With Thanksgiving only days away I wanted to share 6 easy recipes perfect for serving at a Thanksgiving dinner near you. Since most of Thursday’s meal will consist of heavy, buttery goodness, I decided to focus on a few lighter options along with 2 tasty cocktails to help get you through the day. To start the meal I have apple cider shandies and acorn squash hummus. To go with the turkey I have a healthy side dish of sautèed green beans and asparagus topped with roasted almonds. And for the best part of the meal, which is obviously dessert, I’m sharing my recipes for winter sangria, apple tarts, and mini candied apples.
Apple Cider Shandies:
This is a perfect drink to bring along to a Thanksgiving dinner. You can make it and bottle it ahead of time. Make sure to keep it chilled.
2 large bottles of apple cider
6 pack of Pilsner
2 fresh oranges
Juice one half of a fresh orange into a large glass bottle or a pitcher with a lid. Add apple cider and pilsner. I use a ratio of 1 cup apple cider to 1.5 cups of pilsner. Stir lightly to combine and chill. Most pitchers will fit about 5-6 cups total, I usually make 2 large bottles/pitchers. Cut the second orange into thin slices to serve as a garnish.
Acorn Squash Hummus:
I love acorn squash when it’s in season and really wanted to find a new way to use it. I came up with this hummus recipe.
1 acorn squash
1 can garbanzo beans
1 small clove of garlic
1/2 cup lemon juice
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper
Start cutting the squash in half and cleaning out the seeds. Pre-heat oven to 400°F. Place squash onto a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and roast for 30-40 minutes or until tender. Let the squash cool. Peal the skin off the squash, it should come off easily. Transfer squash into food processor and add garbanzo beans, garlic, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Puree until smooth, you can add a little bit of water if it’s too thick. Taste and adjust seasoning. Make it ahead of time, serve with fresh veggies, and garnish with pomegranate seeds (I also added roasted flax seeds to mine).
Sautèed Green Beans and Asparagus:
This is my go-to side dish for Thanksgiving. It’s easy, healthy, and deliscious. I don’t have any specific measurements for this recipe because it’s one of those dishes where you adjust according to your taste preferences and how many people you’re serving.
Fresh lemon juice
Salt & pepper
Heat up cooking oil and add green beans and asparagus. Cook until the veggies start to get tender, add finely chopped garlic, drizzle with fresh lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Sautè for another few minutes until the garlic is fully cooked. Serve with slivered almonds, you can quickly toast them to add more flavor.
Winter Sangria :
I’ve been making sangria for Thanksgiving dinner for the last few years and it’s become a sort of tradition.
1 bottle Pino Noir
1 cup spiced rum
2 cups fresh orange juice
2 cups vanilla soda
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 cups raw cane sugar
Fill the bottom of the pitcher with orange slices, apple slices, pomegranate seeds. Add sugar, cinnamon stick, wine, rum, and orange juice. Mix well and chill for at least 4 hours. To serve remove cinnamon stick and add vanilla soda.
Apple Tart :
If you’re not a baker this is a perfect recipe for you. The measurements are for 1 tart that serves 4 people. I usually make at least 2 tarts.
1 sheet thawed puff pastry
1 cup marscapone cheese
1 tbsp honey
Preheat oven to 350°F. Gently mix marscapone with honey and a few pinches of lemon zest. Thinly slice 1 pealed and pitted apple. Fold over the edges of your puff pasty. Spread marscapone mixture onto your pastry and cover with apple slices. Sprinkle with cinnamon, transfer onto a baking sheet covered parchment paper, bake for 15-20 minutes or until the crust and apples start to brown. Let the tart cool before covering in powdered sugar and serving.
These are actually just poached apples but they’re sweet, syrupy, and a perfect companion to winter sangria and your Thanksgiving desserts.
3 cups fruity red wine
1 bag of mini apples
1/3 cup raw cane sugar
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp lemon zest
In a pan, combine all of the ingredients except the apples and bring to a boil over low heat. Add the apples and poach for 20-25 minutes turning them over a few times as they cook. When the apples are tender all the way through, transfer them into a bowl using a slotted spoon. Drizzle with a few teaspoons of the cooking liquid and serve warm along side the apple tart.