If there’s anything that brings people together, it’s food.
Thanksgiving is a memorable time of the year when friends and family meet with those they cherish to show their gratitude over a good meal.
The food alone isn’t what makes the occasion special, but it definitely ensures we have a good time.
So let’s dive in! What is a classic Thanksgiving meal with all the fixings? Traditionally, a Thanksgiving dinner consists of roast turkey, turkey stuffing with onions and celery, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, corn, dinner rolls, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie.
Naturally, everyone has their own take on these dishes. Cooking is a free license to create new beautiful dishes and tastes that have significant meaning and last a lifetime. However, in this blog post, we will be sharing our favorite classic Thanksgiving recipes.
1. Green Bean Casserole
For many people, Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without a traditional green bean casserole. The original recipe was created by Campbell’s Soup Company, and each year, 20 million tables receive it.
There are many ways to prepare this ideal side dish, including ones that use canned soup and green beans, those that are cooked in slow cookers, and those that are finished with cheddar cheese and breadcrumbs.
Here is our favorite version:
- 2 lb. green beans
- Kosher salt
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 1 lb. crimini mushrooms, sliced and divided
- 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
- 4 large sprigs of thyme
- 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1¼ cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 garlic cloves, finely grated
- ½ cup grated Parmesan
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ¾ cup French fried onions
Preheat oven to 375°. Working in batches, cook green beans in a large pot of boiling salted water until bright green and halfway to tenderness, about 3 minutes per batch. Drain and let cool; trim stem ends.
Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Cook half of the mushrooms, without stirring, until golden brown underneath, about 2 minutes. Toss and continue to cook, tossing occasionally, until browned on both sides, about 3 minutes more. Add 2 Tbsp. butter and 2 thyme sprigs to pan. Cook, tossing occasionally, until butter browns and mushrooms are dark brown and very tender, about 4 minutes longer. Season with salt and transfer to a plate. Repeat with 2 Tbsp. butter, salt, remaining oil, mushrooms, and thyme.
Melt remaining 2 Tbsp. butter in a large saucepan over medium-low. Whisk in flour and cook, occasionally whisking, until the roux is golden brown and smells mildly nutty. This should take about 4 minutes. Whisk in milk and cream. Increase heat and bring to a simmer, whisking often, and cook until béchamel sauce is thick and bubbling. This should take about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in garlic and Parmesan; season with salt and pepper.
Arrange green beans and mushrooms in a 2-qt. baking dish. Pour sauce over (it may not look like enough, but it will get saucier as it bakes). Cover tightly with foil and bake until sauce is bubbling, 25–30 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake until casserole is lightly browned on top and around the edges, 15–20 minutes longer. Top with fried onions and continue to bake just until onions are slightly darker and fragrant. This should take about 3 minutes. Let it sit for 10 minutes to set before serving.
2. Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes are usually a crowd favorite. The combination of texture and flavor does absolute wonders. Which is why; it makes perfect sense to have this yummy dish at Thanksgiving.
The added savory flavor of melty, roasted garlic gives traditional mashed potatoes the ideal kick.
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- 1 head garlic, top sliced off
- 4 lb. Red Bliss potatoes, peeled and chopped
- Kosher salt
- 1 1/2 sticks butter, melted
- 1 c. heavy cream, warmed
- 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
Preheat oven to 400°. Drizzle olive oil over the top of the garlic and wrap in foil. Bake until golden and soft, about 45 minutes, then set aside.
Meanwhile, add potatoes to a large pot. Cover potatoes with a few inches of water (about 6 cups) and season with salt; cover the pot and bring to a boil. After about 30 minutes, check if the potatoes are soft (a knife should easily slide through them), then drain them in a colander.
In a large bowl, mash or rice potatoes, then slowly add melted butter, cream, and garlic. Add balsamic, season generously with salt, and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately.
Now the main course
3. Roast Turkey
If you have never brined a turkey for Thanksgiving, this is your year! Try this quick, easy, and tasty brine to get the most flavorful, juicy turkey possible.
- 2 gal. water, divided
- 2 1/2 c. kosher salt
- 1/2 c. brown sugar
- 1 orange, cut into rounds
- 1 lemon, cut into rounds
- 6 cloves garlic, smashed
- 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 4 sprigs of fresh sage
- 4 dried bay leaves
- 1 tbsp. black peppercorns
- 1 tsp. allspice berries (optional)
Combine 1/2 gallon water (8 cups) with all other ingredients in a large pot and place over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, then reduce to a simmer and cook until salt and sugar have dissolved completely. Remove from heat and add the remaining 1 1/2 gallons (24 cups) of water to the pot. Stir to combine and let it cool off completely for around 1 hour.
Submerge turkey completely in brine. If more water is needed, mix together additional brine by adding 2 tablespoons kosher salt to 1 cup of water, and stirring until dissolved. Brine overnight, or up to 24 hours.
When ready to roast, thoroughly rinse the turkey and pat dry with paper towels.
And finally, dessert!
4. Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin pie is a must-have item for any Thanksgiving dessert table!
Not only is it creamy and delicious, but it’s also really straightforward and simple to perfect. Here are the key points to keep in mind when making our traditional Thanksgiving pie:
FOR THE CRUST
- 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1/2 c. butter, cut into 1/2″ pieces
- 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 4 tbsp. ice water (or more, if needed)
FOR THE FILLING
- 1 (15-oz.) can of pumpkin puree
- 1 1/4 c. heavy cream
- 3/4 c. packed brown sugar
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- Whipped cream, for serving (optional)
Make the crust: Place flour and butter into the freezer for 30 minutes before starting the crust process.
In a large food processor, pulse flour, sugar, and salt until combined. Add butter and pulse until pea-sized and some slightly larger pieces form. With the machine running, add vinegar, then ice water into the feed tube, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough starts to come together and is moist but not wet and sticky (test by squeezing some with your fingers). The mixture will be crumbly.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface, form it into a ball and flatten it into a disk (making sure there are no/minimal cracks).
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until dough is very cold for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Make the filling: Preheat oven to 425º and lightly grease a 9”-x-1.5” pie dish with cooking spray.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 12” circle. Drape over the pie dish and gently press to fit (don’t stretch). Prick the bottom with a fork, trim the edge to 1”, tuck the overhang under itself, and crimp. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or freeze for 10 minutes.
Line the crust with parchment and fill it with dried beans or pie weights. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove parchment and weights. Reduce heat to 350º.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, cream, brown sugar, beaten eggs, flour, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and vanilla until smooth.
Pour pumpkin mixture into par-baked crust. Bake until the filling is slightly jiggly in the middle and the crust is golden, 55 to 60 minutes. Cool in a turned-off oven with the door propped open for 1 hour, then cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and serving.
Serve with whipped cream if desired.
From the Clermont Dental family to yours, we hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! Please let us know if you tried any of these recipes.
Looking forward to seeing you at your next cleaning.