It’s about that time to break out the table settings, warm up the ovens, and dust off the cookbooks for Thanksgiving! This holiday is one of our favorites as we celebrate all we have to be thankful for, and here at Go With Ro we are thankful for you, our fantastic clients and community members. You are the absolute heart of our business!

For this month’s blog post, the Go With Ro team is opening up our family cook books (or the “we’ve been using this one online recipe so long it’s basically in the family” books) and sharing our all-time favorite Thanksgiving recipes sure to be a hit at your holiday gathering. 

Anna Hawk:

“We host Thanksgiving every year and usually have about 14-16 people. My husband and I love to cook so spending the day cooking together and then hosting for our families is something we definitely look forward to. We blast music and each have our signature dishes that we put together. 

We even took out a wall that separated our living room and dining room so we would have the space we needed to host for the entire family.

It’s my favorite holiday!

Below is the turkey recipe I use that’s a huge hit every year! I use twice the amount of lemon zest and twice the amount of garlic also. I stuff the Turkey with any fruits and veggies we have leftover from the other dishes we make (oranges, celery, onions, carrots) in addition to what the recipe suggests.

Juicy Roast Turkey Recipe

Credit for this recipe goes to Natasha Kravchuk of NatashasKitchen.com. To read the original recipe, click here.

Roast Turkey Recipe Ingredients:

12 lb turkey (Anything from 11-15 lbs will work, but bake time will vary – see below)

Salt & Pepper for the inside and outside of the bird

For the Flavored Butter:

1 cup (2 sticks or 226 grams) unsalted butter, softened

2 Tbsp olive oil (not extra virgin), plus more to drizzle the top

4 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (from 1 large lemon), plus 1/2 Tbsp lemon zest

3 large garlic cloves, pressed

1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley

1/2 Tbsp salt (I used sea salt)

1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground

For the Turkey Stuffing:

1 large onion, quartered (no peeling)

4 garlic cloves, halved (no peeling)

1/2 bunch parsley

1 lemon, quartered

What you’ll need:

Kitchen String

Heavy-duty foil

A heavy roasting pan that accommodates your bird, but isn’t over-sized

A temperature probe (to ensure a fully-cooked turkey)

Required Prep for Roast Turkey Recipe:

*If using a frozen turkey, defrost it in its plastic bag in the refrigerator for 3 days prior to roasting.

*Remove turkey from the fridge about 30 minutes before you start working with it. If the turkey is closer to room temperature, it will bake more evenly. *Remove the neck and bag of giblets from the turkey.

*Pat dry turkey with paper towels. Let the turkey sit in over paper towels to soak up any excess water from the turkey.

*Fold the wings behind the turkey; if you don’t they are the quickest to scorch and dry out.

Seasoning, Stuffing and Tying up a Turkey:

  1. Season inside of the turkey cavity generously with about 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine: 2 sticks softened butter, 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1/2 Tbsp lemon zest, 4 Tbsp lemon juice, and 3 pressed garlic cloves, 1/4 cup chopped parsley, 1/2 Tbsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper. Mash/stir with a fork until well combined (the lemon juice doesn’t easily stir into butter but keep mixing and it will happen after a few minutes).
  3. Separate the skin from the turkey breast by pushing your fingers under the skin. Do this from the front and the back of the turkey, being careful not to tear the skin.
  4. Stuff 2/3 of the butter mixture under the skin then spread the butter around by massaging over the top of the skin. This butter keeps the turkey breast tender, juicy and provides rich flavor.
  5. Rub remaining butter over the outside of the turkey (breast, legs, wings). Drizzle all over the top of the turkey with olive oil and generously season with salt and pepper; I just love crisp, salty skin.
  6. Stuff turkey with a quartered onion, 4 halved garlic cloves, 1/2 bunch parsley, and quartered lemon. Tie turkey base and legs together; crossing the legs to better close up the turkey cavity, plus it looks extra fancy on the table.

