Our annual Thanksgiving recipe round-up has a little twist of something special this year. We published our first cookbook, Cork and Knife, earlier in the year, and it celebrates cooking with alcohol. If you haven’t picked up your copy yet, now’s the perfect time — and it’ll make a great holiday (or Thanksgiving host) gift. We’ll soon post an exclusive recipe from the book, but in the meantime, in the summaries below, we’ve marked recipes which contain booze in bold.
If one thing on this green earth is certain, it’s that in about a week and a half, most of the US will be engaged in stuffing a turkey and then stuffing themselves, with the turkey, like some kind of human Turducken. Let’s call it a “Turkhuman” (unless you’re actually stuffing yourselves with a stuffed Turducken, in which case I don’t know what to call you. Answers on a postcard please.)
When I was growing up, an “annual” was a comic-strip-based holiday gift that kept you chuckling for about a day and a half before being stuffed into a cupboard and forgotten about. I like to think our annual Thanksgiving roundup follows that tradition.
This accurately describes our run-up to Thanksgiving this year:
September: – *glances at calendar* – “OK, plenty of time to plan our T-day, we’ll take it nice and slow this year, no need to stress” – * yawns, takes sip of tea, looks back down at calendar* – “HOLY CRAP IT’S NOVEMBER 14th AND WE’VE DONE NOTHING WE’RE SCREWED, BURN IT DOWN, BURN IT ALL DOWN”
Seriously. Our work schedules (our real work, you know, not this culinary frippery) became uncommonly strange and busy, and what with one thing and another and yet a third thing, and then the first two things again because they didn’t get done properly the first time, we didn’t stick with our disciplined scheme from previous years where we make stock exactly two weeks in advance and proceed from there armed with post-its and string and pins for the crazy wall and it all somehow comes together on the day. This year our minds were elsewhere and now November 23rd is coming up and we have to scramble.
It may seem as though there’s even less certainty than usual in the world at the moment. If one thing is certain, though, it’s that this time next week, most of the US will be engaged in stuffing a turkey and then stuffing themselves, with the turkey, like some kind of human Turducken – let’s call it a “Turstuffan” (unless you’re actually stuffing yourselves with a stuffed Turducken, in which case I don’t know what to call you).
It’s also the biggest cooking occasion at Nerds HQ – generally we cook for ourselves and then say “hey look internet, we made a thing, ok thx bai” – but this day, of all days, we’re committed to cooking for a large group who aren’t afraid to give their instant feedback. It’s intimidating! We couldn’t do it without a set of tried-and-tested Thanksgiving recipes that we have tweaked over the years to make them really tasty and, just as importantly, to keep preparation and cooking as stress-free as possible. (We’ll never forget the year we accidentally brined the kitchen floor with about 10 gallons of spiced saltwater.)
So here are our dishes. Appetizers, entree and sides, the all-important gravy (you don’t have to make your own stock, but if you can swing it, it adds amazing flavor), sides that’ll knock your socks off, desserts, and some great ways to use up the inevitable leftovers. We hope you find these Thanksgiving recipes as enjoyable to make and eat as we do.
Finally, and most importantly, this holiday is about gratitude, so we want to take the opportunity to say thank you. Specifically, thank you, you reader there, you. We started this blog as a way to get our recipes down in writing where we’d be able to find them again. It has grown in ways we never expected, and it has become a springboard for our cooking, writing and food photography.
Your encouragement, positive comments, ideas and adaptations are what keep us coming back week after week to make something new that you might like. Most of all, seeing you cook, enjoy, adapt, and document your own versions means more to us than we can say. Please keep letting us know how the recipes worked for you, and send us your pictures! You can always tag us on Instagram (@nerdswithknives) or just comment under a recipe post. We always appreciate it.
From us, Matt and Emily, to you, your families, your kitchen and table, we wish you the very best and we can’t wait to show you what we have planned next! Happy Thanksgiving!
Cooking for a big holiday is hard enough without having to search for and keep track of a million recipes. It’s hard to organize all that stuff! Believe me, I struggle with that too (which is why I have a “Thanksgiving Timing Spreadsheet” that has events on it like, ‘dog probably needs to pee’ and ‘remind Matt that he loves you even though you get extremely stressed out before dinner parties’).
So whether you’re hosting a a feast for 30 or just making a single dish to bring along, you need recipes for Thanksgiving that are simple, look fantastic and are most of all, delicious. That’s why we’ve listed our all time favorites below. Here you’ll find ideas for tasty appetizers, fantastic sides and what we think is the best turkey gravy in the world (seriously, you have to try it).
And because you’re likely to have a house full of hungry people over the weekend, we’ve included a few next-day breakfast ideas and recipes that make the most of your Thanksgiving recipe leftovers.