Thanksgiving Day 2020: Roasted turkey to apple-pie - a guide to holiday recipes

WION Web Team
New DelhiUpdated: Nov 25, 2020, 01:36 PM IST

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Plan the most epic holiday feast with these Thanksgiving dinner recipes - everything from the main course to beloved Thanksgiving side dishes and an ultimate lip-smacking dessert.

Thanksgiving Day is just around the corner and coming up with an elaborate Thanksgiving meal is always a tough task. The last thing you want to do is go for random, unvetted recipes that could cost you precious hours on the big day.

Plan the most epic holiday feast with these tested Thanksgiving dinner recipes — everything from the main course to beloved Thanksgiving side dishes and an ultimate lip-smacking dessert.

Also read: Thanksgiving Day 2020: History and significance of the American holiday

Thyme-Roasted Turkey

You can't go wrong with this timeless recipe. It even includes a matching gravy recipe to perfectly complement the turkey.


Thyme-Roasted Turkey
1 12- to 14-lb turkey (thawed if frozen)
4 small onions, quartered
1/2 bunch fresh thyme, plus more for serving
3 tbsp. softened butter or olive oil
Kosher salt
2 large carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 stalks celery, cut into 2-inch pieces
3/4 c. low-sodium chicken broth
Red champagne grapes, kumquats and pomegranates, for serving
Thyme-Roasted Turkey Gravy
Roasting pan from roasted turkey and its contents (turkey removed)
1 c. dry white wine or hard cider
2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/3 c. all-purpose flour
4 sprigs fresh thyme
Kosher salt


Thyme-Roasted Turkey
Working on baking sheet, remove giblets and neck of turkey from cavities. Reserve neck and discard giblets. Using paper towels, pat turkey dry. Stuff half of onions and thyme into main cavity. 
 Heat oven to 375°F. Tie turkey legs together with kitchen twine. Tuck wing tips underneath body (this will prevent them from burning). Rub turkey with butter (or oil) and season with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
Place turkey neck, carrots, celery, and remaining onions and thyme in large roasting pan. Place roasting rack in pan and place turkey on top.
Roast turkey until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 165°F, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. (Cover turkey loosely with foil if it browns too quickly, and add broth to pan if vegetables begin to scorch.)
Carefully tilt turkey to empty juices from cavity into pan. Transfer turkey to carving board or cutting board set in rimmed baking sheet (to catch juices while carving). Cover loosely with foil and let rest at least 25 minutes. Reserve pan and contents to make gravy. Carve and garnish turkey as desired. Serves 12.
Thyme-Roasted Turkey Gravy
Remove and discard vegetables, thyme and neck from roasting pan. Strain pan drippings into fat separator (or measuring cup); let stand 5 minutes so fat rises to top. Leaving fat behind (or spooning it off if not using separator), pour juices from bottom into large (4-cup) measuring cup. 
Place empty roasting pan across 2 stove burners on medium-high. Add wine and cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits, 1 minute.
Pour wine mixture into measuring cup with pan juices and add enough broth to make 4 cups liquid total.
Melt butter in large saucepan on medium. Sprinkle flour over top and cook, whisking, until deep brown, 4 to 5 minutes.
 Gradually whisk in broth mixture; bring to a boil. Add thyme sprigs, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 8 to 12 minutes. If necessary, season with salt and pepper. Strain just before serving. Makes about 3 1/2 cups.

Easiest-Ever Pumpkin Soup

To save precious time at Thanksgiving and whip up a cosy bowl to serve as a starter.


1 medium onion, grated
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 29-oz. can pure pumpkin
2 14.5-oz. cans chicken broth (4 cups)
1/2 c. heavy cream 
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
3/4 tsp. salt 

Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, 3 minutes or until soft.
Stir in the pure pumpkin, chicken broth, cream, pumpkin pie spice, and salt, and cook, stirring occasionally for 3 minutes or until soup simmers.
Ladle into bowls and top as desired. Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Herbed Mashed Potatoes

Infuse milk with the flavours of fresh thyme and parsley to upgrade a crowd-favourite Thanksgiving side.


4 lb. golden potatoes (about 8), peeled and quartered
Kosher salt
2 c. heavy cream or half-and-half
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
8 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 bay leaf
6 black peppercorns
Freshly grated nutmeg, for serving

Place potatoes in large pot, add enough cold water to cover, and bring to a boil. Add 2 teaspoons salt, reduce heat, and simmer until just tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Drain potatoes and return to pot.
Meanwhile, place cream, butter, thyme, parsley, bay leaf, and peppercorns in small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes, then remove from heat.
Strain cream mixture into pot with potatoes. Add 3/4 teaspoon salt and mash to desired consistency. Sprinkle with nutmeg before serving if desired.

