what the heck to make for Thanksgiving.
Let’s do it!
Oooh I almost didn’t share this but then I started thinking of all the Thanksgiving things I want to eat. Christmas and Thanksgiving are a close tie for my favorite holidays, and you KNOW Thanksgiving is only in there because of the food. That’s what it’s all about! It tastes like home, childhood, nostalgia and warm and fuzzy feelings. I like to eat warm and fuzzy feelings.
Would you think I’m insane if I asked you to list your ENTIRE Thanksgiving menu below in the comments? I’m sort of obsessed with menus in general. You should totally tell me yours. I’m a creep and want to know. Below are some of my favorite ideas – and you can find some tried and true reviews in the posts since they’ve been staples for a few years. I don’t host a full Thanksgiving myself yet… but I can’t wait for the day that I do. Really.
Cocktails, or as they should be called, necessities. My favorite is probably this apple cider sangria. My second favorite is an awesome pomegranate margarita. But you also can’t go wrong with these apple cider margaritas, an apple cider amaretto kiss, these cranberry vanilla ginger margaritas OR this pomegranate vanilla sangria. That last one is so, so good. And can be made ahead of time, woohoo!
Later this week, I’m going to share to DELICIOUS non-alcoholic punch recipe for your Turkey Day! Don’t worry. You can add booze if you’d like. I would like an IV of it right about now.
When it comes to appetizers and snacks, I’m pretty darn partial to a cheese plate. I have my favorite cheese plate design in Seriously Delish, but sometimes I also like to add some typical baked brie and crackers. If you want to do other dips, you can make the honey and fig gorgonzola dip I shared last week or these adorable little goat cheese truffles from a few years ago. One of my FAVES is this pomegranate jeweled cheeseball because not only does it taste ridiculous, it’s just so pretty. You can also go old school and stuff some mushrooms with spinach, bacon and artichokes.
I’m pretty sure that if you’re in doubt, just go with cheese.
Do you eat salad on Thanksgiving? I do not. Like I really want to ruin my plate that is swimming in gravy with SALAD. No thank you. Plus, I want all of the room for the traditional dishes and who knows how much space lettuce takes up. I mean, really man.
If you’re not a jerk like me though, and you like salad or want to serve an awesome salad, this autumn arugula salad can’t be beat. Except it maaaaaybe kind of can by this maple bacon brussels, pear and blue cheese salad. Both are pretty simple and you can arrange parts ahead of time and throw them together at the last minute. Eat your greens.
(Do as I say, not as I do.)
Soup? Another thing that I rarely have room for on Thanksgiving, but if you want to serve it in a shot glass, you and I are kindred spirits. You can do a smoky gruyere butternut soup or a sweet potato bisque with cinnamon sugar croutons. Another awesome recipe in Seriously Delish is the one for my amaretto butternut soup. GAH. It’s so good.
Bready things that can be doused in gravy because it’s the day to eat all the carbs? I’ve got you covered. We have sage butter biscuits or these too cute mini cream cheese and chive biscuits! Or blue cheese biscuits with pinot noir butter if you want to be fancy. Cranberry whole wheat biscuits are weird but good. You can make sweet potato honey dinner rolls or buttery cloverleaf rolls. My only issue with homemade rolls is that I reeeeeeeally feel strongly about them being best when made the day of. This is just me. It can take a good bit of work. Enlist the help of a friend and start the cocktails early. !!!!
I only have one turkey recipe, but if you have a smoker it’s the only one you need! This applewood smoked turkey with cider bourbon gravy is real life. You can do it with chicken too! I realize I’m getting out of control with the exclamation points.
This is how you drink the gravy. Just kidding. Kind of.
I talked a lot about potatoes on Monday. If I could only give you two choices for potatoes, I’d say make this lightened up sweet potato casserole or these cinnamon sugar hasselback sweet potatoes with an oatmeal cookie crumble. Other than that, visit here for potato central. Oh! Except these. Apple bacon stuffed sweet potatoes. People may be down.
Do you call it stuffing or dressing? I realize there are two different meanings, but I always call it stuffing. Do you prefer in the bird or out of the bird? I prefer in the bird, which freaks the majority of people out. It’s just… so.much.flavor. And moistness. There is no other word to describe it.
If you want to be super trendy, you can make a soft pretzel quinoa stuffing. Or you can make a double bread stuffing with bacon and sage! Or you can buy those pre-cubed stale bread bags at the grocery store like my mom does and make some of the best regular old stuffing ever. It’s true. It works.
GREEN THINGS. It’s still crazy that I like brussels sprouts, right? It’s crazy to me. If you have all the time in the world, you can fry them and serve with a smoky aioli. You can toast them with brown butter and pecans!
Lightened up green bean casserole always is huge. Add all the crispy onions in the world. How about adorable green bean bacon bundles? Why are they so cute? And since the world makes it’s possible for asparagus to be available all year round, this caramelized sesame bacon wrapped asparagus is TOPS.
Other non-traditional but delicious things include this sweet potato risotto and this butternut squash lasagna. Full disclosure: that lasagna is good but my version in the book is better. A pan is already waiting in my freezer! This year’s parmesan crusted butternut galette is making the rounds too. As is this spicy roasted squash with feta and herbs. I love ’em!
This might be one of the only holidays where I don’t consider dessert the most important decision. It’s still significant though, so we can’t pass it up. Are you a pie maker? I wish I was. I’m trying! I did make this cider bourbon apple pie with an oatmeal cookie crumble. I like crumbles on top. This pumpkin chocolate chip cookie pie is so good too. If you want to keep it simple: amaretto apple crisp or bourbon baked apples. If you’re a cookie monster: fudge striped peanut butter pumpkin cookies. They aren’t as weird as they sound, I swear.
This pumpkin s’mores tart is almost too pretty to eat.
Okay, now that I’ve officially overwhelmed myself, I think that is it. Can somebody make me one of each of these for Thanksgiving? I think that’s the only way to go.