The Ultimate Thanksgiving Recipe Guide

By James Mulcahy  |  November 18, 2013

Thanksgiving approaches, and if you're cooking a meal at home, you know what that means: time to panic. Well, fear not! You can have a restaurant-quality Thanksgiving meal with our handy How To guide. We visited 7 spots and got their tips on how to make everything from awesome cranberry sauce and high-end stuffing, to a snack for this year's Thanksgiving and Hanukkah mash-up (they're on the same day, which hasn't happened for hundred of years).

Our guide below is full of video tutorials and the corresponding recipes, so you can have a table full of dishes worth gobble gobbling up.

  • Pumpkin Soup From Chef Roberto Deiaco at East 12th Osteria

    Serving Size: 4-6


    1 medium Mantua pumpkin, halved and roasted whole with salt, pepper and olive oil for 60-90 minutes at 375°F
    1 whole onion, minced
    1 carrot, minced
    2 ribs of celery, minced
    5 bay leaves
    3 cups water
    Amaretti cookies
    Pinch of grated ricotta salata cheese


    1. Sauté the vegetables in oil over medium heat, season with salt, and cook until translucent.

    2. Scoop out the pumpkin flesh from the skin (omitting seeds), and cook with the mirepoix for a few minutes in the pan.

    3. Add water and bay leaves, and season with salt and pepper.

    4. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Remove bay leaves and purée it with a blender.

    5. Garnish with ricotta salata and crumbled amaretti cookies.

  • Cranberry Sauce From Chef Jason Hicks of the Jones Wood Foundry

    Serving Size: 10-12


    1 lb. and 3 oz. fresh cranberries
    21⅓ fl. oz. (⅔ qt.) fresh orange Juice
    10⅔ fl. oz. (⅓ qt.) unsweetened cranberry juice
    11 oz. granulated sugar
    2 pieces star anise
    2 cinnamon sticks
    1½ oz. fresh ginger
    Thick bottomed pot
    Wooden spoon


    1. Peel ginger and crush under a heavy pan. Try to leave ginger intact, as it will need to be removed after the cooking.

    2. Wash cranberries and place into a thick-bottomed pan. Add all remaining ingredients to the same pan.

    3. Bring to a boil and lower to a gentle simmer. Allow to cook for approximately 1 hour 15 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon from time to time to ensure that contents of pan are not catching to the bottom of the pan.

    4. At this point, the cranberry sauce is ready. Depending on how thick you like your cranberry sauce, you may like to cook out further, which will result in sauce thickening. Additional cooking for thickness should not exceed 15 minutes.

    5. If you also like your sauce a little sweeter (i.e. less tart), you may add more sugar at this point.

  • Thanksgiving Stuffing From Chef Jim Burke of DB Bistro

    Serving Size: 6-8


    4 tbs. olive oil
    1 medium onion, small diced
    2 stalks celery, small diced
    1 small celery root (about 4 oz.), peeled and diced small
    4 tbs. butter
    Salt and freshly ground white pepper
    4 oz. cooked and peeled chestnuts, quartered
    2 tbs. brandy
    1 sprig fresh sage
    2 sprigs fresh thyme
    1 Granny Smith apple, cut into ½-in. cubes
    ½ lb. duck liver, cut into ½-in. cubes
    1 lb. sourdough bread croutons
    1 cup turkey gravy


    1. Heat 1 tbs. olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, celery and celery root, and sauté until tender and caramelized, adding 1 tbs. of butter halfway through. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.

    2. In a medium sauté pan, melt 2 tbs. butter. Add the chestnuts and sauté for 4 minutes until toasty. Remove from the heat, add the brandy, and, with a burner flame or long match, carefully flambé the chestnuts. Once the flames subside, add the sage and thyme, and sauté for one more minute. Pick out the sage and thyme, and add to the pan of vegetables.

    3. Add 1 tbs. olive oil to the same sauté pan, and melt over high heat. Add the apples and sauté until caramelized. Add 1 tbs. butter, and continue to sauté over medium heat until cooked through. Add to the pan of vegetables and chestnuts.

    4. Heat a medium nonstick sauté pan over high heat. Add the diced duck liver and sear, undisturbed until browned, for about 20 seconds. Toss and sear the other side until browned, another 20 seconds. Remove from the heat, and add the pan of ingredients from Step 3. Toss to combine.

    5. Add to the pan the turkey gravy so the ingredients are moist. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.

  • Roasted Turkey From Chef Bill Telepan of Telepan 

    Serving Size:


    ¼ cup salt
    12-14 lb. turkey


    1. Sprinkle the turkey with the salt, and sprinkle some in the cavity. Let sit overnight in the refrigerator, up to two days.

    2. Preheat oven to 475°F. Pull turkey out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before cooking. Pat the turkey dry (also removing excess salt), and place on a roasting rack. Spread on the turkey a generous amount of butter, season with a little salt, and place in the oven.

    3. Let cook for 30 minutes, then turn down heat to 375°F, basting every 15-20 minutes until the leg reaches 155°F (about 12-15 minutes per pound).

