Thanksgiving is almost here and that means communal meals with all the best foods.
Thanksgiving was always my favorite holiday because my mom — a busy single mom — would make this extravagant meal that was light years away from our normal sandwich or chicken-breast-and-mashed-potatoes-from-a-box dinner. She would make a turkey and potatoes, green beans and cranberry sauce. She'd put out platters of veggies and cheese to snack on so there would be no complaining. Then all my relatives would come and we'd have this huge feast. It always felt so warm and happy and full of connection. With communal eating in mind, I've rounded up nine fantastic recipes great for eating with lots of people. These recipes are easily doubled or tripled for a crowd too.
Gluten-Free Quoll Bread (Monkey Bread)
This one is great for breakfast or snack for a lot of people. Thanksgiving can often mean lots of people in the house the morning of Thanksgiving, so why not make things easy on yourself? If you are the cook, and make this the night before and let people pull off chunks of it as they wish for breakfast.
Orange Glazed Sweet Rolls
Orange Glazed Sweet Rolls are a fun change from the typical cinnamon roll. These can be prepped the night before and the recipe can doubled — so once again, there is no need to cook a breakfast for everyone before cooking all day long. These are so good they might just become a new family tradition!
Turkey Shepherd's Pie
This is a great recipe if you have a smaller gathering or want to use up leftover turkey in a creative way. In fact, you can use up leftover veggies and potatoes, too. Plus, it gets better the next day as well!
Sparkle Kitchen Campfire Stew
If you have a crew who doesn't like turkey, this is a great recipe for you. It's a hearty, belly-filling stew that is easily doubled or tripled for a larger gathering. The smell of this stew simmering away will have everyone gathering in the kitchen, chatting and drooling together.
Fire Fighter Hash
This makes a great breakfast or side dish for the vegetarians in the family — though most meat-eaters and picky kiddos love it too! It's also a light and healthy break from all the heavier desserts and meat dishes.
Clementine & Pomegranate Salad
Have you ever wondered what it would look like if gnomes and fairies had a Thanksgiving feast? This salad would be it, with the little jewels of pomegranate seeds and crescent stones of golden clementines. This salad is a great light interlude to all the heavier dishes.
Try Mrs. Brown's buttery popovers instead of rolls or bread at your Thanksgiving table. They are light and airy and buttery and will make a great conversation starter.
The first time I tasted roasted chestnuts, I was living in Florence, Italy and it was the middle of winter. I was as cold as could be and smelled the most amazing smell. I followed my nose to this man who had a grill set up and a huge burlap bag of chestnuts. I paid him a euro and he gave me a newspaper cup filled with roasted chestnuts. I've been hooked ever since. I make these every year on the day after Thanksgiving. Give these a try for a nice afternoon snack!
Small Batch Gingerbread Cookies
We made this recipe with the idea of an afternoon snack. But I think they are totally worthy of tripling the batch! Make them as an alternative to pie for dessert.
Butternut Squash Chili
My favorite chili involves lots of canned goods, which are so much easier to keep on hand. It's also nearly vegetarian, with a butternut squash standing in admirably for the typical beef. Pop these ingredients into a pot, give it a stir, and enjoy the warm smell of it bubbling away!
A warm bowl of polenta—for breakfast, lunch, or dinner—is the coziest thing on a cold day. It's hearty and thick and even it's golden color gently whispers, “I'm warm!”
Mac and Cheese
If there was a poster child for comfort food, it would be homemade macaroni and cheese. It's not fancy, but I think, for may of us, it hearkens back to the same feelings Dante has in this story — comfort and safety and a loving parent taking care of us.
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About the Author
KC is a full-time radical homemaker and mama to two spunky little girls. She writes about all kinds of radical goodness, from gardening and cooking with whole foods to crafting, sewing, homeschooling, and mama musings. Read more on her blog The Nettlesome Life.