Last updated on November 21st, 2021
It’s Thanksgiving week! I’ve put together my favorite Thanksgiving dishes for you. Please enjoy this festival of flavors that includes a first course soup, a main course turkey, seven sexy sides, and five dramatic desserts – none of which are pumpkin pie! You’ll be glad to know that almost all of the dishes can be made ahead of time to insure a stress-free holiday.
This year, because the COVID19 pandemic has not yet ended, Fox and I are hosting just two (fully-vaccinated) friends for Thanksgiving. The party will begin with wine and canapes in the parlor. Afterwards, we will light a fire in the dining room. And then, when the sun sets, we will tuck into a multi-course dinner for…twelve people. Good thing we love leftovers!
The First Course Soup:
Butternut Squash Soup with Bacon, Sherry, and Thyme. I developed this soup 19 years ago, and I’ve been serving it every Thanksgiving and Christmas since. It’s a beautiful brew of caramelized butternut squash, smoky bacon, savory thyme, and smooth sherry. Serve the soup for dinner tonight, and your family will think you’re a genius. Here’s the recipe.
The Main Course
Roast Turkey with Apple Gravy. My favorite main course for Thanksgiving. Apples serve double duty here — they flavor the bird and also thicken the gravy (you won’t need flour or cornstarch). The low-carb, gluten-free gravy is beyond delicious. You’ll want to sip it out of a mug. Here’s the recipe.
Hominy au Gratin. If I could, I’d eat Hominy au Gratin every day. It’s creamy. It’s comforting. It goes with everything. Need an accompaniment for hamburgers? Poached eggs? A Thanksgiving turkey? Hominy au Gratin is your friend. Here’s the easy recipe.
Quinoa Dressing with Leeks, Sage, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes. Quinoa offers a delightful crunch and a neutral taste. Toss it with sautéed leeks, fresh sage, and sun-dried tomatoes, and BAM — you’ll have a Thanksgiving “dressing” that even your gluten-avoiding friends can enjoy. Click here for the recipe.
Crispy Roasted Potatoes. Crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, these super spuds are the bomb! I love them alongside an omelet, a steak, or a hamburger. Unlike French fries, the little morsels retain their crispness long after they’ve emerged from the oven. Need a little snap, crackle, and pop in your life? Here’s the recipe.
Creamy Mashed Potatoes. Wait! Don’t run away! Mashed potatoes ain’t exactly “diet fare,” but they are devilishly delicious to eat. Need a dreamy base for your favorite gravies and stews? Need a sumptuous side dish that you can make ahead of time, and reheat on the stove top? Want some tips and tricks for getting the most flavor from your potatoes? This step-by-step recipe is for you:
Cranberry Sauce with Red Wine and Ginger. Oh, my. This is the cranberry sauce of our ruby-red dreams. One taste and you’ll be hooked, I promise. Here’s the recipe.
Buttermilk Biscuits. These are light, layered, and flexible. I love them hot from the oven, with or without a pat of butter and a drizzle of honey. Of course the biscuits are marvelous for sandwiches, too, and you can’t beat ’em for sopping up gravy. Here’s the recipe.
A Gratin of Leeks. I think you’ll love this French classic. After all, who among us can resist a side dish (or vegetarian main course) of tender leeks that are gloriously suspended in Sauce Mornay (white sauce with cheese), and finished with a crisp lid of buttery bread crumbs? You can assemble the entire dish several hours in advance, if you wish, and then bake it off about 30 minutes before serving time. Here’s the recipe.
The Dessert Course
Cranberry Clafouti. If you’ve never tasted Cranberry Clafouti, please take note: It’s delicious! It’s delicious on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, Mother’s Day, and even Laundry Day. And would you believe this ruby-topped, cake-like creation is actually easy to make? If you can make a simple pancake batter, then you can make Cranberry Calfouti. Click here for my step-by-step recipe:
Pumpkin Soufflé. Pumpkin pie and me? We’re over. Finished. Splitsville. The pie can claim adultery, but I don’t care. I’ve fallen fast and hard for a dramatic, delicious, and naturally gluten-free Pumpkin Soufflé! Here’s the step-by-step recipe
Rustic Apple Galette. I made this apple galette the other day, and it was everything I’d hoped it would be: delicious, dramatic, and downright addicting. A brushing of melted red currant jelly gives the tender apple slices a sexy sheen. And oh, the crust! It’s crunchy, buttery, Pâte Brisée Sucrée. Need some easy elegance in your life? Here’s the recipe.
Chocolate Cabernet Sauvignon Cake. If only you could visit me today, I’d gladly offer you a slice of this Chocolate-Cabernet Sauvignon Cake. It’s as rich and decadent as you’d expect it to be. It’s exquisitely perfumed, too. It’s the kind of cake that says “Eat me.” Here’s the recipe.
