Karen’s Thanksgiving Recipes: Turkey, Gravy and All the Sides to Make, Serve & Devour!
Thanksgiving is upon us ~ One of my favorite times to cook delicious food for friends and family.
Here are my best-loved dishes to cook ~ classics with healthy twists!
Thanksgiving Recipes Start Here!
I’ve got you covered with well-tested, fabulous and inventive recipes for your celebration!
As you are shopping, prepping and cooking this year keep this mind – the rewards of cooking for yourself (and family & friends) is paramount!
Dishes made at home tend to be more nutritious (without too much salt or preservatives) when you cook for yourself, you control the ingredients you use.
The BEST Roast Turkey:
How to cook the perfect turkey, stuffing and gravy. I have developed this recipe after years in the kitchen. You will use this recipe over and over again! Basting the bird with pomegranate and pineapple juice will produce a finished turkey with a glowing, yet subtle mahogany color. And, the acid in the juice cuts down on the gamey essence of the turkey.
I like to start roasting the turkey breast side DOWN. Later, after turning it breast side up, you will not have a soggy bottom of the turkey!
My “Famous” Gravy:
Look no further… your need to make this! Just the most magnificent gravy – with a deep, rich mahogany- brown color, and luscious flavor. The Method: Aromatic roasted vegetables on the bottom of the pan, with the addition of herbs and marsala wine produce a rich fabulous gravy. The gravy takes the starring role in a Thanksgiving meal.
All the Sides:
It’s all about the “SIDES!!” Punch it up a notch this Thanksgiving with these delicious, creative recipes.
NEW! Karen’s Duchess Potatoes with Butternut Squash Swirl
Make these Gorgeous Potatoes ahead of time for the Perfect Thanksgiving Side-Dish. Enriched Mashed Potatoes are piped with a Butternut Squash Swirl for a Beautiful Presentation, that’s actually easy to make. Crispy outside, light & airy inside.
Roast Turkey with Marsala Gravy, Sautéed Asparagus with Cranberries and Almonds and Layered Purple & Ivory Mashed Potatoes
How amazing are these potatoes? They can be made days ahead and reheated. What I love about this recipe – besides it’s gorgeous presentation is they are not heavy, but light and creamy. But no cream in the recipe. Just the right amount of milk & butter… but not too much. Garlic adds depth and flavor – an awesome recipe for special occasions.
Not too difficult: Purple (Peruvian) Mashed Potatoes are simple layered with Yukon Golds Mashed Potatoes in a deep Soufflé Dish. (This one is perfect, 4″ high!)
These “fanned” sweet potatoes simply bake in the oven with a syrupy, maple glaze. Tuck garlic in the crevices and sprinkle with fresh rosemary. I love adding a touch of grated, aged gouda cheese on top – your Thanksgiving company will scream”YUM!” These delicious potatoes just look fancy – but are actually easy to pull together.
My Family Favorite: A beautifully sticky glaze that’s not too sweet. Cook yams, peel, slice and layer in a casserole with an Apple Cider Cinnamon Glaze. Broil until lightly blackened around the edges. Not too sweet… THE TRICK: reduce fresh apple cider.
These are a weekly staple in my house.
Serve them too for Thanksgiving – everyone loves these!
Seasoned, Roasted and Tossed in Garlic, Butter and Parsley.
Your New SIDE DISH for Thanksgiving!
Sweet & Nutty Delicata Squash layered with a Zesty Cider Reduction and Topped with Sourdough-Parmesan-Thyme Breadcrumbs that bakes up Crispy & Golden.
Yes ~ can be made a few days in advance! Pairs well with all your Thanksgiving Mains.
Dip these irresistible Crunchy Blackened Green Beans into my Roasted Garlic Remoulade Dip with Bread & Butter Pickles!
CRUNCH- FLAVOR + EASE… one of my favorite veggie dishes to make!
French Green Beans are special for the holidays – I always serve them on Thanksgiving.
The perfect veggie side dish for Thanksgiving and the Holidays!
Full of color & flavor – can be made early in the day. Haricot Vert Beans are longer and thinner than American green bean varieties – they’re also more tender (a younger bean) and flavorful than comparably sized traditional green beans. I like to quickly sauté the beans ~ let them blacken a little, then cook on low heat until tender. VEGAN.
Sauté Haricot Verts in a hot skillet to blacken the edges. Add Garlic Chips, Shiitake “Bacon”, Toasted Almonds, Pomegranate Seeds and Zesty Za’atar Seasoning. Beautiful flavors and colors ~ the radishes take on a magenta hue when cooked. VEGAN.
The perfect Easy Sauté for a Healthy Thanksgiving Side Dish. Great to master for weeknight meals too.
Large leaf spinach pairs with golden sliced garlic, lemon rind and toasted pine nuts.
The perfect side dish for late summer ~ early fall. Carrots caramelize with the figs with a delectable just-sweet-enough glaze… all roasted in one pan. Here is a colorful, balanced side-dish that excites the palate rather than weigh it down. The perfect combination of roasted veggies & fruits with nuts, herbs and a zippy (well….zesty!) glaze. A Vegan recipe.
Brussel sprouts will cook quicker when cut in fourths, with each edge caramelizing a bit. Candied Pecans are a snap to make and add a touch of crunch and sweetness to the vegetable! Make the day of your feast.
