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Thanksgiving recipes



Making soup and freezing it a few weeks in advance will certainly save a lot of time; if you are going to do this for a crowd, either use several smaller containers or take the soup from the freezer the night before.


I have adjusted the seasonings in this soup from the Watermark restaurant in Cleveland. The original recipe was featured in Bon Appétit, on Epicurious.com and in the Sacramento Bee. See below for some variations which will make this soup parve.

Serves 4-6

3 C chicken or vegetable broth
1 C whipping cream
1 15-oz can pumpkin (NOT pie mix)
2 TBSP packed dark brown sugar
1 ½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper
1 TBSP balsamic OR sherry vinegar
3/4 C (packed) grated sharp cheddar cheese (3 oz)
Chopped fresh cilantro

Bring broth and whipping cream to a boil in a heavy 3-qt pot. Whisk in pumpkin, brown sugar, cumin, chili powder, coriander and nutmeg. Reduce heat to medium and simmer (uncovered), stirring occasionally, until soup thickens slightly and flavors blend, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in the vinegar. Soup can be prepared up to a day ahead or frozen for serving in the future. Garnish each serving with cheddar cheese and cilantro before serving. This freezes very well. If you make this ahead in quantity, freeze it in a couple of smaller containers so that it won’t take forever to thaw.

Use soy or almond milk, half-and half or coconut milk instead of the cream.
Season with curry powder instead of listed spices.
Use Asiago instead of cheddar or garnish with sour cream, yogurt, crème
fraîche or non-dairy sour cream
Garnish with plain or roasted and salted pumpkin seeds.
Add black beans and top with Fritos
Add shredded chicken or turkey
If half-and-half is used, the soup may appear a little curdled. Running the soup through the blender on high speed will remedy this situation. Do not do this when the soup is very hot, as the heat may cause the lid of the blender to dislodge and cause a burn from spouting soup.


This my version of an Ahwahnee Lodge recipe originally printed in an early issue of SAVEUR magazine. The coconut milk option makes it fine to serve with turkey (or a Hanukkah brisket). The illustration shows how I got some little dinner guests to try the soup (and finish it!). Serves 12 to14

5 medium Garnet yams
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 large leek, white part only, trimmed, cleaned and chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed, chopped in small pieces
1 rib celery, trimmed and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 cup dry white wine (Vermouth works well)
1 bay leaf
10 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup heavy cream or coconut milk
Freshly ground pepper and salt
Chopped sweet red pepper or a drizzle of pesto and olive oil for garnish, if desired

Wash yams and poke each several times with end of a paring knife. Microwave on high, turning once, until the yams feel soft when squeezed, approximately 20 minutes. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then split in half lengthwise and scoop the flesh out into a bowl. Reserve.
While yams cook, heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot (at least 5 quart capacity) over medium-high heat. Add onions, leeks, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon or heat-proof spatula, until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add wine, scraping any browned bits from bottom of pot; cook until alcohol has evaporated, about 2 minutes.
Add bay leaf, stock and reserved yams to mixture in pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, until vegetables are very soft, about 30 minutes. Remove bay leaf.
Working in batches in a food processor or blender, purée soup until smooth. Return soup to pot, stir in cream or coconut milk and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and serve warm, or cool, refrigerate and serve chilled or reheated. You can also freeze this soup. Garnish with minced sweet red pepper or pesto thinned with olive oil.

Smiling Soup


This soup is good hot or cold and can be made well in advance. Corn retains a fresh flavor and texture when frozen or canned—fine alternatives when corn-on-the-cob is no longer available. If prepared with Trader Joe’s frozen roasted corn this soup tastes delicious but has a somewhat muddy color. If his frozen corn isn’t available, Trader Joe’s canned sweet corn or other frozen corn may be substituted. (Use the drained contents of 2- 15.25 oz cans.)