How to Roast a Turkey:

Prep: Pre-heat the oven to 430˚F on the bake mode. Place oven rack in the lower part of your oven (mine was on the second level from the very bottom) – this ensures that your large turkey roasts in the middle of the oven and keeps the turkey breast further from the top heating element.

  1. Here is a fantastic tip from Alton Brown to protect the turkey breast and keep it juicy: Fold a large square sheet of foil into a triangle. Rub one side of your triangle with olive oil and shape the foil (oil-side-down) over the turkey breast, then remove foil;  it will shield your turkey breast and keep it from getting dry. You’ll apply this shield later in the roasting process.
  2. Place an oven-safe meat thermometer into the bird; beneath the drumstick; deep into the dark meat. It’s ready for the oven. Start roasting uncovered at 430˚F for 20 min.
  3. Remove from oven; quickly baste with butter from the bottom of the dish. You can use a baster or tilt one side of the pan and collect drippings with a large spoon. Now apply prepared foil triangle to the turkey breast area.
  4. Reduce oven to 350˚F and bake for another 2 hours 30 min for a 12 lb bird. (Once you have reduced the oven to 350˚F, you will bake about 13 min for every pound of turkey). The turkey thigh should register at 170˚F on the temperature probe and the breast at 160˚F to make sure it’s fully cooked through then remove from the oven (keep in mind the turkey temp continues to rise slightly after it’s out of the oven).
    Note: temperature recommendations based on the USDA which now says the safe poultry temp is 165˚F but the deeper thigh parts really should be at 170˚ to be fully cooked through.
  5. Transfer turkey to serving platter and cover loosely but fully with foil. Let turkey rest for at least 1 hour. It will become more tender and easier to carve, the longer it sits. Keep drippings from the roasting pan for a most delicious turkey gravy. Decorate around your turkey and make it festive. I used kale for my greens, then added small apples, sliced oranges, and quartered lemons.

GET PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE

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Photo of a Roast Turkey in the Oven

Destany Dallee:

My family on my mother’s side is 100% Peruvian. This dish is a common Peruvian dish that we grew up eating at all family gatherings, reunions, and at our frequented Peruvian restaurants in Denver. After moving to Washington I began making it every Thanksgiving for my fiancé’s family. Every woman in my family makes the dish differently, adding their own touches or ingredients here and there. The dish never tastes exactly the same from woman to woman or even when one of us makes it consistently because we do not measure the ingredients. I have grown up watching the recipe made and now making it myself purely based on taste as I am cooking.

 My mom prefers the sauce runny and makes it as such; I prefer an abundance of sauce to potatoes so when I cook it, I double my sauce for the amount of potatoes I am using. My grandma will add vodka to the recipe for a certain kick.

The dish is often paired with a common Peruvian alcohol called Pisco Sour. Pisco Sour is served with whipped egg whites on top and is delicious. Careful though as my Great-Grandma and Great Aunt’s grew up telling us that too much Pisco Sour will cause hallucinations similar to Absinth.”

Papa a la Huancaina

Ingredients:

Cream Cheese Brick (2)

Sunflower oil (Olive Oil works as well)

Condensed Milk (2-3 cans)

Garlic Cloves (4)

Salt (to taste)

Pepper (to taste)

Tumeric (to color – 1-2 tablespoons)

Banana Peppers (Peperoncinos will work as well) (to taste)

Large Potatoes (of any kind with skins on or off depending on preference) (3-5 pounds)

Directions:

  1. Cut potatoes to preference size leaving the skin on or skinning before cutting
  2. Boil potatoes until fork easily pierces
  3. Drain potatoes and transfer to baking dish
  4. Place baking dish in the refrigerator to cool potatoes
  5. Heat oil in Skillet
  6. Add cream cheese bricks
  7. Melt cream cheese in oil
  8. Once mostly melted through add condensed milk, starting with one can only
    • Add additional cans to change consistency to liking. More milk will equal a runnier sauce.
  1. Add turmeric
    • Tumeric should be added in increments until color is achieved. The sauce should change to a bright yellow color. Not neon but not too dull.
  1. Add garlic cloves whole or minced
  2. Add banana peppers
  3. Cook until all items are combined, fragrant, and heated through
  4. Transfer sauce to the blender
  5. Blender until smooth consistency is reached
  6. Taste
  7. Add more banana peppers for a spicier taste
  8. Add more salt, pepper, turmeric, or garlic to liking for taste
  9. If the sauce is too runny after blending, saltine crackers can be added to thicken
  10. Remove potatoes from refrigerator
  11. Pour sauce over potatoes
  12. Serve immediately if desired to be eaten warm
  13. Put back in the refrigerator to cool if desired to be eaten cold
  14. The dish can also be reheated later to eat war at a later time
  15. Serve garnished with hard-boiled eggs, black olives, and lettuce
  16. Chili powder can be added sparingly over the top of the dish for an extra kick

This recipe with measurements will feed 4-5 people as a main dish. 6-8 as a side dish.

Papa a la Huancaina Recipe

Ingredients:

Cream Cheese Brick (2)

Sunflower oil (Olive Oil works as well)

Condensed Milk (2-3 cans)

Garlic Cloves (4)

Salt (to taste)

Pepper (to taste)

Tumeric (to color – 1-2 tablespoons)

Banana Peppers (Peperoncinos will work as well) (to taste)

Large Potatoes (of any kind with skins on or off depending on preference) (3-5 pounds)

Directions:

  1. Cut potatoes to preference size leaving the skin on or skinning before cutting
  2. Boil potatoes until fork easily pierces
  3. Drain potatoes and transfer to baking dish
  4. Place baking dish in the refrigerator to cool potatoes
  5. Heat oil in Skillet
  6. Add cream cheese bricks
  7. Melt cream cheese in oil
  8. Once mostly melted through add condensed milk, starting with one can only
    • Add additional cans to change consistency to liking. More milk will equal a runnier sauce.
  1. Add turmeric
    • Tumeric should be added in increments until color is achieved. The sauce should change to a bright yellow color. Not neon but not too dull.
  1. Add garlic cloves whole or minced
  2. Add banana peppers
  3. Cook until all items are combined, fragrant, and heated through
  4. Transfer sauce to the blender
  5. Blender until smooth consistency is reached
  6. Taste
  7. Add more banana peppers for a spicier taste
  8. Add more salt, pepper, turmeric, or garlic to liking for taste
  9. If the sauce is too runny after blending, saltine crackers can be added to thicken
  10. Remove potatoes from refrigerator
  11. Pour sauce over potatoes
  12. Serve immediately if desired to be eaten warm
  13. Put back in the refrigerator to cool if desired to be eaten cold
  14. The dish can also be reheated later to eat war at a later time
  15. Serve garnished with hard-boiled eggs, black olives, and lettuce
  16. Chili powder can be added sparingly over the top of the dish for an extra kick

This recipe with measurements will feed 4-5 people as a main dish. 6-8 as a side dish.

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Photo of a plate of Papa Huancaina

Rowena Lusby:

“Truthfully, I’m not much of a chef! When my kids burn something they cook, they call it ‘Rowena-style’ so that should be proof alone not to take cooking suggestions from me. My go-to item to bring to a Thanksgiving gathering is Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc!

However, there is one dish I made all the time when my kids were young that always received rave reviews and is foolproof for someone looking for a quick and easy meal they can bring to a Thanksgiving gathering (and it might just outshine all of the fancy-schmancy recipes on the table). Though I admit, it’s not hard to make a popular dish if the main ingredient is “every type of cheese you can find.”