Sweet Potato Pie. I wasn’t supposed to have a sweet potato-harvest this year. Not after the crop’s leaves were devoured by a woodchuck in early August. So imagine my surprise when Margarita, my garden helper, dug through the bed the other day, and turned up dozens and dozens of beta carotene-rich spuds! To celebrate, I made a pie. (Click here for recipe.)
Hungry for more? Get my email updates. And please have yourself a joyous and safe Thanksgiving! xKevin
I love your recipes, but I also love your writing! Your charm and personality certainly shine through!
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Hi Susan – You are so kind. Thank you.
Michael Murphy says
Kevin, The link to the roast turkey recipe appears to be broken. Michael
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Hi Michael – Turkey link is fixed now. (I hope!)
OOO0oooo thanks for the recipes and inspiration, Kevin !
I’ll be one of two who are cooking for 40+ again this year at their house.
Think we’ll have Christmas at my place since there’s more room and the kids can run around some.
We both can cook anything, but most looking forward to Miss Sherry’s broccoli cheese casserole again.
My freund Shane will be smoking a turkey and we’re having a huge dinner at his daddy’s church on Sunday. Not sure I can eat 3 turkey suppers next week and stay awake until January LOL
Hope you and Fox have a wonderful day and week !
ps- everyone FIGHTS over your blackberry cobbler recipe
BRENDA M TURRENTINE says
Thanks Kevin for being a ray of sunshine.
Kevin, oh Kevin!
Where to start? Everything looks fantastic.. Will definitely try something new this year, thanks for the inspiration..
Sandy Martinez says
Good morning Kevin.
Thank you for the wonderful recipes. I’ll try your pumpkin soufflé this year. Also, I just noticed the different gratin recipes…I hope you and yours have a wonderful beautiful Thanksgiving holiday.
Love back to you!~Sandy
I’m planning to serve your butternut squash soup instead of roasted squash and your pumpkin souffle instead of pumpkin pie. Both sound yummy.
Happy autumn, Kevin! Thank you for your charming and mouthwatering posts. I always look forward to this entertaining respite. Love your recipes and repartee. Happy thanksgiving to you and your loved ones!
Diana Law says
Intriguing recipes!Can’t wait to try the apply gravy!
Thank you Kevin for more inspiration. Covid19 and aging family members are having a major impact on our typical gatherings this year so there will be my nearby sister of a similar age and myself for our Thanksgiving which we are grateful for. We have well stocked pantries and freezers which we are also grateful for – and we love to cook! Your recipes are enticing but we have already planned our elegant dinner from start to finish. Including the 3 mile walk after our dinner… Cranberry Orange Relish, plenty of vegetable dishes of long standing family celebrations, my older sister’s Pumpkin Roll will bring her to our table since she is confined to a nursing home with Parkinsons – so you see, bringing them to our table is important however we can. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and remember the things to be Thankful for and don’t well on the things you wish you had or the family that will not be with you. Will truly miss my children and their families. Peace.
Sincere Thanksgiving greetings to you and yours, Kevin (and Margarita, too.) Recipes look amaze-balls! Can’t wait to chow down.
Happy day to your family. I want to try the cranberry sauce. Be safe.
badger gardener says
I consider cranberry sauce to be the crown jewel of our Thanksgiving meal, although that seems to be just me because my family can take it or leave it. I usually don’t mess with the most basic of recipes, but your recipe is simple enough yet with an elegant upgrade that looks amazing. I think I will try it out this year.
Here’s to leftovers!
Hi Kevin, I look forward to trying out the recipe for biscuits. I am wondering about that little cutie Binky. How about an update.
Happy American Thanksgiving Kevin to you and Mr. Fox !! As with our Canadian Thanksgiving, celebrations will be so very different this year. All we can do is focus on the good around us and be thankful for what we DO have. Be well and be safe !!!
Susan Overberger says
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Look forward to and love your weekly posts!
Thanksgiving is not complete without your cranberry sauce! Heading into year 3 of making it. Thank you Kevin. So happy I found this. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.
So your pets get something special on turkey day?
Sherry Pace says
Happy Thanksgiving to you, Mr. Fox and the fur children! We will be celebrating with just two as well…Thanks so much for your wonderful posts and amazing recipes. I have made almost every one of your dishes (several many times) in previous years, but this year we are Keto-fied 🙁 . We will still have turkey but will likely just stick with mashed cauliflower, Brussel sprouts with bacon, and cranberry sauce made with sugar substitue (I will probably use Lakanto Monkfruit instead of Swerve). I think I miss your Butternut Squash soup the most. I could eat the entire batch on my own (with your buttermilk biscuits of course). Please stay safe and healthy and keep up the wonderful blog.
