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Kentucky Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Kentucky Style

What are you thankful for this year? Why not plan to eat out and be thankful for not having to cook? The Bluegrass State’s vibrant restaurant scene has plenty of options for those who prefer to be pampered on Thanksgiving in Kentucky:

  • 17 Kentucky Resort State Parks prepare affordable and bountiful buffets – serving from 11:30 or noon until 4-8pm, depending on the park.
  • As of late October, Open Table listed nine Louisville-Lexington restaurants accepting Thanksgiving reservations.
  • Call your favorite eateries -- or perhaps one you’ve been longing to try – to see what they serve on Thanksgiving Day.
  • The Belle of Louisville serves Thanksgiving aboard their lunchtime cruise.
  • Churchill Downs celebrates two Thanksgiving Day traditions: racing and feasting.
Want to stay home and enjoy the tradition and trimmings with family and friends? You’ll likely prepare traditional family favorites with recipes handed down by past generations, and if you’re thankful for that, have a good one! But if you’re bored with the same old same old, a new dish or change in preparation may become a new family favorite. After all, variety is the spice of life! Check out these non-traditional ideas:

The Turkey
Find fresh, locally-raised Kentucky turkeys at several poultry farms around the state, including Tewes Poultry in Erlanger and Star Farms in Hardyville--search your area for the nearest poultry farm. Once you have that tasty Kentucky turkey, you can go the traditional route and oven roast it or try something new by smoking or frying it.

And don’t forget the turkey alternatives: Duck is delicious--see the Apple Stuffed Duck recipe featured on the local Kentucky cooking show Secrets of Bluegrass Chefs to get ideas. And for something really different, Kentucky Afield hostTim Farmer’s French-inspired Venison Stew has received rave reviews, according to the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife.

The Trimmings
Whether hosting or attending the main event a variety of culinary options await your call for assistance. Ask guests to bring a specific dish (or disposable dishes), or check out local stores, caterers and restaurants for pre-ordered sides, salads, starters, breads and desserts.

Are you expecting vegetarians? Sometimes there are few meat-free side dishes since green beans and mashed potatoes are often cooked with bacon. We hear that Bistro Le Relais makes a fantastic pumpkin pasta and the Ratatouille recipe from the New Albanian Brewing Company promises to delight. You’ll also find plenty of vegetarian options in the Recipes section of our site.

Dessert, Anyone?
No one really has room for desert but will want at least a taste of Volare chef Joshua Moore’s Kentucky Jam Cake, Charr’d Bourbon Kitchen’s Berry Spoonbread or Science Hill Inn’s Pumpkin Creme Brulee.

Don’t forget to save some turkey for your post-Thanksgiving brunch of Kentucky Hot Brown or Kentucky Derby Turkey Hash.