Ok,I’ll admit, I’m not a holiday recipe kind of food blogger. I don’t feature holiday recipes months before the holidays, unless it’s a recipe that can be used for any occasion, like the following recipes! These recipes are not Thanksgiving specific recipes at all, but some of my favorite recipes that would pair perfectly with any Thanksgiving fare. I know there are those of you that are still planning and figuring out what to serve up that day, or bring to a friend’s house, so hopefully one of these recipes will inspire you!
First off, I want to share with you all my favorite stuffing recipe. I make this sausage and chestnut stuffing every year for Thanksgiving, (I’ve made it the past 15 years). It gets rave reviews each year, and it’s one of the dishes I look forward to the most at Thanksgiving. I’m excited just thinking about it 🙂
It can be a bit of struggle coming up with something to serve a vegetarian or vegan guest at Thanksgiving that will not only make them feel special, but satisfy them at the same time. I never want to just present a plate filled with side dishes to my vegetarian or vegan guests. I want them to enjoy a complete, satisfying and beautiful meal. This acorn squash paired with quinoa is truly a complete meal, and will easily fill up guests who skip the turkey, and the presentation on these is just gorgeous, in fact stunning. Serve these up to your guests for Thanksgiving, and they will be impressed. If you’re serving vegans, swap the feta cheese for some nutritional yeast, which has a mild nutty, cheesy flavor.
Roasted sweet potato and farro salad: This is a another great meatless alternative for Thanksgiving! I love this salad because it’s savory, sweet and nutty all at once. Roasted sweet potatoes paired with the chewy nutty texture of farro and topped with fresh dill and arugula greens, it’s almost too pretty to eat. It also makes amazing leftovers. I find myself eating this salad out of the fridge all of the time, and having a hard time stopping.What would Thanksgiving be without cranberry sauce? This cranberry orange sauce is so easy to make and tastes 100 times better than the canned stuff. I remember devouring the canned stuff as a kid each Thanksgiving. I would peel open the can and dump out that big glop of gelled cranberry sauce onto the serving dish and call it a day. Easy peasy right? Well, yes, it was easy, but not so tasty, so move over canned sauce and say hello to the fresh stuff.Ok, I know you all don’t want to think about veggies on Thanksgiving, because let’s be honest, we all just want to stuff our bellies with heaping amounts of turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, stuffing and pies galore, but a vegetable helps round out the meal by not only adding some nutrition, but also some much needed color to a plate filled with colors of brown, white and tan.
Let’s start out with a few of my favorite kale salads. Kale salads are chock full of color, so they would definitely liven up the all the browns, whites and tans that Thanksgiving dinner fare is known for. Not only are kale salads full of color, but their chock full of nutrition. I know that eating a super green like kale on Thanksgiving, will make me feel a bit less guilty. Kale salads are also something that you can make ahead and bring to that Thanksgiving potluck, or pull out of the fridge right as your cutting up the turkey, and honestly who doesn’t love something that you can make ahead that tastes better as it sits.
Kale salad with Brussels sprouts and toasted almonds: This is one of my favorite fall salads and I love that you get 2 awesome veggies in one salad! Bonus! I love the combination of the kale with the crunchiness of the Brussels sprouts and toasted almonds. The almonds are toasted in olive oil and then topped with some sea salt, and they totally make the salad. This salad will be made again and again in my house this fall, and the best part is that it’s Eli approved! I’m not lying, Eli loves this salad! Yippee!Kale salad with pear, toasted almonds and aged gouda: This is a simple kale salad that my kids actually love, due to the aged gouda and pears, which pair perfectly together. This salad is so easy to make and the dressing is simply just a bit of olive oil and lemon. The base of this salad (the kale) can be made ahead of time, just cover and refrigerate the massaged kale greens and then add the pear, toasted almonds and cheese when you’re ready to eat or serve up the salad.Kale salad with delicata squash, almonds and aged cheddar: I do think that this kale salad, while being perfect for any occasion, would be a nice addition to any Thanksgiving plate, especially if you’re not serving up the traditional side of butternut squash. It’s amazingly delicious with the caramelized roasted squash paired with the toasted almonds and the aged cheddar. The flavors mesh together so well and make every bite scrumptious. The dressing is so simple, all you need is a bit of olive oil and lemon juice, and the delicata squash is so easy to prepare, because there is no peeling involved. Now, how easy is that?Vegan kale salad with sweet lemon maple dressing: This was the first kale salad I ever made, and is my friend Yvonne’s