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Canadian Thanksgiving Recipes

Thanksgiving is on Monday, and now that many Canadians can finally gather with friends — depending on which territory or province you call home — it’s time to make up for last year’s more subdued gatherings. A harvest celebration, Thanksgiving, or L’Action de grâce as it’s known by French Canadians, falls on the second Monday in October. We asked a few of the Canadians on staff for their favorite holiday dishes, and rounded out the list with a few that are hits on both sides of the border, year after year. Whether you’ll be feasting earlier in the weekend while closing up the cottage, or sitting down to dinner on the traditional Monday, you’ll find everything you need for a delicious Thanksgiving celebration on New York Times Cooking.

Start your meal with one of Canada’s most delectable creations: shucked oysters. Choose Maritimes varieties like Malpeques and Irish Point oysters from Prince Edward Island, or eat westward with Fanny Bay or Chef’s Creek oysters from British Columbia. This simple mignonette sauce is all that’s needed to bring out their briny best.

Tony Li, a software engineer for The New York Times, brought along this dish to meet his girlfriend’s family for the first time at a Thanksgiving dinner in Vancouver, British Columbia. The couple chose this Ali Slagle recipe because it’s simple to prepare and easy to transport. “Her Uncle Curtis gave it his seal of approval, and just like that, I was in the family!” he said. “Since then it’s been a go-to appetizer.”

Recipe: Tomato Bruschetta

Save more Thanksgiving appetizer ideas at New York Times Cooking.

Indigenous people in Canada were the first to celebrate the harvest. This recipe from the chef Sean Sherman, made with hand-harvested wild rice that tastes of piney forests and clear northern lakes, a nod to those earliest gatherings of thanks.

Recipe: Wild Rice and Berries With Popped Rice

Many will celebrate the holiday with roast turkey, but if you don’t need a burnished-whole-bird-on-a-platter Instagram moment, consider this Melissa Clark recipe. The brined bird is splayed so the legs braise while the breast meat roasts, a step that ensures even cooking and quicker results.

Has surviving a pandemic zapped your kitchen motivation? You can still whip up a festive dish that conjures the flavors of the North. Maple syrup duets with buttery salmon in this easy recipe from Genevieve Ko. It’s a stunner of a dish that is ready in under 30 minutes.

Recipe: Maple-Baked Salmon

Find more Thanksgiving recipe ideas on New York Times Cooking.

Everyone will be raving about this vegetarian Wellington from Alexa Weibel. The burnished pastry holds a savory mushroom center, bolstered by apple cider-caramelized onions and walnuts — a mix that is autumnal, festive and filling all at once. A few easy substitutions for the puff pastry, butter and egg can make the dish entirely vegan, too.

Recipe: Vegetarian Mushroom Wellington

Discover hundreds more vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes at New York Times Cooking.

Tired of the same old greens? Try this clever recipe from the chef Meeru Dhalwala and Vikram Vij of Vij’s restaurant in Vancouver, British Columbia, which uses a gently spiced coconut milk to temper the texture of the kale. The marinated greens are then flash seared. Sam Sifton, who brought the recipe to The Times, calls it “a dish of uncommon flavor.”

Recipe: Coconut Kale

Find more Thanksgiving side dish recipes at New York Times Cooking.

Tally Abecassis, a Times audio producer from Montreal, discovered this recipe from Samantha Seneviratne while learning the hard way that Halloween pumpkins are not cooking pumpkins. “Don’t be fooled by the title,” she said of this cornbread. “It’s cake.”

Recipe: Pumpkin Maple Cornbread

“Pumpkin pie is by far my favorite thing about Thanksgiving,” said April Zhong, an SEO analyst for New York Times Cooking based in Whistler, British Columbia. This particular recipe, she said, is the one that always impresses wherever she brings it. Melissa Clark uses fresh butternut squash purée instead of pumpkin. If brandy’s not your thing, omit it or try Canadian whisky instead.

Recipe: Brandied Pumpkin Pie

Sometimes all you need to end a meal on a sweet note is a seasonal fruit topped with some crunch. This no-fuss dessert from Samantha Seneviratne has a crunchy topping of oats and pecans. Vjosa Isai, a Times news assistant in Mississauga, Ontario, recommends it for Thanksgiving as “a simple and satisfying post-turkey dessert.” Just be sure to add a dollop of ice cream, she said.


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