Thanksgiving… it’s a time to spend with family, to reflect upon all of the things we’re thankful for, and to stuff ourselves sillier than a free-range turkey on Martha Stewart’s farm.
If you’ve hosted a Thanksgiving dinner before, you know that it’s no small feat. From preparing the bird, the stuffing, the sides and of course dessert, it’s a delicate dance of dishes that can either make — or break — the meal.
Luckily, we’ve taken some of the hard work out of it for you by collecting these takes on classic recipes that we’ve deemed the best of the best. Try ’em all, or test drive one of them this holiday for a lip-smacking dinner to remember.
This is the big one. Too dry and there won’t be enough gravy in the world to save you. Undercooked and you’ve got a serious case of potential salmonella on your hands. So what if we told you that you could have a beautifully cooked turkey without advanced brining and without a crazy-long cook time? Monica over at The Yummy Life has packed more than three decades worth of tips into her Turkey recipe, and breaks everything down into a simple, step-by-step formula that anyone can follow. Plus, she also has a great make-ahead turkey gravy recipe that could just save you the day of. Trust us, you’re going to want to have turkey sandwiches for days following this method.
Great stuffing is moist and buttery on the inside with a crispy and slightly salty top. Audra’s Great Grandma’s Famous Stuffing recipe certainly fits that bill. The Baker Chick makes it in a pan and not inside the turkey, which helps to achieve that perfect crust. Definitely save room for seconds. Heck, save room for thirds.
Squash can be so versatile, but when it comes to your Thanksgiving dinner, we’re fans of keeping it simple and drawing out the sweet fall flavours — like Amy’s Cinnamon Roasted Butternut Squash from Chew Out Loud. The cinnamon and brown sugar combo are the perfect buttery squash companions.
The Mashed Potatoes
Sure, most of us know how to mash up some potatoes, but this is Thanksgiving. We want extra fluffy, perfectly seasoned, creamy mashed potatoes. This recipe from Natasha’s Kitchen fits that bill thanks to a little smashed garlic and chives.
The Sweet Potatoes
Why mash sweet potatoes when you can make them a sideline star by stuffing them instead? The marshmallows and pecans add a sweet and crunchy flavour and consistency in The Novice Chef‘s Fully Loaded Sweet Potatoes. Plus, they just look amazing.
Carrots can be so… boring. We get it. But when you punch them up with a little flavour and roast them with some garlic and butter? It’s fall come to life. On your plate. And eventually in your mouth. Katerina from Diethood has an amazing Garlic Butter Roasted Carrots recipe that we swear by.
The Cranberry Sauce
It can be tempting, but whatever you do, don’t subject your guests to run-of-the-mill canned cranberry sauce. Not when there are so many other (much more flavourful) options out there. If you’re feeling adventurous, we highly recommend Tracey’s Grand Marnier Cranberry Sauce from The Kitchen is My Playground. The zesty orange flavour of the booze perfectly highlights the cranberries without actually adding a strong alcohol taste.
The Other Dessert
Let’s face it, not everyone likes pumpkin pie — it’s the type of thing you either love or hate. So play it safe with a second dessert that features one of fall’s very best fruits: apples. Lauren’s riff on apple crisp from Tastes Better From Scratch combines tart apples with warm brown sugar for a bowl full of heaven.