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Three Anti-Turkey Thanksgiving Menus

Three Anti-Turkey Thanksgiving Menus


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Thanksgiving is about getting together with friends, family and loved ones, so it can still be celebrated without roasting (or frying) a turkey. We’ve scoured the web to create three alternative Thanksgiving menus that will satisfy any turkey-dinner rebels.

Menu 1:
Our twist on a traditional Thanksgiving dinner that keeps many of the same favorite ingredients and flavors for those not looking to stray too far.

Appetizers and Side Dishes:

Crystal-Coated Walnuts
From FoodandWine.com
A sweet and nutty treat to start off the night.

Parmesan and Rosemary Sweet Potato Fries
From Sarah's Cucina Bella
A new twist on sweet potatoes for your holiday dinner.

Parsnip and Celery Root Soup
From Chef Lee Skawinski, Cinque Terre
A classic soup, featuring hearty root vegetables

Spiced Pumpkin and Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese
From Epicurious.com
Spiced pumpkin, hearty lentils, and creamy goat cheese are an unexpected yet harmonious combination in this salad.

Entree:

Braised Short Ribs, from the Blue Duck Tavern
From Chef Brian McBride, the Blue Duck Tavern
Tender short ribs are a delicious and filling alternative to a Thanksgiving turkey.

Dessert:

Baked Butternut Squash Pudding with Ginger Whipped Cream
From Food.com
Pumpkin pie has met its match with this surprising yet flavorful combination of ingredients.

Menu 2:
This Thanksgiving menu takes an international approach, incorporating harmonizing flavors and ingredients from different cuisines.

Appetizers:

Moroccan Carrot Soup
From Epicurious.com
The sweet and savory combination of carrot, cumin, honey and yogurt will transport one back to the streets of Morocco with this dish.

Cranberry Bean Salad
From FoodandWine.com
Cranberry beans are a special item that are often hard to come by in fall Farmer's Markets. But, if you find them, they are tender and flavorful, especially when combined with fresh herbs.

Roast Potatoes with Saffron
From Gourmet Food at Home
Roasted potatoes combined with saffron is a new combination of a classic favorite.

Entrees:

Anchovy and Rosemary Roasted Leg of Lamb
From Epicurious.com
A roast leg of lamb is an excellent alternative to a Thanksgiving turkey, when prepared with seasonal produce and flavors.

Roasted Venison with Zinfandel-Spiked Cranberry Sauce
From Epicurious.com
The classic Thanksgiving turkey with cranberry sauce inspires this flavorful combination

Dessert:

Ginger Date Pudding Cakes with Rum Walnut Toffee Sauce
From Dessert First
A modern interpretation of an old-fashioned autumnal dessert

Menu 3:

Don’t worry, we didn’t forget about the vegetarians; they deserve to enjoy this holiday just as much as everyone else. We’ve capitalized on hearty and healthy seasonal winter vegetables to create a warm, earthy and comforting Thanksgiving feast.

Appetizers:

Apple and Butternut Squash Soup
From Orangette
Savory butternut squash and sweet apple blend perfectly in this smooth, fall favorite soup.

Entree:

Vegetable-Stuffed Ravioli
From Chef Lee Skawinski, Cinque Terre
These vegetarian-friendly raviolis start with a cheese-based filling. You can then add one of many vegetable fillings to create your own flavor.

Side Dishes:

Swiss Chard with Currants and Pine Nuts
From NyTimes.com
A fall harvest favorite is infused with Sicilian flavors in this savory-sweet vegetable side.

Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Fresh Walnuts and Pecorino
From Epicurious.com
Brussels sprouts are a classic fall dish. When shaved thin, and combined with walnuts and pecorino, the sprouts take on a whole new identity.

Desserts:
Old-Fashioned Ginger Bread
From AllRecipes.com
A traditional New England dish. Try serving this with a fruit compote and lightly sweetened whipped cream.

For more turkey talk, visit The Daily Meal's Guide to Thanksgiving!


10 Best Thanksgiving Menus to Try This Year

If you can't decide which menu you like best, take a little from each one and make your own!

