Thanksgiving is a day where family and friends get together to share what they’re thankful for over a delicious meal. The holidays may look and feel a little different this year due to the pandemic and social distancing, but you can still enjoy the festivities. Gatherings during the holidays can be a great chance to reconnect with your loved ones.

Whether you want to ditch the usual traditions and start your own or have a virtual Thanksgiving, you can still have a wonderful holiday celebration. Here are some recipes from our great cookbooks that you can make for yourself or enjoy with a small group of people.

Rotisserie Cajun Turkey

What’s Thanksgiving dinner without the main dish? Don’t let your next Thanksgiving turkey be dry and boring. Set up a rotisserie with indirect heat and let this flavorful holiday bird baste itself on the grill while you use the oven for all the sides.

 Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus 1 hour standing time | Cooking Time: 4 to 5 hours | Serves: 4 | Equipmentrotisserie grill

  • 1 (12- to 14-pound) turkey
  • 1 to 1½ cups Cajun Seasoning
  • ½ cup butter (1 stick), softened

1. Prepare the grill for the rotisserie, removing grates if you need to and placing
a piece of tinfoil or a small tinfoil pan in the middle to catch the drippings.

2. Remove turkey from refrigerator; let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

3. Prepare a medium-high indirect fire with fire on both sides of where the turkey will be. Plan to replenish the wood every 20 minutes or so during the cooking time to keep the fire hot (or use all lump charcoal for a longer-lasting heat source).

4. Meanwhile, combine Cajun seasoning and softened butter in a small bowl.

5. Pat turkey dry with paper towels. Rub Cajun butter all over the turkey and inside the cavity as well.

6. Place turkey on rotisserie and tie legs and wings of turkey close to the body to prevent them from dragging on the grill. Turn the turkey on the rotisserie and watch turkey for a few minutes, adjusting counter balance so the turkey turns smoothly. Place a drip pan with a cup of water under the bird to catch any drippings (use drippings to make gravy).

7. Check on turkey every 45 minutes or so and add more lump charcoal and wood as needed to maintain optimal cooking temperature.

8. Check for doneness in several areas and avoid touching the spit or bone with thermometer. A whole turkey is done at 165°F in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast.

9. Remove from rotisserie and let cool slightly before removing the spit. Serve warm.

Note: The cooking time is 15 to 20 minutes per pound, so a 12-pound turkey will take 4 hours and a 15-pound turkey will take 5 hours. Cooking anything larger than a 15-pound turkey on a rotisserie can be troublesome. Rotisseries can’t handle the weight and a lot of grills, especially gas grills, simply aren’t large enough for that size turkey. To balance the turkey, place the rotisserie rod with the turkey on the grill so that it moves freely. The heavy side of the turkey will drop toward the bottom of the grill. Pull the counterbalance straight up and tighten. It won’t balance perfectly, but it will offset the weight enough to allow the rotisserie motor to handle the heavy load easier.

For more delicious grilling and barbecue recipes, check out Live Fire BBQ and Beyond by Wendy O’Neal.

Cranberry Sauce

You can’t have roast turkey without cranberry sauce. While everyone has their preference, whether canned or homemade, this recipe is sure to be a crowd-pleaser, thanks to some added citrusy brightness from orange and lemon.

Makes: 11 servings | Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cooking Time: 25 minutes

  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup cane sugar
  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • zest of 1 orange

1. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the orange juice and sugar until the sugar dissolves.

2. Once the sugar is thoroughly dissolved, stir in the cranberries and citrus fruit zest.

3. Stir the cranberries constantly until the berries start popping.

4. Once the majority of the cranberries have popped, remove the pan from the heat.

5. Transfer everything into a heat-resistant bowl.

6. Chill overnight.

Notes: Technically, you don’t need to chill the sauce overnight, as it will gel and solidify simply from cooling down. It will have a nicer, firmer texture, however, if it is allowed to chill for longer before serving.

Make your holidays a spell-tacular celebration with more recipes from The Unofficial Hogwarts for the Holidays Cookbook by Rita Mock-Pike

Buttery Mashed Potatoes

This is a multistep recipe, but you’ll end up with the yummiest mashed potatoes ever.

