Fun Food Ideas For Your Family During Thanksgiving

Posted: November 17, 2021 12:36 pm

Thanksgiving is a time to share food and give thanks, but sometimes it can be a little tough to get the whole family together for a meal. With different diets or food allergies, not everyone can eat everything at Thanksgiving – which means that sometimes there’s just no way to have that traditional family meal that we all remember. We have listed some recipes that are easy to make and great for families of all sizes in this piece. Again, we have also included Amazon links to products for your shopping convenience. Be sure to check out the links to see more information about each of these products!

#1. Vegetable Lasagna

This easy-to-make recipe takes some time, but it is well worth the wait! Best of all, this dish is great for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike.

[Lasagna on Amazon]

– 1 (12 oz) package lasagna noodles
– 2 Tbsp. olive oil
– 1 onion, chopped
– 3 cloves garlic, minced
– salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
– 28 oz canned crushed tomatoes (San Marzano if you can find them)
– 1 (10 oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well – divided use
– 2 tsp. Dried oregano or mixed Italian herbs or made up of equal parts thyme, marjoram & basil leaves, or any combination of the three herbs with a total of 2 tsp. when mixed in equal parts.

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bring the 2 1/2 cups water to a boil in a saucepan. Remove from heat, add a tea bag and let steep for 4 minutes; discard tea bag. Stir the sugar into tea until dissolved – it will take some time since the tea must cool. When sugar is dissolved, stir in the remaining ingredients. Pour into an 8 x 8″ glass baking dish. Bake at 375 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown with edges slightly bubbling up around the perimeter of the pan. Cool on a wire rack before cutting into bars to serve.

#2. Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Homemade cranberry sauce is so much better than the canned stuff! This recipe makes a large batch so you can enjoy some immediately and freeze the rest for later.

[Cranberry Sauce on Amazon]

4 Cups of fresh cranberries
3/4 Cup white sugar
1/2 Cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tsp cinnamon

1) Pick through cranberries and discard any bad ones. Rinse and drain.
2) Place fresh cranberries into a saucepan with white sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Stir over med-low heat until the berries begin to pop (approx 5 minutes).
3) Reduce heat to simmer; let cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
4) Allow to cool slightly before serving or storing in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
5) Serve with turkey, chicken, or pork!

#3. Creamy Mashed Potatoes

The best-mashed potatoes are the ones that aren’t too runny or thick – they need to have a creamy consistency so you can pile them on top of each other. After you try this recipe, you’ll never go back to instant potatoes again!

[Creamy Mashed Potatoes on Amazon]

2 1/2 lbs (about 5 large)
baking potatoes (Russet),
peeled and cubed
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1-1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1) Boil cubed potatoes in salted water until tender. Drain well.
2) Add butter, milk, salt, pepper, and cheese to the saucepan with drained potatoes over medium heat. Mash with a potato masher just until smooth.
3) If the mashed potatoes are too dry or ‘tight,’ add more milk or cream – if they are too wet or loose, add more cheese!

#4. Pecan Pie

Pecans are one of my favorite Thanksgiving flavors – you can make all kinds of scrumptious desserts that use them as their base ingredient! This delicious pecan pie is no exception! Make it for your family this year? You’ll be glad you did!

[Pecan Pie on Amazon]

1 unbaked
9-inch pie crust
2 eggs slightly beaten
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup pecan halves

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9-inch pie pan.
2) Combine eggs and the next 5 ingredients; stir well.
3) Stir in pecans. Pour mixture into prepared pie crust.
4) Bake in preheated oven until the center is set (45 to 55 minutes). Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream or french vanilla ice cream. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

#5. Green Bean Casserole

This is a classic American side dish that has been enjoyed since the 1950s. The crisp French fried onions on top of this casserole are what make it so special! You can never have too many green bean recipes – why not try adding mushrooms to the sauce?

[Green Bean Casserole on Amazon]

1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups milk 1 (15 oz.)
4 cups cooked fresh or frozen green beans,

Directions :
1) Melt butter in a medium saucepan over low heat; stir in flour, salt, and pepper with whisk.
2) Gradually stir in milk; continue cooking over low heat until sauce thickens and bubbles, constantly stirring (3 to 5 minutes).
3) Remove from heat. Stir in French cut green beans. Pour into a 1-quart baking dish or 10-inch pie plate.
4) Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
5) Meanwhile, combine Cream Sauce ingredients except for butter; cook as directed above, stirring constantly.
6) Stir melted butter into Sauce just before serving. Top green bean casserole with Cream Sauce and sprinkle with French fried onions right before serving!