Whether you've been at the helm of your family's Thanksgiving dinner for years or you're new to the whole hosting thing, Turkey Day may look a little different this year. Instead of a huge gathering, you might find yourself having a small group instead. Who among us has experience crafting a Thanksgiving menu for just a handful of people?

Well. actually, Ree Drummond does! Last year, only eight people sat at her dinner table: her and Ladd, their four kids, and two guests. Her verdict? While she'll always prefer a larger gathering, she found catering to a small crew to be much more relaxing. "I was so chill, I took a nap while I was stirring gravy! I was so chill, I carved the turkey while I was taking a shower!" she jokes.

Whether or not you're also embracing the silver linings that come with a smaller guest list, the delicious Thanksgiving menu ideas ahead will help you plan an unforgettable holiday. This could be the perfect time to try out new Thanksgiving traditions or break out a fresh Thanksgiving side dish (green bean recipes, anyone?). You could also make a thoroughly original Southern Thanksgiving menu complete with all your favorite comfort food recipes. You'll find all that and more here, plus an ultra-traditional menu, a vegetarian menu, a meat lover's menu, and more. And if you'd rather craft your own by picking and choosing a few recipes from each, go ahead!

But whatever you do, don't pare the servings down too much. Seconds (and thirds) are still mandatory on Thanksgiving&mdasheven in 2020.

For some particularly carnivorous families, one roast turkey just isn't enough. That's the spirit in which this list of meat-centric Thanksgiving dishes was compiled. There is, of course, a turkey on this menu&mdashand it's a delicious one at that, featuring a citrus brine and tons of flavor. But that's not the only protein you can look forward to seeing on your plate: Every single one of the sides here is loaded with the stuff, including those bacon-laden biscuits.


Traditional Thanksgiving Menu: Dry Brined Turkey Breast, Roasted Delicata Squash Salad, and Pecan Pie Bars

Servings

This menu should comfortably serve six people.

Prep Ahead

For this menu, you can do the following tasks ahead of time:

  • Prep and dry rub the turkey breast.
  • Cut the squash.
  • Mix the vinaigrette for the roasted squash salad.
  • Bake the pecan bars.

Grilled or Roasted Dry-Brined Turkey Breast

Choose a boneless turkey breast to save space in your refrigerator or cooler. RVers with smaller ovens will have no problem roasting this cut of poultry. And for those who have access to a portable grill (or campfire with a grate), this turkey breast can be grilled instead of roasted. Finally, if you can’t find a boneless whole turkey breast, see if your butcher can debone a bone-in turkey breast for you. As a last resort, deboning it yourself is easy, and you will end up with some bones for making turkey soup. Ingredients

  • 5 to 7 pounds of boneless turkey breast
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
  • Zest of 1 orange

Instructions

  1. Mix the kosher salt, brown sugar, poultry seasoning, and orange zest together in a small bowl.
  2. Rub the mixture over the boneless turkey breast on both the skin side and the meat side.
  3. Place into a sealable storage bag or airtight container. Let the herb-rubbed turkey sit for at least 6 hours and up to 24 hours.
  4. Once you’re ready to cook, either roast or grill the turkey.
    1. Roast the turkey in the oven on a roasting pan or on a rimmed sheet pan at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour. The turkey is done when a probe thermometer reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
    2. If you’re using a covered grill, place the bird meat side down over the heat and cover. Allow the grill to reach 375 F and cook until the internal temperature of the bird reaches 165 F.
    3. If you’re grilling over a fire, grill over hot coals with the skin side down. Let cook until the skin is browned, then flip and cook until the turkey registers 165 F with a probe thermometer.

    Roasted Delicata Squash Salad

    This flavorful squash side dish is delicious at room temperature, so you can make this salad ahead of time and let it sit while your turkey cooks. Delicata squash is also a small and easy squash to prep. You don’t even have to remove the peel since it’s edible, and makes for a pretty presentation.