Makes: 8 servings | Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cooking Time: 4 hours

  • 16 medium to large Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

1. Using a fork or skewer, poke holes in the potatoes so they won’t explode while cooking. Wrap the potatoes individually in foil and place in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.

2. Remove the cooked potatoes and set the slow cooker on warm. Unwrap each potato and peel off the skin. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the butter and cream together; do not scald or boil.

3. Force the potatoes through a ricer directly into the slow cooker. (If you don’t have a ricer, use a potato masher to mash vigorously.) Pour in the cream and butter mixture, stir well, and you’ve made some deliciously creamy mashed potatoes. The slow cooker will keep them warm all the way to the plate.

Need a one stop shop book for all of your Thanksgiving recipes? Enjoy more special occasion recipes from Holiday Slow Cooker by Jonnie Downing.

Cute and Cheesy Macaroni Bake

Let me get real with you for a second. You can legit just use a box of really yummy organic macaroni and cheese, mix some weed butter in it, and call it a chill night. But mac and cheese isn’t hard to make. For better or worse, being a black girl raised in the United States has stereotyped me into not only loving this dish, but also knowing how to make it from scratch. What black Thanksgiving have you ever been to that doesn’t have homemade macaroni and cheese? What funeral or wake? What really good cookout (well, maybe that gets switched for macaroni salad but you get my point). I dare you to make this at your next family event. And please, for legal reasons and for just plain being a good person, make sure everyone knows that there’s weed in this dish. Adults only. Use whatever type of cheddar cheese you like best for this recipe—mild, regular, or sharp.

Makes: 4 servings | Prep Time: 45 minutes | Potency per Serving: 3.75 mg

  • 2 cups dry macaroni pasta
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ½ cup cream cheese
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon cannabutter, room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ cups shredded white cheddar cheese, divided

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2. In a medium pot, boil water. Once boiling, add the macaroni.

3. Cook pasta on medium-high heat for 7 to 10 minutes, or until al dente, then strain.

4. Put strained pasta into a large mixing bowl, then add the flour, cream cheese, milk, butters, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic, and half of the cheddar. Mix well to combine.

5. Transfer the pasta mixture into four individual oven-safe ramekins or, if you’d prefer, an oven-safe baking dish. Then, add the remaining cheddar on top.

6. Bake for 20 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.

7. Let sit for 5 minutes to cool before serving.

Transform all of your favorite recipes with cannabis infused butters, spreads, and oils from The Art of Weed Butter by Mennlay Golokeh Aggrey.

Cauliflower Rice Pilaf

This is a great side dish to serve with chicken, pork, or fish. It’s even a terrific—and rather healthy—side dish to serve on Thanksgiving or another special occasion.

Makes: 6 (½-cup) servings | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 15 minutes

  • ½ cup hot water
  • ¼ cup dried cherries or dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ sweet yellow onion, finely diced
  • ¼ cup shredded carrots
  • ½ cup frozen petite peas
  • 1½ Cauliflower Rice or 1 (12-ounce) bag frozen cauliflower rice, thawed and drained of excess water
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

1. Pour the hot water over the dried cherries or cranberries, and let sit for 10 minutes to plump up.

2. Heat a large pan on the stovetop over high heat for 1 minute. Add the olive oil and heat for another minute.

3. Add the onion, reduce the heat to medium, then sauté for 2 to 4 minutes, until just starting to brown, then add the carrots, and sauté for another 1 to 2 minutes.

4. Add the peas, sauté for 2 more minutes, then add the riced cauliflower. Sauté another 5 minutes, until everything is cooked through, then stir in the sea salt, butter, and fresh parsley.

Want a healthier, low-carb and no-carb Thanksgiving? Look no further! Cauliflower Comfort Food by Jeanette Hurt has alternatives to all of the best comfort food dishes.


The only actual recipe in the novel, Beth’s story for The Pickwick Portfolio makes a light but cozy side dish. If you find the traditional Thanksgiving sweet potatoes with marshmallows to be overly sugary, this would make a nice alternative.

