Make Ahead

Oh, Canada! A Menu for Thanksgiving North of the Border

October  5, 2017

I’m not Canadian. I live in a city known for brusk directness (you know, that Apple). Hockey frightens me. I have yet to enjoy the pleasure of Tim Horton's. In fact, I’ve only visited Canada twice. But despite the cultural gulf that separates us, there’s at least one thing I have in common with our northern neighbor: Thanksgiving.

Just like us, Canadians celebrate the harvest and other blessings of the past year every autumn. One of the only differences is that their day of gratitude is a little earlier. This year, Canadian families will gather together on Monday, October 9th. While I’m sure many of our Canadian readers already set their Thanksgiving menus, we have some last-minute inspiration. And for our U.S. readers, there's nothing wrong with giving thanks twice.

Centerpiece-worthy Mains

Supportive Sides

Sweet Bites

Okay, Canadians: How are you celebrating Thanksgiving this year?

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Nancy
  • MarieGlobetrotter
  • SandraH
  • Nancy H.
    Nancy H.
  • Anita104
Katie is a food writer and editor who loves cheesy puns and cheesy cheese.


Nancy October 8, 2017
If there are vegetarians (or hosts with vegetarians coming to visit) still planning meals, consider making Goodwill Pie by Anna Jones. It is a great centerpiece, visually stunning and delicious...full of colorful root veg, greens, eggs and cheese. And the cold leftovers are fine, too

MarieGlobetrotter October 7, 2017
I live in Canada, in Montreal to be more precise, and a lot of recipes are sweet-savory, such as basting your meat with maple syrup. Turkey is not the only meat, There a lot of braised porc and guinea fowl as well. They are served with cooked apple
The weather has been so warm over here. It does not feel like Thanksgiving.Apparently we are supposed to reach 77 F tomorrow and haven’t taken on their fall colors yet as a result
SandraH October 7, 2017
I’ll have to check out that Canadian Living recipe for apple cider brined turkey in the previous post, but for our dinner tomorrow I’m making a standard salt and peppered, butter-basted turkey with lemon halves and some sage, rosemary and thyme from my garden (before all freezes) inside the bird. I make stuffing the day before (today) of the usual celery, onion, sage in butter, bread cubes, seasoning, chicken broth to moisten, then add some turkey juices tomorrow before I bake it after taking the turkey out to rest for about 4o minutes (covered well with several clean tea towels - keeps the bird warm and juicy) while I make the gravy, garlic mashed potatoes and Vichy carrots. I’m making two salads today that will develop flavour overnight and can just pull out of the fridge about an hour before dinner - a broccoli salad with garlic and sesame and a corn and black bean salad. Must have Lingonberry sauce with our turkey (a spoonful is a secret ingredient you can add to the gravy and I’ll spoon a bit of the Lingonberry sauce on top of Brie as part of the cheeseboard I’m assembling for an easy but yummy app). My family is bringing desserts, one of which is pumpkin pie - yay! We have a lot to be thankful for and I wish all the very best to my fellow Canadians and our American neighbours.
Nancy H. October 6, 2017
Live about an hour north of Toronto and I brine my turkey in apple cider (adapted from a Canadian Living recipe). Standard sourdough sage and celery stuffing (kids have made it clear they are not intested in mushrooms or wild rice). Lots of veg - Canadians don't tend to do the marshmallows on top thing. Roast potatoes with lemon and garlic and rosemary. Just bought some very expensive asparagus for the beautiful Shaved Asparagus Salad from Food 52 to add some gorgeous greenness. (I don't actually shave the asparagus, just chop it in pieces and roast lightly. Also toss in some pea shoots from my friend Liz's greenhouse before serving). Have taken to throwing some cooked red lentils into the pumpkin pie custard (no one can tell ;-); like it spicy with some orange zest and don't bother with a crust - prefer to broil a mixture of butter, brown sugar and pecans onto the top before serving with lots of whipped cream. The bigger the crowd and the chaos the better - so much to be thankful for, especially these days. All the best to our American friends!
Anita104 October 5, 2017
My dearest friend lives in western Canada. In the last 7 years I have been there about 10 or 12 times, sometimes at Thanksgiving. The Canadian Thanksgiving is much less commercial than ours. You don't see Thanksgiving lights and blow up figures on lawns. It's more about the First Nations.