Entertaining Idea: Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner

Entertain, Holidays, Menu Ideas, Thanksgiving

It’s time to start planning your Thanksgiving menu! Our Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner features dishes inspired by the fall harvest. Modern twists and time-savers bring new dimensions and flavors to classic recipes such as autumn squash soup and sweet potatoes, and a buttermilk brine ensures tender, juicy turkey. Finish the meal with a dessert bar featuring the best of Thanksgiving sweets — our recipes and tips will help you pull it off.

 

Menu

Offer guests simple snacks and hors d’oeuvres to nibble on as they gather before the meal. Our Candied Mixed Nuts with Rosemary are easy to prepare — slightly sweet and slightly spicy — and these Prosciutto-Wrapped Figs with St. Agur make a beautiful presentation. Both recipes allow you to work ahead, meaning less stress on the big day.

 

Once everyone is seated, serve an impressive first course like our Butternut Squash Soup with Fried Sage Croutons. Hearty butternut squash is a hallmark of fall, and this dish comes together quickly with the help of prepared puree. Accompany with our Wilted Spinach Salad with Pancetta Lardons and Warm Vinaigrette ,a mix of sweet-tart dried fruit, crunchy toasted almonds and bits of savory pancetta.

 

Brining helps ensure a moist, flavorful turkey, and this Turkey with Buttermilk Brine streamlines the process by calling for a ready-made dry brine. The savory blend includes tangy buttermilk with lemon, garlic and herbs.

 

Turkey may be the staple, but sides make the Thanksgiving meal. Here, we’ve covered four favorites: stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and sweet potatoes. Both the Focaccia Stuffing with Sausage and Chestnuts and Garlic-Parmesan Mashed Potatoes begin with our special mixes, making them a snap to prepare. We gave the classic green bean casserole a makeover with this Ultimate Green Bean Casseroles with Crispy Fried Shallots (100% homemade!). Finally, our Sweet Potato Souffle with Spiced Pecan Topping features an unexpected crunchy streusel and bold seasonings — the perfect segue into dessert.

 

People look forward to traditional Thanksgiving pies every year, and these two are sure to satisfy. Our Pecan Pie with Bourbon-Spiked Cream features a rich pecan filling and creamy topping, with just a splash of flavorful bourbon to cut the sweetness. These Southern-Spiced Apple Pies with Creme Fraiche are served in individual portions for a fun twist.

 

Entertaining Tips

 

  • Snacks like mixed nuts and olives look beautiful displayed in a seasonal condiment bowl, but you can also use the bowl for garnishes. Fill it with croutons and fried sage to top soup, or extra nuts for salad.
  • Be creative with centerpieces. Instead of a floral arrangement, let the food take center stage. A serving tureen makes a rustic, functional addition to the dining table, especially when placed on a natural woven tray.
  • Stay in the same color family, but mix and match patterns. Pair a paisley table runner with botanical printed dinnerware and pumpkin napkin rings. The warm orange, gold and grassy hues keep the table setting consistent.
  • Try a combination of serving styles. Soup and salad are easy to serve family-style or even as a plated first course, and serving the starters separately frees valuable buffet space.

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