6 Traditional Thanksgiving Recipes Reimagined For Modern Day
Before she left for a two year adventure in London, our food editor Kristen Eppich created a throwback Thanksgiving feast.
Nostalgic feelings are what make us want to recreate the past and, for me, the best way to do that is through food. I decided to revisit a Thanksgiving of my childhood (which falls squarely in the 1980s) and update the dishes for today.
In honor of my mom, I’m cooking the turkey upside down, the way she did then — and still does now. I cook it this way, too, but I’ve never shared the recipe in H&H because, well, the finished product isn’t exactly magazine-ready. But it’s so succulent, you’ll forget you ever cooked it any other way. The juices from the dark meat run into the breast to make it amazingly moist and tender. And when I made my family’s favorite sides, the dishes were either too rich, too sweet or too salty for the way we eat now. So I made a few tweaks — and they’re still just as comforting.
Appetizer: Roasted Onion Dip
Swap out dehydrated onions for caramelized sweet onions mixed into seasoned sour cream with fresh herbs and a hint of lemon.
Get the recipe for Roasted Onion Dip.
Main Course: Upside-Down Roast Turkey
Cooking a turkey upside down is the best way to achieve a juicy, succulent bird. Even though it may not look as glorious as one roasted right-side up, don’t worry — the unbeatable flavor makes up for what it lacks in appearance. And no one really puts a whole turkey on the table anyway, so platter and serve as usual.
Get the recipe for Upside-Down Roast Turkey.
Vegetable Dish: Charred Brussels Sprouts On Parmesan Cream
This sauce is thickened by reduction, not by adding flavor or a thickening agent. Keeping the cream on the bottom lets the vegetables shine — and provides just enough sauce.
Get the recipe for Charred Brussels Sprouts On Parmesan Cream.
Side Dish: Sweet Potatoes With Pumpkin Seed Pesto
Hulled pumpkin seeds, or pepitas, add a nutty flavor to the pesto, with fresh parsley providing brightness and a few chili flakes to finish it off.
Get the recipe for Sweet Potatoes With Pumpkin Seed Pesto.
Side Dish: Spinach & Pumpernickel Stuffing
This stuffing uses the best ingredients from classic spinach dip: pumpernickel bread, sautéed onions and carrots, wilted fresh spinach and a little crunch from the water chestnuts.
Get the recipe for Spinach & Pumpernickel Stuffing.
Dessert: Calvados Apple & Ricotta Parfait
This dessert is like an apple cheesecake in a glass. The ricotta adds richness to the sautéed apples, but if you want to simplify things even more, just serve the apple mixture over vanilla bean ice cream.
Get the recipe for Calvados Apple & Ricotta Parfait.