8 Of The Best Thanksgiving Cookbooks

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Anna Gooding-Call

Staff Writer

Anna Gooding-Call is a librarian and writer originally from rural central New York. She got her BA in the city that inspired "The Twilight Zone" and confirms that the hitchhikers really are weird there. Today, she lives in Massachusetts with her wife and two cats.

The Day of the Turkey is fast upon us! Americans, your family is about to invade with giant appetites and a desire for a 40 pound bird that is both juicy and crispy. Everyone else, I’m glad you’re here. Thanksgiving may be a distinctly American tradition, but the food is for everyone. Any Thanksgiving recipe drop-copies well into any other holiday you’d like, barring religious and dietary considerations. The best Thanksgiving cookbooks are a golden spread of wonderful and tasty recipe collections that give your palate a taste of the Romanesque excess for which our nation is so famous. If you’re celebrating, here are your keys to a happy family and a successful holiday. If you’re not, but you like turkey, read on. We’ve got you covered.

Beautiful Boards by Maegan BrownBeautiful Boards: 50 Amazing Snack Boards for Any Occasion by Maegan Brown

I don’t know how many turkeys you’ve roasted lo these many long seasons, but doing it right takes a freaking long time. Think four or five hours. Whilst the turkey becomes edible, your family will be quite glad for a smorgasboard, especially if it’s an attractive and festive addition to the living room. Eating this way is highly kid-friendly, and the laborious building process will occupy any errant adults you’ve got to manage, too.

The Bread and Salt Between Us: Recipes and Stories from a Syrian Refugee’s Kitchen by Mayada Anjari

If Thanksgiving is about being glad for the good things in your life, then Mayada Anjari is qualified to write many cookbooks. She and her family escaped from Homs, Syria, to the U.S. to start their lives over again. This may not be explicitly a Thanksgiving cookbook, but the staple recipes, including tabbouleh and cucumber yogurt, are great new traditions waiting to be added to your family’s story.

From Crook to Cook: Platinum Recipes from Tha Boss Dogg’s Kitchen by Snoop Dogg and Ryan Ford

Most people probably know that Snoop Dogg cooks because of his recent charming association with Martha Stewart. But did you know that he does Thanksgiving? It’s true! Not only does he have a turkey recipe here, but he’s got a few pages of Thanksgiving advice, too! Don’t skip the other recipes. They’re guaranteed crowd-pleasers, particularly the ones contained in the special section just for parties.

Great Balls of Cheese by Michelle BuffardiGreat Balls of Cheese by Michelle Buffardi

Like snack boards, cheese balls are art food. This means that you can occupy adults for hours and delight children for about ten minutes, and in between, you might even get a good Instagram picture. Some are rolled in chives. Some look like 8-balls or cats. They’re all made of cheese, so you already know you’re going to like them.

The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen by Sean Sherman and Beth Dooley

Our quest for the best Thanksgiving cookbooks would not be complete without acknowledging that Thanksgiving itself is problematic. The holiday itself came about due to some tricky politics that ultimately didn’t stop thousands of Native American nations from falling to a European invasion. Today, Oglala Lakota chef Sean Sherman keeps overwritten Native American traditions alive by cooking with them. You can help by adding these recipes to your annual celebration.

The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook: Entertaining for Absolutely Every Occasion by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Chapter 15 covers Thanksgiving. This is a particularly good pick for family members of vegans, not only because you’ll be able to make something for your loved one to eat, but because vegan food is actually fantastic for side dishes. Consider buffalo cauliflower, for example. I’m fond of these recipes not only because they are delicious, but because they’re generally high in protein. Nothing says “I love you” to a vegan like chickpeas.

Talk Turkey to Me: A Good Time in the Kitchen Talking Turkey and All the Trimmings by Renee S. Ferguson

You can really do a deep dive into turkey. Basting alone is an art upon which dissertations could be written. Luckily, this book is a whole lot more readable than that. It’s also good to have it on hand ahead of time when your uncle and cousin decide that they’re going to deep-fry the turkey this year.

Thanksgiving by Sam SiftonThanksgiving: How to Cook It Well: A Cookbook by Sam Sifton and Sarah Rutherford

This is just the all-around quintessential Thanksgiving cookbook. It’ll tell you what to serve, how to serve it, and what to do with what’s left. It may be a little traditional, but it’s a good place to start if you’re doing Thanksgiving for your family for the first time. Plus, who can argue with cranberry sauce?

Looking for more food? Try some Native American recipes! For regular old non-cookbooks about Turkey Day, check out our list of the best Thanksgiving books