The Comenian’s Thanksgiving Cookbook


Photo courtesy of Marcus Quigmire

Invited to the traditional family feast or Friendsgiving with your high school chums but not sure what to bring? 

No worries! 

The Comenian’s got you covered — with a few of our staff’s favorite covered dishes. They’re sure to please the pickiest of palates wherever — and with whomever — you gather. 

Bon appetit! 

Cranberry Relish Ambrosia (Fern Gable), submitted by Logan Palau

My family has been making this recipe for years. Originally made by my maternal grandmother, this sweet and fruit dish is definitely one I would recommend trying this Thanksgiving season. Since my grandmother’s passing, I have been her successor in keeping the tradition of this dish alive, and I hope whoever tries this recipe will enjoy it as much as my family and I have over all these years. 


  • 1 can crushed pineapple
  • 1 can mandarin oranges
  • 2 cans whole cranberries 
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • chopped walnuts to taste 


  • Drain all the fruit
  • Mix all ingredients

Tip: Use the save the juices from the fruit to make the dish more sweet and dewy. 


Cranberry Sauce, submitted by Jack Watson


  • 1 cup sugar 
  • 1 cup orange juice 
  • One bag of fresh cranberries 
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans 
  • One can peeled apricots, chopped and drained 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 


  • Mix all ingredients in a pot over low heat. 
  • Cook until all cranberries pop, about an hour. 
  • Let cool.

Best to make a day in advance.


The Best Lentil Soup (original by Nora Cooks, via Nora Taylor), submitted by Dom Trabosci

This is a lovely vegan lentil soup that tastes amazing. My brother and I are always looking for new vegan recipes to try and this is one of our favorites. It’s a great side dish for your Thanksgiving meal and is sure to make the vegetarian in your family very happy. 


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 14- ounce can crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups dry green or brown lentils
  • 7 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 3 cups baby spinach, sliced into ribbons, or kale
  • 1 lemon, juiced (about 2 tablespoons)


  • In a large soup pot, cook the onions, garlic, carrots and celery in a bit of olive oil for about 4-5 minutes.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients EXCEPT for the spinach and lemon juice. Simmer for about 30 minutes until the soup is thickened and the lentils are tender.
  • Use an immersion blender and blend a few times right in the pot to make the soup creamy. Alternatively, you could add a few cups of soup to a blender, blend until smooth then add back to the pot.
  • Finally, stir in the spinach, lemon juice and season with salt to taste. If you want to use kale instead of spinach, give it about 10 minutes to simmer in the soup.
  • Enjoy with some fresh, crusty bread if desired or even with some brown rice.

Serves 8 


Baked Pineapple (Marjorie Harris), submitted by Mark Harris. 

My grandmother’s dish was a staple of our Thanksgiving Day feast when I was growing up. I’ve continued the tradition and think of her — and miss her — every time I make it. 


  • 5 slices white bread (cubed)
  • ¼ lbs. butter (melted)
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • I can crushed pineapple (20 oz). Don’t drain. 


  • Mix cubed bread with melted butter.
  • In a separate bowl mix eggs, sugar, flour, salt and pineapple
  • Mix bread and pineapple together and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight (covered). 
  • Pour mixture into quart casserole or 7×11 pan, buttered.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour

Will serve 5 people. 


Sweet Potato Casserole (Food Network Kitchens), submitted by Anna Litofsky. 

My mom has made this dish every single Thanksgiving, and it’s always the highlight for me. I remember me and my sister, as kids, gleefully digging into the gooey marshmallows on top – as we still do now!


  • 2 ½ lbs sweet potatoes (about 3 large), scrubbed
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten with a fork
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, plus more for prepping pan
  • 2 tbsp. packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Marshmallows


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Put the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and pierce each one 2 or 3 times with a fork. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until tender. Set aside to cool.
  • Turn the oven down to 350 degrees F. Scoop the sweet potatoes out of their skins and into a medium bowl. Discard the skins. Mash the potatoes until smooth. Add the eggs, butter, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and pepper to taste. Whisk the mixture until smooth.
  • Butter an 8 by 8-inch casserole. Pour the sweet potato mixture into the pan and broil some marshmallows on the top for 30 seconds. (Note: Make sure the marshmallows aren’t too close to the heating element at the top of your oven. They expand and you don’t want them to catch on fire!)
  • Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until a bit puffy. Serve immediately.


