Traditional Thanksgiving Menu 2019

Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canadians!

This year, I went all out and cooked a delicious Thanksgiving dinner to celebrate the holiday. I mean, do I never not go all out for holiday cooking?! Our dinner consisted of two appetizers, three side dishes, one main, and one dessert.

Now I know you must be thinking that that’s a lot of food for just David and I, but this year we had some help from a few special family members that were visiting us on Vancouver Island. Plus, we ate leftovers for about 4 days afterwards!

If you are curious as to what we ate, and to get some ideas for your Thanksgiving dinner (especially my American friends), read on down below OR watch my YouTube video to see how to make these recipes and get some helpful entertaining tips!

Appetizers

Miso-Kabocha Squash Dip

Apart from being vegan and gluten-free, this appetizer was absolutely delicious! The combination of the sweet squash and salty miso are a perfect pairing–especially this time of year. I served this dip with a garnish of toasted pumpkin seeds, black sesame seeds, and a side of yummy gluten-free crackers!

Miso Kabocha Squash Dip

If you are looking for a festive and healthy appetizer for this Thanksgiving season, look no further than this recipe for Miso Kabocha Squash dip. Kabocha squash is incredibly nutritious and has a wonderful creamy texture which is perfect for this dip. Serve this dip with crackers or vegetables and you will have a great recipe that will please everyone this Thanksgiving!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 4 cups kabocha squash diced
  • 1 cup water for steaming
  • 2 tablespoons miso paste
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds toasted
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds toasted

Instructions
 

  • Steam the kabocha squash with the water for 20 minutes, or until tender. Set aside and let it cool slightly before blending.
  • Add the kabocha squash to a blender along with the rest of the ingredients. Pulse the blender to get the squash chopped up and then hold down the power until a nice smooth puree forms. Scrape down the blender as necessary. Depending on the moisture of the squash, you may need to add additional water to the dip.
  • Once it is smooth, transfer to a serving dish and garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds and black sesame seeds. Serve with crackers and enjoy!
Keyword fall recipe, holiday appetizer, kabocha squash, miso kabocha squash dip, thanksgiving appetizer

Parmesan & Herb Palmiers

Palmiers are typically served as sweet desserts at the end of the meal, but they also work incredibly well with savoury ingredients too! I used a combination of parsley, sage and Parmesan cheese in these Palmiers and they were a total hit! I also love this recipe since you can make it a few days in advance, freeze it, and bake from frozen! This is a handy recipe to have up your sleeve for any occasion!

Parmesan & Herb Palmiers

Melissa
This savoury recipe is perfect for entertaining. It is simple, quick and can be adjusted to fit the ingredients and flavours that you like! I use fresh parsley and sage along with Parmesan cheese in this recipe that are perfect for the fall.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine French
Servings 12

Ingredients
  

  • 1 sheet puff pastry
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage finely chopped
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Unroll the puff pastry so that it is laying flat on the countertop. Brush the puff pastry with the beaten egg and evenly sprinkle the parsley, sage, Parmesan and pepper evenly across the pastry.
  • Begin by rolling the pastry back up, starting with one side and rolling it into the middle. Repeat for the other side and ensure that it is rolled tightly so no filling falls out. Wrap the roll in parchment paper and place in the refrigerator for 40 minutes to firm up. Alternatively, if you are making this ahead of time, you can place it in the freezer and cook from frozen.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Remove the pastry roll from the refrigerator and unwrap it. Using a sharp knife, slice the roll into 1 centimetre thick slices. It's best to use a sawing motion to slice the roll so that you don't squish it. Place each of the pinwheels on a parchment lined baking tray about 2 inches apart.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden brown and the pastry is cooked. Once cooked, let the palmiers cool for 5 minutes then serve.
Keyword asian appetizers, easy appetizer, herb palmiers, holiday appetizers, palmiers, puff pastry recipes

Main & Side Dishes

Herbed Roast Chicken with Vegetables and Gravy

While turkey is the traditional food to eat on this holiday, it can be a little too much food for just two people! That’s why this year, I opted to make a chicken! I kept all the traditional Thanksgiving flavours in the chicken and roasted it alongside some carrots and onions. This combination made the perfect roast chicken and amazing gravy as well!

