Desserts, Dinner, Food, Holiday, Recipes

Thanksgiving Menu 2013

Thanksgiving is literally right around the corner and I’m so excited about this epic Thanksgiving round up of Everyday Paleo favorites as well as two never before seen recipes thanks to our wonderful Rachel Zanger! To begin the feast, Thanksgiving wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without “The Bird”. I’m not a huge fan of turkey, but my Herbed Turkey Breast with Prosciutto is so darn good that my mouth waters just thinking of it! Of course, life is not complete without a delicious stuffing and we love this stuffing recipe so much that we eat it all year; not just for the Holidays. You can also find my stuffing recipe in the beloved Everyday Paleo Family Cookbook!! Next please enjoy my Cranberry Sauce recipe; the classic with a twist (and not a gallon of sugar)… Also, the most amazingly delicious thing you just might have on feast day; we introduce to you Rachel’s Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Gratin!! In this recipe she uses my Béchamel Sauce recipe from Everyday Paleo Around the World Italian Cuisine; a recipe I vowed to keep secret unless you purchased the book, a sauce so good that when I first made it my world was forever changed, a recipe that makes grown men cry with joy, and children beg for seconds. In other words, the magic of the Béchamel with Rachel’s genius twist on the classic potatoes gratin is utterly delightful, and because it’s a season of giving, we give the gift of this recipe to you!

Not to minimize dessert because being thankful typically includes a treat or two so to finish we have two grain free pies; my classic pumpkin pie and a brand new apple pie recipe brought to you by Rachel.

So my dear readers, the Fragoso family, the Zanger family, and all of us here at Everyday Paleo want to wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving! We are incredibly grateful and thankful for YOU so from the bottom of our hearts, as always, we hope you enjoy!!

the thurkey3


2 tablespoons fresh minced sage (you’ll want to probably quadruple this recipe if using it for a entire Turkey)

1 tablespoon fresh minced thyme

1 garlic clove minced

1 tablespoon melted ghee

Thinly sliced prosciutto di Parma


  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Mix together the minced herbs, garlic, and melted ghee.
  3. Remove the skin from the turkey breast.
  4. Sprinkle the entire breast with sea salt.
  5.  Rub the top of the breast evenly with the ghee, herb, and garlic mixture.
  6. Lay strips of prosciutto on top of the breast, entirely covering the meat, and bake covered tightly with foil in the preheated oven for 2 hours and uncovered for another 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 170. (Cooking time will vary dependent on the size of the turkey breast)

everydaypaleo stuffing-1


1 lb mild Italian pork or chicken sausage, casing removed (I used chicken sausages from my local butcher)

4 ½ cups mushrooms, diced

1 medium yellow onion, diced

6 celery stalks, diced

4 carrots, diced

1/2  cup chicken broth

1 tablespoon diced fresh sage

½ tsp minced fresh thyme leaves

½ cup dried cherries, finely chopped

½ cup slivered almonds

½ tablespoon minced garlic

4 tablespoons lard, butter, or ghee

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. In a large soup pot, sauté onions in lard, butter, or ghee until translucent.

3. Add the sausage and brown.

4. Add the carrots, celery, mushrooms, chicken broth, cherries, almonds, sage, thyme, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

5. Mix well, bring to a simmer, and cook for 5-10 minutes or until the veggies begin to absorb the chicken broth.

6. Transfer to a large glass baking dish, cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

cranberry sauce


4 cups fresh cranberries

1 cup water

1 cup unfiltered apple juice

Juice from 1 orange

1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

½ tablespoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons raw organic honey (make it 4 tablespoons if you like a sweeter sauce)

1. In a large soup pot add the cranberries, water, apple juice, and orange juice and bring to a boil.

2. Add the ginger, cinnamon, and honey and simmer, stirring often until the cranberries are broken down and the sauce becomes thick, about 10-15 minutes.


BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND SWEET POTATO GRATIN By Rachel featuring Sarah’s Béchamel Sauce

To create the Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Gratin I used Sarah’s delicious Béchamel Sauce from her Italian Cookbook. I made only one modification to the spices (omitted the nutmeg and used fresh thyme in its place) and I used butter and cream in my version – this is some seriously delicious paleo béchamel! The non-paleo version of this gratin recipe was a holiday staple in my family and I honestly thought it was impossible to create a comparable paleo version – I was wrong…Oh So Wrong!

Béchamel Sauce

1 pound white sweet potatoes (typically 1 large sweet potato)

¼ cup butter or ghee

2 cups full-fat canned coconut milk or heavy cream

¼ teaspoon freshly chopped thyme

½ teaspoon salt or to taste

freshly ground pepper to taste

  1. Peel sweet potatoes, and cut into even chunks
  2. Place the sweet potatoes in a large saucepan, and cover them with cold water
  3. Bring the sweet potatoes to a boil over high heat. Turn the heat to medium-low, and let the potatoes boil gently until they are fork tender and very soft
  4. Drain the sweet potatoes, and add them back to the sauce pan.
  5. Add the butter and coconut milk or heavy cream to the pan and mix together until the butter is melted
  6. Using a handheld immersion blender or a food processor, process the potato mixture until smooth
  7. Add fresh chopped thyme and mix well
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste
  9. Set aside

*Sarah’s original recipe requires you to cook the sauce further but because the gratin will cook in oven the final steps can be skipped.


1 medium/large butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch thick slices

3 large sweet potatoes/yams, peeled and cut into 1/8 inch thick slices

½ cup chopped shallots

4 slices bacon, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 Tablespoons coconut flour

Sea salt and black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Cook sliced butternut squash and sweet potato in boiling water for 4 minutes to soften; remove with slotted spoon
  3. Sprinkle coconut flour and a little salt and pepper over squash and potatoes and toss gently, set aside
  4. In medium size pan cook shallots, bacon and garlic until bacon starts to brown and becomes crisp, drain bacon grease
  5. Arrange half of the potatoes and squash in even layers in a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.
  6. Spread half of the bacon and shallot mixture over potatoes and squash
  7. Arrange the remaining potatoes and squash in an even layer
  8. Spread remaining bacon and shallot mixture over potatoes
  9. Pour béchamel sauce over the top
  10. Place in oven and bake for 40 minutes

*If you are making this recipe with heavy cream and you can tolerate full fat dairy I would also recommend sprinkling 1/4- 1/3 cup of gruyere cheese on the top for an extra special treat!

pumpkin pie



1/2 cup hazelnuts

1 cup pecans

4 tablespoons melted butter or ghee

Pinch of sea salt


1 (14-ounce) can unsweetened organic pure pumpkin puree

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

2 eggs

1/2 cup raw organic honey

1/2 cup full fat coconut milk

1. Preheat your oven to 350.

2. Place the hazelnuts and pecans in a food processor and process until the nuts are finely     ground

3. Pour the ground nuts into a small mixing bowl, add the melted butter or ghee and salt, and mix into a thick dough

4. Using your hands, spread the dough evenly into a pie pan and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the crust starts to brown.

5. While the crust is in the oven, mix all of the pie filling ingredients with a hand-held mixer.

6. Once the crust is out of the oven, pour the filling into the crust, return the pie to the oven, and bake for an additional 45 minutes.

everydaypaleo apple pie-3


Apples, cinnamon, nutmeg and a fabulous almond flour crust! Who can resist!? Apple Pie is a family favorite in my house. This pie will be a sure fire hit at your thanksgiving meal!

Note: In this recipe I use Coconut Palm Sugar. This sugar has been said to have a low glycemic load similar to honey or maple syrup. I chose this type of sugar for its dry consistency in order to modify an old family pie recipe. My thought is, this is a treat and a special occasion – so go for it!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees


4 cups almond flour (finely ground and blanched)

½ teaspoon salt

4 Tablespoons cold butter (cut into small chunks)

2 eggs

  1. Combine all ingredients in a stand mixer or food processor and mix together until well combined and forms a ball.
  2. Divide dough in half, wrap each ball in saran wrap and place in refrigerator.

Pie Filling

¾ cup Coconut Palm Sugar

2 Tablespoons Arrowroot powder

1 teaspoon Nutmeg

1 teaspoon Cinnamon

Dash of Salt

4 Red Delicious Apples

4 Granny Smith Apples

3 Tablespoons Butter (cold and chopped into small chunks)

  1. Combine first 5 ingredients and mix well and set aside in large bowl
  2. Peel, core and slice apples and put into bowl
  3. Add apples to dry mixture and stir to coat

Assemble Pie

  1. Roll out first ball of dough between two pieces of waxed paper
  2. Remove top piece of wax paper and flip the dough into a 9-inch pie dish.
  3. Push and form dough gently against pie dish and fill in any cracks (hint: Brush bottom and sides of pie crust with egg white to prevent a soggy crust!)
  4. Pour pie filling in pie dish
  5. Top pie filling with chopped butter evenly over the top
  6. Roll out second ball of dough between two pieces of waxed paper
  7. Remove top piece of waxed paper and flip dough onto the top of the pie
  8. Crimp edges with fingers and fork and put 4 slits in the top of the pie.

Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes, remove foil and replace with foil on the outer edges only. Cook an additional 10-20 minutes or until apples have softened (check with toothpick).

Sarah Fragoso

Sarah Fragoso is an international best selling author of 6 books, co-owner of the Chico, CA based gym JS Strength and Conditioning, and founder of the Everyday Paleo franchise. Sarah is the co-host of the popular Sarah and Dr. Brooke Show podcast and she also conducts workshops and retreats on the subjects of nutrition, lifestyle and fitness.

Her message is from the heart and she carries a genuine desire to help other families looking for guidance. These attributes have contributed to her successes and provide the drive to keep the discoveries coming.

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  1. Shannon says:

    Thank you for the recipes! Sarah, I have made your pumpkin pie the last 2 Thanksgivings and it was a hit. In fact, my son already asked if I would make it again this year. He has also asked to help make everything 🙂

    I have been wanting to make the Bechamel Sauce from your cookbook, but I cannot find white sweet potatoes anywhere! The only ones I have been able to find are the orange and the purple ones. Would the orange ones work for this recipe? I think the purple would look odd (lol!) and they have a slightly different taste than the orange ones, but I have never tasted a white one 🙁 I wanted to try the Gratin as a replacement for the sweet potato casserole I usually make.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Shannon! Yes, you can absolutely use the orange ones. It will be a bit sweeter but just as delicious. I would omit the sweet potato slices from the gratin recipe and just use butternut squash to balance it out. : ) Enjoy!!!

      1. Shannon says:

        Thank you! I will do that with the tweaks if I cannot find any white ones this weekend.

    2. Marcie says:

      They carry white sweet potatoes at our small town Kroger’s…I’d ask the produce Manager…More than likely they would start carrying them.

      1. Great idea!! Asking is always a good thing. 🙂

  2. Rachel Watters says:

    Thank you for this excellent meal plan! I was wondering if the pumpkin pie crust can be prepared a day in advance. Would it affect the pie if the filling wasn’t poured in right after the crust came out of the oven?

    Also, how many servings on the cranberry sauce?

    Thanks again!!

    1. Hi Rachel,
      Yes you can for sure prepare the pie crust the die before for the pumpking pie, no problem! The cranberry sauce serves at least 8-10 (as long as folks aren’t eating huge scoops of cranberry sauce which typically they don’t…) 😉

      1. Rachel Watters says:

        Thanks so much!

  3. Sarah, Thank you for sharing your Thanksgiving menu and recipes with us! Seems like so many are creating PDF’s or Kindle Menus and charging for them! I appreciate you and your time you have put forth for this menu and sharing with us! Looking forward to making your stuffing!

    1. You are very welcome and I hope you enjoy!! 🙂

  4. mspickle says:

    Thank you so much for the fabulous recipes! I’m cooking for 12 with one oven and will need to make the stuffing and apple pie a day early. Will either of these reheat well? I was thinking of making the crust and filling for the applie pie the day before and then assembling and baking while we eat .

    1. The stuffing will absolutely reheat well and I’ll let Rachel chime in on the apple pie since I’m not sure on that one. Good luck with your feast! : )

    2. Rachel Zanger says:

      Both the pie filling and the crust can be made the day before. Just refrigerate and then when ready assemble the pie and back. I think your plan sounds perfect!

      1. Rachel Zanger says:

        and *bake 😉

        1. mspickle says:

          Thank you both!

  5. I am so excited for this apple pie. No one has one that sounds fairly simple! or they have ones that aren’t like traditional apple pie. so looking forward to this..

    1. I was very disappointed in this pie. I followed the recipe exactly and it looks normal but tastes terrible. Almond flour and organic apples are not cheap either. Luckily my 3 year old seems to kind of like it so hopefully I don’t have to throw it away. Normally your recipes are great, sorry this one wasn’t!

      1. Rachel Zanger says:

        Julie, I’m sorry your family didn’t enjoy the pie. 🙁

  6. Virginia says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your recipes for the holiday! I can’t wait to try them. This is my first paleo holiday and I’m nervous about trying to incorporate what I want to eat to what the rest of the family is used to having especially stuffing which is a must have for everyone. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! 🙂

  7. I know most paleo people dread the holidays but I love them. I finished my chicken bone broth yesterday and cranberry sauce. Pretty hard not to eat them early, for me at least. But Thanksgiving is the perfect venue for veggies and meats. And the pie crusts made of nuts are fantastic!

  8. It’s not on your thanksgiving menu but the butternut squash soup from your Everyday Paleo cookbook would go amazing with this meal! I made the butternut squash soup last night and my husband told me I have to make it for Thanksgiving – he is not a fan of butternut squash so I really did not think he would like it but he went back for seconds and asked to have leftover soup in his lunch today! I changed it up a bit and added some curry powder and he said the coconut milk and curry powder is what he loved about it so much. I will definitely be making this again especially since I happen to have a butternut squash on my counter screaming to be cooked!! Thanks for amazing and easy recipes!

    1. Great idea, yes the butternut squash soup would be an awesome addition!

  9. Danielle says:

    I would like to make the stuffing a day before Thanksgiving. Do I bake in oven 45 min then reheat day of? Thanks!!

    1. I would put it all together and then do the baking on Thanksgiving! Happy Turkey Day!

  10. Imwendym says:

    My pumpkin pie crust didn’t work right. The first batch turned into runny mush- so we just saved it for “pecan/hazelnut butter” that we may use for the inside of a chocolate cup like a Reese’s cup. The 2nd batch we grated the nuts a *little* more coarse and used soft instead of melted ghee. That one we stuck to the pan and put it in the oven. It all just melted to the bottom and got runny. So, I’m wondering, are we missing an egg? What’s supposed to hold it together?
    I’ve made the stuffing, gratin, and cranberry sauce so far, and they smell great!! Our Thanksgiving is today since I work the holiday. 🙂
    Happy Thanksgiving!

    1. I’m not sure what the problem is! My pumpkin pie recipe has been around for 3 years now and I’ve made it myself probably 15 times and this is the first time I’ve heard someone say the crust was runny. 🙁 I’m so so sorry and totally stumped! It should be a really thick “dough” after you grind the nuts and mix in the butter or ghee. Watch the cooking demo by following the link here so you can see what the consistency looks like.

      The only thing I can think is to just double check you are using the correct measurements/ratio of ground nuts to ghee? There is no egg in the crust so you’re not missing anything. Let me know! Wish I was there with you to figure out what’s going on! Happy Thanksgiving to you as well. 🙂

  11. Nicole Every says:

    I am making the apple pie now. Can you use almond meal in place of the almond flour?

    1. Rachel Zanger says:

      I don’t see why not. I have only made it with almond flour but if the meal is ground pretty well it should work.

