If you’ve finally decided to “adult” in a real way and host your own Thanksgiving, it can be an intimidating process. But never fear — it’s all about having fun! If you pour your heart and love into your food, along with some of these practical tips from us, you’ll be well on your way to a successful soirée and a happy crowd.
It’s easy to get lost in the creativity of the of the meal, so you might want to scale back a bit and just plan out which elements of the meal you can make the day before to save yourself an overload of work on the actual day.
It’s also totally acceptable to try to make things like the pumpkin pie, the gratin, and the casserole the day before so you can easily reheat it the day of.
Thanksgiving is one of the best holidays of the year. You don’t have to buy anybody presents, there’s no pressure, and the food is just so satisfyingly decadent. It has everything you could possibly want from a meal. Close company, excessive amounts of turkey and stuffing and some festive customs that involve a very necessary reminder of gratefulness — something we tend to lose sight of in today’s busy world.
Even if it’s your first time through, your guests will be grateful for your efforts toward putting together your first Thanksgiving feast with some of these 11 easy recipes.
This is a show-stopper of an appetizer that is also really delicious. It has some tart apples, sweet dried cranberries, and nutty pecans as the toppings, all of which combine to make for a delightful bite. Serve it with some light crackers and cocktails to welcome your guests.
For the Baked Brie With Apple Cranberry Relish recipe, click here.
I love this cranberry chutney because it just gives your table that extra edge. It’s kind of boring seeing cranberry sauce over and over again, but this chutney has a lovely texture and adds a punch of flavor. You can get creative with the spices or add some zest if you like it a little more acidic. Chutney is wonderful to play around with.
For the Cranberry Pear Chutney recipe, click here.
It’s nice to add a classic touch to this indulgent all-American feast. Potato gratin is always a crowd-pleaser and it’s a pretty foolproof recipe as long as you have a mandolin. Yukon-gold potatoes work best for gratin, but it’s not mandatory.
For the Potato Gratin recipe, click here.
Cornbread is a staple on the Thanksgiving table, but if you want to add a twist to it, this is the recipe for you. It’s really easy to make, has some added nutrition from the pumpkin, and will take you less than 40 minutes to make.
For the Pumpkin Cornbread recipe, click here.
If you’re trying to redeem your Thanksgiving spread with some greens, this is a happy medium between healthy and delicious. To make your life a little easier, you can make the shallots the day before to save some time.
For the Green Bean Casserole recipe, click here.
No Thanksgiving meal is complete without stuffing to soak up all that delicious gravy. This is a pretty basic stuffing recipe with lots of delicious butter to make it extra juicy. Make your life simple and make sure you buy the stock — don’t make it yourself! You have way too much else to do.
For the Traditional Thanksgiving Stuffing recipe, click here.
This salad offers perfect balance to a rather heavy meal without going off-brand. This refreshing salad still includes the festive roasted corn, delicious golden raisins, and some dried cranberries.
For the Easy Tossed Salad recipe, click here.
Here’s another dish to pass off as healthy in and amongst all those calorie-laden starch dishes. It’s a great recipe as it acts as a wonderful sauce as well as a vegetable. If you’re in a bit of a bind, using frozen spinach isn’t going to ruin it. Make your cooking experience as simple and enjoyable as possible.
For the Creamed Spinach With Nutmeg recipe, click here.
Don’t let the humble turkey intimidate you — it’s really not that complicated. We found a simple recipe to help you succeed without a doubt. It’s really important to cook your turkey at room temperature, so if you can take it out of the refrigerator even 2 hours before putting it in the oven, it will help to cook the meat evenly.
For the Herb Roasted Turkey Recipe, click here.
This is a slightly different take on your average turkey recipe. Instead of using the good old flour roux, this recipe uses tapioca starch to thicken the gravy. It makes the texture a little bit smoother all-round. Give it a try and you’ll never go back to the flour — and keep in mind that you’ll want to make this last, as you’ll need the braising liquid from the turkey.
For the Turkey Gravy recipe, click here.
This is a really simple pumpkin pie recipe without too many ingredients. Although there is nothing quite like home-made pie dough, for Thanksgiving it’s worth cutting yourself a break and just using store-bought dough. There’s just too much to do so make life a bit easier with these 10 Thanksgiving dishes you should just buy at the store
More from The Daily Meal: