Putting on a traditional Thanksgiving dinner can be quite an undertaking with all those side dishes, sauces, and fancy fixings, so it’s nice to have some easy recipes to simplify things. But since holiday dinners are special occasions, you don’t wanna skimp on flavor or quality, so you’ve got to find that perfect balance between simple and delicious!
We chose 4 recipes that you can easily manage to pull off all at once—a few Thanksgiving essentials, plus some slightly more non-traditional Thanksgiving dinner ideas to keep things fresh. The secret to pulling off these simple, standout dishes?
- Fresh garden vegetables that are in-season now in the Midwest.
- Gourmet seasonings and prepared sauces by Stonewall Kitchen, available in our Specialty Foods department.
This year, try these out these holiday dishes for a fun, stress-free Thanksgiving dinner that leaves you with more time to spend with family, and less time watching sauces simmer.
The Best Thanksgiving Ham with Roasted Carrots and Peas
While turkey is generally the go-to main course for holiday dinners, we firmly believe that a sweet and salty glazed ham with a sticky, crispy coating is just as delicious, and much easier to prepare. Toss some carrots and English peas into the pan for a perfectly paired vegetable side.
- 1 jar Ham Glaze
- 1 fully cooked ham
- 3–5 large carrots peeled and sliced
- 1½ cups garden peas (shelled)
- Sea salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 300°F. Using a knife, carefully cut off the rind of your ham, leaving the layer of fat intact. This fat will help to crisp up the outer layer. Some people like to leave the rind on, but because it’s already cooked, that doesn’t allow for as much flavor to soak into the meat, and it can get a bit chewy, so we recommend removing the rind.
- Use your knife to lightly carve a grid pattern all across the surface of the ham. Place the ham in a roasting pan with the carrots and peas spread around it, and add 1 cup of water. Cover the pan with tin foil and cook for 30 minutes.
- Remove the tin foil, and pour half of the glaze onto the ham, using a meat brush to massage the sauce into all the crevices. Increase the heat to 425°F, reinsert the glazed ham without the tin foil, cook for 15 minutes, then remove and pour another layer of glaze on the ham. Reinsert the ham, and cook for another 15 minutes, occasionally basting with juices.
- If the outer layer of the ham isn’t quite crispy enough, put it under the broiler for 2–3 minutes, but be careful not to burn it! Let the ham rest for at least 15 minutes before serving.
- Toss the veggies in the pan juices, and season with sea salt and pepper.
Holiday Spiced Cranberry Dip
Appetizers always help us to buy a little time while our hungry guests wait. This cheesy holiday dip is surprisingly decadent, and while cranberries and black beans may seem like a strange pairing, we promise it’s a winning combo!
- 1 jar Holiday Spiced Cranberry Sauce
- 1 can black beans
- ½ small red onion, finely minced
- 1 8oz. pkg cream cheese
- 1½ cup shredded mozzarella
- Fresh rosemary
- 1 pkg Rosemary Parmesean Crackers
- Preheat oven to 350°F. In an 8X8 pan, spread one jar of cranberry sauce in an even layer.
- Unwrap the brick of cream cheese, pull off pieces and flatten them between your palms. Lay these flat cream cheese bits across the cranberry sauce, so it’s mostly covered.
- Rinse your can of black beans in a colander, and then sprinkle them across the cream cheese layer. Next, sprinkle on the minced red onion.
- Top with a layer of shredded mozzarella (add more if you want it extra cheesy) and garnish with a few sprigs of fresh rosemary.
- Place in oven and bake until cheese is melted, but not too brown and crispy, or else it will be hard to spread on crackers. Serve with a cheese knife.
Garlic Aioli Mashed Potatoes
For perfectly-seasoned, creamy mashed potatoes every time, skip measuring out all the butter, milk and seasonings, and use a flavorful garlic aioli to amp up the taste and texture.
- ½ cup Roasted Garlic Aioli
- 2 lbs potatoes
- Rinse and peel your potatoes, and boil them until soft. Drain, and then mash with a handheld masher, or an electric mixer on the lowest setting.
- Add aioli, and blend until smooth. Add salt if needed.
Sweet and Spicy Butternut Squash
Instead of your typical mashed sweet potatoes, we wanted to spice things up this year with this sweet blend of butternut squash and potatoes, with a fiery kick thanks to our favorite pepper jelly from Stonewall Kitchen.
- 2 lbs butternut squash
- 2 large potatoes
- 1 cup Red Pepper Jelly
- Sea salt
- White pepper
- ¼ cup salted butter
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Slice your squash in half, and place the pieces in a large casserole dish with the cut side facing down. Pour a few inches of water into the dish, and bake until you can pierce the pieces with a fork—approx 1½ hours. Top up the water if it evaporates before the squash is fully cooked. When they’re soft, remove them from the pan and gently peel off the skin. Place them in a large mixing bowl.
- Peel and cube your potatoes, and boil them in salted water until soft. Drain them, and add them into the bowl with the squash.
- Mix in the red pepper jelly, butter, and a sprinkle of salt and white pepper. Mash by hand, or with an electric mixer on low. Garnish with a few sprigs of some fresh garden herbs, like parsley, rosemary or thyme.
You’ll love how easy our Stonewall Kitchen line of products never fails to simplify fancy meal prep. Check out the whole collection at one of our locations in Illinois or Indiana, or browse our online shop. While you’re at it, take a look at our latest seed starting kits so you can get a head start on next year’s vegetable garden, so you can enjoy more amazing, veggie-heavy comfort foods like these ones!