Thanksgiving is almost here, and I’m sharing with you some of the recipes I use each year as well as some new ones I’ll be trying this year.
If it’s your first time hosting, my advice is to keep your menu simple! I can’t tell you how many times I have stressed myself out because I was trying too many new and complicated recipes. Trust me, I know how badly you want to try that maple bruleed pumpkin pie recipe. But futzing around with your new blowtorch is probably not going to help with holiday stress.
As you’ll see from the list of recipes below, I’m a pretty big fan of The Kitchn. I swear this isn’t a paid advertisement for their website. I just really enjoy their easy, step-by-step recipes and feel that their tips are great!
Serious Eats How to Deep-Fry a Turkey Without Killing Yourself, Indoors and Out
My husband gets the task of cooking the turkey. He decides what cooking method he would like to use, and this year he has chosen deep fried. This is a new one for us, and I have to admit that I’m a little worried (I’ve seen the YouTube videos!). Our fryer is electric so there isn’t an open flame, which makes me feel a bit better, but I’ll still be requiring him to read this guide!
The Kitchn Winter Recipe: Classic Vegetarian Nut Loaf
We also make a vegetarian entree. I found this recipe a few years ago and have been making it ever since. I have a hard time describing it to the uninitiated (they think “nut loaf” translates to a meatloaf knock-off, which isn’t very Thanksgiving-esque), but it’s a favorite at my house! I’ve received lots of positive reviews from my friends and family. It isn’t inexpensive, and it takes a bit of time, but your vegetarian family and friends will love you for making this. I bake mine in a loaf pan, but I think baking it in some type of squash would make for a really great presentation.
The Kitchn How To Make Perfect Mashed Potatoes for Thanksgiving
I prefer russet potatoes for this recipe, and while they suggest using a food mill, I find my handheld masher works great. The recipe suggests removing the skin after the potatoes have been cooked, but I think this is a total pain in the butt. Plus, my family doesn’t mind potato skins, so I leave them on!
The Kitchn How To Make the Very Best Thanksgiving Stuffing
I love this stuffing! You’ll need to prep for this one ahead of time as the recipe instructs you dry the bread first (I’m drying mine as I type this post!). I use dried sage, but if you have fresh sage, use it! I also use Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base reconstituted in water for the vegetable stock.
All Recipes Best Green Bean Casserole and Campbell’s Classic Green Bean Casserole
I use the Campbell’s recipe for my green bean casserole, but my cousin brought this cheddar cheese version to Friendsgiving one year and it was a HUGE hit. Like, “OMG where did you get this recipe, give it to me RIGHT NOW” good.
The Kitchn Very Basic Cranberry Sauce
I enjoy making my own cranberry sauce (does that sound weird?). This is probably the simplest recipe in my Thanksgiving lineup and the cranberries look so pretty simmering in a pot on the stove. I substitute orange juice for half of the water, and I add a generous sprinkle of cinnamon and a glug of Grand Marnier. This won’t produce a smooth or thick jelly, so if that’s more your liking then I would suggest sticking to the canned cranberry jelly.
The Kitchn How To Make Gravy Without Turkey Drippings and Serious Eats All-Purpose Gravy Recipe
I haven’t found a winning gravy recipe yet (warning: don’t make gravy with drippings from a brined turkey, unless you really love salt!), but I’m going to try one of these recipes this year. If you are roasting an unbrined turkey, use the drippings in your gravy.
It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving at my house without a variety of desserts. And while this sort of violates my advice to keep it simple, I have made most of these multiple times, and I’ll be using the same crust recipe for all of the pies (see the crust recipe for the apple pie below). Make these a couple days before the big day.
Kitchen Vignettes French Canadian Maple Syrup Pie
This is a new recipe for me. I love the flavor of maple, and I’ve been wanting to try this recipe for a while. I also love the Kitchen Vignettes videos! If you haven’t seen them before, you need to watch one… and then try to convince me that you didn’t binge-watch the rest of them. They’re so cute!
Libby’s® Famous Pumpkin Pie topped with My Recipes Pecan Streusel Topping
I always use the Libby’s pumpkin pie recipe, and new for this year I’ll be adding the streusel on top in the last 15 minutes of baking.
Food Network Apple Pie Baked in a Paper Bag
While this recipe is apparently the one used by Elegant Farmer (a local Midwest orchard and bakery with an almost cult-like following for their pies), I don’t think it truly matches their recipe. Those darn bakers and their secrets! That being said, I think it’s a pretty solid apple pie recipe. I also use their pie dough recipe for all of my pies.
The Kitchn Holiday Recipe: Cranberry Cake
This is probably my favorite dessert recipe on this list. It’s easy to make with a simple ingredient list, and tastes fabulous! Sweet, buttery cake with little bites of tart cranberry throughout. I make mine without the optional pecan topping and serve with fresh whipped cream instead.
The Wholesome Dish Caramel Apple Sangria and The Kitchn Nutella Hot Chocolate
If you’re looking for something sweet, these cocktails will hit the spot. The sangria has been a huge hit at a number of parties – the Smirnoff Kissed Caramel Vodka is the star here. And this nutella hot chocolate is a new recipe for me this year. I plan to spike it with a mixture of Tito’s Vodka and Frangelico.
There you have it! I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. And if you have a favorite Thanksgiving recipe, please share it in the comments!