The perfect Cranberry Sauce – chunky, tart-sweet and loaded with fresh pineapple and a touch of ginger… the only cranberry sauce I make! Can be made any in advance.
A simple and bold chestnut stuffing with a great well rounded flavor.
Just the right amount of dried fruit, veggies and tarragon. Try different varieties of breads to produce unique textures.Loving all these flavors!
A simple and yummy cornbread, with fresh corn kernels which is gluten-free adaptable. Bakes up high; tender inside with a little crunchy exterior. If cornbread is not in your Thanksgiving stuffing – add some to your table!
I Love Salads at Thanksgiving:
I think it’s wonderful to serve a SALAD at your Thanksgiving Buffet or Table!
I’m all for adding some crunch with health-value… salads add a burst of color and can be so creative to make.
A light Fall Salad with crunchy textures dressed with a Zesty-Lemony Vinaigrette with Confit Garlic. Includes: Caramelized Pears, three Greens, julienned Purple Carrots, Pecan Halves, Pomegranate Seeds and an awesome Zesty Garlic Confit Vinaigrette. I’m serving this on at Thanksgiving!
Say YES to this one for the color alone! This Radicchio Salad has a nice sweet & bitter elements. Add Frisée lettuce, Watermelon Radish, Shaved Heirloom Carrots, Crispy Croutons with Grainy Mustard and Garlic and Karen’s Grainy Mustard Vinaigrette with Shallots and Garlic. A flavor sensation!
A beautiful, crispy and crunchy salad with Winter-White Vegetables. Chioggia Beets add a touch of crimson color, as does the rind of the Pears and Black Radish.
A Few Words About Organizing for the BIG Day:
- Shop for non-perishable foods & goods NOW! (Avoid long lines; might need to visit multiple stores.)
- Make Broth for your Turkey… I do not used canned.
- Write detailed lists for shopping.
- Write a TIMELINE. This really helps me! I get a big pad and write columns for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thanksgiving Thursday. And a column for whatever you can make ahead and freeze.
This really organizes what you will have time for each day ~ let’s keep it stress free!
- Asks your guests about dietary restrictions: Be ready for Gluten Free, Nut Free, Vegan, Keto…
- Shop at Farmers’ Markets!!! Ask farmers what will be available the week of Thanksgiving. Stock up on winter squashes, cheeses, honey…
- Review recipes you will be making – make sure you have the right baking & roasting pans.
- Take a deep breath ~ you can do this! Make it enjoyable and enjoy the process.
Here’s to a healthy & festive Thanksgiving,
Karen's Duchess Potatoes with Butternut Squash Swirl
- 3 pounds yukon gold potatoes about 8 medium-large size
- 1 large egg I use Pasture Raised*
- 2 large egg yolks I use Pasture Raised*
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter softened, room temperature, I use organic
- 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg freshly fine grated
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper for less, use 2 pinches
Butternut Squash Swirl/Layer:
- 1 1/4 pounds butternut squash measured with rind
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (can also use 3 pinches ground nutmeg)
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
For Topping Potatoes:
- 1 large egg egg
- 1 teaspoon filtered water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley washed & dried, coarsely chopped
Butternut Squash Swirl/Layer:
- Cut the butternut squash into 2" wedges. Steam over simmering water using a steamer basket until the squash is very tender and cooked through, about 18 minutes. With tongs, add the squash to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, remove and discard rind with a small knife remove and discard seeds. Press extra moisture with paper towel until dry.
- Add the squash to a small food processor with egg yolk, pumpkin pie spice and sea salt. Process until very smooth. Set aside.
- Peel potatoes and cut each into 8 similar sized pieces. (My potatoes were about 3" long.) STEAM potatoes over simmering water using a steamer basket for 15 - 18 minutes until cooked through. (Can boil, but not preferable.) Drain potatoes and shake off any water.
- While potatoes cook - Whisk 1 egg and 2 yolks together in a small bowl.
- Pat potatoes with a paper towel, pass potatoes through a ricer* into a large bowl in about 5 additions. While potatoes are still warm, add 3T. butter and mix in with a rubber spatula. Add the egg mixture from the bowl with 1 1/2/ t. sea salt, 1/8 t. nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper.Combine well with a rubber spatula until smooth.
Pipe and Bake the Potatoes:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper.
- Using a large pastry bag with a large 1/2" flat tip (or use a rosette tip if you like) - fill the bag half way with 2 cups the potato mixture. Push to one side in the bag and add about 1/2 cup Butternut Squash mixture on the other side. Press the bag pushing the mixtures to the bottom of the bag and twist to release any air.Pipe 3" mounds onto the pan in rising circles, about 1 1/2 inches high.Repeat with remaining Potato and Butternut squash mixtures. Will make about 30 portions.
- Quickly whisk 1 egg with 1 teaspoon water and gently brush over the potato mounds. Will not use all.Bake until lightly browned around the edges for about 15 minutes.Serve with chopped parsley all over.
- Can bake in a casserole dish! Use a 8" x 10 baking pan and pipe in rows from the pastry bag. No pastry bag?- smooth layers alternating potatoes & squash mixture and brush with the egg wash and bake. You can also use a standard potato masher instead of a ricer.