Starters, sides & of course, the bird! Easy recipes for an at-home feast.
Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday for many of us as it brings friends and family together for one of the year’s best feasts. While traveling across the country to be with loved ones may not be a reality this year, there are plenty of delicious ways to bring the full turkey-day experience into your home. Even if you happen to be with a smaller family group, a pod of friends, or just the two of you and your kiddos. We’ve gathered ideas to inspire your holiday table, pleasing both the traditionalists and those who crave something lighter to pair alongside the bird. From starters, cocktails, seasonal salads, and veggie-forward sides to twists on turkey technique, desserts, and leftovers—we’re sharing some of our favorite recipes to be thankful for.
Kick Off the Feast with a Tasty App with the Best of Fall Flavors
We’ll set the scene. You have the turkey in the oven, sides prepped, and a cocktail poured. But you know it will be at least an hour or two until everyone officially sits down to eat. That’s where a simply delicious and super-impressive app like this Butternut Squash Flatbread with Sausage and Caramelized Onions comes into play. You can pre-prep up to a day in advance and when it’s time to start feeding your fam, pop it into the oven to crisp up. This recipe’s beauty? It uses a store-bought naan bread base and gets its fall flavor cues from butternut squash, sage, and maple-caramelized onions. Beyond turkey-day, you may find this ends up on your regular rotation.
Photo Credit: Domesticate Me
This Effervescent Champagne Cocktail Will Set The Mood For Celebration
Leave the wine until dinner and set the mood with a delicious champagne-based Saint-Florent Cocktail. Made with gin, honey syrup, fresh lime, Aperol (or Cappelletti), and champagne, it’s a fall twist on a spritz that’s light enough to pair with various apps and snacks. Want something that’s more large-format that you can pre-batch before any guests arrive? Mix up a Cranberry Sangria or Earl Grey Bourbon Punch and have everyone pour their own (leaving you with more time to enjoy their company vs. shaking up individual drinks).
Photo Credit: Christopher Testani
A Lighter Twist on Green Beans With a Zesty Tomato Pesto
We all have our favorite childhood memories of our family’s green bean casserole made with cans of cream of mushroom soup and crispy onions. There are some incredible classic recipes out there to bring to the table, but if you desire a little twist on tradition this year and plate up a green bean dish that’s lighter and brings in the zest of an almost romesco-like sauce, all bets are on these Blistered Green Beans with Tomato-Almond Pesto. Blistered green beans get tossed with a roasted tomato pesto using finely chopped almonds and spiked with garlic, olive oil, vinegar, paprika, and cayenne.
Photo Credit: Christopher Testani
The Creamy, Cheesy Corn Casserole That’s Set to Be a New Fave
When it comes to a simple, oh-so-delicious side that you may find becomes a new classic in your family, the Cheesy Corn Casserole is it. Quickly sauté some chopped jalapeño and garlic, add canned corn, creamed cheese, and a handful of parm and shredded cheddar. Once it’s melty and filling the kitchen with wafts of sweet comfort, you pour the mixture into a baking dish and finish in the oven with a sprinkle of breadcrumbs and more cheese. You can prepare a day ahead (minus the breadcrumb topping) and then pop into the oven with the rest of your sides for a final sizzle.
Photo Credit: Laura Murray
Everyone’s Favorite Fall Flavors in One Simply Delicious Salad
We’re always a fan of bringing more greens and veggie sides to the table to balance some of the more luxurious and creamy classics. It won’t take you long to whip up this Fall Festival Salad with Maple-Tahini Vinaigrette, and it’s sure to satisfy most everyone at the table. With naturally sweet roasted delicata squash (leave the skin on; it’s tasty!), tart dried cranberries, crunchy pecans, and peppery arugula topped with an umami-rich maple-tahini vinaigrette—it’s full of flavor yet won’t leave you feeling like you need to take a nap immediately after eating it. (Though, we are very much a fan of a turkey-day cat-nap!)