4 C (enough for 6 to 8 small servings)

1 TBSP olive oil
1 large shallot, minced
1 medium clove garlic, slivered
3 C sweet corn kernels (thawed 1-lb bag Trader Joe’s frozen sweet corn is great)
2 C vegetable or chicken broth
4 sprigs fresh thyme (stripped leaves and stems)
1 bay leaf
1 TBSP minced flat-leaf parsley
Pinch of kosher or sea salt
Fresh-ground pepper to taste
⅛ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
¼ C Almond Breeze (non-dairy milk substitute)
2 TBSP sherry
Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
Red Pepper Spread, non-dairy “sour cream” and/or chives for garnish.

Put the olive oil in a 2-quart saucepan and add the shallot and garlic. Sauté gently over medium heat until fragrant. Add the remaining ingredients except for the Almond Breeze, sherry and garnishes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered, until corn is tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove thyme stems and bay leaf, purée mixture in blender; put through food mill if you feel the texture is too rough. Add the almond milk and sherry; adjust the seasonings, adding cayenne if spicier soup is desired. For thinner soup add more broth or almond milk. Reheat or serve chilled.
Store in fridge or freezer. Gorgeous garnished with prepared red pepper spread and/or some parve “sour cream” (such as Tofutti) and /or chives.


This is adapted from a 1993 recipe in SUNSET magazine. Serves 8
2 –2 ½ lb small carrots, ¼" to ½" thick (2 – 3 bunches)
1 C chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 C honey mustard
1 TBSP unsalted parve margarine, cut into bits
1/3 C roasted and salted pistachios or almonds

Trim and peel the carrots. Cut any very thick ones in half lengthwise.
Place the carrots in a broad frying pan with a lid. Add the broth, whisk in the mustard, and scatter on the butter bits. Bring to a boil, cover, lower heat and simmer 5 to 12 minutes, or until carrots are just tender when pierced with the tip of a knife. Add more liquid if necessary.

Uncover and turn up heat to reduce the pan juices to a nice glaze. Shake the pan frequently to prevent sticking and scorching. Serve or cool, cover and store in refrigerator until next day. Reheat in pan over medium heat with 2 TBSP water, again shaking pan frequently.

Transfer carrots and sauce to a platter or a shallow vegetable dish and garnish with the chopped nuts.


Adapted for the processor from my mother's recipe. For stuffing, the cornbread will have to be coarsely crumbled or cut into cubes and dried. Half of this recipe is used for her stuffing for a small turkey (recipe below).

Preheat oven to 425°. Generously grease an 8" square pan or spray it with non-stick spray.
Place in bowl of processor fitted with steel blade:
1 C stone-ground cornmeal
1 C unbleached all-purpose flour
2 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¾ tsp salt
2 TBSP sugar
Pulse to sift and combine these ingredients.
Beat together in a 2-C measuring cup:
1 C Almond Breeze (non-dairy “milk”)
1 egg
2 TBSP canola oil
1 ½ tsp lemon juice
Remove cover of processor bowl and pour liquid evenly over surface of cornmeal mixture. Pulse until just combined. DO NOT OVERPROCESS!
Quickly transfer batter to prepared pan and spread evenly with spatula. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool in pan 5 minutes, then turn out onto rack to cool completely. This can be frozen for later use.


Once again I have my mother, Jennie Lang, to thank for this major player in the Thanksgiving meal. The lemon peel was added after my father-in-law told me that the best dressing he ever had included this ingredient. The other ingredients are infused with the flavorful oil from the peel when everything is tossed together, and by the time it’s baked with the dressing, it’s a tasty element in its own right. If you don’t have leftover bread to save ahead of time, think of buying day-old loaves—already on their way to the dried out state required for your dressing.

