20 Recipes Perfect for Thanksgiving

Haven’t finalized your Thanksgiving menu yet? Need to add another side dish? I’m sharing a roundup of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes to help you get your menu set!

20 RecipesPerfect ForThanksgiving

Appetizers

Appetizers set the vibe of your meal – and keep your hungry guests out of the kitchen while you finish prepping the main meal! I always like to have a mix of old favorites and new-to-me plates!

CranberrySalsa

Cranberry Salsa

CranberryPumpkinSpread

Cranberry Pumpkin Walnut Spread

Baked Spinach Dip

Baked Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Spicy Pretzels

Spicy Pretzels

Sides

While the turkey is the center of the meal, we all know the main stars are the side dishes! Great versions of the classics are my favorite.

Brown Sugar Butternut Squash 1

Brown Sugar Butternut Squash

GreenBeanswithBacon

Green Beans with Bacon and Brown Sugar

IPMashedPotatoes

Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

PomegranateAvocadoSalad

Pomegranate and Avocado Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette 

Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole

Autumn Salad

Autumn Salad with Homemade Dressing

Roasted Garlic Macaroni and Cheese

Roasted Garlic Macaroni and Cheese

Bacon Parmesan Green Beans

Bacon Parmesan Green Beans

CranberrySauce

Cranberry Sauce

Desserts

Dessert is undeniably my favorite part of the meal. I’m not a pumpkin fan, so apples and cranberries are my go-tos for Thanksgiving!

Cranberry Ice Cream 4

Cranberry Ice Cream

AppleRoses

Baked Apple Roses

CaramelAppleCheesecakePie

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Pie

ButtermilkCustardApplePie

Buttermilk Custard Apple Pie

Apple Hazelnut Chocolate Cake

Apple Hazelnut Chocolate Cake

CranberryAppleCrisp

Cranberry Apple Crisp

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Bacon Parmesan Green Beans

We are a green bean loving family, and this is our new favorite way to make them.

Bacon Parmesan Green Beans

I made these green beans as a possible option for the upcoming holidays, and my family gobbled them up. I can’t remember the last time we didn’t have leftovers of our veggie dish!

There’s a lot to love here – bacon, cheese, garlic, and the onions pretty much caramelize as you cook them. Fancy enough for company, but easy enough for a weeknight, these green beans are a real winner.

Bacon Parmesan Green Beans 2

Bacon Parmesan Green Beans
(adapted from Six Sisters Stuff)
Serves 6

1 lb. fresh green beans
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/3 cup chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 bacon strips, diced
1/2 tsp. onion salt
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
Pepper, to taste
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add green beans and boil for 3-4 minutes, then drain.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet. Add onion, garlic, and bacon to the pan and cook for 5 minutes.

Add in onion salt, garlic salt, pepper, and green beans. Cook until green beans are softened and everything is cooked. Stir in the Parmesan and serve.

Fresh Corn Salsa (11)

Brown Sugar Butternut Squash

Side dishes are on my list of “things I regularly forget about”. I’m not the only one that can plan main dishes for every night and conveniently forget that I should serve something along with it, right?

Brown Sugar Butternut Squash 1

Except Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is all about the sides for me. And this would be a great one.

Simple ingredients and quick prep make this a winner any night, but it’d be especially great for your holiday table, given how great butternut squash are this time of year.

Brown Sugar Butternut Squash 2

Brown Sugar Butternut Squash
(from Chew Out Loud
Serves 6

1 large butternut squash, peeled/seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside.

In a bowl, toss the squash with the oil until evenly coated. Add remaining ingredients and toss to coat. Spread out on the baking sheet evenly.

Roast for 40 minutes until the squash is fork-tender and the edges are browned.

Fresh Corn Salsa (10)

Balsamic Grilled Vegetables

In the food blogger world, we’re often working ahead. Like, I’m currently working on Christmas cookies, as absurd as that sounds on this 80 degree summer day. Sometimes I feel like I’m living three steps ahead, not in the moment, so I was super excited that more than 80% of you were still up for summer recipes when I asked on Facebook this week.

Hurray, summer!

I feel like I’ve missed most of it, honestly. The move chewed up so much of my time that I feel like I’m frantically playing catch up now before school starts.  Grilling is something I’m catching up on – we finally got our grill ready to go this week. This was the first thing I made.

This “recipe” is really flexible – it’s more of a method. You can use any vegetables you have on hand. Want it to cook faster? Cut the pieces smaller. Want the veggies to caramelize a little more? Don’t stir as often. Sub the balsamic for fresh Parmesan. Add a nice, crusty loaf of bread and serve it as a meal. So many options!