    Ingredients

    • 2 delicata squash
    • ½ tablespoon olive oil
    • Salt and black pepper, to taste
    • 1 tablespoon shallots, minced
    • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or honey)
    • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    • ½ cup dried cranberries
    • ¼ cup roasted and salted pepitas

    Instructions

    1. Cut the delicata squash in half lengthwise. Remove the pulp and seeds with a spoon and discard. Cut into quarter-to-half-inch slices. Place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and black pepper.
    2. Roast in a 375-degree Fahrenheit oven for about 35 to 45 minutes. Flip the squash every 15 minutes. The squash will be done when it’s fork-tender and slightly browned.
    3. While the squash is roasting, make the vinaigrette by whisking together the shallots, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
    4. When the squash is cooked, transfer it to a large bowl. Toss with the vinaigrette, cranberries, and pepitas.
    5. Serve hot or at room temperature.

    Pecan Pie Bars

    These bars take the difficulty out of baking pie crust while still delivering traditional pecan pie flavors and textures. They can be stored at room temperature, keeping precious refrigerator space clear for other needs.

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • ⅓ cup brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon. kosher salt
    • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
    • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
    • Zest of ½ orange

    Pecan Filling

    • ½ cup brown sugar
    • ⅓ cup corn syrup
    • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
    • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 tablespoon bourbon (optional)
    • 2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
    • Zest of ½ orange
    • 1 egg
    • 8 ounces pecans, roughly chopped

    Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place parchment paper in an 8-inch by 8-inch square pan. Fold the parchment paper so that the paper hangs over two sides of the pan while the other two sides fit snugly in the bottom. Spray the bottom of the parchment paper with non-stick spray.
    2. Place all of the crust ingredients in a large bowl and stir. Use your fingers to knead the butter into the dry ingredients until the butter is fully incorporated. The mixture will look like wet sand when ready.
    3. Pour the crust mixture into the prepared pan and use your fingers to pat the dough into a smooth, even crust, pushing it to all sides and corners.
    4. Bake for 20 to 24 minutes until the crust is just lightly golden brown.
    5. While the crust is baking, whisk together the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, salt, bourbon, vanilla, orange zest, and egg until smooth and well combined.
    6. When the crust is ready, pour the sugar mixture on top of the crust and then sprinkle the pecans evenly over the top.
    7. Put the pan back in the oven and bake for another 20 minutes until the sugar mixture is just set. Let cool completely before pulling out of the pan using the parchment handles and cutting into squares.

    When It Comes to Thanksgiving, There's No Such Thing as Too Easy

    When my coworkers at Epi challenged me to develop a complete Thanksgiving menu using only three ingredients (plus oil, salt, and pepper) for each recipe, I was, to put it mildly, not enthusiastic. Why would we want to pare things down so drastically for the biggest food holiday of the year? I rolled my eyes and grumbled a bit, then begrudgingly started figuring out which ingredients to use.

    But after many rounds of testing and tasting here in the Epi Test Kitchen, I realized that the number of ingredients does not mean limiting the flavor or complexity of a meal. The menu I came up with isn't at all dumbed down—it's simple enough for beginners but impressive enough to satisfy the well-seasoned cook (and their discerning guests). It even manages to feel a little bit new and exciting while still covering all the classics. I guess it's true what they say: less really can be more.

    Sticking to just three ingredients per recipe has some obvious advantages—including some I hadn't expected. A short ingredient list means that you'll cook every dish faster, of course: No hunting in your fridge and pantry for 14 ingredients to make your stuffing. You'll also spend a lot less time on prep, since there's simply fewer items to chop, mince, peel, and measure. What's more, you're going to save time and money at the grocery store, because you only need to buy 18 items to make the entire meal happen, none of which are hard to find. To make it even easier, I made you a grocery list, and a timeline for pulling it off without a hitch—go ahead and print them out and tape them to your fridge. Here's how the 3-ingredient Thanksgiving menu magic works:

    Spatchcocking not only makes the turkey cook faster, it makes it easier to carve.

    Photo by Chelsea Kyle, Prop Styling by Astrid Chastka, Food Styling by Anna Hampton

    In the spirit of 3-Ingredient Thanksgiving's radical simplicity, my first priority for this year's menu was to figure out a way to roast a turkey as quickly and as evenly as possible. At first I thought that the best way to do this might be to butcher the bird into pieces so I could remove each section separately from the oven as it finished cooking, but the turkey wasn't as moist and tender when it was roasted separately.

