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A California Thanksgiving Dinner

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Lots of bright citrus, sparkly pomegranate seeds, and a few surprises (like goat cheese in the stuffing) means this menu, inspired by California, has that wow-factor you hope for in a holiday meal.

The turkey and stuffing serve 12-14, and the green beans serve 8-10, but you’ll need to double the squash salad and Brussels sprouts recipes to serve 12. The shopping list reflects the scaled up amounts. The tart serves 8, so you’ll want to double the recipe if it’ll be the only dessert.

Citrus zest and juice and fresh herbs imbue the traditional roast turkey in this menu with regional flavor. A custard tart with wine-poached grapes finishes the meal with a nod to northern California’s beautiful wine country.

Menu Timeline

3 Days Ahead

  • Toast the bread cubes for the stuffing; store at room temperature.

1 to 2 Days Ahead

  • Butter, season, and refrigerate the turkey; reserve 1/4 cup of the butter for making the gravy; refrigerate.
  • Make the broth for the gravy; refrigerate.
  • Make the hazelnut butter for the Brussels sprouts; refrigerate.
  • Make the Meyer lemon vinaigrette for the green beans; refrigerate.
  • Bake the crust for the tart; refrigerate.
  • Prep and assemble the stuffing ingredients, but do not add the eggs or broth; refrigerate.

5 Hours Before Dinner

  • Roast the fingerlings; store at room temperature.
  • Make the custard for the tart; store at room temperature.

4 Hours Before Dinner

  • Take the turkey out of the refrigerator; let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
  • Roast the delicata; store at room temperature.
  • Trim and cut the Brussels sprouts; refrigerate.
  • Assemble the tart; store at room temperature to set.

3-1/2 Hours Before Dinner

  • Make the Parmesan bread crumbs for the green beans; store at room temperature.

3 Hours Before Dinner

  • Roast the turkey.

2 Hours Before Dinner

  • Bake the stuffing.

1 Hour Before Dinner

  • Boil the green beans; store at room temperature.

30 Minutes Before Dinner

  • Let the turkey rest, tented with tin foil; make the gravy.
  • Cook the Brussels sprout, toss with the hazelnut butter; store at room temperature.

Just Before Dinner

  • Carve the turkey.
  • Dress the green beans and the delicate and fingerling salad; arrange on serving dishes.
  • Arrange the Brussels sprouts on a warm serving dish and garnish with hazelnuts.

Shopping List

Fresh Produce

  • 1 bunch fresh rosemary
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 large and 1 small yellow onion
  • 3 medium stalks celery
  • 3-1/2 lbs. Brussels sprouts
  • 3 lbs. fingerling potatoes (about 32 medium)
  • 4 medium delicata squash (about 5 lbs)
  • 3 medium cloves garlic
  • 1 shallot
  • 16 oz. baby arugula (20 cups)
  • 2 medium pomegranates
  • 8 lemons
  • 2 limes
  • 1 orange
  • 65 seedless red grapes (2-1/4 cups)

Meat, Seafood, Eggs & Dairy

  • 1 16-lb. fresh turkey
  • 8 oz. pancetta, finely diced
  • 7 large eggs
  • 16 oz. (4 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 10-1/2 oz. fresh goat cheese
  • 2 cups Parmigano-Reggiano cheese

Other Groceries

  • 5-1/2 cups lower-salt chicken broth
  • 2 cups Madeira
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 Tbs. dry white wine, preferably Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1 1-lb. loaf rustic white bread with crust
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 2/3 cup hazelnuts
  • 3/4 cup dried currants
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard

Pantry Staples

  • kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbs. minced garlic
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 Tbs. honey

The Menu


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