Thanksgiving Recipes from the Garden

Thanksgiving Recipes from the Garden

By Michael Jenkins

As we write and post this blog, Thanksgiving is about a week away here in the US! This is a busy time for many of us: friends and family visit, many folks are traveling, and there’s so much food to prepare and enjoy! With the Thanksgiving feast coming, it’s entire possible that you’re looking for recipes to make and share. We thought it might be fun to share some more recipes that showcase vegetables commonly grown in fall gardens across the country so that you can add a personal touch to this year’s festivities (Although if you don’t have home-grown veggies, store-bought is OK). So we’re sharing those dishes here in the hopes that you’ll prepare them, enjoy them, and make them your own.

As with every recipe we share at Gardzen, these are dishes we’ve made, tested, and enjoyed ourselves. If you have some favorite Thanksgiving recipes to share with us, please post them in the comments, reach out via social media, or just email us!

Let’s dig in!

Butter Cooked Carrots

Carrots are a classic fall vegetable, and a wonderful way to add a brighter, sweeter flavor to Thanksgiving dishes. This simple recipe packs a lot of flavor and is a great basis for personalization—feel free to add your own seasoning touches like nutmeg, powered dried chilies, or dried garden herbs!

  • 1 pound/450 grams carrots. You can use baby carrots, or carrots that have been cut into rounds or strips. It’s up to you!
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup butter
  1. Cook carrots in a large pot of boiling water until tender—about 8 to 10 minutes depending how how large the carrot pieces are. Strain the carrots, leaving just enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. Set carrots aside.
  2.  Bring water in pan to a simmer. Stir brown sugar and butter into the water left in the pan. Keep stirring until both the butter and sugar dissolve. Add carrots and any other desired seasonings and stir until thoroughly coated. Cover and let sit so flavors can meld; salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Kale and Carrot Vegetable Medley

This is a delicious and hearty veggie dish, made with two fall garden vegetables that we adore. While this version does include bacon, that ingredient is totally optional and we’ll indicate in the instructions how to make this dish either vegetarian or vegan as you see fit. Kale and Carrot Vegetable Medley is a favorite fall and winter dish for us, and it’s great on its own with crusty bread or rice.

  • 8 bacon strips, coarsely chopped. This ingredient is option; you can substitute either butter or olive oil as needed or desired.
  • 4 large carrots, sliced
  • 2 cups peeled cubed butternut squash (1/2-inch pieces)
  • 1 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped fresh kale

1) In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, stirring occasionally. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon to paper towels. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon drippings. Alternately, omit bacon and heat olive oil or melt butter over medium heat and proceed to step two.

2) Add carrots and squash to drippings; cook, covered over medium heat for about five minutes. Add poblano (if desired) pepper and onion; cook for about five minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in seasonings. Add tomatoes and kale. Cook covered, until kale is wilted, approximately two to three minutes. Top with bacon if you so choose.

Thanksgiving Broccoli and Cheese Casserole

Another classic “comfort food” recipe that makes great use of a fall garden staple, Thanksgiving Broccoli and Cheese is a tasty way to introduce more veggies to your holiday feast. Simple to prepare and delicious, this will be a hit with both adults and younger folks when the family gathers this year!

  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 12 oz/340 grams fresh broccoli, steamed in the microwave till tender
  • 8 ounces shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 dash paprika, or to taste

1) Steam broccoli either on stove top or in a microwave using a loosely covered microwave-safe container until tender, about 5 minutes. Preheat oven to 350F/177C/gas mark 4.

2) Whisk condensed soup, mayonnaise, egg, and onion together in a bowl until thoroughly blended and combined.

3) Chop steamed broccoli into bite-sized chunks. Stir broccoli into soup mixture along with salt, pepper, and paprika, coating well. Pour into greased baking pan and top with shredded cheese. Bake in preheated oven for 45-minutes to an hour, until cheese is starting to brown and mixture is heated through. Serve warm.

Spicy Cranberry Sauce

Many of us at Garden are hot pepper fans, and we grow a variety of chilies every year to spice up our gardens and our kitchens. This wonderfully fresh twist on a classic cranberry sauce add some heat in the form of garden Jalapenos. You can use either fresh or frozen peppers, depending on what you have. Use this sauce as you would a regular cranberry sauce, but be sure to warn folks that it’s a bit spicy and be careful around little ones who may not appreciate the surprise!

  • 3 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 jalapenos, seeds removed from 1 chile, both chilies very thinly sliced
  • 1 pound/450 grams fresh cranberries (frozen are fine!)
  • ⅔ cup honey
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
  • 2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  • 2 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1) Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and jalapenos and cook while stirring until shallot is starting to turn golden, roughly four to five minutes. Add cranberries, honey, and salt and turn up heat to medium-high.

2) Bring to a boil and cook, stirring often and reducing heat to avoid burning, until cranberries burst, juices are syrupy, and the bottom of the pan is visible when stirring thoroughly. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice, mixing thoroughly.

3) Serve either warm or chilled; this dish can be made the day before if needed.


  • K

    Can’t wait to try these delicious recipes for Thanksgiving.

  • Michael C

    These recipes look fantastic, Michael! Thank you very much. The thanksgiving broccoli and cheese sounds particularly good

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