2019 Blog Posts, FOOD

RECIPE: Three Thanksgiving Menu Ideas (including the turkey!) from Chef Leigh Ann Chatagnier

Have you started planning your Thanksgiving menu yet? Many food experts recommend planning your Thanksgiving menu one month in advance, especially if you are going to host Thanksgiving dinner for a large gathering.

That’s why today’s blog post is a feature on a family Thanksgiving menu idea to help you plan ahead for this Thanksgiving holiday!

Texas-based chef and food personality Leigh Ann Chatagnier was kind to share with us her special family Thanksgiving recipe ideas, and I think you will like the recipes she has created.

Chef Leigh Ann Chatagnier

“I created this menu with the idea of loved ones gathered in the kitchen helping to prepare a special Thanksgiving meal to share together,” Leigh Ann explains.


Click the links to jump ahead to each recipe!

Sounds delicious, right?! Chef Leigh Ann is also the founder of the food blog My Diary of Us where she shares her favorite recipes that she created herself! Hope you enjoy today’s post! xoxo

Thanksgiving menu idea
“I created this menu with the idea of loved ones gathered in the kitchen helping to prepare a special Thanksgiving meal to share together.” — Chef Leigh Ann Chatagnier


Chef Leigh Ann’s Thanksgiving menu idea “is perfect for large family gatherings that you may be hosting“, she says. “But also it makes a great potluck offering for a party or dinner throughout the holidays. Each recipe is unique, but simple enough to make in any kitchen.”

“This special Thanksgiving menu is one of my favorites because not only are the recipes simple enough to make in any kitchen but they beautiful and really delicious, too. Bring the warmth of the holiday season into your home with these three festive recipes!”

Rosemary Pomegranate Maple Glazed Roasted Turkey

Thanksgiving menu ideas
Rosemary Pomegranate Maple Glazed Roasted Turkey | Serves 6 – 10


•    1 13-16 lb. whole turkey
•    4 tbsp. kosher salt
•    2 tbsp. black pepper


  • 2 cups pomegranate juice
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary


  1. Rub turkey down on all sides with salt and pepper liberally, including the inside of the bird.
  2. Let sit uncovered in the refrigerator overnight, or at least 4 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Let the turkey sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before baking while the oven preheats.
  5. Place the turkey on a roasting pan and cover with foil.
  6. Bake for 2 1/2-3 hours until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
  7. While the turkey bakes, make the rosemary pomegranate maple glaze by combining pomegranate juice, maple syrup, pepper, and rosemary sprigs in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and let reduce by half until slightly thickened.
  8. Uncover the turkey for the last 20 minutes of cooking and brush a liberal amount of the pomegranate glaze all over the turkey.  Brush a second coat of the glaze on the turkey if desired.
  9. Serve with extra pomegranate glaze.

Savory Chipotle Sweet Potato Casserole with a Sourdough Sage Pecan Bread Crumb Topping

Thanksgiving menu idea
Savory Chipotle Sweet Potato Casserole with a Sourdough Sage Pecan Bread Crumb Topping | Serves 6-8


  • 5 cups peeled and steamed or roasted sweet potatoes (4-5 sweet potatoes)
  • 1 stick melted butter
  • 2 1/2 tbsp finely diced chipotle peppers in adobo + 1 tsp of the chipotle pepper liquid
  • 1 1/12 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tsp honey

For the Topping:
•    1/2 Stick Melted Butter
•    2 Cups Stale Sourdough Bread, crumbled
•    1 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Sage
•    1 Cup Chopped Pecans
•    1 Tsp. Salt 
•    1/2 Tsp. Black Pepper

•    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
•    In a stand mixer or large bowl combine sweet potatoes, butter, chipotle peppers, eggs, milk, and honey.  Mix on medium speed until smooth and creamy.
•    Season with Salt and Pepper.
•    Place whipped chipotle sweet potatoes into a 9 x 13 baking dish and spread into an even layer.
•    Make bread crumb topping by mixing together melted butter with bread, sage, pecans, salt, and pepper.
•    Spread the bread crumb mixture evenly over the top of the sweet potatoes.  
•    Bake for 25-30 minutes until cooked through and the topping is golden brown.

Brussel Sprout, Apple, and Sausage Rice Stuffing

Thanksgiving menu idea
Brussel Sprout, Apple, and Sausage Rice Stuffing | Serves 6 – 8


  • 1 lb. pork breakfast sausage or sausage of choice
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 2 finely minced garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup diced fennel
  • 1/2 cup diced apple
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt + 1 tsp
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper + 1/2 tsp
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 4 cup cooked wild rice
  • 2 cups Brussel Sprouts, stem removed and cut in half


  1. Add sausage to a large skillet and cook until browned.  Remove from the skillet and drain any excess grease on a paper towel-lined plate.
  2. Add oil and butter to the skillet and place Brussel sprouts cut side down and let sear for 2 minutes without touching. Season with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Once the cut side is browned, sauté for another 2 minutes until Brussels are bright green but still have some bite.  Remove them from the skillet.
  3. Add celery, onion, garlic, fennel, and apple to the skillet and season with 1/2 Tbsp. of salt and 1/4 Tsp. black pepper and sauté until the veggies become tender about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add in fresh herbs and sauté for another 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add sausage back into the skillet and along with the cooked wild rice and cooked Brussel sprouts.
  6. Season with the rest of the salt and pepper and stir to combine.
  7. Cook another 2-3 minutes until flavors have combined well and serve immediately.

*Note: You can also stuff the turkey with this stuffing.

“This special Thanksgiving menu is one of my favorites because not only are the recipes simple enough to make in any kitchen but they beautiful and really delicious too. ”
Chef Leigh Ann Chatagnier

Thank you, Leigh Ann, for this amazing Thanksgiving menu idea! Email Jennifer if you would like to share a recipe or two on Good Life Detroit!

EMAIL: jennifer@goodlifedetroit.com


Leigh Ann Chatagnier is the founder of My Diary of Us– a food + lifestyle blog. She is a frequent guest on Houston Life and cooks up family-friendly meals on Home & Family on The Hallmark Channel and NBC Syndicated Daytime. She has been featured in Louisiana Cookin’ magazine, Red Trycycle, and inRegister. Leigh Ann is the author of two cookbooks, The Unexpected Cajun Kitchen: Classic Cuisine with a Twist of Farm-to-Table Freshness (Skyhorse/2016), and Natural Baby & Toddler Treats: Homemade, Nourishing Recipes for Baby and Beyond (Skyhorse/2019). Leigh Ann lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and young son.  Visit her at www.MyDiaryofUs.com. 


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All photographs are courtesy of Chef Leigh ann Chatagnier.

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