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Here’s What to Cook This Week (November 21 – 27)

Thanksgiving is days away. The big feast should be a blast, but all the prep that precedes it (and all those leftovers you’ll have to get through) can put a damper on the rest of the week. So, we’ve created a clever lineup of dinners that will help you start your holiday cooking early and use up all the spare turkey, Brussels sprouts, cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes soon to take over your fridge. (And of course, Thursday’s recipe is elegant enough to impress, yet a breeze to prepare.)

63 Non-Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas (Because Not Everyone Loves Turkey)


Maria Korneeva/Getty Images

Shopping List

Produce
2 medium butternut squashes
3 small yellow onions
2 heads garlic
2 large shallots
2 lemons
2 persimmons
1 orange
1 blood orange
1 jalapeño
6 radishes
1 red onion
1 large sweet potato
8 ounces shredded Brussels sprouts
4 ounces watercress
2 bunches lacinato kale
2 bunches thyme
2 bunches rosemary
1 bunch sage
1 bunch scallions
1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch parsley
2 bunches chives

Meat
One 2½- to 3-pound skin-on turkey breast
1 large egg
12 slices smoked salmon

Dairy
3 ounces crumbled goat cheese
1 stick unsalted butter
8 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese
4 ounces shredded white cheddar cheese
8 ounces Brie cheese
2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
4 ounces crème fraîche

Grains
1 pound bite-sized pasta (such as orecchiette)
12 small corn tortillas
1 large bag tortilla chips

Canned and Packaged Goods
32 ounces chicken stock
4 ounces coconut milk
3 ounces pine nuts
One 15-ounce can chickpeas
4 ounces dried apricots
One 28-ounce can red enchilada sauce
2 ounces pepitas
8 ounces prepared cranberry sauce

Pantry Ingredients: extra-virgin olive oil, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, curry powder, chili powder, cayenne, ground cinnamon, whole-grain mustard, apple cider vinegar, vegetable oil, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, smoked paprika, nonstick spray, all-purpose flour

Monday: Sheet Pan Curried Butternut Squash Soup

The key to this sheet pan gem—which doesn’t require a moment of simmering—is roasting all the produce until caramelized to unlock as much flavor as possible. Make a double batch, chill the leftovers and reheat the soup to serve as an appetizer on Thanksgiving.

Tuesday: Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Pasta Salad

This seasonal pasta salad keeps in the fridge like a charm, so there’s no doubt that you can serve it first thing on Thursday if you’d like. Cubed butternut squash, crunchy pine nuts and fresh thyme make it destined for your holiday table.

Wednesday: Kale Salad with Persimmons, Crispy Chickpeas and Fried Shallots

This centerpiece-worthy salad couldn’t be more photogenic if it tried. Double the recipe, keeping all the elements separate so they retain their crispness, then assemble on the big day to kick off dinner.

Thursday: Slow Cooker Turkey Breast with Orange and Herbs

No basting, no rotating, no fussing with tinfoil—just 30 minutes of active prep, the push of a button and an impossibly juicy bird. Finish the sliced turkey with thin rounds of blood orange and a flourish of fresh herbs.

Friday: Spicy Turkey Enchiladas with Pumpkin Seeds

Put down the sliced bread and step away from the toaster. This year, we’re not eating a dozen turkey sandwiches in a matter of days just to get rid of the leftovers. Instead, shred them and turn them into a satiating dish of enchiladas, complete with roasted pepitas, radishes and cilantro.

Saturday: Cranberry, Brussels Sprouts and Brie Skillet Nachos

Make the sweet potatoes and sprouts fresh or use whatever leftover veggies you have from Thursday, along with cranberry sauce, Brie (from the epic charcuterie board you served) and shredded turkey or rotisserie chicken if you’d like.

Sunday: Mashed Potato Fritters with Smoked Salmon and Chives

Leftover mashed potatoes usually don’t reheat exactly to their former glory—unless you load them with cheese, mold them into patties and fry them, that is. The tangy crème fraîche and luxurious smoked salmon merely gild the lily.

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Taryn Pire is PureWow’s associate food editor. A former bartender and barista, she’s been writing about all things delicious since 2016, developing recipes, reviewing restaurants and investigating food trends at Food52, New Jersey Family Magazine and Taste Talks. When she isn’t testing TikTok’s latest viral recipe, she’s having popcorn for dinner and posting about it on Instagram @cookingwithpire.