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The TODAY Show brings 20 all-star chefs together to share their best Thanksgiving recipes


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We’re officially a week away from the big day — the food holiday to end all food holidays, the time to shine for the turkey, and the Super Bowl of side dishes — Thanksgiving.

So, when you start thawing your turkey, National Thawing Day is the Thursday before Thanksgiving! -It’s time to figure out your Thanksgiving menu.

You’ll need to decide how to cook your turkey, which cocktails to shake, which appetizers and side dishes to serve, which wine to go with everything, and which desserts to end the meal.

To make your life easier, we’ve compiled a list of 20 of our most popular Thanksgiving recipes from all-star chefs. Many of these tried-and-true recipes have been on our website for years, and have become Thanksgiving staples in many of your homes.

Martha Stewart, the queen of Thanksgiving, kicked off the festivities with her roasted turkey in parchment, a moisture-preserving technique she swears by. You usually make it with stuffing, but you can also pair it with Bobby Flay’s Cornbread Dressing and Elizabeth Heiskell’s Quick Turkey Gravy.

Spice up your spread with Priyanka Naik’s chile-infused cranberry sauce (then use the leftovers to make Alejandra Ramos’ cranberry sauce margarita) and a habanero-studded sweet potato casserole from Jordan Andino. Speaking of casseroles, Ciri Daly knows how to make a mean casserole with green beans, and Melissa Clark turns mashed potatoes into cheesy potatoes. To make sure you get your veggies, JJ Johnson serves up green coleslaw, while Marcus Samuelsson brings caramelized Brussels sprouts to the table.

Of course, you’ll have to save room for dessert — even if that means taking a quick tryptophan-inducing nap between courses — because you’ll want to sample Christina Tosi’s pumpkin pie bars (if you don’t want to make it a whole pie) or Maya’s German Chocolate Pecan Pie. Camille Broussard (if you feel up to the task).

Thanks to recipes from chefs and home cooks—many of which can be prepared in advance—this Thanksgiving will be the best ever.

Appetizers and drinks

Cranberry Bacon Cheese Ball

Rick Martinez

Use leftover ingredients from other dishes you’re preparing for Thanksgiving to prepare this delicious appetizer. It’s a great dish, as it can stay in the fridge for up to 48 hours, allowing the flavors to mingle.

Cranberry Margarita Sauce

Alejandra Ramos

Tart cranberry sauce and a cinnamon sugar rim add an autumnal touch to the classic margarita cocktail. Note that this recipe works best with jams or whole cranberry sauces, not jellies.

When entertaining, you can double the cocktail in a larger quantity and keep it chilled in a pitcher without ice until it is time to serve. You can also prepare the cinnamon sugar for the rim a few days in advance so everything is ready when your guests arrive.

Alejandra’s advice: When shaking this cocktail (or anything else!), the trick is to shake the cocktail until the cocktail shaker is completely frozen. Always use metal cocktail shakers, they are more effective than glass or plastic.

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Türkiye and gravy

Roasted turkey in parchment with gravy

Martha Stewart

Here’s an unexpected but absolutely genius way to cook a turkey for Thanksgiving. Martha Stewart’s parchment bag technique produces moist meat and crisp, golden skin every time. (She uses the classic filling in this recipe.)

Fair roasted turkey legs

Abdo died

“If you’re like me and can’t get enough of turkey legs at your Thanksgiving table, why not cook more?” Matt Abdo says. “This Fair Style Roasted or Smoked Turkey Leg Recipe is a great choice to add to your Thanksgiving feast. It’s economical, cooks quickly, and is always juicy and flavorful!”

Matt’s tips: Unwrap the turkey the night before for crispy skin. Salt turkey legs for extra moisture and seasoning.

Quick Türkiye Broth

Elizabeth Heiskell

This easy broth is great, whether you have turkey broth or not. Even if you fry it or buy a pre-cooked turkey, you can still get great gravy.

Side dishes

Wild Mushroom Cornbread Dressing

Bobby Flay

Cooking the cornbread and mushroom sauce in a cast iron skillet gives it a wonderful golden brown crust. Plus, you can serve it directly in the pan, giving you another dish to clean up at the end of Thanksgiving dinner.

Green bean casserole with crispy shallots

Siri Daly

“Although green bean casserole is a classic Thanksgiving staple, this version is elevated by ditching the canned soup for a homemade mushroom broth packed with umami flavor,” says Siri Daly. “While there’s nothing wrong with crispy store-bought onions, you’ll never go back once you realize how easy and delicious these fried shallots are. It’s a dish that always finds its way to our table, and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.”

Siri tip: Place the beans in an ice bath to stop the cooking process and help retain their bright green color.

Sweet potato mac and cheese

Darnell Ferguson

“This is the best classic Thanksgiving dish I’ve ever made,” says Darnell Ferguson. “Everyone talks about it, everyone orders it, and it combines two of my favorite Southern dishes in one dish.”

Darnell’s advice: Prepare the sauce in advance and freeze it in containers. Defrost the day before cooking, then add the noodles and bake the next day.