#6. Garlic Mashed Potatoes

This is another recipe that uses garlic for flavoring. Many people like to use roasted garlic in their mashed potatoes because it has a milder flavor than raw garlic – if you are using roasted garlic, reduce the amount of salt in this recipe!

[Garlic Mashed Potatoes on Amazon]

6-8 medium-sized russet baking potatoes
8 tablespoons butter
1 cup milk or cream
4 cloves fresh garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt

1) Peel and quarter the potatoes.
2) Boil them in salted water until tender (about 20 minutes). Drain well. 3) Add the remaining ingredients to the saucepan with the drained potatoes over low heat. Mash with a potato masher just until smooth.

#7. Sweet Potato Casserole

This is another classic Thanksgiving recipe – however, it is not one that everyone enjoys equally. People either love this dish or hate it! If you are looking for something different to serve your family alongside the traditional dishes, try this twist on sweet potato casserole!

[Sweet Potato Casserole]

3 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
1-1/2 cups milk
3 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup margarine or butter, melted
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup granulated sugar 1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple, drained (reserve juice) Topping

Directions :
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
2) In a large bowl, combine the mashed sweet potatoes, milk, eggs, 1/3 cup margarine or butter, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and nutmeg; beat until smooth. Stir in the granulated sugar, pineapple (and juice); mix well. Pour into prepared baking dish.
3) Bake for 40 to 45 minutes; then prepare the Topping by combining the first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl with a pastry blender or fork. Sprinkle evenly over casserole. Bake 15 more minutes until lightly golden brown on top.

#8. Pumpkin Pie

This is an absolute classic – but don’t forget to make two! One can never have too much pumpkin pie, especially around Thanksgiving time!

[Pumpkin Pie on Amazon]

1-1/4 cups canned pumpkin
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 (9 inches) unbaked pie shell Whipped Cream

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2) Mix pumpkin, sugar, and spices in a large bowl; spoon into pastry shell. Bake for 45 minutes or until the knife inserted halfway between center and edge comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.
3) When ready to serve, beat whipping cream and confectioner’s sugar in a medium bowl just until stiff peaks form when beaters are lifted; add chopped nuts. Serve pie with whipped cream on top!

#9. Pumpkin Bread Pudding

This recipe combines a large Thanksgiving classic – pumpkin pie! Bread pudding is another traditional dish that has been around for years.

[Pumpkin Bread Pudding on Amazon]

1 cup canned pumpkin puree
3 large eggs, beaten
1-1/2 cups half-and-half cream
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar unsweetened whipped cream

Directions :
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Whisk eggs in a large bowl until frothy; gradually whisk in the half&half.
Whisk together the remaining ingredients except for the brown sugar and whipped cream; fold into egg mixture until evenly combined.
Pour into the prepared pan and sprinkle evenly with the brown sugar. Bake bread pudding for 50 minutes or until the knife comes out clean (the center will be soft). Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream.

#10. Praline Pumpkin Cheesecake

This is a delicious, decadent dessert that is perfect for Thanksgiving!

For The Crust:
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup pecans, chopped and toasted
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For The Filling:
16 ounces cream cheese (at room temperature)
1-3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 large eggs (at room temperature) can pumpkin puree Pinch of salt For The Sauce: pie filling mix (in the baking aisle at your local grocery store; we used strawberry, but any flavor will do!)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup heavy creaming

caramel sauce for serving
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

1) Make The Crust: In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, flour, and pecans. Pour melted butter over the mixture and stir until evenly mixed. Press into a 9-inch springform pan and up the sides just a little bit. Bake for 10 minutes, then cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
2) Prepare the filling: Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F. In a large bowl with an electric mixer (or using a stand mixer), beat cream cheese and granulated sugar until smooth; blend in vanilla extract. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition; beat in pumpkin puree and salt. Pour batter over prepared crust.
3) Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until mostly set (the center should be slightly wobbly when the pan is gently shaken). Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake to loosen it from the pan; chill in refrigerator overnight (uncovered).
4) Make The Sauce: In a saucepan, combine pie filling mix and butter with heavy cream and bring to a boil while stirring constantly; simmer 3-5 minutes until mixture thickens – often whisking so it doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pan. Cool at room temperature for 20-25 minutes, then transfer to a sealed container and chill overnight.
5) To serve, remove the sides of the pan and transfer cheesecake to a serving plate. Drizzle with caramel sauce and top with whipped cream if desired.

In conclusion, the best family recipe ideas for Thanksgiving are the ones you’ve had since childhood. Although it’s nice to try new recipes, these are tried and true



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