Thanksgiving is about following tradition; Friendsgiving is about making new ones. This is a holiday where all the old rules are meant to be rewritten, so take the opportunity to put a fresh spin on your favorite classics. No one will mind if Grandma’s famous mushroom-soup casserole isn’t on the table. These new-school recipes are not only showstoppers, but they’re perfect for a potluck celebration where everyone can pitch in to create a festive dinner to remember. Read more
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Just one week from today, every burner on your stovetop will be aflame and your oven will be hot and ready for a day of nonstop roasting and baking. That said, the biggest meal of the year requires a certain amount of strategy for it to get on the table without any swearing (or tears) from the cook: You need to strike a balance between the number of baked dishes and the number of stovetop-cooked dishes.
Each has its advantages. On the one hand, many baked Thanksgiving sides can be prepped ahead, so that all there’s left to do is pop them in the oven on the big day. Plus, sliding them into the oven also lends a golden, crusty top to potatoes, green bean casserole and more. On the other, stovetop sides free up your oven for the main event (namely the turkey), so that you don’t need to play a game of musical chairs in that regard. In advance of the big day, we’re pitting preparations of must-have side dishes against each other so you can pick and choose at will (and cook the day away with a grand plan).
Oven-Baked Spuds: When paper-thin potatoes slices are baked under a blanket of herb-infused cream, they go from raw to intensely tender. And unlike sides with a consistency reminiscent of baby food, Tyler Florence’s top-rated Scalloped Potato Gratin (pictured above) comes with a signature crispy, browned crust.
Although turkey is the holiday’s iconic dish, Thanksgiving dinner is actually a pretty great meal for vegetarians. Heaping dishes of autumn vegetables and glorious carbs often outshine the bird, anyway. Vegans have a tougher challenge, since the many of the holiday’s traditional vegetable sides are laden with dairy and eggs. If you’re expecting vegetarians or vegans at your feast, it’s nice to have something substantial on the table that can serve as their main dish. For vegans, a special dessert is also a thoughtful touch, since most classic pie recipes are off-limits. Just be sure to make enough: Omnivores won’t be able to resist these, either. Read more
Getting all your guests to eat their greens is no easy feat when mashed potatoes and stuffing are being passed around again and again. But it’s a challenge made easier with beautiful and creative green bean casseroles. Here are five we’re sure will disappear from your table this Thanksgiving. Read more
Thanksgiving is all about traditions, from Mom’s signature turkey seasoning and your aunt’s sweet ambrosia salad to Grandma’s now-famous pumpkin pie. Each family has its own list of dishes that just has to be on the table for it to feel like the holiday — and some of those picks are downright unexpected, going well beyond the requisite mashed potatoes and green bean casserole. We checked in with Food Network staffers to find out the most-surprising items on their turkey day tables.
“It’s my husband’s family’s tradition to serve fried corn fritters at Thanksgiving each year — not the most-traditional dish but so delicious! They like them sweet and drizzled with maple syrup, but I bet they’d love this savory version from Food Network Magazine too. It has zucchini, garlic and buttermilk for a little tang.”
— Lauren Piro, Food Network Editor
Much like the turkey that will likely be the savory star of the show on Thanksgiving, apple desserts, which will all but steal the spotlight come dessert, can be complemented by myriad flavors and ingredients; it all comes down to knowing how to pair them and letting the tastes and textures speak for themselves. This Thanksgiving, think beyond the classic apple pie (though, let’s be honest, we’ll have that on our table too — Bobby Flay’s recipe is a go-to favorite). Try dressing up your sweet apple treats with other fall flavors. Check out our top ideas below for seven ways to pair apples with seasonal selects like fragrant spices, pears, cranberries and more.
Anne Burrell balances the tartness of the green apples in her easy-to-make cake with two kinds of sugar and the warmth of fragrant cinnamon and nutmeg. These powerhouse spices are favorite fall flavors, and they’re natural complements to not just the apples but also the fluffy cream cheese icing.
Get the Recipe: Apple Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Icing
Got friends or family in for Thanksgiving? With a big day of cooking ahead, these are the easiest breakfasts to serve guests, with just the right mix of special and simple.
Overnight Oats: No-Cook Blueberry-Almond Oatmeal
Just mix up everyday ingredients like milk, rolled oats and blueberries, and let the mixture chill overnight. When you wake up, the oats will be tender and the flavors married. It doesn’t get easier than that!
When it comes to Thanksgiving pies, a lack of options isn’t a problem — at all (we’ve got over 50 of ‘em right here for you). But of course you want to bake a classic that’s a crowd-pleaser. Any of these recipes will do the trick.
Pumpkin Pie (above)
It’s just not Thanksgiving without it, right? Try Bobby Flay’s recipe, which has lots of spice, a crumbly graham cracker crust and a bourbon-maple whipped cream.
Ice cream: It may not be the first thing you think of as November temperatures drop, but what good is pie if not a la mode? Luckily for us, several ice cream retailers across the country have taken their love for Thanksgiving to the next level with seasonal pints that highlight the traditional components of a Turkey Day feast — cranberry, apple, sweet potato and yes, even turkey. Read on to learn where to find them.
Salt & Straw: November Seasonal Pints
Every fall, the wacky-flavor inventors at this Portland-based ice cream shop release a set of seasonal pints (pictured above) that incorporate ingredients — both savory and sweet — of a traditional Thanksgiving feast. This year’s lineup includes Cranberry-Walnut Stuffing, Sweet Potato Casserole with Maple Pecans, Salted Caramel Thanksgiving Turkey and more. With a range like that, why even bother cooking the meal?
Set of 5, $65
“Thanksgiving is that unique American holiday when everybody in the country suddenly thinks they have to serve 27 courses to 87 people,” Ted Allen told us recently. “And that’s hard to do, especially the cleanup, but also the prep.” Get nine of his best tips for hosting a memorable turkey day feast.