  12. Emilia says:

    Hi! Having a problem keeping my crust from crumbling. I’m trying to transfer it to the pie pan now, but not having any luck, any ideas?

    Thank you for the recipe, the apples taste amazing. BTW I’m making the apple pie recipe.


    1. Rachel Zanger says:

      The crust is a bit crumbly. I rolled mine out between two pieces of parchment paper, after I rolled it I peeled one piece off and then carefully flipped it into the pie pan and then the other onto the top of the pie. If it crumbles a bit you can use your fingers to mold it into the pan a bit. Hope this helps.

      1. Rachel Zanger says:

        You could also try to add a bit more butter or a few drops of water if the crust seems too dry

  13. This gratin is out of bounds! That bechamel sauce is to die for. Seriously, try it people. You won’t be disappointed! Thanks for another great recipe!

    1. So glad you enjoyed the gratin Abby! Thank you!!!

  14. Brooke says:

    Oh My goodness! The Stuffing was my favorite dish of the entire meal this year. Thanks for sharing all of these recipes! It helped me so much with the day.

    1. So glad to hear! (I love the stuffing too!!!) You are very very welcome!!

  15. Sarah W. says:

    Sarah, Thank you for the great ideas. I decided to make the butternut squash and sweet potato gratin, and it was a hit at my family’s dinner. My dish did not turn out like the picture though. The sauce was runny and seeped through the whole dish instead of staying on top. I don’t think the potato I used was big enough. But either way it still turned out delicious. Thank you!

    1. Hi Sarah! Sorry that it didn’t turn out like it should have. 🙁 Sounds like for sure you didn’t use enough potato/butternut squash! Hope you had a wonderful day!

      1. Sarah W. says:

        Thank you we did have a wonderful day. I hope your family had a wonderful day as well.

  16. Made everything except the Pumpkin pie, we only had the apple. It all turned out AWESOME!!! Perfect side dishes for nightly meals or and special occasion! Thank you for the recipes! Was almost expecting to have to blow my paleo eating plan for the holiday and this saved that from happening! No one went hungry!

    1. So glad to hear Eva, thank you!

  17. Lisa O. says:

    Hi! I made the stuffing again for the second year in a row. It was a favorite, even from the bread-eaters in the family. 😉 I grind up the chicken sausages in my food processor instead of taking the casing off to save time, and last year I used golden raisins in place of cherries and that worked well too.

    One question though…. I doubled the recipe and have a lot left over. I would love to freeze it, but was wondering if you thought it would freeze well or not…. ?

    Thanks so much! 🙂

    1. Hi Lisa! I have never froze the stuffing before but given the ingredients, I imagine it would freeze just fine! So glad you all enjoyed the recipe!

  18. Apple pie was delicious! It’s the only dessert that is completely gone. It didn’t look very pretty b/c I couldn’t get the top crust to stay in one piece but it was SO GOOD! All my paleo guests devoured it! Thank you so much for your recipes 🙂

    1. Rachel Zanger says:

      Glad everyone enjoyed it!

  19. Travis says:

    Those pies look very tasty. I will have to try out your recipe for that apple pie!

  20. Steph says:

    Hey Sarah and Team! Let me just start with I love everything that you do… Thank you so much! My question is not related to these recipes, however I am desperate to make the lasagna from every day Paleo around The world Italian cuisine … But my tiny grocery store does not carry white sweet potatoes … Any suggestions for substitutes? Thank you so much!

    1. You can use the orange ones or “yams” or if you are ok with eating regular white potatoes, that will work too!! Happy eating!

  21. MARIA MIRANDA says:

    Just read your recipes ready to try them but I did not see anything to drink with the meal. thank you Maria Miranda
    P.S if you can please answer me @ the above E-mail

  22. Paul says:

    My wife just made this apple pie for dessert at our Easter dinner. This is by far the best pie I have ever eaten, and I am a pie-eatin’ fool.. The only variations we made were: (1) used local maple syrup for the sweetener; (2) used egg whites on the top and side crusts — held together very well. Amazing. Our non-Paleo friends totally raved. I think we’ve converted them.

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