Take Your Thanksgiving Meal to A Whole New Flavor Level

Now that all of the Halloween fun is over it's time to start thinking about Thanksgiving and meal planning. Putting together your Thanksgiving menu is incredibly soul-satisfying especially when you think about all of the smiles it will put on your family's faces. Some like to stick to a traditional Thanksgiving with the usual fixings: turkey, mac and cheese, dressing, mashed potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce and every dessert under the sun. If you would like to branch out a little with different flavors and different foods look no further than these recipes courtesy of Leigh Ann Chatagnier at

"My Rosemary Pomegranate Maple Glazed Turkey is easy to make and is topped with a rosemary-infused pomegranate glaze that takes this roasted turkey to a whole new level.  It pairs perfectly with my savory twist on a sweet potato casserole that is a must-try this Thanksgiving.  I created a Chipotle Sweet Potato Casserole that is topped with a decadent sourdough sage and pecan bread crumb topping that will wow your guests and have them asking for seconds!  To round off the menu I like to serve my Brussel Sprout, Sausage, and Apple Rice Stuffing.  This rice stuffing is a great alternative to the classic stuffing, especially if you have gluten-sensitive family members, and each bite tastes just like the holidays!"

Rosemary Pomegranate Maple Glazed Roasted Turkey | Serves 6-10

•    1 13-16 Lb. Whole Turkey
•    4 Tbsp. Kosher Salt
•    2 Tbsp. Black Pepper

For the Glaze:
•     2 Cups Pomegranate Juice
•    1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
•    1 Tsp. Black Pepper
•    2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary

•    Rub turkey down on all sides with salt and pepper liberally, including the inside of the bird.
•    Let sit uncovered in the refrigerator overnight, or at least 4 hours.
•    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
•    Let turkey sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before baking while the oven preheats.
•    Place the turkey on a roasting pan and cover with foil.
•    Bake for 2 1/2-3 hours until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
•    While the turkey bakes, make the rosemary pomegranate maple glaze by combining pomegranate juice, maple syrup, pepper, and rosemary sprigs in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and let reduce by half until slightly thickened.
•    Uncover the turkey for the last 20 minutes of cooking and brush a liberal amount of the pomegranate glaze all over the turkey.  Brush a second coat of the glaze on the turkey if desired.
•    Serve with extra pomegranate glaze.

Savory Chipotle Sweet Potato Casserole with a Sourdough Sage Pecan Bread Crumb Topping | Serves 6-8

•    5 Cups Peeled and Steamed or Roasted Sweet Potatoes (4-5 sweet potatoes)
•    1 Stick Melted Butter
•    2 1/2 Tbsp Finely Diced Chipotle Peppers in Adobo + 1 Tsp. of the Chipotle Pepper Liquid
•    1 1/2 Tbsp Salt
•    1 Tsp Pepper
•    2 Eggs
•    1/2 Cup Milk
•    2 Tsp. Honey

For the Topping:
•    1/2 Stick Melted Butter
•    2 Cups Stale Sourdough Bread, crumbled
•    1 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Sage
•    1 Cup Chopped Pecans
•    1 Tsp. Salt 
•    1/2 Tsp. Black Pepper

•    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
•    In a stand mixer or large bowl combine sweet potatoes, butter, chipotle peppers, eggs, milk, and honey.  Mix on medium speed until smooth and creamy.
•    Season with Salt and Pepper.
•    Place whipped chipotle sweet potatoes into a 9 x 13 baking dish and spread into an even layer.
•    Make bread crumb topping by mixing together melted butter with bread, sage, pecans, salt, and pepper.
•    Spread the bread crumb mixture evenly over the top of the sweet potatoes.  
•    Bake for 25-30 minutes until cooked through and the topping is golden brown.

Brussel Sprout, Apple, and Sausage Rice Stuffing | Serves 6-8

•    1 Lb. Pork Breakfast Sausage or Sausage of Choice
•    1/2 Cup Diced Celery
•    1/2 Cup Diced Onion
•    2 Finely Minced Garlic Cloves
•    1/2 Cup Diced Fennel
•    1/2 Cup Diced Apple
•    1 Tsp. Chopped Fresh Rosemary
•    1 Tsp. Chopped Fresh Sage
•    1 Tsp. Chopped Fresh Thyme
•    1 Tbsp. Kosher Salt + 1 Tsp.
•    1/2 Tsp. Black Pepper + 1/2 Tsp.
•    1 Tbsp. Avocado Oil
•    1 Tbsp. Butter
•    4 Cup Cooked Wild Rice
•    2 Cups Brussel Sprouts, stems removed and cut in half.

•    Add sausage to a large skillet and cook until browned.  Remove from the skillet and drain any excess grease on a paper towel lined plate.
•    Add oil and butter to the skillet and place Brussel sprouts cut side down and let sear for 2 minutes without touching. Season with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Once the cut side is browned, sauté for another 2 minutes until Brussels are bright green but still have some bite.  Remove them from the skillet.
•    Add celery, onion, garlic, fennel and apple to the skillet and season with 1/2 Tbsp. of salt and 1/4 Tsp. black pepper and sauté until the veggies become tender, about 2-3 minutes.
•    Add in fresh herbs and sauté for another 2-3 minutes.
•    Add sausage back into the skillet and along with the cooked wild rice and cooked brussel sprouts.
•    Season with the rest of the salt and pepper and stir to combine.
•    Cook another 2-3 minutes until flavors have combined well and serve immediately.

*Note: You can also stuff the turkey with this stuffing.

Leigh Ann Chatagnier loves to share favorite recipes with her social media followers.  As the founder of My Diary of Us, Leigh Ann invites visitors to come into her kitchen and cook with her and her family.  She is a frequent guest on Houston Life, and cooks up family-friendly meals on Home & Family on The Hallmark Channel and NBC Syndicated Daytime.  She has been featured in Louisiana Cookin’ magazine, Red Trycycle and inRegister.  Leigh Ann is the author of two cookbooks, The Unexpected Cajun Kitchen: Classic Cuisine with a Twist of Farm-to-Table Freshness (Skyhorse/2016), and Natural Baby & Toddler Treats: Homemade, Nourishing Recipes for Baby and Beyond (Skyhorse/2019).  

Leigh Ann lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and young son.  Visit her at 

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Comment by Sarah on June 21, 2020 at 9:37am

Great Recipes. I must try them. Also, do see this simple Ginger Chicken recipe. It seems to very easy for bachelors and new moms too.

Comment by Hoa Giusti on November 2, 2019 at 6:38am

Looking yummy. I love roasted turkey Halloween recipes. 

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