While you might have your favorite Thanksgiving recipes that you cook each year, it’s always fun to shake things up and try something new. To inspire you to elevate your Thanksgiving meal this year, today’s entertaining guide shares 7 Thanksgiving recipes from celebrity chefs and restaurateurs.
Thanksgiving Recipes from Celebrity Chefs & Restaurateurs
Whether you go wild for roasted turkey or just love indulging in side dishes, I can bet you’ll be gobbling up these delectable Thanksgiving recipes once you whip them up. Not to mention – you’ll definitely impress your guests with these gourmet Thanksgiving recipes. With that said… let’s dig in and get cooking!
To get your Thanksgiving off to a great start, why not serve up your guests a seasonal cocktail that will put them in the spirit of the season? The Cosy from Rekorderlig is the perfect seasonal drink to wow your friends and family. This easy-to-make cocktail is an old-time favorite hot apple cider with an exciting twist. The introduction of pear elevates this holiday beverage to new levels, bringing cheer to any Thanksgiving meal.
Rekorderlig’s Cosy Spiced Pear Cocktail a.k.a “The Cosy”
- 30ml spiced rum
- 1.5 tsp of pear puree
- 150 ml of Rekorderlig Apple Cider
- Dash of bitters
- 1 egg white
Mix all of the ingredients except the cider together. Gently heat the cider and pour into the mixed ingredients. Gently stir and pour into an insulated glass. Garnish with a slice of pear.
Photo Credit: Kevin Osterhout
The next delectable Thanksgiving recipe comes from Matt McCormick, the Corporate Chef at the Weber Grill Restaurant, which was created by the people who invented the Weber Charcoal kettle grill. He is responsible for coming up with delicious recipes for their five locations throughout the Midwest – downtown Chicago, Lombard, Schaumburg, Indianapolis, and St. Louis.
Smoke-Roasted Whole Turkey
- 1 each whole, young turkey (about 16 lbs)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 cup Weber Beer Can Chicken Seasoning
- 1 cup yellow onion, medium dice
- ½ cup celery, medium dice
- ½ cup carrot, medium dice
- 1 tsp dried Rosemary
- 1 tsp dried Thyme
- 1 tsp dried Sage
- 2 cups chicken broth
- ½ bag charcoal
- 1 pound Hickory Wood Chunks
- Remove the turkey from the equilibrium brine.
- Rub the olive oil all over the turkey, then season it with the beer can chicken seasoning all over.
- In a mixing bowl, combine onion, celery, carrot, rosemary, thyme, and sage. Set aside.
- Place one foil pan inside another. Lay the vegetable mixture from step 6 in the bottom of the top pan and pour in the chicken broth.
- Place the turkey, breast side down, inside the foil pan on top of the vegetable/broth mixture.
- Prepare the grill for indirect, medium-heat cooking (about 350°F-400°F), with the coals in two piles towards either side of the grill with the center totally empty
- Add the wood chunks divided between both sides of charcoal.
- Grill over indirect, medium heat for 1 hour with the lid closed. Grill temperature should stay between 350°F – 400°F.
- After 1 hour, flip the turkey over so the breast side is facing up. Grill 30 minutes more.
- After the 30 minutes has passed, take the temperature of the turkey in at least 3 separate places. You are looking for an internal temperature of 155°F for at least 3 seconds.
- If the turkey needs more, cook it longer, or check to see if the wings/legs need to be wrapped with foil.
- Once the bird has cooked through, remove it from the grill and place it on a platter. Cover this loosely with foil and let it sit for at least 20 minutes to rest before serving.
When it comes to scrumptious side dishes, one of my all-time faves is roasted brussels sprouts. This next comfort-food inspired Thanksgiving recipe is from Seed Kitchen & Bar, is a modern American neighborhood restaurant by Chef Doug Turbush, located in East Cobb, Georgia.
