Quintessentially Canadian dishes for your Thanksgiving feast

Orange Maple Cranberry Sauce

Canadian Thanksgiving may happen almost two months earlier than our American neighbours’ celebrations, but our food traditions tend to be pretty similar. Turkey, stuffing, potatoes, and cranberry sauce are all par for the course on both sides of the border. So if you’d like to add a distinct Canadian identity to your Thanksgiving spread, we have a few suggestions.

Peameal bacon and onion chutney crostini

Bacon is awesome, and peameal bacon is awesome with a Canadian twist. Combine salty peameal bacon with sweet onion chutney, and you have an appetizer guaranteed to please your hungry guests. Recipe: Closet Cooking

Maple-glazed turkey with cornbread stuffing and bourbon gravy

Maple does it again, adding a caramelly flavour to rich roasted turkey. Cornbread adds a nod to our country’s Native Canadian origins, and a quick substitute of Canadian rye for the bourbon (add a little sugar to the gravy if you need to) makes this turkey a feast fit for a Canuck. Recipe: Fine Cooking

Stuffed pumpkin

If you’ve got vegetarians in your group, this recipe makes use of a traditional Native Canadian crop and can be modified to be a hearty meat-free entree (just take out the bacon). Recipe: Fine Cooking

Maple cranberry sauce

Canada produces about 80,000 metric tonnes of cranberries annually—with BC producing more than half of that—so it’s only fitting that a recipe for cranberry sauce be included in your Canadian Thanksgiving feast. Adding a little maple syrup and some orange gives this tart sauce a little extra kick of sweetness. Recipe: Kitchen Treaty

Butter tart pie

This may just be the best dessert ever—butter tarts amped up in pie form! The classic Canadian sweet treat becomes the star of your dessert table, and you don’t have to worry about making a bunch of little tarts. Life doesn’t get any better than this, unless you happen to serve the pie with good quality vanilla ice cream drizzled in maple syrup. Recipe: Robin Hood

Split pea soup

Serve this traditional Quebecois dish in acorn squash halves for an elegant first course, or hand it around in shot glasses for an amuse bouche. Either way, you’ve set the tone for a Canadian-inspired meal to remember. Recipe: Crumb

Nanaimo bar ice cream cake

Yes, you read that right. Nanaimo bars. Ice cream. Cake. All in one dessert. You can decide whether garnishing the cake with whipped cream, chocolate sauce, and chopped pecans is excessive—that step is optional. Recipe: Mennonite Girls Can Cook

For more inspiration, check out these 7 Thanksgiving shortcuts and watch episodes from Cottage Life Television.