½ pan Jennie's cornbread, cut into cubes, dried overnight
4 C cubed yeast bread, assorted types, dried overnight
1 medium onion, diced (about 2 C)
¼ C canola oil, divided
2 ribs celery, diced (about 1 C)- save leaves for stock
½ C toasted sliced almonds
1 ½ tsp fresh thyme or ½ tsp dried
¼ C chopped Italian parsley
Peel of one lemon, removed with zester
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 egg
5 – 8 oz chicken or vegetable broth

Place bread cubes in big bowl and set aside. (Bread can be dried, cubed and set aside, covered, at room temperature a day ahead.) In a large skillet sauté the onion in half of the oil until translucent but not browned. Add celery, cover, and cook over low heat until celery softens a little. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking or browning. (Vegetables may be sautéed a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator.) Add the vegetables to the bread cubes and toss. Add the almonds, thyme, parsley, lemon peel and salt and pepper to taste. Toss again. Drizzle on the remaining 2 TBSP oil. Beat the egg in a glass measuring cup and add broth to make ¾ c. Pour this mixture over the bread mixture and toss gently to moisten evenly. Mixture should not be too wet, but it should definitely be moist. Add more broth if necessary.
Preheat oven to 350°. Place dressing in well-oiled 8" square glass or ceramic baking dish and cover tightly with oiled foil (oiled side down). Bake 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 20 more minutes until brown and crusty on surface. If it seems too dry upon uncovering it, drizzle on a little more broth before returning the dish to the oven. Remember that you will probably want to put some gravy on the stuffing, and that will moisten it later.


This is enough stuffing for a small turkey, about 13 - 14 lb. Do not add the broth if you are stuffing the bird. Fill the large and small cavities loosely with the mixture and secure with skewers. (A good trick for keeping the stuffing in the large cavity is to dam it with the heel of a loaf of bread.) The juices from the turkey will moisten the stuffing and flavor it deliciously. Also, when it is time to clean up the carcass after the meal is over, there are incredibly tasty bits of stuffing that get stuck between the ribs, and these are the cook's reward for all the hard work that went into preparing the bird!


This recipe, adapted from The Book of Jewish Food by Claudia Roden, makes a good accompaniment to either meat or fish and is suitable for Passover! The cabbage is a Dutch addition. Serves 8 – 10

4 eggs
5 to 6 TBSP vegetable oil plus more for the casserole
salt and pepper to taste (be generous)
1 large mild onion, finely grated
12 oz green cabbage, cut into ribbons
3 lbs russet potatoes

Generously oil a shallow casserole* of about 2 –2 ½ qt. capacity. Preheat oven to 350°.
In a large bowl beat the eggs with the onion, oil and seasonings. Set aside.
Microwave the cabbage in a covered container for about 2 minutes to soften it. Drain and discard any liquid that accumulates; set aside.
Peel and grate the potatoes on the coarse disk of food processor and stir at once into the egg mixture along with the cabbage. (Speed here prevents the potatoes from “tarnishing”.) Transfer the mixture to the prepared casserole and smooth the surface. Bake kugel about 1 hour. Unless it is already quite brown and crispy, turn the oven up to 450° and bake 5 to 10 minutes more to brown the top.

If you prefer a firmer kugel, you can add ¼ C potato starch or a couple of tablespoons of matzah meal to the final mixture.
* DO NOT USE PYREX GLASS, which doesn’t tolerate the 450° temperature—CORNING WARE IS OK.


Adapted from Gourmet Magazine, this do-ahead recipe is a timesaver whether you make it to serve at home or to bring as a gift. It provides a different twist while maintaining the traditional cranberry accompaniment for turkey. Makes about 3 Cups

½ lb shallots, smaller ones preferred
1 TBSP canola oil
¾ C sugar
½ C white wine vinegar
1 C white wine
½ tsp salt
1 C (5 oz) dried sour cherries, such as Montmorency (can be sweetened ones)
2 C fresh or unthawed frozen cranberries, picked over
½ C water

Blanch the shallots for 1 minute in a small saucepan of boiling water. Peel and separate into cloves. Cut large cloves lengthwise into 2 or 3 pieces.
Heat the oil over moderate heat in a heavy 2-qt. saucepan. Add the shallots, stirring to coat them with the oil. Add the sugar and 1 TBSP of the vinegar. Cook and stir gently until the sugar melts to a golden caramel.
Add the remaining vinegar, wine, and salt (watch out for active bubbling!); boil 1 minute. Add the cherries, lower heat, cover and simmer gently about 45 minutes, or until shallots are very tender.
Add the cranberries and water and boil gently, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until cranberries burst and liquid is syrupy, about 10 minutes. Transfer compote to a bowl; cool and serve at room temperature or cover and store in the refrigerator. May be made up to 5 days ahead. Bring to room temperature before serving. If compote is too dense, stir in a little hot water to achieve the consistency you prefer.


