Thanksgiving Recipe Picks from the Cast of America’s Test Kitchen

They love our recipes off-screen as much as they love them on-screen.

Published Nov. 5, 2018.

Last year, America’s Test Kitchen TV show cast members shared their holiday plans in our Thanksgiving Entertaining series. This year, we asked them what new additions they’re making to their menus. Take a look to see their biggest hits from last year and what else they’ll be serving this year.

Want even more Thanksgiving recipe ideas? Check out our Thanksgiving Guide, which features hundreds of recipes, plus dozens of equipment reviews and taste tests.


Julia Collin Davison, America’s Test Kitchen TV Co-Host and Executive Editorial Director of Books and ATK Kids

Julia's Thanksgiving recipes

Recipe highlights from last year: Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy, Classic Bread Stuffing, Spanakopita, Perfect Pecan Pie

New dishes on this year’s menu: In addition to the standard pies that will grace our dessert table this year, I’m going to make a Chocolate Hazelnut Tart for my daughter who loves all things chocolate. It’s a very simple recipe but it’s a real looker and folks go crazy for it. In fact, I think I’ll have my daughter make it with me; it’s a fun, easy project and she loves following recipes now that she’s had some practice using our new ATK Kids cookbook, The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs.

Bridget Lancaster, America’s Test Kitchen TV Co-Host and Executive Food Editor for New Media, Television and Radio

Bridget Thanksgiving picks

Recipe highlights from last year: Mulled Cider, Cornbread and Sausage Stuffing, Cheese Ball, Butterscotch Pudding, Cranberry-Apple Crisp

New dishes on this year’s menu: I’m a bit of a culinary coward when it comes to changing up items on the Thanksgiving menu, but I’m planning to make banh mi with leftover turkey the next day.

Elle Simone, Test Cook, Food Stylist, and America’s Test Kitchen Cooking School Instructor

Elle Thanksgiving recipe picks

Recipe highlights from last year: Sweet Corn Spoonbread, Classic Pot Roast with Root Vegetables, Butter Fan Rolls, Ultranutty Pecan Bars, Rustic Turkey Tart

New dishes on this year’s menu: I'm approaching my third holiday season in New England and I've come to have a huge appreciation for the region’s offerings so I'm going to make the Roast Halibut with Red Potatoes, Corn, and Andouille. Although my family wouldn't traditionally include seafood in a holiday dinner, all the components of this dish remind me of home. This dish keeps things efficient because it includes multiple sides and like any ideal holiday meal, it's mostly hands off.

Jack Bishop, Tasting Corner Expert and Chief Creative Officer

Jack's Thanksgiving recipe picks

Recipe highlights from last year: Best Turkey Gravy, Mashed Potato Casserole, Loaded Sweet Potato Casserole, Radicchio Salad with Apple, Arugula, and Parmesan, Perfect Pecan Pie

New dishes on this year’s menu: I always have at least one "new" side on the table. This year, it will be Roasted Butternut Squash with Goat Cheese, Pecans, and Maple. The tangy, salty goat cheese, the crunchy toasted nuts, and the hint of maple are a nice contrast to the heavier dishes on the table—I'm thinking of you mashed potatoes and stuffing! I also make sure my sides are balancing all the brown and beige food—turkey, gravy, potatoes, stuffing. This year, Brussels Sprout Salad (no-cook, which I love) and this pretty squash dish are adding pops of color.

Dan Souza, Cook’s Illustrated Editor in Chief

Dan Souza's Thanksgiving recipe picks

Recipe highlights from last year: Roast Heritage Turkey; Bread Stuffing with Sausage, Dried Cherries, and Pecans; Skillet-Roasted Brussels Sprouts; Duchess Potato Casserole; Simple Turkey Stock

New dishes on this year’s menu: This year I’ll be making associate editor Steve Dunn’s Turkey and Gravy for a Crowd, which will allow me to braise the leg quarters and make the gravy up to three days in advance. Then all I’ll have to do on the big day is roast the breasts and reheat the legs and gravy.

And I always like to add a less traditional recipe to the menu to keep things fresh. This year it will be associate editor Annie Petito’s gorgeous Pavlova with Fruit and Whipped Cream (which also has great make-ahead options and happens to be gluten-free). It will look stunning right next to the pumpkin, apple, and pecan pies.

Tucker Shaw, Cook’s Country Editor in Chief

(Sure, Tucker heads Cook’s Country and isn’t on the America’s Test Kitchen TV show, but Thanksgiving is all about including friends and family!)

Tucker Shaw's Thanksgiving recipe picks

Recipe highlights from last year: Two-Hour Turkey and Gravy, Maple Syrup Pie, Jalapeño-Cheddar Cornbread

New dishes on this year’s menu: Everyone loves to see a giant, golden, Norman Rockwell-style turkey being paraded around the table, but this year, I'm going for an easier, faster, but equally special roast breast. Cook’s Illustrated’s new Roast Whole Turkey Breast with Gravy recipe produces a juicy roast with crisp skin that's super easy to carve. Don't worry, there'll be plenty left over for sandwiches.

I love a salad on the Thanksgiving table because it offers a change of pace from heavier, creamier sides. Cook’s Country’s new recipe for Pan-Roasted Pear Salad is perfect for the season, mixing sweet spears of caramelized pear with refreshing romaine lettuce, crumbled blue cheese, and crisp bits of bacon. It's lively, surprising, and fancy enough for a high dinner.

What items on your Thanksgiving menu are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below!


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