Easy Baked Sweet Corn (Food Network Kitchens), submitted by Anna Litofsky. 

This is a relatively new addition to our Thanksgiving table. Sweet, salty, and creamy, it’s quickly risen to one of my favorites, and I always heap plenty onto my plate.


  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • One 15.25-oz can whole kernel sweet corn, drained
  • One 14.75-oz can cream-style sweet corn
  • 1 ½ cups half-and-half
  • 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated on a rasp or finely minced
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ cups shredded Cheddar
  • 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella
  • 3 large eggs, beaten


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottom and sides of an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with the butter.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the sweet corn, cream-style corn, half-and-half, flour, maple syrup, chile flakes, garlic and scallions. Season with a nice pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Taste and season more if needed. Whisk in the Cheddar, mozzarella and eggs. Pour into the prepared baking dish.
  • Bake until set in the center and golden brown around the edges, 50 to 60 minutes. Allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Takes 1 hour 30 min. 8-10 servings.


Bread Pudding with Brandy Sauce (New York Times Cooking), submitted by Annie McCarthy

Ingredients for bread pudding

  • 1 loaf of brioche bread
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 eggs
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg

Ingredients for brandy sauce

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup brandy


  • Heat oven to 350° and heat the milk, butter vanilla, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • Cut the loaf of brioche into small cubed pieces.
  • Butter a baking dish and fill with cubed bread.
  • Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk until fluffy.
  • Add beaten eggs to the milk mixture and whisk.
  • Pur the egg and milk mixture over the cubed bread. Let this sit for 30 minutes-1 hour for a thicker custard result. 
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes until the edges have browned.

For brandy sauce

  • When there’s about five minutes left for the bread pudding, you can begin to make the brandy sauce.
  • Melt butter and sugar together in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add a beaten egg and whisk together with butter and sugar.
  • Remove mixture from heat, add brandy and mix.
  • Serve warm over bread pudding. Enjoy!


Gluten-free Pumpkin Roll (Meaningful Eats), submitted by Kaitlyn Furst.

As anyone with a gluten allergy knows, trying to find delicious recipes can be a struggle. I personally have always loved pumpkin flavored desserts, so finding a good pumpkin roll recipe was a priority for my family during the holidays. We have made this pumpkin roll recipe the last couple of years, and it tastes just as good as the gluten version!


For the cake roll

  • ¾ cup gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour, a blend that contains xanthan gum
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • ⅔ cup canned pumpkin
  • powdered sugar for rolling

For the filling

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (see note for dairy-free)
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 15 X 10-inch jelly roll pan. Cut parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan and leave an inch overhang on each of the short ends of the pan. Lightly grease the parchment paper and sides of the jelly roll pan.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine the gluten-free flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Whisk to combine. Add the eggs and canned pumpkin and whisk until smooth.
  • Once mixed, pour the mixture over the parchment paper. Bake for 16-18 minutes, until the edges pull away from the sides of the pan and center is done.
  • Lay a large tea towel on the counter top (it is best to use a thin towel without any texture a tea towel or similar towel works best). Starting at one of the short ends, spread a thick dusting of powdered sugar all over the towel.
  • When the cake comes out of the oven, turn the pan upside down on the powdered sugar-laden towel so the parchment paper is on the top. It is best to turn it out right on the short edge of the towel. Peel off the parchment paper. Starting at the short end near the edge, roll the pumpkin cake up with the towel to cool.
  • While the roll is cooling, make the filling. Using a hand or stand mixer, whip the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar together until it is light and creamy. Once the roll is cool, unroll and with an offset spatula, carefully spread the filling in an even layer over the cake. Roll it up without the towel and wrap tightly in plastic. Refrigerate for about an hour before serving. The roll will be good in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.


Leftover Turkey Salad Roll-Ups, submitted by Jeff Csatari

You ate enough carbohydrates on T-day to fuel your body for a week, so go low-carb on Friday with this quick recipe for leftover turkey. 


  • 2 cups leftover cooked turkey breast, chopped
  • ½ cup celery, diced
  • ½ scallion, diced 
  • 2 Tbsp. light mayonnaise 
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¾ cup halved seedless red grapes 
  • 2 large romaine, red-leaf, Boston, butter or Bibb lettuce leaves


  • Mix the turkey, celery, scallion, and mayonnaise in a bowl, and season with salt and pepper. Gently stir in the halved grapes. 
  • Divide between the lettuce and roll up. 

Makes 2 servings.