I feel that Thanksgiving is the Holiday that really brings together all americans, it doesn’t matter the race, religion or country of origin. It’s definitely a family holiday, but also includes friends and any loved ones. The first year I moved to Los Angeles, me and my husband didn’t have any family close by (they all live in Italy) and it felt so good and warming to be invited by a friend and be included in her family traditions. It really felt like home. Years later and two kids later here I am planning a pot-luck Thanksgiving that will gather 6 families!!! Yes, six, with a lot of kids…and a lot of laughs/noise/energy. Exactly what I love!
This is the week to start planning the menu, something traditional, something special and…most important…something (if not everything) kids friendly!!
I had fun looking into the BuonaPappa archive and I selected my favorite Thanksgiving family and kid friendly recipes for a complete and gorgeous meal. I’ve been preparing these recipes for my family many many times now and they are all checked and approved!
As one of the most beautiful thing about Thanksgiving is cooking together and preparing together the meal, well…it takes time, and it can take a lot of time. That’s why a nice batch of healthy appetizers are always nice to have ready as soon as the guests arrive and the kids can start snacking too. If the appetizers are on the healthy side I really don’t worry if later the kids don’t eat too much at supper/dinner.
A veggie platter with a yummy dip is a great option. I like homemade hummus as I can personalize the flavors following my personal taste.
If you think your little ones will get hungry soon and will not be able to wait for the Turkey to be fully cooked, you can also opt for some meatballs/croquettes that will be an appetizer for the adults and a meal for the kids 🙂
Being Italian I really like to add an Italian touch to the Thanksgiving menu, and the two most popular recipes that I’ve been sharing with my friends and family in the past years are the Butternut Squash and Kale Mac&Cheese, a creamy yummy and healthy version of the Mac&Cheese. And The Pumpkin Gorgonzola Pasta, a real feast for your mouth. I looove the contrast between the sweetness of the pumpkin sauce and the saltiness of the gorgonzola. That said, if your kids don’t like the stinky flavor of gorgonzola (Italian blu cheese) you might want to calm the flavor down switching to a Pecorino cheese. Still yummy, but more delicate.
Another recipe that really pleased everyone was the Turkey Potato Shepherd pie, sooo juicy and cream inside!! And also, loaded with veggies 🙂
Note. I would suggest this recipe for a small group if you want to go for the small portions cups or it could be a bit time consuming. Still, it’s Thanksgiving, so why not?!
Desserts. If you want something different from the traditional sweet pies, what about some pumpkin yogurt brownies? They will be creamy and compact inside, a perfect match for a vanilla ice-cream.
If you don’t like too sweet desserts, the gluten free pumpkin bread with crumble topping is perfect for you!
My favorite dessert, indeed, is the fruit cones. After a gorgeous Thanksgiving meal all I want is some fresh fruit with a bit of sweet bread to call it officially “dessert”. I also like the mono-portions, so easy with kids and a big crowd!!
And…on thanksgiving morning, you can always have some fun with breakfast too 🙂
I really hope you will enjoy one of these recipes. If you do, please share them on Instagram or Facebook and tag me #buonapappa I can’t wait to see your creations!