Thanksgiving Recipes: A Round-Up of Family Favorites!

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Image: A variety of food dishes on a Thanksgiving table

Thanksgiving Recipes at Your Service!

It’s right around the corner–Thanksgiving that is!  In this post, I’m rounding up all of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes in hopes that they give you some wonderful ideas on what to serve at your Thanksgiving fiesta.   

Next to Christmas, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. The food is endless. It’s the one day of the year when calories and carbs don’t count. And honestly, I just love anything that brings my family and friends together. 

Without further ado, here’s a list of some of my all-time favorite Thanksgiving recipes.

Thanksgiving Morning Breakfast Ideas

Everyone knows you need a little something to munch on and sip while you’re starting the preparations for all that food you’re going to be serving a little later in the day.  

pumpkin spice cold brew3 My Copycat Version of a Pumpkin Spice Cold Brew Whitney Khan Contributor Miami Moms Blog

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Apple Pumpkin Bread | Bring on Fall With This Vegan Recipe Whitney Khan Contributor Miami Moms Blog

Apple Pumpkin Bread | Bring on Fall With This Vegan Recipe

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Cornbread Pancakes with a Cranberry Compote

Need I say more? Being a girl from the South, my heart yearns for anything related to cornbread. My friends, THIS is the breakfast of champions. My advice to you is this: double up on the recipe if you’re serving a crowd.

Image: Cornbread pancakes with cranberry compote

(Depending on how big you make your pancakes, this will make around 6.)

Ingredients for the Cornbread Pancakes:

1 cup milk (non-dairy or dairy – I use almond milk)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup oat flour or all-purpose flour
2 tbsp organic cane sugar
1 tbsp baking powder (aluminum-free)
pinch of kosher salt
2 tbsp butter (vegan or non-vegan), melted plus more for greasing the pan/skillet

Ingredients for the Cranberry Cinnamon Compote:

1 – 8oz bag frozen or fresh cranberries
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup orange juice or water
1 cinnamon stick or 1 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg, optional

Instructions:

  1. Measure out the milk in a measuring cup and add the apple cider vinegar. Stir and set aside for a few minutes.
  2. In a large mixing bowl add all of the dry ingredients and whisk together.
  3. Add the melted butter to the dry ingredients and add the milk a little bit at a time. I didn’t need all of the milk. Stir until just combined. Don’t over mix. Your batter will be semi-thick. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, heat up your griddle or skillet for the pancakes and make the compote.
  5. In a small saucepan on medium heat, add the cranberries and let them get soft. Transfer the cranberries to a blender/food processor and blend until smooth. Return the cranberries back to the saucepan, reduce the heat to low and add the orange juice, maple syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Let it hang out while you make the pancakes.
  6. Add a little butter to the griddle/skillet. You don’t want the skillet to be super hot. If the butter looks like it’s burning, it’s too hot. I used a 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop the batter onto the pan. When you see bubbles appear on the top of each pancake, flip it over.  Repeat until all of the batter is gone. I was able to make 6 pancakes (about 4 inches in diameter).
  7. Keep the pancakes warm in a 200-degree oven until ready to serve. Top each pancake with the Cranberry Cinnamon Compote and give a little drizzle of syrup on each one!  SO GOOD!!!

Side Dishes for the W-I-N

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t serve a table full of casseroles at their Thanksgiving dinner.

Just in case you need one more casserole in your repertoire, you can never go wrong with a homemade sweet potato casserole. It’s southern, completely homemade, and can be served as a side dish or dessert!

sweet potato casserole2 Southern Sweet Potato Casserole Miami Moms Blog

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Southern Cornbread Dressing 

This is a must-have at our Thanksgiving dinner. 

You can make life a lot easier by making this a day or two before. On Turkey Day, all you need to do is bake it!  It’s really a win-win! 

