The Ultimate List of Thanksgiving Recipes for Home Cooking

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Thanksgiving is a time to spend with family and to be thankful for a range of things in our lives. But it’s also a day that is centered around food. We don’t just want to have the basic turkey dinner with potatoes and veggies. We don’t want the traditional Sunday roast, switching the beef for the turkey.

It’s time find delicious recipes to make the day more exciting. That doesn’t mean difficult or unhealthy either!

Here’s your ultimate list of Thanksgiving recipes to try this year, whether you want an interesting turkey or need something exciting for the trimmings.

How About a Starter?

Before we move onto the main dinner, what about a starter while you finish off the turkey? Yes, we’ll move onto a delicious turkey recipe next!


This starter is great for the majority of diets, especially the paleo one. It’s a cranberry salad and takes minutes to make. It’s best made the night before though, as it will take around 12 hours to chill. You won’t need many extra ingredients—and in most cases, you’ll already have them in your normal weekly grocery shop!

Ingredients

  • 1lb cranberries
  • 1 orange
  • 4tbsp maple syrup

Method

  • 1. Place everything into a blender
  • 2. Pulse together to create small chunks. You don’t want an actual puree!
  • 3. Refrigerate for 12 hours to allow everything to mix together.

Serve on a bed of traditional salad. You can also use this in place of your traditional cranberry sauce (recipe below) if you want!


If you want something warm to start, when you could opt for this squash and apple soup instead. While you can make it with traditional milk, you can also keep it completely dairy, egg, gluten, grain, and sugar-free!

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 large sweet apple
  • 6 cups of vegetable/chicken stock
  • Seasonings of your choice to taste, salt, pepper, basil, and oregano work well
  • ½ cup of coconut milk (or normal white milk)

Method

  • 1. Preheat oven to 400F
  • 2. Slice the squash in half and remove the seeds. Roast for 45-50 minutes until softened.
  • 3. Chop the apple while squash roasts. Place the apple chunks into the stock in a pot.
  • 4. Boil and then simmer for 20 minutes.
  • 5. Remove the squash from the skin and blend until smooth. Add in the apple and smooth into a puree.
  • 6. Add to the pot and season. Add the milk.

It’s ready to serve. It works well will a bit of pepper sprinkled on the top.

Let’s Start With the Turkey


Okay, so the turkey is the main focus for Thanksgiving dinner. If you’re not a vegetarian, then you need to try a good ole traditional turkey with a twist. Try adding some maple syrup and bacon to it instead of just roasting it as you would a chicken! It adds a little bit of time to your preparation, but the cooking time will remain the same. And it’s so worth that extra preparation time.

Ingredients

  • ½ a cup of butter, room temperature
  • Bunch of fresh sage chopped finely
  • Turkey to suit your family needs
  • 8 strips of bacon
  • ½ cup of maple syrup
  • 2tbsp hot water
  • Salt and pepper to season

Method

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Make sure your turkey can fit on the middle shelf.
  • 2. In a mixing bowl, mix the sage and butter with a fork. Set to one side.
  • 3. Rinse your turkey and dry it. Add the seasoning to the cavity of the bird and rub the outside with olive oil. Sprinkle seasoning to taste.
  • 4. Place the bird in a roasting pan. You can add some veggies along with the bottom first and add the turkey on top to kill two birds (no pun intended) with one stone.
  • 5. Lift the skin from your turkey without tearing it. Use half of the butter mix on the skin. Cover the breast as much as possible.
  • 6. You can now add your stuffing if you want to. This is an optional step.
  • 7. Add the strips of bacon across your turkey. If you need more than the eight to cover your bird, then go for it!
  • 8. Cover with foil and place in the oven.
  • 9. Wait, where’s the maple syrup? While it cooks, mix the maple syrup with the water in a bowl. Instead of basting the turkey with its own juices, baste with the maple syrup. The first glazing will just involve pouring the maple mixture over the whole bird. It’ll mix in with the turkey juices, and you can use that from the second glazing.
  • 10. Glaze every 30 minutes.
  • 11. Cook uncovered for the last 30 minutes to brown the turkey and turn it all crispy. You’ll need to remove the bacon if you want the skin there to turn crispy.
  • 12. The total cooking time will depend on the size of the turkey. You should cook for 15 minutes to the pound for an unstuffed turkey, and 18 minutes to the pound for a stuffed one.
  • 13. Allow to rest for 20 minutes to reabsorb all the juices.
  • 14. You can create a gravy from the leftover juices.

It’s ready to serve. It works well will a bit of pepper sprinkled on the top.

Switch Potatoes for Sweet Potatoes

Now that you’ve got your turkey, it’s time to move onto some of the sides. Roast potatoes are a common option, and we usually opt for the store-bought frozen ones just for a time. But what about making your own this year for something a little different?

Opt for sweet potatoes instead of normal potatoes. Chop them up into wedge shaped and add them to a freezer bag. Add a couple of tablespoons of oil and then shake the bag to cover the potatoes in the oil thoroughly.

Space out the potatoes on a baking tray and then pop them in the oven for 15-20 minutes. You’ll need to check on them. They should be crispy but not burned!

If you like a bit of zing, you can add some pepper and paprika to the potatoes before you cook them. A little bit of garlic also works well.

