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Thanksgiving Turkey: Recipes

WebMD Expert Column

This Thanksgiving, many Americans will sit down to a traditional Thanksgiving meal with a big oven-roasted turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes with gravy, cranberry sauce, and perhaps a pie or two. 

But what if there are just a few of you? What if you have vegetarian guests? What if you have lots of Thanksgiving leftovers the next day and you want to create something comforting with all of it?

Thanksgiving Food Trends

Food is most definitely in right now. This year alone, a new food-centric cable network has sprouted and a popular but shuttered food magazine found new life as an iPad application, among other developments.

So use these recipes to give your Thanksgiving menu an update; we predict you’ll get plenty of gratitude.    

Give your brussels sprouts bacon, plus other savory ideas.

Your guests expect pumpkin pie – so surprise them with one of these delicious innovations.

Give your turkey a makeover (or two) and accommodate the vegetarians at your table with ease.

Here are three recipes to consider: a grilled turkey breast with a fresh herb rub, a quick turkey pot pie, and a special vegetarian Thanksgiving entrée -- pumpkin cannelloni.

Grilled Herbed Turkey Breast

You'll need a large indoor grill for this recipe.


2.5 to 2.75-pound turkey breast (if bone is included)

1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves

3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves

1.5 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary leaves

5 teaspoons minced garlic

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


  1. Remove skin from turkey breast and discard. Cut the turkey breast away from the bone into two equal-sized fillets.
  2. Start preheating your indoor grill on high. Meanwhile, combine herb rub ingredients -- parsley, sage, rosemary, garlic, and olive oil -- in a processor bowl by pulsing for about 10 seconds.
  3. Use your hand or a spatula to spread the herb rub on both sides of each fillet. When grill is ready, arrange turkey fillets on grill so that the grill top rests evenly on both pieces of turkey. Cook about 14 minutes (if fillet is 2 inches thick). Test the thickest part of the turkey fillet to make sure turkey is cooked throughout. You should be collecting some drippings in the tray of your grill (you can use this and scrapings from the top and bottom grill plates to make a gravy)
  4. Remove turkey fillets to a serving platter and let them rest for about 5 minutes before serving.

Yield: 6 servings

Per serving: 215 calories, 39 grams protein, 0.3 grams carbohydrate, 5.5 grams fat, 0.9 grams saturated fat, 3.6 grams monounsaturated fat, 0.8 grams polyunsaturated fat, 106 mg cholesterol, 0.1 gram fiber, 63 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 23%. Omega-3 fatty acids = 0.1 gram, Omega-6 fatty acids = 0.7 gram.

Thanksgiving Turkey Pot Pie

This is a great option for people who want to have turkey but have a smaller gathering and don’t want to go through the hassle of roasting a whole turkey. It's also a good use of leftover turkey.

You can find whole-wheat pie crust in tins at supermarkets. You can let the crust defrost in the pan and then invert the pan over a sheet of parchment and roll it out to create a flat crust.


1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or canola oil

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