Image: Southern cornbread dressing

(Serves 10-12)

Ingredients for the Cornbread:

1/2 stick of butter
2 cups of cornmeal
1 cup self-rising flour OR all-purpose flour  (if you use all-purpose add 1 tsp baking powder)
1 egg
1 – 1.5 cups buttermilk

Ingredients for the Dressing:

2 tbsp butter
1 onion, finely diced
45 stalks of celery, finely diced
1 tbsp cane sugar
1 tbsp kosher salt
2 tsp ground black pepper
2 – 3 palm fulls of rubbed sage
2 – 2.5 cups vegetable of chicken stock

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Melt the 1/2 stick of butter in a cast-iron skillet. Be careful not to let it burn, but you want it to be hot.
  3. While the butter melts, add the cornmeal, flour, and egg to a large mixing bowl. I add 1/2 a cup of buttermilk at a time until I’ve reached a batter-like consistency. For me, this usually takes 1.5 cups of buttermilk.
  4. Pull the skillet out of the oven and add a little teaspoon of batter to the skillet. If it sizzles, you’re ready to go. If it doesn’t sizzle, add it back to the oven for another minute. Add the batter to the skillet and bake for 20 minutes or until golden and crispy around the edges.
  5. Once the cornbread has finished baking, let it cool for 10 minutes, then flip it out onto a plate or cutting board and let it continue to cool completely.
  6. In a large saute pan add the 2 tbsp of butter on medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted, add the onion and celery. Cook until translucent; about 5 – 7 minutes. 
  7. Remove the onion and celery to a large mixing bowl. Once the cornbread has cooled enough crumble it up in the same bowl as the onion/celery. Add the sugar, salt, pepper, sage and mix together.
  8. Slowly start adding the stock. I added 3 cups. You want the dressing to be wet – very moist. This will help it to not dry out as it bakes.
  9. Add the dressing to a 9×13 inch casserole dish and bake for 30 minutes or until golden.
  10. Serve immediately.

Green Bean Casserole

I’ve turned an old-fashioned green bean casserole and made it just a wee bit healthier. And guess what?! There’s not one can of cream of anything soup in this dish! 

Image: A healthier version of green bean casserole

(Serves 6)

Ingredients:  

6 – 8 slices of bacon
8 oz package of sliced mushrooms
1 cup diced onion
1 – 2 tsp minced garlic, optional
2/3 cup half and half
1/4 cup full-fat cream cheese
salt and pepper
1 lb green beans (I used French green beans)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large skillet on medium-high heat, cook the bacon. I chopped the bacon first and then cooked it. Once it’s cooked and crispy, drain the bacon on a paper towel and set aside.
  3. Reserve 1 – 2 tbsp of the bacon fat and saute the onion, garlic, and mushrooms until softened; about 3 – 5 minutes.
  4. Next, add the half and half and the cream cheese. Bring this mixture to a boil stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until it’s super thick – about 7 – 8 minutes.
  5. Add the green beans to the mixture and stir well until all the beans are covered in the cream cheese mixture.
  6. Pour the green beans into an 8×8 inch casserole dish or use the dish you’re cooking in and bake for 15 – 20 minutes; or until hot and bubbly.
  7. Sprinkle the bacon on top and bake for 5 more minutes.
  8. EAT!!!

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

We are potato-loving people! These garlic mashed potatoes will bring everybody to your table. Truly delicious and so easy to make. You can make this recipe dairy-free if needed. 

Image: Homemade garlic mashed potatoes

(Serves 6)

Ingredients for the Mashed Potatoes:

8 – 10 Yukon Gold Potatoes, washed, dried and diced (I leave the skin on)
3 – 4 garlic cloves
1/2 cup milk plus more as needed (dairy or non-dairy) OR vegetable stock and some of the reserved potato water
2 – 3 tbsp butter (dairy or non-dairy)
1/4 cup sliced green onions
salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for the Mushroom Gravy:

1 – 2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup sliced or quartered baby bella mushrooms
1 tbsp butter
1 heaping tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup vegetable broth
1/4 – 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 – 1/2 tsp onion powder
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Cook the potatoes in a large pot of water until fork tender; about 15 minutes.
  2. Once the potatoes have softened, drain the water off of them. Add the potatoes to a mixing bowl and add the milk, butter, green onion, salt, and pepper. Mash with a potato masher or a handheld mixer until you get the consistency that you like.
  3. In a medium-size saute pan saute the mushrooms in the olive oil over medium-high heat until soft. Remove from the pan and save.
  4. In the same pan add the butter and flour. Make a roux. I let the flour cook for 3 – 4 minutes. Then whisk in the vegetable broth, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Bring the gravy to a slight bubble until it thickens.
  5. Once the gravy has thickened, reduce the heat to low and add the mushrooms back to the gravy.
  6. Serve alongside the potatoes.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Everyone knows you can’t have Thanksgiving without a whole lot of cranberry sauce to pour over the turkey and dressing! Lynda was so sweet to share this recipe! It’s one of their family’s favorites, and quite frankly, I can’t wait to try this out myself.

