The 2021 Thanksgiving Menu of Our Wildest Dreams

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What do you want to eat for Thanksgiving? That’s the question we asked our resident experts this summer (because, yep, that’s when food publications dream about November). Like a pile of raked leaves that you want to jump into, the answers grew and grew and grew. It’s the potluck to end all potlucks. It’s the Residentsgiving.

Everyone is bringing a dish—from Carolina Gelen’s on-the-fly yogurt dip to Mandy Lee’s creamy kimchi gratin, Rick Martinez’s roast turkey al pastor, and Samantha Seneviratne’s chocolatey pecan pie. There’s something for everyone. Which leads us to the most important question of all: What do you want to eat for Thanksgiving? We’ve got even more inspiration (and butter, of course) at our holiday hub. And like every year, our editors are always here to help on the Hotline.

Photo by JULIA GARLAND. PROP STYLIST: MOLLY FITZSIMONS. FOOD STYLIST: ANNA BILLINGSKOG.

In this photo, left to right: Farmhouse Pottery Handturned Wood Candlestick. The Floral Society Lovely Taper Candles (Clay). Hawkins New York Essential Stackable Colored Glassware (Medium/Mustard). Revol Porcelain France Ash Wood Cake Stand.

Shrimp Toasts

By Chetna Makan, Food52 Resident

Chetna’s cheesy, herby shrimp toasts are super-simple to assemble (a dream for busy holiday dinner parties). Prep all the elements up to a day in advance to save yourself even more time on the big day.

Smoked Gouda Cheese Ball With Crisp Prosciutto

By Marissa Mullen, Food52’s Resident Cheese Plater

Channel retro energy with this smoky-salty gouda and prosciutto cheese ball from Marissa. Whether you prefer to scoop it up with sliced vegetables, potato chips, or crackers, a cheese ball is always such a hit, you may want to make two.

Sourdough Grissini

By Maurizio Leo, Food52’s Resident Bread Baker

Could you buy breadsticks? Sure, but you won’t want to ever again after making Maurizio’s sourdough grissini. Whether you prefer to dust them with za’atar, sesame seeds, everything bagel seasoning, or flaky salt, we bet they’ll be the first snacks to disappear.

Last-Minute Yogurt Dip

By Carolina Gelen, Food52 Resident

This dip from Carolina uses just a few ingredients and takes just a few minutes, and still delivers “oh wow!” flavor. Feel very free to swap and substitute (say, ricotta instead of yogurt, or dill instead of parsley) depending on what you have around.

Sesame Boulevardier

By John deBary, Drinks52 Resident

Make life a little easier and mix this drink a day or two in advance, then let it hang out in the fridge until the time is right. John developed this drink to serve as a digestif-style palate cleanser between the savory and sweet courses of a Thanksgiving (or any) meal.

In this photo, left to right: Creekside Farms Feather & Wheat Harvest Wreath. MADRE Linen Napkins (Tamarindo). Casafina Just-Add-the-Turkey Thanksgiving Set (Platter).

Pavo al Pastor

By Rick Martinez, Food52’s Resident Sugar Man

Typically made with pork—thinly sliced, then stacked onto a vertical skewer—al pastor was the muse for Rick’s turkey. Seasoned with achiote paste and garlic, and roasted over pineapple and onion, this bird is happiest served with warm tortillas.

Cranberry Salsa Macha

By Rick Martinez, Food52’s Resident Sugar Man

To go with your Pavo al Pastor. Rick’s Thanksgiving salsa is sweet-and-sour from dried cranberries, extra nutty from pecans and sesame seeds, and cozy-as-a-hug from chiles guajillo.

Caramelized Onion Gravy

By Carolina Gelen, Food52 Resident

A savory, sweet, suspiciously simple gravy that will ruin you for all others. Pro tip: You can make this recipe from Carolina a few days ahead of time. Store in the fridge and gently reheat on the stove before serving.

Photo by Julia Gartland. Food stylist: Anna Billingskog. Prop stylist: Molly Fitzsimons.

In this photo, left to right: Luigi Bormioli
Roma Italian Glassware. Farmhouse Pottery
Handcrafted Wood Salad Bowls. Food52 by Jono Pandolfi Serving Platter.

Buttermilk Biscuits With Pumpkin Chile Butter

By Melina Hammer, Food52 Resident

Not pumpkin butter as in pumpkin butter—but pumpkin purée mashed into soft butter. Add your choice of chile paste, from funky gochujang to warming harissa, and you’ve got a compound butter you’ll want to slather on everything (psst, it’s especially great on pasta).

Cornbread Stuffing but Make It Taco

By Sohla El-Waylly, Food52’s Resident Sohla

Lovingly inspired by Taco Bell, this stuffing from Sohla—with ground turkey, shredded iceberg, diced tomatoes, grated cheese, and sour cream—could be a meal in itself. Take it off-script with whatever ground meat you love (or even tofu for vegetarians).

Grandma Potatoes

By Emma Laperruque, Food52’s Resident Minimalist

Not Grandma’s Potatoes—Emma’s family dropped the apostrophe-s decades ago. As she writes, “My grandma, Jolly, has been making this recipe since she got married the first time—which was 72 years ago.”

Kabocha Fried Rice

By WoonHeng Chia, Food52 Resident

You only need a handful of ingredients for this super-savory fried rice from WoonHeng. Kabocha adds squashy sweetness, while rehydrated shiitakes bring loads of umami. Serve with a side of chile oil if you’d like a little kick.

