Thanksgiving is a special celebration that most certainly deserves a special menu!
Yet, in the quest for serving up a memorable meal, often simple is best. And that’s what I love about the following recipes. Although they do take some time to make, each represents the simple, traditional flavors of Thanksgiving – nothing super fancy or difficult, just delicious and classic family-style dining at its best!
And whether you’re hosting a crowd or just your own immediate family, putting together a Thanksgiving Day Menu Game Plan is by far one of the best ways to reduce stress and to ensure the meal comes together deliciously and on time! To help demonstrate how easy and helpful planning and prepping ahead is, be sure to download my Thanksgiving Day Menu Game Plan based on the following Thanksgiving Day menu.
Simply Delicious Thanksgiving Menu
Alton Brown’s Perfect Roast Turkey
I’ve made a lot of roast turkeys throughout the years, but this roast turkey recipe is by far my very favorite. The secret to this fantastically juicy and flavorful bird is the extra step of brining. By submerging the bird into a salty, seasoned bath, it becomes infused with an amazing combination of flavors and doesn’t loose its moisture during the roasting process. I also love Alton’s idea of creating a “turkey-triangle” to ensure the white meat says moist, view his quick video for details.
Recommended Real Food Variations: When making Alton’s recipe, I substitute the refined brown sugar called for in the recipe with either coconut sugar or maple syrup instead. I also use fresh peeled ginger rather than candied. In addition, I use a combination of butter and olive oil in place of canola oil for coating the bird.)
Healthier Homemade Stuffing
I may be a bit bias here, but this simple, yet savory GF herb stuffing is my family’s favorite complement to a perfectly roasted bird. (In fact, we like it so much, we enjoy it several times throughout the year and pair it with my slow cooker roast chicken or my quick-n-easy grilled herb turkey.)
Creamy Mashed Potatoes and Traditional Turkey Drippings Gravy
Creamy mashed potatoes covered in savory turkey gravy – yes, please! Frankly, Ina Garten’s creamy mashed potatoes recipe is one of my favorites. And when you top these delicious whipped potatoes with some good old fashioned turkey pan drippings gravy, you’ve got a marriage made in heaven!
Recommended Dairy-Free and GF Variations: If you’re dairy-free, when making the creamy mashed potatoes, I recommend substituting the milk with chicken stock and the buttermilk with unsweetened almond milk. You can also substitute the butter for Earth Balance spread or olive oil. When making the gravy, if you’re gluten-free/grain-free, be sure to substitute the flour called for in the gravy recipe with 3 tablespoons of arrowroot powder instead.
Lemon-Garlic Green Beans
A simple, yet delicious side, lemon-garlic green beans have been a family tradition since I was a wee-one! Please note: When serving these aromatic green beans as part of a Thanksgiving meal, I reduce the garlic in my recipe to just one clove. That way, it doesn’t overpower the other savory flavors on the plate.
Perfect Pumpkin Pie
It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie! And guess what, I have a secret for you … You don’t have to put up with over-baked grain-free pie crusts to enjoy classic desserts like pumpkin pie! I’ve got a simple method for making perfectly scrumptious pumpkin pie with a light flaky grain-free crust. What’s the secret? Pop over to my Perfect Pumpkin Pie recipe to get the delicious details!
Pumpkin Spice Cake
Although we adore pumpkin pie, this incredibly moist and delicious pumpkin spice cake is also a wonderful addition to any Thanksgiving spread. My boys absolutely love this cake and ask for it throughout the year. (And if you’re dairy-free, simply top the cake with some whipped coconut cream instead.)
Maple Glazed Pumpkin Donuts
These scrumptious grain-free donuts are a newfound fall favorite tradition in our home! And since Thanksgiving Day is all about being grateful to God’s for His abundant blessings, these tasty little pumpkin donuts will certainly be a delicious prelude to a day filled with lots to be thankful for!
Free Gluten-Free, Grain-Free Meal Plans
Just a friendly reminder, that I send out FREE Gluten-Free, Grain-Free Meal Plans each week to subscribers of The Nourishing Home Newsletter. Each week’s meal plan contains delicious family-friendly GF recipes along with a shopping list and recommended prep ahead tasks to make getting a healthy dinner on the table a snap! By subscribing to The Nourishing Home, you’ll not only gain access to my free weekly GF meal plans, but you’ll also receive exclusive GF recipes, cooking tips and more! Click here to become a subscriber-friend.
As we gather together with our families this holiday season, may our hearts be centered on bringing glory to the One from whom we’ve received abundant patience, mercy, grace and love!
Wishing you and your family a very blessed Thanksgiving, Kelly
P.S. Do you have a favorite holiday recipe or family tradition you’d like to share? I’d love for you to share a link in the comments below. It will be fun to see what everyone has planned for this special time of giving thanks and counting our many blessings!