All the turkey-day basics
Here’s our roundup of the classic Thanksgiving basics, by dish. Pick a few to try and assemble your own turkey-day menu. If you have mounds of leftovers, try them in Smoked Turkey and Roasted Red Pepper Roll-ups, Smoked Turkey and Cheddar Quiche, Chicken Pot Pie, or simply piled together in a sandwich.
Turkey. There are many ways to roast a turkey, but unless you’re going vegetarian for Thanksgiving (Tofurky, anyone?), you’ll probably have some version of the bird on your table.
Recipes: Brined and Roasted Turkey
Gravy. Whether you choose to use a homemade turkey stock or ordinary store-bought chicken stock, making a batch of gravy ahead of time saves last-minute stress.
Recipes: Turkey Stock, Lazy Gravy, Homemade Gravy
Stuffing. Dry or moist? Sausage, oyster, or chestnut? Breadcrumbs or cornbread or rice? Whatever recipe or style you prefer, stuffing (also known as dressing or filling) is one of Thanksgiving’s most popular dishes.
Recipes: Apple-Pecan Stuffing, Apple and Sausage Stuffing, Wild Rice Dressing with Bacon, Meme’s Cornbread Dressing
Cranberry sauce. Please, don’t buy the canned stuff; homemade cranberry sauce is a snap to make and takes just a few minutes on the stovetop. Like gravy, it’s an easy dish to make ahead.
Spiced Cranberry Sauce
Recipes: Cranberry Sauce, Spiced Cranberry Sauce
Starchy sides. Even with the starch factor of stuffing, most folks like to have extra carbs on table; potatoes and rolls are two of the most popular choices.
Recipes: Dinner Rolls, Potato and Mushroom Gratin, Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes
Veggie sides. Warm vegetable casseroles are an easy side dish to make ahead and warm up just before serving.
Roasted Sweet Potato and Vanilla Bean Gratin
Recipes: Roasted Sweet Potato and Vanilla Bean Gratin, Roasted Green Beans with Roasted Red Peppers and Hazelnuts, Braised Red Cabbage with Apple and Juniper, Browned and Braised Brussels Sprouts
Winter salads. Crisp winter salads provide a cool contrast to all the hot dishes, not to mention a welcome extra dose of green.
Mixed Greens with Blue Cheese, Walnuts, and Apples
Recipes: Mixed Greens with Blue Cheese, Walnuts, and Apples, Pomegranate and Walnut Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette, Turnip, Carrot, and Gruyère Salad
Desserts. For some folks, everything else at Thanksgiving is just prelude to dessert. Pumpkin, apple, and pecans generally star in the holiday’s pies. Serve with cream, either cold (whipped), frozen (ice cream), or warm (sauce).
Pumpkin Gingersnap Pie
Recipes: Mom’s Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Gingersnap Pie, Apple Galette, Apple Pie For a Passerby, Crème Anglaise