Makes: 6 servings

  • 2 pounds butternut squash, cut into 1- inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg, plus a pinch more
  • 30 crumbled saltine crackers (about 1½ cups crumbs), divided

1. Boil the squash with the salt in a large pot of water until soft, 15 to 20 minutes.

2. Drain the water and mash the squash with 2 tablespoons of the butter.

3. Preheat the oven to 375°F and butter a heatproof dish that holds at least 2 quarts.

4. Whisk the milk and eggs together in a medium bowl and add to the squash.

5. Add 2 tablespoons of the sugar, ½ tea-spoon nutmeg, 1 cup cracker crumbs, and more salt if needed.

6. Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, and mix in a small bowl with the remaining cracker crumbs, sugar, and nutmeg.

7. Put the squash in the prepared dish and sprinkle the top with the crumb mixture.

8. Bake until heated through and browned on top, 30 to 45 minutes. It should be puffed and slightly set in the middle.

If you love squash, then you’ll love eating other delicious holiday meals with the joyous March sisters in The Little Women Cookbook by Jenne Bergstrom and Miko Osada.

Thanksgiving Trifle

The shredded coconut in here is meant to represent the ground beef in a shepherd’s pie—should you accidentally combine two different Thanksgiving recipes into one! Don’t worry, your friends will love this dessert and no one will complain that it tastes like feet.

Makes: 4 to 6 servings | Prep Time: 25 minutes | Chill Time: 1 to 8 hours

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups instant vanilla pudding (half of a 3.4-ounce box)
  • 1½ cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 6 tablespoons chocolate hazelnut spread
  • 24 ounces pound cake, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • ½ cup seedless raspberry jam
  • 24 ounces fresh raspberries, washed and dried
  • fresh mint springs (optional)

To Make the Trifle:

1. Into the bowl of a stand mixer set to high speed, or using a hand mixer, pour the heavy cream. Mix on high speed until soft peaks form, 6 to 7 minutes. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator while you continue making the trifle.

2. Prepare the instant vanilla pudding according to package instructions. Refrigerate while you continue with the recipe.

3. In a small mixing bowl, stir the coconut and chocolate hazelnut spread to combine. Set aside.

To Assemble the Trifle:

1. Place about half of the pound cake in a 7½-inch glass trifle dish or a large glass bowl. Spoon about half of the raspberry jam on top of the pound cake and spread using an offset spatula or butter knife.

2. Spoon half of the vanilla pudding on top of the jam, then top with a layer of the coconut and chocolate hazelnut mixture. Spoon about half of the whipped cream on top of the coconut and chocolate hazelnut. Top this layer with half of the fresh raspberries.

3. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, to the brim of the dish.

4. Let chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours.

5. Top with fresh mint sprigs, if desired, right before serving.

The recipe that everyone’s been dying to have! Discover more popular recipes from the iconic Friends TV show in The One with All the Recipes by Teresa Finney.

A Chilly Goodbye (aka Hot Toddy)

When the weather turns cold, you know that’s when things on the Upper East Side are just heating up. There’s nothing like Thanksgiving to bring out the drama, as we’ve learned time and again. Thanksgiving weather in NYC might not be that frigid, but that doesn’t mean the relationships aren’t. When a cold shoulder freezes you out or you’ve been served an ice-cold dose of humiliation, this Hot Toddy is the perfect antidote to thaw you out.

  • ½ cup bourbon
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup hot water
  • lemon wedge, for garnish
  • cinnamon stick, for garnish

1. Add the bourbon, lemon juice, and honey to a clear glass mug. Top with hot water and stir. Garnish with the lemon wedge and cinnamon stick.

Note: For a spicy twist on this classic drink, use hot honey to add a kick!


Who doesn’t want to kick back with a tasty alcoholic beverage after enjoying a wonderful meal? And, if you’re a Gossip Girl fan, then you’ll love this even more. Try out more classy cocktails in XOXO, A Cocktail Book by Bridget Thoreson.