It can also be served warm, cold, or at room temp which makes it so flexible for potlucks or entertaining.

BalsamicGrilledVeggies

Balsamic Grilled Vegetables
(adapted from Stop & Shop)
Serves 6-8 as a side

1 eggplant
2 zucchini
1 red pepper
1/2 red onion
1 pint cherry tomatoes
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. fresh basil, julienned
2 Tbsp. balsamic glaze

Preheat the grill to medium-high.

Chop the vegetables into bite-sized pieces. Toss with olive oil and season with slat and pepper.

Add to a grill basket. Grill for 20-25 minutes, stirring every few minutes.

When done, transfer to a serving bowl. Top with fresh basil and drizzle with balsamic glaze.

Fresh Corn Salsa (4)

Corn and Zucchini Skillet #farmersmarketweek

Yesterday, I talked about the plethora of summer zucchini. Today, let’s talk corn.

farmersmarketweekheader

Since joining the CSA, our summer corn consumption has jumped a lot. This is partly because the corn we get is really, really good and partly because corn is one of our farm’s biggest crops, so there’s a lot to go around.

I love when there’s a plethora of things, because it gets me to break out of my comfort zone more. In pre-CSA summers, we’d do grilled corn on the cob whenever I picked up corn. But now that we pretty much always have, I feel like I have license to play around a bit more.

This simple but flavorful skillet was born out of my experimenting. I had corn and zucchini to use up – and a bunch of fresh herbs waiting to be used. Add in some fresh parmesan and this side dish was a sure hit!

ZucchiniCornSkillet

Corn and Zucchini Skillet
(a Kate’s Recipe Box original)
Serves 6

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
3 small zucchinis, coin sliced
2 large ears of corn, cleaned and kernels cut off
1 Tbsp. fresh chives, chopped
1 tsp. fresh oregano, chopped
1 tsp. fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese.
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the corn and zucchini. Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the herbs and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Fresh Corn Salsa (2)

Hitting your local farmer’s market today? Here is some more inspiration for you!

Thursday #FarmersMarketWeek Recipes

Kids in the Kitchen: Easy Guacamole

For Christmas, my cousin gave Jake his own set of cooking tools – a mixing bowl, measuring cups and spoons, a whisk, an apron… the works. He’s absolutely enthralled with it. We rearranged a cabinet so all of his stuff could be kept where he could reach it and – you guessed it – he’s been begging to help with dinner nearly every night since.

I love cooking with the kids. I really do. But on a Thursday evening when I’m just trying to get something on the table before everyone start melting down, the last thing I want to do is slow down enough for toddler hands – so I’ve been working on giving him his own, supplemental project to help with.

JakeGuac

Like guacamole as I work on the burritos.

This, by far, isn’t the fanciest guac recipe out there, but it’s perfect for a kid to help with (or do mostly themselves – Jake did!)

Kids can:

  • Scoop out and mash the avocado
  • Stir everything together
  • Older kids can measure the lime juice and salt, younger kids can add in pre-measured ingredients

Adults will need to:

  • Cut the avocado and remove the pit
  • Chop the tomato
  • Measure ingredients, if working with a younger child

 
Guacamole

Easy Guacamole
 (from Jake’s Amazing Chef set!)
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

2-3 ripe avocados
1 Tbsp. lime juice
1/2 tomato, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
Tortilla chips, for serving

Cut the avocados in half and remove the pits. Scoop the flesh into a bowl and mash.

Stir in the lime juice, tomato, and salt.

Serve with chips.

www.KateRecipeBox.com

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Cranberry Sauce

I hosted Thanksgiving for years before I tried making my own cranberry sauce. I always assumed it would be difficult and not worth it.  It’s not – and it is.

This only takes about fifteen minutes to make and tastes so, so much better than the canned version. It’s also make-ahead friendly and is the perfect dish to bring with you if you’re travelling because it can be served warm, cold, or at room temp.

CranberrySauce

Cranberry Sauce
(from Savory Sweet Life)
Makes about 2 cups

1 12 oz. bag fresh cranberries
3/4 cup orange juice
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is mostly evaporated.

You’ll hear the cranberries popping as this cooks – that’s okay! You want them to open up!

This can be served warm, chilled, or at room temperature.

Smoked Macaroni and Cheese on the Grill with Smokin O’s #CookoutWeek #Sponsored

Disclaimer: I received free product in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.