Photo Credit: Katie Webber NYC
Get Your Greens and Grains with This Warmed Spiced Rice Salad
Another colorful and health-forward option for the table this year is a Warm Spiced Rice Salad with Fried Cauliflower & Broccoli. The recipe calls for rice, but you could sub in another grain like farro, quinoa, or even couscous. Florets of broccoli and cauliflower get a quick blanch before being tossed and browned with onion, garlic, and mustard seeds. From here, the salad comes together like a breeze, topped with fresh green herbs and a simple lemony-yogurt dressing with just the right kick of heat from harissa, a Middle Eastern hot sauce.
Photo Credit: Delicious
Get the Best of Both Worlds With This Two-Tone Potato Gratin
If you’ve ever asked yourself if you should make both classic mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes or yams—this Two-Tone Potato Gratin is a one-dish win-win for everyone at the table. Rounds of sweet and regular potatoes get layered with a herb and spiced heavy cream mixture along with mountains of shredded cheese and then finished in the oven for that perfect textural combo of crunchy-cheesy-creamy gratin magic. Want to steer away from the dairy? You could replace the cream with coconut cream or plant-based creamer and sub in your favorite vegan shredded cheese.
Photo Credit: Cravings by Chrissy Teigen
A Squash & Radicchio Salad That’s Almost Too Pretty to Eat
If you’ve never tried Honeynut squash, it may be time to make amends. About half the size of regular butternut squash (and significantly sweeter), it makes the perfect mini roasted portions to star in this Honeynut Squash with Radicchio & Miso side dish. The caramelized roasted squash halves get paired with bitter leaves of radicchio, tart apple slices, a handful of hearty cooked grains, and topped with warm miso-garlic-cider vinegar dressing with the pop of toasted pine nuts. Beyond its health-forward nature, it’s a showstopper on the plate.
Photo Credit: Peden + Munk / Bon Appetit
You Can’t Forget the Bird: Now Here’s a New Way to Roast It
Now, this may be a controversial conversation to start, but a surefire way to properly cook a juicy, never-dry turkey is to break it down into parts, brine it, and then bake on a wire rack in the oven. The Expertly Spiced & Glazed Roast Turkey recipe outlines this technique and if you don’t feel like you can handle the knife skills yourself, kindly ask your butcher or supermarket to help you break down the bird into five pieces: the legs, wings, keep the breast whole, and backbone removed. Not sure about attempting something new this year? There’s always the classic Maple-Glazed Roast Turkey with Apple Cider Gravy to satisfy whole roasted bird fans.
Photo Credit: Alex Lau / Bon Appetit
The Prettiest Apple Galette to Win Over the Pie Lovers at the Table
Pies are usually the go-to for Thanksgiving dessert, but we have to say, this Salted-Butter Apple Galette with Maple Whipped Cream may top even the best pumpkin or pecan pie competition in the house. Perhaps the best thing about this laid-back layered apple galette with an epic balance of salty-sweet goodness is that you can prepare and bake it up to two days in advance. Yes, you can bake and store (tightly wrapped) at room temperature and then reheat gently right before serving with freshly whipped maple cream.
Photo Credit: Michael Graydon + Nikole Herriott
The Best Kind of Leftovers All in One Perfect Bowl of Delicious
Breakfast and brunch leftovers after Thanksgiving are some of our favorite meals of the year. Consider it comfort food at its best—this Thanksgiving Brunch Bowl starts with a mix of some quick-cooking polenta and your sweet potatoes or yams mixed right in. Leftover turkey gets a creamy makeover with a simple pan gravy, and then sautéed spinach, extra cranberry sauce, and a perfect fried egg round out the goodness in the bowl. Now that’s something we’ll be craving all weekend long.
Photo Credit: The Feed Feed
A Twist on Next Day Leftovers With Turkey & Crunchy Veggies
If you’ve made a big bird this year and find you have a lot of leftover turkey to try to use up, you may want to get a little more inventive to keep everyone excited about eating it during the week. This spiced Turkey Shawarma with Crunchy Vegetables tosses the leftover meat with warming spices like black pepper, coriander, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, turmeric, and cayenne for a subtle kick. Then, a crunchy veggie mix of cucumber, onion, carrot, and radish gets its zing from red wine vinegar and freshness from torn mint leaves, parsley leaves, and dill fronds. It’s all piled into a pita for the best kind of post-turkey day sammie.
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