For a number of years our family has enjoyed this recipe by Julie Grimes Bottcher from FINE COOKING magazine. I have added a couple of my own steps to make both the preparation and the cleanup easier for a busy holiday cook. It can easily be doubled to serve a crowd and the leftovers are good reheated. The peeled and cubed squash from Costo works very well in this recipe. If your shallots are huge, cut them into sixths. Serves 6 very generously.

3 C butternut squash peeled and diced into ¾” cubes, (from about a 2-lb. squash)
4-6 medium shallots, peeled and quartered (I like to use the larger amount)
2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp granulated sugar
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 450°F. Line a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet with foil and oil or spray the foil with non-stick spray. In a large bowl toss the squash and shallots with the remaining ingredients. Spread the vegetables evenly on the prepared pan. Roast for 20 minutes. Toss and continue roasting until the vegetables are tender and lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes more. Before serving, taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.

Photo by Elise Bauer


This recipe, adapted from Bon Appétit magazine, affords lots of flexibility for holiday preparation. The beans can be steamed a day ahead and refrigerated until needed. Likewise the richly flavorful fennel and shallots can be roasted beforehand. 6 to 8 holiday servings

Nonstick pan spray or non-stick foil
2 large bulbs of fennel, trimmed
¾ lb shallots, peeled and halved (or quartered if very large)
5 TBSP olive oil, divided
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 lb haricots verts or slender green beans, trimmed and rinsed

Preheat oven to 450˚. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with non-stick spray or line it with non-stick foil. Cut fennel bulbs in half lengthwise; then, leaving some of the core still attached, cut into ½” wedges. Place fennel and shallot sections in a large bowl and toss with 3 TBSP of the olive oil to coat evenly.

Spread in a singe layer on the prepared sheet. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing every 10 minutes, until vegetables are tender and starting to brown, about 30 to 35 minutes. (They will soften more quickly if on a heavy dark pan.) Cool the vegetables and store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Steam the beans for about 5 minutes, or until tender-crisp. Immediately shock them in a big bowl of ice water (literally water with ice cubes in it) to stop the cooking and retain the bright green color of the beans. Drain beans well and spread them on a dishtowel. Gently roll up the towel with the beans inside and place the roll in a plastic bag. Store in fridge. This can be done a day ahead.

On serving day, remove the fennel and shallots and the beans from the fridge so that they can come to room temperature. Prepare a baking sheet as above. Heat oven to 400˚. Spread all the vegetables on the sheet and toss them with the remaining 2 TBSP oil. Place in oven until heated through, about 10 minutes, depending on the temperature of the vegetables. (This could be done while the first course is being served.) Transfer to a serving bowl and await compliments.


This is adapted from a recipe from Libby's, whose canned pumpkin has been a Thanksgiving staple for many, many years. It yields 2 loaves about 8"x 4" or 4 small loaves (good for gifts!).

Spray 2 - 8 ½ x 4 ½ or 4 – 3⅛ x 5 ¾ loaf pans with non-stick spray. Preheat oven to 350° (or 325° convection).

For the streusel:
½ C unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 C sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
Grated zest of one lemon
6 TBSP frozen unsalted parve margarine, cut into chunks

Place flour, sugar, cinnamon and zest in processor and pulse to combine. Distribute the pieces of butter or margarine over the surface of the dry ingredients and pulse to cut in evenly and achieve crumbly texture. Set aside.