    So I tried spatchcocking (aka butterflying) the bird—removing the backbone and then cracking the breastbone so that the turkey lies flat open like a butterfly—and bingo: I had my new favorite way to roast a turkey.

    Because all the parts of the bird are spread out on the same even layer when you spatchcock it, the meat cooks more evenly, and you get a nice crispy skin all over. And the best part is that a 12 to 14-pound bird only has to hog your oven for about an hour and a half before it's perfectly cooked. I'm never going back to a whole turkey again. Spatchcocking might seem tricky, but it's not hard to do once you get the hang of it. It helps to see someone do it first, so take a look at this video from our friends at Bon Appétit to see how it's done. If you have a butcher you trust, you can also ask them to spatchcock it for you when you order your bird for the holiday. If you're nervous about pulling it off for the first time on Thanksgiving, practice with a chicken a couple weeks before.

    To flavor my turkey, I only had two ingredient slots left, so I went with two very seasonally appropriate ingredients that each pack a strong punch: fresh sage and oranges. Paired with lots of freshly ground black pepper and salt (remember, salt and pepper don't count as "ingredients" in this game), finely chopped sage and orange zest became a fragrant dry brine for my bird. The remaining oranges, sliced into thick rounds, get used to create a kind of rack under the turkey on the baking sheet, lifting it up off the surface and helping to keep it moist and infused with orange flavor from all sides.

    3-Ingredient Thanksgiving Turkey with Orange and Sage

    I don't know about you, but making a fresh batch of gravy just before sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner is too stressful for me. Plus, a gravy steam-facial is not going to help my look when I finally sit down with my guests. So unless I have someone else in the kitchen with me who's excited about making fresh gravy, I make it a day or two in advance. The backbone, neck, and giblets from that spatchcocked turkey are all you really need to make a great turkey stock to form the base of a gravy. But if you don't feel like making your own turkey stock, boxed turkey or chicken stock works just fine, too. Store your pre-made gravy the fridge until your turkey is done roasting, then stir in some pan drippings as you reheat it.

    3-Ingredient Thanksgiving Gravy

    I'm always in favor of dressing (stuffing baked in a dish) over stuffing (baked inside the turkey) for Thanksgiving. This year, we don't even have to talk about those reasons because we've done away with the turkey's cavity, so the stuffing has to go in a baking dish. But 3-ingredient stuffing? Really? This was the one dish I was the most worried about pulling off actually. Turns out, it's easier than I thought it would be with the help of some carefully chosen, flavor-packed ingredients: cranberry-nut bread, sweet Italian sausage, and celery. It tastes like Thanksgiving is supposed to taste.

    3-Ingredient Thanksgiving Stuffing

    No one will ever guess that each of these dishes only uses three ingredients.

    Photo by Chelsea Kyle, Prop Styling by Astrid Chastka, Food Styling by Anna Hampton

    In my family (and probably in yours too) we can always count on both mashed and sweet potatoes on the Thanksgiving table. But I think stuffing is enough in the carb-loading category, so I'm skipping the white potatoes this year. Instead, I focused on the sweet potatoes , puréeing them into a smooth creamy mash, adding a splash of water and a glug of maple syrup to the mix to make them creamier and more delicious. I made that maple syrup earn its keep by also using it to candy some pecans. Those pecans, seasoned generously with salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper, make an excellent crunchy sweet and peppery topping for my mashed sweet potatoes. Bonus: the mashed sweet potatoes and the candied pecans can be made the day before, and then assembled and baked just before serving.

    3-Ingredient Sweet Potato Casserole With Maple Pecans

    As the only green thing on the table, I really wanted my green beans to be refreshing and exciting enough that everyone would want a second helping of them. Don't tell the turkey, but the green beans actually turned out to be my favorite dish on the menu. The magic started with thinly sliced leek matchsticks, which I shallow-fried in olive oil until they're a gorgeous crispy tangle. The oil that they get fried in then became its own special ingredient, infused with the sweet allium flavor of the leeks. I added lemon zest to the oil to infuse it with even more flavor, then re-warmed green beans in it just before serving so they soak up all that great flavor. A generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice and those frizzled leeks brings it all together.

