Thanksgiving Recipes Round-Up 2019

Whipped Rutabaga with Crispy Shallots
Whipped Rutabaga with Crispy Shallots

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.)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is the biggest annual cooking occasion at Nerds HQ. Through the rest of the year 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. Neither will our downstairs neighbors.)

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.

PS … we love you

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!

Thanksgiving recipes: Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy with Calvados (Apple Brandy)
Make Ahead Turkey Gravy with Calvados (Apple Brandy)


Key: (GF) Gluten Free —— (V) Vegetarian —— (Vegan) Animal Product Free. 



Sweet and Spicy Candied Peanuts
Sweet and Spicy Candied Peanuts


Curried Butternut Squash and Apple Soup with Maple Cream
Curried Butternut Squash and Apple Soup with Maple Cream
Creamy Mushroom Soup (contains sherry)
French Onion Soup with Garlic Butter Croutons (this appears in Cork and Knife! Contains sherry, brandy and wine)

Stock, Gravy and Sauces

Thanksgiving recipes: Cranberry Sauce with Cointreau
Cranberry Sauce with Cointreau


For some people, it’s all about the sides. 

Bread Pudding with Sausage, Apples and Sage (AKA: the BEST stuffing!!!)
Creamed Pearl Onions (contains sherry) (V)
Puy Lentils with Spinach (GF,  Vegan Friendly)
Roasted Cipollini Onions with Thyme (GF,  Vegan Friendly)


Warm Kale and Caramelized Wild Mushroom Salad
Warm Kale and Caramelized Wild Mushroom Salad
Warm Kale and Caramelized Wild Mushroom Salad (GF, V option) (contains sherry)


Sure, everyone loves pecan pie. But we like to think we can go a little outside the box, even on such a traditional occasion. There’s still plenty of inspiration for desserts in the fall season.

Apple Tarts with Rosemary-Lime Sugar
Hazelnut Praline Cheesecake (V) (contains Frangelico)
Salted Caramel Sauce (GF) (two versions of this sauce with bourbon and red wine are in Cork and Knife)
(All dessert selections are vegetarian but not vegan.)


This may sound strange coming from us, but you don’t want to go too crazy with the booze for Thanksgiving. We like to stick with a selection of one medium red and one white wine for the dinner itself, but when guests arrive, it’s great to offer them a festive cocktail. Choose something tasty from the following, stock enough ingredients for a couple of drinks per person, and make pitchers! 

Spiced Pear Cocktail with Rosemary
Spiced Pear Cocktail with Rosemary



Next-Day Breakfast!

The best part about waking up the day after Thanksgiving (notice we didn’t specify “morning”) is that your breakfast is pretty much already made. Don’t freeze your leftovers! With a minimum of legwork, you can turn the contents of those refrigerator Tupperwares and ziplock bags into a relaxed breakfast or brunch for you and your houseguests.

Corn, Scallion and Cheddar Strata
Corn, Scallion and Cheddar Strata


You won’t want to actually cook anything new the following evening. Here are a few suggestions to transform the remainders of your repast into an easy dinner for another night or two. 

Brussels Sprout Pizza with Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Goat Cheese
Brussels Sprout Pizza with Balsamic Caramelized Onions and Goat Cheese

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