Food52's Social Media Editor Shares Her Thanksgiving Must-Haves

The eight essentials Dominique Evans can't do Thanksgiving without.

November  8, 2022
Photo by Julia Gartland

Thanksgiving is a big cooking holiday for my family, and everyone is put to work (after watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, of course). Whether setting the table, prepping the greens, or stirring the pot of gravy, there is always something to be done! However, these tasks don't feel tedious, despite how simple they may be. When I was young, I loved sitting with my mom and grandma and tearing apart day-old bread for stuffing and watching from afar as my dad and grandpa prepped the turkey. Now that I'm older and interested in cooking, my parents let me dabble in new tasks like finding a gravy recipe or making mac and cheese.

Our menu has consisted of the same dishes since I was a child, and it's one of those meals you look forward to all year long. Warm mashed potatoes, juicy turkey, and herbaceous stuffing become more than just "holiday food." It transforms into this delicious spread that's even more special because it's shared and made by the people I love the most. The prep can always be exhausting, but once everything is on the table and my family and I can finally dig into our hard work, I realize how much I have to be thankful for.


1. One-Pot Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

Mac and cheese is a must on my Thanksgiving table! This one includes butternut squash and comes together in one pot, so I don't have to sacrifice any precious oven space.

2. Easy Apple Galette

I love pie just as much as the next person, but lately, I've been particularly driven to galettes. You get all the same flavor profiles as a traditional pie (buttery crust and sweet, warm fruit fillings), but the result is a bit more rustic and comes together quickly. Serving with vanilla ice cream is non-negotiable!

3. Traditional Sage Stuffing

This recipe is no-fuss and only uses a handful of ingredients (it doesn't need much!), including lots of fresh sage. Your house will smell amazing, and honestly, that's one of the many perks of making stuffing besides eating it.

4. Vegetarian Mushroom Thyme Gravy

Gravy is the cherry on top of a great mashed potato. This vegetarian version is vibrant and has so much umami thanks to dried mushrooms, sauteed shallots, soy sauce, fresh thyme, and sherry. I have to stop myself from eating this stuff by the spoonful!


1. Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Baking Sheets

These aluminum baking sheets are my go-to in the kitchen. They come in various sizes, including a jelly roll pan perfect for squeezing in that extra space in a packed oven.

2. Sabre Bistrot Flatware

This isn't scientifically proven, but my food tastes better when using this flatware. Its shiny, stainless-steel finish gives it a classic look and adds charm to my dinner table.

3. Le Creuset Stoneware Rectangular Dish with Platter Lid

I never have to bring out a serving platter when using this baking dish. I love the shape, the sturdy handles, and the color varieties (Artichaut is my favorite!).

4. Mepal Microwavable Nested Storage Bowls

The only thing better than a Thanksgiving meal is enjoying the leftovers. These are microwavable safe containers, so when you're ready to eat, pop them in and enjoy!

What are your go-to Thanksgiving recipes? Share with us in the comments!
52 Days of Thanksgiving
Check It Out
52 Days of Thanksgiving

Top-notch recipes, expert tips, and all the tools to pull off the year’s most memorable feast.

Check It Out

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

Dominique Evans

Written by: Dominique Evans

social @ food52

1 Comment

KC November 10, 2022
Hi there, the butternut squash Mac and cheese looks amazing! I’m a little confused by this post, though, is this your Thanksgiving menu? If yes I’m not clear what the gravy is for. OR, are these just a select few dishes from a larger menu? If yes, would love to see the whole thing.