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Your most requested recipe from Thanksgiving/Christmas dinners

Mine is my stuffing/dressing -- I make an effort to go to Asian markets to get fresh water chestnuts for it. It's a pain driving/parking/searching and then peeling that barky stuff off and slicing them BUT it's so much better in the stuffing than canned. They stay crunchy. I also add toasted almond slivers (not slices) and chunks of peeled apple (on top of sauteed onion, celery and lots of parsley, Bell's, chopped fresh sage.

What's your most requested recipe?

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  1. Sausage-mushroom-roasted shallot stuffing and cranberry sauce with port and figs from Thanksgiving - the cranberry sauce is from Epicurious, but the stuffing is my own creation (although inspired by an Epicurious recipe). Thanksgiving is the only holiday I can call my own, though - we still do Christmas at my parents' house, and my family has never really had a traditional Christmas meal - we change it up every year.

    1. The kids and grandkids always ask for grandma's fruit jello. Strawberry gelatin, mixed with strawberries and served in layers (gelatin and fruit/sour cream/gelatin and fruit). The kids say it feels like dessert alongside their dinner (better than cranberry sauce) ...

      1. Shredded brussel sprouts sauteed with crispy bacon'pancetta, garlic and pine nuts/pistachios. Add water if it gets dry, drizzle with olive oil at the end.

        4 Replies
        1. re: escondido123

          Our family ejoys a similar Brussels Sprouts side made with Pancetta as well, plus...

          * a savory sausage stuffing
          * sweet potato muffins
          * an Italian inspired Seafood Salad.....served warm and without acid, Lemon wraps on the side.
          * slow roasted Prime Rib, Rack of Veal or Pork, Picnic Shoulder, Fresh ham or Leg of Lamb

          1. re: fourunder

            fourunder, can you share recipe or expound on the Italian Seafood Salad?
            Sounds intrigueing and nice... no acid has me curious:)

            1. re: gingershelley

              no acid has me curious:)


              The reason for no acid is simply .....not everyone enjoys vinegar and any acid in the main dish will continue to cook the seafood should it sit out for any length of time, or should there be any leftovers....think Cerviche. Personally, I like the delicate sweetness or taste of the ocean in Sea Foods like, Maine Lobster, Crabs, Shrimp, Clams, Mussels, Calamari and Pulpo. Over the years, the seafood salads have been made with acid, but after it was made without, most all family and friends preferred it without red wine vinegar or lemon juice included and made in advance.....

              My first order of business is to have 2-3 pots of boiling water going to cook the seafood separately in stages. Calamari Tubes are cooked separately from the Tentacles to avoid bleeding of the ink. Pulpo is also cooked separately. Calamari Tubes are cooked whole, then sliced in to rings 1/2 or up to one inch ( We like them Big). Calamari tentacles and Baby Pulpo are boiled whole without cutting. Scungilli is boiled and sliced. Lobsters are steamed. Shrimp are usually steamed. Lobster and Shrimp are then shelled and cut accordingly. Any clams or mussels are usually steamed in beer or wine. The only seafood I will pan fry/saute/sear are shrimp and scallops. After each stage of cooking the fish, it is allowed to cool, but never refrigerated. The dish is meant to be served warm.

              The vegetables used are:

              * Red Onion Sliver
              * Celery (including hearts and leaves) cut on the bias or into diamonds
              * Olives
              * Pepperoncini
              * Italian Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped
              * Garlic Slivers slow poached in Olive Oil (Inclusion is Optional)*

              Seasonings: All Optional to taste

              * Sea Salt
              * Fresh Cracked Pepper
              * Red Pepper Flakes
              * White Wine
              * Red Wine Vinegar
              * Wrapped lemons on the Side

              * Quality Olive Oil...Garlic* infused from the Slivers
              * Liquor from beer poaching liquid for clams and mussels

              The usual line-up of sea foods will include all, or any combination of the following....with exception of the Salt Cod.......which usually is made separately on it's own as well to satisfy the old timers... Anyone who like the Salt Cod can add it into their mix if desired. Some recipes will use lump crab, but I find it breaks down too easily and loses its presence in the salad

