Holiday Recipes Roundup: Thanksgiving

The interwebs are aflutter with recipes and resources for Thanksgiving. Umami Girl, having read a surprising number of them, helps you find the best of the best.

stuffing-1I don’t know whether you all are starting to take me seriously or what (and if so, I would strongly caution you), but I’ve gotten a tremendous number of requests for Thanksgiving menu advice this year. We’re also hosting Thanksgiving for the first time ever. (See what I mean about taking me seriously?) So just like in prior years, I’ve pored over November magazines, immersed myself in blogs and newspapers, smeared newsprint on my face like war paint, and hit the test kitchen countless times. Unlike years past, when my only excuse for this behavior was that I am just so gay for Thanksgiving, this time I have a couple of pretty solid reasons and a write-up to prove it.

Unlike the typical posts around here, I haven’t tested quite all of these recipes, though I have tested many, and some are mine. However, I’ve only drawn from sources I would trust with my own Thanksgiving table, and I’ve read carefully and repeatedly before posting. With so many great-looking recipes out there and familial expectations that certain traditional dishes will make an appearance, I’ve chosen just a few of my favorites to highlight here. We’ll be hitting this list pretty hard ourselves next week.

If you have any tried-and-true Thanksgiving favorites you’d like to share, please add them in the comments! We’d love to give them a try.

Menu Planning Tools and Advice

It’s amazing how much general T’givin knowledge is out there on the web—almost too much to be helpful. These are a few of my favorites.

Cocktails and Wine

Whether you’re gathering with family or friends, there’s always a reason to be thankful for drinkies.

Non-Alcoholic Beverages

  • Just kidding, I don’t give much thought to these beyond turning on the tap

Hors d’Ouevres

On Thanksgiving, no one wants to fill up before the main event, but it’s best not to have your loved ones keeling over (or worse, dipping their phalanges in the gravy boat) while you finish mashing the potatoes. These hors d’oeuvres are festive but relatively light so they won’t get in your way and, with any luck, neither will your guests. The recipes that use precious oven space can all be made in advance.



Turkey and Gravy

Vegetarian Main Dishes



Green & Cruciferous Vegetables

Root Vegetables and Squash

Condiments and Breads

Gluten-Free Recipes


  • Hey thanks for including me. I’m honored to be on such a great list.ReplyCancel

  • Carrie Ryan

    Carolyn, this is the first year since 1995 that I’m *not* doing Thanksgiving, but I got to do a little vicarious living (and cooking and eating!) through this post. Thanks and good luck! CarrieReplyCancel

  • Great post. Now when can we get a preview of your Thanksgiving menu?ReplyCancel

  • Mmm, I’m appreciating the round-up. Thank you!
    My T-giving table is never complete without Brussels sprouts so I’m happy to see a new variation that sounds quite yummy.
    But since you asked, I have to mention my favorite Brussels sprouts recipe, the one my fiancee’s family won’t let me show up without: Molly Wizenberg’s Cream-Braised Brussels sprouts, adapted from Molly Stevens’ All About Braising.
    Decadent, yes. But summer’s so far off, who’s caring?

  • Abigail

    I love this post. Especially the shout out to the vegan struggling at thanksgiving.ReplyCancel

  • Thanks for including my Wild Mushroom Soup in your recommendations, Carolyn – I’m honored! A happy holiday to you!ReplyCancel

  • yummy food!!! my favorite!!ReplyCancel

  • […] Eats. I’ve got my work cut out for me giving thanks and preparing some of the dishes from last week’s post for our Thanksgiving table, so this will be the only post for the week. Have a wonderful […]ReplyCancel

  • Jamie

    Damn woman, think you have enough recipes here? Have you made the sage stuffing from Gourmet Unbound? I was thinking about giving that an attempt, but my family are Stouffer’s folks, so if I deprive them of their usual Thanksgiving fare I want to make sure it’s for something I can count on!ReplyCancel

  • Kalyn and Jill, anytime!

    Carrie, I can’t believe you’ve hosted every year since college. I bow to you. Enjoy the break!

    Jackie, too funny. I actually was bummed not to have remembered to include the recipe you mentioned—I’ve never made it but have always wanted to try it. In the end that’s the one I decided on for Thursday. Thanks for putting it out there!

    Abby, I think you trained me well.

    Julie, it might have to be more of a recap at this point….

    Jamie, the sage stuffing is one I haven’t made myself, but my friend Maggie (also of Pithy & Cleaver) is the one who unearthed it from Gourmet. She did sort of an unnaturally rigorous Thanksgiving food testing this year and really liked it, so I wouldn’t hesitate to use it myself if my family didn’t already have a couple of killer stuffing recipes. (One is bread-based and one is risotto-based, by the way. Let me know if you’re interested in either of those.) Good luck!ReplyCancel

  • That meal looks really savory Umamigirl. :-)ReplyCancel

  • […] hungry? Don’t forget about last year’s Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup from around the […]ReplyCancel

  • That mushroom stuffing looks incredible. Here are great mini breads that can be used if you don’t quite have time and want to focus on making other things.ReplyCancel

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