Image: 3 jars of homemade cranberry sauce

Ingredients:
 
1 lb fresh cranberries

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water  
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 cup of orange juice

Directions:
  1. Combine cranberries, sugar, and water in a medium saucepan, stirring to blend. Bring to a boil on medium heat.
  2. Reduce heat to simmer and add the spices and cinnamon stick. Stir and simmer for 5 minutes (some cranberries will be whole).
  3. Add the orange juice and stir.
  4. Allow to cool completely before serving.

How 'Bout That Turkey?! 

I used to be so intimidated by roasting big birds like this, but after a couple years of practice, it really couldn’t be easier. Make sure you’ve got a big roasting pan and a meat thermometer!  

If you choose to make this turkey, you must start at least 24 hours in advance. But the outcome will be so incredibly delicious and worth it!

whole roasted turkey3 Christmas Dinner Dazzler: Roasted Turkey Whitney Khan Contributor Miami Moms Blog

Christmas Dinner Dazzler: Roasted Turkey

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A Delicious Vegan-Friendly Meal Option

Quinoa and Mushroom Stuffed Butternut Squash

This dish will be the center of attention for anyone not interested in turkey.

Image: Quinoa and Mushroom Stuffed Butternut Squash

(Serves 4)

Ingredients:

1 large butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water or vegetable broth
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp kosher salt
1 – 2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups quartered baby bella mushrooms
1 diced onion
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 big handfuls chopped fresh spinach
zest of 1 lemon/juice of 1/2 lemon, optional
salt and pepper to taste
3 – 4 pieces of twine

Gravy:

1 tbsp butter (dairy or non-dairy)
1 heaping tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup vegetable broth
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the butternut squash on a parchment paper lined sheet pan cut side up. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 45 minutes or until fork-tender.
  2. In the meantime, cook the quinoa. Bring the quinoa, water, or veg broth to a boil, add the thyme, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and cover with a lid. Cook for 20 minutes or until the liquid has absorbed. Once it’s done cooking, pour the quinoa out on a sheet pan and let it cool.
  3. In a large saute pan on medium heat – add a tbsp or two of olive oil.  Once it’s hot add the onion and garlic. Cook for 5 – 7 minutes and then add the mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms are soft, about 3 – 5 minutes. Pour into a mixing bowl and set aside until you’re ready for it.
  4. Once the butternut squash has cooked, let it cool for about 5 minutes or until it’s cool enough to handle. Very carefully with a paring knife, cut scores into the flesh of the squash and run the knife along the sides of the skin so it’s easy to cut the meat of the squash out. Try not to cut the skin. You want to leave just enough squash left on the skin to hold the shape of the squash.
  5. Now, in the mixing bowl with the onion/garlic/mushrooms – add 2 cups of the quinoa, the spinach, zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon (if you want that added flavor). Mix everything together well and stuff one side of the squash with the filling. I stuffed as much as I could without all of it falling out. Place the other side of the squash on top. Use some twine to hold it together.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes or until it’s hot throughout. 20 minutes was plenty of time to warm it back up for me. Now, if you want a little gravy on the side, make it while the squash is back in the oven.
  7. In a small saucepan on medium-high heat, add the butter and let it melt completely. Then add the flour. Whisk together and form a roux.  I like to let the flour cook for 2 – 3 minutes. This allows the roux to darken just a little bit. Next, add the broth and bring it to a boil.  Whisk the roux into the broth. When it starts to boil, it will thicken. Let it boil for a few minutes, then reduce the heat to low. Add the spices, salt, and pepper. TASTE IT! Adjust the seasoning to your preference.
  8. Once your Stuffed Squash has come out of the oven, let it cool for about 10 minutes. If you cut it immediately, it falls apart. Letting it cool for a few minutes helps it to hold its shape.
  9. I drizzled the gravy over my Stuffed Squash. If you’re not into gravy, by all means, skip this part and EAT!

Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes

Here are a couple of my favorite fall-like desserts I love to serve. Just so you know, these desserts can be eaten year-round, too!  

Insanely Delicious Pumpkin Blondies (Paleo/Gluten-free)

Image: Insanely Delicious Pumpkin Blondies (Paleo/Gluten-free)

Dry Ingredients:

2 cups almond flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

Wet Ingredients:

1 large egg
1/3 cup almond butter
2/3 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup coconut sugar
1/4 maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together all of the “dry ingredients” except the chocolate chips. Set aside for a few minutes.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all of the “wet Ingredients.”  Add the dry ingredients to the wet and continue mixing until there are no lumps. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Pour the batter into your prepared baking dish and bake for 22 – 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  5. DO NOT SKIP THIS NEXT STEP.
  6. Let the blondies cool for 2 HOURS before cutting them. Trust me on this. It’ll be an ooey-gooey mess.
  7. After 2 hours EAT your heart out!

Dark Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars (Paleo/Vegan)

Image: Pecan pie bars

Ingredients for the Crust:

1 cup coconut flour
1/4 tsp kosher salt
3 tbsp maple syrup
5 tbsp butter (dairy or non-dairy… I used Earth Balance), softened and cut into small pieces

Ingredients for the Filling:

3/4 cup organic cane sugar (or coconut sugar)
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup melted butter (dairy or non-dairy)
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 tbsp flaxseed meal
2 tsp tapioca flour
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 1/4 cup pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
2 – 3 handfuls of dark (or milk) chocolate chips, optional

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8×8 inch square pan with butter or non-stick spray and line the pan with parchment paper. This makes it easier to pull out.
  2. Combine all of the crust ingredients in a large bowl. You can start by using a whisk, but if you’re like me – it’s way easier to use your hand and let the warmth of your hand mold everything together to form the crust.
  3. Press the dough into the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool completely.
  4. For the filling: Combine the sugar, maple syrup, and butter in a small saucepan over medium to medium-low heat and whisk to combine.  Bring to a low boil and let it simmer for 2 – 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the almond milk, flaxseed meal, tapioca, vanilla, and salt. Add to the slightly cooled sugar mixture and whisk to combine.
  6. Stir in the pecans and pour the mixture over the crust. Sprinkle the chocolate all over the top and bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Let it cool for about 15 minutes, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours before cutting.
  8. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Cocktails

Because I’m a firm believer that you can’t (or shouldn’t) have a holiday party without something fun to sip on, I’ve got two cocktails below that I’m pretty sure you’re going to love! 

Apple Cider Mimosas

Image: Apple cider mimosas

Ingredients for the Sugared Rims:

1 tbsp cane sugar
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

For the Mimosas:

Apple Cider
Champagne or Sparkling Wine

Instructions:

  1. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together on a little plate. Pour 2 – 3 tbsp of apple cider into a small bowl.
  2. Dip the champagne flute in a little apple cider, then dip it in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. This makes the glass look so pretty!
  3. Carefully pour apple cider into the flute and top it with Champagne or sparkling wine. (I like to do 1/4 of the glass with apple cider and 3/4 with Champagne.)
  4. Garnish with a slice of apple and sip!

Vegan Eggnog

Image: Vegan egg nog

Ingredients:

1/2 cup cashews
2 cups almond milk
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp water
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp cardamom
4 – 6 pitted dates
1 tsp vanilla, optional
couple splashes of your favorite rum, optional

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl, add the cashews. Cover them in water and let them sit for at least 2 hours.
  2. Once the cashews have softened, add EVERYTHING except the booze to a high-powered blender. BLEND-BLEND-BLEND for about 1 minute, or until completely smooth.
  3. I like to refrigerate my eggnog until it’s super cold. This part is totally up to you.
  4. Pour into a pretty glass and give it a splash or two of rum if you’d like! Garnish with a couple sprinkles of cinnamon or throw a cinnamon stick in the glass. Enjoy!

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Friends, I hope you find some, if not all, of these recipes helpful and delicious. And I hope you have the best day cooking, eating, and spending time with your loved ones. We have so much to be thankful for, right?! 

Happy Thanksgiving!
-Whitney

Updated November 2023

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