              * Shelled Maine Lobster...including Tail, Claw and Knuckle meat
              * Jumbo Shrimp.....Whole or Halved, but you could certainly chop or use smaller sizes
              * Calamari Rings and Tentacles
              * Scungilli
              * Baby Pulpo
              * Shelled King or Snow Crab
              * Pan Seared Scallops
              * Mussels in shell, .....I don't shell these, as the black shell make nice contrast visually
              * Little Neck Clams in shell
              * Baccala ...aka Salt Cod

              After all the fish has been cooked and prepared into its appropriate sizes...the prepped vegetables and fish are all then placed into a large mixing bowl and combined with the Infused Olive Oil and gently folded together and transferred to a large serving plate or bowl is lined, or not, with Romaine Lettuce, Radicchio, and or Endive for garnish

              Wrapped Lemon Halves are available in a side bowl .....and vinegar if desired.

              btw....This is one dish I always pile high and aim for height in the presentation

              Mount Vesuvius....can you hear me now?

              Enjoy ! ! ! !



              1. re: gingershelley


                If you like the idea of mussels.....here's a crowd pleaser in the thread below. I have also included shellfish and clams into it with great results.

                I have also tried finishing with more butter.....and heavy cream.

                Give it a read.

          2. Mine is Corn Corn & More Corn Casserole. It's kind of like a firm corn pudding/corn bread hybrid, you can pick it up & eat it with your fingers.
            2 cans creamed corn
            2 cans corn or fresh corn from 1-1/2 cobs
            2 sticks butter
            2 eggs
            16 oz sour cream
            2 eggs
            2 pks of jiffy corn bread mix
            optional cubes of pepper jack cheese, green chiles, ham, chopped bacon....

            mix everything together and bake in a 400 degree oven until brown on top (about 1 to 1-1/3 hr)

            I know this recipe sounds funky but it really is super awesome. I'll make all sorts of elborate side dishes from scratch and while everyone always raves about everything, this is the one dish people want a recipe for.

            It's also great with a hearty beef chili or served along side some BBQ

            2 Replies
            1. re: brassica2012

              This sounds good to me, but huge! What size pan do you use?

              1. re: brassica2012

                Ditto on the pan size question plus I assume the butter is melted? It does sound good and I like something corny at thanksgiving.

              2. A dish I make of caramelized cipollines, roasted chestnuts (not steamed), and figs with a buttery cognac reduction. It's an old Food & Wine recipe that I tinkered with. (The recipe calls for prunes, not figs, and I do a few other things different..). Always a hit and makes great leftovers.

                11 Replies
                  1. re: RUNNERFEMME

                    That sounds delicious - care to share the recipe?

                    1. re: biondanonima

                      Not a chutney. All the ingredients are used whole. Let me get the recipe and post it. Stay tuned...

                      1. re: RUNNERFEMME

                        Here is the original recipe. http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/ca...

                        I used dried black mission figs in place of the prunes. I buy chestnuts and roast and peel them. The recipe also requires tinkering for the caramelization. I let the onions caramelize for considerably longer than the 30 minutes suggested in the recipe, adding more butter and cognac as my instinct tells me to add. A pat here, a splash there. I also make this the day before Tday and reheat gently in the oven. Take care not to heat (or reheat) on too high a stove or oven temp - the sauce will break. One year, I could not find cipollines, so used a combo of shallots and pearl onions with success. Enjoy!

                        1. re: RUNNERFEMME

                          Wow - that looks fantastic. I'm adding that to the short list for Christmas!

                          1. re: RUNNERFEMME

                            I've used the frozen pearl onions from Trader Joe's in recipes similar to this and though the texture is a little different, it is a real time saver when you need it.

                            1. re: RUNNERFEMME

                              there's just something so wonderful about about chestnuts & figs together. last year's NY Times vegetarian Thanksgiving article featured a recipe from Daniel Humm (chef at Eleven Madison Park in NYC) for Brioche Stuffing with Chestnuts and Figs. i was drooling when i read it.

                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                I never thought of using frozen pearl onions. Genius.

                                1. re: RUNNERFEMME

                                  If you have access to Indian stores, they often sell frozen small pink onions (as much shallot-like as onion like) for use in sambals. They are readily substituable and caramelize nicely.

