Global Twists to Thanksgiving Traditions

We understand that tradition plays a big part in celebrating Thanksgiving, one of America’s most widely celebrated holidays. However, if you’re looking to spice up your menu this year, we recommend trying a few of these international recipes. Let us know which ones were good enough to make the cut for next year’s feast.

Curried Pumpkin Soup

Start your celebration feast with this delicious appetizer. Said to have originated from Haiti during their independence from French colonial rule, it’s packed with flavor but light enough to wake up your taste buds and leave you with enough room for the rest of your Thanksgiving meal. You can make this flavorful dish a day ahead of time to cool completely uncovered, then cover it in the fridge to chill.

Servings: 10-12
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped (2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 2 (15-oz) cans solid-pack pumpkin (3 1/2 cups; not pie filling)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (12 fl oz)
  • 1 (14-oz) can unsweetened coconut milk (not low-fat)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons brown mustard seeds
  • 8 fresh curry leaves
  1. Cook onions in butter in a wide 6-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
  3. Add cumin, coriander, and cardamom and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
  4. Stir in salt, red pepper flakes, pumpkin, water, broth, and coconut milk and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes.
  5. Purée soup in batches in a blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids), transferring to a large bowl, and return soup to pot. Keep soup warm over low heat.
  6. Heat oil in a small heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, and then cook mustard seeds until they begin to pop, about 15 seconds.
  7. Add curry leaves and cook 5 seconds, then pour mixture into pumpkin soup. Stir until combined well and season soup with salt. Soup can be thinned with additional water.

Roast Peruvian Turkey

This year, put your traditional turkey recipe on the backburner to try this succulent Roast Peruvian Turkey. The rub forms a crust that locks in all the juices, even in the driest parts of the breast meat, resulting in a satisfyingly juicy turkey with a unique Peruvian flair.

Servings: 12

1 (12 pound) whole turkey, neck and giblets removed

For the Dry-Rub:
  • 1/2 cup ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil 12 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or as needed
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons water, or as needed
For the Sauce:
  1. Pat turkey dry with paper towels. Loosen skin over each side of breastbone with a spatula inserted beneath skin.
  2. Place cumin, soy sauce, vinegar, vegetable oil, garlic, paprika, black pepper, smoked paprika, and oregano into a blender. Blend spice rub into a thick paste, about 1 minute. Set aside 1/2 cup of rub in a bowl for a later step; pour remaining rub all over turkey and use a spatula to work about 2 tablespoons of mixture beneath the loosened skin on each side of the breast. Rub the mixture over every nook and cranny of turkey. Let turkey stand for 1 hour at room temperature.
  3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Fold a piece of aluminum foil into a rounded piece about the size of the turkey breast; set foil aside.
  4. Place turkey onto a rack set in a large roasting pan. Tie legs together at the bottom with a piece of kitchen twine. Spread 1/4 cup of reserved wet rub into cavity of turkey; retain remaining 1/4 cup for later. Sprinkle entire top and sides of turkey with kosher salt. Roast turkey in the preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours; place foil tent on turkey breast. Return to oven and continue to roast for about 1 hour and 15 more minutes.
  5. Combine remaining 1/4 cup of spice rub with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and water in a small bowl. Brush mixture over turkey’s top, legs, and sides. Roast until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh, not touching bone, reads 170 to 175 degrees F (75 to 80 degrees C), about 30 more minutes. Transfer turkey to a serving platter and let rest for at least 20 minutes, reserving drippings in roasting pan.
  6. Place crème fraiche, chicken broth, lime juice, jalapeno peppers, and cilantro into a blender and blend until smooth. Pour excess grease out of turkey roasting pan, pour in crème fraiche mixture, and place the roasting pan over a burner set over medium-high heat. Scrape the browned pan drippings into the sauce mixture, bring to a boil, and cook until gravy is reduced by half and thickened, about 10 minutes. Whisk often to prevent lumps. Season gravy with salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Carve and serve turkey with pan gravy.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Coconut Milk, Bacon and Cilantro

This unique twist to the traditional Thanksgiving favorite we all know and love—mashed potatoes—is guaranteed to win you over. Brought to you from Brazil, this dish was inspired by another favorite, quibebe, or mashed pumpkin with coconut milk and cilantro.

Servings: 8
  1. Boil sweet potatoes in a large pot of cold salted water until very tender (about 15 minutes). Drain. Let stand in colander 2-5 minutes.
  2. Purée sweet potatoes with a potato ricer or masher; then, stir in the coconut milk until mixture is homogeneous and creamy.
  3. Add the garlic and chicken bouillon powder, nutmeg, sautéed bacon, salt and pepper; stir well.
  4. Before serving, stir in the chopped cilantro.

German Apple Cake

If you still have room after your Thanksgiving dinner feast, it’s time to dig into some worldly dessert. This German Apple Cake is a delicious alternative to the usual apple pie. With a crunchy top and moist, apple filled interior, this is one recipe you’re sure to keep around for next year.

Servings: 24
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 cups apples – peeled, cored and diced
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour one 9×13 inch cake pan.
  2. In a mixing bowl; beat oil and eggs with an electric mixer until creamy. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat well.
  3. Combine the flour salt, baking soda, and ground cinnamon together in a bowl. Slowly add this mixture to the egg mixture and mix until combined. The batter will be very thick. Fold in the apples by hand using a wooden spoon. Spread batter into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes or until cake tests done. Let cake cool on a wire rack. Once cake is cool serve with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar or with a Cream Cheese Frosting.


Recipe Sources
Curried Pumpkin Soup via
Roast Peruvian Turkey via
Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Coconut Milk, Bacon and Cilantro via
German Apple Cake via

Image Sources
Curried Pumpkin Soup via
Roast Peruvian Turkey via
Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Coconut Milk, Bacon and Cilantro via
German Apple Cake via


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