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Feast's Ultimate Guide to a Classic Thanksgiving Dinner

  • 5 min to read

When the editorial team here at Feast sat down to plan our annual ode to Thanksgiving, we talked through how to allow this year’s Turkey Day issue to be a bit surprising, while still honoring the tried-and-true. In our November 2019 issue, we offer creative fall salads, sweet potato recipes and autumnal desserts beyond the typical pumpkin pie, but we know that sometimes you just want to let tradition take over. 

Over the past decade, we’ve published a host of fantastic Thanksgiving recipes. In 2017, Shannon Weber, one of our stalwart recipe developers, offered up her Total Turkey Tutorial with instructions on buying, brining and roasting your bird, making perfect gravy and even making stock from the leftover carcass. In 2016, pastry chef extraordinaire Natasha Goellner shared nontraditional pumpkin pie recipes such as chocolate-pumpkin pie with cinnamon and cayenne and a pumpkin-coconut cream pie with a curry crust. Even our first Thanksgiving issue in 2010 had can’t-miss recipes: We asked a bunch of chefs to create dishes for people who want to get a bit creative in the kitchen and they did not disappoint, including Byron Grant’s sweet potato-pecan flan, Clara Moore’s black walnut stuffing with figs and bacon and Carolyn Downs’ deliciously simple chess pie. 

Here, we've compiled everything you need to know about how to make a classic Thanksgiving feast that is far from boring.

STARTERS AND APPETIZERS

These little puff-pastry appetizers are easy to make and ideal for no-fuss holiday entertaining. 

TURKEY

About five years ago, Turducken was the latest food craze and became a new tradition for many American families. Want to make it this Thanksgiving? Get our simplified (yet just as scrumptious) recipe here.

GRAVY

This rich, savory gravy calls for turkey stock or low- or no- sodium chicken stock. Homemade turkey stock will taste best, but must be made at least one day prior to Thanksgiving.

STUFFING

This stuffing recipe is featured in our A Cook's Thanksgiving guide. Find the entire dinner menu in the This Month's Feast section of our website.

This stuffing recipe is featured in our A Cook's Thanksgiving guide. Find the entire dinner menu in the This Month's Feast section of our website.

CRANBERRY SAUCE

Give your cranberry sauce an extra kick with habanero and serve it warm, like barbecue sauce or traditional gravy.

SIDE DISHES

This twist on boiled or roasted Brussels sprouts serves them crispy, slightly caramelized and lightly seasoned with rosemary.

Thin slices of sweet potato are layered between spoonfuls of goat cheese and a cream sauce spiced with paprika and chipotle purée.

DESSERT

These personal-sized pies are as fun to make as they are to eat.

This pie recipe is featured in our A Cook's Thanksgiving guide. Find the entire dinner menu in the This Month's Feast section of our website. Pair it with Maple Buttered Rum (recipe included here).

DRINKS

This Martini features all the flavors of classic pumpkin pie. It may seem like a lot of effort to put all this stuff together, but it's worth it.

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A cranberry twist on a classic brunch cocktail: Three ingredients means this is ready to roll in no time at all, which is perfect when you sta…

This rum recipe is featured in our A Cook's Thanksgiving guide. Find the entire dinner menu in the This Month's Feast section of our website. Pair it with Apple Walnut Pie (recipe included here).

REPURPOSED LEFTOVERS

This easy-to-make chili is an ideal meal after a full day spent in the kitchen.