Spiced Indian cranberry sauce

Priyanka Naik

“Thanksgiving in the Naik household looks very different from any other household — you won’t find a turkey and you probably won’t even find any meat,” says Priyanka Naik. “I’m a vegetarian and grew up vegetarian, so my family is primarily vegetarian. We use this time to prepare dishes that have the essence of Thanksgiving but with a spicy Indian flavor (because who doesn’t like a little spice in their life?).” And that’s how raspberry sauce was born This brie – a little bit of sweetness, a little bit of tamarind flavor and a little bit of spice from the dried red pepper.”

Priyanka’s advice: This sauce can be prepared weeks in advance and stored in the refrigerator until use.

Will Coleman presents his mother’s cornbread recipe with a smoky and spicy twist with cheddar cheese, bacon, and jalapenos. It goes perfectly with collard greens.

Will’s advice: Make your life easier by pouring the cornbread mixture into muffin tins to avoid the need for cutting. You can use different sized muffin pans to create different portion sizes.

Spinach noodle casserole

Aisha Nurjaja

“This is one of my mom’s favorite recipes that she makes every year. Coming from an Italian family, pasta was always on the Thanksgiving menu,” says Aisha Nurjaja. “We usually had lasagna, but by the time we finished the pasta course, we didn’t No one had room for the turkey (my favorite part)! So my mother had to pivot, and came up with this recipe. It has the same crunchy edges that are the best part of lasagna, but it’s lighter, leaving room for us to enjoy the bird.

Aisha’s advice: The secret ingredient in this recipe is store-bought onion soup mix, which adds great flavor.

Mushroom pie

Alison Roman

“(On) a cold, gray day, I envision a creamy mushroom filling made with several mushrooms (as advertised), baked between two pieces of flaky pie crust, perfectly salty, almost too buttery,” Allison Roman says of her delicious side dish that doubles as a casserole. Main vegetarian. “I think about how creamy the filling is, how rich and meaty it is without any meat at all, and how despite my obsession with chicken pie, this mushroom pie is definitely better.”

Alison’s advice: It’s important to bake the pie crust just enough to avoid a soggy bottom—this is where a glass pie dish comes in handy.

Caramelized Brussels sprouts

Marcus Samuelsson

While Thanksgiving is a meal rich in carbohydrates and protein, most people would agree that the menu isn’t truly complete for this holiday without including something green. This recipe is a new version of an old holiday favorite: Brussels sprouts. This isn’t your grandmother’s recipe, we promise. This side dish tastes great warm but can also be kept at room temperature, so it won’t take up precious space in your oven in the lead up to your meal!

Marcus’s advice: Make sure the Brussels sprouts are spread out in a single layer, cut side down, and not too crowded on the baking sheet, so they caramelize evenly, not steam.

Spicy sweet potato casserole

Jordan Andino

This is Jordan Andino’s take on his father’s signature stuffing recipe that he’s been devouring for more than 25 years. They’re sweet (thanks to the sweet potatoes), spicy (thanks to the habaneros) and salty (thanks to the pork). Best of all, you can make it days in advance, freeze it and reheat it to perfection. You can also use leftovers the next day for a great breakfast.

Jordan Advice: Generously cover the casserole dish with melted butter to avoid sticking and add flavor.

Traditionally, collard greens are braised and simmered, but in this case, the greens are served raw, making them a light, bright addition to a rich, heavy meal. Simply balance the natural bitterness of collard greens with a bright, sweet and spicy sauce for a delicious change.

GG Tips: Remove the stems from the cabbage and cut the greens into very thin slices. Rinse the rise to avoid starchy salad.

Mashed potato casserole with gruyere and sautéed onions

Melissa Clark

These cheesy potatoes have lots of herb and browned onion flavor, and can be easily prepared ahead of time.

Melissa’s tip: Prepare the mashed potatoes up to three days in advance and add the crumbs to them just before baking.


Easy Pumpkin Pie Bars

Christina Tosi

“When fall comes, I crave a delicious, warm dessert, but I’m not always ready to make a whole pie,” says Christina Tosi. “These little squares offer big magic to dessert.”

The crust doubles as a crumb topping, so everything comes together in no time. By turning your pie into bars, everyone gets a small serving, leaving room for more dessert.

Caramel apple pie

Jessen Pollock Prado

Preparing the dough for this butter pie is as easy as pie! It only takes six ingredients and comes together in a few quick minutes. By adding just one additional ingredient (heavy cream) to traditional apple pie filling, this dessert becomes a wonderful, gooey, caramelized apple pie.

Jessen’s tips: Instead of a labor-intensive top crust, use a seasonal shaped cookie cutter to cut out fun shapes for a decorative topping.

Brownies with soy sauce without flour

Hetty McKinnon

Using this salty, yeasty spice in a brownie is surprising, but it adds a complex depth of flavor to this classic dessert. The soy sauce amplifies the chocolate flavors, giving it a rich, caramel glow. The taste is very similar to salted caramel. This cake is gluten-free, made with almond meal and gluten-free soy sauce.

Hetty Tips: Make it the day before. In fact, they taste even better the next day, as they are firmer and the flavors develop more. You can even make it in advance and freeze it. Use a double boiler to gently melt the butter and chocolate.

German Chocolate Pecan Pie

Maya Camille Broussard

A popular Thanksgiving dessert, this pie is a version of the beloved classic, rich in chocolate and filled with the flavors of pecans and sweetened coconut flakes. In other words, it’s an absolute dream.

Maya Camille’s advice: Pour the mixture slowly and continuously until the pecans are evenly distributed in the pie crust.

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