Caramelized Brussels Sprouts & Cauliflower
Brussels Sprouts & Cauliflower
- Cauliflower 1 head, cut into florets
- Olive Oil 3 Tbsp
- Salt 1 Tsp
- Pepper ¼ tsp
- Brussels Sprouts 24 heads, cut into ¼’s, outer leaves discarded
- Red Onion 1 ea, sliced thin
- Thai Basil 24 leaves
- Mint 24 leaves
- Cilantro 24 leaves
Preheat oven to 350. Preheat deep fryer to 350. Roast the cauliflower and toss the cauliflower with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place on a sheet pan and roast at 350°F for 10 minutes. Cool and reserve. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the brussels sprouts and cook for 4 minutes. Shock in ice water bath, then drain well and reserve.
Thai Herb Vinaigrette
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 ea Thai Chile, minced (remove seeds if you would like less spicy)
- 3 Tbsp Sugar
- ½ Cup Lime Juice
- ½ Cup Rice Wine Vinegar
- ½ Cup Fish Sauce
Combine all liquids and sugar to dissolve, add garlic and chile.
TO SERVE: Fry the cauliflower and brussels sprouts until deep golden brown (about 2 minutes). Toss with Thai vinaigrette, herbs, and red onion. Serve immediately.
If you love the sweet, creaminess of baked beans, then you’re in for a treat. The next mind-blowing Thanksgiving recipe is from Celebrity Chef Melissa Cookston, a 7-time World BBQ Champion who is also a Cookbook Author and Restaurateur of two successful businesses – Memphis BBQ Co. (that has multiple locations the South, including Mississippi and Georgia) and STEAK by Melissa.
Maple Chipotle Baked Beans from Scratch
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours
- 1 lb northern beans soaked overnight
- 6 slices bacon
- 1 TBS minced garlic
- 1 yellow onion diced
- ½ bell pepper green or red, diced
- 1½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp coarse ground black pepper
- 2 cups ketchup
- ½ cup Worcestershire sauce
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup Water
- ¼ cup Tabasco Chipotle Sauce
- 1 tbs Basic BBQ Rub
- Drain soaked beans, then place in a stockpot and cover with water to about 1″ above beans. Bring to a boil then simmer for 1 hour, adding water if necessary. Drain beans.
Cook Smithfield bacon in a pan until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, leaving rendered fat in a pan. Crumble bacon after it cools.
Add onions and bell peppers and cook for 3-4 minutes or until softened but not translucent. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute, then remove from heat.
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large baking dish add beans, onion/pepper/garlic mix from skillet and remaining ingredients. Mix well.
- Bake for 1½ hours or until beans are tender and liquids have thickened around beans.
Whether you serve them as a side dish or an appetizer (while everyone gathers around the living room), another tasty Thanksgiving recipe to make is crab cakes. The outstanding crab cake and Arrabiata sauce recipe below comes from Chef Vito Gnazzo, the Executive Chef at NYC’s famed hotspots Il Gattopardo and The Leopard. This is the perfect dish for your Thanksgiving table – easy to make but elevated just enough to impress your guests.
Crab Cake with Arrabiata Sauce
Prep Time: 35 mins
Cook Time: 7 mins
Total Time: 42 mins (approx.)
Makes 4 servings
- 1 Lb crabmeat
- 1 medium-sized green zucchini
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbsp mayo
- 1 Oz plain breadcrumbs
- ½ bunch parsley
- 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
- 2 Oz Spicy tomato sauce
- Lemon and micro greens to garnish
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Clean the crab meat from the bones; set in a bowl.
- Peel the zucchini, and very finely chop the peeled skin. Add the chopped zucchini skin to the bowl with the crabmeat.
- Finely chop the parsley, and add to bowl.
- Add breadcrumbs, mayo, and egg to the bowl.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Mix very well by hand, until there is a uniform consistency.
- Form 12 crab cakes, and set aside.
- Place a large saute pan (preferably non-stick), over medium heat, and add 2tbsp EVOO.
- Place the crab cakes on the hot pan, and brown on one side, flip and brown the other side.
- Place browned crab cakes on a baking sheet, and cook in the oven at 300°F for 3 mins.
- Remove from oven, and place on a paper towel-lined serving dish (to absorb any excess oil.)
- Place the crab cakes on plates (3 per plate) with the spicy tomato sauce.
- Garnish with lemon and micro greens.
