Of course, you can always skip the mashed potatoes and make stuffing instead.

I accomplished all of this well within an hour, so I think most people will be able to as well. Of course, if your kitchen is a disorganized mess and if you don’t have all the right pots and pans, don’t expect magic to happen. But with a reasonably well organized and stocked kitchen you should be good to go!

Let’s count backwards, shall we?


Place cranberries in a sauce pot, add 3/4 cup of water, cover and bring to a boil.


Gather all of your ingredients and equipment, down to the measuring cups and spoons.


Put potatoes in another pot and bring to a boil.


Prep everything for the gravy. Get the onions going while you prep the mushrooms and other ingredients. Preheat oven for broccoli.


Remove cranberry sauce from heat and add the agave. Put sauce in a bowl and place in the freezer. Stir every few minutes to get it to cool as fast as possible.


Prep broccoli and get it in the oven.


Prepare chickpea cutlets.


Cook chickpea cutlets. You should use 2 pans here so that it’s fastest.

At this point you’ve got about 20 minutes left. In that time you need to stir the gravy, drain the potatoes, stir the cranberry sauce and remember to flip the cutlets and broccoli. But essentially all your hard work is done and all you have to do is not forget about any of the dishes you’re making. You should even have some time to get some dishes done!


Remove broccoli from the oven, transfer to a platter. Place gravy in a server. (Don’t forget to stir the cranberry sauce!) Mash the potatoes.


Transfer cutlets to a serving plate. Transfer cranberry sauce to a serving bowl.


Serve everything! Happy Vegan Thanksgiving!

Gather all of your ingredients and equipment

  • November 5, 2010 at 10:44 pm: Katie

    Someone once told me the chickpea cutlets taste like stuffing, but they meant it in a bad way. And I pretty much resolved right then and there, that I would never cook for them again.

  • November 5, 2010 at 10:45 pm: Sarah (appifanie)

    This makes sense. Really, the most important component of tgiving is gravy.

  • November 5, 2010 at 11:03 pm: VegSpinz

    Rachel Ray’s got nothing on you!

  • November 5, 2010 at 11:18 pm: Jojo

    I still haven’t made the chickpea cutlets, I’m going to make this entire meal in an hour as soon as possible!

  • November 5, 2010 at 11:52 pm: MeShell

    Whoa you’re good.
    I want to do this. and now having no time is no excuse.

  • November 6, 2010 at 12:43 am: VeganWheekers

    This is fantastic! Great guide for a new vegan or someone who wants to keep it simple. Thanks for putting this together!

  • November 6, 2010 at 12:49 am: belleblackout

    Katie don’t give up on the chickpea cutlets -they are a fave in our house. Give them another shot!!!

  • November 6, 2010 at 1:31 am: Andrea

    I’m out of breath just reading the post!

  • November 6, 2010 at 2:14 am: FoodFeud

    Ooh, dag, would you lookit that gravy?

  • November 6, 2010 at 10:14 am: Fanny

    I’ve got all the time in the world, but I loooove the plan. I love plans in general actually.

  • November 6, 2010 at 2:15 pm: Eve Love

    ahhhhh! that gravy again…

  • November 6, 2010 at 5:18 pm: Mo

    That gravy! THAT GRAVY!

  • November 6, 2010 at 6:25 pm: Rainn

    Had chickpea cutlets, potatoes and gravy , and broccoli with cheezy sauce for dinner last night. Not quite Thanksgiving (need cranberry sauce next time). Don’t wait until T-day for this meal, it is so good. And Isa is right- double the cutlets, and it will go even faster the next time.

  • November 6, 2010 at 7:12 pm: JoLynn-dreaminitvegan

    Your chickpea cutlets are so easy to make and yummy too!
    I’m digging the Thanksgiving in a hour!

  • November 6, 2010 at 11:46 pm: Lauren Marie

    More gravy, please.

  • November 7, 2010 at 12:35 am: Miranda

    I will need to make a vegan Thanksgiving along side my mother’s “traditional” one, so this will be perfect. Call me lazy, but I don’t want to be tripping over a turkey all day.

  • November 7, 2010 at 3:28 am: Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day

    I love how you just make things so simple, yet they come out so well.

  • November 7, 2010 at 6:42 pm: Sugarbear

    The chickpea cutlet is the number one most used recipe in my house, although the coconut lemon bundt cake is a close 2nd. With these recipes, every day could be thanksgiving.

