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Planning the Best Thanksgiving Menu

by | Oct 3, 2022

For fellow Canadians, Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, good food, amazing company, and lots of warm fuzzies as we take some time to reflect on all we have to be thankful for.

If you are a last-minute planner like me, this blog post is here to save the day and help you plan the perfect thanksgiving menu whether you are having an intimate gathering, a large family affair, or want to shake things up a bit. Each recipe includes step by step instructions, pro-tips and everything you need to know to wow your guests.

The Appetizers

One of the best ways to make your home warm and inviting is to have some appetizers out when people arrive to congregate around and create an easy icebreaker. Bruschetta, guacamole or pico de gallo (maybe all three?!) are great easy appetizers that can be prepared before your guests arrive and add color. To elevate your gathering I also recommend having an option that can be popped in the oven and served warm. My absolute favorite are these asparagus puff pastry bundles and a close second is this festive cranberry brie dip (cranberries make anything festive!). They are both super simple to make but are sure to impress! Another great option is this crispy roasted parmesan cauliflower. Not only is it a healthier option but will also be a hit with any low-carb guests.

asparagus puff pastry bundles | cookingwithcassandra.com
Bruschetta | cookingwithcassandra.com
cranberry brie dip | cookingwithcassandra.com

The Main Event

Turkey or ham is the first big decision. Turkey is a big undertaking and can take the whole day to prepare, but it is totally worth it. How many times a year do you get a nice roast turkey? The other great thing about turkey are the leftovers! You can get creative with leftover turkey like in this turkey cranberry sliders recipe or try it in place of chicken in your favorite soup. Ham on the other hand is a bit quicker to prepare and can come in many different sizes to suit even the smallest of gatherings. Ham is a personal favorite for pairing with sweet side dishes that contain sweet potatoes or citrusy flavors.

The holidays can be busy and sometimes between multiple dinners with different family members and friends you get turkey or hammed out. For a fun alternative that will be sure to please, try my easy cranberry rosemary chicken.  Or if you aren’t a big meat eater you can try my baked garlic parmesan salmon or oven-baked mustard salmon.

cranberry rosemary chicken dish | cookingwithcassandra.com

The Sides

Let’s be honest, sides make the meal. That’s right I said it! Whether you want to try something a little different, incorporate some healthy options, or stick with a classic, this list has something for you. I recommend serving at least two sides and of course fresh buns are a must.

Roasted brussels sprouts with bacon and pomegranates | cookingwithcassandra.com
Buttery cauliflower mashed potatoes dish | cookingwithcassandra.com
Oven roasted sweet potatoes with parmesan & garlic butter | cookingwithcassandra.com
Curry roast cauliflower and sweet potatoes | cookingwithcassandra.com
Holiday Stuffing | cookingwithcassandra.com
Stuffing for Thanksgiving  | cookingwithcassandra.com

The Desserts

With all that amazing food it’s going to be hard to save room for dessert, but with these amazing recipes I know you will make room. Fall makes me think of apple desserts. Something about the sweet smell of apples baking brings back the best childhood memories. This german apple puff pancake is normally a breakfast option but also makes an amazing dessert that I hope you will love as much as I do! As an alternative try this peach crisp, and feel free to get creative and use your favorite fruits.  

Another option that is not only on the healthier side but also has a Pinterest worthy presentation is chocolate avocado mousse. The perfect level of sweetness to finish off your thanksgiving menu and you can serve it in individual jars topped with fun garnish.

German apple puff pancake - Dessert | cookingwithcassandra.com
Dessert - Cream chocolate avocado mousse | cookingwithcassandra.com
Crumble Apple Pie with Ice Cream | Thanksgiving cookingwithcassandra.com

Don’t forget to check out my free wine e-book to learn the best pairings for your Thanksgiving menu!

Hi, I’m Cassandra!

I’m a proud wife, dog mom, food lovin’ Canadian girl, former TV reality show personality, wine lover and on a mission to make living a healthy + balanced lifestyle easy for everyone.

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Hi, I'm Cassandra!

I'm a proud wife, dog mom, food lovin' Canadian girl, former TV reality show personality, wine lover and on a mission to make living a healthy + balanced lifestyle easy for everyone.

More about me

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Hi, I'm Cassandra!

I'm a proud wife, dog mom, food lovin' Canadian girl, former TV reality show personality, wine lover and on a mission to make living a healthy + balanced lifestyle easy for everyone.

More about me

Never miss a recipe!

Sign up for free recipes straight to your inbox:

Free E-Cookbook!

Cooking dinner doesn’t have to take all night. Subscribe & receive my favourite 10 Quick & Easy Dinner Recipes in an easy e-cookbook format!

Jujeh kabab - Eating | cookingwithcassandra.com

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