I never really considered macaroni and cheese a cookout food – until I had kids. Now, macaroni and cheese is an all-the-time food. I’ve been dreaming up an on-the-grill version for a while and I knew Cookout Week was the perfect opportunity.

It was also a great chance to try out Smokin O’s. Smokin O’s is one of our Cookout Week sponsors and they sent us a sampler pack to try out. Smokin O’s are a great way to add smoked flavor on a gas grill – this recipe features an Applewood Smokin O.

And this makes a creamy, delicious, smoky mac and cheese with almost no effort. It’s a perfect cookout dish!

SmokedMacCheese

Smoked Macaroni and Cheese on the Grill with Smokin O’s
(a Kate’s Recipe Box original)

2 1/2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
2 Tbsp. melted butter
3 cups milk
2 cups half and half
16 oz. shredded cheddar jack cheese
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. paprika
1 Applewood Smokin O
Green onions, for topping
Chopped bacon, for topping

Prepare the grill with the Smokin O. Directions are here.

Spray a disposable 9×11″ pan with non-stick spray.  Pour in the elbow macaroni. Pour the melted butter, milk, and half and half into the pan an stir to combine. Stir in the cheese, salt, pepper, mustard and paprika.

Place the pan on the grill over indirect heat with the cover closed. Cook for 1 hour 45 minutes to two hours – stirring every 10 minutes for the first 40 minutes.

When cooked, top with green onions and chopped bacon before serving.

Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

It’s officially November which means my Facebook feed is all “hey! let’s do Christmas!” Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas and I totally have Christmas prep going here (like, the fill-it-yourself advent calendar I bought about a month ago and have been obsessing over what to put in it), but I also don’t want to brush other holidays under the rug. We did Halloween big (as it should be!) and now I’m thinking about Thanksgiving.

One of the hardest things about coordinating a Thanksgiving dinner is getting everything on the table at the same time. Either space in the oven/on the stove top is at a premium or there are just too many balls in the air to keep track of it all. Using other kitchen appliances other than the stove can help things go more smoothly. I’ve always been a big fan of the slow cooker, but this year I’m excited to throw the instant pot in the mix.

These mashed potatoes are basic, but they’re hands-off and perfect for your Thanksgiving meal. I used my stand mixer to make things go super fast but if you don’t have one (or it’s tied up with other Thanksgiving prep!) a hand mixer would work just fine too.

IPMashedPotatoes

Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
(adapted from The Baker Upstairs)
Serves 4-6

2 lbs. potatoes
1 cup chicken stock
2 Tbsp. butter
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream
Salt and pepper, to taste

Wash the potatoes. Peel, if desired, and quarter.

Add the rack to the instant pot, then the potatoes. Pour the chicken stock over the potatoes.

Using the manual setting, set to cook for 8 minutes and then quick release the pressure.

Drain the liquid and add the hot potatoes to the bowl of a stand mixer. Add remaining ingredients and mix until you reach the desired consistency.

Fresh Corn Salsa (13)

Instant Pot Garlic Rosemary Potatoes

I jumped on the Instant Pot bandwagon when they were on sale on Prime Day, but honestly, aside from cooking chicken to shred, I haven’t used to much. What seemed so versatile and useful on my computer screen now seems overwhelming on my kitchen counter. I guess that means I’m getting old? This recipe seemed simple enough so it became my first real Instant Pot test – and I fell in love.

What I loved here was that it was simple and hands-off. When I roast potatoes, I feel like I’m checking them a million times, they have to be flipped, etc. – with this I just threw potatoes in the IP and went on to do the rest of dinner. They cooked and you could switch up the seasonings to make it fit whatever meal you’re making.

I’m really excited about playing with the Instant Pot more and seeing what else I can do – is anyone interested in seeing more IP recipes here?

GarlicRosemaryPotatoes

Instant Pot Garlic Rosemary Potatoes
(slightly adapted from Pressure Cooking Today)
Serves 4 as a side

1 lb. potatoes
1 cup water
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 sprigs rosemary
Salt and pepper, to taste

Wash and slice the potatoes and add them to the steamer basket of the Instant Pot. Pour 1 cup of water into the pot. Lock the lid in place, set to high pressure with a 4 minute cook time.

While the potatoes cook, whisk together the oil, garlic and rosemary in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments until the garlic is fragrant.

When the Instant Pot beeps, turn it off and do a quick pressure release. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl and pour the oil over. Toss gently. Season with salt and pepper and serve.