The Ultimate Thanksgiving Dinner Planning Guide: Recipes, How-Tos, Wine Pairings and More!

November 20, 2017

Look no further for your Thanksgiving dinner planning! We've got turkey recipes (smoked, deep-fried, roasted, sous vide!), easy appetizer recipes, desserts and sides, even a wine pairing guide from our wine connoisseur friend, Jameson Fink! Also, check out our Thanksgiving Holiday Recipe Page here and don't miss these Pinterest boards for even more recipes!

    •    Appetizers
    •    Cocktails
    •    Side Dishes
    •    Salad Recipes
    •    Desserts & Baking
    •    Thanksgiving Recipes
 

Roast Turkey with Stuffing and Gravy

Learn How To Carve A Turkey Like A Pro!

6 Tips for the Perfect Roast Turkey

1.  Brine Your Turkey: Soaking in a brine will flavor the bird as well as keep it moist. Learn how by watching this video.

2.  Flavor The Bird: Make sure to adequately salt and pepper the turkey and fill the cavity with aromatic vegetables, herbs, and lemons.

3.  Dry the Skin Before Roasting: Don't forget to pat down the turkey before putting it in the oven.  The excess moisture will prevent the skin from getting crisp. (This does not include fat).

4.  Use a Thermometer: A thermometer is the best way to check for doneness. It should register 165 degrees F in the thickest part of the bird.

5.  Start the Oven High and then Lower the Temperature: Start the turkey at 425 degrees F to help crisp the skin for 20 minutes and then lower to 350 degrees F until cooked through.

6.  Let the Turkey Rest Before Serving: Letting the turkey rest allows the juices to redistribute so that it will be moist and flavorful (this goes with any meat!).

Turkey! Turkey! Turkey!

Maple Glazed Turkey

Contributed to Foodista by Nicole Aloni

Maple Glazed Turkey

"Closed Oven" Turkey
Contributed to Foodista by Taste and See
Closed Oven Turkey

Simple Herb Roasted Turkey


Contributed to Foodista by Alejandro Duarte
Simple Herb Roasted Turkey

Easy Deep Fried Turkey
Easy Deep Fried Turkey
Photo: TheCookingPhotographer

Easy Smoked Turkey

Smoked Turkey
Photo: woodleywonderworks

Tender and Juicy Sous Vide Turkey Breast
Sous vide turkey breast

Stuffings, Sides & Salads

Jalapeño Cornbread Stuffing
Jalapeno Cornbread stuffing
Photo: Silvia Song

Buttermilk Cornbread and Sage Stuffing
Buttermilk Cornbread and sage stuffing

Photo: Maggie Hoffman

Apple, Cranberry & Sausage Stuffing
Courtesy of Empire Baking
Apple Cranberry and Sausage Stuffing

Sourdough Stuffing with Sage Sausage and Apples
Sourdough stuffing with sage sausage and apple

Wild Rice Stuffing with Cranberries and Hazelnuts (Gluten Free)
Wild Rice stuffing with cranberries and hazelnuts (gluten free)

Porcini Mushroom Stuffing
This mushroom stuffing is great in mushrooms as an appetizer or stuffed into your bird!
Porcini Mushroom Stuffing
Photo: Nikki L

Joël Robuchon’s Famous Pommes Puree Recipe (Buttery Mashed Potatoes)

Joel Robuchons Buttery Mashed Potatoes recipe

Mashed Potatoes with Garlic, Sage & Goat Cheese
Mashed Potatoes with Garlic, Sage and Goat Cheese

Havarti Dill Au Gratin Potatoes
Contributed to Foodista by Seaweed & Sassafras
Havarti Dill au gratin potatoes

Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Crumble Topping
Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Crumble Topping



Ginger Sweet Potato Casserole


Contributed to Foodista by Bigelow Tea

 Ginger Sweet Potato Casserole

Balsamic Roasted Vegetables
Balsamic Roasted Vegetables

Honey Dijon Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Honey Dijon Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Red Onions and Pancetta

Contributed to Foodista by Diana Bauman
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Red Onion and Pancetta
Cauliflower and Broccoli Gratin With Camembert Cheese


Contributed to Foodista by The Coffee Break
Cauliflower and Broccoli Gratin with Camembert Cheese

Homemade Green Bean Casserole
Homemade green bean casserole
Photo: tomcensani

Sweet Corn Pudding

Courtesy of My Family Table: A Passionate Plea for Home Cooking by Chef John Besh
Sweet Corn Pudding

Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Garlic
 Roasted Brussels sprouts with garlic 
Photo: mkosut
 
Pecan Topped Sweet Potato Casserole

Pecan Topped Sweet Potato Casserole
Photo: mroach

Easy Layered Creamed Spinach
 Easy Layered Creamed SPinach

Julia Child's Buttered Peas With Mint
Julia Child's Buttered Peas with Mint
 
Potato and Leek Gratin
Potato and Leek Gratin

Photo: tristanf

Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
Contributed to Foodista by CandyGirl
Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes

Easy Delicious Pan Gravy
Easy Pan Gravy
Photo: Special*Dark

Fennel and Orange Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts and Cranberries
Contributed to Foodista by Kiss My Spatula
Fennel and Orange Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts and Cranberries

Arugula Salad with Pomegranate, Avocado and Goat Cheese
Contributed to Foodista by Winnie Abramson
Arugula Salad with Pomegranate, Avocado, Goat Cheese

