Make Thanksgiving easy

 Includes favorite thanksgiving recipes and preparing the perfect turkey.

Thanksgiving Recipe

Whether you pick just one of these recipes or use them to curate your whole menu, you'll definitely be bringing something impressive to the table.

Crock Pot Turkey Breast

Tender flaky, moist, fool-proof boneless turkey breast recipe that's perfect for Thanksgiving.

Acorn Squash Salad with Tahini Vinaigrette

Thanksgiving side dish or vegan fall dinner.

Thanksgiving Meatballs

Cranberry, stuffing, and turkey are true Thanksgiving Day staples.

Easy Root Vegetable Gratin

This simple mix of autumn veggies makes a no-nonsense holiday side.

Preparing the Perfect Turkey

Preparing a Thanksgiving turkey is a big responsibility and can feel very intimidating, especially if the task has been relegated to you for the first time. But freshman turkey makers fear not: there are plenty of tips and tricks to avoiding any disaster that might occur.

How much turkey should I buy?

This will obviously depend on the number of guests you are expecting, but a safe estimate is to account for about one pound of turkey per guest.

When should I take it out to thaw?

Depending on the size of your turkey, you may need to begin the thawing process anywhere from two to five days before serving, but a good rule of thumb is to allow for 24 hours per 4 pounds of turkey.

If you’re brining the turkey, allow it to sit in the brine in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours before cooking.

What’s the first step in the preparation process?

Once the turkey is fully thawed, remove the bag of gizzards and organs from the inside, and thoroughly wash the inside and outside of the turkey with water. Pat the turkey dry, then cross the legs and tie them together with kitchen string.

How long does the turkey need to cook?

This will also depend on the size of the bird. Follow along with these time estimates based on the size of your turkey and your oven set to 350°F:

  • 9-11 pounds: 2.5 hours
  • 12-14 pounds: 3 hours
  • 15-17 pounds: 3.5 hours
  • 18-20 pounds: 4 hours

Tip: Baste the turkey with its own juices every 30 minutes as it’s baking. When the internal temperature at the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165°F, remove from the oven.

Crock Pot Turkey Breast

INGREDIENTS
1 (5-7 lbs) boneless turkey breast
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 can (14 oz) whole berry cranberry sauce
1 packet onion soup seasoning mix
½ cup orange juice
Gravy
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
Instructions:
1. Unwrap turkey breast, making sure to leave the netting on the turkey, and place into a slow cooker. I use a 6-qt crock pot. 
2. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the turkey and rub it in. In a mixing bowl combine cranberry sauce, onion seasoning mix, and orange juice. Pour over the turkey.
3. Cook on LOW heat for 5-7 hours. Internal temperature needs to be at least 165 degrees. Mine cooked for 6 hours. 
4. Take turkey breast out of the crock pot and place onto the serving plate. Cover with tin foil to keep it hot. Skim the fat pieces from the crock pot. Pour the remaining liquid from the crockpot into a medium saucepan.
5. Mix together the cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Bring the sauce from the slow cooker to a boil. Once boiling add the cornstarch mixture and stir with a whisk until it’s thickened. You may have to turn the heat down while doing this to prevent it from boiling too much and burning. It should only take between 1-2 minutes for it to thicken.
6. Pour some of the gravy over the turkey breast and serve. I pour the extra sauce into a jar and set that out with the turkey so you can serve additional gravy with the turkey servings.

Acorn Squash Salad with Tahini Vinaigrette

INGREDIENTS
1 medium acorn squash, halved, seeded, and cut into 3/4-inch-thick wedges
1 medium red onion, cut into 1-inch wedges
2 tbsp. olive oil
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 c. tahini
• 2 tsp. lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 c. baby kale
1/3 c. chopped dates
1/4 c. fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 c. chopped roasted almonds

 

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss together squash, onion, and oil on a large rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until golden brown and tender, 20 to 25 minutes. 
2. Meanwhile, whisk together tahini, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons water in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk in additional water if the dressing is too thick. 
3. Arrange kale, squash, onion, dates, cilantro, and almonds on a platter. Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with lemon zest.

Thanksgiving Meatballs

INGREDIENTS
1 pound ground turkey
½ onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
⅓ cup dried cranberries, diced
1 tablespoon fresh sage, diced
1 egg, beaten
1 cup breadcrumbs Salt and pepper, to taste
1 can gravy, to serve
Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Acorn Squash Salad with Tahini Vinaigrette

INGREDIENTS
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
 1 1/4 c. heavy cream, divided
3 large parsnips (about 1 pound), peeled and thinly sliced diagonally
•  2 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and thinly sliced
•  2 large carrots (about 1/2 pound), peeled and thinly sliced diagonally
• 2 large beets (about 3/4 pound), peeled and thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
•  1 1/2 oz. Parmesan, grated (about 1/2 cup)
2 cloves garlic, pressed
Instructions:

Step 1: Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter a 3-quart baking dish. Pour 1/4 cup cream in dish. 

Step 2: Layer parsnips, sweet potatoes, carrots, and beets in prepared dish. Season with salt and pepper. Top with cheese. Stir together garlic and remaining 1 cup cream in a bowl; pour over vegetables. Cover dish with aluminum foil. 

Step 3: Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover, and bake until vegetables are tender and golden brown, 14 to 17 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

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