    3-Ingredient Lemony Green Beans With Frizzled Leeks

    This tart looks impressive and feeds a crowd, but it's secretly very simple to make.

    Photo by Chelsea Kyle, Prop Styling by Astrid Chastka, Food Styling by Anna Hampton

    I wanted to stick with just one dessert for my menu, but just one pie is not necessarily enough to feed eight to ten. One sheet pan tart though? Definitely big enough. Frozen puff pastry is a store-bought convenience we use readily and often here in the Epi Test Kitchen, and was an easy choice to form the base of my Thanksgiving dessert this year. I added apples and caramel to equal three ingredients and a lovely-looking (and tasting) dessert came together in a snap. Just promise me you'll serve it with whipped cream, even though that technically doesn't count as one of my three ingredients.


    Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

    Whether you're following a special diet or just want to take it easy on Turkey Day, try these simple, lighter takes on classic Thanksgiving recipes.

    Related To:

    Photo By: Tara Donne ©Tara Donne

    Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

    Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

    Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

    Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

    Photo By: Kana Okada ©2011, Kana Okada

    Photo By: Marcus Nilsson ©Marcus Nilsson

    Photo By: Tara Donne ©Food Network

    Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

    Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

    Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

    Photo By: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

    Photo By: Kana Okada ©2011, Kana Okada

    Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

    Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast

    Butternut Squash Soup

    Shaved Vegetable Salad

    This gorgeous salad of shaved vegetables comes together in a snap thanks to a handy mandoline slicer.

    Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

    Roasted Sweet Potatoes With Honey and Cinnamon

    Devilish Eggs

    Sauteed Carrots

    Turkey Spring Rolls

    Turkey Roulade With Apple-Cider Gravy

    Vegan Wild-Rice-Stuffed Butternut Squash

    Herb and Apple Stuffing

    Butternut Squash Soup

    Vegan Stuffing

    All the usual suspects are here (minus the butter and eggs) to re-create the comforting flavors of traditional stuffing. Although green tea may seem like an oddball ingredient, the earthy flavor makes it a better replacement for chicken stock than vegetable stock, which can be too sweet and high in sodium.


    12 Complete Thanksgiving Menus

    Vanessa Rees

    More than any other holiday, Thanksgiving is a day built on culinary ritual. Turkey, cranberry sauce, potatoes, and pies may be nonnegotiable—but a little variation never hurts. We’ve come up with a dozen different menus, from a classic Southern spread to a completely vegetarian feast to an impressively elegant menu that’s a cinch to pull together. Cook all the recipes from one menu, or mix and match!

    We couldn’t resist creating a menu of our staff’s favorite Thanksgiving recipes—from Louisiana-style spinach madeleine and cheddar cheese biscuits to family heirloom recipes such as apple, sausage, and sage stuffing and Van Valkenburg hot slaw—updated with new classics including an autumn panzanella, sage-brined turkey, and brown butter walnut pie with sour whipped cream. This crowd-pleasing spread definitely has something for everyone. Get the full menu »

    Thomas Keller’s Thanksgiving Feast

    Every year, Thomas Keller serves a Thanksgiving meal at his Napa Valley restaurant Bouchon Bistro for the veterans in the community. Keller gives thanks to the veterans and their families with a meal of elegantly prepared, classic American fare. From a green bean casserole enriched with heavy cream and earthy mushrooms to a sweet-savory apple-cranberry relish, this is a meal of deep gratitude. Get the full menu »

    A Heartland Harvest Thanksgiving

    Mary Sue Milliken, chef at Border Grill in Los Angeles, travels each Thanksgiving to her mother-in-law’s Kansas home, where an army of family members helps her cook the fabled yearly feast. Recreate her favorite dishes with this menu, including a crisp-skinned roast turkey with celery-root stuffing, creamy mashed potatoes enriched with crème fraîche and butter, quick-pickled shallots sautéed with green beans, a warm and decadent chestnut compote, sweet pear and ginger pie with a hint of spice, and more. Get the full menu »

