11 Delicious Ways to Celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving

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.

1. Oysters With Mignonette Sauce

Credit…Alfredo Chiarappa for The New York Times

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.

Recipe: Mignonette Sauce for Oysters

2. Tomato Bruschetta

Credit…Jenny Huang for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Barrett. Washburne

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.

3. Wild Rice and Berries With Popped Rice

Credit…Marcus Nilsson for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Maggie Ruggiero. Prop Stylist: Paige Hicks.

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

4. Splayed Turkey With Herbs

Credit…Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

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.

Recipe: Splayed Turkey With Herbs

Find more Thanksgiving turkey recipes along with step-by-step instructions on how to cook a turkey at New York Times Cooking.

5. Maple-Baked Salmon

Credit…Christopher Simpson for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.

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.

6. Vegetarian Mushroom Wellington

Credit…Christopher Testani for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.

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.

7. Coconut Kale

Credit…Zachary Zavislak for The New York Times

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.

8. Pumpkin Maple Cornbread

Credit…Linda Xiao for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Barrett Washburne.

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

9. Brandied Pumpkin Pie

Credit…Andrew Scrivani or The New York Times

“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 square purée instead of pumpkin. If brandy’s not your thing, omit it or try Canadian whisky instead.

Recipe: Brandied Pumpkin Pie

10. Apple Crumble

Credit…Jim Wilson/The New York Times

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.

Recipe: Apple Crumble

Explore more Thanksgiving recipes that are not pie on New York Times Cooking.

11. Butter Tarts

Credit…Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

Some believe Thanksgiving is the beginning of butter tart season. Others know anytime is a good time for the treat. This recipe is customizable to your butter tart preferences. Add currants, raisins or leave them plain. Bake them runny or firm. The house rules on Thanksgiving Day.

Recipe: Butter Tarts

More Thanksgiving Inspiration: Appetizers | Side Dishes | Turkey Recipes | Vegetarian Thanksgiving | Vegan Thanksgiving | Gravy | Stuffing | Potatoes | Squash | Green Beans | Brussels Sprouts | Sweet Potatoes | Cranberry Sauce | Desserts | Pies | Small Thanksgiving Recipes | Potluck Ideas | Make-Ahead Recipes

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