Turkish Holiday Menu

Many Turkish Recipes Go Well With Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah Fare

Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other winter holidays aren't traditionally celebrated in Turkey. That's why the menus and dishes many of us are familiar with at this time of year can't be found in a Turkish menu. But you can create a fantastic, flavorful, and imported holiday fare using Turkish recipes.

There are many ancient and classic Turkish dishes that truly compliment Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other winter holiday menus.

Unusual Flavors From Familiar Ingredients

The key to Turkish cuisine is the ingredients, common, well-known products, but used in unique combinations, and cooked with different methods. This makes for dishes that look and taste different from what we are used to, but pleasingly familiar and comforting at the same time.

For your holiday menus, this translates into a fresh, foreign twist on the familiar, a break in the monotony of the same old menu year after year. An added benefit is that Turkish cuisine tends to be much lighter than it's European and North American counterparts, so often, you'll end up eating just as much but recovering from your feast in much less time.

Whet Your Taste Buds

How does a different twist on pumpkin pie sound for dessert? How about stuffing your turkey with rice, pine nuts, currants, and liver instead of bread?

Does fragrant celeriac and carrots sound like a nice vegetable side dish instead of peas? If all this interests your tastes buds this holiday season, keep reading.

Below is an ideal holiday menu that incorporates Turkish recipes next to your classic favorites. Don't worry; they'll fit in just perfectly.

In fact, you can actually make your whole holiday menu using Turkish recipes, right down to the pumpkin dessert.

Ideal Turkish Full Course Holiday Menu

Are you planning a long, drawn-out, full-course holiday meal that includes everything from an appetizer through to dessert and coffee? Read on for courses and recipes with links below. You can pick and choose among them or cook up them all for a wonderful holiday meal with a Turkish twist.

  • 01 of 05

    Appetizer: Artichoke Bottoms With Vegetables

    Turkish Artichoke Bottoms With Olive Oil

    The Spruce / Elizabeth Taviloglu

    As an appetizer, try Turkish stuffed artichoke bottoms. They look spectacular on the plate and are more than fancy enough for special occasions. The artichoke flavor is rich and goes well with the rest of the menu.

  • 02 of 05

    Palate Cleanser: Fresh Pomegranate Seeds

    Pomegranate seeds on slate

    Rhinoneal / Getty Images

    Before the main course, you can serve individual scoops of pomegranate sorbet or have small, shot-glass size glasses of pomegranate seeds as a part of each place setting for guests to enjoy as a palate cleanser between courses.

  • 03 of 05

    Main Course: Roast Turkey With Rice and Chestnut Stuffing

    Roast Turkey With Rice And Chestnut Stuffing

    The Spruce / Elizabeth Taviloglu

    For the main course, try oven-roasted turkey, cooked as you would normally roast it. The difference is the stuffing.

    Rather than bread-based stuffing, Turkish cuisine prides itself on rice-based stuffings for their meat and poultry.

    This recipe for oven-roasted turkey with rice, pine nut, and currant stuffing has optional roasted chestnuts to help keep things more familiar. It's truly delicious.

  • 04 of 05

    Dessert: Baked Quince Dessert

    Baked quince

    Rezkrr / Getty Images

    Need a second dessert to offer? You can also try Turkish quince dessert, another lovely, tender fruit dessert.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Turkish Coffee

    Turkish brewed black tea is traditionally served in tulip-shaped tea glasses

    Benjamin Wohlbrecht / Fotolia.com

    No holiday meal would be complete without coffee or tea. Conclude your meal with a good, strong cup of Turkish coffee or freshly-brewed Turkish tea.

    Garnish each cup or glass with a piece of Turkish delight and a small, decorative glass of flavored liqueur such as creme de menthe or amaretto. Let some Turkish tea and coffee culture enter your home this holiday season. Serve with lokma (fried sweet dough).