6 super simple Thanksgiving recipes to try this year.
Thanksgiving is right around the corner, which means it’s time to start planning a menu. Luckily, you don’t have to spend endless hours cooking, basting, and stirring this year. Swap out those time-intensive recipes for simpler ones that are still made from scratch and just as delicious.
Cheesy bruschetta spread
Most people skip appetizers and head straight for the Thanksgiving feast. However, if guests show up early to help out in the kitchen, they’re probably going to get hungry. Keep them away from the main course by preparing some cheesy bruschetta spread for them to enjoy. Every bite is packed with flavor and it’s super easy to make.
In a small bowl, mix cream cheese, pesto, salt, and pepper and transfer to a greased slow cooker. Top with tomatoes and mozzarella and cook on low for one to one-and-a-half hours. Sprinkle with minced basil and serve with toast points, pita chips, or crackers.
If you’ve never added sausage to your stuffing, you’re seriously missing out. This classic dish is even more flavorful with a meaty mix of ground sausage. Plus, this recipe only requires seven ingredients, plus salt and pepper, so it’ll be ready in a flash.
First, add chunks of stuffing bread into a blender and blend until the loaves reach a crumb consistency. Place it in a ziplock bag overnight. Then, prepare the onions, celery, potatoes, and sausage meat and combine them in a bowl. Crack the eggs into the mixture and slowly add the stuffing crumbs. Mix in the turkey seasoning, salt, and pepper and bake for 30 to 45 minutes.
Roasted garlic mashed potatoes
Mashed potatoes are a Thanksgiving staple, especially the homemade variety. Sure, they take more time and effort, but they’re really not that difficult to make if you follow a good recipe. The best ones — like this one — only require a few simple ingredients.
Roast the garlic, peel, and boil the potatoes and either rice or mash them. Fold the garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, and potato cooking water into the potatoes. Season to taste and adjust the water ratio to reach your desired consistency. Garnish with chives and serve.
Herb-roasted turkey breast
Contrary to popular belief, it is entirely possible to cook a turkey in an hour. All you have to do is make sure the bird is 3 pounds. In this case, a large, boneless turkey breast will get the job done. As long as you’re hosting a small Thanksgiving, everyone will have enough to eat and you’ll still have some meat leftover.
Combine the water, salt, and sugar in a large pot and bring it to a boil. Remove from the heat, add the turkey breast, cover, and place in the fridge to brine overnight. On Thanksgiving Day, remove the turkey, pat dry, and roll it into a tight log. Use butcher twine to secure the turkey and make a garlic paste to season it. Roast at 425°F for one hour and let it cool before slicing and serving.
Vegetarian pumpkin chili
This dish is vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free, which makes it the perfect addition to any Thanksgiving meal. Accommodate friends and family with dietary restrictions by whipping up a big pot of vegetarian pumpkin chili. This quick, one-pan meal is so tasty that even meat-eaters will enjoy it, so be sure to make a little extra.
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a pot or dutch oven. Add the onion, bell pepper, and jalapeño and wait until the onion softens before mixing in seasonings. Stir and cook for one minute and add in the rest of the ingredients. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Top with cheese, cilantro, and avocado before serving.
Brussels sprouts and bacon
Brussel sprouts get a bad rap, especially among kids and picky eaters. However, if you really take the time to cook this veggie correctly, it can be downright addictive. Smoky bacon, spicy red pepper flakes, and crunchy almonds make this dish unforgettable, even on a day when turkey’s supposed to take center stage.
First, cook the bacon and discard all but 1 tablespoon of the rendered bacon fat. Add the garlic, pepper flakes, brussels sprouts, and salt to the skillet and sauté until the sprouts are lightly browned. Add the almonds and sauté for another minute or two before topping with bacon and dishing it up.
Adapting thanksgiving dishes
All of the recipes on this list are highly adaptable, which is great news for the Thanksgiving chef. Use what you already have on hand to throw these dishes together and whip up dinner in a flash. Substitute ingredients, experiment with seasonings and taste-test everything. If you like it, odds are good your guests will, too! Just be sure to provide enough sides so that everyone can enjoy a well-rounded meal, regardless of personal preference or dietary needs.