Looking for some fresh takes on the classics this Thanksgiving? Look no further. We’ve rounded up some recipes for you to try when the holiday rolls around Thursday, Nov. 28. Dig in!


Roast Turkey with Sage Pan Gravy

  • Serves: 12
  • Preparation time: 1 hour
  • Total time: 3 hours
  • Nutritional information: 315 calories (26% from fat), 9 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 3 g carbohydrates, 52 g protein, 349 mg sodium, 172 mg cholesterol, less than 1 g fiber.


  • 1 (12- to 14-pound) turkey fresh (or frozen and thawed)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage, divided
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 lemon, halved crosswise
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cups no-salt-added or less-sodium, fat-free chicken stock, divided
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons white wine
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour


  1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
  2. Remove giblets and neck from turkey; discard liver. Reserve turkey neck and giblets. Pat turkey day with paper towels; trim and discard excess fat. Starting at neck cavity, loosen the skin with the breast using your fingers at first. Then gently slide a thin plastic spatula under the skin, pushing it gently to loosen the skin under the entire breast, legs and thighs.
  3. Combine 2 tablespoons sage, oil, butter, 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Rub sage mixture under the loosened skin and over breasts and drumsticks. Squeeze juice from 1 lemon half over turkey; place remaining lemon half in cavity. Tie legs together with kitchen string. Place reserved giblets, neck, garlic, carrots, celery, onion and bay leaf in the bottom of a large roasting pan. Add 1 cup stock and 2 cups water to pan. Place roasting rack in pan. Arrange turkey, breast side up, on roasting rack.
  4. Bake turkey for 1 hour and 20 minutes, rotating pan every 30 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees (do not remove turkey from oven). Bake turkey an additional 30 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into meaty part of thigh registers 160 to 165 degrees. Remove turkey from pan; place on a cutting board. Let stand for 30 minutes. Carve turkey.
  5. Place a large zip-top plastic bag inside a 4-cup glass measure. Strain pan drippings through a colander into bag; discard solids. Let drippings stand 10 minutes. Seal bag; snip off 1 bottom corner of bag. Drain pan drippings into a medium saucepan, stopping before fat layer reaches the opening. Add remaining 1 tablespoon sage, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, remaining ¼ teaspoon black pepper, 1 ½ cups chicken stock and wine to drippings in pan; bring to a boil. Cook for 15 minutes or until reduced to 2 ½ cups. Combine flour and remaining ½ cup chicken stock in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Stir flour mixture into stock mixture in pan; bring to a boil. Boil 1 minute or until slightly thick, stirring gravy constantly. Serve gravy with turkey.

Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine, November 2012. Tested by Susan Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.


Cauliflower casserole with cheese and bacon.

Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole

  • Serves: 10
  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Total time: 50 minutes


  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar or cheddar blend, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, divided
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions, divided


  1. Remove the core of the cauliflower. Separate the cauliflower into florets.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot half filled with water to a boil. Blanch the cauliflower for 3 minutes. Drain and press a clean kitchen towel (not terry cloth) gently on the cauliflower to soak up excess water.
  3. Make cheese sauce: In a large skillet, melt butter. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the flour and stir until the it turns lightly golden, about 2 minutes. Slowly pour in the milk while stirring and bring to a low simmer. Whisk in the cream cheese until it melts. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup cheddar cheese until melted. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Place the drained cauliflower in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Pour the cheese sauce over and stir until combined. Set aside about 2 tablespoons of the cooked bacon and green onions. Stir in the remaining bacon and green onions to the cauliflower until combined. Top with remaining cheddar, bacon, and green onions.
  5. Bake until cauliflower is tender and the cheese on top has melted, about 30 minutes.

Adapted from Tested by Susan Selasky for the Detroit Free Press Test Kitchen.

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy

  • Makes: About 8 cups
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Total time: 3 hours (not all active time)
  • Note: Make this gravy up to 3 days in advance. It can also be frozen up to 1 month (thaw and reheat). The consistency is almost like gelatin, but will thin when you add turkey drippings to it. You can add fat-skimmed drippings from a freshly roasted turkey.
  • Nutritional information: Per 1/4 cup serving: 26 calories (34% from fat), 1 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 3 g carbohydrates, 1 g protein, 258 mg sodium, 2 mg cholesterol, 0 g fiber.


