Nov 16

Thanksgiving Recipes: Entrees, Side Dishes, Sauces & Desserts



It’s not my intention to incite panic in my readers, so I’ll say it quietly. Thanksgiving is only eight days away. If you are hosting the Thanksgiving feast this year, you are likely breaking out in a sweat just thinking about it. “What is Aunt Maude going to say about my stuffing recipe?” “What if I overcook the turkey and it’s too dry to serve?” “What if Uncle Herman hasn’t taken his Beano and he sits beside my mother-in-law?” Well, if you weren’t panicking before, you are now. Sorry about that.

Okay, pour yourself a glass of wine, take some deep breaths and spend a few minutes reading through this post. I have all sorts of Thanksgiving menu ideas for you. There are entrees to please the traditionalists (turkey, of course) and your vegetarian relatives. Do you really want to mess with tofurky? I didn’t think so. There are enough side dishes to cover all the bases, plenty of sauces (don’t miss the gravy tutorial) and you can’t forget the desserts (more than pumpkin pie). And for goodness sake, remember the motto of any good host or hostess…delegate, delegate, delegate.

Now get out there and cook!


Thanksgiving Collage 1

Left to right:
Vegetarian Mushroom & Cannellini Bean Ragout
Roasted Turkey with Herb Butter & Roasted Shallots
Crockpot Chickpea Stew with Balsamic Caramelized Onions

Side Dishes:

Thanksgiving Collage 2

Clockwise from top left:
Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes with Chipotle Pecan Streusel
Spaghetti Squash with Apples & Toasted Pecans
Green Beans with Balsamic Roasted Shallots
Creamy & Low-Fat Mashed Potatoes

Thanksgiving Collage 3

Clockwise from top left:
Savory Bread Stuffing with Sausage & Herbs
Spinach Salad with Chicken, Orange & Avocado (leave out the chicken for Thanksgiving)
Roasted Cauliflower with Indian Spices
Spaghetti Squash with Gorgonzola, Dried Cherries & Pecans

Gravy & Sauces:

Thanksgiving Collage 4

How to Make Turkey Gravy: Recipe & Troubleshooting
Crockpot Apple & Cranberry Sauce with Orange & Crystallized Ginger
The Family Crockpot Applesauce Recipe
Maple & Brown Sugar Cranberry Sauce


Thanksgiving Collage 5

Left to right:
Perfect Pumpkin Cheesecake
Apple Upside-Down Biscuits
Blackberry & Strawberry Crisp with Gingersnap Crumble (use frozen fruit)

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{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kay November 16, 2011 at 5:20 am

Dara, could I order this scrumptious Thanksgiving dinner for 8 please? Absolutely beautiful collection of recipes! Thank you!


2 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 16, 2011 at 1:06 pm

Thanks, Kay. Knowing your recipes as I do, I bet you’ll be making a wonderful Thanksgiving feast.


3 Katrina November 16, 2011 at 5:55 am

Whew! Everything sounds so freaking delicious. Awesome round up. Your desserts make my heart melt.


4 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 16, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Thanks, Katrina. I’ll admit that dessert is not usually my focus on Thanksgiving (I’m a stuffing gal), but some of those desserts are big hits with my family.


5 Bev Weidner November 16, 2011 at 6:20 am

Whoooaaaa, that savory bread stuffing with sausage and herbs? Kinda freaking out over here.


6 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 16, 2011 at 1:08 pm

That’s the dish that I can’t stop eating on Thanksgiving. Thanks, Bev!


7 Lucy November 16, 2011 at 7:16 am

Beautiful! I might need to come to your house for Thanksgiving!


8 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 16, 2011 at 1:08 pm

I’ll set an extra place for you.


9 Curt November 16, 2011 at 8:01 am

Oh boy, I wouldn’t know where to start. I know how I’d end though. Full as a tick!

This all looks so delicious!


10 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 16, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Love that expression, Curt! Thanks so much.


11 Lauren from Lauren's Latest November 16, 2011 at 8:15 am

I’m coming to your house for Thanksgiving!


12 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 16, 2011 at 1:08 pm

You know you’d be welcome!


13 Winnie November 16, 2011 at 8:29 am

Such great ideas! I really have to get on the ball and get my menu planned…starting to stress :(


14 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 16, 2011 at 1:09 pm

No need to stress, Winnie. Knowing you, you’ll probably put on a beautiful, healthy feast.


15 Heidi @foodiecrush November 16, 2011 at 9:04 am

I think you have officially blown up my Thanksgiving inspiration board on Pinterest with this post. I’d have to say my favorite are the sides, especially the cauliflower with Indian Spices and the squash. So, I’ll be over so we can have that glass of wine and I’ll bring my big dinner pants. So I can undo the button of course.


16 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 16, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Thanks, Heidi. I make that cauliflower to snack on during the week and find myself popping it like candy.


17 Delishhh November 16, 2011 at 10:21 am

I can belive it either that Thanksgiving is next week – i have no idea where the time is going. Great recipes here !! I have to try the spaghetti squash sounds soo good.


18 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 16, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Thanks, Ewa. I make that spaghetti squash frequently for lunch. It’s very fresh tasting.