Garlicky Fan Rolls

By Erin McDowell, Food52’s Resident Baking BFF

Calling all garlic bread fans. That’s everyone, right? These almost-too-adorable-to-eat rolls from Erin bake up in a muffin pan and would love to be slathered in gravy. Save any leftovers for next-day turkey sandwiches.

Spiced Sweet Potato Gnocchi With Sage & Hazelnuts

By Meryl Feinstein, Food52’s Resident Pasta Maker

Whether you’re searching for a hefty vegetarian dish for the Thanksgiving spread or want to use up a few leftover roasted potatoes, look no further than Meryl’s sweet potato gnocchi. Bonus points: They can be prepared and frozen in advance, then boiled (and sautéed in butter) right before serving.

Habichuelas Guisadas al Estilo de la Costa From Maricel Presilla

By Kristen Miglore, Food52’s Resident Genius

Unlike their more casserole-y cousins, these bright green beans from Maricel Presilla’s opus Gran Cocina Latina will take under 10 minutes in one skillet on the stovetop. Despite their speed, they develop loads of flavor fast, thanks to a quick three-allium sofrito and surprisingly simple splash of milk to hug the beans at the end. (Bonus: Nondairy milks are very welcome, too.)

Creamy Kimchi Gratin

By Mandy Lee, Food52’s Resident Innovator

Potato gratins are great; kimchi gratins are better. Spicy, tangy, and creamy all at once, this cheesy casserole from Mandy offers the richness we all crave during a holiday meal, with enough sharpness to leave you ready for another bite.

Raw & Caramelized Brussels Sprouts With Salty-Sweet Pepitas

By Murielle Banackissa, Food52’s Resident Vegan Adventurer

With charred and raw Brussels sprouts, caramelized shallots, and sweet-and-salty pepitas, this is no ordinary vegetable side dish. Contrary to years past, with Murielle’s version on the table, everyone will be shouting, “Pass the Brussels!”

Radicchio & Pickled Radish Salad

By Amy Chaplin, Food52’s Resident Vegetarian-at-Large

Amy’s colorful salad instantly brightens any beige-leaning meal. With plenty of crunch and zing from the raw and pickled vegetables, plus pomegranate seeds for pops of sweetness, you just may add this to your weekly rotation.

Photo by Julia Gartland. Food stylist: Anna Billingskog. Prop stylist: Molly Fitzsimons.

In this photo, left to right: Serax x Yotam Ottolenghi Feast Dinnerware by Yotam Ottolenghi (Navy Dessert Plates). Cambridge Silversmiths
Classic Everyday Satin Flatware (Champagne).

Sheet-Pan Cranberry Crisp

By Emma Laperruque, Food52’s Resident Minimalist

The same little ingredient list as a classic fruit crisp. But, by simply changing up the pan, Emma gets her ideal streusel-to-fruit ratio (that is, equal parts of each). Now pass the ice cream, would you?

Apple Pecan Pie

By Erin McDowell, Food52’s Resident Baking BFF

If you want (nay, need!) both the homey comfort of apple pie and the syrup-cloaked nuttiness of pecan pie, Erin has your new favorite dessert. Think of it as the best of both worlds. And yes, the leftovers make a great breakfast.

Pumpkin Cotton Cheesecake

By Hana Asbrink, Food52’s Resident Dinner Wrangler

Hana marries the classic pumpkin pie (or even pumpkin cheesecake) found on many Thanksgiving tables with the light-as-air Japanese cheesecake. While it can be enjoyed warm, it will taste even better after spending a minimum of a few hours firming up in the fridge.

Chocolate Chunk & Pecan Pie With No-Churn Bourbon Ice Cream

Samantha Seneviratne, Food52’s Resident Parent

Samantha calls this pie “dead simple.” You can make the pastry by hand and the filling in one bowl. Plus, since it’s best served warm, you can throw it in the oven when everyone is sitting down to dinner (and the oven is finally empty again, phew).

Hanetsuki Gyoza With Thanksgiving Leftovers

By Hana Asbrink, Food52’s Resident Dinner Wrangler

Hana’s pan-fried dumplings make use of some of the most common Thanksgiving leftovers—but feel free to use what you have. You can easily swap in things like sweet potato mash, green beans, and mushroom stuffing. Just follow the rough ratio of components.

Photo by Rocky Luten

In this photo, left to right: Siren Song
Floral Print Melamine Plates (Antwerp B). Farmhouse Pottery
Handturned Wood Candlestick. The Floral Society Lovely Taper Candles (Miel). Creekside Farms Feather & Wheat Harvest Wreath.

By Nicole Crowder, Home52’s Resident Design Wiz

Every holiday feast needs a beautiful backdrop. So we asked Home52’s Resident Design Wiz Nicole to pick a few of her faves from the Food52 Shop to complement the menu. The best part? It’s yours to re-create. Here’s a pro styling tip: Invert a wreath in the center of the table—it becomes the base of a centerpiece that can then be filled with berries, fruits, and dried flowers. Thanks, Nicole!

In this photo, left to right: Bombabird Ceramics Handmade Textured Bud Vases. Hawkins New York Essential Serving Bowl (Mustard). MADRE Linen Napkins (Avocado). Creekside Farms Feather & Wheat Harvest Wreath. Casafina Just-Add-the-Turkey Thanksgiving Set (Platter).


What will you make from Residentsgiving? Let us know in the comments.



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