Everyone loves new recipes, so I thought I’d share a few of my family’s Thanksgiving favorites that we make every single year! This post is going to be pretty lengthy, so I’m going to get right to the important stuff…the FOOD.
Classic Stuffing (recipe source linked here)
- 1 1/2 cups finely chopped yellow onion
- 1 cup finely chopped celery
- 3/4 cup salted butter
- 8 oz sweet Italian sausage
- 8 cups stale, unseasoned bread cubes
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp sage
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp rosemery
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup chicken broth (use more as needed)
- 1 large egg (beaten)
- In a small pan, sauté the onion and celery in butter over medium heat until tender. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a separate, larger skillet, cook the sausage until it’s no longer pink. Drain the sausage fat. Add the onion and celery (and the butter it was cooked in) and stir together.
- In a large bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and seasonings with the sausage/vegetable mixture. Moisten with wine and broth. Add the egg and mix well. If the stuffing seems too dry, mix in more broth. You want it to be pretty moist- it will dry out more in the oven.
- Use this stuffing to stuff your turkey, or place in a greased 9×13-inch casserole dish and bake (covered) at 375 degrees F. for 40 minutes- then remove cover and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
(We used to do boxed stuffing every year until I decided last year that I wanted to try making my own, & I’m never turning back! This recipe is SO flavorful & so yummy…even my family members who don’t typically like stuffing, love this stuff).
Cranberry Sauce (recipe source linked here)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup water
- 12 oz cranberries
- 1 cinnamon stick
- A piece of orange peel
- A pinch of salt
- Combine sugar, orange juices & water into a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir to combine
- Add cranberries, cinnamon stick, orange peel, & salt to the saucepan.
- Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently.
- Continue cooking until most or all of the cranberries have popped (about 10 minutes).
- Let cool for at least 30 minutes. Cover & refrigerate until ready to eat.
(Adding cinnamon & orange to the cranberry sauce completely changes the game).
Mom’s Mac & Cheese
- 1 box of macaroni
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 4 cups milk
- 4-6 cups grated cheese (cheddar, pepper jack, colby jack, swiss, etc).
- 1/2 cup Italian or Panko breadcrumbs (even crushed Cornflakes are super good)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees & grease a 9×13 baking dish.
- Boil the pasta according to the instructions on the box (until al dente).
- In a large pot, melt butter completely. Once it’s melted, whisk in flour until combined & cook for a minute or so.
- Add the dry mustard & a pinch each of salt and pepper. Whisk all together.
- Slowly add in the milk while whisking. The sauce will thicken as it cooks. If it’s too thick, add more milk (make it whatever consistency you want).
- Once the sauce is the thickness you like, add in the grated cheese, & stir it all together. At this point, taste it & see if you want to add more cheese, salt, or pepper.
- Add the cooked & drained pasta to the cheese sauce and stir to combine.
- Pour mac & cheese into a baking dish and sprinkle with topping of your choice.
- Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes.
(Mom’s always measure with their heart, so my mom had to guess the measurements when I asked her to write out this recipe. But this mac & cheese will seriously change your life, trust me).
Creamy Mashed Potatoes (recipe is from “The Pioneer Woman Cooks” cookbook)
- 5 pounds russet or Yukon Gold potatoes
- 2 sticks butter
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup half-and-half
- 1/2 tsp seasoned salt (I like to add a little extra)
- Salt & black pepper to taste
- Peel the potatoes, cut them into quarters, & add them to a large pot of water that is boiling over med-high heat.
- Increase the heat to high & bring to a full boil. Cook for 25-30 min, or until a fork is easily able to slide into the potatoes with no resistance.
- Drain the potatoes in a large colander, return them to the pot, & turn the heat to low. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher until you get the consistency you like (I don’t like any lumps).
- Add 1 1/2 sticks of butter & the cream cheese to the potatoes.
- Once that’s combined, add in the half-and-half & stir to combine.
- Add in the seasonings, taste it, & adjust accordingly.
- Spread the mashed potatoes into a 2-quart baking dish, & top with the remaining 1/2 stick of butter (sliced into pads). At this point, you can cover & refrigerate for up to 2 days before baking.
- Cover with foil or a lid, & bake for 25-30 minutes at 350.
(these are the best mashed potatoes ever, thank me later).
Dinner Rolls (recipe from Alex Guarnaschelli of Food Network)
- 1 1/4 ounce packet active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 7 1/2 – 8 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted & cooled, plus softened butter for brushing
- 2 cups whole milk at room temperature
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 TBSP kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
- Measure out 1/2 cup warm water, & make sure it’s between 110-120 degrees. Sprinkle the yeast into a large bowl, add the warm water, & whisk in the sugar. Let sit 1 minute, then gently stir in 1 cup flour. Set aside.
- Mix the melted butter & milk in a mixer with the hook attachment on low speed. Add the eggs & mix until blended. Scrape in the yeast mixture & mix until incorporated. Add 6 1/2 cups flour & 1 TBSP salt; mix until the dough forms a ball, 2 to 3 minutes, adding up to 1/2 cup more flour if the dough is too wet & sticky.
- Brush a large bowl with softened butter. Transfer the dough to the bowl, cover with a towel, & let rise in a warm place for 2 to 2.5 hours. The dough should double in volume.
- Preheat oven to 375 & line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dust a clean flat surface with flour & turn the dough onto it. Flour your hands; gently press the dough into a 16-by-8-inch rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick (don’t use a rolling pin).
- With the short side in front of you, cut the dough in half lengthwise with a floured knife. then slice crosswise into 12 strips.
- One at a time, fold each strip of dough unevenly in half so the top part slightly overlaps the bottom half, then tuck the overhang underneath. Place the rolls seam-side down on the prepared baking sheet in 3 tightly packed rows.
- Bake until the rolls are bursting at the seams & golden brown, 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven, brush with softened butter, & sprinkle with salt.
(These rolls are the best you’ll ever have. We’ve made them every single year for YEARS, & they’re always a hit).
Grandma Hilson’s Creamed Corn
- 8 ears yellow corn
- 1/2 stick butter
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Cut corn off the cob.
- Saute corn in butter over medium heat stirring frequently until your mixture is hot.
- Turn heat to low, add milk, & bring to a simmer. Add salt & pepper to taste.
- Turn heat off & cover until ready to serve.
(I’m pretty sure my mom has added a bit of bacon grease in with the butter, & it’s SO good. Even adding a few strips of chopped, cooked bacon would be super yummy too).
- 2 cups pumpkin puree (my mom uses pureed cooked pumpkin that she makes herself)
- 1 12oz can evaporated milk
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 400.
- In a large bowl, beat pumpkin puree with milk, eggs, brown sugar, spices, & salt. Mix well.
- Pour into prepared crust.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until a knife comes out clean once inserted
(I don’t like pumpkin pie, but my mom makes this recipe every year, & everyone LOVES it).
A few other of our favorites…
- Apple crisp (my recipe is linked here)
- Some sort of pecan dessert (I think I’m going to try making a tart this year)
- Green bean casserole (my grandma always makes this)
- Gravy (my mom always just wings it, & it always turns out great)
Comment below & share some of your favorite go-to Thanksgiving dishes! I’ve never tried sweet potato casserole, & I’ve always wanted to try making it, but no one in my family is a big fan of sweet potatoes…I’ll convert them one day 😉