thanksgiving Archives » Kay's Clean Eats

Pecan Pie Bars

Pecan Pie Bars absolutely a delectable dessert to complete any celebration this holiday season! They are so sweet, salty, crunchy, and buttery! 

Move over pumpkin its pecan season! But really guys if I had to pick my favorite holiday dessert these would take the crown. These bars are much tastier and easier to make than pecan pie. The soft shortbread layer mixed with the crunchy pecans in a sweet, salty and sticky mixture, trust me this has everything you want in a dessert. 

Today I am bringing my pecan pie bars to my kids swim practice and handing them out that way I can share the love and not consume all 12 myself, haha! After all who doesn’t love homemade baked goods!

BEST EVER PECAN PIE BARS

You might find yourself wanting to make these bars year-round, I don’t blame you! Pecans are very popular this time of year. Fair warning these bars are so addicting everyone will be asking you for the recipe! Have a new neighbor, take them these bars they will love you forever! Christmas cookie exchange, these bars are perfect!

HOW TO MAKE PECAN BARS

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare your 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper.
  • Start by making your shortbread crust. With an electric mixer cream together your butter and sugar, then add in your flour, and salt create a  crumble. I find it is easiest to this with my hands. 
  • Press your crust onto the bottom of your lined baking dish. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until lightly golden.
  • To make the filling melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat and add in sugar, coconut cream, agave and vanilla extract. Dissolve sugar and add pecans cook for 1-2 more minutes on low heat. 
  • As soon as the crust is done baking pour over your filling and bake for 20 more minutes. Let bars cool before cutting.
  • They will set quicker in the fridge, I like to let mine sit in the fridge overnight. 

HOW DO I STORE PECAN BARS

Well, if you have any left the store great in the fridge for up to 4 days. These bars freeze well too, stick them in a freezer-safe bag and they will be good for 4 months! 

Looking for more epic desserts, also try Cranberry White Chocolate BlondiesThe BEST Vegan Rocky Road Cookies, or Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars!

Yield: 12

Pecan Pie Bars

Pecan Pie Bars

Pecan Pie Bars are incredibly DELICIOUS!! Perfect for any celebration this season. These bars are everything you want in a dessert, they are sweet, sticky, crunchy and buttery!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

Shortbread Crust

  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter ( 1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Filling
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter 
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup agave
  • 6 tbsp coconut cream 
  • 1 1/4 cup pecan pieces

Instructions

    Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare your 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper.
    Start by making your shortbread crust. Cream together your butter and sugar, then add in your flour, sugar, and salt create a crumble. I find it is easiest to this with my hands. 
    Press your crust onto the bottom of your lined baking dish. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until lightly golden.
    To make the filling melt butter in a saucepan on medium-low heat and add in sugar, coconut cream, agave and vanilla extract. Dissolve sugar stirring frequently on medium-low heat. Add pecans and keep stirring for 1-2 more minutes on low heat. 
    As soon as the crust is done baking pour over your filling and bake for 20 more minutes. Let bars cool before cutting.
    They will set quicker in the fridge.

Notes

Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 257Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 58mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 0gSugar: 23gProtein: 2g

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast + Gravy

This Slow Cooker Turkey Breast is so juicy and moist! Coated in herbed butter and cooked with celery, onion, garlic, lemon and herbs to tender perfection. This is the easiest way to make turkey and the drippings make a killer gravy!

This a no-fuss way to have a delicious and beautiful main course. I like to serve my turkey breast with my favorite side dishes like Perfect Mashed PotatoesEasy Stuffing RecipeNutted Wild Rice Pilaf, and Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sausage

I would have never thought to put my turkey in a slow cooker. Every year I try my best to use all the turkey leftover but never seem to. I hate to waste food so this year bought less and experimented. First-round with a pressure cooker, I burnt one side, whoopsies, ha! The second time around was a WINNER BABY! The moral of this story comes from Alyah “if at first, you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again!”

Now that we are all excited about cooking our turkey breast in the slow cooker lets talk about all the juicy gravy drippings it leaves. One of my concerns was that it would not have enough but it sure did! There was no way I could eat thanksgiving food without my favorite condiment, gravy!

