How to build a nourishing Thanksgiving spread

The ultimate Thanksgiving scenario: a warm, cozy space filled with the people you cherish, surrounded by an array of heartwarming, home-cooked dishes... Whether you're hosting a small family soiree or a large gathering, crafting a nourishing Thanksgiving spread can elevate your get together, making it feel exceptionally memorable.

There's something truly magical about creating delicious, wholesome food to share. It's a love language that transcends words, connecting us through flavors, traditions and gathering together to enjoy a meal. With the Thanksgiving spirit in full swing, now's the ideal time to plot out your table menu. We'll share our top tips and tricks on how to build a balanced, nourishing Thanksgiving spread that will leave your guests feeling satisfied and grateful.

Here's what the JSHealth team adores for our Thanksgiving tables…

  •  Fresh + vibrant salads: Embrace the season's bounty with a spectrum of colorful fruits and veggies. They bring a pop of flavor, vital nutrients, and eye-catching appeal to your Thanksgiving spread.

Try: Our Sweet Potato + Caramelised Onion Salad for a trusty favorite packed with hearty root vegetables, or our crisp Watermelon, Cucumber + Feta Salad as a refreshing festive delight.

  • Protein options: It's important to have some protein options available for your guests, especially if you have any vegetarians or vegans in the crowd. The classic Thanksgiving favorites often include roasted turkey, glazed ham, lamb, chicken or seared salmon. Opt for a hearty vegetarian option like a lentil and mushroom Wellington. 

Try: Our new Baked Pumpkin, Chicken & Spinach Risotto, an all-in-one dish that's a warming and substantial star for your table, or our Moroccan Lamb & Couscous Salad featuring a fragrant spice mix to add a mosaic of textures and tastes to dazzle your Thanksgiving table!

  • Satisfying sides: A holiday spread wouldn't be complete without some delicious and satisfying side dishes. Some favorites include roasted root vegetables, herbed mashed potatoes, or a creamy mac and cheese. These sides not only add variety to your spread but also provide comfort and warmth on those chilly winter nights.

Try: Our Cauliflower or Sweet Potato Mash for a velvety, comforting side that's a nutritious alternative to traditional mashed potatoes. For a timeless and impressive twist on your classic spud, try our Hasselback Potatoes with Garlic Butter + Chives!

  • Tasty dips + spreads: Dips and spreads are a great way to add flavor and texture to your spread. Some delicious options include hummus, spinach and artichoke dip, or a festive cranberry and brie spread. These can be served with crackers, bread, or raw vegetables for a healthy and satisfying snack. Be sure to include a selection of cheeses such as ricotta, parmesan, and mozzarella for a well rounded ensemble!

Try: Spice up your plain old hummus with our Layered Hummus Dip, full of color, crunch, and flavor! Another vibrant entree option is our Roasted Carrot & Rosemary Dip, paired with wholegrain crackers for the perfect holiday nibble.

  • Healthy desserts: No holiday spread is complete without a dish to tickle the sweet tooth. From classic options like pumpkin-spiced pie or chocolate cake to more unique and festive treats such as Eggnog cheesecake, there are endless possibilities for creating a delicious end to your Thanksgiving meal.

Try: Our Baked Cinnamon & Maple Pears, a simple yet elegant dessert that's both comforting and indulgent, perfect for closing the evening. To refresh the palate and for a show-stopping finale, our make-ahead Lemon Curd Tart is perfect for (mindful) indulgence.

Extra tips for your Thanksgiving menu planning:

  • Incorporating dietary restrictions: It's important to be mindful of any dietary restrictions your guests may have when planning your holiday spread.
  • Remember to include the plant-based options: Plant-based dishes are not only for vegetarians or vegans. They add diversity and richness to the spread, and can be incredibly delicious!
  • Balance the sweet + savory: A good holiday spread has a balance of sweet and savory foods. It can prevent palate fatigue and keep your guests eager for more.
  • Hydrate: Offer a variety of drinks - water infused with fresh fruit, herbal teas and, if you prefer, a selection of wines or festive cocktails.

Feel free to get creative and adapt these tips to suit your style, your guests and the holiday you're celebrating. After all, it's about creating joy and memories together!