5 of Our Teammates’ Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

thanksgiving recipes

It’s crunch time: There’s only one more week until Thanksgiving.

If you’re hosting this year, how’s your menu looking? If you’re bringing a dish to someone’s house, do you know what you’re going to make yet?

Did you answer a whole lot of “nope” to those questions? Don’t worry — we’ve got your back.

We hit up five Embrace Home Loans teammates that are known worldwide (OK, at least office-wide) for their cooking and baking skills. They shared a few Thanksgiving appetizer, side dish, and dessert recipes that we think you’re gonna love.

Click any of the links below to jump to a recipe that catches your eye. Or, just keep scrolling and read them all!

John Kojoian

Recipe #1 from John Kojoian

Appetizer: Wings

Melanie Sage

Recipe #2 from Melanie Sage

Side dish: Sweet Potato Casserole

Lillia Wild

Recipe #3 from Lillia Wild

Side dish: Mom’s Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Jen ONeil

Recipe #4 from Jen O’Neil

Side dish/dessert: Butternut Squash Casserole

Taylor Millen

Recipe #5 from Taylor Millen

Dessert: Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Pie


Thanksgiving Appetizer: Wings

Submitted by: John Kojoian, Learning Specialist Manager 

What you’re going to need

  • Perdue wings from BJ’s (makes about 55-60 wings when you split them)
  • Soy Vay (or your favorite teriyaki sauce)
  • Brown sugar (light or dark)
  • Honey
  • Sriracha (to taste)
  • Minced garlic (to taste)
  • Sesame seeds
  • Scallions
  • Large buffet tray pan
  • Small buffet pan

Cooking instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
  • Split the wings and toss them all in the large buffet tray pan. Limit this to about 55-60 wings; if you go over 60 the tray is way too crowded.
  • Add 1 cup Soy Vay, 3 cups brown sugar, 1.5 cups honey, sriracha, and garlic. Mix it all together to get a paste-like consistency and completely cover the wings with the sauce.
  • Put the pan on the lowest rack in the oven and cook for 1.5 hours.
  • After 45 minutes, give the wings a quick mix.
  • After one hour, you will need to remove the wings from the oven and pour out the liquid into the sink — leave a small amount so the wings don’t burn at the bottom. Return the wings to the oven for the last 30 minutes, but keep an eye on them. This is when they will get darker. John sometimes raises the oven temperature to 450 for the last 30 minutes, but it’s your call. You may not need the full remaining 30 minutes.
  • While the wings are in the oven, make a new batch of sauce in a saucepan on the stove. Add all the same ingredients as before, but you can cut it all in half depending on how much you want to make. Very important: You do not want this to boil. You just want the sauce to get to the point where the sugar is dissolved and then remove it from the stove to cool and thicken. You can add as much sriracha as you want, depending on your level of heat desired.
  • Once the wings are done, put them in a small buffet pan and drizzle on the new sauce you made on the stovetop. Let the wings cool and the skin will shrink to get a better consistency before you serve.

Tip: Sometimes these taste best when they are made the night before and reheated slowly. If you want to make them look extra good, chop up some scallions and toss them with some sesame seeds.

Thanksgiving Side Dish: Sweet Potato Casserole

Submitted by: Melanie Sage, Reception Supervisor

Recipe from: Allrecipes

What you’re going to need

  • 5 sweet potatoes, sliced
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat margarine
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1-10.5 oz. package miniature marshmallows

Cooking instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Put the sweet potatoes into a large saucepan and fill with water until they are just covered. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 15 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, drain, and mash the sweet potatoes.
  • Put the mashed potatoes in a large bowl and then use an electric mixer to blend in the margarine, brown sugar, orange juice, and cinnamon.
  • Spread the mixture evenly into a 9×13 baking dish and then top with the mini marshmallows.
  • Bake for 25 – 30 minutes. The sweet potatoes should be heated through and the marshmallows should be puffed and golden brown.

Thanksgiving Side Dish: Mom’s Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Submitted by: Lillia Wild, Training Manager

What you’re going to need

Recipe serves four people, so double/triple/whatever to fit your group’s needs

  • 3 large rustic potatoes, skin on
  • 2 or 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 or 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • Milk

Cooking instructions

  • Cube the potatoes and place them in a large saucepan
  • Chop up the garlic cloves and add to the pan
  • Add chicken stock and then add water until the potatoes are covered
  • Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender
  • Drain the water and chicken stock out
  • Add the butter and start mashing the potatoes
  • Add milk slowly while mashing and stirring the potatoes until they reach your desired thickness
  • Season with salt, pepper, and/or gravy as desired and enjoy!

Thanksgiving Side Dish or Dessert: Butternut Squash Souffle

Submitted by: Jen O’Neil, Communications Director

What you’re going to need

  • 2 packages frozen butternut squash, cubed
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 4 cups skim milk
  • 4 Tablespoons melted margarine
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Cooking instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Defrost the frozen squash (at room temperature or in the microwave).
  • Blend all ingredients together using a hand/immersion blender, or in batches using a standard blender.
  • Bake in a well-buttered pan or casserole dish for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • It’s done when it cracks like pumpkin pie or feels like a souffle.
  • Serve warm as a side dish, or serve warm/cold while whipped cream as a dessert.

Thanksgiving Dessert: Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Pie

Submitted by: Taylor Millen, Senior Staff Accountant

Recipe from: Very Best Baking by Nestle

“As a baker, everyone always expects me to bring a pie for Thanksgiving, but that is not my specialty! That, and I try to cater to any kids that may be at the dinner. I like to use this Nestle recipe to please the people who have a sweet tooth and those picky eaters.” 

What you’re going to need

  • 1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell. If you’re using a frozen pie shell, make sure it’s thawed first.
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 cup Nestle Toll House semi-sweet chocolate morsels
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • Sweetened whipped cream or ice cream (optional)

Cooking instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees
  • Beat the eggs in a large mixer bowl on high speed until foamy. Then, beat in flour, sugar, and brown sugar. Beat in butter. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
  • Spoon into the pie shell.
  • Bake for 55 – 60 minutes.
  • Cool on a wire rack, or serve warm with whipped cream/ice cream, if desired.
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Embrace Home Loans Staff