To be clear: There is nothing wrong with assembling a vegetarian Thanksgiving feast out of your favorite vegetable sides. A tray of scalloped potatoes with cider-glazed brussels sprouts and roasted mushrooms would be a very fine meal. But given that Thanksgiving is essentially the Food Super Bowl, you might want a showstopping star, something big and grand to anchor the table both in importance and heft.
This carrot tart with ricotta and feta (above) would do the trick, as would a vegetable biryani, richly spiced and studded with cashews and pomegranate seeds. Or Alexa Weibel’s new baked Brie and caramelized vegetable pie, which turns the classic appetizer into a stunning centerpiece. Cheesy baked pumpkin pasta with kale checks several seasonal boxes (pumpkin, kale, casserole blanketed in cheese), and, to the best of our knowledge, nobody has ever said no to manicotti. Find these spotlight-worthy vegetable mains and plenty more in our collection below.
But what about dinner tonight? Kay Chun’s coconut sambal chicken with rice builds a spicy coconut sambal out of unsweetened shredded coconut, coconut milk, chiles, tomatoes, shallots and lime juice. It’s the perfect base to punch up chicken breast (or thigh) pieces and steamed rice.
For more quick and delicious chicken dinner ideas, be sure to sift through our collection of easy chicken recipes for busy weeknights (which could be pretty much every weeknight through the end of the year). And right now, you can save 50 percent on your first year of New York Times Cooking if you subscribe during our holiday sale.