What are You Making for Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving is, by far, my favorite holiday, and I know that I’m not alone in this. The food, the lack of pressure (well, the no-gifts pressure. there may be some pressure to provide good food), and for our family, the bonfire (!) all combine to make this the best day of the year.

Because you probably don’t cook your turkey the way that we cook our turkey, which is in a hole in the ground, if you’re looking for tips on how to roast a turkey, Aimee from Simple Bites has an excellent tutorial filled with hard-earned tips. She once spent a summer as a resort chef and roasted 22 turkeys over the course of 11 weeks. I think this makes her an expert on the subject, don’t you?

However, if you’re looking for bread, appetizers, sides, and desserts, there are more than a few options scattered throughout this site. To make it a little easier to track down some of my favorites, here they are, in handy, photographic form.

The first thing I’ll be making in my Thanksgiving prep is cranberry sauce. I’ve tried many variations on the theme, but this is the sauce that has emerged victorious. Even die-hard jarred jellied-sauce fans like this one:


Bonus: the cranberry sauce can be made over the weekend and kept refrigerated for up to a week. It also pairs nicely with cheese – appetizer and condiment all in one. Thank you, double-duty chutney.

You may also need a breakfast option, particularly if you have house guests. I’m partial to the scones, though you really can’t go wrong with pancakes (real maple syrup! butter! any excuse to have the two together!).

If you’ve been put in charge of bread, either focaccia (substitute dried cranberries and walnuts tucked into the dough for the potato, rosemary, and lemon juice in the posted recipe) or oatmeal bread are good choices.

If you’re the designated appetizer-maker, perhaps some buttery broiled oysters would be your thing? If not, how’s about some caramelized onion dip, or this super-easy-though-always-a-hit caramelized onion tart (we’re on a caramelized onion roll, here, it seems)?

It’s always difficult to decide what sides to make, though Mom’s Stuffing (Mom’s mushy stuffing. There, I said it.) is a must.

For a little change of pace – and because I’ll be making a cousin to candied yams, sweet and spicy candied butternut squash, this year – sweet potato cakes are another possible side.


Speaking of candied butternut, I’ll be posting the recipe for that over the weekend. It’s quick and easy, and quite addictive, so if the idea of squash with a kick intrigues you, you may want to put a butternut squash on your shopping list. I’m just sayin’.

butternut about to be cooked to a candied state

If you have my book, the Roasted Carrots with Thyme, Roasted Garlic Collard Greens, Roasted Beets with Caramelized Beet Greens and Orange-Walnut Pesto, and Cider-Braised Fennel are all good veggie side-dish options, and the Israeli Cous Cous with Chickpeas and Almonds or Smashed Sugar-Roasted Sweet Potatoes are substantial sides that also pair well with turkey.

If you’d prefer to go altogether meat-free, this roasted root vegetable pot pie is a hearty, flavorful option:

And – of course – no Thanksgiving would be complete without dessert. This apple cake does double-duty as breakfast, and, well, you know – so does the pumpkin tiramisu, now that I think about it.


I haven’t yet posted this recipe, but, it, too, is coming. Apple Crostata – easy and feeds a crowd. Oh, and it too doubles as a breakfast item. Hmmmmm. How about that? Now that this trend has been exposed, I have to admit that in my world, pretty much any dessert could double as breakfast. Hello, flourless chocolate cake, you’ll be a perfect match for this espresso, nice to see you here this morning.

Only there isn’t a flourless chocolate cake on the Thankgiving menu. Yet.

What are you making this Turkey Day? What are your family’s favorites or must-haves? And are there any that you wish would go away?

5 Comments to What are You Making for Thanksgiving?

  1. Jayne says:

    We’re hosting Thanksgiving (we alternate years and holidays with my mother), and we’ll be having turkey with basic stuffing (bread, onions, celery, seasoning and stock) because that’s what we love. My sister will bring garlic mashed potatoes and a French apple pie. I’ll also be making pumpkin pie (with our own pumpkin puree, yay), and possibly a batch of pumpkin pie bread pudding just because. We’ll have my late mother-in-law’s broccoli casserole, and (new this year), kale pie with a roasted garlic puree pastry crust. We’ll also offer up homemade sausage of some kind, not sure which one yet. Let’s see…some sort of cranberry (haven’t decided yet), and something with turnips. Oh, and we’ve got lots of greens in our winter gardens, so we’ll probably offer up a salad of some kind. I think that’s everything!

  2. Paula says:

    I think anyone who is looking for ideas for their Thanksgiving only needs to come here! Beautiful selections!

  3. Amy says:

    Jayne, that sounds delicious! If we weren’t going to be in Vermont, you might have had a couple of impromptu visitors!

    Hi Paula, Thank you so much and Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. alice says:

    Here’s our menu:

    river ridge farms (local) turkey
    autumn vegetable patties (for the vegetarians)
    farro, caramelized onion, and wild mushroom stuffing
    cranberry sauce
    sweet potato fries
    camembert mashed potatoes
    roasted red onions with pomegranate, orange, and parsley gremolata
    green beans with toasted walnuts and dried-cherry vinaigrette
    roasted brussels sprouts with sherry-mustard vinaigrette
    gratin of cauliflower with gruyere
    pumpkin bread
    apple pie
    beaujolais nouveau

    Mostly tried and true recipes, but a little bit of experimentation in there…

  5. gclub says:

    Good website! I really love บาคาร่า how it is easy on my eyes and the data are well written. I’m wondering how I could be notified when a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your RSS which must do the trick! Have a great day!

Leave a Reply