On a cold Fall night, there’s nothing like hearty roasted veggies to satisfy your cravings, which is why they make the perfect side dish. To inspire your appetite, the next Thanksgiving recipe comes courtesy of Mark Stark, Owner & Executive Chef Bird & the Bottle Restaurant, in Santa Rosa, California.
Tunisian Roasted Carrots with Toasted Pine Nuts, Mint, Olives & Feta
- 2 lbs. baby rainbow carrots, scrubbed, tops removed
- ¼ cup honey
- ½ tbsp. cinnamon
- ½ tbsp. cardamom seeds
- Olive oil, to coat
- Salt and white pepper, to taste
- ½ cup mixed olives, whole
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- ½ bunch mint leaves
- 2 tbsp. pine nuts, toasted
- 3 tbsp. butter
- 1 each small orange
- ½ cup crumbled feta
- Toss the carrots with oil, salt, pepper, honey, cinnamon, and cardamom.
- Place in a roasting pan, or baking dish just big enough to hold in one layer.
- Cut the orange in half then squeeze the juice over the carrots, add the orange halves into the pan with the carrots.
- Cover with foil and roast until just tender, about 25 minutes.
- Remove the foil and cool the carrots until ready to serve. This can be done the day before and refrigerated.
- When ready to serve, melt the butter in a large pan to fit the carrots in a shallow layer.
- When the butter just starts to brown, add the carrots.
- Place in a 400-degree oven and cook until warmed through and the carrots are slightly browned.
- Remove the pan and toss in the olives, pine nuts, mint, and lemon juice.
- Place on a serving dish and sprinkle with the crumbled feta.
While it’s customary to bake a Pumpkin or Pecan Pie for Thanksgiving if you want to spice things up this year, try this bite-sized dessert from celebrity chef Nina Compton. In addition to being named James Beard “Best Chef: South” 2018 and one of Food & Wine magazine’s “Best New Chefs 2017”, she’s also the Chef/Owner of New Orleans’ gastronomic gem, Compère Lapin, and her newest restaurant concept, Bywater American Bistro. Nina says “During the holidays I like to make roasted banana zeppole with rum caramel. It’s a Caribbean spin on the classic Italian fried dough dessert with the banana and rum caramel sauce. Sometimes I even add pecans or other nuts to add more texture and depth to the dish. It’s the perfect fall treat!”
Pecan & Banana Zeppole with Rum Caramel Sauce
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Serves: 20 pieces
- 2 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil, plus extra for frying
- 1½ cups Cake Flour
- 2 tsp. Baking Powder
- ½ tsp. Salt
- 1¼ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
- ⅓ cup + ⅓ cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 ea. Large Egg
- ½ cup Whole Milk
- ½ cup Mashed Overripe Banana½ cup Toasted Diamond Heirloom Pecan
- Heat about two inches of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 375°F. Meanwhile, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, ¼ teaspoon of the cinnamon and ⅓ cup of the granulated sugar in a large bowl. Mix in pecans.
- Then, in another bowl, whisk the egg, milk, mashed banana and two tablespoons of vegetable oil. Combine the remaining ½ cup granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon in a shallow bowl and set aside for coating the cooked and drained zeppole’s.
- Whisk the banana mixture into the large bowl of dry ingredients until just moistened. Working in batches, drop a teaspoonful of dough into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 15 seconds per side. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels, then roll in the cinnamon sugar while still warm. Serve with rum caramel sauce (*recipe below).
Rum Caramel Sauce
- 2 lbs. Butter
- 4 lbs. Sugar
- 1½ Tbsp Salt
- 6 cups Cream
- ⅓ cup Rum
- 1 ea. Vanilla Bean (scraped)
Heat cream, rum, and vanilla until warm, set aside. In a large pot, melt the butter, add sugar and salt; cook until caramelized. Slowly add warm cream mixture and strain through a chinois and serve.
Now that you have your Thanksgiving menu planned, it’s time to set the table!
For tips on creating an effortless and elegant Thanksgiving tablescape, check out the recent entertaining tutorial on Inspirations & Celebrations. For more inspiring ideas, visit the Entertaining section.
[Header and featured image via Shutterstock; recipes and images c/o featured chefs and restaurants.]