Tasty Thanksgiving recipes for a stress-free holiday meal

When a holiday is well-known for its delectable meals, it can be a daunting task to tackle the preparation. This list of Thanksgiving recipes is sure to make the job easier so you can enjoy the holiday with loved ones, instead of stressing all day in the kitchen.

citrus marinated turkey

Grilled turkey marinated in citrus

Surprise your guests with the grilled citrus and garlic flavour in your grilled turkey. Best of all, it cooks much faster than traditional roasted turkey.

Serves eight

Citrus marinade:

  •  4 oranges, clementines, or tangerines
  •  1 halved head of garlic
  •  1 chopped red Thai bird chili
  •  4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  •  4 sprigs fresh thyme
  •  1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  •  1  pour of extra-virgin olive oil

Turkey:

  •  1 free-range, organic turkey (12 to 14 pound), cut into four pieces.
  • Salt and ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, mix together all the marinade ingredients squeeze together with your hands to blend the flavours. Put the turkey on a large platter and pour on the marinade. Make sure the turkey is well coated on both sides by turning it over. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.
  2. About 30 minutes before you are ready to grill it, remove the turkey from the refrigerator. Heat grill to medium and wipe the grate with some oil. Season the turkey well with salt and pepper and wipe off excess marinade.
  3. Place the turkey on grill, skin side down. Cook for 30 minutes. Turn it over and continue grilling, continually basting with olive oil, until the juices run clear and the internal temperature of the thigh is 180 degrees F, (roughly one hour total). Cover turkey with foil and let it sit for about 10 minutes before carving.

Tip: Have your butcher remove the bones from the breast and cut the turkey into four pieces. Save the neck and backbone for your gravy.

roasted potatoes Roasted rosemary potatoes

Serves eight

Rosemary is a wonderful way to make potatoes more flavourful, and this dish is sure to please your holiday guests.

Ingredients:

  •  6 to 8 large Yukon gold potatoes, cut into large chunks
  •  4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

After preheating the oven to 375 degrees F, place the potatoes onto a baking sheet. Tear the rosemary and scatter it over potatoes, then season with salt and pepper and lightly drizzle with olive oil. Mix all the flavours by lightly tossing potatoes and put them in the oven. Remove after 30 minutes and toss again. Put back into oven and roast them until they are browned and cooked through (roughly 30 to 40 minutes more). Serve immediately.

Bacon cornbread

Serves eight

This bacon-infused treat is great on its own and can also be used as a twist to traditional stuffing!

Ingredients:

  •  4 strips chopped, thick bacon
  •  2 cups white or yellow stone-ground cornmeal
  •  1 cup all-purpose flour
  •  2 tablespoons sugar
  •  2 teaspoons baking powder
  •  2 teaspoons baking soda
  •  2 teaspoons salt
  •  4 large eggs
  •  2 cups milk
  •  2 tablespoons chives, finely chopped

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. place the bacon into a 10-inch cast iron pan and cook over medium heat until the bacon bits are crispy, without being burnt. Place bacon on a paper towel lined plate. Set aside pan with bacon fat still in it.
  2. Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Beat the eggs with a whisk in a separate bowl until it is foamy then whisk in the milk.
  3. Stir wet ingredients into the dry ingredients to combine. Fold in the chives and bacon bits then pour the batter into the cast iron pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean (roughly 20 to 25 minutes).

pecan pieChocolate and bourbon pecan pie

Serves eight

Pastry:

  •  1 cup all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting)
  •  1/4 cup pecans, finely ground
  •  1 tablespoon sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  •  1 stick unsalted butter, cold and cut into small chunks
  •  2 tablespoons ice water

Pie Filling:

  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark corn syrup or sugar cane syrup
  •  1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  •  3 tablespoons bourbon
  •  1/4 teaspoon salt
  •  1-1/2 cups pecan halves

Directions:

  1. Combine the flour, ground pecans, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl to make the pastry. Add the butter and mix until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  2. Pour the ice water in and work it to bind the dough until it holds together without being too wet or sticky. (To test, squeeze a small amount together – if it is crumbly, add more ice water one tablespoon at a time). Shape dough into a flat thick disk. Wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch circle. Roll it carefully up onto the pin and lay it inside a nine-inch pie pan. Press the dough into the pan so it fits tightly. Trim the excess around the rim. Place the pie pan on a sturdy cookie sheet.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Melt the butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over medium-low heat to make the filling. Remove and let cool.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs until frothy and then blend in the sugar. Stir in the syrup, vanilla, bourbon, salt and melted butter mixture until well blended.
  6. Place pecans on the bottom of the pie crust and then pour the egg mixture over them carefully. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the filling is set and slightly puffed. Test pie by sticking a thin knife in the center of it; if it comes out pretty clean the pie is done baking. Place the pie on a rack and cool completely before cutting.

More Thanksgiving planning ideas

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