Thanksgiving is THIS WEEK!!! Can you believe it? I sure cannot. I’m here to help you get ready for the day with ease. First of all, there is a menu below you can print & fill out for your tables so everyone knows JUST what they are getting into (and how to fill their plates accordingly.) Over the past eight years, I’ve cooked a lot in preparation for and actually on Thanksgiving, and I’d have to say it’s my favorite holiday. I am filled with gratitude every November when I think of how much I have in my life and how much I am thankful for. Plus, let’s be real, I love a holiday all about eating. So without further ado, here’s the dishes I suggest you have at your meal:
Turkey & Gravy
2-3 vegetables sides, including Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes
Macaroni and Cheese – this may sound weird and out of place, but we somehow got in the habit of having it, and I must say it’s always a crowd pleaser – use a slow cooker to free up your oven and stove tops
Rolls or bread (we have garlic bread and it’s always bomb)
Pies – pumpkin, apple, pecan…you get the idea
Cider and Wine for drinking (not together…or together in delicious Sangria!)
But now, for the nitty gritty – the actual recipes. Here is what I think I am using this year:
Turkey – this is our turkey from last year – the first thing I cooked in my brand new oven (which was thrilling but also terrifying!) This year, I ordered my turkey a couple weeks out and picked it up last night and then dry-brined it. On Thursday, I will stuff it with onions, lemon, and some thyme, sage, and rosemary, then line the roasting pan with the neck (gross, I know, but it makes for delicious gravy!) I will rub the bird with butter before she goes in, and I will cook it on 425 the whole time because I am a rebel. Here’s a handy chart for how long you should roast your turkey depending on how big it is.
Mashed Potatoes – these are usually so easy we don’t even make a recipe, but it occurred to me that means we don’t even have one on the site for you, so this year I will remedy that. I plan on making these Garlicky Mashed Potatoes from Real Simple.
For stuffing, we tested two recipes last year – a Cornbread Sausage Stuffing and a Pear and Fennel Stuffing. We used cornbread for both, since we have a few gluten-free people at our table, but the cornbread is delicious and soaks up gravy like you wouldn’t believe.
For veggies sides, I have a lot of feelings. First of all, you definitely need Brussels sprouts somewhere. And, preferably, pomegranate. Then, I like other hearty veggies – root veggies, a mash of parsnips or sweet potatoes, you get the idea. Here is a handful of our fave recipes:
Brussels with Bacon Hash
Spiced Roasted Brussels
Rosemary Roasted Veggies
Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Sauce
Paleo Parsnip Mash
Roasted Broccoli with Lemon
Herb Crusted Veggie Mash
I have to confess, I never really liked Cranberry Sauce but my mother-in-law made some simple cranberry sauce this year at our Thanksgiving (I know, be jealous, we get to celebrate twice this year) and it was really, really good. Luckily this year a friend is bringing her world-famous Cranberry Sauce so I don’t need to make it – but this recipe looks amazing.
I know it seems weird…but Macaroni and Cheese is a great addition to Thanksgiving. I promise. Just trust us. And for rolls? We recommend these Parker House Rolls or this Baked Herb Garlic Bread.
Now, for dessert – I love pies but other people bring them to us on the holiday. So I recommend this Pear Crisp as a crowd pleaser. Ice cream or mascarpone cheese with it is a must. Other faves include PW’s Flat Apple Pie or of course, a Classic Pumpkin Pie.
We hope this helps you plan your menu for Thanksgiving, and we hope you’re as excited as we are for this week! Happy Most Wonderful Time of the Year, y’all!