Our Paleo Family

Thanksgiving Prep

Thanksgiving is 12 days away as of this writing. If you’re responsible for hosting the big meal this year or are simply contributing to the feast with a dish or two, I have some helpful tips and recipes for you.

Recipes available for FREE on the blog:

Sweet Potato Casserole

No marshmallows here. Just all that sweet potato goodness amped up with fresh orange juice and a slightly sweet pecan topping

Fresh Cranberry Sauce

Who knew this often forgotten side dish could add such zest to the meal? This recipe is full of crunch from apples and pecans for an unexpected twist.

Pumpkin Pie Bars

Just like pumpkin pie, but in a serves-a-crowd size

The Best Paleo Apple Pie

It really is the best (even though this old picture is not the best – I will update this after I make this year’s pie!). People say they can’t believe this is not full of gluten and tons of sugar. When you take away some of that tasteless stuff, you can actually enjoy the flavor of the apples!

Green Beans with Bacon and Shallots

Instead of that canned soup casserole that graces so many tables, take a fresher approach. These beans have an amazing flavor! The only bad news is that you will not have any leftovers.

Honestly, Really Delicious Mashed Cauliflower Potatoes

Seriously, they are that good. For all of you following a low carb diet, here’s your chance to eat mashed potatoes again.

Paleo Pumpkin Pecan Cookie Bars

Can’t decide between pecan pie or pumpkin pie? Combine the two for the best of both worlds.

Paleo “Corn” Bread

And for the bread course: “corn” bread. This is truly a paleo recipe, meaning no grains were harmed in the preparation of this dish. But somehow, through the magic of baking, the end result is very much like cornbread, only better.

More Recipe Options

In addition to all those recipes listed above, a couple years ago I put together an e-book full of holiday recipes. It’s just $9.99 and you can download that right now. Just click this link. The sweet potato casserole and cranberry sauce recipes are there, but in addition, you’ll find the following Thanksgiving recipes that are only found in the book:

  • Perfect Roast Turkey
  • Gluten Free Dressing/Stuffing
  • Gravy
  • Paleo Pie Crust
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Chocolate Pecan Pie (so unbelievably good!!!)

I have Christmas, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, Super Bowl Sunday and more covered in this book as well!

  • It’s always a good idea to have a fresh green salad available. But since it’s Thanksgiving, try to spruce it up a bit or do something special or unexpected. Try adding some pomegranate perils to the top or make your standard vinaigrette with a special ingredient such as champagne vinegar.
  • So much of the big holiday meal can be made ahead of time.
    • Sweet potato casserole can be prepared entirely the day before and just baked on Thanksgiving.
    • Cranberry salad actually gets better a day or two after it’s made.
    • Peel those potatoes and prep all your veggies a day ahead. For potatoes, just keep them submerged in water.
  • Turkey tips: don’t forget to retrieve the giblets from the cavity. They are usually in a bag of some sort stuck down in there. You definitely don’t want to bake that! Stick them in the fridge or freezer so you can add them to the carcass for making broth. 
  • If you have purchased a frozen turkey, it will take several days to thaw. Don’t assume you can pick up a frozen bird the day before Thanksgiving. You cannot. I repeat, you cannot. It will still be frozen and then your family will talk about your undercooked turkey for the rest of your life. 🙂
  • Last year, I put together a little video on prepping your turkey. You can find that here.
Do you have questions? Something specific I haven’t covered here? Please reach out. I’m available to help!

The bottom line is that the holidays are meant to be an enjoyable time with family and friends. Ultimately, the food will come and go so try to enjoy the process. After all, Christmas cookie season will be here soon and any Thanksgiving stress you’re feeling will be behind you. 🍪