Thanksgiving is Just Two Weeks Away!

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I wanted to share some of my favorite “Ten Dollar Dinners” recipes that could make for tasty additions to your table. Many, of course, could also be great should be going to a potluck this year, or even if you’d just like to bring a dessert to the home of your lovely host.

Speaking of turkey…two thoughts:

My Turkey Secret: Here is the question I get more than any other this time of year: How do you make a perfect turkey?  Well, here’s my secret: Alton Brown’s Roast Turkey.  Trust this voice of experience! Last year, I did a side-by-side comparison test. (My secret dream is to work for Cook’s Illustrated!). I made FOUR (!) turkeys last year (we have lots of family…), so I decided to try out four different recipes/cooking methods.  Alton’s was, without a doubt, THE BEST! By far. And yes, the brining is worth it! Here’s the recipe if you’d like to try it this year.

Not Everyone Needs a Turkey: On the other hand, not everyone is feeding an army on Thanksgiving. So, for a smaller group, consider buying just a turkey breast to roast.  While the per pound cost is slightly higher, the overall cost will be lower, and you won’t have waste.  If you must have the “full bird” look, perhaps get a large roasting chicken.  Even a small turkey is hard to polish off with only a few mouths to eat up leftovers. Here are my recipes for Flattened Pan-Roasted Chicken and Roasted Garlic Clove Chicken. If you have a copy of my cookbook, consider trying a one-pan option like the Herb-Roasted Chicken with Potatoes on page 144.

And just one more tip:

If you can bring yourself to buck tradition and serve something else altogether on Thanksgiving Day, you can load up on Thanksgiving goodies the day AFTER Thanksgiving for really cheap!  Perfect if you want to celebrate Thanksgiving on Saturday for pennies!

Here’s a quick list of recipes to consider serving up this Thanksgiving. As always, please share thoughts and photos on Facebook and Twitter (@melissadarabian).

Happy Thanksgiving!



Appetizers / Hors d’oeuvre

Caprese Tartlets

Antipasti Platter

BBQ Ranch Deviled Eggs

Green Salad with Roasted Pears and Blue Cheese

Orange-Scented Carrot Soup

Winter Kale Salad

Celery, Grapefruit and Olive Salad



Sweet Potato Empanadas

Classic Mashed Potatoes

Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes

Twice-Baked Mashed Potatoes

Crispy Potato Cake

Sweet Potato and Bacon Tots with Creamy Mustard Dipping Sauce

Sweet Potato-Beet Hash


Vegetables (and of course…Cranberry Salsa)

Sweet Vegetable Saute

Roasted Radishes and Carrots

Simple and Satisfying Broccoli

Roasted Asparagus with Lemon Vinaigrette

Glazed Carrots


Green Beans with Grainy Mustard and Pecans

Braised Collard Greens

Corn Saute

Cranberry Salsa



Rosemary Chocolate Chip Shortbread

Apple Crumble with Cardamon-Vanilla Caramel Sauce

Quick Cinnamon Apple Tarte

Spicy Butterscotch Pudding

Chocolate-Yam Marble Cake

Poached Pears with Quick Chocolate Sauce

Mom’s Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips

Orange Olive Oil Cake


Meat Entrees – In addition to (or even instead of!) turkey!

Roast Beef with Marsala Gravy

Sausage and Apple Stuffed Pork Roast