Herbed Roast Chicken with Vegetables and Gravy

Melissa
Roast chicken is often served as a Sunday meal, but why not jazz it up for Thanksgiving?! A roast chicken serves a much smaller crowd than a whole turkey, so this is a great option if you are entertaining for only a few people this Thanksgiving season. This chicken is packed with traditional Thanksgiving herbs and is kept incredibly juicy with lots of butter!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Resting Time 20 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 10 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, European, French

Ingredients
  

For the Chicken & Herb Butter:

  • 1 3-3.5 pound chicken preferably free range
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 3 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped

For the Roasted Vegetables:

  • 3 cloves garlic whole, peeled and smashed
  • 2 large carrots roughly chopped in 1-inch pieces
  • 2 yellow onions roughly chopped in 1-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

For the Gravy:

  • ¾ cup chicken drippings (or whatever is left in the roasting dish)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water

Instructions
 

For the Chicken & Herb Butter:

  • Begin by making the herb butter. Add the butter, parsley, sage and thyme into a bowl along with the finely chopped garlic. Mix everything to combine and set aside. You will use this mixture to rub underneath and on top of the chicken skin.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Remove the chicken from the packaging. Remove the giblets from the cavity (if they are included) and pat the outside of the chicken dry using a paper towel.
  • Get ready to stuff the bird by placing the chicken into a roasting dish. Prop the chicken up and season the cavity lightly with salt and pepper mixture. Next, cut 1 onion into quarters and stuff them into the cavity of the chicken along with the remaining 3 whole cloves of garlic.
  • Lay the chicken back down into the roasting pan, breast side up. Using your fingers, begin to separate the skin of the chicken from the breast and legs by running your fingers underneath the skin and gently pulling upwards. Try not to tear the skin.
  • Next, place tablespoon-sized balls of butter underneath the skin of the chicken, distributing it evenly across both on the breasts and the legs. I find it easiest to add dollops of the butter underneath the skin first then massage the butter across the breasts and legs by pressing on the top of the skin. If you use your hands to spread the butter underneath the skin, the moisture of the chicken makes it much harder and it tends to clump up.
  • Rub any the remaining butter mixture from your hands over the skin of the chicken. Make sure you rub the legs, wings and underside of the chicken as well as the breasts. F
  • Wash your hands and then sprinkle with salt and pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. Make sure to rub the olive oil evenly across the skin so that it gets nice and crisp.
  • To ensure that the chicken cooks evenly, truss the legs together. Simply use butchers twine to tie the legs together. It doesn't have to be too tight, just make sure the legs won't separate. Additionally, to ensure the wings don't overcook, simply tuck them underneath the chicken, no trussing required.
  • Scatter the remaining onion and chopped carrots on the bottom of the roasting dish and set the chicken on top.
  • Bake the chicken in the center of the oven for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, flip the chicken on its back and roast for another 15 minutes. After these 15 minutes, flip the chicken back to breast-side up and roast for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven once the temperature reaches 160 degrees F. Then, cover the chicken with aluminum foil and let it rest for at least 15 minutes before serving. Resting will continue to cook the chicken to its perfect doneness at 165 degrees F and will make it nice a juicy.

For the Gravy:

  • To make the gravy, simply pour the chicken drippings from the roasting pan into a small sauce pot. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil.
  • In a small bowl, mix the water and cornstarch together until it’s smooth and then add it to the pot. Whisk until the gravy has thickened up and pour into a gravy boat to serve.
  • Carve the chicken into the breasts, thighs, and drumsticks, and serve. Leftovers will keep for about 3 days in the fridge or can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Notes

