Turkey is a no-brainer, but what else is on the menu for Turkey Day? Do you prefer a classic Thanksgiving menu or are you ready to try something new? Whether it’s the fiftieth time you’ve prepared this special holiday meal or the first, this list of menu favorites will help you plan a Thanksgiving meal your family will be talking about for months to come.
Classic Thanksgiving Menu:
It doesn’t get better than a traditional Thanksgiving meal. If you’re putting worries about calories aside for the day, be sure not to forget any one of this classic dishes.
• Herb-Roasted Turkey
• Mashed Potatoes with Turkey Gravy
• Cornbread stuffing
• Green Bean Casserole
• Candied Sweet Potatoes
• Cranberry Sauce
• Dinner Rolls
• Pumpkin Pie
Stress Less Tips:
1. Buy par-baked rolls from the supermarket and heat them in the oven while the cooked turkey rests. They will smell and taste like homemade.
2. Roast chopped sweet potatoes the day before Thanksgiving, cover and refrigerate them in a glass baking dish. On the big day, let the sweet potatoes come to room temperature, spread dollops of butter and brown sugar over the top, cover with foil and bake in a hot oven for about 10 minutes—just long enough for the vegetables to warm. Remove the foil, stir to coat the potatoes with the candied sauce and broil for about 3 minutes or until the tops begin to bubble and brown.
3. Cranberry sauce made from fresh berries is best, but for a super-quick fix stir ½ cup fresh raspberries, ¼ cup chopped pecans and ½ teaspoon cinnamon into a can of pre-made sauce.
On the Lighter Side Thanksgiving Menu:
Yes, you can enjoy a delicious holiday dinner without throwing all your dietary concerns out the window. This menu focuses on fresh vegetables and light flavors instead of carb-heavy dishes.
• Roasted Turkey Breast served with warm fruit chutney
• Brown rice pilaf (quickly sauté prepared brown rice and finely chopped onion in a smidge of Coco Treasure Organic Coconut Oil until the onions are fragrant and translucent. Top with a sprinkle of chia seeds before serving.)
• Root Vegetable Smash (a mixture of white and sweet potatoes, turnip, and carrots boiled and fork smashed for a rustic, chunky mix.
• Steamed Green Beans Almandine
• Pumpkin Pie with Gluten-Free Coconut Flour Pie Crust
Stress Less Tips:
1. Cook brown rice on Thanksgiving morning before the kitchen gets too busy. Transfer it to a covered bowl and set aside until ready to make the pilaf.
2. Steam green beans a day ahead and refrigerate in an oven-safe dish. Remove from the fridge while you’re preparing the rest of the meal so the beans have time to come to room temperature. Add a teaspoon or two of coconut oil, sprinkle with shaved almonds, cover with foil and pop them into a 350 degree F oven. After about 10 minutes the beans will be hot. Remove the foil and cook another 5 minutes or until the almonds get toasty.
3. When friends ask if they can bring something to dinner, say yes! A tray of fresh crudité is the perfect appetizer for this Thanksgiving menu.
Spicy Side Thanksgiving Menu
If you and your family love big flavors, don’t be afraid to spice up your Thanksgiving menu this year. Just because it’s turkey doesn’t mean it can’t be adventurous!
• Roasted Turkey with a Black Pepper Rub
• Super Easy Roasted Sweet Potatoes
• Sourdough Bacon Stuffing (Use your favorite recipe but substitute plain bread with sourdough bread and add cooked, crumbled bacon.)
• Cauliflower and Broccoli au Gratin
• Cayenne-Spiced Apple Pie with Cinnamon Ice Cream (Add I teaspoon ground cayenne and 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon to any basic apple pie recipe.)
Stress Less Tips:
1. Clean and par-boil cauliflower and broccoli to decrease the amount of time needed in the oven.
2. If you can’t find cinnamon ice-cream in the store, empty contents of 1-quart of vanilla ice-cream into a bowl and allow to soften slightly. Stir in 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon. Spoon the ice-cream back into the freezer until serving time.
3. Buy a loaf of pre-sliced sourdough (sandwich style) and cut into cubes the day before Thanksgiving. Put the cubes on a baking dish and place in oven—do not turn the oven on. The residual heat inside the oven will dry the cubes overnight for perfect stuffing.
No matter which type of Thanksgiving menu you choose this year, be sure to follow all recommendations for safe handling of your turkey.