Quick 'n' Easy Southern Biscuits

A brush of melted butter is a must before you pop these super-simple biscuits in the oven for the ultimate golden crust.


3 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tbsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tbsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
6 tbsp. butter
2 c. buttermilk
2 tbsp. melted butter

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Grease 9-inch-square baking pan and 1/3-cup measuring cup. Sprinkle 1/2 cup flour on rimmed baking sheet.
In food processor, pulse 3 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt; add butter. Pulse to form coarse crumbs; transfer to bowl.
With rubber spatula, stir buttermilk into flour mixture until just combined. With greased measuring cup, scoop 9 heaping cupfuls dough onto floured baking sheet. Lightly dust tops of mounds with flour from sheet. With floured hands, gently arrange mounds in pan in 3 rows of 3.
Brush with melted butter. Bake 5 min. Reset oven to 450 degrees F. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden.
Cool in pan 2 minutes. Carefully invert onto wire rack. Serve warm. Or, cool, wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 3 days. To serve, reheat in 350 degrees F oven, 10 minutes.

Chipotle Buttermilk Cornbread

Ordinary cornbread is a thing of the past. This year add Velveeta and chiles for a festive kick.


2 c. cornmeal
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
1 large egg
4 tbsp. melted butter
2 chipotles in adobo, chopped
1 1/2 c. corn
8 oz. cubed Velveeta

In large bowl, combine cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Whisk together buttermilk, egg, butter, and chipotles in adobo; stir into dry mixture. Fold in corn and Velveeta; pour into greased 10-inch cast-iron skillet. Bake at 400 degrees F for 25 minutes, until golden.

Maple-Cranberry Sweet Potatoes

Roast sweet potatoes and cranberries with maple syrup for a sweet and sour side.


4 lb. sweet potatoes
1 c. pure maple syrup
1 1/2 c. cranberries
3 tbsp. butter (no substitutions)

In covered 6-quart saucepot, heat whole sweet potatoes with 1 teaspoon salt and enough water to cover to boiling on high. Reduce heat to low; simmer, covered, about 30 minutes or just until potatoes are fork-tender. Drain. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
Meanwhile, in 1-quart saucepan, heat maple syrup to boiling on high. Reduce heat to medium, and boil gently 10 to 15 minutes or until reduced to 1/2 cup. Stir in cranberries, butter, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cook just until cranberries pop, about 5 minutes longer.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut cooled sweet potatoes crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices and arrange in shallow 3-quart ceramic or glass baking dish, overlapping slices if necessary.
Spoon maple-cranberry syrup evenly over potatoes. Bake, uncovered, 20 minutes or until hot.
To make Ginger-Almond Sweet Potatoes: Prepare sweet potatoes as above in step 1. In step 2, instead of maple-cranberry syrup, prepare ginger syrup: In 1-quart saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon margarine or butter on medium. Add 2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger; cook 1 minute, stirring. Stir in 1/2 cup apricot preserves, 1/4 cup orange juice, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; heat to boiling, stirring. Complete recipe as in steps 3 and 4, spooning ginger syrup over potatoes and sprinkling with 1/2 cup toasted sliced natural (with brown skin still on) almonds before baking.

Cranberry-Orange Sauce

Bright citrus zest and juice give this cranberry orange sauce a little extra zip.


1 lb. cranberries (fresh or frozen)
1 tsp. finely grated orange zest
1 c. fresh orange juice
3/4 c. sugar
1 tbsp. grated peeled fresh ginger
1/4 tsp. ground allspice

In medium saucepan, combine cranberries, orange zest and juice, sugar, ginger, and allspice.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer vigorously, stirring occasionally, until cranberries burst and sauce has thickened, 35 to 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Cheesecake Apple Pie

Can’t decide between cheesecake and pie? Thanks to this dreamy mashup, you can enjoy both.


1 refrigerated pie crust
1 - 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
4 cups Homemade Apple Pie Filling )
vanilla ice cream
caramel ice cream topping


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until creamy. Add the egg and beat again.
Roll out the pie crust according to the package directions. Place it in the bottom of a 9 inch pie plate and leave the extra dough over the edges.
Spread the cheesecake in the bottom of the pie crust.
Gently spoon the apple pie filling on top of the cheesecake.
Fold the edges of the dough up and over the filling. Overlap the dough to create a large pleated look. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for an hour then refrigerate until chilled completely.
Serve with vanilla ice cream and caramel ice cream topping if desired. Keep refrigerated in a sealed container for 5-6 days.

Also see: Thanksgiving Day: Best episodes from your favourite shows that you can watch on turkey day