Food

The goop Guide to Thanksgiving

Photo courtesy of Ryan Liebe

The goop Guide to Thanksgiving

A fail-safe holiday recipe is a precious thing, particularly if it can feed a crowd, be made ahead, and please the dietarily restricted (along with, of course, tasting absolutely spectacular). Our rather thorough catalog is full of such recipes, so we’ve collected them here to make planning your menu as easy as possible. There are quicker ways to roast a turkey, it turns out, and there are brilliant alternatives to turkey. There’s homemade cranberry chutney, wonderfully spiced and tart-sweet; epic vegetable sides; pressure-cooker turkey stock for soup; essential turkey gravy that we like to make a double batch of so we can freely sauce our sammies the next day; and more. The recipes below are all-time favorites.

COCKTAILS

Save the wine your guests bring to serve at dinner, and start things off with a fun, seasonal cocktail that showcases fall fruits like persimmon and pomegranate.

  • Spiced Persimmon Bourbon Cocktail

    Spiced Persimmon Bourbon Cocktail

    For a cold-weather cocktail that’s warming, a little bit sweet, and pleasantly spicy, this bourbon-spiked blend does the trick. Best of all, the persimmons can be puréed ahead of time; for a larger batch, double the maple-spiced simple syrup recipe.

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  • Crimson & Clover Sparkler

    Crimson & Clover Sparkler

    This version has it all: bubbles, warm spice, tart fruit, and a fanciful sugar rim.

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STARTERS

Skip the cheese and charcuterie board, just this once: Cheese straws and endive that gets dipped into crab salad whet the appetite without spoiling dinner, and they kick the proceedings up a notch.

  • Parmesan and Thyme Cheese Straws

    Parmesan and Thyme Cheese Straws

    Homemade cheese straws may sound like more trouble than they’re worth, but these come together quickly and easily and are SO much better than any store-bought version.

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  • Crab Salad in Endive

    Crab Salad in Endive

    Crab is pricey, but a little goes a long way here, and these elegant appetizers will upgrade any holiday party. Put together the crab salad in the morning, so all you have to do is plate and garnish before your guests arrive.

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FASTER TURKEY

Enjoy the turkey without devoting the entire day to roasting. Both of these recipes are fast and easy—and they totally deliver on rich, deep flavors.

  • Spatchcocked Turkey with Herbed Ghee

    Spatchcocked Turkey with Herbed Ghee

    This is the recipe that will convert you to the spatchcocked bird. It cooks faster and more evenly, and it ensures crispy skin all over (this includes thighs and legs—we’re looking at you, dark-meat fiends.) Plus it makes carving a real breeze.

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  • Roasted Turkey Breast with Molasses

    Roasted Turkey Breast with Molasses

    Brining the turkey breast guarantees moist meat, and roasting it with plenty of stuffing, herbs, and molasses ensures great flavor.

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NO-TURKEY ALTERNATIVES

Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, or just not into turkey, these alternative mains are at least as showstopping as the traditional bird.

  • Pumpkin Risotto

    Pumpkin Risotto

    Just when we thought we’d reached our threshold for pumpkin-flavored-everything, this risotto made us believers again. The savory combination of onions, wine, pumpkin, and Parmesan is beyond. For an added treat, chef Virginie Degryse suggests garnishing with maple-glazed pecans if you can find them.

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  • Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Apples

    Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Apples

    This pork tenderloin is easy to assemble and prepare—plus, it makes for a nice alternative to turkey or roast beef, which are so often served during the holidays. And who doesn’t love a one-pot dish?!

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STUFFING

GP’s classic version is just the best. Somehow celery seeds make the dish utterly transcendent. For vegetarians, we’ve studded the stuffing with kabocha squash for extra autumnal goodness. Note: Premade gluten-free stuffing mixes have improved significantly in recent years, so feel free to try them with either recipe.

  • Classic Bread Stuffing

    Classic Bread Stuffing

    Generous on the onions and fennel seeds, this stuffing is hearty and satisfying but not soggy or heavy as stuffing can sometimes be.

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  • Vegetarian Stuffing

    Vegetarian Stuffing

    Even omnivores will happily chow down on this meat-free stuffing, plus it’s filling enough to serve as a main course for the vegetarians at your Thanksgiving table.

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SALADS

You need at least one salad on your Thanksgiving table. Everything else is rich, creamy, and/or salty, so your palate needs the break. These four bright, beautiful, fresh salads are so delicious, even the salad-resistant will succumb.

ALL-STAR VEGETABLE SIDES

Fall produce is epic in every way. And these four recipes highlight that fact in the most delicious ways possible.

  • Roasted Squash with Brown Butter & Hazelnut Gremolata

    Roasted Squash with Brown Butter & Hazelnut Gremolata

    Brown butter makes everything better, and this roasted squash dish is no exception.

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  • Caramelized Brussels Sprouts

    Caramelized Brussels Sprouts

    These get deliciously sweet and crispy as they cook. Serve as a winter side dish to your greatest sprout cynic and watch them convert.

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  • Brown Butter Roasted Turnips and Greens

    Brown Butter Roasted Turnips and Greens

    Turnips are undoubtedly one of the most overlooked root vegetables, and definitely one of our favorites. Here we use baby white turnips, also known as Tokyo turnips, which have tender stalks and leaves that taste great when sautéed with a little olive oil and garlic. If you can’t find the Tokyo variety, conventional turnips will work just fine—simply peel and cut into 1-inch pieces before roasting. Serve alone or substitute kale or Swiss chard for the turnip greens.

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  • Caramelized Carrots & Shallots with Carrot Top Pesto

    Caramelized Carrots & Shallots with Carrot Top Pesto

    Roasting carrots and shallots at a super high temperature makes them sticky, sweet, and caramelized—in other words, delicious. Topping them with a pesto of cilantro, pumpkin seeds, and carrot tops (why waste all those beautiful greens?) makes them even better.

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POTATOES

We’re team crispy-roasty when it comes to potatoes, whether they’re sweet or Yukon Golds.

  • Yukon Gold Potatoes Roasted in Goose Fat

    Yukon Gold Potatoes Roasted in Goose Fat

    Goose fat is known for its high smoking point, which means that the fat in the roasting tin can get blindingly hot before the parboiled potatoes are added. Alongside this technical benefit, using goose fat gives the potatoes a deliciously rich flavor. This can be done in advance of the big day. Simply melt the goose fat gently and coat the parboiled potatoes with the melted fat. Place on your roasting tray and cover with cellophane. Refrigerate until ready to roast, allowing some time for the potatoes to come to room temperature before following the cooking times.

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  • Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with Almonds

    Hasselback Sweet Potatoes with Almonds

    This sweet potato update on the classic Hasselback potato recipe has delightfully sweet and savory flavors. Maple, garlic, thyme, black pepper, and toasted almonds combine to make a dish that’s supremely, addictively satisfying.

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SWEETS

If you’re hosting, let your guests bring dessert. If you’re a guest, make one of these—your host, not to mention everyone else, will really, really love you.

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