Herb-Roasted Turkey Recipe

Thanksgiving Contest Winners

If you're in need of a change in your traditional Thanksgiving menu, the recipes found here offer a variety of ideas that will inspire you. Try the brunch recipes for an all-day event, and then dress up your dinner with fresh takes on stuffing and sweet potatoes. You'll also find Thanksgiving tips below.

Herb-Roasted Turkey

When Becky Goldsmith of Eden Prairie, Minnesota serves this dish, guests always comment on how moist and flavorful it is. Rubbed with garden-fresh herbs, this turkey has such a wonderful aroma when it's roasting that it lures everyone into the kitchen!

Pretzel-Topped Sweet Potatoes

"I like to make this recipe for brunch as a colorful go-with dish," says Sue Mallory from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. "The mingled sweet, tart and salty tastes are an unusual treat."

Cran-Apple Tea Ring

Cran-Apple Tea Ring from Nellie Grimes of Jacksonville, Texas has a comforting combination of cranberries, apples and walnuts, making it a lovely addition to brunch.

Cranberry Cornmeal Dressing

The sweet-tart flavor of the dried cranberries really complements the turkey sausage in this dressing from Corinne Portteus of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Sweet Potato Crescents

"My family agrees that our Thanksgiving feast would not be complete without these light-as-air crescents," says Rebecca Bailey from Fairbury, Nebraska.

Thanksgiving Tips

  • We feed a lot of people at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, so my sisters and I always set up a big buffet on the kitchen counter. We put each side dish in a slow cooker (mashed potatoes, scalloped corn, squash, gravy and so forth) to keep everything warm. Guests bring the breads, rolls, salads and pies. If someone arrives late, they still can have a hot delicious meal. —Marla C., Smyrna, New York
  • When I stock up on ingredients to make special dishes for a holiday feast or birthday party, I want to be sure my family does not devour them in advance. So I devised a simple solution. I place stickers—such as turkeys for Thanksgiving, Santa Claus for Christmas or balloons for birthdays—on all recipe ingredients. It works like a charm. The kids have fun looking for the stickers in the fridge and pantry, and I am sure to have the ingredients I need for my menu! —Susan M., Dover, New Hampshire
  • The night before Thanksgiving, our church holds a pie fest, where those attending are asked to bring a pre-sliced pie to share. After the service, we head to the hall and find tables laden with slices of scrumptious pie for all to sample. It's a wonderful social before the busy preparations for Thanksgiving Day begin. —Sue J., Mequon, Wisconsin

Turkey Food Safety Tips

Any dressing can be used to stuff a turkey. For food safety reasons, review these pointers from the Taste of Home Test Kitchen before cooking your Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing:

  • Use egg substitute in place of eggs for dressing that is stuffed into the turkey.
  • Stuff the turkey just before baking—not beforehand. Loosely spoon the stuffing into the neck and body cavities to allow for expansion as it cooks.
  • To be sure the stuffing is done, a meat thermometer at the center of the stuffing inside the bird should reach 165°.
  • Always remove all of the stuffing before carving the bird. Never leave stuffing in cooked turkey when storing in the refrigerator.
  • Don't let cooked turkey and stuffing stand at room temperature longer than 2 hours.