Don’t Forget the Cranberry Sauce


This is one of the most commonly forgotten sides when it comes to Thanksgiving dinners. We tend to buy the canned options, but there is so much salt and sugar added to them. It’s time to make your own to have a healthier roast turkey dinner this year.

The funny thing is we use the canned option because of the misconception that cranberry sauce is difficult to make. It’s really not. It’ll take you just a few minutes, and can be one of the last things you do while waiting that last 30 minutes for your turkey to finish!

You can even do this the night before and put in the fridge ready for the next day.

Ingredients

  • 1 bag of fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of orange juice (you can use water instead)

Method

  • 1. Mix everything together in a pan.
  • 2. Bring to the boil and then simmer until the cranberries pop.
  • 3. Place in a bowl to add to the fridge.

This is best served chilled.

Make Your Stuffing From Home


You don’t need to pop the stuffing in the turkey, and you definitely don’t need to buy it from the store. Why not have some fun making your own stuffing at home? You don’t need much, and it definitely doesn’t take long. This recipe is paleo friendly and works extremely well with that maple infused turkey.

Ingredients

  • 2lbs sausage, Italian sausage works well, but you can also use calorie-controlled options
  • 2 green apples, chopped and peeled
  • 2 onions, chopped finely
  • 6 celery stalks, chopped
  • ¼ cup of bacon fat
  • ¼ cup of ghee
  • 1/4tsp of paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350F
  • 2. Use a food processor to blend the sausages.
  • 3. Mix everything in a bowl and then add to a baking tray.
  • 4. Bake for 35 minutes. Keep checking on it to make sure all the ingredients remain mixed.
  • 5. Broil for 5 minutes to make the top golden brown

It’s delicious served warm, but you can also opt for it cold. It’s great in your sandwiches the next day with your turkey.

Now Add the Mash

Mashed potatoes are popular. There are two options when it comes to your mash, though. You could have garlic mashed potatoes or cauliflower fauxtatoes. Or you could just add both to your Thanksgiving dinner! Here are your recipes.

The Cauliflower Fauxtatoes


Ingredients

  • 2 cauliflower heads
  • 6tbsp butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  • 1. Steam your cauliflower
  • 2. Puree the cauliflower in a blender.
  • 3. Add in the other ingredients and combine.

It’s all ready to serve! If you prefer some lumps, you can always mash everything together with a potato masher instead.

Garlicky Mashed Potatoes


Ingredients

  • 4 large potatoes, washed, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2tbsp ghee
  • 2tbsp coconut milk or Greek yogurt
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  • 1. Boil the potatoes in the vegetable broth. Add extra liquid if you need it to cover the potatoes.
  • 2. Drain the potatoes and transfer to the blender. Add the other ingredients and spin until creamy.

If you prefer some lumps in your potatoes, you can mash all the ingredients together instead of using the blender.

It’s Time for Dessert

Let’s finish the day as we started with a healthy and filling dessert. In fact, there are a couple of options even for your desserts.

Mini Pumpkin Pies


We can’t forget the pumpkins when they’re in the season. They’re not just for creating Jack O’ Lanterns a month earlier. These pies aren’t just easy to make, but they’re small enough to fit in after that filling dinner, without ruining the waistline.

These will take time, so you’ll want to make them the night before and store!

Ingredients for the crust

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup of water
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup honey or maple syrup
  • 2tsp vanilla extract

Ingredients for the filling

  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1tbsp gelatin
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8tsp ginger
  • Pinch of cloves

Method for the crusts

  • 1. Preheat oven to 350F
  • 2. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  • 3. Mix the wet ingredients in another bowl and then add to the dry ingredients. Work into a dough.
  • 4. Remove a quarter of the dough and roll in between two bits of parchment paper until ¼” thick. Press to flatten into a mini pie pan. Trim the excess.
  • 5. Repeat step 4 for the rest of the pies.
  • 6. Bake for 22 minutes.

Method for the pie

  • 1. Combine all the ingredients in a pot on a low heat. Stir until the gelatin dissolves.
  • 2. Pour into the pie crusts.
  • 3. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Top with the thickened part of coconut milk.

It’s delicious served warm, but you can also opt for it cold. It’s great in your sandwiches the next day with your turkey.

Cranberry and Mint Mousse


Not everyone likes to deal with pumpkins or even wants pie. Well, you can opt for a mousse instead, made with mint and cranberries. This is one that is quick to make but takes the time to set. Making it the night before will definitely save time on the day!

Ingredients

  • 8oz cranberries, preferably fresh
  • 1 cup milk, coconut or normal white milk is fine
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 orange zest and juice
  • 1 tbsp gelatin
  • 2tbsp mint, fresh and chopped

Method

  • 1. Blend the cranberries and milk together until smooth.
  • 2. Add the honey, juice, and extract. Blend until completely mixed.
  • 3. Remove clumps by pouring through a sieve.
  • 4. Heat until steaming. You don’t want this to boil!
  • 5. Remove from heat and add in the gelatin and whisk together.
  • 6. Stir in the mint and zest.
  • 7. Split into 4 glasses and refrigerate to set.

It’s best served cold.

Have the Best Home Cooked Thanksgiving

Now it’s time to enjoy your home cooked Thanksgiving dinner. There’s no need to cheat with anything, and you get to enjoy something healthy and diet friendly throughout the day. Many of the meals above are great for the Paleo diet, but will also work for other dietary needs with a few small substitutes.

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