When you think of Mediterranean Thanksgiving recipes, I’m sure your mind goes to a nice Greek cuisine-styled charcuterie board. One with tons of kalamata olives, pita chips, feta cheese, greek herbs, pine nuts, etc.
But what if I told you that the Mediterranean diet is much more broad than that? That it’s used all across Europe, and that you’ve probably been eating that way each and every Thanksgiving?
That’s right, you’re already halfway there.
According to Sharon Palmer, the Mediterranean diet “involves including lots of seasonal fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, moderate wine, lower intake of red meat, moderate intake of animal protein, more grains and seeds, and low use of highly-processed foods and sweets.”
Now with the exception of the sweets, because no holiday meal is complete without those, this sounds a lot like a regular old Thanksgiving dinner to me.
Seasonal fruits and vegetables? Check.
Low intake of red meat? We’re turkey eaters around here.
And surprisingly, most Thanksgiving desserts are made with natural fruits, grains, and seeds.
While Thanksgiving dinner gets a bad rap with its emphasis on excessive delicious food intake, is it really that bad when most of the food you’re eating is good for you?
The answer is, and will always be, no. (Even with the food that is more processed and fattening, on Thanksgiving, it’s good for you too. We don’t make the rules.)
Below, I’m going to be sharing some of the recurring recipes (with a Mediterranean twist) that my family uses each and every Thanksgiving. Be sure to bookmark this article so you can try these recipes for yourself! I guarantee you, they’ll become a hit in your house.
*Don’t feel like cooking this Thanksgiving? We’ve got you covered. Check out our Thanksgiving Catering Menu!*
Mediterranean Turkey Recipe
This recipe has been tried and true in my family for years, and I guarantee you’ll love it too.
I’ll have to be honest: I’m not the world’s biggest fan of turkey.
Even though it’s one of the most traditional recipes and the main course of every Thanksgiving dinner, I’m much more inclined to go after a ham, prime rib, or even a baked chicken thigh. I find that turkey a lot of the time is too dry, which makes it difficult to eat.
But this turkey is the opposite of that. And it’s all thanks to the chicken stock.
It comes out of the oven so extremely tender and moist, and practically melts in your mouth.
If I could only eat one turkey recipe ever again, it would be this one. And you’ll find out why when you make it for yourself.Print
Roasted Beets and Sweet Potatoes
Growing up, my mom would always make this easy recipe even if it wasn’t Thanksgiving. It’s just that good.
To this day, my cousin will always request my mom make him her special sweet potatoes every Thanksgiving. They’re a hit in my family, and I’m sure they’ll be in yours too.
Part of why I love this dish is because it’s so incredibly easy.
It’s a sheet pan meal, which is always a plus, but it’s ready in no time.
And it’s delicious.
If you’re looking to get really creative with this, try topping this over a bed of lettuce and making a harvest salad. I bet it’ll taste amazing!Print
Perfect Mashed Potatoes
Surprisingly, potatoes are a huge part of the Mediterranean diet. They’re a grain, after all, and also double as a vegetable. So it makes perfect sense that a yummy mashed potato dish would be the perfect addition to your Mediterranean Thanksgiving table. They are, after all, a massive Thanksgiving staple.
Traditional mashed potato recipes typically call for whipped butter. However, to keep this more heart-healthy, I opt for adding olive oil instead. For best results, use yukon gold or russet potatoes.
If you prefer to still have the creamier taste in your mashed potatoes, you can mix in any sweetener-free dairy alternative. It’ll still give off that creamy taste you’re missing, but with less of the processed additives.Print
Homemade Cranberry Sauce Recipe
I feel as though cranberry sauce is always a hit or miss among families at Thanksgiving. That always used to surprise me, because it was one of my favorite sides. You just can’t beat the sweetness of the cranberries combined with everything else on your plate. It adds a dimension that’s just incredible.
And not to mention how good it is on a Thanksgiving leftover sandwich. It really ties everything together perfectly, acting as a glue of some sorts.
Over the last few years, we have strayed away from using the notorious canned cranberry sauce, and have opted to make our own instead.
This is the recipe that we use!Print
And what would Thanksgiving dinner be without dessert?
This apple crisp is always the talk of the town. Personally, I like it better than apple pie. It’s healthy, delicious, and amazing. I almost always serve it warm with vanilla ice cream. It’s truly a game-changer.
Part of the reason this recipe is one of my favorites is because it’s so delicious and sweet, but simultaneously healthy. I always underestimate the power of apples and cinnamon. A little can go a really long way!
For best results, use a high-quality naturally-made maple syrup. I always recommend Vermont maple syrup, it’s truly the best, and not as sugary and processed as some of the main supermarket brands.Print