Our Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

18 Nov

One of the great things about Thanksgiving time is finally being able to sit down and take stock of all the great people in our lives and show them how grateful we are for them. However, you can never downplay the importance of Thanksgiving food! Here are some of our favorite meals, treats, and recipes:

Side Dishes

Chunky Mashed Potatoes

Thanksgiving for a vegetarian is all about the sides. My favorite is chunky mashed potatoes! Try out this recipe for my favorite mashed potatoes!

10 Potatoes
1 cup of milk
½ cup of chives
3 tablespoons of sour cream


  1. Boil water
  2. Wash and peel potatoes
  3. Let potatoes cook in water until soft (approximately 30 minutes)
  4. Remove from water and place in large mixing bowl along with milk and sour cream
  5. Whip potatoes to a chunky consistency
  6. Add salt, pepper, and chives to taste

I usually add all the ingredients to taste, so feel free to keep adding more milk and sour cream if it’s not as creamy as you’d like. Good luck everyone I hope it turns out as delicious as mine does!


Mac & Cheese Bake

I don’t know about y’all, but when there comes a time to eat, mac & cheese has a special space in my heart! An easy and DELICIOUS recipe for a fancier mac & cheese is listed below!

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (8-ounce) package elbow macaroni
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 (8-ounce) package processed American cheese, cut into strips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion for 2 minutes. Stir in flour and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in milk, salt, mustard, and pepper; cook, stirring frequently until mixture boils and thickens.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  4. To the milk mixture add the Cheddar and American cheeses; stir until cheese melts. Combine macaroni and cheese sauce in a 2-quart baking dish; mix well.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Such a simple and AMAZINGLY delicious recipe that’ll have you reaching for more! Remember to leave room for turkey!


Gravy made from Turkey Drippings

One of my favorite side dishes at Thanksgiving dinner is mashed potatoes with gravy! Why not add your own gravy made from the drippings of the Thanksgiving Turkey? This gravy can be used on the potatoes and even the turkey if you want a little more flavor! It is simple and you can brag to everyone that it is made from scratch!

¼ cup Turkey Drippings

2 cups Water (or broth)
¼ cup Flour
Salt, Pepper and other Spices you enjoy


  1. Pour the turkey drippings into a saucepan and stir in the flour until it is all mixed together. You may want to add the flour a little in at a time so it does not make a mess!
  2. Put the saucepan onto the stove and cook over medium heat and stir constantly.
  3. Stir in the liquid and bring to a boil for 1 minute, while still stirring constantly.
  4. Remove from heat and add in salt and pepper to your desired taste.

This is one of the easiest ways to make your own gravy and if you don’t like the texture, add in more flour to make it thicker or add more water if you want a thin gravy. You can make it how you like it, just enjoy!


Roasted Green Beans

My favorite Thanksgiving food is mashed potatoes, but Alyssa already gave you a great recipe for those. So I’m going to share my super easy roasted green beans recipe.

Fresh green beans (however many you need depending on how many people you’re serving)

Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Other spices to taste


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Wash and snap off the ends of the green beans. Spread the green beans in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and spread around to coat the green beans. Sprinkle sea salt, pepper, and any other spices you want to taste. Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until they are brown and crispy. And that’s it!

This is a super simple recipe but they turn out so well and are a perfect crispy side dish!


Holiday Cheese-balls

While we are waiting for all of our guests to get together for Thanksgiving dinner, my mom makes an amazing appetizer that we all love! Her Holiday Cheese-balls are to die for and they are easy to make, here is how:

2 pkg of Philadelphia Cream Cheese (Softened)

1 cup of chopped Planters Walnuts
¼ cp finely chopped red peppers
2 green onions, sliced
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
Ritz Crackers
Plastic Wrap


Mix cream cheese and feta with a mixer until blended. Add the ingredients above and mix well and then put into a ball with your hands. Keep it together with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator. Enjoy with ritz crackers!


Potato Wedges

One of my favorite foods ever are potatoes, so naturally I came up with a yummy potato wedge recipe that’s perfect for any occasion!

Ingredients (makes about one full 9 x 13-inch cake pan):
6-10 medium sized potatoes
Olive oil
Nonstick cooking oil spray
Garlic powder


Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Cut potatoes into wedges and throw into a bowl with about 2 or 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, and oregano to taste. Toss in a bowl until all of the potatoes are covered in the ingredients. Spray cake pan with non-stick cooking oil spray and spread wedges evenly on pan. Put pan into the oven and let bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.


When I was younger, I couldn’t stand sweet potatoes. One Thanksgiving my mom tried out a new recipe that wasn’t chock full of sugar and it changed my mind forever!

