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Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas

Thanksgiving recipes

I love that Thanksgiving is a big food celebration holiday; it’s a great occasion to get together with family and friends to enjoy delicious dishes and be thankful for everything we have. Most of my Thanksgiving meals have been international potluck style, there’s always a turkey, but most of the side dishes and other parts of the meal have an international twist that reflects the cultures of the people gathered around the table. Even if it’s just the husband, kids and I, we usually have some Latin (and French) components added to our Thanksgiving meal. These are some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes that will add some Latin (or French) flavor to your menu.

En Español

Latin menu ideas for Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving Drinks and Starters
Mandarin mimosa: Bubbly mandarin mimosa cocktail recipe made with fresh mandarin juice, champagne or sparkling wine, and orange liqueur.

Chicha de piña or spiced pineapple drink: Chicha de piña is a spiced warm pineapple drink made by simmering the pineapple skins and core with panela or hard brown sugar and spices.

Ceviche de langostinos: Easy ceviche recipe made with langostinos, lime juice, red onions, cilantro, hot peppers, garlic, and olive oil.

Shrimp stuffed avocado: Ripe avocado filled with shrimp, red onion, radish, bell pepper, celery and cilantro aioli

Sopa de zapallo or squash soup: Squash soup made with squash, onions, tomatoes, garlic, cumin, and chicken or vegetable stock, served with feta or goat cheese and chives

Frisée salad with apple, bacon and goat cheese: Frisée salad with apple, bacon and goat cheese with an apple cider honey mustard vinaigrette

Mimosa recipe 



Thanksgiving Main Dishes
Herb butter roasted turkey: Recipe for roasted turkey with thyme lemon garlic butter and white wine gravy sauce.

Pavo criollo asado: Latin style turkey, usually prepared for Christmas but works perfect for Thanksgiving, marinated and roasted with a sauce of garlic, cumin, achiote/annatto, and chicha or beer.

Pernil or spicy roasted pork loin: Pernil is pork marinated in a sauce of bitter orange juice, onion, garlic, achiote, cloves, cinnamon, cumin and panela and slow roasted in the oven for several hours.

Hornado de chancho: Hornado de chancho is a slow roasted pork dish cooked in a marinade of beer or chicha, garlic, cumin and achiote or annatto.

Orange chipotle ham: Orange chipotle ham made with a smoked spiral cut ham, baked and glazed with a sauce made with chipotle chilies, orange juice, lime juice, cumin, achiote, tequila, sugar or honey, and spices.

Chimichurri roasted chicken: Not a fan of turkey? Try this Latin inspired chimichurri chicken roasted with fresh herbs, garlic, vinegar, lime juice, butter or oil.


 Pavo criollo or Latin style roasted turkey Pernil pork loin recipe

 Baked smoked ham with orange chipotle sauce Chimichurri roasted chicken


Thanksgiving Sauces
Spicy mango cranberry sauce: Spicy cranberry sauce recipe made with fresh cranberries, mangoes, jalapenos, brown sugar, passion fruit juice and cilantro.

Salsa de ciruelas or prune sauce: Salsa de ciruelas or prune sauce made with prunes, red wine, port, shallots, and balsamic vinegar. This sauce goes great with turkey, pork, chicken, duck and other meats.

Aji de tomate de arbol or tree tomato hot sauce: Tree tomato aji is a very tasty hot sauce made from tree tomatoes or tamarillos, hot peppers, onion, cilantro and lime juice. I love this sauce on the turkey and on pork pernil.

Agrio sauce: Agrio is a tangy sauce made especially to accompany traditional pork dishes, especially hornado or roasted pork.

Homemade aioli: Aioli is a French mayonnaise type sauce made from crushed garlic, egg yolk and olive oil. Aioli is a great sauce for roasted vegetables.

Balsamic chimichurri sauce: Chimichurri sauce made with oregano, parsley, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, chili powder, and green onions. This chimichurri sauce is great for meat and vegetable dishes.

Cebollas encurtidas or lime pickled red onions: Red onions marinated in lime juice, these go great with turkey and pork.




Salsa de ciruelas
Thanksgiving Side Dishes
Molo or Ecuadorian style mashed potatoes: Molo is an Ecuadorian version of mashed potatoes made milk, cream, queso fresco and a refrito of onions, garlic, and achiote or annatto. Molo is served with lettuce leaves, hard boiled eggs, hot pepper slices, avocados, scallions, cilantro or parsley, tomato and onion curtido and aji or hot sauce.

