Ina Shares Her Best Thanksgiving Tips on the Recent Episode of “Barefoot Contessa: Cook Like a Pro”

updated Nov 18, 2019
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Not sure how to jazz up that turkey or give Thanksgiving dinner a modern twist this year? Well, Ina Garten just shared a few great tips and recipes on the most recent episode of Barefoot Contessa: Cook Like a Pro, which includes how to make a one-pan Thanksgiving roasted vegetable dish, why chipotle tastes delicious with sweet potatoes, and another way to enjoy pumpkin for dessert beyond plain, simple pumpkin pie. 

For the big bird itself, Ina loves making a Tuscan turkey roulade from boneless turkey breast, which packs in Tuscan seasonings and ingredients, like onion, sage, rosemary, fennel seeds, garlic, and olive oil. She also recommends asking the butcher to butterfly the turkey, so you can really get those seasonings inside. 

As for that juicy moisture, Ina’s secret is butter (which she grates — that’s different!) and wine in the bottom of the pan. Plus for some extra pizazz she adds prosciutto, which complements those Tuscan notes well. And a tip for aesthetics? Put sage leaves under the strings wrapped around the turkey so when it comes out of the oven it looks modern and gourmet. Now that’ll impress guests!

You also can’t have Thanksgiving without sweet potatoes for a tasty side to go with that turkey. Ina likes a spicy component to balance out the natural sweetness, so she likes chipotles in adobo sauce for that kick. No need to always add more sugar to sweet potato, so try this dish out over classic sweet potato and marshmallow this year!

Add in some non-starchy veggies, too, like string beans and fennel, and make your life a bit easier by cooking the medley all together on one sheet pan — a great hack for saving time for cooking and clean-up. 

To end the meal, ditch pumpkin pie and go with pumpkin flan, which is luscious, fancy, and unexpected. Plus, you don’t need to worry about piecrust when cooking it (hello shrinking crust!) and it’s easy and delicious.  Make it in advance — a day or two before Thanksgiving — as it needs to chill, and you don’t need to worry about it the day of when things in the kitchen are hectic!