Why is Slow Cooker the Best Choice for Turkey Breast

After last year’s disappointing dry breast meat and a whole lot of research slow cooker (crock/instant pot)  it is to ensure supreme moistness! The unfortunate problem lots of us run into when roasting a big bird is that it doesn’t cook evenly, the dark meat takes longer than the breast meat and you’re left with only half a juicy turkey and dry breast meat! So why slow cooker, well because the moist heat keeps your turkey breast tender and juicy!

Thermometers

Its a split tie for me I have 2 favorites. The first is the poppable turkey timer, it has never failed me and it’s very affordable! They usually sell them in packs of 2. Second is a probe thermometer, its perfect for cooking meats and its an investment that you will use! When using a probe you are able to monitor the heat while cooking with the lid on to ensure you don’t overcook the meat. I find this very helpful with slow-cooking because time can vary depending on the size of the meat you choose. 

How do you cook a Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

  • Make your herbed butter. Using room temperature butter mix with herbs, spices and lemon zest. 
  • Pat the turkey breast dry. Use paper towels to do this. You want it as dry as possible so your herbed butter doesn’t slip off. 
  • Rub the turkey with herb butter. Use your fingers to separate the skin from the breast meat. Rub the butter all over, including the back of the breast too.
  • Add in veggies and broth to your slow cooker. Place in 1 halved head of garlic, chunks of onion, stalks of celery, a bay leaf, halved lemon, herbs, and chicken broth and let your slow cooker do its magic. 
  • Broil the Turkey Breast for a crisp golden skin. Crips skin and moist meat are what you want on your holiday plate! A quick broil on your buttery turkey skin will give it the perfect golden crisp skin. 
  • Rest the turkey. This step always taste my patience, ha! However, this may be one of the most important steps I’m giving you! You want a moist turkey then wait it out 20 minutes to let the juices settle instead of spilling out all over your cutting board and counter. 
  • Carve the turkey. First, slice the two breasts off the bone and then slice it crosswise. 
  • Make the Gravy: Do not dump the drippings!! Combine them with flour, broth, and bullion for the most killer gravy!

Yield: 4-6

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast + Gravy

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast + Gravy

This Slow Cooker Turkey Breast is so juicy and moist! Coated in herbed butter and cooked with celery, onion, and an apple to tender perfection. This is the easiest way to make turkey and the juices make a killer gravy!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 35 minutes

Ingredients

Herbed Butter

  • 4 tbsp of butter, unsalted
  • zest from 1 small lemon
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp chopped rosemary leaves
  • 2 tsp thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp chopped sage leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves minced OR 1 tbsp garlic powder 
  • 1/2 tbsp salt

Turkey

  • 4 pound turkey breast with bone and skin (not frozen)
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 medium withe onion cut in 4 pieces
  • 1 lemon halved 
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1 garlic head cut in half
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 spring of fresh herbs, I used 1 rosemary and 2 thyme springs

Gravy

  • 2 cups of turkey drippings
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp chicken bullion ( I use Better Than Bullion Roasted Chicken Base)
  • 1/2 cup flour 

Instructions

    1. Make your herbed butter. Using room temperature butter mix with herbs, spices and lemon zest. 
    2.Pat the turkey breast dry. Use paper towels to do this. You want it as dry as possible so your herbed butter doesn't slip off. 
    3. Use your fingers to separate the skin from the breast meat. Rub the turkey with herb butter all over, including the back of the breast too.
    4. Add in veggies and broth to your slow cooker. Place in 1 halved head of garlic, chunks of onion, stalks of celery, a bay leaf, halved lemon, herbs, and chicken broth.

