7 Inspiring Recipes for the Thanksgiving Table

Plans and preparation for Thanksgiving are getting underway around here as we will celebrate this favorite holiday in just two weeks time!
Cooking the entire Thanksgiving feast can be a daunting task, but if some of the dishes can be contributed by guests or family members ‘pot-luck’ style, and a few things made ahead of time, the event can be comfortably managed.

Take my Buttermilk & Sweet Onion Rolls, for example. They can be made up to a month ahead of time, then well wrapped and frozen. On the big day simply thaw and place in the oven about 20 minutes before dinner is served. Voila! Hot rolls as tender and soft as if you have made them fresh. Be sure to make plenty as I’ve observed individuals eat as many as three each during the Thanksgiving feast. (Nope, it wasn’t me.)

Here’s an outstanding Fruit & Herb Stuffing that can be assembled the day before and baked off on Thanksgiving Day either in the turkey or on the side. It’s perfumed with some of my favorite herbs and sweetened with dried cranberries, apples, and golden raisins. Speaking of Big Bird…

There’s lots of fancy ways to cook a turkey, from deep frying to brining overnight and then roasting, but I prefer it simply seasoned and roasted, with a maple butter glaze brushed on in the last few minutes of cooking.

It’s often easy for the side dishes to steal the spotlight at Thanksgiving feasts, especially when they are emerald green and bejeweled with toasted nuts like these Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts & Lemon.

Don’t forget my favorite part of the meal: the cranberry sauce. It’s really the main reason to eat turkey, as far as I’m concerned, and this cheery Orange-Anise Cranberry Sauce will wake up those taste buds and complement the poultry perfectly.

Wait! Hold off on thirds of this virtual Thanksgiving feast, because dessert is coming!

It doesn’t get much more classic than apple pie, but this sky-high version made with sour cream and spices, then topped with a kicking pecan streusel, is the best I’ve ever had. Trust me, it’s worthy of a spot on your sideboard this Thanksgiving.

I don’t even have to sell you on this Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce because just the title and photo alone should tell you that it’s pretty much the ideal Autumn dessert.
Psst: don’t have time for messing with pie crust? This dessert is a cinch to put together and can be made a day or two ahead of time–IF you can resist eating it warm from the oven. I dare you.

No matter where you are or what day you celebrate, here’s raising a glass and wishing “a happy, healthy Thanksgiving to each and every one!”

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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  1. You weren't kidding when you said you were thinking Thanksgiving. I need to try that apple pie this weekend – when it cools down and starts feeling like fall.

  2. I made the stuffing last year and LOVED it.

  3. That apple pie looks utterly amazing. I was thinking about Thanksgiving today too, though mine is two months away!

  4. OK, I may just have to lift your entire menu for our Thanksgiving feast – we're doing it early and then leaving town for a wedding!

  5. Oh my word! The pumpkin bread pudding and caramel sauce?! I am DYING over here. (In a good way, of course.) These all look amazing.

  6. What a lovely feast! I am so looking forward to Thanksgiving. Unfortunately my boys have simple tastes, I can only be creative with the stuffing, cranberry sauce and some sides. They don't eat them anyway!

  7. Your turkey looks like it's out of a magazine!

  8. I thinking fitting that you just posted this as my foodie son JUST mentioned last night how he can't wait for Thanksgiving!

    Btw, I won't be waiting 'til then to make the bread pudding. (How'd I miss that?) He's gonna REALLY love me when he gets a taste of it!

  9. I can't wait for your Thankgsiving and I can't wait for ours, either. I remember all of these things you made from last year.

    I really like the looks of those rolls. They look like cinnamon rolls. I neeeeed that pumpkin bread pudding.

  10. I'm dying to try those rolls and the desserts….yum!

  11. Adorable recipes for Thanksgiving. I don’t have it in my country, but the delightful dishes are totally valid 😀
    The dessert with caramel sauce is so tempting 🙂



  12. Last year we discovered roasted brussel sprouts with bacon (yum!) so this year I think we'll try walnuts and lemon. I have always loved them and growing up we always ate them boiled so finding new ways is delightful!

  13. I saw thanksgiving and I was excited that someone else was thinking about what to make/serve for this wonderful food holiday then I remember- you're in Canada. Yep I am too early in thinking about this for the US.
    The cranberry with anise sounds divine as well as the pumpkin bread pudding- then there is the maple-butter glaze for the bird- ooooh. I will have fun trying them out in the next couple of weeks to get ready in time for November's Thanksgiving.

  14. Aaaah, say it ain't so! It's coming up way too quickly. These are pretty wonderful inspiration dishes, though.

  15. Wow, what a feast! I'd take some of each, thank you. It all looks so delicious! I've definitely got to try those rolls for our Thanksgiving.

  16. I'm with you- I plan way ahead too. I'm not having Thanksgiving this year, but the troops are coming for Christmas- so I am already thinking. That pumpkin bread pudding looks wonderful although you could pour caramel on anything and I would love it. 🙂

  17. Thanksgiving is one of the holidays I host and I can't wait to start planning the menu – that bread pudding looks to die for!

  18. OMG – every dish looks better than the last!!! I will be making those onion rolls for sure! The apple pie is stunning too. And the cranberry sauce… uh oh!

  19. The Pumpkin Bread Pudding looks great! One question though: What kind of bread do you recommend?

  20. What a feast Amy!!!!

  21. Wow, these all look incredible! What a bonus for us here in the States to be able to – ahem – test these out before the big day. Like, every weekend between now and the end of November. Amazing, Aimee, just amazing!

  22. The first time I went to a Canadian Thanksgiving dinner, it was to a potluck with five families, including my sister-in-law. When everyone put their dishes on the long table, I realized that every single dish of food was brown! Not a green vegetable in sight. So those Brussels sprouts would not have been allowed — though they would be welcome on my Thanksgiving table any day!

  23. I am not hosting this year because of work…but I think I'll make the rolls they look very good. Thanks

  24. This looks great!
    Have you thought about submitting anything to the Mastering the Art of Sustainable Cooking Contest, just launched by Brighter Planet? They have a category on preparing communal meals, and after reading your entry I thought you might like to check it out: http://blog.brighterplanet.com/sustainable-cooking/

  25. My absolute FAVORITE meal… I may just try your rolls… and maybe the cranberry sauce… and maybe… 😉

  26. Just beautiful!!! I LOVE the array of colors of the Thanksgiving dishes!! I may have to take lead from you… You celebrate Thanksgiving this month and I have always been used to the end of Nov. in America! Now, living here in France.. I still observe this DELICIOUS holiday — how could I NOT, in fact?!!! It was always mom's favourite holiday and now that she's gone, I am carrying on her tradition! In France, we don't celebrate it on the actual day, because it's not a holiday here and I think the only people who celebrate it are North Americans who live here…
    So….. we end up having our Thanksgiving in early Dec!!!
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!!

    Leesa in France

  27. Can we just replicate this dinner for Sunday? Just looking at makes me sooo hungry!

  28. What a great Thanksgiving meal! Yum!

  29. Wow, that is quite the feast. I love brussel sprouts and that bread pudding looks wonderful!

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