Tried and true Thanksgiving recipes

SEASON'S EATINGS: Chef Ryan Burke's roasted butternut squash with prosciutto and parmesan is a simple crowd pleaser.
Photo credit: Tori Allen PR
Monday November 20, 2017 05:38 pm EST

The invitation hits your inbox: colorful leaves in shades gold, crimson, umber swirl around a cornucopia spilling with root vegetables. Yay, Friendsgiving! But wait, it says "potluck." The host is cooking the bird, but you need to bring a side. For the host, this means a lot less pressure than a typical dinner party. For you, it means the pressure's on.

No sweet potato marshmallow casserole here, folks. We asked a few of Atlanta's best chefs for their yummiest holiday recipes that will leave everyone thankful.

Roasted butternut squash with prosciutto and Parmesan

"I like to keep Thanksgiving simple but still delicious and iconic. My favorite dish to make is roasted butternut squash with prosciutto and Parmesan it's so easy to prepare, serves many, and incorporates local, fresh produce with the seasonal flavors." - Ryan Burke, executive chef at Twain's Brewpub


2 pounds butternut squash

6 tablespoon butter

1 pinch ground nutmeg

1 pinch ground allspice

2 sage leaves

1 pinch of red pepper flake

2 tsp fresh minced thyme

1/4 pound prosciutto, torn into strips

1/4 cup Parmesan, grated

Salt and white pepper to taste


- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

- Peel, seed, and slice squash.

- Butter a casserole dish and arrange the butternut squash in the dish no more than two layers deep. Sprinkle salt and pepper on squash.

-Melt butter along with nutmeg, allspice, sage leaves, thyme, and red pepper flakes and pour over squash.

-Cover dish with foil and roast for 35 minutes or until squash is tender.

-Remove from oven and remove foil. Remove sage leaves.

-Place prosciutto on top of the squash then sprinkle Parmesan over the top. Place uncovered pan back in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

Grandma Lue's spinach rice

"Thanksgiving was the big holiday in my family, and we have a menu built on transitions that don't necessarily align with those you normally see. We do the turkey, but we always have to have my grandfather's gumbo and my grandmother's spinach rice. The spinach rice was a little fancier than the rice we had from day-to-day, and it's a lighter alternative for people who like the flavor of mac and cheese but don't want to be weighted down." - Deborah VanTrece, chef/owner at Twisted Soul Cookhouse and Pours


1/2 cup celery, diced

1/2 cup red pepper, diced

1 cup red onion, diced

4 ounces unsalted butter

2 pounds fresh spinach, washed and trimmed

1 cup marinated artichokes, chopped

12 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sour cream

1 cup shaved Parmesan cheese

2 minced garlic cloves

3 cups cooked white rice, cold

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon salt


- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a 13x9 casserole or baking pan.

- In a saute pan, melt butter. Add celery, peppers, onions, and spinach. Saut̩, stirring occasionally until vegetables are softened. Remove from heat and place cooked vegetables in a large bowl. Combine all remaining ingredients and mix well.

- Pour combined ingredients in greased pan and bake covered for 20 minutes. Remove cover and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Goes well with everything or just alone.

Acorn squash dessert casserole

"I love preparing this dish to exploit the versatility of squash. People are always stunned by the velvety texture of acorn squash. Omit the streusel for a gluten-free version." - Daniel Chance, executive chef at W.H. Stiles Fish Camp


4-5 acorn squash

1 pound butter, softened

2 cups brown sugar

2 teaspoon cinnamon

2-3 tablespoon flour

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 gallon cool whip or vanilla ice cream

1 cup candied nuts (pecan, almonds, peanuts)

Salt and pepper to taste


- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

- Cut squash in half and scoop seeds out. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place skin side down in roasting pan and bake for 30 minutes.

- Place soft butter into stand mixer or in bowl with hand mixer and add brown sugar, cinnamon and mix until smooth. Reserve 1 stick and place in separate bowl. Add flour for "streusel." Mix with hands just until it comes together. (Add more flour if needed.) Remove squash from oven and fill squash cups with remaining butter mix and continue baking until flesh is very tender and has absorbed most of the butter and sugar.

- Bake the streusel on a cookie sheet for about 15 minutes. When squash is done, remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes. Cut lengthwise into wedges and transfer to serving dish of medium casserole pan (8-10 slices). Be sure to top squash with all remaining roasting juices and butter. Last, top with Cool Whip or ice cream, candied nuts, brown sugar streusel and serve!

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