With the Thanksgiving holiday quickly approaching, there is no better time to get a jump-start on preparing the menu for the all-important Turkey Day meal (people are so much more thankful on full stomach). With this in mind, we have complied a list of our favorite Thanksgiving seasonings and recipes. Whether you are preparing the whole meal or just in charge of a side dish, we hope you will find our suggestions helpful and delicious!
For the Turkey
Wild Turkey – Exquisite in its simplicity, this traditional-style blend is the perfect compliment to roasted turkey. Our Wild Turkey starts with a foundation of sea salt, black pepper and garlic, and is completed by the classic flavors of rosemary, thyme and sage. It is also a great seasoning for gravies and stuffing, or combine it with our BBQ Chicken for a smoky, yet traditional, flavor.
BBQ Chicken – If you are planning on smoking your turkey this year, whether on a pellet grill or electric smoker, we highly recommend our BBQ Chicken seasoning. Generous amounts of paprika, mustard and brown sugar, along with classic poultry flavors like celery seed, marjoram, coriander, and thyme make this rub the obvious blend for any type of grilled poultry, and turkey is no exception. As stated above, it also works very well with the flavors of our Wild Turkey seasoning; we use them together as our turkey seasoning year after year.
Old World Rub – If you are looking for something a little different for your bird this year, give our Old World Rub a try. This seasoning brings together all of the flavors of traditional European cooking. Fresh herbs combine with the slight spiciness of black pepper, fennel and brown mustard seed to make a blend that is wonderful on poultry, especially roasted or smoked turkey. If you are skipping the bird this year in favor of a different protein, Old World Rub is also delicious on Prime Rib, pork loin, and rack of lamb.
Santa Maria Rub – The perfect balance of traditional with new California flavor, our Santa Maria Rub combines a generous portion of garlic with black pepper, celery, rosemary, sage, onion, and dill to produce a blend that is delightful on poultry. This seasoning is a crowd-pleasing favorite and makes a great addition to Thanksgiving sides like sautéed green beans and mashed potatoes.
If you are looking for some inspiration or guidance, check out our recipe for Smoked Turkey.
For the Sides
Sweet Potatoes – Sweet potatoes are a classic side dish that is easy to update with a few new seasonings. Go sweet with Pumpkin Pie Spice and a little maple syrup, or take a more balanced approach with one of our sweet/savory combo blends like Sweet Chili Maple or Honey BBQ. Either way, you can still add the marshmallows!
Mashed Potatoes – If you are looking for a simple and tasty mashed potato recipe, we recommend our Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes. Although they do need some time to cook, they are a great option for freeing up your hands and cooking spaces when you have more important culinary matters to attend to (like a turkey or pumpkin pie). You can substitute the seasonings in the recipe for one of your favorites, just keep it simple. We love Seasoning Salt, Pig Tickle, Santa Maria, or Black & Bold, all of which are great on potatoes.
Gravy – Although it may seem simple, the technique to produce a good gravy can sometimes take years to perfect. Many families have gravy recipes that have been passed down for generations, and most involve the drippings or giblets from the roasted turkey. Although we do love a traditional giblets and drippings gravy, it is always a good idea to have a quick and easy gravy recipe on hand, just in case. We like to season our gravy simply, with just some garlic, sage, black pepper, and sea salt, or substitute our Wild Turkey seasoning.
Pumpkin Pie – This one is easy, just add some Pumpkin Pie Spice and a little extra cinnamon. If you are looking to add a little more pizazz to your pumpkin pie this year, try adding a crunchy streusel topping, like our Pumpkin Streusel Pie. Trust me, its quite delicious!
Salad – Add some extra flavor to any green salad with some of our favorite blends: Stir-fry Sprinkle and Mojito Lime. I know these don’t sound like go-to salad blends, but trust me, you won’t be disappointed. Also check out one of our favorite salad recipes: Spinach Salad with Oranges. It has a simple homemade honey mustard dressing that will definitely have your guests making room on their plates for more!
Green Beans – If you are opting out of the traditional green bean casserole and serving sautéed green beans instead this year, be sure to sprinkle them with our Santa Maria Rub or Black & Bold seasoning. Both of these blends have a good portion of black pepper, garlic and dill that truly enhances the flavor of green vegetables and will make this side dish a stand-out!
Cranberries – An often overlooked side dish, cranberries are absolutely one of my favorites! Not only are they delicious, they are also incredibly easy to prepare. In a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, dissolve 1 cup of white sugar in 1 cup of orange juice. Stir in the cranberries (one 12-ounce bag) and cook until the cranberries start to pop (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat and place sauce in a bowl. Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools. You can also throw in teaspoon of cinnamon while the cranberries are cooking for added spice!