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Turkey ideas for Thanksgiving

Turkey ideas for Thanksgiving

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I’m sure the turkeys would disagree, but it’s a shame most of us don’t eat turkey all year round.

There are lots of reasons why I love turkey. One is simply that it’s eaten on Thanksgiving and Christmas – both days where you can stuff yourself silly and not be judged – but it’s got lots of other things going for it too.

Why turkey?

Not only can it be leaner than chicken, the dark meat in particular has even more flavour. The only caveat is that it has to be good turkey. They are intelligent, active animals that live a lot longer than most poultry, which makes it even more important that they are able to act naturally while they grow. Not only does it mean they live a happy life, it improves the flavour of the meat too. Lazy turkeys have less flavour and grow fat, whereas happy active ones grow more slowly and therefore taste a lot better.

Having to literally go “cold turkey” after Christmas fills me with joy. Sneaking poultry into endless curries, soups and risottos is lots of fun, and I never tire of leftover turkey sandwiches at Christmas, especially when they look like Jamie’s.

The roast

Before we get to lovely leftovers, you’ve got to cook it right. There’s no point investing in a huge, beautiful turkey only to burn it in the oven. Jamie’s modestly-named Best turkey in the world is an absolutely incredible recipe because it uses this lovely butter, flavoured with cranberries, rosemary and clementine – all seasonal flavours and perfect for cutting through the white meat. If you want to keep the winter fruit theme going this Thanksgiving, why not go for these awesome sage and orange roast potatoes too?

The leftovers

Jamie recommends buying a turkey that weighs between 6.5kg and 8kg for maximum flavour, which means unless you’re feeding a whole football team you’ll probably have leftovers. If, unlike me, you find that turkey sandwiches don’t quite cut it, there are loads of amazing ways to use up turkey, because it’s a brilliant carrier of flavour.

Jamie’s turkey con chilli is pretty special with the big load of paprika Jamie chucks in, and his turkey and sweet leek pie is an amazing winter meal. In fact, if you don’t want a whole roast turkey, this would be an amazing Thanksgiving meal. For something a bit more leftfield, try this Asian-inspired turkey salad recipe – the little pops of flavour from the pomegranate makes it really special.

The sandwich

Personally, however, I’ll always reach for the bread bin. Get some homemade brown rolls, be generous with the butter (what? It’s Thanksgiving!) and load them with fresh crunchy lettuce, mayonnaise, cranberry sauce and some crispy bacon, then top it with a mix of brown and white leftover meat. I’d roast a whole turkey just for that sandwich right there, and when the meat is left exposed like this the good stuff really is on another level.

Buying the right turkey

If you’re out buying turkeys there are lots of ways to guarantee you’re getting a quality bird. All over the world there are quality assurance marks; in the UK anything that is free range or organic guarantees you some quality, while in Canada it’s Certified Humane. But what do those certifications mean? It means the farmer hasn’t used any growth hormones and that they have been brought up in an environment that lets them act naturally.

So, this thanksgiving, buy good-quality turkey and reap the rewards for a better dinner, better leftovers and the knowledge that you have eaten ethically.

22 Turkey Recipes for Easy Weeknight Dinners

Bird's the word with these excellent recipes—specifically, turkey. You'll never think of the healthy, lean meat as bland or boring again with exciting and easy preparations that call for using the whole bird, ground meat, and everything in between.

Our 50 Best Ground Turkey Recipes

Ground turkey is one of those ingredients we always keep on hand. It cooks up quick and is versatile enough to use in burgers, chili, meatloaf and more — which means a great, homemade meal is never out of reach.

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Turkey Lasagna

This lasagna recipe skips the onerous step of boiling lasagna noodles. Layer uncooked ones in the hearty turkey ragu and they will emerge from the oven fork-tender under their bubbling blanket of cheese.

Anne Burrell's Turkey Burger

Shawarma Stuffed Peppers

Molly says, "These stuffed peppers are inspired by the flavors of one of my all-time favorite street foods, shawarma. Shawarma is a Middle Eastern dish consisting of seasoned meat cooked on a spit and then shaved thin. The spice combination typically found in shawarma is savory, warm and totally addictive!"