                              2. re: RUNNERFEMME

                                curious, do you leave the figs whole or cut them?

                                1. re: jen kalb

                                  jen kalb - i pinch off the stems and leave them intact. simple.

                        2. Definitely my baked mac & cheese. It is universally loved, and I always get requests for the recipe.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: banananutmuffin

                            can you please share that? thanks!

                          2. For Thanksgiving, it's a completely old school cranberry mold that my MIL waits for each year:

                            Cranberry Mold

                            Crushed pineapple 1 cup
                            Syrup & water 1 1/2 cups
                            3 boxes Lemon Jell-o
                            Whole berry Cranberry sauce 3 cups
                            Lemon Juice 1/2 cup
                            Walnuts 1/3 cup, chopped

                            Drain pineapple, combine syrup with water to make 1 1/2 cups. Dissolve Jell-o in 1 3/4 cups boiling water. Add syrup water, mix well, add pineapple, cranberry sauce, lemon juice, chopped walnuts. Mix together, pour into mold & chill to set.

                            For Christmas, it's Sticky Toffee Pudding

                            STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING

                            For the cake
8 ounces (225g/generous 1 cup) chopped dates

                            ½ pint (300ml/1¼ cups) brewed tea

                            4 ozs. (110g/1 stick) unsalted butter

                            6 ozs. (170g/scant 1 cup) castor (superfine) sugar

                            3 eggs

                            8 ozs. (225g/scant 1½ cups) self-rising flour

                            1 rounded teaspoon bread soda (baking soda)

                            1 teaspoon vanilla essence

                            1 teaspoon Espresso coffee or 2-3 teaspoons instant espresso
                            Hot toffee sauce

                            4 ozs. (100g/1 stick) butter

                            6 ozs. (170g/3/4 cup) dark brown sugar

                            4 ozs. (110g/generous ½ cup) granulated sugar

                            10 ozs (285g/3/4 cup) golden syrup

                            8 fl. ozs. (225 ml/1 cup) heavy cream

                            ½ teaspoon vanilla essence

                            8-inch (20.5cm) spring form tin with removable base.
Set the oven to 350 degrees.
                            Soak the dates in hot tea for 15 minutes. Brush the cake tin with oil, flour, then put oiled parchment on the base.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, and then mix in the sifted flour. Add the baking soda, vanilla essence and coffee to the date tea and stir this into the flour mixture. Pour into prepared pan, and cook for 1-1½ hours or until a cake tester comes out clean.
To make the sauce, put the butter, sugars and golden syrup into a heavy bottomed saucepan and melt gently on a low heat. Simmer for about 5 minutes, remove from heat, and gradually stir in the cream and vanilla. Put back on the heat for 2-3 minutes until the sauce is absolutely smooth.
To serve, pour some hot sauce around the cake and pour some additional sauce over the top. Put the remainder in a sauceboat, and serve with the pudding as well as softly whipped cream.

                            1. It is actually my mother-in-law's mashed potatoes which were her mother's mashed potatoes.

                              5 pounds of potatoes, peeled and boiled
                              2 blocks cream cheese
                              1 cup sour cream
                              salt and pepper to taste

                              They whip them for a light consistency. They are a heart attack in a bowl but man are they good! I've made them for friends and family before and they've all asked me for the recipe.

                              1. Just remembered everyone's favorite cranberry recipe from Food & Wine magazine. (So easy!!)


                                1. I've been making for the past few years the Ruth Chris Sweet Potato casserole and people go crazy for it. Seriously, even people who don't like sweet potatoes. So delicious and rich.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: mschow

                                    I made it one year and only one person LOVED it; others (myself included) thought it was way too sweet. That one person was very happy to get all the leftovers.

                                    1. re: mschow

                                      I've been looking for a make ahead mash recipe. Will you pls share?

