Holiday Dinner for 10 People for Less than $50
This holiday season is going to look different for everyone, let’s be honest. For many, this could be the first year they’re the one in charge of making the holiday dinner. This is nothing to panic about, I’ve got you and will not leave you hanging. We’ve got this.
Below you’ll find tips and tricks on how to crush this holiday dinner. No stress, no panic. This is going to be a ton of fun and you’re going to feel like you have a major accomplishment under your belt when you’re finished.
This year, the province of Nova Scotia is allowing 10 people to be in your house, so this recipe is based on feeding 10 people. Also, I have kept the budget to $50. For more information on how you can keep your family safe this holiday check out novascotia.ca/holidays
So without further ado, let’s cook.
Tips for nailing your Holiday dinner
- Use a shopping list and make sure you get all of the ingredients. There’s nothing worse than making multiple trips to the grocery store.
- Give yourself a good 4+ hours to make dinner. It’s a big commitment, but just try to embrace it and enjoy! Wine, if it is your thing, helps.
- Thaw your turkey the night before cooking. Fill up your sink with cold water and let the bird sit in the cold water overnight. Don’t remove the packaging the turkey is in.
- Follow the below timeline for the cooking order. This will likely help you be productive and make sure nothing is cold when you are ready to serve.
Order of operations
- Turkey- Start off with the turkey. Remove from the cold water, take off the plastic packaging and rinse the bird under cold water. Pat dry with a paper towel. Next, place the turkey in a roasting pan. I like to have the bird sit on a cooling rack in the roasting pan, but if you don’t have a cooling rack, chop a couple of onions in half and sit the bird on top. This allows the air to circulate the whole way around the turkey.
- Cranberry Sauce – Once the turkey is in the oven (more details below in recipe) move onto the cranberry sauce. This could be done the day before as well.
- Stuffing – The stuffing is something that can easily be reheated last minute, but doesn’t need to be served right as it’s made. As such, we can bang that out ahead of time.
- Prepping of vegetables – Peel potatoes, chop Brussels sprouts in half, wash and cut carrots in half lengthways.
- Remove turkey from the oven and increase the temperature of the oven.
- Roast Brussels sprouts and carrots.
- Make gravy.
- Boil & mash potatoes.
- Slice turkey.
- Serve & relax.
- Turkey (13-15lbs or 6-7kg)
- 1 cup melted butter
- 2 tbsp summer savoury seasoning
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 lemon cut into quarters
- 10 sprigs of rosemary
- Cranberry Sauce:
- 1 package of fresh cranberries (12oz)
- ¾ cup white sugar
- ½ cup water
- Juice and zest of 1 large orange
- Ground Sausage Stuffing:
- 2 tubes of ground sausage meat (usually for sale beside turkeys)
- 1 ½ loaves of white bread
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup sliced leek
- 3 tbsp summer savoury spice (usually sold close to the vegetables in grocery store)
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 tsp black pepper
- Mashed potatoes:
- 5 large russet potatoes
- ⅓ cup butter
- 1 cup cream
- Large pinch of salt
- Brussels sprouts:
- 2-2.5 lbs brussel sprouts
- I usually count 1 full carrot per person. A 2-3 lb bag works.
- Juices from turkey after cooking
- ½ cup flour
- 2-3 cups of water
- Here we go! Get hyped up, we are about to make a feast. Well done for accepting the challenge.
- Preheat the oven to 350 and place the thawed turkey in the roasting pan. Make sure to dry the skin with a paper towel. Season the turkey well with salt. Stuff the cavity of the turkey with lemon and rosemary. Finally, with a pastry brush or a piece of paper towel, brush the bird with the melted butter and savory. Make sure that as much of the skin as possible is covered with the melted butter. This will make it golden brown.
- Place turkey in the oven for 13 minutes per pound. If the turkey is around 13lbs (6kg) you will cook for just shy of three hours.
- Next up, cranberry sauce. In a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat, add cranberries, sugar, water, zest, and juice of an orange. Let the mixture simmer away, stirring occasionally until cranberries start to disintegrate and the mixture thickens. Once it gets to the desired thickness, about 30 mins, turn off the heat and allow it to cool. Boom, that's it.
- Stuffing. This is my favorite part of the meal. In a large frying pan add the ground sausage meat, ½ the diced onion, sliced leeks, and garlic. Saute until meat is fully cooked through
- While meat is cooking, tear or cut the bread into 1-inch pieces and place in a large bowl. Season the bread with salt, pepper, and summer savory. Add in the second half of the diced white onion.
- Once the ground sausage is cooked through, pour all contents of the pan into the bowl with the bread. Vigorously toss the mixture until fully incorporated. At this point you have options. If you like your stuffing with crispy bits, you can place it in a casserole dish and bake for 30 minutes at 350. Just throw it in the with turkey for a little bit. Or, you can do what my mom does which is put all of the stuffing into a tinfoil package and bake for 20-30 mins. This results in a more moist stuffing. The decision is yours. Both are great.
- Time for a bit of prep work. This is the moment where you can prepare your vegetables to be cooked. Peel and chop the potatoes, chop the brussels sprouts in half, wash and slice the carrots. Place the potatoes into a large pot filled with salted water. Place the Brussel sprouts and carrots on their own baking sheets. Drizzle a good amount of olive oil over the Brussel sprouts and carrots. Season with salt.
- Once the turkey is done (internal temperature should be 165F) remove from the oven and let rest on the counter. Do not slice yet. Pour all of the drippings from the bottom of your pan into a medium pot. This will be used for the gravy.
- Once the turkey is out of the oven, increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees and turn on the pot with the potatoes to boil.
- Once the oven is up to temperature, place Brussel sprouts and carrots in for 30 minutes. Keep an eye on them as some ovens run hotter. Once nicely browned, remove from the oven.
- Gravy time. The first thing you will want to do is find a container with a lid and mix together the water and flour. Mix until flour is fully dissolved. Next, bring the pot with the turkey drippings in it to a boil. Slowly start streaming in the flour and water mixture while whisking constantly. Don’t go too fast here and ideally, you don’t want the mixture to stop boiling while adding in the flour & water. You will notice the gravy start to thicken. You can adjust the thickness by adding more or less water. Season with pepper and salt. Be gentle with the salt as the drippings are usually quite salty. Let gravy rest over low heat until ready to serve. Stir every now and then.
- Once potatoes are soft from boiling, drain out the water, add in the butter, cream, and salt. Mash until smooth.
- WE ARE THERE!!!!! Take a moment, the work is done and now you get to receive praise for the rest of the night for how much work you did and how delicious everything is...you are the celebrity of the night. You earned in. Bask in the glory, haha!
- Slice turkey and serve! Happy holidays. Hope you and your family have a magical holiday dinner, even if it is different this year.
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