Turkey Burger Patty Melts

Spicy Turkey Meatballs and Spaghetti

The Best Turkey Meatloaf

A slightly lighter version of the all-American classic, this satisfying meatloaf uses chicken broth and soaked panko to stay moist, and a mix of fresh herbs for flavor. It&rsquos the best turkey meatloaf you&rsquoll find!

Turkey and Artichoke-Stuffed Shells

Sloppy Bombay Joes

Healthy Air Fryer Turkey Meatballs with Zoodles

You can have fork-tender turkey meatballs that are golden yet moist, thanks to the air fryer! Pair with fun zoodles, your favorite jarred tomato sauce and an extra pinch of Parmesan for a delicious and wholesome meal.

Stuffed Turkey Burgers

Individual Turkey Shepherd's Pie

Our version of this rustic British classic transforms it into a quick, easy main for any night of the week. For an all-in-one meal in single servings, you can divide the filling among four 9-ounce ramekins before topping it with the mashed potatoes. Bake on a baking sheet until the filling is bubbly around the edges and the potatoes are lightly browned, about 15 minutes.

Turkey Meatloaf

For a leaner take on the classic meatloaf, try ground turkey instead of beef. Serve the slices hot or enjoy them cold in a sandwich.

Turkey and Spinach Taquitos

Mini Meatloaves

Big-Batch Turkey Chili

Pull out your biggest pot and get ready to make a whole lot of chili. All the effort and time will pay off, knowing that your freezer is filled with easy dinners that can be thawed and quickly reheated.

Double-Decker Turkey Patty Melt

Ohio Turkey Chili

Sweeter than the typical chili, Valerie&rsquos recipe calls for ground turkey, chopped chocolate, cinnamon and Worcestershire sauce. For authentic Ohio-style chili, she serves the dish over a heaping bowl of spaghetti.

20 Turkey Sandwich Ideas That Make the Most of Your Thanksgiving Leftovers

The hard part is over (read: cooking up an entire Thanksgiving dinner) &mdash but now, you&rsquore tasked with transforming those Thanksgiving leftovers into new, delicious meals the whole family will get excited for. Of course, you can bring out the waffle maker to turn leftover stuffing into life-changing stuffing waffles. Or, you can get ambitious and turn leftover turkey into enchiladas, pot pie, casseroles or soup. But sometimes, all you want to eat the day after Thanksgiving is a leftover turkey sandwich.

You really can&rsquot go wrong with carving up the bird and serving it between two slices of bread (or baguette, ciabatta, pita, you name it). Who doesn&rsquot love the classic turkey sandwich combo of leftover turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing? But, that can get old on day two or three. Enter, these creative twists on the cold turkey sandwich. Try a leftover shredded turkey sandwich with tangy-sweet BBQ sauce for a fun take on pulled pork, or a grilled turkey sandwich with plenty of cheese for maximum melt. Looking for a healthy turkey sandwich recipe instead? It doesn&rsquot get better than a satisfying turkey and hummus on multigrain or a roast turkey sandwich loaded with veggies. With fun flavors and condiments like buffalo, homemade pesto and spicy hummus, these hoagies, wraps and paninis make for a great healthy lunch idea or cold-weather comfort food.

Best turkey recipe in the world

Roast turkey is both traditional and delicious, but there are so many unusual and unique holiday turkey recipes to shake up the menu. You never know, after taking a look at our favorite unique turkey recipes, you just might find a new family favorite of your own!

Maybe find the best turkey recipe in the world? (Pst if you do, be sure to let us know and we want to know about the funky turkey recipes too!)

Whether you’re a fan of dark meat or white breast meat, just looking at this ancho scallion basted turkey should get anyone’s mouth start watering.

You can find the recipe for this Adobo Roast Turkey with Red Chile Gravy at The roasted bird looks so delicious on its own, you barely notice the disposable roasting pan.