How to Tell if a Chicken is Done
There are many ways to tell if a chicken is done and you don't necessarily need fancy equipment to do so. Here are some of my tricks:
  • Firmness. First off, the meat should be firm and white/golden in colour. If the meat is pink, jiggly, or rubbery, it needs more time in the oven.
  • Juices. The best way to tell if a chicken is done is to cut between the leg and the breast meat. If the juices run clear and the meat is white, then the chicken is done. If the juices are pink, then you need to cook it longer.
  • Thermometer. If you are uncertain if the chicken is done then check it with a thermometer. Insert the thermometer between the leg and the breast. When the thermometer reads 165°F, it is done. If the temperature is lower, then it needs more time in the oven. If it is above this temperature, it's overcooked.
Keyword fall dinner, fall recipes, herbed roast chicken, roast chicken, thanksgiving recipes, winter recipes

 

Traditional Bread Stuffing

I can’t do Thanksgiving without my famous Traditional Bread Stuffing recipe! Instead of stuffing the bird with it, I like to bake the stuffing in a separate dish to get a nice crisp top and soft inside. This recipe is so delicious, no wonder I make it again and again!

Traditional Bread Stuffing

Melissa
I cannot make it through the holiday season without having this delicious recipe for Traditional Bread Stuffing. I use a a locally made white bread from Portofino Bakery in this recipe and it is perfect for soaking up all the herb and vegetable flavours. Serve this hearty and comforting bread stuffing at Thanksgiving or Christmas and watch everyone gobble it up!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 10 slices white bread approximately 3/4 of a standard loaf
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/8 cup butter
  • 2 stalks celery finely diced
  • 2 carrots peeled and finely diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup chicken stock

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lay the sliced bread onto a baking tray in a single layer. Bake the bread in the oven for 5 minutes to dry out the bread. You can also leave the bread out overnight to dry it out.
  • While the bread is baking, preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and butter. Once hot, add the celery, carrots, onion, salt and pepper and saute until the vegetables have softened, but have not browned. This should take 5-7 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, slice the bread into small cubes and then add them to the skillet along with the sage and parsley. Mix everything together to combine.
  • Once mixed, remove the stuffing from the heat and add the stuffing into a 9x9 inch baking dish. Spread the stuffing evenly in the dish then pour the chicken stock all over the stuffing to moisten it.
  • Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 1 hour. Once the hour has elapsed, remove the aluminum foil from the baking dish and continue to bake for an additional 15-20 minutes so that the top gets nice and golden brown.
  • Remove the stuffing from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Keyword bread stuffing, thanksgiving recipes, traditional bread stuffing, turkey stuffing

 

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

Move over mashed potatoes, these Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes are here to steal the show! I thinly slice Yukon gold potatoes and layer them in a baking dish with lots of cheddar and Parmesan cheese before topping everything off with cream and chicken stock. This recipe is incredibly rich and definitely can’t be eaten too often, but it’s perfect for special occasions!

Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

Melissa
After many trials of testing this recipe for scalloped potatoes, I have finally nailed the recipe! This decadent potato dish includes thinly sliced potatoes that are cooked with cheddar and parmesan cheese, herbs, garlic, and lots of cream. As such, this recipe should be made with celebrating a very special occasion and not every day!
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine European
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 7 large Yukon gold potatoes peeled and sliced into 3mm thick slices
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese shredded
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme chopped
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Butter the bottom and sides of a 9x12” baking dish. Arrange one layer of potato slices across the bottom of the dish so that they slightly overlap. Top with ¼ cup cheddar cheese and 1/8 cup Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle a pinch of thyme and black pepper onto each layer.
  • Repeat this process until you have 5-6 layers of potatoes. Add the chopped garlic to the third layer.
  • Combine the heavy cream, chicken stock, and cornstarch together in a separate bowl and pour over the potatoes. Top the potatoes evenly with the remaining cheddar cheese.
  • Cover the dish with tin foil and bake in the oven for 1 hour. After 1 hour has elapsed, remove the foil and let the potatoes cook for an additional hour.
  • Let the potatoes cool for at least 20 minutes before digging in.

