Regardless of whether it’s your first time hosting a Thanksgiving meal or you are a seasoned pro, it takes time and effort to plan the perfect family meal…
WRONG! We just made it very easy for you! Below you will find a complete menu for a delicious 7 course meal including a bonus signature drink. You can use this menu as is, scale it down for a smaller get together, or add your own ideas for a truly memorable meal. Enjoy!
Course 1 – Appetizer – Deviled Eggs
An oldie but goodie! Deviled eggs are easy to make and are usually well received. Spice them up with bacon pieces or sprinkle them with cayenne instead of paprika for an extra kick.
- 8 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
- 1 -2 tablespoons Hellman’s mayonnaise (add more for taste if desired)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pinch paprika
Place eggs in saucepan and cover with water. Bring to boil. Let eggs cook for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water and rinse with cold water to cool.
Peel and cut in half lengthwise. Remove yolks and combine with mustard, mayonnaise, and salt and pepper. Mix together until smooth.
Refill each egg half with the yolk mixture and sprinkle with paprika.
Course 2 – Salad – Apple Harvest Salad
This salad is perfectly melds some of the best flavors of the season into one dish. This dish is perfect topped with a balsamic or sweet vinaigrette.
- 3 c. lightly packed spinach or spring mix greens
- ¼ c. cooked quinoa
- 1 small or medium apple, cut into chunks
- 2 tbsp. pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- 3 tbsp. dried cranberries
- 3 tbsp. walnuts (halves or chopped)
Add greens to a large dinner plate or salad bowl. Top with the cooked (and cooled) quinoa, apple chunks, pepitas, dried cranberries and walnuts. Drizzle the salad with a light vinaigrette dressing.
Course 3 – Bread – Hawaiian Sweet Rolls
Ummm, sweet rolls! Do I really need to say more?! The perfect rolls to compliment your turkey.
- 1/3 cup milk (cold is fine, warm would help it rise faster)
- 1 scant tablespoon instant dry yeast
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- An 8 oz. can crushed pineapple, NOT drained (about 2/3 cup)
- 4 cups bread flour (all-purpose would also work)
- 1 teaspoon salt
For the tops:
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup water
- A few tablespoons melted butter
Mix together the milk and yeast. Let it sit for about 5 minutes. Add the oil, butter, sugar, eggs, and pineapple and mix to combine. Add the flour about 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add a little more if you need to. It should be sticky, but not gooey. Add the salt. Knead for about 10 minutes by hand or in a stand mixer with a dough hook. Cover with a damp cloth (or grease the top) and let rise until doubled (somewhere around 45-60 minutes).
Punch the dough down and divide into twelve equal balls. Place in a well buttered 9×13 inch pan and let rise again until doubled (again, 45-60 minutes). Preheat oven to 350ºF. Beat together the egg and water for the top and brush the tops of the risen rolls with the egg wash. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the tops are nicely browned. Brush the top with some melted butter and serve warm.
Course 4 – Entree – Martha’s Perfect Roast Turkey
Moist, tasty turkey is every holiday hostess’s holy grail and this recipe makes it easy even for beginners. Have your guests raving about your meal for weeks – or at least until the next holiday meal!
- One 20 – 21 pound fresh whole turkey
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- One 750-ml bottle dry white wine
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Rinse turkey with cool water, and dry with paper towels. Let stand for 2 hours at room temperature. Place rack on lowest level in oven. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Combine melted butter and white wine in a bowl. Fold a large piece of cheesecloth into quarters and cut it into a 17-inch, 4-layer square. Immerse cheesecloth in the butter and wine; let soak.
Place turkey, breast side up, on a roasting rack in a heavy metal roasting pan. Fold wing tips under turkey. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper inside turkey. You may opt to fill the large cavity and neck cavity loosely with as much stuffing as they hold comfortably; do not pack tightly. Tie legs together loosely with kitchen string. Fold neck flap under, and secure with toothpicks. Rub turkey with the softened butter, and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and pepper. Lift cheesecloth out of liquid, and squeeze it slightly, leaving it very damp. Spread it evenly over the breast and about halfway down the sides of the turkey; it can cover some of the leg area. Place turkey, legs first, in oven.
Cook for 30 minutes. Using a pastry brush, baste cheesecloth and exposed parts of turkey with butter and wine. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue to cook for 2 1/2 more hours, basting every 30 minutes and watching pan juices; if the pan gets too full, spoon out juices, reserving them for gravy.