Calling all bacon lovers, check out this Maple-Roasted Turkey with Sage, Smoked Bacon, and Cornbread Stuffing from Tyler Florence. I’m thinking this will go perfectly with mashed potatoes and melted butter.

For another southwestern spin on your Thanksgiving turkey recipe, skip the cranberry sauce and try this Mole roasted turkey with masa stuffing and chile gravy.

Impress your guests with this gourmet Bobby Flay turkey recipe for Black Pepper-Pomegranate Molasses Glazed Turkey.

The key to this recipe is during the last 15 minutes of roasting, you will need to stop basting with chicken stock and instead brush on a pomegranate glaze. Yum!

If you’re a fruit lover, you’ll love this roast turkey dinner with fruit and nut stuffing that includes prunes, apricots, raisins, currants, apples, cranberries, walnuts, macadamia nuts, and cashews from Martha Stewart.

You’ve heard or beer can chicken, why not beer can turkey?

Now it’s your turn to share – What is the best holiday turkey you’ve ever cooked or eaten?

Which are your favorite unique turkey recipes? Have you tried any of the above? How did it turn out?

12 Fresh Homemade Pasta Recipes

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41 Leftover Turkey Recipes for Gobbling After Thanksgiving

If you're anything like us, you'll have plenty of meat left over after your Thanksgiving meal—which is why we rounded up our favorite leftover turkey recipes. While we love a classic leftover turkey sandwich—especially those towering creations stacked high with stuffing, potatoes, and cranberry sauce—we've also included plenty of ways to use your leftovers to create entirely new dishes. (Think casseroles, salads, soups, pot pie, enchiladas, and more.)

Even if your Thanksgiving gathering is small this year, it might be worth it to cook a whole bird, just to ensure there's plenty of meat to use in all these post-Thanksgiving recipes. Cooked turkey will stay fresh in your refrigerator for a few days, and it can also be frozen for up to two months—so you have time to get to quite a few of these gems.

Delicious Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes

1. Dry Brined Orange Rosemary Roasted Turkey

This turkey is definitely going to be one with bold flavors. It is dry brined meaning that you cover it in salt to draw all of the juice out.

Then the brine will actually use the turkey’s own juices to break down the meat and make it more tender and juicy. This sounds absolutely moist and delicious!

2. Cajun Fried Turkey

If you were to ask me what my favorite kind of turkey is I’d probably tell you fried. There is just something about that crispy skin.

However, I also love spicy, bold flavors. So I definitely think this turkey recipe could be a winner for me.

3. The Cajun Turkey

Do you love spicy flavors? Are you in favor of a turkey with crispy outer skin? If so, then you’ll probably love this turkey.

It reminds me a lot of the previous recipe only it is a baked turkey, which a lot of people prefer because it is easier to prepare.

4. Latin Style Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes

This turkey is prepped in the same way as most baked turkeys. That is great news for someone who is fearful of baking a turkey.

What sets this one apart is the seasonings that are used. Latin flavors are tossed onto the turkey (like sazon) to remind you that this turkey has some Latin style to it.

5. Brining a Turkey

If you are preparing a turkey for the first time or the millionth time, you probably know that brining a turkey is a big deal.

If you are unsure of how to do that, then this recipe will definitely get you started on that and move in the right direction.

6. Puerto Rican Style Turkey

This turkey recipe is really amazing. You can follow it to make a turkey breast in the slow cooker, or you can double the recipe to make a whole turkey in the oven.

You tell that this turkey has flair. It also has sazon included in it, along with garlic and many other familiar seasonings.

7. Martha’s Perfect Roast Turkey

Okay, so we all dream of producing the perfect turkey that has the crispy dark skin, moist meat, and perfect fluffy stuffing sticking out as well.

Well, with this recipe, you could be one step closer to scoring a turkey like that. The ingredients are all pretty basic, though you will need a couple of bottles of wine (for the turkey, not the cook.)

8. Applewood Smoked Turkey

This turkey sounds like a sweet street. It is brined in a lot of different spices and maple syrup. Doesn’t that sound delicious?