    5. Slow cook the turkey breast till 165 degrees F. Place turkey on top of veggies and broth. Cook for 3 - 4 hours on Low or 2-3 hours on High. { time can vary based on your slow cooker and size of bird}
    6. Turn on your broiler to high. Broil the Turkey Breast in the center rack till crisp golden skin, about 5 minutes, keep an eye on it so you don't dry out your turkey. 
    7. Rest the turkey. Transfer your turkey to a cutting board and let sit for 15-20 minutes. 
    8. Carve the turkey. First, slice the two breasts off the bone and then slice it crosswise. 
    9. Make the Gravy in a saucepan by combining chicken broth, turkey drippings, flour, and bullion. Whisk it together on medium-low heat till combined.

Perfect Mashed Potatoes

Perfect Mashed Potatoes are creamy and dreamy!! These delicious mashed potatoes are made using your classic russet potato, cream, butter, milk, salt, and pepper. Mashed potatoes are a holiday table classic, perfect for any and every holiday. 

Mashed potatoes are versatile and can be cooked in many different ways. I’ve seen and tasted a lot, but nothing like my Perfect Mashed Potatoes! With all the food put out on the holidays, I do find that a classic mashed potato dish really goes best on your thanksgiving plate! That is with a giant scoop of Stuffing and Nutted Wild Rice Pilaf of course!

What potatoes should you use for Perfect mashed potatoes?

For Perfect Mashed Potatoes, I use russet potatoes because they are the perfect starchy goodness with low water content. After trying different kinds of potatoes I like the classic russet the best it’s always failproof. They are high in starch, easy to work with, affordable and make for the Mashed Potatoes.

 Ingredients that make the Perfect Mashed Potatoes:

Add-ins are great depending on the meal your making however sometimes they can really overpower your plate, so for a holiday side dish, I like to keep this recipe classic and perfect!

Not to mention they make incredible leftovers and easy to pair with various dinners! Potatoes don’t have much flavor so the salt and pepper are very important!

  • russet potatoes
  • butter
  • heavy cream
  • milk
  • salt and pepper

How to make Perfect Mashed Potatoes:

  • Cook your potatoes. Add your peeled and chopped potato wedges to a large stalk pot and cover them with water. You want the water level to be about 1-2 inches above the potatoes.
  • Add salt to the water and cook the potatoes until fork-tender. 
  • Drain your potatoes you do not want any water in your Perfect Mashed Potatoes. Watery Mashed potatoes are NO BUENO! Once you drain your potatoes let them sit in the collider for a few minutes to let the excess water drain out.
  • In the same pot turn heat to low and add in your butter, heavy cream, and milk. Once butter is melted add in your potatoes back to the pot. 
  • Mash your potatoes using a masher. Its important to do these while potatoes are hot they mash easier which means smooth and creamy potatoes. 
  • Once potatoes are mashed grab your hand mixer and whip them till they are just combined. 
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  • Garnish with butter and chives (optional)

Can I make this vegan?

YEP!!! Just a few easy tweaks. First, use vegan butter and second use Nut Pods original almond + coconut creamer in place of cream and milk! You can find nut pods at Sprouts, Whole Foods, or Mothers it is next to the nonrefrigerated dairy-free milk. 

 

Love a good side dish also try Easy Stuffing RecipeNutted Wild Rice PilafRoasted Brussels Sprouts with Sausage, or Hatch Green Chile Macaroni and Cheese.

Yield: 8

Perfect Mashed Potatoes

Perfect Mashed Potatoes

Perfect Mashed Potatoes are creamy and dreamy!! These delicious mashes potatoes are made using your classic russet potato, cream, butter, milk, salt, and pepper. Mashed potatoes are a holiday table classic, perfect for any and every holiday. 

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large wedges
  • 4 tbsp butter + more for topping
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup milk ( I used 2%)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

    Cook your potatoes. Add your peeled and chopped potatoes to a large stalk pot and cover them with water. You want the water level to be about 1-2 inches above the water.
    Add salt to the water and cook the potatoes until fork-tender. 
    Drain your potatoes you do not want any water in your Perfect Mashed Potatoes. Watery Mashed potatoes are NO BUENO! Once you drain your potatoes let them sit in the collider for a few minutes to let the excess water drain out.
    In the same pot turn heat to low and add in your butter, heavy cream, and milk. Once butter is melted add in your potatoes back to the pot. 
    Mash your potatoes using a masher. Its important to do these while potatoes are hot they mash easier which means smooth and creamy potatoes. 
    Once potatoes are mashed grab your hand mixer and whip them till they are just combined about 1 minute. 
    Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
    Garnish with butter and chives (optional)

    Enjoy

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 321Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 118mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 4gSugar: 3gProtein: 6g

Easy Stuffing Recipe

This Easy Stuffing Recipe is the best! Made with dried bread cubes, celery, onion, herbs, chicken broth and butter then baked till golden perfection. 