After the third hour of cooking, carefully remove and discard the cheesecloth. Turn roasting pan so that the breast is facing the back of the oven. Baste turkey with pan juices. If there are not enough juices, continue to use butter and wine. The skin gets fragile as it browns, so baste carefully. Cook 1 to 1 1/2 hours longer, basting every 30 minutes.
When fully cooked, transfer turkey to a serving platter, and let rest for about 30 minutes.
Course 5 – Side 1 – Turkey Stuffing
No Thanksgiving meal is complete without the stuffing! Experiment with different combinations of herbs and spices to create your own customized recipe. You can even add things like cooked fruits and seafood. Oyster stuffing is always a huge hit in my family!
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onions
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1/3 cup butter
- 4 cups bread cubes
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground sage
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- turkey or chicken broth
Sauté onion and celery in the butter until softened.
Combine onion mixture with bread, pepper, eggs, salt, sage and poultry seasoning in large mixing bowl.
Stir in broth until well moistened.
Stuff the inside of your turkey and close off the opening
Or, bake in a greased covered shallow casserole at 325° for about 35 to 45 minutes.
Take the cover off the last 5 minutes to brown.
Course 6 – Side 2 – Mashed Potatoes
When you think of comfort food, mashed potatoes should definitely be at the top of the list. Potatoes have been a staple on Thanksgiving menus since the first holiday meal between the Indians and Pilgrims. These are great both the day of and reheated for leftovers.
- 12 medium boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into large pieces (4 pounds)
- 3/4 to 1 cup milk
- 1/2 package (8-ounce size) cream cheese, cut into cubes and softened
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- large bowl
- Potato masher
Heat water (salted if desired) to boiling in large pot. Add potatoes. Cover and heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cook 20 to 25 minutes or until tender; drain. Peel potatoes if desired.
Mash potatoes in large bowl until no lumps remain. Beat in milk in small amounts, beating after each addition (amount of milk needed to make potatoes smooth and fluffy depends on kind of potatoes used). Add cream cheese, butter, salt and pepper. Beat vigorously until potatoes are light and fluffy.
Course 7 – Dessert – Pumpkin Cheesecake
For a twist on the classic pumpkin pie, try this extra creamy pumpkin cheesecake instead. As if your meal didn’t delight enough, this dessert will seal your fate as Domestic Diva of the Year. 😉
- 1 1/2 cups graham crumbs
- 5 Tbsp. butter, melted
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 3- 8oz.pkgs. cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. allspice
- Whipped Cream
Mix crust ingredients together, just till coated and crumbly. Press onto the bottom and 2/3 up the sides of an 8″ springform pan. Bake for 5 min. at 350. Set aside.
Combine cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl, mix until smooth with an electric mixer. add pumpkin eggs, and spices, beat till smooth and creamy. Pour into the crust. Bake for 60-70 min. or till the top turns a bit darker. Remove from oven and allow to come to room temperature, then refrigerate. After it has thoroughly chilled, remove the pan sides and cut. Serve with whipped cream.
*Bonus – Signature Drink – Honeycrisp Apple Sangria
Ok, so truth be told you could probably serve this delicious drink only for your meal, and still by the hero of the holiday. Fresh seasonal fruit combines with citrus, spice, and warm brandy to create a signature drink that will WOW your guests! By the way, you may want to make double, since it probably won’t last that long. Enjoy!
- 3 cinnamon sticks (plus more for garnish)
- 2 Honeycrisp apples, chopped (you may substitute other apples but flavors may differ)
- 1 orange, thinly sliced
- 1 (750 ml) bottle red wine
- 1 and 3/4 cups sweetened apple cider
- 1/2 cup brandy
- 1/4 cup orange juice (or juice from 2 medium oranges)
- juice from 1 lemon
- club soda, to taste
Place the cinnamon sticks, apples, and orange slices in a large pitcher. Add wine, apple cider, brandy, orange juice, and lemon juice. Allow to sit in the refrigerator for 6 – 24 hours. Taste; if you’d like it to be sweeter, add 1-2 Tablespoons granulated sugar, honey, or agave.
If you’d like a cinnamon-sugar rim, simply moisten the rim of your glasses with water, turn the glass upside down and dip it into a mix of cinnamon and sugar. Pour in the sangria with fruit* and add a splash of club soda. Garnish with a cinnamon stick, if desired.