                                    2. my Roast Chicken (always do this now instead of turkey) and gravy
                                      Baked Mac'n'Cheese - no velveeta, but variety of cheeses and fights over the scant leftovers
                                      Pumpkin Pie
                                      Stuffed Endives with Lemon White Wine Vinaigrette

                                      1. For Thanksgiving, it's this sweet potato casserole from Cooking Light, of all places:


                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: gansu girl

                                          That's been my go-to sweet potato recipe since the recipe appeared in that issue of CL. No one would guess it's light.

                                        2. Surprisingly, the chocolate ganache tart from CHOW. Folks don't get chocolate desserts for Thanksgiving and it's a welcome addition.

                                          1. Hickory smoked whole brined turkey cooked in a Weber kettle charcoal BBQ.

                                            1. Mine is also my stuffing - sausage, apple, walnut stuffing with sage. My maple wheat dinner rolls are also pretty popular, but I look forward all year to making -and eating - that stuffing.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: BabsW

                                                Hi Babs,

                                                Would you mind sharing the recipe for your maple wheat dinner rolls? Thanks!

                                                1. re: arp29

                                                  Sure thing :)

                                                  Maple Wheat Dinner Rolls

                                                  1 1/2 cups warm water
                                                  3 tablespoons maple syrup
                                                  1 pkg. dry yeast
                                                  1/4 cup canola oil
                                                  1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
                                                  2 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
                                                  1 teaspoon salt
                                                  Oil for brushing

                                                  In a large bowl, pour the warm water and maple syrup and stir.
                                                  Add the yeast and stir with a fork well to make sure that all of the clumps are dissolved.
                                                  Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for about 5 minutes or until the mixture gets foamy.
                                                  Add the oil, whole-wheat flour, 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour, and salt to the yeast mixture in the large bowl. Stir until everything is well combined..
                                                  Place the dough on a lightly dusted work surface. Knead the dough for 10-12 minutes, adding extra flour as you go. - This dough will be slightly tacky, but it should not stick to your hands.
                                                  Cover the dough let rise until doubled, 30 to 60 minutes.
                                                  Lightly oil an 8 by 8-inch baking pan. Divide the dough into 16 balls. Brush the tops with oil, and place in the prepared pan.
                                                  Cover with a kitchen towel and let the rolls rise until until the rolls have doubled, another 30 to 60 minutes.
                                                  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
                                                  Serve warm with butter.

                                                  1. re: BabsW

                                                    Thanks! Those sound great! I may even try them today:-)

                                              2. Croissants, but once they have the recipe they don't want to put in the time/effort it takes to make them, so they let me do them every year :)

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: sarahjay

                                                  How long? Can an amateur like I am possibly make them? Can they be done the day before and then baked off when turkey comes out? (I only have one oven.)

                                                  1. re: walker

                                                    They can be done as early as you'd like. I freeze them fully formed and thaw/proof on the counter a couple hours before baking. It's not as difficult as you'd think, especially the second and third time. It does take several hours to do the folding/rolling/etc, but a lot of that time is waiting.

                                                  2. re: sarahjay

                                                    My aunt makes her own and the recipe takes up two pages in the cookbook.

                                                  3. Mine is also a stuffing/dressing recipe that I add Conecuh sausage to and home baked cornbread. It can't be any other kind of sausage. No other sausage can every compare and unfortunately, Conecuh is 100% regional. In any case, that is the first thing to go, even before desserts! It is not dry, but moist and oh so yummy!

                                                    See this topic for how Conecuh is loved: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/136259

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: magnoliasouth

                                                      Oh my gosh! Can you share more details? I love love love Conecuh sausage; my stepfather brings me back 4 pounds (which HE thinks is a lot, heh), every year and I hoard it in my freezer until I can't stand it any longer. But I've never eaten it other than straight up!

                                                    2. Cranberry horseradish mousse. Make it as sweet or as hot as you like. I like a lot of horseradish and a little extra gelatin so it stands up to the heat from the hot food.

                                                      1. I think the most requested recipe for everyone is the stuffing. Everyone seems to put their own personal spin on stuffing and no two are ever alike!