What do you like better mashed potatoes or stuffing? I love mashed potatoes but I will always be true to stuffing! Not just any stuffing, I can’t stand the boxed stuff taste too mushy. This Easy Stuffing Recipe is my families favorite! Every year I Look forward to it, it is my favorite side dish!

Every year my mom would make this stuffing at thanksgiving and I can speak for my siblings when I say this stuffing is so dang delicious! I used 4 different breads whole wheat, white, French, and cinnamon raisin. I purchased all my bread from Trader Joes. You of corse can use whatever bread you like however I highly recommend you use cinnamon raisin and French or shepherds bread it taste so amazing in this stuffing!

Some stuffing recipes call for a lot of add ins like sausage, cranberries, carrots and eggs. Those are all great additions but nothing compares to the taste of classing stuffing. 

How To Make Stuffing

Making this stuffing recipe from scratch is not hard to do! The key is using very dry bread. You can let it go stale on its own but I like to dry mine out in the oven. 

  •  Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F.
  • Cube your bread and place on 2 rimmed baking sheets, let the bread dry out in the oven for 1 hour.
  • Melt butter in a large skillet, add onion, celery, sage, and thyme. Cook on low till tender, do not brown, about 10 minutes. Add in chicken broth and 2 vegetarian bullion cubes. Stir till cubes are dissolved and turn off the heat. 
  • Once the bread is dry place it into a large bowl, pour over your onion mixture, and gently toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Adjust oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
  • Place mixture into a casserole baking dish. Bake for 35 minutes covered, uncover and bake for an additional 12-15 minutes. 

Can I make this vegan

  • Yes absolutely, to do so you will need to sub the butter with your favorite vegan buttter and use veggie broth in place of the chicken broth. 

Cooks Tips

  • If you want to use rosemary go ahead and add it into the onion mixture. I like mine without but if you love rosemary go ahead and add it in!
  • Depending on the bread you use you may need to add more chicken broth to your stuffing. You will be able to taste and determine before baking. 
  • So technically this is dressing since I don’t stuff it into my turkey but I just can’t shake the word stuffing!
  • This Easy stuffing is our favorite so I make the most of this side dish cause LEFTOVERS! If your not feeding big crowd or just don’t want lots of leftovers feel free to cut this in half!

Love a savory side dish also try, Nutted Wild Rice Pilaf.

  • Yield: 12-14

    Easy Stuffing Recipe

    Easy Stuffing Recipe

    The Best Easy Stuffing Around! This stuffing is a crowd pleaser and makes for amazing leftovers!

    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Cook Time 1 hour 45 minutes
    Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes

    Ingredients

    • 10 slices of whole wheat bread
    • 12 slices of white bread
    • 4 slices thick cinnamon raisin bread
    • 13 slices of French bread
    • { roughly 26 cups of bread cubes}
    • 5 celery stalks, diced
    • 2 small onions, diced
    • 1 cup of butter (2 sticks)
    • 2 tbsp fresh sage finely chopped
    • 1 tsp ground thyme
    • 5-6 cups chicken broth
    • 2 vegetarian/vegan bullion cubes
    • Fresh thyme leaves for garnish

    Instructions

    1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F.
      Cube your bread and place on 2 rimmed baking sheets, let the bread dry out in the oven for 1 hour.
    2. Melt butter in a large skillet, add onion, celery, sage, and thyme. Cook on low till tender, do not brown, about 10 minutes. Add in chicken broth and 2 vegetarian bullion cubes. Stir till cubes are dissolved and turn off the heat.
    3. Once the bread is dried out place it into a large bowl, pour over your onion mixture, and gently toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    4. Adjust oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
    5. Place mixture into a casserole dish. Bake for 35 minutes covered, uncover and bake for an additional 12-15 minutes.

