Thanksgiving is only complete when you sit around the dinner table with your loved ones, sharing conversations and laughter over a hearty feast. While you want to serve your friends and family with only the best and most flavorful dishes, the task of preparing can entire menu can be daunting. Here’s a roundup of a few recipes that can make for an unforgettable Thanksgiving dinner, packed with irresistible flavors that will leave everyone craving for more.
1. Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Kale Salad with Spiced Honey Walnuts
If you’re looking for a great salad to kick off your Thanksgiving dinner, this one’s got the perfect balance of sweet and tangy with the right bit of crunch.
Make each of the following separately before you bring the salad together, according to Kristine’s Kitchen.
Butternut squash: Cut 4 cups of butternut squash into half-inch pieces and place them in a baking dish (9×13). Take a tablespoon of olive oil and drizzle it over the butternut squash. Add some salt and pepper, and toss it all over so that it’s mixed well. In an oven, preheated to 425°F, let the butternut squash roast for half an hour until they are tender. Make sure to give it a stir every 10 minutes. Once done, let it cool.
Honey spiced walnuts: In a nonstick pan, melt 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter on low heat. Add 2 tablespoons of honey, quarter teaspoon of cinnamon, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and a bit of salt. Once you whisk them all together, add 1 cup of walnuts and let them caramelize and roast over medium-low heat, while stirring. Once done, let it cool.
Maple dressing: Mix together 2 tablespoons each of apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, and extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle a bit of salt and black pepper.
Making the Salad
Take a large bowl and place 6 cups of chopped kale. Add the butternut squash, half a cup of pomegranate arils, 4 ounces of goat cheese, and the walnuts. And finally, drizzle the dressing over the salad before gently tossing them together.
2. Crockpot Turkey Breast
It’s always the turkey that steals the spotlight at any memorable Thanksgiving dinner. This year, if you don’t want to cook an entire turkey, but still want to serve your loved ones with some succulent, juicy, and flavorful turkey, here’s what you need to do.
You will need 6-7 pound bone-in turkey breast with the skin intact. Once you rinse the turkey breast, ensure to pat them dry. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the turkey and rub some chopped rosemary and thyme into the skin. Add salt and pepper based on how you like it, according to Mom On Timeout.
Take a large slow cooker and at the bottom, place 4 sprigs each of thyme and rosemary with 2 oranges (quartered). Once this is ready, place the turkey breast into the slow cooker. Around the turkey, pour 1 cup of chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth. Cover the slow cooker with a lid and let the turkey cook for about 5 to 7 hours.
Use a food thermometer to check whether the turkey is cooked. You will know that it’s cooked when the thermometer reads 165°. It’s best to check the temperature of the thickest part of the turkey to make sure it’s cooked through well.
Once you take the turkey out of the slow cooker, tent it with foil for 20 minutes. If you would like to brown up the skin, place it under broiler till it turns golden brown.
3. Corn Casserole
While turkey is usually the star of a Thanksgiving menu, it still needs a delicious side dish to make everyone at the table go for second servings. And that’s where this buttery, creamy, Corn Casserole recipe comes in, ready to compliment your turkey with its delectable flavor.
Before jumping into the recipe, you will have to set your oven to 350°F and preheat it, according to Spend With Pennies. Also get yourself a casserole dish that can fit 2 qt, grease it, and set it aside while you prepare your casserole.
For this simple recipe, all you will need to do is mix half a cup of melted butter with 2 eggs, 1 package of Jiffy Corn Muffin, 2 cups of corn (drained, either canned or frozen), 1 can of creamed corn, and 1 cup of sour cream.
You can even add all your favorite herbs, some minced onion or jalapeno peppers, and some crumbled bacon, too.
Once you bring all of this together, spread the mixture into your casserole dish and let it bake for about 45 to 55 minutes. When it turns into a beautiful golden shade, you know it’s baked to perfection.
4. Maple Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts
The more sides, the merrier the feast! Baked until they are tender and crispy, the Roasted Brussels Sprouts make a great side for your Thanksgiving meal.
Once you have washed 2 pounds of Brussels sprouts and taken the stem off, cut them into halves. Spread them on a rimmed baking sheet, and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Add some salt and pepper to taste and toss them to mix everything well. Spread the Brussels sprouts evenly on the baking tray before placing them in an oven, preheated to 425°F. Let them roast for about 20 minutes.
While your Brussels sprouts are getting ready, stir quarter cup of maple syrup with 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.
Once the Brussels sprouts are tender, take them out of the oven. Then, add some raw pecans (two-thirds of a cup) and 4 cloves of garlic (minced). Pour the mixture of maple syrup and balsamic vinegar onto the Brussels sprouts toss them together so that all the ingredients are mixed well.
Place the Brussels sprouts back in the hot oven for it to roast for another 5 to 10 minutes until they turn golden and the pecans are toasted well. Once this is done, stir half a cup of dried cranberries into the dish and dig in!
5. Classic Mississippi Sweet Potato Pie
A feast is only complete when you end it on a sweet note. This year, if you want to try something other than the regular pumpkin pie, here’s a classic Southern dessert from The Spruce Eats to serve your friends and family to wind down your Thanksgiving dinner.
Begin by putting the sweet potatoes into a big saucepan. Add enough water to cover it and place a lid over your saucepan. Once it boils, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook the sweet potatoes for roughly 10-15 minutes, until they are tender and you can easily slip the skins off. Then, you will need to mash or puree the sweet potatoes.
For the base, cover 2 pie plates (9 inches) with pie dough and leave them in the fridge while you make the pie filling. You can even slightly bake the crusts and cool them down before adding a layer of the filling. Also, preheat your oven to 350°F.
To make the filling, all you will need to do is mix 2 cups of sweet potatoes (mashed or pureed), 2 cups of granulated sugar, 4 ounces of softened butter, 1 can or 5 ounces of evaporated milk. Make sure you whisk these together well.
You will need to whisk 3 eggs in a separate bowl with one and a half teaspoons of vanilla extract and ground cinnamon. Then, add this to the sweet potato mixture and blend them together. Once your filling is ready, pour it onto your pie shells and let it bake for an hour. You know that it’s cooked when the pie filling is firm. Once the pie cools down, add a dollop of whipped cream on top, and enjoy.