If you haven’t already begun planning your Thanksgiving feast, there’s no time like TODAY! In an effort to breathe new life into your holiday spread, we reached out to “hostess extraordinaire,” Bailey Rae of Bailey Rae’s Kitchen. She has an impeccable reputation for creating beautiful and unique dining experiences for her clients, so she was the obvious choice to ask for some Thanksgiving recipe inspiration. And she definitely delivered, graciously putting together two Thanksgiving sides and a delicious turkey day dessert. Make your grocery list, and then whip up these crowd-pleasers!
3 Thanksgiving Recipes to Try
Balsamic Roasted Beet Salad
Before this salad I was convinced I didn’t like beets! I tested these beets and am now in love!
- 6 medium-sized beets
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup good olive oil
- 2 tsp of Dijon mustard
- sea salt
- fresh cracked pepper
- baby arugula
- 1/3 cup of sliced almonds, toasted
- 4 oz of goat cheese
- Preheat the over to 400 degrees.
- Scrub the beets, and cut the tops and bottoms off. Wrap the beet individually with aluminum foil and place them on a sheet pan. Roast for 1 hour.
- Carefully unwrap each beet and set aside for 10 minutes, until cool enough to handle. While the beets are cooling, combine the vinegar, olive oil, mustard, 2 tsp salt, and 1 tsp of pepper in a jar. Shake, shake, shake! Set aside.
- Peel the beets with a paring knife over a piece of parchment paper to prevent staining your cutting board.
- While the beets are still warm, cut each beet into 4-6 wedges and place in a small mixing bowl. As you are cutting the beets, tops them with half of the vinaigrette (warm beets absorb more vinaigrette.
- Place the desired amount of arugula in a salad bowl, toss with enough of the vinaigrette to moisten. Arrange the beets, almonds, and cheese on top. Drizzle with additional vinaigrette and serve warm or at room temperature.
The Best Basic Stuffing
This recipe is awesome because it’t the perfect “base” recipe, allowing you to put your own personal spin with any favorite stuffing additions (i.e. sage, sausage, apples … whatever you add this stuffing will be delicious!).
- 1 large loaf cornbread (I use two Jiffy boxes)
- 1 loaf French Baguette
- 1 large onion, diced
- 5 stalks celery, thinly sliced
- 1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
- 1 stick of butter
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp ground thyme
- 1 tbsp fresh Rosemary, minced
- salt and pepper
- Cut all the bread into 1-inch cubes and lay them out on sheet pans. Cover with a dish towel and let them dry out for 12-24 hours.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the onions and celery and cook for 6-7 minutes. Add the broth, parsley, rosemary, basil, thyme, salt, and pepper and stir. Bring to a simmer then turn off heat.
- Put all the bread cubes in a large bowl and slowly ladle in the broth mixture, tossing as you go until the dressing has the moisture level you want. Taste and add more seasonings as needed. (I typically use 3/4ths of the liquid, but depends on how dry the bread is.)
- Pour the dressing into a large casserole pan. Bake the casserole for 20 to 30 minutes at 375 degrees until golden and crisp on top. Best served hot out of the oven!
Apple Pie Bars
The perfect, easy alternative to apple pie, the crust is a butter shortbread that melts in your mouth! These bars are so easy to make and one pan will serve up to 16 people!
- 4 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 4 cups all-all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 6 large granny smith apples, cored and sliced 1/8 inch thick
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Preheat the over to 375.
- Place 4 sticks of butter, 3/4 cup sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, until light and creamy. Sift the flour and salt together, with the mixer on low, slowly add the flour to the butter mixture. Beating until combined. Press 2/3 of the dough in a 9x13 baking pan on the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Bake for 18 minutes, until the crust is golden brown, set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, add the pecans and cinnamon to the remaining dough and mix until combined.
- Reduce oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large pot over medium heat, melt 4 tbsp of butter. Add the apples, 1/4 cup of sugar and lemon juice. Simmer over medium-low for 12 minutes. Spread the apples evenly over the crust.
- Pinch medium pieces of the remaining dough with your fingers and drop them evenly on top of the apples (they will not be fully covered). Bake the 25 to 30 minutes until the topping is browned.
- Cool completely and cut into bars.
Special thanks to Bailey Rae of Bailey Rae’s Kitchen for these amazing Thanksgiving recipes. Enjoy your Thanksgiving feast!
See even more delicious recipes in our “Recipes” archives. Click HERE!