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Thanksgiving Day Recipes That Will Delight Your Guests

Are you and your guests tired of the same old Thanksgiving Day routine? Give your go-to holiday recipes the year off, and instead, opt for something with more of a creative flair that your guests will not soon forget. 

The recipes found here are coming to you courtesy of Casey Easton of Food Lab Boulder, so you can rest assured that these holiday meal ideas are sure to win the approval of even the most discriminating palate. Happy Thanksgiving! 

Turkey Legs with Mole


  • 2 whole turkey legs (thighs, too)
  • 4 TBSP butter
  • Salt
  • Mole; yes, you can purchase at store!

Heat your oven to 550. Place the turkey legs in a cast iron pan and sprinkle heavily with salt. Bake for 15 minutes at 550, then turn to 425 and bake 90-100 minutes, until internal temp is 160. Let this dish rest until the internal temperature reaches 165 and the juices run clear. 

Serve with mole.

Roast Sweet Potatoes with Chipotle Aioli

Photos courtesy of Casey Easton, Food Lab Boulder


  • 2 sweet potatoes, cut into wedges
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • Salt
  • Olive oil

Heat your oven to 425. Place the sweet potatoes on a sheet pan, but do not overcrowd them, or they will steam and be soggy. Layer with oil and salt… go heavy! Bake for 40 minutes or until they are crisp and browning. Mix sour cream with salt, chili, garlic and onion powder. Dip and eat.

Blue Cheese, Roasted Grapes, Smoked Sea Salt, Balsamic, Candied Sunflower Seed, Market Greens 


  • 1 cup red grapes
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds, shelled
  • 1 TBSP maple syrup
  • 3 cups seasonal greens (arugula, spinach, escarole, radicchio, etc..)
  • 8-10 basil leaves
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
  • 2 TBSP blue cheese
  • Salt
  • Smoked sea salt
  • Black pepper
Photos courtesy of Casey Easton, Food Lab Boulder

Preheat your oven to 375F. Place the grapes on a sheet pan; lightly oil and season with salt. Toss in the thyme and bake for 20 minutes. The grapes will be plump and slightly browned. Heat a pan on medium heat. Add the sunflower seeds, and continue tossing them until fragrant. Add maple syrup, cook for 1 minute, then empty the mixture out onto a plate to cool. Toss the greens and basil in oil and vinegar. 

To serve, place the dressed greens on individual plates and top with the roasted grapes, seeds, and cheese. Sprinkle smoked salt and black pepper over the top to finish.

Chile Rellenos

  • 8 green chiles… Anaheim or Hatch chiles, roasted
  • 1 cup masa or fine cornmeal
  • 4-6  cups sharp cheddar, shredded, some for stuffing and some for topping
  • 1 onion, diced small
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt
  • High heat oil
  • Red or green chile sauce 

Heat your oven to 375. Place the beaten eggs in a bowl, masa in a bowl. Skin the roasted chiles, cut them a bit down the side to pull out seeds. Stuff with onion and cheese and salt. Do this until all are stuffed. Take each one and try to seal with hands, dip through egg wash and through masa and repeat with all.  Heat a large pan with canola or other high heat oil to medium high. When hot, carefully place the rellenos in, 3-4 at a time as to not overcrowd pan. Fry on each side, not letting them break open. Remove from pan when done and set in shallow casserole or sheet pan. 

When all are done, cover with your choice of chile sauce, top with more cheese, and place in oven until cheese is melted. Serve hot.

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