Thanksgiving menu


Thought I’d start a running thread, for those of us who wish to share some recipes and our menus for Thanksgiving. I am planning to make a homemade pumpking pie, roasting the pumpkins and the whole nine yards! I am looking to make stuffing a bit differently this year…and would like to know how you makes yours.


I’ll bite (pun intended :D)

We will have:
Turkey - fresh for the first time ever, just ordered it yesterday
Stuffing in a casserole dish (can’t put it in the turkey as it will contaminate the turkey and I can’t eat wheat)
Canned Asparagus (has become a tradition started when my girls were little)
fresh yams/sweet potatoes baked, pealed and then candied
Mashed potatoes
Relish tray w/black olives, celery and carrots - possibly both sweet and dill pickles.
Homemade cranberry sauce

Homemade pumpkin pie (pumpkin from a can)
Sour cream raisin pie

I make a really simple stuffing - I buy a cheap loaf of white bread, several days before Thanksgiving I tear it up and put it on a cookie sheet to allow it to dry out as much as possible. Then I put 1-2 cups of broth in a glass measuring cup, add 1 cup chopped celery and 1/4 cup butter (the real stuff) and 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning - heat until celery starts to soften in microwave and butter is melted. Mix with bread, put in casserole dish that I have sprayed with Pam (or similar), bake for 1/2 hr. and serve.

We found some cheese bread roll mix that is Gluten Free so I may make those too.

Brenda V.


I was JUST brainstorming for my menu too WG:D great mind must think alike;)

I don’t know…about the stuffing. I usually make a pretty straightforward one, you know the typical french bread, with celery, sage, yadda yadda… b/c that is what the family likes, but me personally I like something a bit different. I’m going to think on it, look at some recipe ideas.

How many people are you having? I should have 25 this year.


Now don’t get too creative! Most people expect the Thanksgiving menu to taste like the Thanksgiving meal they’ve always known. Okay, maybe try a slight variation in the stuffing, or an improvement in one or two items, but do not make it too different! I like make my own cranberry sauce, but one in-law (whose used to can shaped cranberry sauce) always seems disappointed when I bring mine. :stuck_out_tongue:


*Brenda, your menu sounds delish! :smiley: When you say ‘‘cheap white bread’’ are you using something like wonder or something like that? I think that would be a very simple recipe, might have to try it. I also think cornbread stuffing looks yummy, but I don’t get how the cornbread stays stiff enough to stuff the bird…like would it be too mushy when mixed with wet ingredients?

hi shanny :wave: We are having a really small get together…like 12 people total. Okay, so you use french bread??? Wow. You know, we have always used like the bag of large breading to make the stuffing…I have always wanted to put chestnuts in, but something always goes wrong. So not this year! :frowning:

Hey…do you both think perogies would be a good thing to have? Homemade? I watched an old old Martha Stewart Thanksgiving special the other night, and she and her mom made homemade perogies…wow, they looked heavenly. :love: But, so labor intensive…that’s the problem. I could probably make them though a few days before, and freeze them, though?? :hmmm:*


I think homemade bread (or good bakery bread) makes a better stuffing. I usually fix a loaf in the bread maker and add some of the spices (like sage & rosemary, etc.) right into the bread.


Smoked turkey (my cousin just sent me one from Missouri)
Cornbread and sausage dressing
Garlic mashed potatoes
Green beans
Bourbon sweet potato casserole
Clover leaf rolls
Brandied cranberries
Green salad with dried cherries, candied pecans, and feta cheese

and pies and/or cheesecake

This year I get the whole week off :slight_smile: (mostly unpaid due to the state budget :frowning: ) So there will be plenty of chances to cook.


dulcissima…hello. :slight_smile: How do you make your cornbread stuffing? I am so curious by that and would love to try it.


yeah WG I used french baguettes from a really good bakery I have here. I would love to make it like gardens does, but with usually 30 people coming I need a LOT of stuffing and I just don’t have time to make bread on top of everything else.

I get the bread a few days ahead of time, let it dry out, cube it, let it dry out more. Then I sautee onion, celery, dried cranberries, pine nuts,some poultry seasons and fresh sage, in a LOT of butter (i’m not afraid of butter) then toss it together with the bread, and add my mixture of beaten egg, turkey stock and a bit of cream. I don’t make it too eggy though, and just moist enough. That sits in the fridge in the pans overnight, then gets baked on Thxgiving, just like you’d do a baked french toast actually.I never stuff turkey. It makes the mass of the turkey greater so it has to cook longer and then it dries out to heck. No thank you.

Pierogies sound really good! I love them. The dough is a pretty forgiving dough I think. What kind of filling? You could do a squash or pumpkin filling, that would be yummy.

