One frustration plagues me when scouring the net for Thanksgiving leftover recipes. It’s the turkey, man. We get it! There are tons of delicious recipes for leftover turkey! But that’s not what I’m after!
I’m a vegetarian, so I don’t eat turkey. Even if I did, what if all the turkey was, well, gobbled up? And instead, I had a 7-quart Le Creuset pot half-full of leftover stuffing taking up an entire shelf in my fridge? Or a giant jar of homemade cranberry sauce that I forgot to take with me to the in-laws’ for our sauce-less Thanksgiving feast?
If you’re thinking, “Dang, Kare, that sandwich looks like a hot mess!” Well then, I have to agree. It really kind of is.
But you know what? This Cranberry, Pear, & Brie Grilled Cheese one seriously mouth-watering hot mess. Melty, sweet-with-the-salty, ooey, buttery, crunchy, gooey … yeah, it’s worth an extra napkin or two.
This is the year, my friends. This is the year you’re going to do it. You’re going to put aside the can opener, step away from the kitchen counter with purpose, and stride toward the stove top. And 20 minutes later, you will say, “Hey! I can make cranberry sauce, dangit! I rule Thanksgiving! I rule THE WORLD!”
And when your friends and family have one tantalizing taste of your homemade cranberry sauce, they’ll agree with you. Guaranteed.
I know I’m stating the obvious when I say your Turkey Day feast doesn’t just have to be about turkey. Sure, cook up some bird for the inevitable meat-eaters at the table, but there’s no need to include meat in every dish. Not with all of these amazingly delicious vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes to choose from.
I’ve come to a startling realization this past year or so.
I prefer my mashed potatoes lumpy.
For years and years, I whipped potatoes into a frenzy in a frenetic attempt to achieve the perfect silky-smooth consistency. Then I heard somewhere that you shouldn’t beat your potatoes with a mixer to within an inch of their lives, because it breaks down the starches in the potatoes and makes them gummy. I bought it. And so the next batch was all by hand with a potato masher. Were they super, duper smooth? No. Were they oh-so delicious and, with their little lumps here and there, unmistakably and perfectly homemade? Oh, yes.
Cranberry sauce is arguably one of the best parts of Thanksgiving – especially the homemade stuff. Which is probably why I tend to go overboard and whip up way more than is needed. If a little is terrific, a lot is even better! Right?
So inevitably, we end up with leftovers. While there are a gazillion things you can do with the delicious stuff, this is one of my favorites – Leftover Cranberry Sauce Muffins. They’re hearty and tangy and perfect for that lazy morning after.
Rumor has it that the mighty cupcake is losing favor and pie popularity is surging. I’m not sure I’m down with the idea of certain sweets going in and out of fashion, but I’m a big fan of making room for everyone. Especially when it comes to desserts.
Today, though, for one day, I’m okay with favoring pie. It is, after all, National Pie Day. That’s right; a holiday all about pie! According to holidayinsights.com, it’s a day for baking pies, sharing pies and trying new pie recipes. And hey! I’ve got a new recipe for you right here!
I first made this Sweet Potato Pie for Christmas just this year. It’s one of those rare recipes that hit the perfect note the very first time I attempted it, and I doubt I’ll ever stray from this version. I’m just going to put all modesty aside and declare it pretty much perfection.
This simple vegetarian stuffing recipe is made special with a handful of sourdough bread thrown into the mix, caramelized onions, and delicately-delicious chanterelle mushrooms.
I’m going to tell you a little vegetarian secret. Chicken broth is the absolute bane of the vegetarian’s existence. Chicken broth and anchovies. Man, it’s like butternut squash soup and pasta puttanesca and traditional Thanksgiving stuffing are their Trojan horse. The dishes look vegetarian, but nuh uh – gotcha!
Yet another thing that’s deceptively simple to whip up on your own: homemade cranberry sauce. So much better than a can-shaped blob, this cranberry sauce recipe unites cranberries with a natural counterpart, apples. Add ground cinnamon and cloves, and not only will your turkey and stuffing have a delicious companion, but your house’ll smell divine, too.
If you’re looking for an easy and budget-friendly place card idea for Thanksgiving, look no further. All you need are crabapples with their perfectly long stems, some paper, tape, scissors, a pen, and about 15 minutes. (And they’re totally cute, too.)
I love these simple place cards for Thanksgiving. Little paper flags fly from long crabapple stems – perfect for the casual Turkey Day table.
I’ve been baking this apple cranberry pie for family Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners for years. I love that it’s an apple pie, so traditional for the holidays, but the cranberries and crumb topping give it a special – and festive – vibe.
Oh, yes, the crumb topping. The liberal buttery-crisp top blankets the perfectly tender apples and tart cranberries. Served warm with a little vanilla ice cream? Pie nirvana.
Looking for a twist on your typical apple pie recipe? Apple Cranberry Crumble Pie is just different enough to be special – and it may just be the perfect holiday dessert. It’s certainly one of our faves.
Author: Kitchen Treaty
Recipe type: Dessert
1 cup flour
½ cup (packed) brown sugar (I prefer dark but light works too)
½ cup old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
4-5 large apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ¾-inch pieces (about 5 cups) (Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, and Gala are all great)
2 cups of your favorite homemade cranberry sauce or 1 16-ounce can whole-berry cranberry sauce
¾ cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 pie crust for the bottom. I (hiding my face) use refrigerated crust sometimes, because I’m often short on time and have yet to master pie crust.
Vanilla ice cream
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Make the crumb topping. Mix the flour, brown sugar, oats, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add the butter and cut in with your fingers until the mixture resembles large coarse crumbs.
Make the filling. In a large bowl, mix the apples, cranberry sauce, sugar, vanilla, and cornstarch until well mixed.
Place the pie crust in a pie dish, and pour the apple filling into the shell. Mound it a little in the middle.
Sprinkle the crumb topping over the apples. There will be a lot. Pack it down a bit, if necessary.
Place the pie on a baking sheet, and place in the oven. Bake for about an hour and 10 minutes, or until the apples are tender and the crust and top are golden brown.
Transfer to a wire rack and cool for at least 15 minutes.
Serve with vanilla ice cream.
Adapted Bon Appétit
Originally published on The Hazel Bloom November 10, 2010. Updated and posted on Kitchen Treaty November 6, 2012.More about this
Vegetarians, rejoice! This 100% vegetarian gravy is exactly what you’ve been missing on Thanksgiving. It’s so easy to whip up a batch of this stuff. Just keep those saucy carnivorous mitts away from your gravy boat – meat eaters may prefer it over their own non-veggie-friendly gravy.
I can’t be the only vegetarian who’s suffered the lonely and tasteless holiday dinner fate of having to eat mashed potatoes with only a bit of salt and pepper and a sorry pat of butter. While everyone around you gleefully shoves down forkfuls of gravy-heavy potatoes… it’s horrible! Just horrible!
Okay, you know I’m exaggerating. But it does kind of suck a little. Gravy’s yummy, but I just can’t bring myself to eat it because of the whole meat thing.