Menu Plans

Menu Plan: Thanksgiving Style!

What are your Thanksgiving plans? We are hosting this year–just a small gathering, Ben’s brother and his new wife. And of course, it’s #BabyVolde’s first Thanksgiving! He started eating solids about a week and a half ago–so far he’s tried sweet potatoes, oatmeal, and butternut squash… and he’s totally a fan. 🙂 Coincidentally, those are totally Thanksgiving foods so he’ll fit right in at the dinner table.

Thanksgiving Menu Plan - lots of great ideas for the perfect holiday dinner!

So I was supposed to post this on Sunday with the rest of my meal plannin’ friends–but I forgot. Whoops. I was sick this past weekend, so I don’t know what happened exactly. But here it is now! Hopefully not TOO late for you. I’m not making everything on this list, but some of it is definitely under consideration. What’s your favorite Thanksgiving side? I personally can’t get enough of the stuffing and cranberry sauce. Mmmm!

We’ll be taking a meal planning break for next week, but then we’ll be back with more good eats after the holiday! Happy Thanksgiving!


Thanksgiving Menu Plan - lots of great ideas for the perfect holiday dinner!


Thanksgiving Menu Plan - lots of great ideas for the perfect holiday dinner!


Thanksgiving Menu Plan - lots of great ideas for the perfect holiday dinner!


Thanksgiving Menu Plan - lots of great ideas for the perfect holiday dinner!


Thanksgiving Menu Plan - lots of great ideas for the perfect holiday dinner!


Thanksgiving Menu Plan - lots of great ideas for the perfect holiday dinner!


Thanksgiving Menu Plan - lots of great ideas for the perfect holiday dinner!


Thanksgiving Menu Plan - lots of great ideas for the perfect holiday dinner!

This week’s meal plan was brought to you by:

Pies and Plots | The Cooking Actress | Foodtastic Mom | The Spiffy Cookie | Big Bear’s Wife | The Pajama Chef

Pin this to your meal planning board for easy access all week long!

Thanksgiving Menu Plan - lots of great ideas for the perfect holiday dinner! Thanksgiving Menu Plan - lots of great ideas for the perfect holiday dinner!


Recipes, Sides, Vegetables

Ginger-Rosemary Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted brussels sprouts are dressed up with fresh ginger and rosemary for a bright and flavorful side dish.

Ginger-Rosemary Roasted Brussels Sprouts |

I guess this is Thanksgiving side dish week on the blog! Monday was Parmesan Butternut Squash Au Gratin. Today is Ginger-Rosemary Roasted Brussels Sprouts. And Friday? Well, you’ll just have to be surprised. But let’s focus on today, mmmkay? I know brussels sprouts are popular in the blogging world. How ’bout in the real world? Well, I have no idea. I don’t know many non-foodies who like them. My own mother doesn’t even like ’em! So sorry, brussels sprouts! Fortunately… Ben and I both do, much to my surprise.

Ginger-Rosemary Roasted Brussels Sprouts |

Roasting brussels sprouts is the ONLY way to go, in my opinion. It’s easy, delicious, and takes almost no work. Roasting veggies is a classic way to get a deep, sweet, caramelized flavor into your veggies. Then you can play around with your seasonings. The sky is the limit!

Ginger-Rosemary Roasted Brussels Sprouts |

This time, I chose to season my dish with fresh grated ginger and rosemary, mainly out of convenience. I had some fresh ginger leftover from another recipe and I thought the spicy, peppery sweetness of ginger would be awesome with the piney, fresh rosemary from my mom’s friend’s plant. Ooooh was that combo delicious! I know ginger and rosemary together might not sound super traditional, but it works. Hope you enjoy!

one year ago: Pumpkin Cloverleaf Rolls
three years ago: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Energy Bars
four years ago: Hawaiian Chicken

Ginger-Rosemary Roasted Brussels Sprouts

  • Servings: 4-5
  • Print


  • 1 pound brussels sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-2 inches fresh ginger, peeled
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • sea salt


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.

Slice brussels sprouts in half, trimming edges as necessary. Place in a large bowl, then drizzle with olive oil. Grate ginger over top, then add chopped rosemary. Season with pepper and salt, then toss. Spread in an even layer on baking sheet. Don’t worry if some slivers fall off–they can be roasted and are great when crispy.

Roast for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.

Serve immediately, seasoning with more pepper as necessary.

Recipes, Sides, Vegetables

Parmesan Butternut Squash Au Gratin

An easy, cheesy butternut squash side dish… with an impressive presentation! The best new Thanksgiving side dish. 🙂

Parmesan Butternut Squash Au Gratin | #Thanksgiving

If you make ONE new Thanksgiving side dish this year, this totally should be the one! It is absolutely perfect, and a great way to introduce butternut squash to squash skeptics. I mean, isn’t it gorgeous… golden and beautiful?!? One of the fun things about butternut squash is it’s shape. It’s just so BIG for a vegetable! It’s always a shame to take the fun shape and puree it up into soup, mac and cheese, etc. Don’t get me wrong, those are delicious ways to enjoy this sweet ‘n nutty squash. But I always like to do something different! And this au gratin starring butternut squash is definitely different. Ben looked a picture and asked if it was potatoes. No, no, it’s not. But that doesn’t mean it’s not amazing!

Parmesan Butternut Squash Au Gratin | #Thanksgiving

With this Parmesan Butternut Squash Au Gratin you’ve got SO many layers of flavor. Sweet squash, garlic butter, crisp bread crumbs, Parmesan, and fresh herbs. Ohhh yum. It’s just so good. I’m not sure how anyone could resist. I couldn’t keep my fork outta the serving dish!