Then it is covered in apples, bourbon, garlic, and a few other familiar ingredients. Finally, it is smoked to perfection.

9. The Best in the World Fried Turkey

This recipe seems so easy to do. You just buy the turkey (they give you the recipe to what size turkey you need) and inject it with a store-bought marinade.

Then you fry the turkey to perfection and enjoy. So simple yet apparently so delicious!

10. Adobo Butter Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes

This recipe is very interesting. You learn how to make your own adobo from scratch which is packed full of many delicious and familiar spices.

Then once you allow the turkey to sit with the adobo rubbed on it, you make delicious adobo butter before baking it to perfection.

11. Bacon Roasted Turkey

How many bacon fans do we have today? I have both of my hands raised because let’s be real, I love bacon.

What better way to cook a turkey than to wrap it in bacon first? I seriously think this could be a bacon-lovers Thanksgiving paradise.

12. Turkey with Brown Sugar Glaze

Have you ever tried to glaze your turkey? If I’m honest, I’ve basted but never glazed. Yet, this glaze looks absolutely amazing.

So if you like orange juice, cider vinegar, brown sugar, and butter then you’ll have to try glazing your turkey this year.

13. The 3-Step Turkey

Everyone wants a turkey that is delicious, but one of the biggest hang-ups people face is keeping their turkey moist.

Well, this post shares 3 easy steps to keep your turkey moist and delicious. If you are fearing a dry turkey, check this recipe out.

14. The Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey

If you’ve ever watched Christmas Vacation, then you’ll probably remember the perfect turkey.

However, when they cut into it, perfection faded and so did the turkey because it dried out. Well, thanks to this recipe, you’ll hopefully dodge the ‘dry turkey’ experience and have a much more picturesque turkey to serve.

15. The Maple Glazed Turkey

Seriously you guys, after checking out all of these glazed turkeys, I seriously think glazing is going to be in this year…at least at my house.

This maple glazed turkey not only looks delicious, but the glaze is so simple. It is just butter and maple syrup. You can’t get much easier or delicious.

16. Aromatic Lemon Apple and Herb Turkey

Everyone wants a turkey that is moist and delicious, but have you ever thought you wanted a turkey that smells great too?

Well, this recipe has you covered. This turkey is brined in herbs, covered in herb butter, and has more aromatics added when roasting too.

17. Tuscan Style Grilled Turkey

It is very common to hear of people baking their Thanksgiving turkeys. We even hear of frying and occasionally smoking them.

However, grilling your Thanksgiving turkey is a lot less common. Thanks to this recipe, you can give this delicious method a try this year.

18. Cranberry Glazed Turkey Breast

When I was growing up we usually only had a turkey breast for Thanksgiving because it was just my mom, sister, and myself.

So if you only have a breast, then you’ll need to check out this glaze. I’m a huge cranberry person so this sounds like you could have all of the flavors of Thanksgiving in one amazing dish.

19. Roast Turkey Like a Boss

For some reason, cooking a turkey is something that has a lot of people frightened. I think they all fear that they’ll dry it out and it’ll be terrible.

Well, do as this article suggests. Follow their basic instructions to perfectly roasting a turkey and be the boss in your own kitchen.

20. Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

I wish this recipe was around when I was a little girl because as I mentioned we just had the turkey breast. My poor mom would work herself silly in the kitchen over one meal.

Now, many people have come out with amazing crockpot techniques that save so much time and produce a tasty dish, like this one. My mother would’ve been so thankful for this recipe all those years ago.

21. How to Smoke a Turkey in 4 Hours

Are you looking to do something a little different with your turkey this year? It seems that smoking is all the rage.

If you’d like a deliciously flavored turkey that can be ready in about 4 hours, then you definitely need to check out this recipe.

22. Citrus and Herb Roasted Turkey

This is another very flavorful turkey recipe. Many people love to have turkeys that are strongly flavored with fresh herbs.

Plus, they think that the citrus is a great way to accompany those flavors and help tenderize the meat. If you are one of those people, then you definitely need to check this out.