                                                        1. Better then any candied version IMO.

                                                          2# sweet potatoes
                                                          5 (2-inch) strips orange zest
                                                          2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
                                                          1/2c. orange juice
                                                          1/3c. pure maple syrup
                                                          2T. sesame oil
                                                          1T. finely chopped ginger root
                                                          1/2t. coarse sea salt
                                                          1 stick unsalted butter, 1/2" cubed

                                                          Preheat the oven to 375°F. Peel and halve the yams crosswise. Cut each half lengthwise into 4 wedges. Place the yams in a baking dish that will hold them in a snug single layer. Tuck the orange zest and cinnamon sticks among the yams.

                                                          In a bowl, whisk together the orange juice, maple syrup, sesame oil, ginger, and salt. Pour the mixture over the yams. Top with cubed butter.

                                                          Cover and bake for 30 - 40 mins. Uncover and continue baking, basting every 15 minutes, until the yams are tender and glazed and the pan juices are syrupy.

                                                          4 Replies
                                                          1. re: letsindulge

                                                            Sounds super Yum! I love the idea of maple syrup and ginger with sesame oil.
                                                            Thanks, let's indulge... I will borrow this for our feast this year:)

                                                            1. re: gingershelley

                                                              I hope you like it. I'm looking forward to it too!

                                                            2. re: letsindulge

                                                              This sounds easy and delicious and not overly sweet.

                                                              1. re: walker

                                                                Exactly! That's why I love it so. I enjoy sweet potatoes and this combination of ingredients doesn't mask their taste.

                                                            3. I have two- one is my roasted butternut squash soup. Everyone is shocked at how easy it is and the other is my dressing. Homemade cornbread, dried cranberries, Granny Smith apples, sauteed onion and celery, fresh parsley, fresh sage, fresh thyme, and homemade chicken stock. It smells so good in the oven.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: vafarmwife

                                                                Your dressing sounds just like mine - same apples, dried cranberries, and herbs, but I usually use leeks, and bread (a country loaf, or the stuffing bread with garlic and sage from Great Harvest) instead of cornbread.

                                                              2. My mom's spicy pumpkin pie! It's the only pumpkin pie anyone in our family will eat. She got it back in the 50's when she was just married from a magazine article on blue ribbon winners from fairs. It's very dark brown and completely delectable!

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                    Sorry! Neither one Goodhealth. Here it is. Trust me, just try it once and you'll never go back, but shhhhhhhh, don't tell anybody!

                                                                    Anne Brown's Spicy pumpkin pie

                                                                    2 Tbsp butter
                                                                    1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree ( My family only use Stokley's)
                                                                    1 tsp ginger
                                                                    1 tsp cinnamon
                                                                    1/4 tsp cloves
                                                                    1/4 tsp mace
                                                                    2 eggs
                                                                    2 Tbsp flour
                                                                    1/2 cup white sugar
                                                                    1/2 cup brown sugar
                                                                    1/2 tsp salt
                                                                    1 cup milk

                                                                    9" unbaked pie shell
                                                                    Start oven at 450 F
                                                                    Melt butter and stir into pumpkin along with spices. In a seperate bowl beat eggs until frothy. Stir into eggs the flour, both sugars, salt and milk. Fold into pumpkin with a gentle hand. Bake 10 minutes and reduce oven to 375 F and bake for 45 minutes.

                                                                    The best part was that we got to eat it for breakfast too since it had vegetables and eggs and milk. Besides, when was the last time you got to cook with mace? Lol

                                                                1. I've already endorsed the Frog Commissary cookbook in the thread about carrot cake, so why not in this thread too?
                                                                  I have made their cranberry/apple/currant/brandy pie since 1987 for my family's feast, with one exception: i was working in europe 7 years ago during Thanksgiving, so neither me nor my pie could attend. I got 4 e-mails about the AWOL pie, nothing about whether I was missed! It's a very good, very rich & very tall pie, and the pastry recipe accompanying is also foolproof.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: badrockandroll

                                                                    Does anyone do cornbread stuffing with oysters? Had it once at a pot luck but didn't get the recipe. I still think of it...

                                                                    1. re: SamVee

                                                                      We had it when I was a kid, but it was just a traditional cornbread stuffing recipe with minced oysters mixed into the stuffing. My mother has since developed life threatening food allergies, so it's not making much of an appearance these days. However, we still do a cornbread stuffing and just leave out the oysters.