Canadian thanksgiving is steeped in annual tradition. We’re fortunate enough to celebrate our statutory holiday on the second Monday in October each year. Oftentimes that means the temperatures are still comfortable enough to take the feast out doors. For me, Thanksgiving is a holiday marked by a huge family potluck in cottage country. If the weather cooperates the feasting is followed by a cool swim in the lake and a roaring campfire.

I’m proud to say that in Canada, we make Thanksgiving our very own—with these mouthwatering recipes…

1. Deep Fried, Brined Turkey

My family’s annual Thanksgiving holiday always starts with a deep-fried turkey. This crispy yet moist bird gets the proper pot-and-propane treatment right in the front yard. This way the bird is totally bathed by the brown sugar, mustard, salt cayenne, thyme, and garlic juices as it simmers in the fryer stockpot.

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2. Savory Slow Cooker Stuffing

Classic fall flavors of thyme and sage melt nicely in a crock pot (or slow cooker) resulting in a holiday stuffing that your guests will certainly give thanks for. The crock pot is perfect for preparing all the fixings with little cooking space. Simply toss day-old bread, diced onions, celery, chicken broth, butter, spices, and a nice firm apple (i.e., Crispin or Cortland) into the slow cooker to simmer all day.

3. Caramelized Balsamic Brussels Spouts

You might abhor soggy, steamed-to-mush Brussels sprouts. But these sweet yet tart veggies, sautéed with bacon, olive oil, onion, and a sticky balsamic vinegar glaze will convert even the most stubborn Brussels sprout haters to the “mini cabbage” side.

4. Maple Roasted Carrots

You can glaze then steam these sweet, tender mini carrots—stem to end—in a candy-coated marinade made with pure Canuck maple syrup, olive oil, a splash of Maker’s Mark bourbon, and a pinch of cayenne and kosher salt. An hour of slow roasting will do the trick—trust me, it’s worth the extra effort.

5. Maple Whipped Sweet Potatoes

Dreading the aftermath of another Thanksgiving with too many mashed potatoes. If you want to avoid a side dish disaster—these whipped maple sweet potatoes offer a light and fluffy side with a satisfyingly sweet finish. Make your holiday something a little different…and a lot Canadian!

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6. Rustic Maple Apple Walnut Tart

A true autumn event in Canada must feature liquid gold—aka: real maple syrup. This is a not so traditional pie with a sweet Canuck twist.  Enjoy a slice slightly warmed with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and, of course, an extra drizzle of syrup.

7. Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce is absolutely essential for Thanksgiving dinner in Canada. For our family Thanksgiving, we go pick our cranberries and then make our own sauce from scratch.

8. Slow Cooker Maple Glazed Ham

Anything maple is a winner, no matter what country you come from. This ham is so easy and can be left for hours in a slow cooker.

9. The Famous Canadian Butter Tart

My husband and grandfather are crazy about butter tarts. If your family hasn’t tried these Canadian treats, try it out this Thanksgiving!

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10. Tourtiere

Tourtiere is very similar to a meat pie, but probably less healthy! It’s packed with flavor and is best served with some cooked veggies and mashed potatoes.

 

Anna

Anna adores cooking, drinking wine, and listening to records, but she does a lot of yoga to balance things out ;) This explains the black bean brownie disaster of 2007 (don't bring that up). She's noshed in countries like Greece, Turkey, France, Ireland, Costa Rica, and numerous other weird, yummy places that will get her waxing all poetic about her favorite recipes.

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