    Notes

    If you want to use rosemary go ahead and add it into the onion mixture. I like mine without but if you love rosemary go ahead and add it in!
    Depending on the bread you use you may need to add more chicken broth to your stuffing. You will be able to taste and determine before baking. 
    So technically this is dressing since I don't stuff it into my turkey but I just can't shake the word stuffing!
    This Easy stuffing is our favorite so I make the most of this side dish cause LEFTOVERS! If your not feeding big crowd or just don't want lots of leftovers feel free to cut this in half!

    Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    25

    Serving Size:

    1

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 406Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 26mgCarbohydrates: 62gFiber: 4gSugar: 7gProtein: 14g

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sausage

Roasted Brussels sprouts with Sausage is a great gluten-free side and perfect for the holidays, with only a handful of ingredients this is an easy dish with the most delicious flavor. 

Brussels sprouts always seems to make an appearance on our holiday table. Tossed together with sweet Italian sausage makes for such a delicious combo. Never did I think I would love Brussels sprouts so much until I made this low carb dish. I must say I’ve come along way in my love for this veggie, in fact as a kid I would never even come close to trying it, the smell alone would make me cringe! However, today I will strongly stand by my love for Brussels sprouts, they are so versatile, and those charred crispy pieces are my favorite! 

Made on a sheet pan and packed with  flavor, this recipe is an easy clean up and only has about 10 minuets of active cooking! The flavors from  sage, rosemary, thyme, and chives make this recipe so festive tasting! Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sausage can be eaten as a side dish but also a meal. If you like a spicy dish try using spicy Italian sausage. I have little ones at home so sometimes spicy will cause dinner drama, ha!

How do I make Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sausage:

  • First, half your Brussels sprouts lengthwise. 
  • On a large rimmed baking sheet combine your Brussels, sausage broken up into small clumps, herbs, salt, and pepper. Toss gently breaking up any big clumps of sausage. 
  • Next, roast and give it a nice stir halfway through roasting. 
  • Transfer the Brussels sprouts & sausage to a bowl and add in pomegranate seeds and feta.
  • Before serving sprinkle with pistachios and a drizzle of thick balsamic vinegar/glaze. 

Cooks Tips

  • Brown is good. If you never had a charred Brussels sprouts pieces, you are missing out! The burnt little pieces are the best!
  • Dry the Brussels sprouts. If you’re not buying pre-washed Brussels sprouts make sure you pat them dry before baking to ensure those crispy pieces. 
  • Are you into spicer foods, add hot Italian sausage or do a combo of both sweet and spicy for a flavorful kick!
  • Always taste and adjust seasonings to your preference. 

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sausage would be tasty with any combination of herbs so my recommendation would be to use what you like! 

If you love this dish also try, Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Bowls and Roasted Tomato Soup.

 

Yield: 6-8

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sausage

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sausage

Roasted Brussels sprouts with Sausage is a great gluten-free side and perfect for the holidays, with only a handful of ingredients this is an easy dish with the most delicious flavor. 

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Brussels Sprouts, halved
  • 1 lb Italian sausage, ground
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves
  • 1 tbsp sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp chives, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp rosemary leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup pom poms (pomegranate seeds)
  • 1/2 cup feta crumbles
  • 1/4 cup pistachio's
  • Thick balsamic vinegar or glaze

Instructions

    Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
    Wash and trim your Brussels sprouts. Pat them dry and cut in half lengthwise.

    On a large rimmed baking sheet combine your Brussels, sausage broken up into small clumps, herbs, salt, and pepper. Toss gently breaking up any big clumps of sausage.

    Roast for 40 minutes giving it a nice stir halfway thru.

    Transfer the Brussels sprouts & sausage to a bowl and toss in pomegranate seeds and feta.

    Before serving sprinkle with pistachios and a thick balsamic vinegar/glaze.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8 | 9 Freestyle Points |

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 284Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 548mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 16g