  • 4 turkey wings (about 3 to 4 pounds)
  • 2 medium sweet onions, peeled, cut up
  • 1 cup water
  • 8 cups less-sodium, fat-free chicken broth, divided
  • 1 large chopped carrot
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, optional
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Place the turkey wings in a roasting pan; scatter onions on top. Roast 1 1/4 hours or until wings are golden brown.
  • Put wings and onions in a large stockpot. Add water to roasting pan; stir to scrape up any brown bits on bottom and add all to the pot. Add 6 cups broth (refrigerate remaining 2 cups), the carrot and thyme if desired.
  • Simmer, uncovered, 1 1/2 hours.
  • Remove the wings and cool. Once cool, remove and discard skin; reserve meat for another use. Strain broth into fat separator or into a bowl. Let sit 10-15 minutes until fat rises to the top. Pour de-fatted broth into a saucepan. You also can put the bowl in the freezer. The fat will rise to the top and become solid. What’s left underneath will be jelled, which is what you want.
  • Whisk flour into remaining 2 cups broth until well blended and smooth. Bring broth in saucepan to a gentle boil. Whisk in flour mixture and cook 5 minutes to thicken gravy and cook out the raw flour taste. Stir in butter and season with pepper.

Adapted from several recipes. Tested by Susan M. Selasky for the Detroit Free Press Test Kitchen.


This version of pumpkin pie is topped with a nut-free ginger praline, made from ginger snap cookies and crystallized ginger.

Ginger Praline Pumpkin Pie

  • Prep: 40 minutes
  • Cook: 1 1/2 hours
  • Makes: 8 servings
  • Note: Prebaking the crust helps ensure the proper texture in the finished pie. You can replace the ginger snap cookies here with just about any spice cookie; I also like to use speculoos cookies or homemade molasses cookies. The recipe calls for canned pumpkin pie mix, which has sugar and spice already.
  • Nutrition information per serving: 481 calories, 27 g fat, 13 g saturated fat, 96 mg cholesterol, 58 g carbohydrates, 9 g sugar, 6 g protein, 433 mg sodium, 9 g fiber


  • Half recipe double crust pie dough, see recipe


  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 can (30 ounces; or two 15-ounce cans) pumpkin pie mix (with sugar and spices)
  • 1/2 teaspoon each ground: cinnamon, ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum or 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger, about 1 1/2 ounces
  • 1 cup roughly chopped or broken ginger snap cookies, about 2 ounces or 12 cookies
  • Whipped cream for garnish


  1. For crust, heat oven to 425 degrees. Roll pie dough between 2 sheets of floured wax paper to an 11-inch circle. Remove the top sheet of paper. Use the bottom sheet to help you flip the dough into a 9-inch pie pan. Gently ease the dough into the pan, without stretching it; roll the edge of the dough under so it sits neatly on the edge of the pie dish; flatten attractively with a fork.
  2. Line the bottom of the pie crust with a sheet of foil; fill the foil with pie weights or dried beans. Bake, 8 minutes. Remove the beans using the foil to lift them out of the crust. Return pie crust to the oven; bake until light golden in color, about 2 minutes. Cool. (Crust can be prebaked up to 1 day in advance; store in a cool, dry place.)
  3. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. For filling, whisk eggs in a large bowl until smooth. Whisk in pumpkin mix, cinnamon, ginger and cloves until smooth. Whisk in cream and rum or vanilla.
  4. For topping, mix soft butter and brown sugar in a small bowl until smooth. Stir in crystallized ginger; gently stir in the cookies to coat them with the butter mixture.
  5. Carefully pour pie filling into cooled crust. Set the pie pan on a baking sheet; slide into the center of the oven. Bake, 40 minutes. Remove pie from oven. Gently distribute the topping evenly around the outer rim of the pie, near the crust. Return the pie to the oven; bake until a knife inserted near the center is withdrawn clean, about 40 more minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Serve cold or at room temperature with whipped cream.