Jesse Duvall says
Sweet potato pie is the best! Not to sweet. I made one Friday for Thanksgiving and I have eaten it all now. I can’t stand pumpkin and sweet potato is so good! Because of being covid quarantined alone I dine alone Thanksgiving, and instead of Trader Joe’s organic turkey I will have a small Cornish hen. Basted with butter and saffron. And peach Bellini. I started to just have pizza and Caesar salad but decided against it.
I will be thinking of you and Mr. Fox in front of the dining room fireplace in your charming house with all the delicious food.
By the way, in Texas we make the chili and Frito dish topped with melted cheese and call it Frito Pie. School children are served this dish or were when I was in school decades ago. Most hot dog places such as traditional for 80 years James Coney Island serve the dish. Some people just tear open a small bag of Fritos, add chili and cheese and some add fresh grated onion, and call it Frito pie. It is a Texas staple. Frito co. encourages this Frito pie in a bag and sometimes uses it in their advertising.
Mary V Driver-Downs says
I did miss you last week. Hope you have a most wonderful Thanksgiving. Wish I was at your house enjoying all your recipes. I made the butternut squash pie last week. Yum! Going to definitely make the cranberry sauce. I am thankful for you and for your blog… thank you for sharing your world with me!
Sandra Barton says
Thank you Kevin for the great recipes. We do a weekly menu & have Tacos down for one of the days, however after watching the chili “how to” I am changing Taco Day to Chili Day! Looks so yummy! Binky update? A very Happy Thanksgiving to you & Mr Fox & all your fur babies!! Stay safe!
Cynthia G Knight says
Things to be thankful for: Kevin you and your delightful recipes, beautiful home, tips for house and garden, and love of furry friends.
Dot Sparling says
Kevin, Thank you for all your guidance and wonderful recipes. I tried your eggs fried over the coleslaw cooked in bacon fat and it was delicious! I had a hard time thinking that the egg whites would cook thoroughly and still allow the yokes to be soft even with the cheese melted on top! I have never questioned your recipes and, indeed, it worked perfectly! Amazing! It was so delicious, I was requested to cook it again the following morning!
Thanks for being such a good friend and inspiration to all of us who love to cook and entertain. During this month of thanksgiving, you are a blessing to be thankful for! Happy Thanksgiving!
Cissy Kross says
Your cranberry sauce is similar to one my mother made for years…but she always had a heavy hand with port wine! Anyway, I’d love to make the pumpkin souffle, but it’s just the 2 of us, and my husband isn’t a dessert hound like I am! Can I just cut the recipe in half successfully??? Thanks, will be jealous of your cool weather while we continue to bake in Boca Raton, FL! Happy TDay!
Megan Black says
I echo those who have said how you enrich and enliven our lives! I recently told my sister about you and she is happily delving into your archives and sending me photos of all the yummy meals you are helping her enjoy. It has been a delight to her as she is totally isolated for now. May you and Mr. Fox know how much you mean to so many of us!
Karen L says
Just made the cranberry sauce! Tastes fabulous.
Thank you for sharing your recipe.
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Hi Karen L – I’m so glad!
Mariska L says
I, like our president, will pardon a turkey this year. Full disclosure, we follow a vegan diet so easier than you might think. That being said the Gratin of leeks looks delicious and can be tweaked to be a vegan dish. We have handfuls of leeks waiting to make their contribution and this looks like a great way to use them up.
Thanks for the great seasonal recipe ideas.
Happy Thanksgiving to you, Mr Fox and your fur babies.
Janice in Vermont says
I’ve been making your turkey with apple gravy ever since it first appeared. The gravy itself is a revelation, and cause for thanksgiving! And I give thanks to you for it. This year I am adapting it to turkey thighs. And I love your cranberry clafouti! I will toast you this week.
Your blue white gravy pitcherI will make your gravy recipe because it sounds super delicious!
I’m looking for a pumpkin pie recipe with crumbled ginger snaps on the bottom. I could have sworn it was one of yours but I can’t find it anywhere!
Frances Wang says
I shared your site with my son and sister in law. Your energy and graceful yet often humorous approach to all you do is so uplifting and encouraging.
Have a beautiful Thanksgiving with Mr. Fox and your pets. Bless you all
Adriana Nowacki says
I’m thankful this holiday for your charm and humor and sharing these and other wonderful recipes with all of us. Have a blessed Thanksgiving.
You always liken up my life with you recipes, gardening, and just plain – you. Thanks. I pray you have a blessed, fun filled, happy Thanksgiving.
Rosie S says
I’ve written this before….but will repeat it! 🙂 Now, our Holidays are not complete without your Pumpkin Bread recipe. I make it constantly for the fall rotation of holidays and get togethers (although, those sure are few and far between these days!). Thanks again for that recipe….Have a great Thanksgiving!
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Hi everyone! Thanks so much for the nice comments. Happy Thanksgiving to you!
For Melinda: I made a Butternut Squash Pie with crumbled gingersnaps below the filling. The recipe is only available on my YouTube channel here: Butternut Squash Pie.