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There’s something classic and sentimental about traditional Thanksgiving dishes, bringing back memories of years gone by and those we’ve shared our dinners with. While some of the best classic recipes take a little time, they come together to create a meal that’s truly made with love. While everyone’s menu looks a little different, it’s spending time together in the kitchen and around the table that makes for a happy Thanksgiving.
The classic dish that completes a traditional Thanksgiving dinner is turkey, and it’ll spend several hours roasting in the oven, making it a true labor of love. However, once it’s seasoned and stuffed, you’ll have plenty of time to prepare other traditional dishes while it cooks in the oven.
The best classic Thanksgiving recipes call for turkeys to be stuffed with a seasoned mixture of bread, onion, and celery which will later be taken out and served separately. However, you can also bake your stuffing in its own pan. With fresh sprigs of sage, rosemary, and thyme, this is one of the traditional Thanksgiving dishes that you’re unlikely to enjoy any other time of year.
There are several ways to make gravy, including pre-made packages, but since it’s a dish that completes a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, try preparing it the old fashioned way with the fatty drippings from the roasted turkey. Once the turkey’s out of the oven, strain the remaining contents of the pan through a colander, and use the liquid to whip up some gravy while the turkey rests before the meal.
Every family has its own favorite potatoes for their Thanksgiving menu. Some roast them, and others bake casseroles, but creamy mashed potatoes is one of the most common choices. If your family doesn’t have a traditional recipe, try something new this year. Mix up your potatoes with skin on or off. Try switching the milk for cream. Either way, it’ll taste delicious topped with homemade gravy.
Every meal needs some healthy vegetables, and green beans are often the dish that completes a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. While you can use fresh, canned, or even frozen green beans, you can’t forget the essential fried onions for a classic green bean casserole. Depending on the type of sauce you include in your casserole, you can make a lighter or more decadent version of this Thanksgiving menu staple.
Even though you’ll likely never make cranberry sauce outside of the holiday season, it’s a simple and easy recipe that any cook can try with fresh or frozen cranberries. Simmering the sauce doesn’t take much time, and it’s one of the best classic Thanksgiving recipes that you can make in advance and save in the fridge until dinner time.
Top off a happy Thanksgiving with dessert, and there’s nothing more seasonal than pumpkin pie. Learning how to make pie crust is a time-honored tradition, and since it just has a bottom crust, it’s a little easier to prepare. Be sure to cook your pie until the filling no longer giggles, and serve it with a dollop of whipped cream.
Whether you end up serving a full feast of classic recipes or you bring a simple dish to the family dinner, taking time to prepare food for your loved ones will bring light and warmth to your holiday, and it’s the time together that truly makes a happy Thanksgiving.
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