    An Effortlessly Elegant Thanksgiving

    An elegant, impressive-looking Thanksgiving table doesn’t have to be an impossible undertaking. These dishes are all deceptive in their simplicity: Elaborate-looking pommes duchesses are surprisingly easy to pull off, and decadent sides like creamed onion gratin can be mostly prepped in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving day, cook the turkey, put the final touches on everything, and spend time with your guests while you nibble on appetizers and enjoy a glass of cool, citrusy punch. Get the full menu »

    A Gluten-Free Thanksgiving

    Dietary restrictions don’t have to mean giving up Thanksgiving favorites—our gluten-free menu still hits all the right notes: pumpkin pie, savory stuffing, spicy cornbread, and plenty of naturally gluten-free sides and desserts to round out the spread. Get the full menu »

    A Southern Classic Thanksgiving

    This Thanksgiving, treat your family to a traditional Southern-style Thanksgiving with all the fixings. Prime their appetites with a tart pickle platter and deviled eggs, then show off your low country hospitality with all the classic sides: spicy collards, buttery mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, and more, all perfect for surrounding a cornbread-dressed turkey. Finish the meal on an extra sweet note with a bourbon-laced pecan pie, and don’t forget to keep the sweet tea and whiskey cocktails flowing. Get the full menu »

    A Traditional New England Thanksgiving

    All along the grey and November-cold East Coast, Thanksgiving is the meal we most look forward to setting the family table for each year. A perfectly roasted turkey surrounded by a bevy of simple and comforting American sides is a matter of tradition: the kids will warm up with steaming mugs of hot cider while the grown-ups enjoy bourbon cocktails with a fire crackling in the background. Gather ’round the bountiful table with all you love, and be thankful for that second slice of pumpkin pie. Get the full menu »

    A Mexican-Inspired Thanksgiving

    The flavors of Mexico are now as much a part of our national palate as traditional roast turkey and apple pie. This year, add some spice to your thanksgiving table with turkey cooked in mole-like in chile sauce, brussels sprouts with chorizo, Oaxacan stuffing, and sauteed potatoes and chiles. These festive, warming dishes carry enough variety of flavor, from sweet to spicy to savory, to have something for everyone. Get the full menu »

    A Quick and Easy Thanksgiving

    You can still have a festive homemade feast without slaving away for hours (or days) preparing the spread this menu–featuring a simple broken-down turkey roasted over root vegetables, a crunchy raw brussels sprouts and kale salad, and more recipes with easy-to-find ingredients, little prep work, and quick cooking times–lets you focus on enjoying yourself and the company of your loved ones. Get the full menu »

    A Farmhouse Thanksgiving

    What better way to celebrate the season than a Thanksgiving menu featuring the best of autumn’s bounty? Tender roasted radishes, a crisp winter salad, creamy gratin, and a tart cranberry butter are the perfect way to highlight the main event: an herb-brined roast turkey paired with a stuffing brimming with wild rice, hazelnuts, and oysters. As the dinner hour approaches, sip warming cocktails made with bourbon, port, and maple syrup, and finish the meal with a twist on everyone’s favorite pie—pumpkin laced with maple and brûléed for dramatic crunch. Get the full menu »

    Thanksgiving for Two

    Thanksgiving doesn’t always have to be a huge, elaborate event. It can be the perfect excuse to relax and spend quality time with your special someone. The simplicity of this menu, which includes no-fuss comforting fare like spiced pecans, stuffed turkey breast, sauteed green beans, and baked sweet potatoes, ensures an anxiety-free holiday. Keep it simple the most important part of a Thanksgiving menu for two is the person you get to share it with. Get the full menu »

    A Vegetarian Thanksgiving

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    Thanksgiving Recipes and Menus

    Thanksgiving is one of the best excuses we have to get into the kitchen and prepare a special holiday meal for family and friends. The menu I posted is a traditional Pennsylvania Dutch Feast featuring turkey, a selection of 'sweets and sours' served at all large meals, typical PA Dutch side dishes and two of my family's favorite holiday pies, pumpkin and mincemeat. In addition to the menu, there is a section called Create Your Own Menu, providing starters, side dishes, breads and desserts that use ingredients commonly associated with fall or Thanksgiving. If desired, you can select a recipe as a substitute for a dish in my menu or design a menu from scratch to suit your tastes and needs.

