Thanksgiving for Every Kind of Cook

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It's that time of the year again: When pumpkins stop being carved into Jack-o-Lanterns and start getting cooked into pies. Yep, we're talking about everyone's favorite food holiday, Thanksgiving. Whether it's your first time hosting Turkey Day, or you're a seasoned pro looking for more adventurous dishes, our November 2012 issue features six different menus for every kind of cook. (And psst, just got nominated for a FOLIO: Award for Best Overall Designalong with ourFOLIO nominated story, Honk If You're Hungry!) Find a menu fit for your Thanksgiving feast below!


For the first-timer, we show cooks how to make and carve a wonderfully easy Herb Butter Turkey with Cranberry Grapefruit Sauce, 4-ingredient Maple-Mashed Sweet Potatoes and a classic, yet simple Pecan Pie with Bourbon Ice Cream.

Our speedy menu guarantees dinner on the table in 2 hours. The timeline includes Cherry-Chipotle Turkey Breast, Microwavable Quick Cauliflower Puree and Chocolate Cream Puffs with Cranberry Compotemade from store-bought puff pastry.

For the adventurous cook, we packed a serious flavor punch with an Indian-inspired menu featuring Tandoori-Spiced Turkey with Cracked Pepper Gravy, Naan & Cashew Stuffing and Cardamom-Vanilla Custards.

Don't think we forgot about the vegetarians! This meatless menu consists of plenty of seasonal veggies that taste just like the holidays: Roasted Spiced Squash, Pistachio-Pomegranate Chopped Salad and Brown Butter Pumpkin Layer Cake, because vegetarians like dessert, too!

For the thrifty cook, we keep a budget at $40 to feed a crowd of eight. Here's how we do it: Buttermilk-Marinated Turkey with Onion Gravy, super-cost-efficient Creamed Cabbage and fancy but frugal Gingered Carrot & Kale Ribbons.

Finally, our Make-Ahead Menu provides a timeline that begins the cooking a week in advance for a stress-free holiday. Cornmeal Stuffing Muffins are made a week ahead, Sweet Potato and Apple Gratin is made 2 days ahead and all that's left to do on Thanksgiving Day is cook the Brined Dijon Turkey with Pan Gravy.