We’d love to tell you that we love all our Thanksgiving recipes equally. After all, our test kitchen pros ensure every new recipe is so delicious that it can pass rigorous taste tests before it lands on our site. That said, there are some recipes—both classics and twists on classics—we find ourselves talking about over the water cooler right after T Day. Think: mashed potatoes laced with herbs and cream; juicy buttermilk-brined turkey; bacon-wrapped green bean bundles; the prettiest pumpkin pie you’ve ever seen. Here are those recipes.
What if you skipped green bean casserole, yummy though it is, this year in favor of bright, crisply blanched beans wrapped snugly in a bacon blanket? These get an extra unexpected kick thanks to garlic, butter and a flurry of brown sugar.
For those who adore cranberry sauce, the holiday simply isn’t complete without it. Give its fans something to crow about by putting this recipe, sparkling with orange and cinnamon, on the table. You’ll be amazed at how fast it disappears.
If you’ve never tried corn bread stuffing, perhaps this is the year to give it a whirl. Thanks to its drier texture and ability to sop up other ingredients, it’s a dream when it meets gravy, potatoes and all the other holiday players. Staffers are particularly big fans of this sausage, cornbread and chestnut dressing.
Autumnal decorations, which many folks think they’re more difficult than they are, take Thanksgiving pies to a whole new level of stunning. Simply find some maple leaf-shaped pastry cutters, and you’re off to the races. We have several delicious pumpkin pie recipes, but we’re especially partial to this one, featuring a filling spiked with cinnamon, nutmeg, and brandy.
Butternut squash is so gorgeous this time of year, and this light, bright soup is more than welcome on a holiday like Thanksgiving. Leave the prosciutto garnish off to the side and use vegetable broth in order to make this a hearty vegetarian dish for those who will be forgoing turkey.
There’s gravy, and then there’s caramelized onion gravy. It’s every bit as good as it sounds, and inspired by Ina Garten, to boot. Simply make the gravy ahead of time and fold in the jus from the cooked bird. It’s one less thing to think about on the big day.
Needless to say, everything bagel fans will flip when they see these rolls. Parker House rolls are already so unctuous, fluffy and addictive that it’s hard to imagine improving upon them. But these do, and how, thanks to dashes of sea salt, dried onion and garlic flakes, sesame seeds, and plenty of butter.
This five-star recipe, a family favorite of a onetime test kitchen cook, is so adored by readers that it’s one of our top recipes across the board. Fresh thyme and rosemary, garlic, chives and shallots all make cameos in these dreamily creamy mashed potatoes. (We can’t promise people won’t hound you for them every year if you make them once.)
As seasonal as can be, these sweet-potato “crostini” are just the thing to set out as guests are arriving. There’s no bread in them, so they’re not heavy, and they feature the classic combo of blue cheese, honey and walnuts. Best of all, you can prepare them well in advance.
Anyone who has ever cooked or baked with buttermilk knows just how magically transformative it can be. So although each staffer has a favorite WS roast turkey recipe, this juicy buttermilk-brined bird turns up more than you’d imagine. Four full quarts of buttermilk replace water in the brine along with coriander, peppercorns, granulated garlic and bay leaves. The bird is shellacked with butter just before roasting, giving it this marvelous sheen. For many of us, the turkey is still the star of the Thanksgiving show. Why not make yours a knockout?