    Finally, there are links to turkey stock, a guide and tips for roasting turkey, suggestions for using leftovers and a general guide to planning and preparing a meal for any special occasion. Every recipe listed has links to alternate choices and, if you still do not find what you are looking for, you can use the search box above or browse through the Recipes, Features and Resources Index for hundreds more possibilities, including many other meat and poultry dishes appropriate for a celebration. You might also find something of interest on the Shared Recipes page, which contains more than 300 recipes shared by contributors.


    Thanksgiving Dinner Menus and many side dish recipes to serve with a Turkey Dinner

    Here are just a few hors d'oeuvres to choose from to start a festive meal.
    if you are hosting and inviting a large group why not ask your guests to share in the fun and bring one of these courses for everyone to enjoy,
    it will be fun to include them in making something special and maybe they will receive some 'oohs' and 'aahs' too .
    it also takes the pressure off you to have one less dish to prepare.


    Every good menu needs one or more of these refreshing entrees here are some great choices for your
    dinner feast, include one of these salad recipes in your menus
    here again, why not let your guests participate and bring one they have prepared in their kitchen, you can all celebrate together
    as one big group of family and friends knowing everyone has helped make it grand.


    Many great choices to choose from for delicious menus, I love them all.. for any menu any time .
    I would suggest the serving portions be no more than a 1/2 cup for each person.
    Though these are excellent, they tend to be very filling,
    it is best to give everyone a small taste leaving them with the concept of wanting more rather than giving too much.


    Many great dinner choices to choose from, these recipes are just a few suggestions for your menu.
    traditional dishes of sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and a light accompanying vegetable to go well with the 'big bird'.


    It is fun to make this feast even more special by adding some simple and easy to make garnishes to go with your turkey..
    here are some you may like and want to make to serve with your special meal


    End this beautiful Thanksgiving menu with an elegant dessert .
    it is rewarding to make this feast even more special by adding some simple and easy to make desserts..
    here are some recipes you may like to go with your menus

    Lots more Gourmet Desserts with Photographs

    for Thanksgiving turkey dinner menus


    This is a great time saving trick .
    open a tube can of frozen cranberry juice concentrate, spoon small amounts into cordial glasses and serve with your Thanksgiving turkey,
    it is so refreshing to sip. try it and see! Happy Thanksgiving!


    Cranberry Sorbet


    3 Savory Thanksgiving Menus

    It doesn’t get better than a traditional Thanksgiving meal. If you’re putting worries about calories aside for the day, be sure not to forget any one of this classic dishes.

    • Herb-Roasted Turkey
    • Mashed Potatoes with Turkey Gravy
    • Cornbread stuffing
    • Green Bean Casserole
    • Candied Sweet Potatoes
    • Cranberry Sauce
    • Dinner Rolls
    • Pumpkin Pie
    1. Buy par-baked rolls from the supermarket and heat them in the oven while the cooked turkey rests. They will smell and taste like homemade.
    2. Roast chopped sweet potatoes the day before Thanksgiving, cover and refrigerate them in a glass baking dish. On the big day, let the sweet potatoes come to room temperature, spread dollops of butter and brown sugar over the top, cover with foil and bake in a hot oven for about 10 minutes—just long enough for the vegetables to warm. Remove the foil, stir to coat the potatoes with the candied sauce and broil for about 3 minutes or until the tops begin to bubble and brown. Cranberry sauce made from fresh berries is best, but for a super-quick fix stir ½ cup fresh raspberries, ¼ cup chopped pecans and ½ teaspoon cinnamon into a can of pre-made sauce.
    3. Cranberry sauce made from fresh berries is best, but for a super-quick fix stir ½ cup fresh raspberries, ¼ cup chopped pecans and ½ teaspoon cinnamon into a can of pre-made sauce.

    2. On the Lighter Side

    Yes, you can enjoy a delicious holiday dinner without throwing all your dietary concerns out the window. This menu focuses on fresh vegetables and light flavors instead of carb-heavy dishes.

