Growing up Thanksgiving dinner was pretty much like every other meal except we had Turkey (usually seasoned like a pernil). And we ate at the dining room table. The menu was pretty much the typical Puerto Rican holiday meal. My mom didn’t make sweet potatoes or stuffing. She made arroz con gandules and tostones. Not that there’s anything wrong with that – I love my mother’s food.
Joseph prefers a more traditional Thanksgiving meal. That’s actually one of the reasons why I started hosting Thanksgiving.
My mother likes to tease me. “It’s not that you cook good, you just use fancy ingredients.” (Oh that Carmen! She is a character.)
I think I’m a pretty good cook (Hear that? That’s me tooting my own horn.) And I enjoy preparing Thanksgiving.
After years of trying out different recipes, I think I finally found an easy dinner menu that will make everyone in my family happy.
My Easy Thanksgiving Dinner Menu
Make Your Cranberry Sauce. I will never understand why anyone buys canned cranberry sauce. It’s literally the easiest thing to make. This is usually the first thing I make since it can be made in advance. I’ve tried a few different recipes over the years but this one by Damn Delicious is pretty damn delicious.
The Turkey. Joseph loves turkey and every year I try a different recipe. This year, I’m excited to try this Latin-Style Turkey with Mojo by Vanessa of Smart Little Cookie. This turkey will make my mom happy and it will be perfect with her arroz con gandules. (I let my mom bring the rice.)
You Gotta Have Stuffing. This is probably what my means when she says I use fancy ingredients. When it comes to stuffing – I like to make my own. There are no shortcuts on Thanksgiving. Last year I made Pancetta and Sage Stuffing Muffins. My mother said out of all the stuffing recipes I’ve ever made, the Stuffing Muffins were favorite. My mother is a tough nut to crack, so if she liked it – they must be really good.
Note: This recipe also calls for leeks. Something I had never cooked with before. If you’ve never cooked leeks before you’re going to watch a YouTube video on how to prepare them.
The Best Sweet Potatoes EVER. I was never a fan of sweet potatoes until I made this recipe. It’s the family favorite and I was make extra because I want to make sure there are always leftovers.
And don’t forget the greens. When I prepare holiday meals, I always like to have some kind of greens and French Green Beans are perfect.
As for dessert – I let my guests take care of that.