Thanksgiving Recipes Food Network Staffers Make Every Year
Around our office, Thanksgiving is the most important holiday of the year and we spend months preparing. Find out what dishes complete our holiday tables.
My husband used to play bartender when he was a kid, helping his uncle make Manhattans when he’d visit the family on Staten Island (his version, of course, was only cola, seltzer and a splash of grenadine for color). It’s now our go-to libation each season because nothing kicks off three days of family time like a stiff drink.
-Patrick Decker, Product Manager
This turkey roulade is always my go-to because it’s perfect for a small gathering, when you don’t want to cook a whole turkey, or as an addition to a big feast, in case that whole turkey isn’t enough.
-Kari McMinn, Senior Product Manager
Call me basic, but I have to make a crumb-topped apple pie every year. I “hated” pie for a long time. (Translation: I never tried it and assumed cooked fruit must be gross.) But about 13 years ago I wanted to impress this guy and make him an apple pie. Obviously, having never baked a pie before, the most-clever move I could make was to skip the double crust. I guess you could say my ingenuity paid off because he’s my husband now — and I’m still making that pie! I plan to dress this year’s dessert up a bit, though, and our daughters are already looking forward to cutting out little fall leaves to put around the edges.
-Meghan Cole, Associate Editor
This chocolate walnut pie only gets made at Thanksgiving. We all love pumpkin pie, but we totally can’t celebrate a holiday without chocolate. My mom always baked this when I was a little kid at Thanksgiving, and I love making it with my daughters now. They both call it "cookie pie" and can’t wait to eat it each year.
-Liesel Kipp, SVP Product & Design
Spoiler alert: To know me is to know I love carbs. All of ‘em. In any way, shape and form. So, it likely won’t come as a shock that every Thanksgiving, my family’s spread looks a little like this: turkey, potato variety #1, potato variety #2, potato variety #3, rice salad, bread variety #1, bread variety #2, stuffing #1 and stuffing #2. Plus, the requisite casseroles and vegetables and cranberries. (We do it UP!) But the things I simply must have every year are the stuffings. #1 is an old-school bread-veggie stuffing my grandma “invented” years ago. I’ve been eating it for as long as I can remember. And then there’s #2, aka Anne Burrell’s Sausage Cornbread Stuffing. This one was a late addition to the Russo holiday spread, but it’s now a permanent fixture on the menu. The key to prepping this is baking the cornbread several days in advance, so it has time to dry out — and thus become ready and able to absorb the flavors of the sausage and stock. Speaking of flavor, it’s all about the fresh rosemary and sage; they’re just earthy enough to balance the sweetness of the cornbread and dried cranberries, and they pair SO well with the sausage. We still eat my grandma’s stuffing every year — I will never not make that — but I also refuse to give up Anne’s recipe either. After all, there’s always room on the buffet table for one more!
-Maria Russo, Senior Editor
I make butternut squash soup – the same recipe – every year, for 15 years now (I barely have to look at the recipe; I know it by heart). It’s easy to make and it’s delicious, but I treat it as a blank canvas. I make a different topping every year; I’ve haven’t made the same topping twice. One year I served it with savory granola, once with blue cheese toasts and roasted mushrooms, and last year I made a topping out of Thanksgiving scraps: candied apple peels, spiced and roasted pumpkin and butternut squash seeds and crispy potato peels. This year I’m thinking of topping it with bacon croutons and crème fraiche.
-Michelle Buffardi, VP, Digital Programming
I thought I hated stuffing until I took over cooking it for our Thanksgiving. It was always mushy mess of white bread and currants that I had no interest in eating (sorry, Mom!). Since I took it over, I've tried out a new recipe every year, so I can see what I was missing for the first 20-something years of my life. Last year I went with Chorizo, Kale and Cornbread Stuffing and no one complained about me sneaking a few extra greens into the meal, so I'd call it a success. And this year I'm going to try out Rosemary Focaccia Stuffing with Pancetta, because anything with pancetta sounds like a winner to me.
-Julie Hines, Manager of Digital Programming
I made this Mocha Mousse Pie for the first time in 2016 and my family has since decided our Thanksgiving dessert table isn’t complete without it. I can’t really blame them. Who doesn’t love a triple chocolate dessert? Pro tip: Make extra mocha-flavored whipped cream to put in your after-dinner coffee. You can thank me later.
-T.K. Brady, Digital Editor
Southern traditional dishes dominate when my Louisiana in-laws host Thanksgiving — a turkey fryer bubbling in the driveway, mirliton casserole, oyster dressing, the works. The first time I attended when my husband and I were dating, I went out on a limb and made Ina’s butternut squash soup, and it’s been requested every year since. Roasting the squash along with apples and onions gives it huge depth of flavor, and the dairy-free soup is probably the healthiest thing on our table, so everyone can feel better about that second helping of fried turkey.
-Sara Levine, Senior Managing Editor
Each year we use Alton’s brine and aromatics for 2 turkeys, one for the oven and the other for the smoker. At the end of the meal, I save all the leftover meat and carcasses for his Bird to the Last Drop soup. Rather than using a box of frozen mixed vegetables, I use leftover vegetables from making stuffing or the crudité platter. It’s a great recipe and always helps me clean out my fridge a little!
-Lauren Jarrard, Senior iOS Developer
I make these Parker House rolls every year because: 1) They are delicious 2) They are so much fun to make with the kiddos 3) So my friend can remind me that they are not true Parker House rolls because of their shape.
-Leah Brickley, Senior Editor, Culinary
When I was an intern at Food Network, I had to edit one of Bobby's stuffing recipes for a Thanksgiving special. It sounded so good that I printed it out and made it for my first time hosting Thanksgiving — it was a huge hit. Six years later, we still do Thanksgiving at my Brooklyn apartment and this stuffing always makes an appearance!
-Sarah Balke, Digital Culinary Producer
I love making this pumpkin crumble that Food Network Kitchen developed a couple years ago. It’s basically an even more comforting pumpkin pie – the streusel topping is so addictive and it’s so easy (too easy, really) to keep scooping helpings onto your plate.
-Lauren Piro, Senior Editor