Our 8 Best Thanksgiving Recipes of All Time
By Editor.Adetoun, November 20th, 2017
Thanksgiving Day is traditionally a day for families and friends to get together for a special meal. The meal often includes a turkey, stuffing, potatoes, cranberry sauce, gravy, pumpkin pie, and vegetables. Thanksgiving Day is a time for many people to give thanks for what they have.
Thanksgiving Day parades are held in some cities and towns on or around Thanksgiving Day. Some parades or festivities also mark the opening of the Christmas shopping season. Some people have a four-day weekend so it is a popular time for trips and to visit family and friends.
These are the recipes that you, our readers, can’t stop raving about in your reviews, and come back to year after year. Put them all together into one Thanksgiving feast, and you’ll have a menu that can’t lose.
THE SAVORY STUFF
1. A DRY-BRINED TURKEY WITH SHALLOT-DIJON GRAVY
We can all agree that bringing a turkey helps ensure a well-seasoned and moist bird, but a traditional brine can be messy, and immersing a turkey in a vat of liquid takes up a lot of space in the fridge. That’s why we love salting the turkey (aka dry brining) instead. In this top-rated recipe, the turkey gets infused not just with salt, but aromatic rosemary, sage, thyme, bay leaves, and lemon zest. Pair it with a rich gravy flavored with shallots, white wine, and dijon, you’ve got a no-fail recipe for the best Thanksgiving turkey ever.
The flavor is exactly what you would think a Thanksgiving turkey should taste like in your mind.” “Juicy and delicious as promised…” “Everyone from age 1 to 65 RAVED about this recipe. This will be our third year and will be the ‘family recipe’ from here on.” “Outstanding. This is THE recipe after several years of trying others from other brines to Martha Stewart. It browned beautifully [and] was so juicy.
2. COULDN’T-BE-EASIER CRANBERRY SAUCE
There’s no need to overcomplicate cranberry sauce. This recipe allows the flavor of cranberry to shine through, with just sugar, orange zest, and a pinch of salt to enhance it. The result is a well-balanced condiment any turkey would be happy to share a plate with.
“The zest really brings a nice flavor to the berries. You Will definitely love this again and again.” “This is a keeper! Nice balance of sweet and tart.”
3. THE SIMPLEST STUFFING (AKA DRESSING)
Whether you call it dressing or stuffing, this is our most popular version of all time. Sure, it’s simple—just like the name says—but it’s also delicious. With torn white bread, onions, celery, a heavy-handed dose of herbs, and plenty of butter, this is the recipe that thousands of people turn to at Thanksgiving each year. If you use vegetable broth instead of chicken, it can serve any vegetarians at your table, too.
Our pantheon of classic dishes looks pretty darn delicious.
4. SWEET POTATOES THAT WILL KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF
Infused with maple and vanilla and topped with enough brown sugar to make an irresistible crackly crust, this sweet potato casserole definitely walks on the sweet side. The addition of the eggs adds richness and helps the sweet potatoes puff up a little when baked, too.
5. THE CREAMIEST, DREAMIEST MASHED POTATOES
Sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving? Why not? We went through rounds of testing in the Epi test kitchen to come up with our favorite mashed potato recipe, which has just a touch of garlic, thyme, and our secret ingredient: tangy sour cream. They’re light and fluffy yet rich and creamy—everything you want your mashed potatoes to be.
6. EASY YET ELEGANT GREEN BEANS
With so many rich dishes on the table at Thanksgiving, it’s nice to have something fresh and crunchy to balance out the meal. A tangy herb butter adorns these green beans, which are quickly cooked on the stovetop, freeing up oven space for other things (like pie!).
These were simple, delicate, and delicious. “Wonderful, beautifully flavored, a real treat on the plate. “Definitely a ‘quick [and] easy’ winner, tasteful, and versatile—you can use this herbed butter on many things. LOVE it!” “Such a simple little thing to do, and such a fabulous result. This herb butter added a delicate and tasty accent to the beans.”
THE SWEET STUFF
How to choose between three iconic Thanksgiving pies? Why choose at all?
PHOTO BY CHELSEA KYLE, PROP STYLING BY ALEX BRANNIAN, FOOD STYLING BY ALI NARDI
7. A PECAN PIE WITH A TWIST OF CITRUS
This virtually foolproof pecan pie has a sweet custard filling that’s loaded with nuts. Orange zest brings a fresh dimension to the flavor and helps tone down the sweetness, but you can reduce or omit it if you prefer pure unadulterated pecan pie.
8. A CLASSIC DOUBLE-CRUST APPLE PIE
Pure butter and a touch of apple cider vinegar makes this pie crust tender, flaky, and just plain heavenly. The Epi test kitchen tried all kinds of apples, and chose Honeycrisp and Braeburn since they hold up well during baking and have a lovely balance of sweet and tart flavor. Less sugar than some recipes and a light dusting of cinnamon and nutmeg really help their flavor shine through.
Thanksgiving 2017 is a time for many people to give thanks for what they have. Presently, it has become a day for families and friends to get together for a special meal. The meal often includes a turkey, stuffing, potatoes, cranberry sauce, gravy, pumpkin pie, and vegetables. Volunteering is a common Thanksgiving Day 2018 activity, and communities often hold food drives and host free dinners for the less fortunate. Parades have also become an important part of the holiday in cities and towns across the United States.