There’s nothing worse than attempting a new recipe only to have it completely bomb, particularly when you’re trying to impress the relatives at Thanksgiving. Money down the drain, prep time you’ll never get back and stares of derision from Aunt Maude.
I’m here to help you save your culinary reputation and alleviate a little holiday stress by sharing my favorite fool-proof Thanksgiving recipes.
And it’s not just my family and me that like these recipes. I have scientific proof (well okay, comments by readers…kind of the same thing) that these recipes are beloved by others, too.
Let’s dive in to some serious turkey day planning.
#1: Roasted Turkey with Herb Butter & Roasted Shallots
This Roasted Turkey with Herb Butter & Roasted Shallots recipe produces the most tender turkey with amazing flavor. Plus, it’s virtually fool-proof!
Kendra said: “This will be my third year in a row making your turkey. I found your recipe while frantically searching for tips on how to make my very first Thanksgiving turkey. I can’t thank you enough! I had people telling me it was the best turkey they have ever had. Not only a relief, but a new feeling of pride and even a new tradition for my friends and family! I’m their turkey master. Thank you so much for the recipe and the confidence building tips throughout. Just fantastic!!!”
#2: Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes (Yams) with Chipotle Pecan Streusel
These Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes with Chipotle Pecan Streusel are absolutely killer! Considering ditching the marshmallow-topped version and give this recipe a shot. You won’t be sorry!
Janet said: “It’s becoming routine that I am asked to bring this dish to our family’s Thanksgiving dinner. Even those who aren’t big fans of sweet potatoes have really enjoyed them. Thank you for this recipe–it’s fantastic!”
The 7msn ranch said: “Greatest sweet potato recipe ever. I took these to a friend’s for Thanksgiving yesterday and they were a HUGE hit. And I am so looking forward to the extra one that I’ll bake for lunch today. The most surprising thing about this recipe was that my Walmart in the middle of nowhere actually had the chipotle chile powder. I feared I would have to substitute but am so glad I didn’t because the smokey chipotle flavor adds so much to the dish. Thank you for this recipe.”
#3: Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Pistachios, Cranberries & Parmesan
This Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Pistachios, Cranberries & Parmesan recipe is what first made me fall in love with Brussels sprouts.
Cindy said: “This recipe was a hit on Thanksgiving – everyone raved about the dish! It was a tasty way to use up our homegrown Brussels sprouts.”
#4: Green Beans with Balsamic Roasted Shallots
These Green Beans with Balsamic Roasted Shallots are so good that I think my family would rebel if I cooked the green beans any other way.
Shipley said: “I marinated short ribs for 3 hours, braised them for over 4.5 hours, worked on an amazing sauce for another 30 minutes and the green beans were the hit!?! Are you freaking kidding me. I can get rave reviews for almost no effort?!!! These are sooooo good. The shallots and balsamic are almost jam like by the end. The green beans were bright green and crisp. What a perfect combination. Thanks.”
Linda said: “Dara, I printed this recipe back in November when you posted it and finally put it on the menu for tonight’s Christmas Eve dinner. We LOVED them! My husband said he could have eaten a plate of just the shallots. It’s a good recipe for kids to help with, too. My daughter peeled the shallots and took the stems off the green beans while I worked on other things. Thank you!!! We’ll definitely be making these again.”
#5: How to: Make Turkey Gravy
This post on How to: Make Turkey Gravy has all of the tips, tricks and fixes that you’ll need on Thanksgiving day.
Kathy said: “Just wanted to report back that it worked! My very first successful gravy, thanks to you.”
#6: Crockpot Apple & Cranberry Sauce with Orange & Crystallized Ginger
There is nothing better than a homemade cranberry sauce. And it couldn’t be any easier to make than this Crockpot Apple & Cranberry Sauce with Orange & Crystallized Ginger.
Mary said: “I made this for my work Christmas dinner and it was a hit even with the one that were not fond of cranberries. I will be making this every year. Thank you for the awesome recipe.”
#7: Mashed Potatoes with Bacon & Caramelized Onions
Even though these Mashed Potatoes with Bacon & Caramelized Onions have bacon, they are lower in fat than most mashed potato recipes.
Charnell said: “I think this will be my new way of making mashed potatoes. I fixed this for dinner tonight and it was a hit! I didnt add the fresh sage but I think it was just as good. I did add some shredded cheese. Thanks for the recipe.”
#8: How to: Carve a Turkey
Okay, this isn’t a recipe, but this step-by-step tutorial on How to: Carve a Turkey can be invaluable on Thanksgiving day.
Shana said (via email): “In the past, our turkey has always looked like the dog ripped it limb from limb. Thanks to your great pictures and instructions, we were actually able to present a beautiful carved plate of turkey meat to our guests. Thank you!”
#9: Family Crockpot Applesauce Recipe
It’s just not Thanksgiving without a bowl of this The Family Crockpot Applesauce on the table.
Linda said: “I’m on a roll with your recipes this weekend! I made this while the kids played out in the snow last night. What a wonderful thing to wake up to in the morning! I somehow couldn’t find my cinnamon, so I just threw in 3 cinnamon sticks and fished them out in the morning. I used apple cider as a previous poster suggested and whatever apples I had on hand. Delish!”
Julia said: “Thank you Dara’s MIL for allowing her to post this. My entire family appreciates it :)”
#10: Boozy Cranberry Sauce with Port Wine & Cloves
Cranberry sauce is all grown-up in this Boozy Cranberry Sauce with Port Wine & Cloves.
Lianne said: “YUM! Just made this (it’s not even cool yet) and it’s delicious. I couldn’t find white port, so I used ruby which gives it a gorgeous purple color. The port and brown sugar add wonderful depth of flavor. I may top it with a little orange zest for serving. Thanks for the recipe!!”