Parmesan Butternut Squash Au Gratin | #Thanksgiving

It’s the kind of side that’s perfect on its own–hearty, cheesy, and delicious with the perfect balance of flavors. However, I’m sitting here on my couch dreaming of ways to, shall we say, enhance the amazingness for Thanksgiving day. Isn’t Thanksgiving about going all over the top? Adding some chopped bacon to the topping, layering butternut squash with sliced apples, or even drizzling the whole dish with some pesto just sounds wonderful to me! But even without those enhancements, this butternut squash dish is such a winner! Hope it brings joy to your table this year. So sorry, so cheesy. 🙂

Parmesan Butternut Squash Au Gratin | #Thanksgiving

one year ago: Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad
two years ago: Pork, Apple, and Ginger Stir Fry
three years ago: Thai Seared Shrimp with Tomato, Basil, and Coconut
four years ago: Stovetop Mac & Cheese with Broccoli

Parmesan-Butternut Squash Au Gratin

  • Servings: 6
  • Print

from Betty Crocker


  • 1 medium butternut squash [about 2 1/2 pounds]
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped herbs – like oregano or parsley


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a large baking dish [9×13 inch pan, or a 10 inch round baking dish] with cooking spray.

Poke butternut squash all over with a fork, then microwave for about 2 minutes. Remove and cool for a few minutes before peeling. This makes it much easier to peel and slice the squash. Peel butternut squash, then halve and deseed. Slice squash into 1/2 inch thick slices, then arrange in bottom of baking dish, overlapping as necessary.

In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Turn to low and add garlic. Stir constantly as butter cooks for 2-3 minutes. Don’t brown the butter, just cook until garlic softens.

In a small bowl, stir together panko, Parmesan, pepper, and 1 tablespoon garlic butter. Brush  remaining garlic butter over squash, then sprinkle with panko mixture.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, until squash is cooked through. Turn oven up to 425 degrees F and cook for another 5 minutes or so, or until topping turns golden brown. Top with herbs before serving.

Desserts, Other, Recipes

Harvest Pear Crisp with Crystallized Ginger

Let’s conclude our week of Thanksgiving recipes with the best part of all… dessert! Since I’ve made so many pies this fall, we just weren’t in the mood for pie for our fun meal. So crisp it was! What’s more fall than a crisp? But not the classic apple or cherry, but another fall fruit–pears!

Harvest Pear Crisp |

I think sometimes pears fall by the wayside, overshadowed by apples. Even though I am pretty much addicted to having at least one sliced apple a day, pears are another love of mine! They’re sweet and pair [ha ha ha] so well with cinnamon and ginger. Two things make this crisp sing–the crumbly, buttery topping with tangy pieces of crystallized ginger, and the simple spice of cinnamon. Some fall recipes use a bunch of warm spices. That’s all well and good, but keeping it easy and basic just celebrates the pear, cinnamon, and ginger. Yum! Exactly what we needed to polish off a delicious Thanksgiving dinner. The photos do NOT do this dish justice. It was getting dark… boo.

Harvest Pear Crisp |

Oh well, I still hope you’ve enjoyed this week of Thanksgiving recipes! 🙂

Thanksgiving Meal |

two years ago: Whipped Sweet Potatoes
three years ago: Spinach Mushroom Cream Sauce with Spaghetti

Harvest Pear Crisp with Crystallized Ginger [from Bon Appetite, November 2009]
click to print



  • 4 pounds ripe pears [6-7 large pears] – peeled, cored, cubed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla


  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup crystallized ginger, minced


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.

Place pears in prepared baking dish, then add sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and vanilla. Toss together gently with a fork.

In a medium bowl, prepare topping. Stir together flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Cut in butter with pastry blender, then add oats and ginger. Toss with a fork, then spread evenly over pears.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, until topping is golden brown and juices are bubbling. Serve warm.

Time: 60 minutes.
Yield: 8-10 servings.

Linked up with: Foodie Friday, Weekend Potluck.

Main Dishes, Recipes, Turkey

Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast

For our early Thanksgiving dinner, Ben really wanted turkey. Problem was… we didn’t plan ahead enough to defrost a turkey AND my meat thermometer is busted so I would have had to buy another one of those to cook the big bird. Fortunately, I saw a recipe earlier this month for turkey breast. Who knew you could just buy part of a turkey? Certainly not I! But I am so glad to know now that I can… because this was absolutely delicious, fabulously easy, and all in all… amazing.

Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast |

This turkey breast was so flavorful and so tender. It was just as easy as making a roast chicken in the oven, and while there was no dark meat for Ben to enjoy, we’ve been eating turkey leftovers all week. Can’t be disappointed with that! There were even a few bones so I could make some turkey stock in the crockpot. Yum yum! I hope you’ve been enjoying my Thanksgiving recipes this week… I can’t wait to share one last dessert recipe tomorrow! 🙂

Thanksgiving Meal |

Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast [from Good Cheap Eats]
click to print


  • 3-5 pound turkey breast half
  • 1/4 cup salted butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon tarragon
  • 1/4 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • sprigs of thyme and rosemary, optional


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place the turkey breast in a roaster or baking dish.

In a bowl, stir together butter, thyme, tarragon, and sage. Cut slits in the turkey breast skin, then brush butter mixture evenly over the turkey. Season with salt and pepper.

Place the herbs around the turkey breast.

Bake for 30 minutes, then reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake for 45-90 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°.  Let the turkey rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Time: 2 hours.

YIeld: 10 servings.