Happy Thanksgiving, all!
If you’re anything like us, you’re far from perfect. Even when it comes to today’s Super Bowl of food holidays, not every dish is impeccably planned, and not every place is meticulously set. We’re no strangers to last minute scrambling for Thanksgiving recipes that are both classic enough to appease your traditional relatives, and novel enough to excite and entice you. (Why make pie when you can make gooey chocolatey cakes? Exactly.)
So, for all you last-minute-cooks out there hectically searching for that perfect vegetable side dish that will complete your dinner, or those homemade dinner rolls that will make your mama proud, we’ve compiled a list of the Thanksgiving recipes we’re crazy about. Many are from blogs we love, and some are our own, but they’re all sure to whet your appetites and hopefully give you a leg up for this marathon of cooking we’re all about to jump in to.
This Oyster Gumbo Pot Pie by Lady and Pups is everything your Thanksgiving has been missing all these years, with an oyster roux that’ll make you think twice about roasting that turkey this year. And it’s a pie, making it a totally acceptable alternative. (Also, her blog is hilarious and definitely worth a read.)
Want something more traditional? Here you go. If this Ciabatta and Sausage Stuffing from Thomas Keller doesn’t have you drooling, you need help. Something about thick pieces of ciabatta with rosemary and sage has us feeling all kinds of cozy.
We love this Delicata Squash Bake with Hazelnuts Pomegranates and Tahini Sauce by the Minimalist Baker. Not only is it stunning, but it takes only 30 minutes to prepare and is totally vegan. Say hello to your last-minute side dish, friends.
With all the buttery mashed potatoes and rich gravy that you’ll be diving into later today, you may find yourself craving something a little lighter, like this Bacon and Brussels Sprouts Salad. Your grandparents may raise a few eyebrows, but…there’s bacon. So it’s all good.
To appease those traditionalists in your family, we’ve got you covered. These classic Apple Cider and Sage Rolls are just subtly sage-y, and the apple cider will go unnoticed (it just makes them totally fluffy). You can make them in half the time if you cut each rising time in half, but let them rise in a warm and humid place rather than the fridge. You’re welcome.
If butter is our first love, then garlic butter is our one true meant-to-be kind of love. These Garlic Butter Roasted Carrots from Diethood fit the bill for everything naughty and nice – delicious savory butter to lure you in and nutritiously sweet carrots to balance the bite. Seriously, garlic butter is always a good time.
Let’s get down to basics, and you probably have mashed potatoes on your roster, but have you tried creamy and Buttery Mashed Potatoes? Consider this upgrade for your classic but important side dish – your dinner guests will be awed by how mashed potatoes can get even tastier. Raise a glass for carbs.
This one is for the fancy in all of us – Crostini with Roasted Grapes, Goat Cheese, and Pecans by Feasting Not Fasting are great as hors d’oeuvres and possibly with a glass of wine while you’re patiently standing around for your turkey to roast. This appetizer has got a bit of sweet, salty, and crunch for sharing.
The big bird is the diva of the night, and rightly so. The bird takes the longest to get ready and takes place center stage in most homes. So try Roast Spatchcocked Turkey with Herbed Butter from Martha Sewart to bring it back to earth – this turkey’s backbone is removed and only takes 75 minutes to cook. Your family might doubt its new look, but they will not doubt the taste.
The gravy boat comes out once a year and it is only for this special Mushroom Gravy. The original recipe uses a chicken, but it is really meant to be paired with a turkey. This gravy uses caramelized onion, sautéed mushrooms, stock, and fresh herbs. You know you’d regret it if this wasn’t at your table.
Side dishes should be fun – it’s the part where experimentation is encouraged and new classics emerge. So we look to this BLT Fried Rice from I Am A Food Blog to turn some heads – everything from a BLT is translated into a very approachable and shareable dish. Just hold the mayo.
If you haven’t noticed, we like to color outside the lines a bit – where’s the fun if everything on your Thanksgiving table looks exactly the same as last year? So we made you this Pear Cake with Caramel Chocolate Drizzle as a replacement for those boring pies you make every year. Okay, maybe it can’t really replace pie, but it sure can add a little somethin’ somethin’ to your dessert selection today. And after one bite, no one will be questioning its place on today’s menu.
For all you really proudly rebellious folks out there who can’t help but push the limits of your family’s tolerance for change, check out this Incredibly Gooey Collapsing Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie Custard Cake by Half Baked Harvest. I think the picture says it all. Drooling yet?
We have to include this Pumpkin-Hazelnut Cheesecake from A Bit Wholesomely – these are three of our favorite things in one beautiful dessert. It might not be a pie, but it’s still got that familiar pumpkin flavor paired with the always friendly hazelnut. Bring this to dinner and we guarantee you will be invited back.
And after it’s all over, when the dishes have all been cleared and the tryptophan-induced stupor has worn off, you’re going to realize you still have way too much mashed potatoes on your hands. So there will be nothing else to do but to make these Loaded Mashed Potato Latkes, covered in bacon and cheese and sour cream. We know you’ll feel like you should probably eat a salad, or start some sort of juice cleanse, but…maybe start that on Monday. These latkes need you.