5 Simple Thanksgiving Recipes To try This Year

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Joe and I both love to cook and Turkey Day is a great opportunity for us to make these simple Thanksgiving recipes to share with the people around us. We usually go to a friend’s or relative’s home on that day, so we always offer to bring sides for the Thanksgiving meal. Instead of making one of the more popular Thanksgiving side dishes, we typically choose from the list below. I hope you’ll give one of the Thanksgiving recipes a try and enjoy it as much as we do.

These simple Thanksgiving recipes include the roasted cauliflower we made for the first Thanksgiving potluck on the road. Read more about that experience and more in Joe’s second book Tales From the Open Road.

Before we got into the RV lifestyle, Thanksgivings were usually spent at Mama Russo’s house where family, friends and acquaintances gathered for a scrumptious homemade feast. She has hosted dinners with close to 30 people from immediate family to college roommates to out of town co-workers. Everyone and anyone is welcomed with open arms when it’s Thanksgiving at Mama Russo’s. Watch our Summer with Mom RV road trip video series.

This year, we will be spending Thanksgiving with our good friends and their family of 19. We haven’t figured out how many of these simple Thanksgiving recipes we will be making yet, but I do know we will be sharing our favorite Thanksgiving cocktail with everyone.

Before we get into the simple Thanksgiving recipes, Joe and I want to say Thank You to our families, friends, readers, subscribers and all the amazing people we’ve met on the road for your support, kindness and encouragement.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Simple Thanksgiving Recipes

Kale Persimmon Salad

Kale and Persimmon Salad - healthy thanksgiving recipes

If we’re around for Thanksgiving, this is the one dish you can count on us to bring. The kale persimmon salad is our go to healthy Thanksgiving recipe and you can put it together in advance. When it’s time to eat, just pour on the dressing and toss the salad.

The sweet and crunchy persimmon combined with the creamy avocado really makes this salad stand out. Hope you enjoy it as much as we all do and let me know if you make it this Thanksgiving.


  • 8 cups Organic baby kale or shredded kale
  • 1 firm fuyu persimmon, sliced
  • 1 ripe avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts or toasted walnuts
  • Balsamic vinaigrette (recipe below)


Add kale, persimmon, avocado and pine nuts to salad bowl. Dress accordingly based on amount of kale used. You can always place the dressing on the side for those who want more.

Mason Jar Balsamic Vinaigrette

5 Simple Thanksgiving Recipes To try This Year 2

This vinaigrette in a mason jar will save you time, add a little fun to the process and leave you with the perfect storage vessel. Don’t have a mason jar? No problem! Grab any food safe container with a lid to get the party started.

Yields 1 cup of balsamic vinaigrette


  • 1 mason jar (size: 16 oz)
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grounded pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic


Add all the ingredients into the mason jar and seal the lid tightly. Shake vigorously until ingredients have emulsified, about 10 seconds. Shake it to your favorite song, shake it over your head, shake it with both hands. It’s all about developing your own style.

Roasted Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic - healthy thanksgiving recipes

This dish can be cooked in advance and reheated in the oven before it’s time to serve. Just don’t drizzle the balsamic vinegar on until it’s show time!

Deliciously crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, these sprouts are great as a side dish.


  • 2 pounds of brussels sprouts, trimmed (A note about the size of brussels sprouts – look for sprouts about one to two inches in diameter with tightly bound leaves. If you end up with a mix of large and small sprouts, cut the large ones in half or quarters to match the other sprouts to ensure even cooking.)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grounded pepper
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (alternative: fresh squeezed lemon juice or apple cider vinegar)


Step One: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In an oven safe cooking sheet add brussels sprouts, oil, salt and pepper to the pan and mix by shaking the pan until sprouts are well coated. Make sure to use a pan large enough to fit the sprouts in a single layer.

Step Two: Place sprouts on the middle rack and roast for 35 to 40 minutes depending on size. Mix the sprouts after 15 to 20 minutes brown evenly.

Step Three: Remove sprouts from the oven and add to a serving bowl. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, toss, taste and serve. Joe love balsamic, so I always end up adding a little more to his bowl.

Garlic Roasted Cauliflower

Roasted cauliflower - healthy thanksgiving sides

This simple and healthy Thanksgiving recipes is always a huge hit at Thanksgiving. It must be the toasted pine nuts and parmesan cheese that makes it a winner.


  • 4 pounds of cauliflower florets
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 large gloves of garlic sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Step one: Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F. In a baking sheet, add the cauliflower, oil, garlic, pepper flakes, salt and pepper and combine with your hands. Make sure all the cauliflower is evenly distributed in one layer. Use multiple pans if necessary.

Step two: Place pans filled with cauliflower in middle rack of the oven and roast for 30-40 minutes. After 15 minutes, pull pans out and flip cauliflower. Once cauliflower is tender and golden brown, remove from pan.

To serve immediately – place cauliflower in a serving dish and top with pine nuts and cheese.

To serve later – allow cauliflower to cool before placing in an oven safe dish. Heat at 300 degrees in the oven 20 minutes prior to serving. Don’t forget to add the pin nuts and cheese after it comes out of the oven.

Rye and Apple Cider Cocktail

Rye and apple cider cocktail

One of our favorite cocktails during the holidays is this simple three ingredient drink made with rye, sparkling apple cider and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

It’s simple for you to make, but guests can also make their own. Place the ingredients by the bar with a bucket of ice and let people go to town.

I hope you give this festive cocktail a try at your Thanksgiving gathering.

Kait’s version
1 part Bulleit Rye
2 parts sparkling cider
1 dash of ground cinnamon

Joe’s version
1 part Bulleit Rye
1 part sparkling cider
1 dash of ground cinnamon
(sometime’s he skips the last two ingredients entirely)

Add an ice sphere to a whisky tumbler or fill it with ice cubes. Pour in the rye and cider, then add a sprinkle of ground cinnamon on top. Stir a few times with a spoon and enjoy!

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4 thoughts on “5 Simple Thanksgiving Recipes To try This Year”

  1. I do a very similar roasted brussels sprout recipe. And since I like the dark brown crispy bits the best, I usually cut my sprouts in half “longitudinally” (thru the stem) to get more surface area for that. Yum! SO much better than steamed or boiled (ick)…

  2. Kait, would love to see you do way more cooking blog posts. That’s something I’m really wondering about as I cook pretty much all of my meals and use an instant pot. I’m in the planning/ wishing stage but quite sure I want to go class B. Thank you!


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