I know you like Giada…have you ever done here butternut squash lasagna? I LOVE it, and it’s great for thxgiving.


sounds like you are setting yourself up for a busy week, if you do the pie, make other stuff simpler. You can roast the pumpkin now and puree it or what you need to do and refrigerate until you are ready to bake

DH’s family recipe is German based on dressing for wild game birds and got the basics from SIL not sure about quantities
1 lb roasted pork loin
1 lb pork sausage, cooked
liverwurst sausage-the package that is about 6" long
6 apples, cored and cut up
2 onions peeled and cut in quarters
3-4 ribs of celery cut up (this is optional, some people don’t like it, but the fruit & onions are essential)
seasonings I am not sure of but seems to be typical pork or turkey–sage, parsley, thyme, rosemary etc. if the sausage is salty you probably don’t need salt
all this is put through a meat grinder–I suppose you would use a food processor today, but I never used one
you meanwhile have cooked the turkey giblets and neck in a quart of water, the giblets and what meat come off the neck also go through the meat grinder, and the liquid is the moistening I guess you add broth if it looks too dry

I think a melted stick of butter comes in here too-
one box of white raisins (they are actually yellow)
then mixed with one box of pepperidge farm crackers crushed into crumbs (why that brand I don’t know-- and I can’t remember if it is one box, or one sleeve of crackers, look at the volume and see what looks right)

this is very rich and more filling than the rest of the meal put together but there is nothing that tastes better and is more evocative of family holidays for us

nobody makes it any more now that my father in law is gone–it was his specialty and took him 2 days to make. the actual turkey is stuffed lightly, don’t pack it, and the rest baked in a covered casserole, spread out in flatter pan it comes out dry and crispy, it is supposed to be moist,

for heaven sake don’t let your cardiologist see this recipe

personally I never stuff the turkey, can’t be sure of safety, I put 2-3 celery ribs including tops, and large onion in quarters, with some sprigs of parsely, and rosemary if I have it, inside, and remove them before carving–makes the drippings taste wonderful

I just buy the bagged seasoned crumbs (not stove-top) from the grocery store, add diced onions and celery, poultry seasoning, and a can of Swansons broth, plus olive oil (don’t use butter any more, more’s the pity) and bake it while the turkey sits and rests prior to carving.

nobody here likes candied yams, the best way we like them is simply baked in the skin, split open, and squeeze fresh lime over each half right before you eat it. no butter, spice or anything else.

I will be eating at the parish we are serving over 750 meals to the needy from that day (I am not helping, just eating and supervising youth volunteers)

we need a poll about stuffing: eggs or no eggs?


Cornbread Sausage Dressing

1 lb ground pork sausage
4 stalks celery, diced
2 med onions, diced
2/3 cups pecans, chopped
1 pan day old cornbread, broken into large
crumbs (I usually make cornbread muffins for the stuffing, because then it doesn’t get mushy)
4 cups chicken stock
3 cups white bread, toasted
lots and lots of sage
2 eggs, beaten


  1. Cook first 3 ingredients in a large skillet
    over medium heat until sausage is browned
    and vegetables are tender, stirring until
    sausage crumbles. Add pecans toward the
    end and season liberally with sage. Drain.

  2. Combine sausage mixture, cornbread
    crumbs, and remaining ingredients. Season
    liberally with freshly ground pepper and the
    sage (again! - you can never have to much

  3. You can either use to stuff your turkey or
    spoon into a greased casserole dish and
    bake uncovered at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes.
    (I don’t stuff my turkey with the stuffing…that is why
    it is called dressing and not stuffing. I stuff my turkey
    with apples, oranges, lemons, and garlic seasoned
    with salt and pepper and herbs d’ provence).


Here’s what we are having (it’s what we always have;)). We will have 10 people:
Roast Turkey
Homemade Dressing (made with a loaf of Giant Sunbeam bread and one loaf of Italian bread toasted in the oven, onion,celery, lot’s of butter, poultry seasoning, heavy cream, chicken broth. It’s my Mom’s recipe, sometimes I put sausage in it which is how DH likes it, but I am having sausage in another dish…)
Honey Baked Ham
Mashed Potatoes
Mashed Rutabaga
Squash Casserole
Fresh Asparagus
Autumn Rigatoni (with Butternut Squash, Kale, Sausage, Cheese & Half & Half)
Homemade Cheesecake
Pumpkin Crunch Cake w/Pumpkin Fluff Dip
~this is one day I do not worry about carbs~;):stuck_out_tongue:


Hi :wave:, everyone. Your Thanksgiving menus sound wonderful!!! You’re making me hungry…and I just had lunch!

Our menu:

Roasted turkey
stuffing ( I use pre-packed stuffing mix and add sage sausage, onion, celery and sliced baby portobello mushrooms) - put it in a crockpot
mashed potatoes
Whipped sweet potato bake (awesome with ham)
deviled eggs
veggie - haven’t decided yet
homemade pumpkin pie
Gram’s brown sugar cake
Pecan pie


Well we do the usual, too.