Easy Crowd-Pleasing Mac & Cheese

Ingredients:

1 lb of cavtappi, elbow, or penne pasta

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup of all-purpose flour 

6 cups milk 

Any cheese you have in the drawer 

  • I like to use :
    • 1 lb sharp cheddar (grated)
    • 8 ounces of Velveeta 
    • 1 cup parmesan 
    • .5 lb of colby jack

a lil onion powder

a lil garlic powder

a lil black pepper

Directions:

  1. Fill a pot with water and put it on medium-high heat bringing it to a boil. Once it’s at a boil add the pasta with a dash of olive oil and some salt. Cook until it is al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. In an empty pot melt all your butter and slowly add in the flour. Whisk it until it forms a thick texture.
  3. Add in the milk slowly, whisking as you go. Once that is all combined it’s time to add the cheese.
  4. Set aside 1 cup of cheese. Then add the rest of the cheeses to the pot with the flour, milk, and butter. Stir well. Melt them all the way down then add the pasta back into the pot.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350º.
  6. Put half of the pasta in a baking sheet and then spread it out across the bottom. Sprinkle cheese on top of it and then add the other half of the pasta to the baking sheet. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top.
  7. Put the baking sheet in the oven once it’s at 350º and cook for 30 minutes. Once done broil for 1-2 minutes, but be careful to watch it. You want the cheese on top to crisp, not to burn.
  8. Bon Appetit!

Easy Crowd-Pleasing Mac & Cheese Recipe

Ingredients:

1 lb of cavtappi, elbow, or penne pasta

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup of all-purpose flour

6 cups milk

Any cheese you have in the drawer

  • I like to use :
    • 1 lb sharp cheddar (grated)
    • 8 ounces of Velveeta
    • 1 cup parmesan
    • .5 lb of colby jack

a lil onion powder

a lil garlic powder

a lil black pepper

Directions:

  1. Fill a pot with water and put it on medium-high heat bringing it to a boil. Once it’s at a boil add the pasta with a dash of olive oil and some salt. Cook until it is al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. In an empty pot melt all your butter and slowly add in the flour. Whisk it until it forms a thick texture.
  3. Add in the milk slowly, whisking as you go. Once that is all combined it’s time to add the cheese.
  4. Set aside 1 cup of cheese. Then add the rest of the cheeses to the pot with the flour, milk, and butter. Stir well. Melt them all the way down then add the pasta back into the pot.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350º.
  6. Put half of the pasta in a baking sheet and then spread it out across the bottom. Sprinkle cheese on top of it and then add the other half of the pasta to the baking sheet. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top.
  7. Put the baking sheet in the oven once it’s at 350º and cook for 30 minutes. Once done broil for 1-2 minutes, but be careful to watch it. You want the cheese on top to crisp, not to burn.
  8. Bon Appetit!
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Mac & Cheese in a pan photo

Sarah Boess:

“My Dad is an amazing cook and had been the champion of the kitchen most nights when we were growing up. He leads the charge for an incredible Thanksgiving meal, and I could talk for ages about his mac and cheese, Turkey and homemade gravy, classic Irish mashed potatoes, and so much more… But for my favorite (and most long-standing) family recipe, I actually have to pass the hat to my brother who has been making our family Cranberry Bread recipe for every holiday since I was a kid. It’s always eaten so quickly that my brother has had to make two loaves each Thanksgiving and Christmas (though truthfully, that’s just because he always hides a loaf to be sure he has extras to take home). I’ve fished this recipe out of the back of our kitchen cabinets as the only copy is jotted down on a single sheet of very old paper. Credit for this goes to (I believe) my great-grandmother. 

Holiday Cranberry Bread Recipe

Ingredients:

2 cups flower

1 cup sugar

1 ½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

¼ cup shortening

¾ cup orange juice

1 tsp grated orange rind

1 egg

½ chopped nuts

2 cups cranberries

Directions:

  1. Mix dry ingredients
  2. Cut in shortening
  3. Combine juice and egg, then pour into dry ingredients
  4. Mix (don’t beat!)
  5. Fold in nuts and cranberries
  6. Spread corners up higher than the center
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour (golden brown)
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Pumpkin cranberry bread slices
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