Easy Thanksgiving Recipes & Decorations
Thanksgiving preparation has never been easier with these super practical and delicious recipes that are sure to be full of flavor and color. Who said that planning Thanksgiving has to be stressful? With these tips, tricks and recipes, you’ll have the fastest and the best Thanksgiving menu of all times!
Here we share some tasty and easy recipes for this special family celebration. Make it memorable for your loved ones with the best home made food and elegant decorations.
8 Easy Thanksgiving Recipes:
Orange Cauliflower Soup
Serves 8 • Prep Time 15 minutes • Cook Time 30 minutes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium leek, quartered and diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 carrots, medium diced
1 orange cauliflower, chopped
1 small butternut squash, peeled and medium diced
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Purple basil oil to drizzle (optional)
Toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish
Microgreens for garnish (optional)
1. In large stockpot, swirl in olive oil and sauté leek, garlic and carrots over medium heat about 5 minutes. Add cauliflower and squash and sauté a few minutes longer. Add stock, 2 cups water, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until tender, about 25 minutes.
2. Purée soup in a blender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with basil oil (if using) and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and greens (if using).
Tip: You could easily make this soup days in advance and keep it in the fridge until the big day.
Serves 8 • Prep Time 20 minutes, plus sitting and resting time • Cook Time 1 3/4 to 3 1/2 hours
1 (8- to 20-pound) turkey
1 stick butter, softened
Approximate Roasting Times
Pounds = Hours
8 = 1 3/4
10 = 2
12 = 2 1/2
15 = 2 3/4
17 = 3
20 = 3 1/2
1. A day ahead, prep turkey. Remove from packaging and take neck and giblets from body cavity, reserving for stock, if desired. rinse turkey well under cold water and pat dry. With a sharp knife, remove wing tips (up to the first joint) and add those to the stockpot, too. Place turkey on a pan and lightly salt all over. Leave uncovered in the fridge overnight. this allows skin to dry out, making it crispier; the salt adds flavor.
2. Two hours before roasting, remove turkey from fridge. Rub butter all over, which keeps the meat moist, adds flavor and ensures a perfect golden-brown color. Place turkey on a wire rack in a large, shallow roasting pan. Elevating the turkey allows heat to circulate and the skin to crisp properly. Let turkey come to room temperature (about 70F), which cuts cook time.
3. Preheat oven to 400F. Put turkey in oven and cook about 20 minutes; lower heat to 350F for the remainder of cook time (see chart above). Loosely cover turkey with foil if the top is browning too quickly. Turkey is done when a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh (but not touching the bone) registers 170F.
4. Remove turkey from oven, place with juices directly on a tray, tent with foil, and let rest at least 30 minutes and up to an hour. Placing turkey immediately on a tray allows the juices to reabsorb into the meat. A well-rested roast turkey is a moist roast turkey.
Serves 8 •** Prep time** 15 minutes • Cook time 45 minutes
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
5 medium red onions, peeled, each cut into 8 wedges through core, leaving some core attached to each piece
2/3 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 teaspoons finely grated orange peel
1. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 425F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, whisk oil, molasses, vinegar, rosemary, salt and pepper; add onions and toss gently. Arrange onions close together, cut side down, on baking sheet; spoon juices from bowl over them. Roast 20 minutes. Using a small spatula, carefully turn onions over. Continue roasting until tender and thickly coated with glaze, watching to prevent overbrowning, 20 to 25 minutes longer. Remove from oven.
3. In small bowl, mix pomegranate seeds, parsley and orange peel to make the gremolata. Arrange warm or room-temperature onions on a platter and sprinkle gremolata over the top to serve.
Tip: This dish can be made several hours in advance. To serve the onions warm, simply reheat in a 350F oven before serving.
Pear, Apple and Fennel Salad
Serves 8 • Prep Time 15 minutes
Juice of 1 lemon
2 Honeycrisp (or other baking) apples, thinly sliced
4 Forelle (or other crisp) pears, thinly sliced
2 fennel bulbs, cored and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup olive oil
1 cup watercress
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
In a large bowl, combine the lemon juice with enough water to cover the apple, pear and fennel slices. Place them in the water immediately after slicing to avoid oxidation. To make the vinaigrette, whisk together mustard, vinegar and oil. Stack fruit and veggie slices and garnish with watercress leaves. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle vinaigrette on top.
