A Comprehensive Recipe Guide to Thanksgiving Dinner
The Best Recipes from Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, NYT Cooking and more of the most influential publications and recipe developers to make your life a lot easier this holiday season.
November 17, 2021
Grace Simmons

Thanksgiving dinner is the most highly anticipated meal of the year, that is if you’re not the one cooking. If you’re not a professional chef (and even if you are) cooking Thanksgiving dinner can be a logistical nightmare — oven space, timing, and managing hungry family members. 

We’re here to lend a helping hand in planning your feast by providing some recipes from some of the nations top culinary whizzes that can be made with local, Bay Area ingredients from Locale. But if you’re looking for less cooking, we’ve also got some sneaky pre-made, ready-to-eat meals from some of the Bay Area’s most beloved small businesses. 

If you’re not in the Bay Area, not to worry. Keep reading for a comprehensive collection of recipes that you can make with local ingredients from your area.


The main event, the big kahuna, big bird — yes, we’re talking turkey. While roasting your turkey will take the longest, it doesn’t have to be the hardest. Here are a couple classic, yet simple, Thanksgiving turkey recipes to get you through. 

Melissa Clark’s “Simple Roast Turkey” — NY Times Cooking

Emma Christensen’s “How To Cook a Turkey: The Simplest, Easiest Method” — The Kitchn

Or if you’re looking to push the boundaries on tradition, spice it up with one of these:

Justin Chapple’s “Chipotle-Butter Turkey” — Food & Wine 

John Currence’s “Cajun-Spiced Turkey” — Bon Appétit

For something a little more involved, here’s a recipe from our partner Cream Co. Meat in Oakland. Their recipe starts with brining and seasoning 2-3 days before cooking, so make sure you plan ahead. 

Cream Co. Meat’s Guide to Cooking A Turkey

Use Cream Co.’s Pasture-Raised White Turkey or Heritage Spanish Black Turkey for this, or any recipe. 

Looking to cut your bird’s cooking time in half? Spatchcocking is the way to go. Spatchcocking is a method of butterflying a turkey or chicken, taking out the spine and flattening. Because it’s all on one plane, it maximizes the exposure to heat, breasts and thighs are done at the same time, and it reduces cooking time. Learn how to spatchcock by watching the video linked at the top of this recipe. 

Dawn Perry’s “Spatchcocked Turkey with Anise and Orange” — Bon Appétit

Easiest option yet? Get a pre-cooked turkey. Don’t worry, we won’t tell…

Smoked Whole Turkey from Freedom Meats in Freedom, CA.


Some may call it dressing, but we’re going to stick with stuffing not because it’s stuffed in the bird, but because of how it makes us feel after three generous helpings. Because San Francisco is considered the sourdough capital of the world, we won’t accept anything less than the best bread from local Bay Area bakeries to be the base of our stuffing. 

As cookbook author and cooking show host Alison Roman says, “It’s sort of like, don’t cook with any wine you wouldn’t drink, like I wouldn’t make a stuffing with bread I wouldn’t eat.” Amen Alison Roman, amen. 

Use Manresa Bread’s famous Sourdough Loaf, Whole Wheat Loaf, or Sourdough Baguette for any of the following recipes.

Dave Lieberman’s “Sourdough Bread Stuffing” — Food Network

Suzanne Goin’s “​​Sourdough Stuffing With Kale and Dates” — NY Times Cooking

Kelsey Youngman’s “Vegetarian Wild Mushroom Sourdough Dressing” — Food & Wine

Mashed Potatoes

There are two camps of mashed potatoes — textured with lumps, or completely pureed smooth. Whichever you prefer, they’re best served with a well of gravy in the center. The key to satisfying, creamy, fluffy mashed potatoes is using the right potatoes — we prefer buttery and smooth Yukon Gold Potatoes for the classic m.p., and Red Lasoda Potatoes for a rustic spin.

Andy Baraghani’s “Ultra-Creamy Mashed Potatoes” — Bon Appétit

Kathleen Higashiyama’s “Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes” — Food 52

Coco Morante’s “Stovetop Rustic Garlic Mashed Potatoes” — The Kitchn

Explore the spectrum of textures and all the different ways to mash potatoes in Food 52’s comprehensive guide: “The Absolute Best—& Worst—Way to Mash Potatoes

Veg Sides

And now for the award for best supporting actor/actress. Yams, green bean casserole, brussel sprouts, squash, salad — they’re all necessary to fill out and round out Thanksgiving meal.


Millie Peartree’s “Sweet Potato Casserole” — NY Times Cooking

Alton Brown’s “Best Ever Green Bean Casserole” — Food Network

Roasted Veggies:

Alison Roman’s “Brown Buttered Squash with Walnuts and Dates”, and “Roasted Green Beans and Mushrooms with Red Onion” — both from Alison Roman’s Thanksgiving 2021 Sides Special on A Newsletter

Christina Chaey and Claire Saffitz’s “Brussels Sprouts With Pistachios and Lime” — Bon Appétit


Christina Chaey and Claire Saffitz’s “Squash and Radicchio Salad With Pecans” — Bon Appétit

Francesca Chaney’s Vegan Fall Kale Salad Recipe — Eater

Tieghan Gerard’s “Pomegranate Avocado Salad with Candied Walnuts” — Half Baked Harvest

Get local Bay Area produce for all your sides, like: Organic Honeynut Squash, King Oyster Mushrooms, Organic Dino Kale and more specially delivered for the holiday.


Let’s be honest, pie is the best part of Thanksgiving dinner — apart from the company of family and friends, of course. Pumpkin, Pecan, or Apple? Whipped cream or vanilla bean ice cream? Buttery, flakey crust or crumbly graham cracker crust? There are so many choices to make.  Whether you’re a pie baking pro, novice, or prefer to leave it to the professionals, we’ve got you covered.

BIY (Bake it yourself)

Watch and make pie with Melissa Clark: Best Apple Pie, Best Pecan Pie, Best Pumpkin Pie — NY Times Cooking

Pietisserie Founder Jaynelle St. Jean’s “Black-Bottom Walnut Pie” — Food & Wine

And, Jaynelle St. Jean's Pecan Pie with Sweet-and-Spicy Candied Nuts — People

Skip making the crust: Pre-Baked Pie Shell, Three Babe’s Pie Dough, Full Belly Farm Organic Pie Dough. Or, skip making the filling: Full Belly Farm Pumpkin Pie Filling

Bay Area’s Best Pies:

Manresa Bread in Los Gatos: Pumpkin Cheesecake, Apple Pie, Pecan Pie, and more.

Three Babes Bakeshop in San Francisco: Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie In Graham Cracker Crust, Bourbon Pecan Pie, Vegan Blackberry Pie, and more. Learn how to make a pie like a Three Babe’s pro, get their Apple Crumble Pie Kit With Online Class.

Pietisserie in Oakland: Pumpkin in Chocolate Pie, Pink Apple Pie, Pecan Pie, and Key Lime Pie.

Whether you’re cooking your whole Thanksgiving feast from scratch, going all-in on pre-made, or somewhere in between, you can be thankful for the local food producers in your community who made it possible. 

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