  • November 8, 2010 at 4:24 pm: Rebecca Martin

    I’ll be going with this over the Tofurkey pre packaged meal.. thank you!!

  • November 12, 2010 at 7:57 am: chensh

    thaks giving day, i am looking forward it!

  • November 13, 2010 at 2:24 pm: Nicole

    Never realized the cutlets tasted like stuffing, hmmm. They remind me of schnitzel and they are delicious! Who needs pre-packaged, chemical laden crap, when you can make this in no time at all???

  • November 22, 2010 at 6:42 pm: Angel

    This was amazing. I made it last night took me longer then an hour though. Great tip from the recipe to let the cutlets sit a minute, it gives them a more meatier texture.

  • November 22, 2010 at 11:01 pm: Cierra

    Thank God. I work in retail and don’t have ANY time during the holidays.
    This post has changed my mind from, “I’ll just have some Diet Dr. Pepper and some bean dip while everyone is eating dinner” to “Everyone else is going to be so freaking disappointed that they don’t get to eat my delicious vegan version of Thanksgiving”. Thanks!

  • November 25, 2010 at 8:15 pm: Deb

    That was great! I am not especially fast in the kitchen, but the first set of cutlets were finished at 1:05, so this really can be done in an hour! Tastes great too. Thanks for writing this up, Isa! I honestly don’t care about the holidays, but decided to make this on Thanksgiving because I had the day off and wanted to see if I really could do a multi-dish meal in an hour. Guess so!

    Though, I have to say – the broccoli should have been at least tripled. I finished it off before I even sat down to eat. That stuff is addictive!

  • November 26, 2010 at 5:28 pm: blueskygirl

    I did not plan ahead for what I’d eat on Thanksgiving, having a big school paper due at 9pm on Wednesday, I just thought I’d eat whatever was vegetarian at Mom’s, which is never very much. But, having seen this plan for Thanksgiving in an Hour a few days earlier, I decided on Thanksgiving morning that I would try it, so I brought every ingredient I needed from home, stopped on the way for whatever else I needed, and went to Mom’s. It took me more like 2 hours because the kitchen was busy with people running around in it, but the plan totally worked and I had a delicious vegan dinner on thanksgiving after all.

    Thanks so much for the Thanksgiving in an Hour post, it made may T-day very much more fun and delicious… and now I have a delicious homemade dinner (that will yield a week’s worth of leftovers!) that I know I can make in an hour any day. Score!

  • October 9, 2012 at 1:37 am: Jenn

    This was our first (Canadian) Thanksgiving as a vegetarian (might end up vegan but we’re working our way there) and my 12-yr-old helped me make this meal in an hour (I did some prepping beforehand, knowing we’d be slower with her ‘helping’) and it was a huge success. Thank you so much. I wasn’t sure how we were going to handle the holidays and now we know we can and in a way that’s not so different from our usual celebration.

  • October 9, 2012 at 1:39 am: Jenn

    My comment meant to read “first Thanksgiving as a vegetarian family” (my daughter and I are lacto-ovo vegetarian while my husband still eats meat at lunch sometimes and when we’re out).

  • November 11, 2012 at 12:52 am: Anya

    WIll be celebrating Thanksgiving every other week from now on. This meal is way too good to only enjoy it once a year.

  • November 9, 2014 at 2:16 pm: Katharine in Brussels

    Hi Isa, always thought that a holiday meal in an hour isn’t about deciding one doesn’t hate one’s family. I was super happy to see this post in 2010 when I was in my third trimester and working FT–tired. And then I live in Belgium where the rest of my local family doesn’t care about Thanksgiving enough to motivate me to make an all-day cooking extravaganza on top of that. There is no day off to do it either. Finally cooking a holiday dinner can be intimidating, so I’m so glad that you presented a vegan way to Thanksgiving in an hour. Cheers.

  • October 6, 2015 at 12:16 am: Faux Leather

    Mmm, this is a great menu planner! I am already thinking about making some of these great recipes. I was thinking about food all day, but fortunately I packed snacks to hold me over till dinner. I am having a problem with writing, but the website is working fine.

  • November 25, 2015 at 7:01 pm: gail

    The chickpea cutlet are delicious. I make them all the time. Made your gravy and it is fabulous. I am now going to try the cranberry sauce and will be ready to go tomorrow with my Thanksgiving meal