Skip to main content

Top-Rated Thanksgiving Recipes

**2022 Repost - Serve these 5-star Thanksgiving recipes to a crowd this year!**

Happy COVID-19 Thanksgiving! Like us, your holiday likely looks a bit different this year. I was initially disappointed that I wouldn't get to play hostess with the mostess to a large gathering of family, but that would be just like every other year. 2020 is special. When else will SN and I have the opportunity to have a romantic Thanksgiving meal, just the 2 of us?

You know, other than that year we ditched everyone to take a cruise. That was a fun Thanksgiving too.

2020 Thanksgiving = no need to clean the house, no need to be limited to traditional foods, no need to travel, no need to make small talk with people you don't really like.

(To any friends and family who are reading this, that last part was totally just a random example for my blog readers. I like you!)

2020 Thanksgiving = do whatever you want. Sleep in. Dress fancy or dress in your PJs. Invite the dogs to join you at the table. Watch Hocus Pocus, which SN has somehow never seen. WTH, SN?

Our holiday? We're going to cook the meal together while we dance to Christmas hits. I've planned a Thanksgiving menu with wine pairings. These are perfect recipes for 2, though I recommend making enough for leftovers. 

My mom and I have an agreement this year. She is going to cook a Thanksgiving meal for just her and my dad and box up the leftovers for us. SN and I will do the same with our leftovers and we'll trade, probably by leaving the To Go boxes on each other's porch because, you know, social distancing.

Thanksgiving Recipes for 2

Thanksgiving Recipes for 2

Sample Menus

In COVID-19 fashion, all of my ingredients for this meal have been added to an online cart for a grocery pickup order. Our state, New Mexico, recently entered a new shutdown due to surging virus numbers, so the stores have been pretty much picked clean in a hoarding frenzy. We'll see what I'm actually able to get.

I've had to wait to place the order for our groceries because 2020 Thanksgiving = the one where some jerk stole my credit card and it is taking absolutely forever to receive our replacement cards. 

It's fine. It's going to make us enjoy our wine pairings that much more.

Hot Beverage or Cocktail

I asked SN what he'd like to have for our private Thanksgiving meal this year. His first request, without pause, was hot apple cider. From Thanksgiving through New Year's Day, you can count on us having a Crock Pot of this simmering in the kitchen, infusing our home with the scent of cloves and cinnamon. 

In past years, we've spiked our cider with brandy or rum, but we'll keep the recipe as-is this time because our Thanksgiving menu includes wine pairings.

Hot cider recipe

Soup or Salad

Wine Pairing: Calvari Organic White Blend from Italy

With so many heavy items served for Thanksgiving (looking at you, stuffing and mashed potatoes), we've decided to begin our meal with a healthy plate of veggies. The recipe I've chosen is Caprese Salad from my fellow blogger, I Heart Naptime.

holiday salads

Main Course

Wine Pairing: 2019 El Vigia Family Reserva Pinot Noir from Chile

Although we're free to cook whatever we want for our COVID-19 Thanksgiving, it just wouldn't feel right to celebrate this holiday without a traditional turkey. Fewer mouths to feed makes no difference - we still want the biggest bird so we can indulge in leftovers.

Mmmm, just think of all the turkey sandwiches, turkey enchiladas, turkey stew, and turkey pot pies we'll soon be enjoying. 

We're going with the Good Eats Roast Turkey. With almost 6,000 5-star reviews, you know Alton Brown's recipe can't be beat. I'm going to be lazy and use a packaged mushroom gravy, which I'll fancy up with some drippings from the turkey pan.

Alton Brown turkey
This turkey SN roasted for us looks so good. If only we'd bothered to clean the stove prior to taking the photo!

I'm not really a potato person, so we'll be swapping our mashed potatoes for Creamy Polenta. This recipe is a nice starting point. It can be improved by using chicken broth instead of water, plus adding in fresh garlic and minced sage leaves which have been lightly fried in a cast iron skillet.

Another way of saying you're mincing sage? You're "chiffonading" sage. Wow, my blog is educational.

