The end of November means digging out those Thanksgiving dinner recipes and enjoying a huge feast with our familes. The holiday is filled with stuffing our faces and then trying to stay awake to watch American football. The day is spent with family, reminiscing about the past year, and planning for holiday get-togethers. Those of us who cook also spend a good bit of time before Thanksgiving discussing our menus and trying to find a new dish or two to make for our families.
Traditional Thanksgiving dinner recipes typically include turkey and/or ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes (prepared a variety of ways), green beans or green bean casserole, cranberry sauce (sometimes shaped like a can LOL!), broccoli/cheese casserole, corn (on the cob, creamed, or in a casserole), biscuits, rolls, or corn bread, stuffing, gravy, jello salad, pumpkin and/or pecan pie, and various dishes based on the area of the country or heritage.
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Or you might decide you would like your meal out somewhere....
This Thanksgiving dinner recipes page is categorized by course: starters/appetizers, soups, salads, breads, main dishes, side dishes, and desserts. These Thanksgiving dinner recipes are either those I make already, or recipes I’ve found in cookbooks that I plan to make. As always, I would LOVE to get some input from you. I would be delighted to include your recipes here. Send your recipes to cheryl (at) cherylsweb.com.
Appetizers are good to have ready for your guests to nibble on while everyone arrives. Some ideas for appetizers are deviled eggs, a vegetable and dip plate, stuffed mushrooms, cheese ball with crackers, shrimp cocktail, spinach and artichoke dip with bread, hummus with pita chips and celery, or just chips and dip.
We sometimes have a big pot of cream of crab soup as part of our feast. Other popular Thanksgiving soups include butternut squash soup, tomato bisque soup, lentil or bean soup, and golden mushroom soup. All hearty, filling soups, so be careful not to eat very much of them!
Thanksgiving salads range from the basic green salad to jello salads. A popular Thanksgiving salad in our household is the Broccoli Bacon Salad. I typically try to have a green salad (with cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, etc.) because the rest of the meal tends to be heavy. (For side dishes, I also make regular green beans instead of the traditional casserole and corn on the cob instead of corn casserole too.)
I admit I don’t make my bread from scratch but I will have one or more of the following: corn bread, crescent rolls, dinner rolls, or biscuits.You take care of the kids, we'll take care of the groceries for your Thanksgiving dinner recipes!
Without fail, the traditional Thanksgiving feast centers around a large roasted turkey. Some people also bake or smoke a ham. One tip for a beautifully moist turkey is to roast it upside down for two thirds of the time you need to cook it. Then carefully turn it over for the remaining time.
The Thanksgiving dinner recipes tend to include many side dishes, some wonderful on their own, and some to complement other parts of the meal, such as the gravy for the turkey and potatoes. The stuffing, potatoes, and sweet potatoes are prepared so many different ways, they almost deserve their own section. But they are side dishes, so are included here.
The difference between stuffing and dressing is nothing. It’s called stuffing if you stuff the bird with it, but dressing if it is cooked separately and served on the side.
Here is a basic stuffing recipe:
5 cups dry cubed bread, 2 1/2 cups broth,
2 onions (diced), 2 cups celery (diced), 2 eggs
Saute the onion and celery in half a cup of the broth until somewhat softened. Mix this with the rest of the ingredients. If you are not stuffing the bird, preheat oven to 350 and bake 45 minutes. Tip: grease the pan to avoid the stuffing sticking to it.
This is a very basic stuffing recipe and can be jazzed up any number of ways. Some people add sausage, or fruit like apples, grapes, cranberries, raisons, or pineapple. Some people add nuts like walnuts, almonds, pecans, or add mushrooms, water chestnuts. Some people add spices like curry, allspice, cinnamon, or garlic and cayenne. There are so many ways to “individualize” your stuffing!
Growing up, I always loved the homemade scalloped potatoes my mom made. She would peel a slice a bunch of potatoes and layer them in a large glass baking dish with mushroom soup, butter, a little mik, and shredded cheddar cheese, and then bake for an hour or so. YUM. We also had mashed potatoes and gravy sometimes.
Sweet potatoes, like potatoes, can be made in many different ways, and are an important part of the traditional Thanksgiving dinner recipes. Two favorites in our household are: peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into large chunks. Then put them in a pan with butter and lots of brown sugar. Top with marshmallows and bake. Some people also make sweet potato casseroles, which usually consist of the sweet potatoes being blended to the consistency of mashed potatoes and mixed with brown sugar and sweet spices like cinnamon, then topped with a brown sugar/flour/pecan crunchy topping.
I like green beans sautéed in a little olive oil with a little salt, so this is how I usually make them. I also make the traditional green bean casserole, though, because everyone else loves that! The green bean casserole is almost easier to make than my sautéed beans. Basically, you just mix French cut green beans with mushroom soup, milk, and some crunchy onions and top it with more crunchy onions and bake. So easy!
I prefer corn on the cob or just fresh plain corn heated with a hint of butter. However, lots of people prefer a corn casserole. Again, it’s pretty easy – just mix the following together: half cup melted butter, a package of corn bread mix, 2 eggs (beaten), 1 cup of sour cream and a can of regular corn (drained) and a can of creamed corn. Bake this mixture for 45 minutes at 350 (until the top is golden brown).
Would you hold it against me if I were to admit I actually like the cranberry sauce in a can? I do! However, there are some simple homemade cranberry sauce recipes that are also really yummy.
Easy turkey gravy: Use a turkey gravy mix and follow the directions on the package to prepare. However, use two packages of the mix and replace the water from one of the packages with turkey drippings. So easy, so delicious!
Other vegetable ideas include broccoli/cheese casserole, steamed squash medley, Brussels sprouts, sautéed carrots, and steamed asparagus with garlic and parmesan.
The all-time traditional Thanksgiving dessert is pumpkin pie. Other favorite desserts are pecan pie, apple pie, and pumpkin flavored desserts such as pumpkin roll, pumpkin bread pudding, pumpkin cheesecake, and pumpkin cake or cupcakes.
Again, please send your Thanksgiving dinner recipes; I would LOVE to include them here! Send to cheryl (at) cherylsweb.com and have a wonderful, peaceful Thanksgiving.
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