Recipes for the perfect Thanksgiving dinner

Sunrise Senior Living  |  November 10, 2016
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Throwing this year's Thanksgiving feast? Wow your guests with these delicious recipes.

1. Garlic and Herb Roasted Turkey

This recipe by Delish infuses the classic turkey dinner with unforgettable flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 1 12-14 lb. turkey - thawed
  • 2 heads garlic - halved horizontally
  • 1 lemon - halved
  • 4 small onions - quartered
  • 14 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 2 large carrots - sliced into 2-inch-thick pieces
  • 2 celery stalks - sliced into 2-inch-thick pieces
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • Optional: herbs of choice for garnish

Directions:

First, heat your oven to 375 degrees.

Take your turkey to the sink and remove and dispose of the giblets. Reserve the neck. Pat turkey dry, transfer to work surface and stuff main cavity with garlic, lemon, onion and 12 sprigs thyme.

Using kitchen twine, tie the legs together and tuck the wing tips under the body. Rub turkey with olive oil and season with salt.

In the bottom of a roasting pan, place the turkey neck, carrots, celery and remaining onions and thyme. Place roasting rack over vegetables and place the turkey on rack.

Place in the oven and let cook until an inserted thermometer reads 165 degrees - this should take 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Let cool for at least 15 minutes, and then tilt the turkey to remove juices and vegetables from cavity. Transfer to a cutting board, cover with foil and let rest for another 25 minutes before carving. Reserve pan drippings to make gravy if desired.

Wow the family with this herb roasted turkey recipe.Wow the family with this herb roasted turkey recipe.

2. Green Bean Casserole
Spruce up your traditional green bean dish with this recipe from Food Network.

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs. fresh green beans
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 loaf crusty Italian bread
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped chives
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped thyme leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped rosemary
  • 4 Tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 5 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds mixed mushrooms - sliced
  • 2 shallots - sliced
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Directions:

First, heat your oven to 375 degrees and prepare a large cooking dish with butter and a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Second, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and then add the green beans. Heat until beans are slightly cooked but still crisp - this should only take about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Pull apart your bread into 2-inch pieces and place in a bowl with 1 tablespoon chives, 1 tablespoon rosemary, 2 tablespoons Parmesan and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Spread bread onto prepared cooking sheet and bake until just golden - this should take about 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.

In the meantime, heat olive oil and remaining butter over medium heat in a large pan. Cook mushrooms and shallots, seasoning with salt and pepper, for about 10 minutes. Then, pour in the heavy cream, remaining chives and thyme and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add the green beans and toss to coat.

Transfer green beans mixture to prepared baking dish and top with bread and remaining Parmesan cheese. Place in the oven and cook for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove, let cool and enjoy!

3. Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes with Bacon
Take a break from the traditional mashed potato dish and try this recipe from Southern Living magazine instead.

Ingredients:

  • 4 pounds sweet potatoes - peeled and sliced into 1-inch-thick chunks
  • 1/2 cup orange juice concentrate
  • 4 Tbsp. melted butter
  • 3 Tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. chopped rosemary
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp. cold water
  • 1/2 cup finely-chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 Tbsp. orange zest
  • 2 garlic cloves - minced
  • 3 cooked bacon slices - crumbled

Directions:

First, place the prepared sweet potatoes in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Stir orange juice concentrate, melted butter, brown sugar and salt in a small bowl, and then pour over potatoes. Toss to coat.

Cover and cook the potatoes until tender - this should take 6 hours on a low heat setting.

When the potatoes are ready, transfer them to a serving dish with a slotted spoon. Increase the slow cooker temperature to high.

In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch and cold water until it reaches a smooth consistency. Transfer to slow cooker and heat, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens - this will take 3 to 5 minutes. When it's ready, spoon over the potatoes and sprinkle with parsley, orange zest, garlic and crumbled bacon.

Garnish your sweet potatoes with onions and herbs if desired.Garnish your sweet potatoes with onions and herbs if desired.

4. Pumpkin Pie with Oat-Pecan Crust
What's Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie for dessert? Spruce up this year's dish with this recipe from Country Living magazine.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pecans
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter - melted
  • 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • Candied pecans for garnish

Directions:

First, heat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

Next, Place pecans and oats on the prepared cooking sheet and toast until golden - this should take about 12 minutes. Remove and let cool.

In a food processor, mix the pecans, oats, butter, granulated sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt until ground - this should take 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer mixture to pie plate and press down to form your crust. Place in the oven to free for 15 minutes, and then cook on a baking sheet for 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool on a rack.

In the meantime, whisk your pumpkin, cream, brown sugar, milk, eggs, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and 1/4 teaspoon salt until combined. Pour into prepared crust and bake for 45 minutes. Remove, let cool on a rack and chill for at least 2 hours. Garnish with candied pecans and enjoy!