Mushrooms Bread Pudding
Serves 8 • Prep Time 30 minutes • Cook Time 45 to 60 minutes
3 tablespoons butter, plus extra for greasing baking dish
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 pound fresh cremini mushrooms, sliced
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
1 generous teaspoon fresh sage leaves (about 4–5 large), finely chopped
1 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
6 large eggs
3 cups whole milk
1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 (1-pound) loaf rustic artisan bread, cut into 1-inch pieces
1. Place rack in center of oven and preheat to 375F. Grease a 2 1/2- to 3-quart baking dish. In a small bowl, cover dried mushrooms with hot water. Soak at least 10 minutes, then drain and chop coarsely.**
2.In a large pan, melt butter with oil over medium-high heat. Sauté onions until tender, about 5 minutes. Add fresh mushrooms and sauté until they just begin to give off liquid, about 5 minutes. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Remove from heat and stir in herbs and soaked porcinis.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, Gruyère and 1 cup of the Parmesan. Whisk in 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Add bread and soak 5 to 10 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Fold in mushroom mixture. Turn bread pudding into prepared baking dish and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Bake uncovered until puffed and golden and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 45 to 60 minutes. Cool on a wire rack 15 minutes before serving.
Serves 8 • Prep Time 20 minutes • Cook Time 45 minutes
1 (12-ounce) bag fresh cranberries, washed
1/2 cup orange juice
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
5–6 large granny Smith apples, cored, peeled and cut into 1-inch slices.
1 stick butter, cut into pea-sized pieces
3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cup rolled oats
3 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 375F. In a large pan or pot, add cranberries, orange juice and granulated sugar. Stir and cook over medium-high heat until cranberries have reduced to a thick sauce consistency, about 15 minutes. Turn off heat, add apples, and mix until slices are coated with sauce. Pour apple-cranberry mixture into a greased 9- by 13-inch baking pan. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl, combine butter, flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and walnuts (if using). Work mixture with your fingers into a coarse meal. Sprinkle over apple mixture and bake 45 minutes.
Serves 8 • Prep Time 20 minutes • Cook Time 1 hour + cooling
- 2 cups (480ml) milk, scalded
- 2 cups (450g) pumpkin, cooked and strained (or plain canned pumpkin)
- 1 cup (240ml) maple syrup
- ⅛ cup (30g) sugar
- 1 Tbsp. flour
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. ginger
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg (optional)
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 unbaked nine-inch pie shell
- Preheat oven to 180 °C (350 °F).
- Blend all ingredients (except the pie shell) together.
- Pour into the unbaked pie shell.
- Bake at 180 °C (350 °F) for 45 minutes.
- Let cool and serve.
- This recipe replaces much of the sugar normally found in a pumpkin pie recipe with maple syrup. Use only real 100 percent maple syrup, not maple-flavored pancake syrup, as their sugar content is different. You can also use brown sugar instead of maple syrup. Note substitutions, below.
- Prepare the raw pumpkin by skinning and cutting into 1″ cubes. Bake at 350 °F (180 °C) for an hour and then turn off the heat. Leave the pumpkin in the oven for another hour or two, this will reduce the moisture content. The pumpkin may also be steamed but may end up with too much moisture, resulting in a runny pie. A 10″ (25 cm)-diameter pumpkin will make 4 to 6 pies. The pumpkin may also be baked whole and skinned afterwards.
- Pumpkin pie has no top crust, making most forms of decoration impossible. For a more aesthetically-pleasing pie, put dollops of real whipped cream on each slice, or add a decorative rim to the side crust with artfully layered dough cut-outs, in the shape of fall leaves, squash or pumpkins.
- Variation: Chocolate-covered pumpkin pie
- After the pie has cooled, melt 2 oz. (55g) of sweetened chocolate (milk or dark) and pour over the top of the pie. Be sure to completely cover the pumpkin. Refrigerate to set the chocolate.
Easy Thanksgiving Decorations:
Brighten and decorate your table with calabasas and flowers as a centerpiece. This will give you a unique and natural look. A brilliant and simple idea is to also take a white bolw and put orange fruits and vegetables in it.
Illuminate your table using drinking glasses in different sizes as candlesticks, place them upside down, and get a combination of candles in different colors. You can also upgrade your usual candle holders with leaves and ribbons.