Thanksgiving Recipes to Make the Day Before
Gary Vaynerchuk’s mother, Tamara, makes Stove Top stuffing every Thanksgiving, and he proudly admits loving it. Its simplicity inspired this recipe by F&W’s Grace Parisi. Using homemade turkey stock gives it a rich flavor, but for a shortcut, use chicken broth instead.
The secret to this mushroom soup: a little crème fraîche.
Butternut Squash Bread Pudding
This savory bread pudding, loaded with sweet squash, is based on a recipe meat master Bruce Aidells’s wife, Nancy Oakes, created. It’s a great accompaniment to glazed ham. For a more elegant presentation, Aidells bakes the bread pudding in individual ramekins.
Creamy Broccoli Soup with Croutons
Marcia Kiesel’s luxuriously creamy soups are the perfect starters for Thanksgiving dinner because they can be made in advance, then reheated and garnished just before serving.
Green Bean Casserole with Red Curry and Peanuts
Store-bought red curry paste and coconut milk put a Thai spin on this green-bean-and-mushroom holiday classic. For a vegetarian main dish, simply stir in cubes of tofu.
Five-Spice Glazed Sweet Potatoes with Walnut Toffee
Crunchy toffee stands in for the usual marshmallow topping on these potatoes, which Shawn McClain glazes with brown sugar and spice-scented butter.
Broccoli Salad with Ginger-Miso Vinaigrette
Overstuffed Twice-Baked Potatoes
The reason Emeril Lagasse calls them overstuffed is that he adds an extra baked potato to the stuffing mixture, but if these seem too large for you, then bake and mash only four (instead of the five used here), or use smaller potatoes.
Kale with Currants, Lemon and Olives
Boiling kale before sautéing it is key to making it tender. If the stems and center veins are very tough, Marcia Kiesel advises removing them: Fold the kale leaves in half with the vein side out, then pull up on the stems.
Mashed Winter Squash with Indian Spices
Fragrant Indian spices—coriander, turmeric and black mustard seeds—are a wonderful accent for creamy mashed butternut squash. The squash can be roughly smashed until chunky, or thoroughly mashed until smooth.
Root Vegetable, Pear and Chestnut Ragout
This ragout—slightly sweet and not too rich—is a wonderful mix of winter vegetables and fruit.
Scalloped Potatoes with Ham
The combination of pecorino and Parmesan gives these potatoes a great cheesy depth.
Oyster Dressing “Grand-Mère”
Chef John Besh says, “This is the only dish worthy of both Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner at our house.” Why? Because it’s unbelievably delicious—a bready dressing that’s spicy, crispy and nicely briny.
Lemony Brussels Sprout Slaw
To make this refreshingly lemony slaw, start with firm brussels sprouts and shred them in a food processor. Roasted sunflower seeds are the perfect finish.
Fall Corn Pudding with White Cheddar and Thyme
Corn pudding is often a summer staple when corn is widely available and plentiful at farmer’s markets. Here we use frozen kernels and coarsely ground cornmeal to boost the flavor of this fluffy pudding.
Sweet Potato Gratin with Chile-Spiced Pecans
Jose Garces says this dish best exemplifies his Thanksgiving menu: traditional at its core but with unexpected Latin accents. The gratin is silky and sweet, topped with gooey marshmallows and delightfully crunchy pecans flavored with chile powder.
Old-Fashioned Apple Pie
AJ Perry, the owner and baker at Columbus, Ohio’s Sassafras Bakery, uses a combination of sweet and tart apples for this double-crust pie. Perry starts the pie at a high oven temperature, so the pastry sets before the filling softens, creating a beautiful domed crust. This is a purists’ pie that tastes of nothing but apples, with just a hint of spice and butter.
Fig Tart with Pistachio Crust
The tart is most delicious one day after it’s baked.
Sweet-Potato Meringue Pie
This dish looks like a pumpkin pie, but the filling is actually made with sweet potato.
Brown Butter-Cranberry Tart
This is a terrific cross between a tart and a cake; it has a crisp, delicate crust as well as a cakey filling made with nutty browned butter and vanilla bean. Katherine Thompson, the pastry chef at Manhattan’s L’Artusi and Dell’anima, serves it all year-round with different toppings, but for the holidays, she loves to pile on fresh cranberries.