For the batter:
2 large or extra-large eggs, slightly beaten
2 C sugar
½ C canola oil or other flavorless vegetable oil
1 C canned pumpkin (NOT pie mix!) OR cooked winter squash such as butternut or kabocha
2 ½ C all-purpose flour
1 TBSP pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 C grated fresh apple
1 C dried cranberries

Combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin in a medium-sized bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl whisk together the flour, spice, soda and salt. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the pumpkin mixture into it. Sprinkle the grated apple over the top. Stir gently just to moisten the dry ingredients evenly, then gently fold in the cranberries.
Turn batter into prepared pans, making centers a little lower than the sides. Distribute the streusel on top and press in very gently. Bake 1 hour for large loaves and 35-40 minutes for small ones. (Test convection-baked ones at 40 minutes for large and 35 minutes for small pans.) A tester in the center should come out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pans, then turn out onto rack to finish cooling. These freeze very well wrapped in foil or freezer-proof plastic wrap. It is best to use a serrated knife to cut the loaves, since this does the best job going through the pieces of dried fruit without making unsightly holes in the slices.


From Fetzer Winery 11 Servings

1 ½ C fresh cranberries
2/3 C brown sugar
½ C currants
1/3 C chopped celery
1/3 C diced apples
¼ C chopped toasted walnuts
¼ C minced candied ginger (crystallized or in syrup)
1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1 TBSP minced onion
¼ C water

Combine ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan. Simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes. Cool, then refrigerate. This will keep at least a week. Serve cool or at room temperature.


Serve as an accompaniment to the Thanksgiving turkey or as a component of a turkey sandwich. This is delicious and I regret that I do not know the source of it for crediting its creator. 6 Servings

2 ½ tablespoons olive oil
6 red onions, peeled, halved and sliced
1 TBSP tomato paste
2 TBSP brown sugar
¼ C balsamic vinegar
2/3 C red wine
salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large heavy skillet on a medium-high flame. Add the olive oil and heat until it just begins to ripple. Add the onion slices and the tomato paste and mix until combined and evenly coated.
Lower the heat and cook, covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the brown sugar, vinegar, wine, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook uncovered over moderately high heat until the mixture thickens and the onions are very soft. Can be made at least 4 days ahead and stored in the refrigerator when cool. Bring to room temperature to serve.


This adaptation of a recipe from OCEAN SPRAY Cranberries makes a colorful contribution to a Thanksgiving buffet. 6 generous servings

½ head red cabbage, shredded (You can substitute 2 8-oz. pkgs. prepared
red cabbage.)
½ red onion, thinly sliced
3 scallions, white and green parts, sliced
6 TBSP olive oil
2 TBSP red wine vinegar
2 TBSP sugar
¼ tsp ground mustard
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp ground cumin
1 6-ounce package sweetened dried cranberries (or 1 1/3 C dried cranberries)

Mix cabbage with red and green onions in large mixing bowl.
Whisk oil, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt, pepper and cumin together in a small bowl. Pour over cabbage mixture; add dried cranberries, mix thoroughly.
Marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour. You can prepare this up to 6 hours in advance. It is still good the next day, but it’s not as pretty.


Dessert maven Maida Heatter is the originator of this cake. Toast the nuts first to maximize their flavor. 12 - 16 servings

3 C all-purpose Flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
1 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp salt

1 C raisins (light or dark)
1 C chopped walnuts or pecans
2 C canned pumpkin (NOT PIE FILLING!)
2 C sugar
1 ¼ C canola oil
4 eggs (large or extra-large)
Powdered sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350˚. Grease and flour a 9”x13”x2” pan. Whisk together the flour, soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Mix a tablespoon of these combined ingredients with the raisins in a separate bowl. Add the nuts and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the pumpkin with the sugar and oil until smooth. Add eggs individually, beating after each until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients at low speed, scraping bowl with rubber spatula and beating only until smooth. Remove from mixer and stir in the raisins and nuts with any remaining flour. Turn the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
Bake for about 45 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool the cake on a rack and serve from the pan. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.
(If you are serving this with a dairy meal, cream cheese frosting or whipped cream would be nice with it.)