Alternative to mashed potatoes

While our pan is ready with hot oil from making the polenta, we'll whip up a tasty side dish of Sautéed Brussels Sprouts using a popular recipe from Well Plated by Erin. SN and I had similar crispy, caramelized brussels sprouts at our favorite restaurant, Scalo, a few years ago and haven't prepared them any other way since. Don't swear you hate brussels sprouts until you've tried them this way.

Fried brussels sprouts recipe

I'm open to skipping the mashed potatoes, but it isn't Thanksgiving without stuffing (or dressing, as my in-laws call it). You can't go wrong with a humble box of Stove Top Stuffing, especially if you doctor the recipe with generous amounts of onions and celery, plus a handful of cashews.

Best stuffing

The blog, Unsophisticook, features a Creamed Corn Casserole that is said to be "just like grandma made it." Neither of my grandmas ever made a creamed corn casserole for me, but this custardy side dish looks like it has a perfect balance of sweet and salty. I can't wait to try it!

Casserole with canned corn


Wine Pairing: Villa Amoroso Moscato Vino Dolce I.G.T. from Italy

At the risk of ruining Thanksgiving by ruining dessert (oh no!), I'm going to attempt to combine 2 irresistible recipes, Pumpkin Pie Bars from Crunchy Creamy Sweet, and Cake Mix Cookie Bars from yours truly. 

Basically, with so many sweet treats to choose from, I've decided not to choose at all. The cake mix cookie bars will become the bottom crust for the pumpkin pie bars. I'll simply remove the cake mix cookie bars from the oven before they're fully cooked, add the pumpkin pie bars filling on top, resume baking, and voilà. It should be scrumptious, right?

Thanksgiving desserts
The math adds up.
(And if I'm wrong, the 2 of us will be on our 3rd bottle of wine by this point, so who cares.)

Popular posts from this blog

Cake Mix Pancakes

This reader-favorite recipe is *almost* as popular as my Cake Mix Cookie Bars recipe .  When making Cake Mix pancakes , the scrumptious possibilities are endless. Red Velvet cake mix pancakes. Chocolate cake mix pancakes. Butter Pecan cake mix pancakes. Funfetti cake mix pancakes. (Yes, Funfetti cake mix pancakes!) With this 2-ingredient recipe, you can turn your favorite cake mix into your favorite pancakes. Pancake making at its finest. Cake Mix Pancakes Personally, I think my funny napkin is the icing on the (pan)cake. It's Sunday morning and you're planning to do all the things today - scrub those grody baseboards, polish your quartz countertop that was supposed to be low maintenance but actually isn't at all, sort through the disaster that is the freezer.  While on your superhuman kick, you think I'm going to make my family pancakes for breakfast. Not just any pancakes - the best pancakes ever. I may even serve them as breakfast in bed! You pu

10 Canned Cinnamon Roll Hacks

You're in for a treat. Today I'm sharing my best canned cinnamon roll hacks and improvements for turning store-bought cinnamon rolls, like the Pillsbury Grands ones or even the store brand, into something special.  Dry cinnamon rolls? No thank you. They need to be OOEY and GOOEY. That's just Cinnamon Roll 101. All of these ideas keep Pillsbury canned cinnamon rolls soft, company-worthy, and delicious. These are also great for taking homemade cinnamon rolls up a notch, but what a pain that is. With these better-than-homemade canned cinnamon roll hacks, you'll never bother to bake them from scratch again. Test out some of these ideas tomorrow. Won't it be nice to dig into a mouthwatering cinnamon roll for breakfast? You can't get a better start to your day than that. Canned Cinnamon Roll Hacks Actually, make that 11 easy ways to improve store-bought cinnamon rolls: you can top them with homemade coffee whipped cream . Yum! Nope, make that 12 canned cinnam

