Since I’m usually a guest for Thanksgiving dinner I’ve become a champ at contributing interesting side dishes and the occasional dessert. One of these days I’ll figure out how to roast a turkey but until then, enjoy my collection of tried-and-true Thanksgiving recipes.
While stomachs are rumbling as you wait for the turkey to (finally) finish roasting and resting, warm spinach artichoke dip is a crowd-pleaser no matter what the holiday or occasion.
Easy pumpkin curry soup makes an elegant first course even as you juggle timing the turkey and mashing the potatoes.
Thanksgiving often comes just as the weather is beginning have an edge of chill and frost. Warming-up with hot spiced cider will help everyone feel relaxed and cozy.
Cranberry relish is a must at every Thanksgiving table. This recipe for Cape Cod cranberry relish includes oranges, a favorite combination in my family.
For a stand-out side dish, bring wild rice and fruit salad to your Thanksgiving gathering. One of my friends introduced this to her family after sampling it at a potluck and she reports it’s become part of her family’s annual tradition.
Vegetable side dishes
Roasted Brussels sprouts with walnuts and figs is now a requested dish by friends at Thanksgiving potlucks. Don’t love Brussels sprouts? You will after sweetening them up with the roasting process, maple syrup, and dried fruit. This bowl empties fast at every potluck it has made an appearance at.
Not everyone loves green bean casserole. My mom always served peas and pearl onions. Its bright green peas and translucent pearls look pretty on the side of dish that is likely to be laden with brown sauces and heavy gravy.
But if you feel you must have green bean casserole, use this “historic” recipe from a fantastic Thanksgiving cookbook, “Giving Thanks,” from the Plimouth Plantation.
Kale and butternut squash have been popular vegetables in recent years. This roasted butternut with kale dish combines these healthy flavors with dried cranberries and roasted pumpkin seeds.
There is bound to be someone at your Thanksgiving gathering who is either a vegetarian or who just doesn’t like turkey. This butternut squash, sage, and hazelnut lasagna is a wonderful alternative to the traditional tomato and meat lasagna.
If you really want to be original, bring a pot of Wampanoag autumn stew. This is another recipe from the historians at Plimouth Plantation who describe it as a dish the native Americans likely introduced to the settlers during their first autumns on Cape Cod.
Really, it’s all about pie at Thanksgiving. With all the effort put into prepping the other dishes, pie is a simple way to finish off a wonderful day of feasting. And, as New England tradition has it, you can eat pie for breakfast the next day.
This chocolate pecan pie is inspired by the the famous pie served in Kentucky each year for the Kentucky Derby. It’s so simple to make it’s a good choice for the holidays when you are juggling lots of other things. Another bonus: chocolate.
I call these Thanksgiving oatmeal cookies because they have pumpkin, dried cranberries, and walnuts. All wonderful autumn flavors.