Relleno de pavo or turkey stuffing: Sweet and savory holiday turkey stuffing made with ground meat, chorizo, bacon, apple, raisins, olives, walnuts, bread crumbs, spices, herbs and more.

Ensalada rusa or Russian potato salad: Ensalada rusa is a classic salad and side dish served throughout Latin America, made with potatoes, carrots, peas, apples, celery, onion, and mayonnaise.

Llapingachos de camote: Recipe for sweet potato patties stuffed with cheese, or llapingachos de camote, made with mashed sweet potatoes, onion and achiote refrito, and cheese.
Potato gratin dauphinois: Gratin dauphinois is a typical dish from the French Alps made with thinly sliced potatoes baked in a sauce of milk, eggs, cream and garlic and topped with cheese.

Goat cheese potato gratin: Potato gratin recipe with goat cheese, garlic and herbs

Sweet plantain puree with queso fresco: Puree made with ripe sweet plantains, milk, butter, onions, garlic, cumin, achiote, chili pepper, salt and pepper. I usually replace the classic sweet potato dish with this sweet plantain dish.

Ecuadorian style rice: Basic recipe for cooking rice Ecuadorian style, you can make either the classic white rice and arroz amarillo or yellow achiote rice.

Quinoa with tomatillo and cilantro sauce: A spicy tangy quinoa dish that’s a great healthy side dish for Thanksgiving.

 Ensalada rusa potato salad recipe Potato gratin recipe

Relleno de pavo or turkey stuffing Stuffed sweet potato patties



Thanksgiving Desserts
Dulce de zapallo or candied squash in spiced panela syrup: Dulce de zapallo is a dessert made with squash or pumpkin simmered in a syrup of panela or hard brown cane sugar and spices.

Gingerbread pear empanadas: Gingerbread empanada dough filled with caramelized ginger pears that were cooked in a syrup of panela or piloncillo and spices.

Apple cake: Delicious and easy to make French apple cake made with only 4 simple ingredients: apples, sugar, flour and eggs.

Pumpkin empanadas : Delicious homemade pumpkin empanadas made with caramelized or candied pumpkin, cooked in panela or piloncillo syrup with cinnamon, clove and all spice.

Pumpkin flan: Easy flan recipe prepared with candied pumpkin cooked in brown sugar and spices, eggs, cream and orange liqueur.

Candied pumpkin tart: Delicious pumpkin tart made with pumpkin candied in a syrup of spices and panela or piloncillo.


Pumpkin empanadas Candied pumpkin tart with creme fraiche sauce


Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes

Avocados stuffed with turkey salad: Chicken or turkey salad stuffed avocado made with ripe avocados filled with salad made with shredded turkey or chicken, tomato, onion, cilantro, and lime.

Turkey tortilla soup: Tortilla soup made with turkey, cilantro, onions, garlic, jalapeños, tomatoes, spices, stock, lime juice and served with monterrey jack cheese, tortilla chips, and avocado.

Turkey empanadas: Recipe for homemade turkey empanadas filled with turkey, onions, garlic, peppers, tomatoes, cumin, oregano and balsamic vinegar.

Roast pork sliders: Mouthwatering pork sliders made with leftover roast pork, avocado spread, lime pickled red onions and cilantro hot sauce.

Stuffed avocados

Turkey tortilla soup recipe  

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  1. I so happy I came across this site! Your turkey stuffing looks exactly like my grandmothers, I am going to give it a try for the first time this year.

  2. Laylita,
    On this thanksgiving I am grateful for you!! Thanks for your wonderful site I can finally cook Ecuadorian food :) and tonight my kids will enjoy an American tradition full of Ecuadorian flavors.

  3. What a spead. I don’t do Thanksgiving because my daughter-in-law has taken over this job and quite honestly she has learned so much throught the years that she has made me very proud. Now I just sit, wait, sip and enjoy! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

  4. Laylita,

    Just yesterday, I was checking for your turkey recipe and
    today you posted the whole thanksgiving recipe ideas with Latin flavor.
    You are the best! your recipes are my inspiration.
    Thank you so much!

  5. Laylita I love you!!
    I am amazed at your cross-cultural flavor and can’t wait to read more and try more recipes. Thank you!

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