Thanksgiving is just around the corner for us Canadians, and I am as excited as ever to celebrate! This year, I have planned a Local Harvest Thanksgiving Menu that features lots of local ingredients from Vancouver Island. Not only are there tons of local producers and farmers on Vancouver Island, the products that they supply are top notch and incredibly delicious. Even if you don’t live on Vancouver Island, you can still make this Local Harvest Thanksgiving Menu using ingredients that are local to you!
I have come up with a festive menu that includes everything from appetizers to dessert. The menu includes traditional favourites such as turkey, bread stuffing, and fall vegetables, but with a bit of a twist. I have also come up with some amazing new Thanksgiving appetizers that everyone will love!
Read my blog post to see what recipes I have included in my Local Harvest Thanksgiving Menu! Also, check out my Thanksgiving Special video on YouTube to watch me make these all from scratch!
Dried Apricots with Fromage Frais, Walnuts & Honey
This recipe for Dried Apricots with Fromage Frais, Walnuts & Honey is my fall take on the famous Devil’s on Horseback appetizer. I love all the incredible fall flavours and colours of this appetizer, so it will look so festive to kick off your Thanksgiving get-together.
My Dried Apricots with Fromage Frais, Walnuts & Honey features dried apricots (of course), local Fromage Frais from Little Qualicum Cheeseworks. This Fromage Frais is absolutely incredible and has a nice smooth texture and tartness, kind of like a more tart cream cheese. These dainty appetizers are topped off with toasted walnuts, a sprig of rosemary for freshness, and a drizzle of local honey from Babe’s Honey Farm.
There is no recipe for these Dried Apricots with Fromage Frais, Walnuts & Honey, it’s just a simple assembly!
Apple Cider Glazed Meatballs
Who doesn’t love crockpot meatballs during the holiday season? My Apple Cider Meatballs are an autumnal take on traditional crockpot meatballs, with a sweet, savoury and autumn spice flavour. However, unlike regular crockpot meatballs where you can dump all the sauce ingredients into the crockpot, the sauce must be cooked down first, or else it becomes too watery. But don’t worry, this additional step is SO worth it!
Feel free to make your own homemade meatballs for this recipe, or take a quick and convenient shortcut and use frozen store-bought meatballs. I really prefer the frozen Swedish meatballs (or any meatball with a combination of pork and beef) as opposed to Italian meatballs as they have a more neutral flavour.
A Show-Stopping Brown Butter & Sage Turkey
Turkey might not be everyone’s favourite dish, but this Brown Butter & Sage Turkey will have everyone asking for the recipe. A 24-hour dry brine is the secret to keeping this turkey super juicy and tender, and is an easy step that anyone can do to enhance a regular roast turkey.
In addition to this dry brine, the turkey is covered in copious amounts of browned butter that adds flavour and juiciness to the turkey. To add additional flavour, I add whole sage leaves into the brown butter once it is done cooking to allow the sage oils to infuse throughout the butter. This adds wonderful flavour and a nice aroma to the turkey!
Sourdough Bread Stuffing
Take your traditional bread stuffing to a whole new level by using your favourite sourdough bread! This simple swap really enhances the flavour of bread stuffing and makes it extra special for the holidays!
I combine carrots, celery, onions, chicken stock, sage, and parsley with my favourite ‘Lunchpail’ sourdough from a local bakery called Working Culture Bread. Whether you get a bakery made loaf, or make your own sourdough yourself, be sure to make extra as everyone will be having seconds…and thirds!
Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Thanksgiving is not complete without a serving of mashed potatoes. My recipe for Creamy Mashed Potatoes is super simple and is a staple recipe that can really be used for any holiday celebration, or even as part of a weeknight meal.
I like to combine Russet potatoes and Yukon Gold potatoes to yield the perfect mashed potato recipe. The russet variety adds a fluffy starchy texture and flavour, whereas the Yukon gold add a wonderful creaminess.
To add extra decadence, I add warm half and half (cream/milk) and butter that has been infused with garlic and bay leaves. This adds lots of creaminess to the mashed potatoes and a subtle garlic flavour that goes great with all the other dishes on this menu.
Roasted Squash Trio with Orange Honey Butter
What could possibly make roasted seasonal squash better? How about a sweet and delicious homemade honey butter glaze?
My roasted squash trio is comprised of butternut squash, acorn squash, and kabocha squash. These are all delicious seasonal squash that have to be on the menu during the fall months. To make these roasted squash even better, I make a flavourful Orange Honey Butter, again with local honey from Babe’s Honey Farm.
To add some colour and a bit more texture and flavour, I also garnish this recipe with a autumnal gremolata. The gremolata is made from parsley, chopped pepitas and dried cranberries. This extra addition is so spectacular and really makes this recipe festive for the holiday!
Easy Shaved Brussel Sprouts with Bacon
I believe there has to be greens at every Thanksgiving table. But to be festive, I made this super simple Easy Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Bacon. This dish combines sweet, salty, tart, and smoky flavours and really enhances the flavour of brussels sprouts.
Not only did I use local brussel sprouts from Mitchell’s Farm Market in this recipe, I also used local bacon from Red Barn Market. They all come together with the addition of apple cider vinegar, onion, and a drizzle of maple syrup. This recipe is so simple yet so delicious!
Homestyle Apple Pie
Apple pie is always a great choice to serve on Thanksgiving as it is a crowd favourite. My Homestyle Apple Pie is special as the filling is cooked before adding it into the pie. This allows the bottom crust to stay nice a crisp and your pie won’t get soggy! Make this with my Homestyle Pie Dough and you will have the perfect pie for Thanksgiving!
Watch My Video!
Check out my YouTube video to see me make this ENTIRE menu from start to finish! Don’t forget to like and subscribe to my channel! Happy Thanksgiving!