Southern Pear Salad
Southern Pear Salad

Photo: abyssalmissile

Sardi's Hearts of Palm Salad
Sardi's Hearts of Palm Salad

Photo: Nina Gallant

Fig, Apple and Roquette Arugula Salad
Contributed to Foodista by RAWk Me!
Fig, Apple, and Roquette Arugula Salad

No Cook Cranberry Relish
No Cook Cranberry Relish

Mary Bogue's Outrageous Cranberries In Cabernet Sauvignon

Mary Bogue's Outrageous Cranberries in Cabernet Sauvignon

Photo: Veganbaking.net



Perfect 1-Hour Dinner Rolls
Perfect 1-hour dinner rolls

Appetizers

Things get hectic on Thanksgiving day and the last thing we want to spend precious time on is an elaborate appetizer spread. Those just spoil the appetite anyway! When it comes to holiday entertaining my philosophy is "half-homemade/half store-bought." Don't have time to make your own fresh Hummus? Buy a plain version and dress up the top with some herbs and a flavorful olive oil. In less than 10 minutes you can make your own Herb and Spiced Goat Cheese. Or, throw mushrooms in balsamic vinegar for some delicious Rosemary Thyme Marinated Mushrooms. Below are some more of my favorite easy, crowd-pleaser holiday appetizers that you can make without breaking a sweat.


Easy Herb and Spiced Goat Cheese


Easy Herb and Spiced Goat Cheese

Dukkah

This delicious Egyptian nut and spice blend is excellent served with olive oil-dipped bread.

Egyptian Dukkah

Quick and Easy Hummus
Quick and easy homemade hummus
Photo: La.Blasco



Homemade Parmesan Thyme Crackers


Homemade parmesan thyme crackers

Rosemary Thyme Marinated Mushrooms

Rosemary Thyme Marinated Mushrooms

Blue Cheese Stuffed Peppadew Peppers

Head for the olive bar in your supermarket and pick up some of those little red peppers. They're sweet and just a bit spicy - perfect for stuffing with a pungent cheese like a blue (they're also great with goat cheese!).
Blue Cheese Stuffed Peppadew Peppers

Holiday Spiced Nuts

Spiced Nuts
Photo: Girlichef

Onion Cheese Puffs

Easy Onion Cheese Puffs

Crispy Baked Chickpeas


Crispy Baked Chickpeas

Easy Brazilian Cheese Puffs (Pao de Queijo)

Contributed to Foodista by Homemade Bites
Just 3 ingredients! And, they're gluten free!

Easy Brazilian Cheese Puffs (Pao de Queijo)

 

Desserts

 

The Quintessential Apple Pie
Courtesy of Art of the Pie
Quintessential Apple Pie

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce
Contributed to Foodista by Cooking With Michele
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce
Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Photo: Veganbaking.net

Apple Pear Cranberry Crisp
Contributed to Foodista by Munchin with Munchkin
Apple Pear Cranberry Crisp

Fabulous Poached Pear and Brown Butter Tart
Contributed to Foodista by Kasey Fleisher Hickey
Fabulous Poached Pear and Brown Butter Tart

Pumpkin Latté Crème Brûlée
Contributed to Foodista by Culinary Crumbs
Pumpin Latte Creme Brulee

Cardamom Pear Upside-Down Cake
Contributed to Foodista by Chelsea Rutherford
Cardamom Pear Upside-Down Cake

Poached Pears in Red Wine
Contributed to Foodista by Living the Gourmet
Poached Pears in Red Wine

Spicy and Savory Pumpkin Pie

Contributed to Foodista by May I have that recipe?
Spicy and Savory Pumpkin Pie

Meyer Lemony Apple Crumble
Contributed to Foodista by Integral Living & Eating
Meyer Lemony Apple Crumble

Southern Pecan Pie
Southern Pecan Pie
Photo: @joefoodie
 
Triple Chocolate Pumpkin Pie
Triple Chocolate Pumpkin Pie
 

Wines to Pair with Thanksgiving Dinner

Courtesy of Jameson Fink - Wine Without Worry

Sparkling Wine 

What is more festive than bubbles? Not only are sparkling wines a great way to greet your guests at the door, they are also fantastic food wines. The bubbles and zest inherent in sparkling wines have a cleansing and refreshing effect on your palate as you transition from each distinct taste on your crowded holiday plate.

Rosé

It's not just for summertime sipping. Dry rosé not only has the added benefit of looking pretty on the table, but is great with poultry and vegetables.

Beaujolais

While Nouveau gets all the attention this time of year, I like to beat the drum for Beaujolais-Villages and Cru Beaujolais. Though made from the Gamay grape (like Nouveau), these are more serious expressions of Beaujolais that are wonderful with a slight chill and will convert any fan of lighter-style reds. Made from the best sites in the region, Cru Beaujolais has enough brawn to handle duck and even beef.

Any Crisp, Dry White

You can't go wrong with a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc from any part of globe. I'm also fond of Gruner Veltliner from Austria, especially when you can get it in a cool one liter bottle, which makes it extra-sharable. Both are very good with green salads.

Whatever You Like To Drink!

Zinfandel? Cabernet? Chardonnay? Saving a special bottle to share? Relax and enjoy the wines that make you happy. But be sure to try a few sips from everything on the table. With such an array of flavors on hand and within arm's reach, it's a great opportunity to sharpen your experience with food and wine pairings.

 

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