6 medium sweet potatoes (2 1/4 pounds)
¼ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
teaspoon salt


  • 1 Heat oven to 375ºF. Pierce sweet potatoes with a fork to allow steam to escape. Bake about 45 minutes or until tender.
  • 2 Cut thin, lengthwise slice from each potato; carefully scoop out inside of potato, leaving a thin shell. Mash potatoes in a large bowl until no lumps remain. Beat in sour cream and milk. Beat in brown sugar, butter, and salt until potatoes are light and fluffy.
  • 3 Place shells in ungreased rectangular baking dish, 13x9x2 inches. Fill shells with potato mixture. Cover and refrigerate no longer than 24 hours.
  • 4 Heat oven to 400ºF. Bake uncovered about 25 minutes or until potato mixture is golden brown. (If baking filled shells immediately after mashing potatoes, bake about 20 minutes.)

My favorite thing about this recipe is that you really get to keep the flavor of the sweet potato and the butter and brown sugar enhance that flavor! The very top of the filling also gets a little crispy, which is a fun added texture! This is a great alternative to the sweet potato mash with marshmallows


Main Dishes

Spicy Shrimp Alfredo

Thanksgiving in my household is always different, and I love that. One dish that always seems to make its way back to the table is this completely random pasta dish me and my mom put together one year. It always hits the spot and it always changes a little every year, but the foundation of this dish is the same. Check out the recipe below!

1 Box of any Bowtie pasta

1 lb of peeled and deveined shrimp
1 jar of your favorite Alfredo sauce
1 bag of frozen peas
2 medium bell peppers
1 large head of broccoli
Red chili flakes
Favorite Hot sauce
Salt and pepper
Garlic powder


Start boiling the pasta in a pot. While that is going, start cooking the shrimp! Add salt, pepper and chili flakes. Once the shrimp is done, transfer to another bowl and add the veggies. Season the same way, but add a little dash of garlic powder and once the vegetables start to get a little soft, add the alfredo sauce, hot sauce, shrimp and pasta into the pot and voila, you’re done. The easiest and yummiest thing I love about Thanksgiving is done in no time!



Pumpkin Pie

The scent of pumpkin pie wafting throughout the house from the oven is the epitome of the holiday season for me. Honestly, I wish it was a year long treat, but what can you do? Here is the recipe that we use at my house:


3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 can (15 oz.) LIBBY’S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 can (12 fl. oz.) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell
Whipped cream (optional)


MIX sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.
POUR into pie shell.
BAKE in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.


Chocolate Rice Krispy Treats

I love this recipe because it is sooo easy to make it! It looks really professional and beautiful with garnishes (so try adding them), but the best part is that it takes only 15 minutes tops! Hope you try it out sometime!

6 cups Rice Krispy cereal
3 tablespoons butter
1 package (10ounces) mini marshmallows
1 bag or three candy bars (my favorite, snickers and almond joys)


Preheat oven to 350F . Melt butter completely on medium low heat. Add most of the marshmallows to the pot and continue to stir until they are fully melted (leave a portion to stir in once the cereal is added for texture). Once melted, add the rice Krispy treats and stir completely until everything is fully incorporated. Pour into a heat safe baking dish (for ease, try buttering your hands and molding the rice krispy treats into desired shape). Cut up pieces of candy and add to the top. Put treats into the oven so the candy can fully melt on top (around 3-6 minutes in the oven should do). This is a seriously simple, but delicious treat you can bring for Thanksgiving dessert!



Buttermilk Pie

For me, thanksgiving just signals that pie is near! Here’s the recipe for buttermilk pie, this is one of my favorite desserts of the holiday season.

3 eggs
½ cup of soft butter
½ white sugar
3 Tablespoons of all purpose flour
1 cup of buttermilk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
⅛ teaspoon of grated nutmeg
1 9inch unbaked pie crust


  1. Preheat oven to 360 degrees.
  2. Beat eggs until frothy then add in butter, sugar and flour.
  3. Beat mixture until it is smooth, then stir in buttermilk, vanilla, lemon juice and nutmeg.
  4. Pour the mixture into the pie shell.  
  5. Bake for 30-60 minutes

Well guys, I hope you enjoy this delicious treat


Rudolph Noses

3 Key Ingredients:
25 pretzels — square or twists
25 hugs or kisses (whichever you prefer)*
25 holiday M&M candies


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a tray with parchment paper and place the pretzels on the tray.
Unwrap the hugs or kisses and place on top of the pretzels.
Bake for 3-4 minutes or until the hugs/kisses are soft but not melted.
Press an M&M candy into the center of the hugs and kisses right out of the oven.
Allow the chocolate to harden.


Ambrosia Salad

In the ancient world, the gods of Olympus were known to eat nectar and ambrosia. This is the closest thing to ambrosia I have ever tasted! Try this fruity, fun and easy dish to sweeten up any holiday meal!

2 bananas sliced
2 apples cut into bite-size pieces
1 bunch of grapes cut in half
1 can of peeled mandarin oranges
1 container of cool whip
Mix together in a large bowl. Add cinnamon and nutmeg to taste.


We hope you all have the best holiday. Try some of these recipes out if you get the chance. Happy Thanksgiving!

-ASA Peer Mentors



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