19 Julie M. November 16, 2011 at 10:46 am

My goodness! You’ve been busy! This all looks amazing Dara. My favorite part of it all is the gravy. There’s nothing better imo.


20 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 16, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Thanks, Julie. Gravy on stuffing – that’s where my heart is.


21 Mushrooms Canada November 16, 2011 at 11:21 am

Mmmmmm look at that delicious Mushroom & Cannellini Bean Ragout!
– Brittany


22 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 16, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Thanks, Brittany. It’s a great option for vegetarian guests.


23 Chris @ TheKeenanCookBook November 16, 2011 at 11:52 am

Your tip on delegating is key, really helps cut down on the stress! Both our parents help and bring so much we usually end up just cooking the bird and one or two side dishes. I still want to do a few nice side dishes though, so this list is great!


24 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 16, 2011 at 1:10 pm

You’re right, Chris. Delegation is the key for an enjoyable holiday. Nobody likes a stressed-out cook.


25 carolinaheartstrings November 16, 2011 at 12:06 pm

It all looks so wonderful. I would have a hard time deciding on which ones to make for the big day!


26 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 16, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Thank you! That’s the beauty of Thanksgiving – you get to taste a little bit of everything.


27 Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. November 16, 2011 at 2:00 pm

great collection Dara! You’ve covered it all


28 Wenderly November 16, 2011 at 4:58 pm

These all look divine but that perfect pumpkin cheesecake has my name all over it!


29 Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen November 16, 2011 at 5:36 pm

Great roundup! I haven’t even begun to think about Thanksgiving!


30 Kimby November 16, 2011 at 5:44 pm

Dara, this is a Thanksgiving feast extraordinaire! (Love that chipotle pecan streusel spicing up the sweet ‘taters… are you sure you aren’t from the South?) All of your dishes look delectable — beautiful photos! — you made me anxious for next week, not panicked… but thanks for the reminder! :)


31 Jeanette November 16, 2011 at 7:16 pm

Wow, what a spread, so much to choose from! We’re keeping it simple, so I think that might be why I’m not panicked…yet.


32 Baking Serendipity November 16, 2011 at 7:48 pm

Your line up looks delicious! I’ve never incorporated spaghetti squash into Thanksgiving before, but I love your recipes :) Definitely worth making next week!


33 Nutmeg Nanny November 16, 2011 at 7:53 pm

What an awesome looking Thanksgiving menu! That turkey is calling my name…nom nom!


34 MikeVFMK November 16, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Ah. Hell yeah. Now that’s a collection of Thanksgiving inspired foods perfect for the big day. I’m just a month late. Everything looks amazing, Dara! Wish I was sitting at your table for the big day.


35 kamran siddiqi November 16, 2011 at 9:49 pm

Oh my gosh, Dara! I think I’m in Thanksgiving heaven! I think my family and I are going to have to alter the menu we wrote out a couple nights ago- we need to add a few things from here that we don’t have on the list. Especially those twice-baked sweet potatoes!


36 Diane {Created by Diane} November 16, 2011 at 11:44 pm

everything looks lovely!


37 marla November 17, 2011 at 6:16 am

Dara, this round up is fabulous. Now if only we could crash in on your Thanksgiving fun!


38 Sandra's Easy Cooking November 17, 2011 at 7:13 am

Now this is what a call Thanksgiving dinner, I especially like Pumpkin Cheesecake ..Amazing dishes!!!Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful day!!!


39 Lauren at Keep It Sweet November 17, 2011 at 7:15 am

I’ve definitely been having some mini panic attacks but am excited to cook! Great list of recipes, though now I want to make so many more things!


40 Squash Blossom Babies November 17, 2011 at 8:47 am

I love it all! Wonderful recipe round up!


41 Susan November 17, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Your intro is hilarious! Some good recipes here too, tho’ we don’t have Thanksgiving where I live. I’m off to look at the recipes in more detail.

PS Is Beano what I think it is?


42 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 17, 2011 at 9:26 pm

Yes, it is. Enough said! :)


43 Deborah November 17, 2011 at 9:24 pm

I am so grateful that I don’t have to cook the whole meal – or I probably would be freaking out!! But, I did agree to make the rolls, so I still am sweating it a little. Perfect rolls on Thanksgiving are a must!! But I do have to say, after seeing all of your recipes, it kind of makes me wish I was contributing more. Looks like I need to do a mini Thanksgiving meal for just my little family!


44 Tickled Red November 20, 2011 at 7:37 am

My mouth is seriously watering right now! Hurry up Thanksgiving ;D


45 Calli (Make it Do) November 20, 2011 at 11:23 am

I dropped by for inspiration for a new side dish this Thanksgiving. I think I just hit gold! It’s hard to decided, but the spaghetti squash with Gorgonzola sounds amazing.


46 sweetsugarbelle November 24, 2011 at 10:26 pm

You made me lol!!!!!!!!


47 Liz November 26, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Mmmmmmmm….I know where to check in before each holiday! Fabulous array of Thanksgiving recipes, Dara~


48 Linda Madura November 29, 2011 at 10:10 am

Thanksgiving is officially behind us (and I do mean “behind”), but this is the first chance I’ve had to view this wonderful recipes. My “Recipes to Make ASAP” list is getting longer by the minute. Thank you! :)


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