BUT, we remain somewhat ethnic by always beginning the dinner with the Primo piatto.

Yes no matter what, all our holidays begin with pasta.

I’m sure all of you remember reading in our history books, all the amazing fare as the grand Lasagna was placed before the Indians and Pilgrims, and how they went off to unbuckle their vestments and suede attires as they rested against a tree to rest their full bellies.

Oh I hate to stereotype our ancestors. It should be noted, we use ground turkey instead of ground beef in the tomato sauce this day. I’m sure that makes all the difference.

I used to think I was a freak, but knowing that many households here will serve homemade tamales and Golabki’s, I didn’t feel so bad.


NICE! Never had that before.


I may try the Cornbread stuffing, too. We are trying more rice/corn methods, as some relatives are celics and allergic to wheat. Great Idea!


*OLHope, the pumpkin pie recipe is actually pretty easy…and so good…healthy. You take maybe 3 to 4 smaller pumpkins…only smaller ones for baking, and then cut them up into pieces, and bake them…they soften, and then you carve the ‘meat’ out, and put it into a food processor with a little water. Then, it looks like the canned pumpkin. The difference in taste is very noticeable, I personally think. Some say they can’t tell the difference. I use Splenda, so it’s a lower calorie version of traditional pumpkin pie. I’m a rather lazy cook…I don’t like labor intensive things, but will go all out for holidays. So, this really isn’t as hard as I thought it sounded, when a friend of mine first gave me the recipe.

Everyone’s stuffing ideas are to die for! I appreciate these…dulcissima, oh wow, your stuffing must go over very well! :)*



I think we’re having 18 people this year. My mom tried to count the kids as 1/2 servings, but then she came to dinner last week and watched my 6-year-old and 3 year-old pack it away, so all the half pints have now become full pints! :slight_smile:

Here’s what we’re having.

Turkey - the debate is still raging if Dad is going to fry it or if we’re just going to put it in the oven.
Mashed potatoes
Green Bean Casserole
homemade rolls
Squash (for those people who eat it)
Rice stuffing that Mom is making. (my nephews have gluten allergies)
Apple Cranberry Sausage stuffing

For my stuffing, I cheat and get the sage-flavored stuffing cubes. I cook up a pound of Jimmy Dean Sage pork sausage. Add about 3-4 celery ribs cut thinly, a large onion chopped finely. I let all those cook together and get soft. While that is working, I have 2 cups of chicken broth and I put in about 1 cup of dried cranberries to plump. When the onions and celery are cooked, I mix that together with the chicken broth and cranberries. Also mix in a can of apple pie filling. I make my own, so I add a quart jar. (I’ve also done it with cherry pie filling and there used to be a holidy one of cranberry cherry - but I haven’t seen that one for a few years). Mix everything together with the stuffing cubes. Then we just cook it in our slow cooker. I’ve been the delegated stuffing maker for about the last 8 years! :smiley:

For dessert, the kids get to help. Last year, we made individual pumpkin pies using the premade crusts from the store. Baked them like regular. When they were cool, we put in candy corn for the tail feathers. Then we used a Nutter Butter cookie for the head. With red icing gel, we did the waddle and the comb. With black icing gel, we did the rest of the face. (Put the candy corn in that morning, otherwise the darn sugar dissolves, and your feathers fall out.) Don’t know what we’re doing that’s kid-friendly this year.

Happy Thanksgiving.


I love this kind of thread! So interesting to see what everyone does. We’re about as traditional as it gets, and our family does NOT like any tinkering with the menu.

Roast fresh turkey (at least 14 lbs. as I love turkey leftovers) with an onion and a few ribs of celery in the cavity. I never, ever actually stuff the bird, as you have to overcook it to be sure the stuffing is safe.

Gravy (my dad is the family gravy master, and I have tried to absorb his tricks, but it never is quite as good.)

Simple stuffing (white whole wheat bread as the basis, with onion, celery, and chicken broth) NO eggs

Mashed Yukon Gold potatoes

Yams with marshmallows (I think they eat the yams just for the browned marshmallows!)

Carrots and parsnips (cooked together with a little butter, a bit of sea salt and black pepper; my mom used to make this and I think it goes really well with turkey.)

Sweet green peas

If SIL#1 is in town, green bean casserole; not this year :frowning:

Cranberry sauce - both whole berry and pre-fab.

Crescent rolls, or sometimes homemade healthy cornbread

Homemade apple and chocolate cream pies

I’ve tried sneaking in cornbread stuffing but no one liked it as much. This is one meal that I better not mess with.

I am now VERY hungry.


You’re a better woman than I; if I made pumpkin pie, I sure wouldn’t be doing it totally from scratch!!!

I use Splenda in my apple pies, as well; so much less guilt, and I can’t tell the difference, with the lemon and cinnamon.

I’m going to have to look closely at the stuffing recipes, too.

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