favorite kale salad. She makes it weekly, and loves it so much that she’s made it up for Thanksgiving dinner the past 2 years in a row! This salad is vegan and dairy-free, as the dressing is made with tofu, maple syrup and lemon juice! It’s a bit on the sweet side due to the dressing, cranberries and apples, so it’s a great first kale salad to try on the kiddos. This salad also tastes great using curly kale, which I know works for a lot of people, as lacinato kale is not always readily available.Now, you can always just make up a batch of my favorite kale salad on the planet, my lacinato kale salad. As you all know, this is the salad that I make at least twice a week, as it’s simple to make and tastes great! What else could you ask for!If you’re looking for a simpler salad, then try my arugula salad with simple lemon vinaigrette: The vinaigrette consists of 4 pantry ingredients; lemon, extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, and takes under 2 minutes to whip up. All you do it toss the dressing with a bunch of arugula, add some freshly shaved parmesan and there you have it, an easy and simple salad to add a bit of green to your plate! If you have room in your oven, you can always roast up some season vegetables to serve on the side. You can even roast these up ahead of time and then quickly re-heat them in the oven right before dinner. These fall roasted vegetables are beautiful in color, and pair perfectly with the traditional Thanksgiving fare.If you’re oven is jammed and you only have 5-minutes to spare right before dinner service. Don’t fret, here’s two easy seasonal vegetables that literally take 5-minutes to roast up to perfection. Marin mama to the rescue…
5-minute roasted Brussels sprouts: If you make these up then you have to use coconut oil! The oil adds such amazing flavor to the Brussels, and the kids devour them.
5-minute roasted cauliflower: Cauliflower is simple, but my kids LOVE it and you can jazz up the color by adding some fresh chopped parsley onto the platter when serving. Want to add a pop of nutrition to your mashed potatoes? Then add in some sautéed kale! Kale mashed potatoes: These are sort of a healthier mashed potato with the added kale, but they still taste rich and creamy like mashed potatoes should. I’m not sure I would top them with gravy though!For those of you that are not making up stuffing, or just want some additional carbs, here you go… Popovers are a HUGE hit in our house, and I honestly make them bi-weekly for the kids as an afterschool snack, dinner side, or for breakfast in the morning warmed up with a bit of jam or nutella inside.
I usually make a batch or two of popovers for Thanksgiving, as I find most kids are not fans of stuffing, and they want something carby. Let’s be honest, kids love carbs! You can’t got wrong with either one of these popovers.
Traditional popovers: These are the popovers that get made weekly in our house! My kids adore these popovers and they pair with just about anything.Rosemary and sea salt popovers: These popovers are the BOMB and became a family favorite after one bite. The top of the popover is a bit crunchy and salty from the pinch of sea salt, and the rosemary adds such an amazing flavor to the popover. They’re the perfect savory fall popover.Oh, and we can’t forget these bad boys. These are the best corn muffins and they’re great to serve up Thanksgiving morning as well as for dinner. My kid’s devour them!
Also, if you’re really in the mood to bake and give your kiddos or guests a breakfast treat or snack, serve up these pumpkin muffin poppers. They’re like pumpkin donuts, SO GOOD!You have to have dessert on Thanksgiving right? Well, move over pumpkin pie and say hello to dark chocolate! I’m making this dark chocolate and coconut pie again for Thanksgiving this year. Last year I brought this to a Thanksgiving party where there were tons of apple and pumpkin pies, and can you take a guess which one was devoured first? This one baby! It’s seriously like eating a chocolate covered macaroon. Yum! Pumpkin sheet cake with cream cheese frosting: If you’re not a pie person, but want to serve up something with pumpkin, then try this cake. It’s a total kid and crowd pleaser, and I mean who doesn’t love anything pumpkin this time of year! This cake is so super easy to whip up, (you just need a bowl and a whisk) it’s fluffy and moist (I’m not a fan of that word, but the cake is really moist) and it feeds a crowd. You can’t go wrong with this cake!
There you have it! I hope you all find a recipe or two to share with friends, or just to enjoy pre or post holiday.
So being that it’s so close to Thanksgiving, and Thanksgiving is all about sharing what we’re grateful for, I wanted to let you all know how extremely grateful I am for all of you, my readers, who come back again and again to read my blog and make my recipes. You all keep me inspired to continue with this blog, and I truly adore hearing from you whether it be via email, in person (my fave) or through a comment on the blog. You all rock, so thanks again for being so loyal and awesome!
So I’m sending you all the best wishes for a wonderful holiday filled with friends, family and lots of love and joy!