23. Maple Glazed Turkey with Bacon and Sage Butter

This turkey had me asking myself, “Seriously?” This is everything you want, rolled into one amazing turkey!

You have the bacon-wrapped turkey that is glazed in delicious maple syrup. Then it is coated with sage butter and stuffed with delicious fruits and vegetables for added flavor. Welcome to Flavor Town, friends.

24. Yellow Bliss Road Best Thanksgiving Turkey

This is another post that claims to have the best Thanksgiving turkey. I don’t know if you’ll consider it the best, but in my books, it is pretty darn tasty.

We make our turkey like her post shows. It is very simple and turns out super moist and delicious as well.

25. Garlic and Herb Roasted Turkey

Would you like to bake a simple roasted turkey? Yet, you still want it to have a lot of flavors?

Well, look no further than this recipe. It is super simple, it is meant to be roasted, but it packs a punch of garlic and herbs as well.

26. Super Moist Turkey

My mom always hated baking turkeys because she feared how dry they would turn out. If only the internet had been around then.

Now, we have these wonderful Thanksgiving Turkey recipes that help us to overcome turkey dryness. This recipe uses a unique method of coating a turkey in herb butter and wine, then covering it in a cheesecloth. However, apparently, it works!

27. Juicy Roasted Turkey with Pictures

We all love our Thanksgiving turkey if it’s done right. Yet, we all know that it can be challenging finding a method that allows the turkey to cook but remain juicy too.

Well, this article has you covered. You not only get a recipe for a juicy Thanksgiving turkey, but she includes pictures to help you along too.

So there you have it. You now have almost 30 different Thanksgiving Turkey recipes to choose from when making your Thanksgiving turkey this year. You may want to start early and try a few out before you decide on ‘the one.’

Don’t forget to also look at our Off-Grid Thanksgiving ideas for an alternative twist on a themed Thanksgiving meal.

20 Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes

This simple recipe will please everyone at your Thanksgiving table.

Persian-Style Roast Turkey with Walnut Gravy

Photography by Eva Kolenko

Glazing your turkey with pomegranate juice gives it that gorgeous lacquered look.

All-in-One Turkey Breast with Herby Stuffing

Hosting a small Thanksgiving feast? This easy turkey breast recipe serves four - and your stuffing&aposs all taken care of, too!

Citrus-Mayo Roast Turkey with Citrus Jus

No dry turkey here! The mayo, mixed with citrus zest and herbs, melts during roasting, slowly basting the turkey. Yum!

Rachael&aposs Whiskey-Brined Turkey

If you&aposre wondering what Rachael and John would serve at Thanksgiving, it&aposs probably something like this!

Miso-Buttered Turkey with Shiitake Gravy

This recipe is totally umami-packed and ready to take your Thanksgiving table by storm.

Smoky Turkey with Apple-Cider Gravy

Holy smokes! This recipe is all-around delicious.

Spicy Fried Turkey with Hot-Honey Gravy

Inspired by Nashville Hot Chicken, this spicy fried turkey is AWESOME.

Tandoori-Spiced Turkey

This flavorful bird was inspired by tandoori chicken, a classic Indian dish that&aposs rubbed with spices and cooked in a clay oven. Talk about a beautiful finish!

Cherry-Chipotle Turkey Breast

The best part about this sweet bird is it&aposs speed: it calls for a turkey breast so it&aposs done cooking in half the time as a full bird!

Fresh Herb Grilled Turkey

Head out to your herb garden to get everything you&aposll need to season this grilled turkey.

Turkey with Cranberry-Grapefruit Sauce

Liven up your bird this year with a fruity zing of grapefruit!

Deep-Fried Turkey

Try something new this year and deep-fry your turkey! Inject your bird with all it&aposs natural juices for maximum moistness all while keeping a crispy skin.

Early Bird Turkey

This is a quick turkey fix and will have 8 bellies full and happy in one hour flat.

Buttermilk-Marinated Turkey with Onion Gravy

Give your bird a bath in buttermilk and hot sauce for moist meat and golden-brown skin without pricey ingredients like butter, wine or fresh herbs.

