Giada De Laurentiis' Thanksgiving Menu Has a Delicious, Italian-Inspired Twist
While it's only one day, and honestly, usually only one meal—all at the end of November—Google search trends for "Thanksgiving menu" begin to climb in early October. That means many of us spend about 7 weeks dreaming about the big day, Turkey Day, and planning out the perfect spread.
We can now score great ideas from countless sources from TikTok to the TODAY Show to blogs and magazines (we might be partial to one in particular!), but one of our best sources for Thanksgiving inspiration? Our favorite celebrity chefs.
"There is nothing like Thanksgiving in bringing family together, and I'm so grateful to be together again this year. Last year, Thanksgiving was all about counting our blessings and making the most out of a less-than-ideal time in the world," de Laurentiis says on her website, Giadzy. "It was especially hard to not be with my entire family—dinners together have always been one of our most important rituals, ever since I was a toddler. Everyone in my family loves cooking and getting in the kitchen and sharing what they've created, and it's my personal favorite way to show people my love."
So to commemorate the "extra special Thanksgiving" and being able to reunite, the Food Network star, cookbook author, Italian food icon and mom has pulled out all the stops with a Thanksgiving menu complete with two desserts, an array of colorful, crave-worthy sides and a prosciutto-wrapped(!) turkey.
Here's a preview of the 13 recipes that made the cut:
Antipasti Platter: "Every grand Italian meal kicks off with a smattering of tasty bites, known as antipasti," de Laurentiis says. She suggests dressing yours up with figs, grapes and fresh herbs to fill the gaps between cheeses, nuts and olives.
Apple Gorgonzola Crostata: Since it's sweet (apples, baking spices) and savory (blue cheese), de Laurentiis recommends devouring this freeform pie before dinner. "It is Thanksgiving, after all!"
Brussels Sprouts, Kale And Pomegranate Salad: Packed with superfoods, this "beautiful salad is a perfect centerpiece for a Thanksgiving meal, de Laurentiis says, because the "bright and crisp flavors are a much-needed bite alongside the rest of the decadent menu!"
- Cheesy Baked Mashed Potatoes with Peas: Cheese, butter, garlic and herbs are familiar MVP mashed potato accessories. But de Laurentiis has convinced us to switch things up this year with a Parmesan breadcrumb topping and a vibrant pile of sweet peas. What a simple way to sneak in more color!
- Buttermilk Cornbread: "Cornbread is the cornerstone of Thanksgiving," de Laurentiis swears, and we can certainly see why she believes so with this classic, moist and "subtly sweet cornbread." Just add a drizzle of honey!
- Giada's Cranberry Sauce: Declared one of the most underrated yet vital parts of the holiday feast by de Laurentiis, "The ruby-red condiment offers a bright, sweet acidity that cuts through decadent flavors and balances the entire meal." Her version is scented with orange and cinnamon so its equal parts refreshing and cozy.
- Ciabatta and Chestnut Stuffing With Pancetta: Chestnuts offer a nod to Christmas, while pancetta "gives a salty richness that makes it even more show-stoppingly good," according to de Laurentiis. It's also a simple way to infuse a bit more Italian flavor.
- Vegetable Parmesan: A jar of marinara gives a head start to this cheesy vegetable casserole that's pretty much all veggies. What a beautiful way to balance out all the carbs, protein and sugar!
- Giada's Parmesan Creamed Corn: Use fresh, frozen or even canned corn in this creamy side dish that offers a "welcome bit of sweetness to the Thanksgiving plate."
- Artichoke Gratinata: Prep time is just 10 minutes for this "super flavorful and zingy side dish that will have everyone coming back for a second scoop," de Laurentiis says. We might just serve this one year-round as an easier alternative to stuffed artichokes.
- Prosciutto-Wrapped Turkey: A basted bird is good. But you know what's even more festive and show-stopping, according to de Laurentiis? A roast turkey "completely covered in thin sheets of prosciutto. It's every bit as delicious as it sounds, and never fails to elicit oohs and ahhs from everyone who sees it!"
- Chocolate Almond Cheesecake: A small slice will go a long way with this rich, unexpected and crowd-pleasing cheesecake. "A luxuriously creamy filling, an almond crumble topping—it's divine in every sense of the word," she explains.
- Pumpkin Ricotta Cookies: Skip the pie this year but score similar fall flavors with these tender cookies. One fan calls her Pumpkin Ricotta Cookies, "The BEST cookies ever. Ever. Ever."
"Picture perfect Thanksgiving dinner 🍂🍁🥂," one fan comments on Instagram, and we could not agree more. Get Giada's 2021 Thanksgiving menu here, then see the best under-$20 wines (that taste far more expensive) to pair with it all.