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Traditional Holiday Recipes With a Twist

Updated on November 14, 2011

Every year families get together to enjoy their favorite traditional holiday meals and enjoy spending time with one another. Turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, southern style greens, pumpkin pie and more just make my mouth salivate in anticipation of all the delicious flavors I get to treat myself to when my family travels back home for the holidays. Since moving to Alaska a couple of years ago, I have had the pleasure of trying many different foods and recipes that I’d never heard of before. But, I’ve also discovered a few traditional holiday recipes with a modern twist. So, if you are looking for a new way to spice up your old traditional Thanksgiving or Christmas recipes, the try the Mediterranean Style Turkey, Turkey bacon Potatoes and Pumpkin Cream Pie recipes. I’m sure your family will love them as much as mine has!


Roast Turkey with a Mediterranean Rub

Impress your family and guests by merging a classic Thanksgiving dish with a new contemporary flavor. Turkey is a must have for any Thanksgiving dinner, but it doesn’t have to be prepared the same way every time. Treat your family and friends to the zesty flavor of the Mediterranean with this delicious roasted turkey recipe.

What You Need:

1 14-16 lb. turkey, thawed

1 cup of chopped flat-leaf parsley

¼ cup of dried ground lemon peel

4 teaspoons of sugar

4 teaspoons of sea salt

4 teaspoons of chopped rosemary leaves

1 tablespoon of dried oregano leaves

2 teaspoons of ground black pepper

½ teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Then remove the neck and giblets from the turkey. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels. Next, turn the wings back to hold the neck skin against the back of the turkey. Place the turkey breast side up on a flat rack in a shallow roasting pan. Roast the turkey for about 1 ½ hours. Cover the breast loosely with aluminum foil to prevent burning or overcooking.

While the turkey is cooking, combine parsley, lemon peel, sugar salt and spices to make the rub and set it aside. Roast turkey for another 1 ½ hours, or until the meat thermometer reaches 180 degrees F at the deepest part of the turkey’s thigh muscle.

Let the turkey stand for at least 15 minutes before carving. Sprinkle the rub on the sliced turkey, or rub it over the entire turkey once it is removed from the oven.


Mashed Potatoes with Turkey Bacon

Here is a wonderful side dish that will enhance the delicious Mediterranean turkey from above. It is easy to prepare and it tastes great!

What You Need:

2 lbs. of boiling potatoes

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 large leek, white only, cut in half length-wise and sliced thin

5 ounces of asiago cheese, grated

2 tablespoons of butter

¾ cup of turkey bacon, cut into ¼ inch pieces and sautéed crisp

Salt and pepper to taste


Put the potatoes in a pot with cold water about an inch over the top of the potatoes. Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for about 10-15 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork.

Heat up some olive oil in a small skillet on medium heat. Cook and stir leeks for about 2-3 minutes, or until they are tender, but not brown. Remove them from the heat and set them aside.

Drain the potatoes, reserving the cooking liquid. Add in the grated asiago cheese, butter and cooked leeks and about ½ to ¾ cup of the reserved cooking liquid and mash until they are fairly smooth. While mashing, add in salt and pepper to taste. Finally, fold in the turkey bacon.

Servings: 6-8


Tasty Pumpkin Cream Pie

For me there is nothing sweeter during the holidays than a scrumptious pumpkin pie! I love it and am always looking for pumpkin pie recipes to try. Here is an ice-creamier pumpkin pie than you may be used to but it is just as good. It takes a little time to prepare, so don’t wait until the last minute!

What You Need:

1 9-inch premade graham cracker crust

1 25-ounce can of pumpkin

1 5.1 ounce package of vanilla instant pudding and pie filling mix

1 cup of evaporated milk

1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice

2 cups of frozen whipped topping, thawed and divided

1 cup of raspberries


Combine the pumpkin, pudding mix, evaporated milk and pumpkin pie spice in a large mixing bowl. Beat the mixture together for about 1 minute, or until completely blended. Fold in 1 ½ cups of whipped topping. Spoon the mixture into the pie crust. Freeze for at least 4 hours or until firm. Let the pie stand in the refrigerator overnight, or at least one hour before serving. Top it off with the remaining whipped topping and some raspberries. Serve immediately.

Servings: 8

Happy Holidays!

Hopefully these recipes will inspire you to add a little twist to your own holiday meals that are sure to get rave reviews and compliments from your family and guests. I wish you the best during this holiday season and Happy Eating!


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    • GAbaptist profile image

      GAbaptist 6 years ago from Alaska

      I hear ya' MTNCATBSG! Pumpkin pie is my kryptonite, and I can hear the pounds coming!!!!

    • MTNCATBSG profile image

      MTNCATBSG 6 years ago from Va

      LOVE pumpkin. I HAVE to try this recipe.Thank you for sharing it.I cant wait to make it.