Butter-Basted Turkey

You just can&apost say no to a perfectly buttered bird!

Kiss-of-Lemon Roast Turkey

Freaked out about taking on your first Thanksgiving cooking experience? No need to fear, this beginner bird will give you a tasty dinner in just under three hours!

Turkey ideas for Thanksgiving - Recipes

Turkey is really the star of the Thanksgiving meal. All the side dishes and desserts are there to complement the bird. The goal of course, is to make a moist and delicious turkey. Unfortunately things can get a bit messy in the kitchen and you could end up with a dry, tough bird. We searched for the top tip to making a moist turkey. The easiest way to getting a delicious bird is to cook it breast side down. That way all the juices fall into the white meat. Brilliant and simple! This list are the 6 most unique turkey recipes that still end up delicious and moist. Have fun this holiday season and wow your family with these amazing dishes!

1. The Classic Roast. This recipe is for the classic roast turkey, but with a twist. Instead of roasting it right side up, they flip it upside down. This lets the juices flow into the breast meat, resulting in a moist meat. This can leave some unsightly dents on the top of the bird, so you might want to carve it before it hits the table. Once your guests try it, they’ll forgive you!

2. Grilled Turkey. We love the idea of grilling a turkey if it’s warm enough. If you live in the south or on the coast, Thanksgiving could be hot and muggy. Save your house from the heat of your oven by roasting the turkey on the grill! You’ll also get a delicious smokiness in the meat that you can’t get with a conventional oven. It’s important to fully cook the bird, so use a thermometer for safety.

3. Bourbon Molasses Turkey. You wouldn’t normally think of mixing bourbon or molasses with your turkey, but these earthy flavors go perfectly! Give your bird an adult kick, but don’t worry. You will be cooking it long enough to cook off most of the alcohol, so it will be child friendly too. This recipe would also be brilliant for duck and goose.

4. Bacon Wrapped Turkey. Adding bacon to turkey might seem strange, but it is actually a great idea. Laying the bacon strips over the breast will keep the skin from cooking too quickly, and it will baste the meat with extra fat.The only problem with this recipe is that the skin won’t get brown and crispy. But you’ll have bacon instead, so that’s a fair trade.

5. Beer Can Turkey. This fun cooking technique can be used for more than chicken. You’ll need a bigger can of course, but the method is the same. The steam from the beer will keep the turkey super moist. Use a dark ale to get some flavor from the beer into the chicken. If you use a light beer it will taste like you just used water to steam it.

6. Turducken. We can’t talk about cool Thanksgiving dishes without mentioning the famous turducken. It seems gross and just a trend, but this dish can be traced back hundreds of years. Impress and shock your friends by making this monster for Thanksgiving. Ask your butcher to debone the birds to make your life easier. This dish takes many hours to cook properly so plan accordingly.

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85 Best Thanksgiving Side Dishes for the Most Delicious Turkey Day Feast

You might think that Ree Drummond's favorite part about the Thanksgiving menu would be the main attraction itself: the beautifully basted bird. Spoiler alert: It's not! The Pioneer Woman actually likes all the delicious Thanksgiving side dishes way more than the turkey. "Sometimes I even forget to put the turkey on my plate," she says. "True story." It's easy to agree. When it comes to the menu, serving turkey is the main Thanksgiving tradition, but it's really all about the glorious sides. With so many mouthwatering options, how the heck can you choose which dishes to make? Mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce: Yes, yes, yes, and oh right, yes.

To fix this delicious problem, we've rounded up some of the best sides to place on your Thanksgiving table that are both classic and inventive. There are tons of varieties to choose from so you can find the ones that'll work best for your gathering. For instance, a Southern Thanksgiving menu calls for the works: Cornbread and bacon dressing, corn pudding, and easy drop biscuits will do. Or, get creative in the kitchen with recipes like wild rice and prosciutto stuffing, crispy Hasselback potatoes, and French onion mashed potatoes. If you weren't hungry before reading about these lip-smacking-good Thanksgiving sides, you will be when you're done! (Don't forget to select your Thanksgiving wine too.)