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Giada's Italian Thanksgiving Feast

Switch up turkey day with Giada's Italia-inspired menu!


It's time for a Thanksgiving change. Sure, the turkey-centric holiday is all about tradition, but that doesn't mean you should be stuck in a Groundhog Day-like rut, cooking the exact same meal every single year. The real purpose of the day is to celebrate the bounty of the season, I say keep the elements you truly love - be it a green bean casserole or mom's famous cranberry sauce - and play with the rest. As long as you keep your ingredients seasonally inspired, the meal will feel harvest-ready and perfectly festive.
First thing to consider: the turkey. Many cooks find the prospect of roasting (and then carving!) a whole bird extremely stressful - multi-pound gobblers require a major time commitment in the oven, and there's always a risk of overcooking the white meat while you wait for the dark to cook to a safe temperature. Buying turkey breasts eliminates all that stress, leaving you with nothing but juicy white meat that's never dry or stringy. And you don't even have to sacrifice the stuffing! Just roll the turkey around a spicy, savory bread stuffing and tie the packages tight, and you'll have a moist, succulent side dish all wrapped up.
Root vegetables are a seasonal must, but rather than prepping each of them separately - mashed potatoes, candied yams, extra work! - why not cook up a flavorful medley, all in one pot? Finally, instead of a rich pumpkin pie, a couple of sweetly spiced pumpkin cookies will hit the spot for dessert lovers without giving the meal another major calorie bump. They're also perfect for lunch boxes and after-school snacking come Monday - if you've got any left over after the weekend!

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