Notes

Note: It is best to bake these Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes the day before and let them cool completely before refrigerating. This will guarantee that the potatoes will absorb all the cream so you won't have runny potatoes!
Keyword cheese scalloped potatoes, chive mashed potatoes, christmas side dish, fall recipe, mashed potatoes, potato recipe, scalloped potatoes, thanksgiving recipe, thanksgiving side dish

Green Beans with Bacon

If you love the combination of sweet and salty flavours, then this recipe is for you! I combine fresh green beans with chunks of salty bacon, sweet brown sugar, and savoury red onion to make this incredible side dish. This whole dish comes together on the stovetop in just a few minutes, making it perfect for Thanksgiving dinner!

Green Beans with Bacon

Melissa
If you can’t decide on something sweet or savoury, this recipe is for you. Green beans are sautéed with crispy bacon, onion and brown sugar to make the perfect side dish for elegant celebrations.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 3 pounds fresh green beans
  • 10 slices bacon chopped
  • 1 large red onion sliced into rings
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ cup water

Instructions
 

  • Begin by trimming the beans and set them aside.
  • Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chopped bacon and cook until it has become nice and crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove the bacon from the pan along with all but 2 tablespoons of bacon fat.
  • Sauté the onion in the bacon fat until it has softened and has become translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Next, add the brown sugar and black pepper to the pan and mix to combine. Add the beans on top of the onions, followed by the bacon, and the water. Cover and let the beans steam for 5-7 minutes, or until they are bright green and tender.
  • Once the beans are cooked, mix everything together to combine then serve straight away in a large serving bowl. Enjoy!

Dessert

Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving just isn’t Thanksgiving without a traditional pumpkin pie! This pie filling gets a spicy kick from a dash of ground pepper and loads of festive spices. This pie is so good that you can serve it plain, or if you want, go all out with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream– it’s the holidays after all!

Classic Pumpkin Pie

Melissa
Thanksgiving just isn’t complete without a classic Pumpkin Pie. This recipe is all homemade, and while it is a bit challenging to make, the results are always worth it once you dig your fork into the spicy and creamy pie filling. You can serve this pie on its own or with a dollop of whipped cream.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 45 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 1 batch Homestyle Pie Dough
  • 1 egg beaten (for egg wash)
  • 1 tablespoon milk for egg wash
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups pure pumpkin puree
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin spice mix
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup 2% milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Roll out the pie dough on a lightly floured surface into a 10-12” circle. Carefully place the dough into a 9” pie dish. Fold the excess dough underneath to form a thick crust along the perimeter of the pie. Dock the bottom of the pie with a fork to avoid any air bubbles from forming.
  • Blind bake the pie for 10-12 minutes. To blind bake the pie, simply line the pie crust with a sheet of tin foil and add pie weights (or uncooked dry rice) to weigh down the pie. This ensures that the pie crust keeps its form.
  • While the crust is cooking, roll out a small piece of dough and use cookie cutters to cut out festive shapes to decorate the top of the pie once it’s done cooking. Brush each piece with egg wash and sprinkle lightly with white sugar. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Next prepare the pie filling. Add the eggs, pumpkin, brown sugar, cornstarch, salt, pumpkin spice mix, black pepper, milk and heavy cream. Mix everything together until it is combined and smooth.
  • Remove the pie crust from the oven and lift off the foil and rice. Pour the pie filling into the crust so that it comes ¾ of the way up. Brush the edges with egg wash and bake in the oven for 50-55 minutes. You will know it is done once the filling is not jiggly.
  • Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool for 20 minutes before adding the cookie decorations on top. Let the pie cool completely to room temperature (about 4 hours) before serving. If you are serving it the following day, loosely cover the pie with tin foil and place in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Enjoy on its own or with a dollop of fresh whipped cream. Enjoy!
Keyword fall pie, pie dough, pumpkin pie, shepherd's pie, thanksgiving dessert, thanksgiving pie, thanksgiving recipes

Shop for this Menu with my Thanksgiving Grocery List!

And that was my delicious (and incredibly filling) Thanksgiving menu for 2019!

If you want to make this same full menu that I did this year, I have a FREE printable grocery list! Click the link to print the PDF and take it to the grocery store with you! You will stay on track and organized when shopping during this busy time of year!

I hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Let me know what some of your favourite Thanksgiving recipes are in the comments below!

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