This article was originally published in 2013.
Thanksgiving is a celebration of gratitude and family traditions. Growing up in upstate New York, my family always gathered apples from our small backyard orchard in anticipation of the holiday feast. We’d pick the best of our crop—McIntosh, Pippin, Northern Spy—and store them in our cool pantry. When holiday baking began, we’d uncover our apples, still crisp and bright, and create recipes that highlighted them as a star ingredient.
Apples fit deliciously into a traditional Thanksgiving menu. They add texture and balance to side dishes, stuffing and gravy, flavoring them with a touch of sweetness. And apples are good for you. Rich in fiber, vitamins C and B and phytonutrients, they’re a delightful way to add extra nutrition to your holiday meal.
Brining delivers a turkey that is juicy and tender. This recipe includes apple cider, imbuing the meat with a wonderful flavor. Similar to marinating, brining is an overnight process. Be sure your turkey is completely thawed before placing it in the brine. Remove turkey from the brine and bring to room temperature before roasting. For juicier breast meat, roast your turkey unstuffed.
Each 3-ounce serving of dark meat contains 156 calories, 6g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 72mg cholesterol, 66mg sodium, 0g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 0g sugars, 24g protein, Est GL 0.
Each 3-ounce serving of white meat contains 132 calories, 3g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 57mg cholesterol, 54mg sodium, 0g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 0g sugars, 24g protein, Est GL 0.
MAKES 4 CUPS.
Apple cider adds just the right sweetness to this savory gravy, perfect for turkey and dressing. Turkey drippings provide richness and bourbon delivers gourmet flair.
*TIP: To judge the consistency of your gravy, allow 1 to 2 minutes of whisking between each addition of roux before adding more. Gravy is ready when it has reduced to about 4 cups and is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. If gravy becomes too thick, add more pan drippings or broth. If it’s too thin, continue to reduce or add additional roux.
Each tablespoon contains 27 calories, 2g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 2mg cholesterol, 18mg sodium, 2g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 0g sugars, 0g protein, 1 Est GL.
SERVES 10 TO 12.
Broth replaces dairy in this savory dish, while apples add flavor and a touch of sweetness. Bake this dish during the last hour of turkey roasting.
Each serving contains 91 calories, 3g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 8mg cholesterol, 7mg sodium, 17g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 5g sugars, 2g protein, 6 Est GL.
MAKES 12 ROLLS.
A crusty dinner roll is an essential part of Thanksgiving. These gluten-free rolls are lightly textured on the inside with a thick outer crust. They won’t fall apart when dipped in gravy. This easy recipe can be doubled. It can also be made with egg replacement.
Each roll contains 113 calories, 5g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 35mg cholesterol, 163mg sodium, 16g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 0g sugars, 2g protein, 10 Est GL.
SERVES 12 TO 14.
This Italian version of Brussels sprouts combines roasted vegetables with cannellini beans and stock. Top it with shaved Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese or a dairy-free cheese replacement, if desired.
Each serving contains 65 calories, 2g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 146mg sodium, 9g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 1g sugars, 3g protein, 3 Est GL.
SERVES 12 TO 14.
Roasting parsnips in the oven is an easy way to bring out the vibrant flavors of autumn. For variety, roast Brussels sprouts with the parsnips. Serve them tossed with fresh herbs and a sprinkle of salt or with Thyme Sauce.
Each serving contains 120 calories, 6g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 6mg cholesterol, 93mg sodium, 17g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 5g sugars, 1g protein, Est GL 5.
This cornbread is slightly sweet with a spicy twist. Serve it as a special dinner bread or crumble it to make Cracked Pepper Cornbread and Apple Stuffing (recipe below). It can be made 1 to 2 days ahead.
Each serving contains 256 calories, 16g total fat, 8g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 47mg cholesterol, 487mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 6g sugars, 3g protein, Est GL 16.
Adding apples and cranberries to Cracked Pepper Cornbread creates a memorable sweet-and-spicy dressing. Apple-smoked bacon, fresh herbs and turkey drippings contribute to the taste. The result is a mouthful of flavors and textures in every bite. This stuffing can be made 1 to 2 days ahead and stored in the refrigerator; reheat before serving. It can be made with egg replacement.
Each serving contains 318 calories, 17g total fat, 7g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 61mg cholesterol, 749mg sodium, 39g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 19g sugars, 5g protein, 18 Est GL.
MAKES 4 CUPS.
A combination of apples, cranberries, juice and spices makes this a bright complement to the Thanksgiving meal. It can be made a day ahead and refrigerated. Return to room temperature before serving.
Each tablespoon contains 23 calories, 0g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 1mg sodium, 6g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 5g sugars, 0g protein, Est GL 3.
MAKES 1 DEEP-DISH PIE.
A delicious gluten-free apple pie is a great addition to the dessert table. Start with Sweet Pastry Crust and add this filling of tart apples, fresh spices and cranberries. If desired, arrange decorative cutouts on top and sprinkle with finishing sugar for a special presentation. Make this in a deep dish pie pan.
Makes 8 slices. Each slice contains 476 calories, 19g total fat, 11g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 98mg cholesterol, 176mg sodium, 75g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 35g sugars, 4g protein, 42 Est GL.
MAKES ONE 9-INCH PIE.
Here’s a twist on an old favorite. Add chocolate ganache to traditional pumpkin pie and top it with cocoa whipped cream or dairy-free topping for a memorable holiday dessert. This recipe uses 1 Sweet Pastry Crust. Save the second crust for another use. For best results, do not replace the eggs in this recipe.
Each pie slice with topping contains 493 calories, 37g total fat, 25g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 161mg sodium, 172g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 27g sugars, 6g protein, Est GL 21.
MAKES 6 CUPS.
Each serving contains 564 calories, 2g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 4mg sodium, 127g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 7g protein.
Mary Capone is author of The Gluten-Free Italian Cookbook and creator of Bella Gluten-Free allergy-friendly baking mixes.