Survive Thanksgiving – Tasty Recipes Pennsylvania Style


A few recipes for my Thanksgiving day menu. One is a staple in my house when serving turkey.  It is a potato stuffing with a Pennsylvania Dutch twist. I was telling a neighbor my Thanksgiving dinner and realized, not everyone from Pennsylvania knows of this dish. And they are missing out too.


When I prepare a big holiday meal, I really plan ahead with menu and cook times.

I lay out all the ingredients and kitchen ware before I start each dish. While cooking, I clean as I go to keep my workspace free of clutter. By meal time, there is very little left in the kitchen to wash or put away. This organization keeps everything headache free and rolling right along on schedule. Much is done the day before as well.


Broccoli, carrot sticks and sliced onion steamed, then drizzled with lemon juice and a tablespoon of butter. Cut up a day ahead for quick prep.

Using these simple recipes and assembling them a day in advance makes the holiday cooking a breeze.


This was the first time I documented the whole meal for a blog post. The one dish I am featuring is one that was made the day before, as was the pumpkin pie, steamed vegetable medley and candied sweet potatoes.


The turkey this year was a breast, not the whole bird as I usually do. I made it very differently too. I love to experiment and mix up flavors to tantalize the taste buds. Cooking would be boring without creating.

The Pennsylvania Dutch Potato Filling is a handed down, simple recipe for the most part. I do add carrots which I never saw in any recipe. It gives the side a colorful confetti look.


When making a huge meal for which people must wait with mouths drooling to the tantalizing fragrances wafting from the kitchen, I often make a breakfast sweet bread to tide them over until dinner is served at 1pm.

Yes, that is a German Pennsylvania tradition too, early holiday meals. I think it is to have leftovers once again in the evening, but I have no idea why the big meal is early. It was the same for Sunday meals too. Families up here have holiday and Sunday dinners at traditional dinner times. I have always kept to the schedule I grew up with. Anyway, I made Cranberry Banana Nut Bread to have with morning coffee. In my case, diet Coke.

Check out the downloadable PDFs. Right-click to save the PDF to the desktop or click the image in the post to review.

Pennsylvania Dutch Potato Filling, one you probably don’t know.

Honey Glazed Turkey Breast with a tang of hot pepper.

Cranberry Banana Bread with toasted almonds.

Cranberry Candied Sweet Potatoes with a dash of maple syrup and orange zest.

The meal started with fresh greens topped with diced apple and toasted walnuts, and dressed with a simple homemade, and very tasty raspberry (made with frozen this time of year) vinaigrette. I baked bread – sort of (I have a bread maker) so it makes one item easy to make. I round out the Thanksgiving menu with a steamed vegetable medley flavored with lemon juice and a touch of butter. The meal ended with homemade pumpkin pie. Some years have a soup course, which might be my mushroom soup, cream of asparagus soup or a roasted tomato/basil soup. I make soooo many kinds of soup.


And of course, I have flowers on the table to make me smile.

About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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9 Responses to Survive Thanksgiving – Tasty Recipes Pennsylvania Style

  1. Karen says:

    Happy Thanksgiving, Donna! Absolutely stunning feast you’ve created here; your guests are very lucky. I will have to try these recipes, they look amazing. I envy your orderliness in the kitchen, you’d be appalled to see the wreckage I leave behind in my teeny working space. Again, Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Emily Scott says:

    Happy thanksgiving! What a treat it would be to eat this feast.

  3. alesiablogs says:

    Happy Turkey Day. Spending with Luke : )

  4. swo8 says:

    I love those Asian Lilies. Happy Thanksgiving, Donna.

  5. aussiebirder says:

    Thanks for the lovely cooking tips Donna, enjoy your Thanksgiving!

  6. arlene says:

    Thanks for sharing you recipes Donna. Such lovely spread.

  7. I am fortunate to have landed in a PA Dutch family, so I get to enjoy many of these recipes, Donna. Love this posting. Hope your Thanksgiving was as enjoyable as mine. Your guests were blessed indeed. P. x

  8. Denise says:

    It all looks appetizing. So nice of you to add the pdfs.

  9. Looks great! Lots of inspiration to put out a terrific feast!

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