For the first time in several years, I am planning a Thanksgiving dinner. Usually I go to my sister in law's, but Thanksgiving is my fave holiday meal to cook (what other holiday is purely food and football, altho i don't want to leave out the gratitude part) and I decided this was my year.
What do you suggest? I don't really like turkey, although it is pretty, but will consider brining a small one. My son is a vegetarian, so I need a separate main course for him. What are your favorite family Thanksgiving dishes?



ChefJune October 17, 2010
luvcookbooks: I've posted my Cornbread Dressing recipe in my recipes. If you go to my page, you'll find it there. There are so many mouth-watering suggestions in this thread, you all are making me hungry!
AntoniaJames October 15, 2010
Roasted Brussels sprouts are the perfect Thanksgiving side veggie, by the way. Brusslies, as we say in my extended family, can be prepped the night before -- trim, cut in half, put in a box or bag with water. Drain, toss with oil, salt and few half-cloves of garlic (for flavor, don't serve) whenever it's convenient on T-Day. Big plus here, when considering logistics of T-Day, especially for a big group, is that they are small, so you can put them on a baking sheet that slides in a rack that's immediately below another one, taking up very little space in the oven. Love roasted carrots for the same reason. And, roasted Brusslies taste great, too! A lot of people who are not crazy about Brusslies like them roasted. And they don't take long to cook. ;o)
healthierkitchen October 15, 2010
Kitchenbutterfly - that turkey is gorgeous!!
innoabrd October 15, 2010
We have a number of family Thanksgiving traditions, including serving a ham (in addition to turkey). This started when we lived in Cairo and my wife had a boss whose fear of birds extended to eating them...

However, it just wouldn't be thanksgiving without chopped chicken livers as one of the starters.

luvcookbooks October 15, 2010
This is going to be the greatest Thanksgiving dinner!! I will ask my daughter to take photos, since I can barely point and shoot. ChefJune will you post your stuffing recipe (no pressure)? Savour, how do you dry brine a turkey? And everybody, Kitchen Butterfly's blog/twitter site are worth checking out! Wish I could invite you all for dinner.
Kitchen B. October 15, 2010
If you want condiments to accompany the meats, i love a pear and cranberry combination
Kitchen B. October 15, 2010
I love to make a Turkey hasselback for Thanksgiving and Christmas
whowantsdinner October 14, 2010
This cranberry chutney is easy and always popular (plus you can make it a few days ahead and store in the fridge and it's one less thing to worry about).

Cranberry Chutney a la Paula:

1 lb fresh cranberries
Thinly sliced lemon peel
1 cup water
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. raisins
1/2 c. white vinegar
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or black pepper)
1/2 cup ginger preserves

1) Combine all ingredients EXCEPT ginger preserves in small saucepan.
2) Bring to boil. Lower heat to simmer and cook 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3) Off heat. Blend in the 1/2 cup ginger preserves.

You can add some freshly grated ginger if you like, to taste.
Jon P. October 14, 2010
My favorite Thanksgiving side is my favorite way to eat carrots:

If you have whole carrots that are very thick, cut them into halves or quarters. If they're pretty thin, leave them whole.

All you need is carrots, butter, thyme, salt and pepper.

Melt some butter in a pan (enough to lightly coat all the carrots, which will eventually be placed in a roasting pan) and heat a few sprigs of thyme in it until the butter starts to turn greenish and the thyme is popping.

Put the carrots in a large bowl and pour the butter over them. Add salt and pepper and as many thyme leaves as you have on hand and toss it all together. Arrange the carrots in a pan with enough space between them that they'll be able to brown in the oven, not just steam.

Roast the carrots at 375 or 400 degrees until you get some decent browning going and the carrots are tender.

It is simple, low-effort and delicious.
Savour October 14, 2010
There's a recipe in one of the Joys of Cooking for Quinoa stuffed Acorn squash which is just gorgeous -- I have the recipe on my site. Also, I'd recommend dry brining the turkey.
ChefJune October 14, 2010
Oh, forgot about the Roasted Brussels Sprouts and chestnuts. That's a really hearty side.
ChefJune October 14, 2010
In Shirley Corriher's book, "Cookwise," she has a recipe for a vegetarian stuffed pumpkin. I made it one year when I had several vegetarians coming to dinner, It has beans in it, along with lots of other beautiful seasonal vegetables. The dish was so gorgeous that everyone helped themselves to plenty of it, and there was absolutely nothing left at the end of the meal.

The turkey dressing I ALWAYS make is vegetarian, and I don't stuff the turkey with it, but bake it in a casserole on the side. I would love to share that heirloom recipe with you. :) It comes from my "Other Mother." There's never any of that left, either, which is why I like to make sure there's at least a little casserole for me hidden in the fridge.
AmandaE October 14, 2010
I am a big fan of twice baked potatoes, they are easy to do and the first round of baking can be done the night before.
For a festive vegetarian option, try a pumpkin lasagna or a tubular pasta with a pumpkin sauce. The sauce can also be served over mashed potatoes that way everyone can give it a go. That or a savory risotto, maybe with butternut squash or apples ( This is a great vegetarian entree that others can also enjoy.
healthierkitchen October 14, 2010
Also, a great vegetarian entree is this one from Bon Appetit:

It is completely delicious as written, but I've tinkered with it so much over the years to lighten it up a bit. For Thanksgiving, the original version might work well.
BethFalk October 14, 2010
Sauteed mushrooms. Brussels sprouts, roasted with garlic, nuts (I love them with pecans) and lots of butter. Mushroom strudel (, which I've made several times for Thanksgiving and which people love, even though it is sort of a caloric nightmare. :) A simple dish of root vegetables, cubed and roasted with coconut oil (more flavor) or olive oil - I like to use squash, sweet potatoes, parsnips, red onions, garlic, and celeriac.
healthierkitchen October 14, 2010
I always bring the stuffing to my brother and sister in law's and hands down the all time fave has been mrswheelbarrows challah stuffing. Many thumbs up!!

I ended up finding chanterelles so I used those and I cut the butter a little and used some turkey stock (so no longer vegetarian) as we have many cardiologists at our Thanksgiving dinner. So so good.
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