    • Roasted Turkey Breast served with warm fruit chutney
    • Brown rice pilaf (quickly sauté prepared brown rice and finely chopped onion in a smidge of Coco Treasure Organic Coconut Oil until the onions are fragrant and translucent. Top with a sprinkle of chia seeds before serving.)
    • Root Vegetable Smash (a mixture of white and sweet potatoes, turnip, and carrots boiled and fork smashed for a rustic, chunky mix.
    • Steamed Green Beans Almandine
    • Pumpkin Pie with Gluten-Free Coconut Flour Pie Crust
    1. Cook brown rice on Thanksgiving morning before the kitchen gets too busy. Transfer it to a covered bowl and set aside until ready to make the pilaf.
    2. Steam green beans a day ahead and refrigerate in an oven-safe dish. Remove from the fridge while you’re preparing the rest of the meal so the beans have time to come to room temperature. Add a teaspoon or two of coconut oil, sprinkle with shaved almonds, cover with foil and pop them into a 350 degree F oven. After about 10 minutes the beans will be hot. Remove the foil and cook another 5 minutes or until the almonds get toasty.
    3. When friends ask if they can bring something to dinner, say yes! A tray of fresh crudité is the perfect appetizer for this Thanksgiving menu.

    If you and your family love big flavors, don’t be afraid to spice up your Thanksgiving menu this year. Just because it’s turkey doesn’t mean it can’t be adventurous!

    • Roasted Turkey with a Black Pepper Rub
    • Super Easy Roasted Sweet Potatoes
    • Sourdough Bacon Stuffing (Use your favorite recipe but substitute plain bread with sourdough bread and add cooked, crumbled bacon.)
    • Cauliflower and Broccoli au Gratin
    • Cayenne-Spiced Apple Pie with Cinnamon Ice Cream (Add I teaspoon ground cayenne and 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon to any basic apple pie recipe.)
    1. Clean and par-boil cauliflower and broccoli to decrease the amount of time needed in the oven.
    2. If you can’t find cinnamon ice-cream in the store, empty contents of 1-quart of vanilla ice-cream into a bowl and allow to soften slightly. Stir in 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon. Spoon the ice-cream back into the freezer until serving time.
    3. Buy a loaf of pre-sliced sourdough (sandwich style) and cut into cubes the day before Thanksgiving. Put the cubes on a baking dish and place in oven—do not turn the oven on. The residual heat inside the oven will dry the cubes overnight for perfect stuffing.

    No matter which type of Thanksgiving menu you choose this year, be sure to follow all recommendations for safe handling of your turkey.


    5 Grilled and Smoked Thanksgiving Side Dish Recipes

    1. Jalapeño-Cranberry Salsa

    Cilantro, lime juice, scallions, and jalapeno chiles ensure these colorful red berries bring their “A game.” This vibrant relish is also great on smoked turkey sandwiches the day after Thanksgiving. No cooking required

    2. Smoked Creamed Corn

    One of the most popular recipes to emerge from one of Steven’s shows, Project Smoke, is smoked creamed corn. We remember how the crew scraped the cast iron skillet clean. (That’s when we know we have a winner.) And if you are an apartment or condominium dweller and don’t own a smoker, no problem: you can smoke the ingredients on an indoor smoker such as Camerons.

    3. Smoked Mushroom Bread Pudding

    Need another reason to be thankful on Thanksgiving? This rich bread pudding from Steven’s book, Project Smoke, is it. The pudding starts with brioche, an eggy, buttery bread. But feel free to make a substitution if you must. And if you can’t find a mix of exotic mushrooms, use fresh button mushrooms or portobellos. They’re available in most supermarkets.

    4. Smoked Turkey Jus

    On Thanksgiving, it seems like you can never have enough gravy. People pour it profligately over turkey, mashed potatoes, and dressing. This year, introduce the haunting flavor of smoke to your gravy by smoking chicken or turkey broth alongside the bird. Don’t forget to collect the drippings.

    5. Bacon-Apple Crisp

    If you can bear to stray from pumpkin pie or feel compelled to offer two desserts to your Thanksgiving guests, I highly recommend Bacon-Apple Crisp. Put it on the grill when you sit down to dinner, and it will be ready when you are. (As it is cooked in a cast iron skillet, it stays warm for quite some time.


    Watch the video: Thanksgiving: Jennie-O-Turkey And How It Ends Up On Your Plate. History (May 2022).