    4. Take out of oven, pour off drippings, skim. Let turkey rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

  • Mini Apple Pie From Catch by EMM Group’s Corporate Executive Pastry Chef Thiago Silva

    Serving Size: 12 6-in. pies 

    Ingredients: Tart Dough

    2 cups butter
    1 cup powdered sugar
    2 tbs. vanilla extract
    2 egg yolks
    3 cups all-purpose flour
    1 tsp. baking powder
    1 tsp. salt

    Instructions: Tart Dough

    1. Place all dry ingredients in a mixer with paddle attachment. Cut cold butter into cubes, and add to flour mix at low speed. Then add yolks and vanilla. Mix until dough comes together.

    2. Divide into small portions, and place in freezer.

    3. Roll out to ¼ in. thick, and line tart molds.


    Ingredients: Apple Jus

    1 cup butter
    ⅛ cup all-purpose flour
    ½ cup water (or apple cider)
    ¾ cup sugar
    ½ cup light brown sugar
    1 tsp. cinnamon
    1 tsp. salt
    ½ cup Jack Daniels

    Instructions: Apple Jus

    1. Add butter to a pan, melt at low temperature, and add flour while mixing. Add water/cider to butter mix; when the mix thickens, add sugars, cinnamon and salt. Mix until all is incorporated. Add Jack Daniels.

    2. Cool. Use to coat apples.


    Final Pie Assembly:

    1. Peel, core, and cut 18 Granny Smith apples into nice chunks.

    2. Coat the apples with the jus.

    3. Pile coated apples on to tart shells, and pile them high.

    4. Use the tart dough to cover apple tart in a lace format or fully covered according to your preference. You may also use store-bought puff pastry.

    5. Bake at 350°F on a sheet pan with a wire rack. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until golden brown.

    6. Chill and serve warm.

  • Thanksgiving Leftovers Sandwich From Bubby's

    Serving Size: 1 sandwich


    1 good ciabatta sliced in half, lengthwise
    5 oz. sliced roasted turkey
    2 oz. cream cheese
    3 oz. cranberry sauce
    3 oz. leftover stuffing


    1. Schmear one side of the bread with cream cheese, one side with mayo.

    2. Lay the turkey on the bread.

    3. Spoon the cranberry sauce onto the turkey.

    4. Spoon the stuffing over the cranberry.

    5. Top with the other piece of bread.

    6. Eat voraciously!

  • Latke Taquitos for Thanksgivukkah From Barry Frish of NYC's Taquitoria

    Ingredients: Latke

    2 russet potatoes
    1 Spanish onion
    ¼ lb. unsalted butter
    Canola oil
    2 large eggs

    Instructions: Latke

    1. In a sauté pan, melt ¼ of the butter and put aside.

    2. Peel the potatoes and the onion.

    3. Using the largest side of a box grater, grate the potatoes and onion into a medium-sized mixing bowl.

    4. Take the potato and onion mixture and place in a large kitchen towel. Ring out the mixture so as much of the liquid is removed from the mixture as possible. Discard the liquid.

    5. Put the mixture back in the mixing bowl and mix in the melted butter (the butter will prevent the potatoes from turning brown) and the eggs.

    6. Season to taste.

    7. Place a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat, and cover the bottom of the pan with canola oil. When the oil is hot (there should be wisps of smoke, and the oil should simmer) place half the potato and onion mixture in the pan. It should cover the entire pan and be about ¼-in. high.

    8. With a heat-resistant rubber spatula, form the potato mixture into a disc. The mixture will not stick to the pan if the oil is hot enough.

    9. Allow the bottom of the disc to cook until golden brown. Then flip the disc.

    10. Place the pan in a 375°F oven and cook for 8-10 minutes.

    11. Remove the pan from the oven, and place back on the heat. Add 1/3 of butter to the pan and allow it to brown.

    12. Slide the latke onto a cooling rack to cool, and repeat Steps 7-11 with the other half of the mixture.


    Ingredients: Taquito

    12 6-in. yellow corn tortillas
    24 standard wooden toothpicks
    1 bunch of chives
    Canola oil

    Instructions: Taquito

    1. Fill a Dutch oven ⅓ of the way with canola oil. Heat to 300°F.

    2. Using two or three tortillas at a time, flash-fry the tortillas in the oil for 8 to 10 seconds. (The tortillas should begin to smoke when they are ready, don't let them bubble or crisp). Strain well and place on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil.

    3. Mix the cooled latkahs in a bowl so the crispy outside and soft insides are evenly mixed up.

    4. Using one tortilla at a time, place 1 oz. of tortilla mixture in a line on the closest lip of the tortilla. Fold the flap over the mixture, and roll into a cigar shape.

    5. Insert two toothpicks at an angle on the outside flap of the tortilla to hold the shape.

    6. When ready to serve, fry the taquitos at 375°F for about 90 seconds. Strain on a paper towel, and remove the toothpicks before serving.