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The ultimate D-FW guide to Thanksgiving 2021

Ready to eat? Let’s go.

Is it just me, or do people seem pumped about all holidays this fall? After the pandemic dampened the last couple of holiday seasons, folks seem happy to get together and go all out. Here’s our guide for how to make the most of your Thanksgiving this year in North Texas.

If you’re cooking:

Turkey: Try sous vide this year — it’ll free up your oven! It sounds fancy, but it’s really not.

Classic dishes: Try these sides, like classic sausage dressing and roasted root veggies. Here are 7 other essential recipes, including Herbed Mini Popovers.

It’s all gravy: It’s OK to cheat with the gravy. We won’t tell. Just add these little extras to basic packaged mix.

Get chef-y: Impress your guests by making Dean Fearing’s cornbread stuffing or pumpkin banana mousse tart from Bisous Bisous owner Andrea Meyer.

Going gluten-free? Check out these biscuits, casseroles and more.

The cowboy way: Try some green chile cream gravy, sausage and grits dressing, and mango cranberry salsa.

A Mexican feast: Local chefs offer recipes for Roasted Poblano Mashed Potatoes, Sweet Corn-Spoon Bread, or Mexican Chocolate-Pecan Pie With Tequila and Piloncillo.

Desserts: Try something new with a Butterscotch Pretzel Tart or Caramelized Nut Tart. If you’re an apple fan, try these dumplings. And you can’t go wrong with pecans in everything. First time making pie? Here’s our recipe for Perfect Pie Dough, plus some mini pie options.

If you just like leftovers:

If you need some inspiration for leftovers, consider this epic Dallas sandwich at Easy Slider. It’s called The Gobbler, of course.

If you’re buying:

Check your bank account before you go to the grocery store, because food costs are high this year. Overall, the average cost of Thanksgiving dinner for 10 at $53.31 is 14% higher than last year. And some grocery store shelves might be a little light on some essentials, so be prepared to make some substitutions if needed.

If you’re flying:

Prepare for lines and big crowds. DFW International Airport is expecting 2.3 million passengers over the Thanksgiving period, 95% as many passengers as it had in 2019.

If you don’t want to cook (or clean):

You can order and pick up an entire Thanksgiving meal to-go, or dine in at the restaurants if you don’t even want to clean up. Here are 50+ local restaurants with holiday specials. Favorite Texas barbecue spots and meat producers are also shipping holiday meats this year. Check out some of our favorites, from brisket to turducken. And don’t forget, Greenberg smoked turkeys are back this year, too.

If you’re buying the wine:

You’ve been sent on the wine run, but you’re not sure what to get. Here’s your guide to more than 50 budget-friendly bottles that pair well with turkey, beef and pie, or if you just want to pour at parties.

If you need a good read:

Columnist Deah Berry Mitchell tells the fascinating story behind several Dallas women who came up with the first frozen and shippable turkey dinner during the 1940s.

If you need to get out of the house:

Check out our “Things to Do” page with lots of activities, festivals and other fun things to do around town.

Erin Booke, Food and Entertainment Editor

ebooke@dallasnews.com @erinbooke
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