Chemical Peel Before & After

This article has been updated! My new chemical peel post, which includes pricing, Jessner peel before and after photos, product recommendations, and a helpful timeline for scheduling your treatments, is at the bottom. My original Jessner peel post (one of the most popular on my site of all time) is at the beginning. Original Chemical Peel Article Considering a chemical peel? I recently underwent my first Jessner peel and thought I'd share my results, post a Jessner peel review, and answer some frequently asked chemical peel questions. (I'm guessing that "Does a chemical peel hurt?" is a biggie!) I'd been planning to order an over-the-counter peel when we were in Iceland , but my computer led me a different direction. I decided to do this on a whim after Groupon greeted me one morning with a great $40 chemical peel deal. Now, I can read your mind. You just gasped in horror and thought  You trusted your face to a  discount  chemical peel?!  You're wondering w

Hello Fresh Complaints

Hello, my bloggy friends. I have a HelloFresh complaint and believe they are pulling a scam. Yours truly came *this close* to falling for it.  Maybe scam is too harsh of a word. Sneaky? You can decide for yourself. The fact that there are so many Hello Fresh complaints online does seem suspicious. My main complaint about Hello Fresh has to do with their promotional rate, which seems like it is set up to be intentionally misleading (more on this below). Despite so many people complaining about being charged more than they thought they'd agreed to, Hello Fresh maintains this as part of their business model and continues to mislead. So it's intentional, right? I do not recommend Hello Fresh. For starters, the service is just ingredients-by-mail with recipes, not meals. You can buy your own ingredients for much less, especially now that most grocery stores conveniently offer pickup and delivery. Excellent recipes are easy to find.  Click here for a list of top-rated, reader-favorit

Window Seat Idea - Dream Home Inspiration of the Day

See it? Waaay at the back of the photo?  I like how the window seat extends past the window all the way to the wall. How about you? If that's not your style, how about one of these lovely window seats? I'll seat you, my pretty, and your little dog too. How perfect would this be in a home office? I'd swap out that wimpy rug with a larger one.

How to Move a Mattress

My site is popular for reviewing memory foam mattresses. With today's bed-in-a-box options lasting much longer than the traditional 7 years of a spring mattress, there's a good chance you'll eventually need to move one. But how? This is  how to move a mattress  without damaging it - even by yourself!  When we were faced with the challenge of moving our beloved Amerisleep AS3  to our new home, it seemed like my readers would enjoy the details. This handy tip should work for any memory foam bed, including Casper, Leesa, and Nectar.  I'm happy to report there is an extremely simple way to do it. Apartment and dorm dwellers rejoice! How to Move a Mattress At first, I wasn't sure how to move our king-size mattress down a flight of stairs. It's a problem we've dreaded solving ever since we made the decision to build a new house.  The answer? It was right in the back of our truck.  Ratchet straps . This solution could also serve as a 'How To' for returning

Sharing Funny Memes

Funny Memes Post 2 of 3: Funny Memes Post 3 of 3: You know those people who have nothing better to do than browse through memes for hours at a time, many of which are in poor taste? Yeah, I'm one of them. Oh, except I actually do have so much to do and absolutely should not be scrolling through memes. Just try and stop me. Covering everything from working to cake, here are my Top  Funny Memes from the last week: More Funny Memes to Make You Smile: The last one was created by yours truly. Kitty Deschanel - now a source for funny dog memes AND original memes! Funny Memes Post 2 of 3: Funny Memes Post 3 of 3:

My Instant Pot Explosion!

Like many new Instant Pot owners, I've wondered, How many Instant Pots have exploded?  (Eeek!) I'm happy to report that my research on Snopes and other sites has shown that these do not explode, at least not when used properly. There is a lawsuit between a woman in Texas and the Instant Pot manufacturer, but she admits she had thrown a towel over the steam vent. Do NOT do this.  Still concerned? Consider that on Prime Day of 2018, Amazon sold more than 300,000 Instant Pots. That's more than a quarter of a million sales in only 1 day! If these things were not safe, you would see news stories every day about someone being injured. Still, things can go wrong. We love our Instant Pot, the digital pressure cooker that seems to suddenly be in every home. You can't mess up - just throw in random ingredients and you'll get something yummy every time. It's foolproof. At least, that's how I used to feel about our Instant Pot, until the explosion... Inst