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Celebrity chefs share their best Thanksgiving menus

What's cooking?

What do people who cook for a living make on Thanksgiving? We were curious too, so we asked four cooking pros to share their ideal Thanksgiving menus and recipes. Even for chefs, Thanksgiving isn't the time for exotic ingredients or hard-to-pronounce dishes – they like comfort food like anyone else. But their styles of preparation are something to admire, and easy enough for all of us to try in our own kitchens.

What's cooking?Andrea Beaman

Host of the healthy-cooking show "Fed Up!" on Veria TV and a former "Top Chef" contestant

For Beaman, the ideal Thanksgiving menu starts with a great turkey -- a naturally raised turkey, that is. Side dishes get a dose of fresh herbs.

"The overall flavor profile for me is savory," she says. "The weather is getting very cold, so I need that savory feeling on my tongue."

Turkey: "I like a turkey that has been grazing in the pasture," she says. "Even if it costs more, I don't care. That turkey is worth my money." She seasons it with butter and herbs like thyme and sage, and serves it with herbed gravy.

Sides: Beaman updates a version of her grandma's sausage stuffing by using whole grain bread instead of white bread. Other sides include pureed butternut squash with butter and ginger; kale sauteed with olive oil and garlic; heirloom carrots roasted whole with rosemary, olive oil, sea salt and pepper.

Dessert: An apple cranberry cobbler or baked apples or pears (recipe below) would be the perfect finish, she says.

Baked pears recipe

By Andrea Beaman

Makes 4 servings


  • 4 Bosc pears
  • 2 cups apple juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6-8 cloves


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut a thin slice off the bottom of each pear to help keep them upright in the baking dish. Place in the dish.
  3. Add remaining ingredients to the dish.
  4. Roast the pears, basting every 15 minutes, until tender, brown and puckered, about 50 minutes to an hour.
  5. To serve, place pears on a plate and drizzle with liquid from the dish.

Up next: Melissa d'Arabian's Sauteed cabbage and apples >>

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