Recipe – Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving dinner displayed with turkey being carved by chef

Fairmont Hotel Vancouver’s Executive Chef, David Baarschers, has prepared hundreds of traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinners in his career. Now, he is talking turkey and sharing all of his favourite recipes for a memorable holiday meal.

Below you’ll find Chef David’s recipes for a perfectly roasted turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie, and more.

Chef David Baarschers cooking in the kitchen
Chef David Baarschers, Executive Chef at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
Thanksgiving dinner displayed with turkey being carved by chef

The Perfect Roasted Turkey

At Thanksgiving dinner, the star of the show is the turkey. Chef David Baarschers shares his recipe for a brined and perfectly roasted holiday turkey.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Main Course
Keyword: Holiday Turkey, Roasted Turkey, Thanksgiving, Turkey
Prep Time: 12 hours
Author: Chef David Baarschers



  • 4 l Water
  • 250 ml Kosher salt
  • 80 ml Honey
  • 12 ea Bay leaves
  • 125 ml Garlic cloves, crushed
  • 30 ml Black peppercorns
  • 3 pc Fresh Rosemary sprigs
  • 1 pc Thyme sprig
  • 1/2 bunch Italian parsley
  • 2 ea Lemons, zested and juiced


  • 750 G Fine salt
  • 63 ml Black pepper
  • 63 ml Lemon pepper
  • 63 ml Paprika
  • 63 ml Chipotle powder
  • 32 ml Garlic powder
  • 32 ml Celery powder



  • In a large pot, combine all brine ingredients over medium to high heat until boiling.
  • Cool and pour into a pot large enough to hold the turkey.
  • Add the whole cleaned and trussed turkey to the pot, and refrigerate overnight.


  • Mix all spice ingredients together in a mixing bowl.


  • Preheat oven to 325F
  • Remove the turkey from the brine and pat dry.
  • Season inside of turkey with salt and pepper
  • Rub the skin with the spice rub.
  • Place turkey on a rack in a roasting pan.
  • Place in preheated oven at 325F.
  • Roast for 1.5hrs, then turn the pan around.
  • Roast for another 1-1.5hrs, basting the skin with the fat drippings from the pan every 20 - 30 minutes.
  • Check the internal temperature of the turkey in the thickest part of the thigh with a thermometer. Once the thermometer reads 175F, the turkey can come out of the oven and rest for 15-20 minutes.
  • The drippings and fat can be saved to make gravy.
Bread stuffing in a Staub dish with fall accompaniments

Sage & Corn Bread Stuffing

Executive Chef David Baarschers' recipe for a delicious Thanksgiving cornbread stuffing.
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Course: Side Dish
Keyword: Bread Stuffing, Roast Turkey, Thanksgiving
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Author: Chef David Baarschers


  • 4 cups Stale crustless bread, cubed
  • 4 cups Cornbread cut into cubes (store-bought or homemade)
  • 1 cup Finely chopped onions
  • 4 cloves Finely chopped garlic
  • 1 cup Butter
  • 2 cups Heavy cream
  • 4 ea Large Eggs
  • 4 ea Large egg yolks
  • 2 cups Low sodium chicken stock
  • 2 sprigs Sage - chopped
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Black pepper (to taste)


  • Preheat conventional over to 325F.
  • Finely chop garlic and onion
  • In a saucepan over low to medium heat, add garlic, onion, and butter. Sweat until cooked.
  • Add stock and heavy cream to the pan, increase temperature to medium heat to bring mixture to a boil.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add egg yolks and whole eggs and whisk until just blended.
  • Once the stock mixture comes to boil, slowly pour approximately 1/4 into the egg bowl whisking constantly until incorporated.
  • Slowly add the rest of the stock mixture to the egg mixture.
  • Ensure the crust has been removed from the stale bread. Dice the stale bread and cornbread into 1" x 1" cubes.
  • Add bread and cornbread cubes, chopped sage, and salt and pepper to the egg mixture and stir until coated.
  • Pour mixture into a loaf pan, cover with aluminum foil, and bake in preheated oven at 325F for approximately one hour.
  • Remove and check doneness with a toothpick. The stuffing will be done when the inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Close up of cranberry sauce and turkey

Cranberry Sauce

Executive Chef David Baarschers shares his recipe for gourmet cranberry sauce.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Side Dish
Keyword: Cranberry Sauce, Thanksgiving
Author: Chef David Baarschers


  • 1 Cheesecloth
  • 1 Saucepan



  • 340 g Frozen Cranberries
  • 330 ml Red wine
  • 165 ml Port
  • 165 gr Sugar
  • 222 ml Orange juice


  • 1 ea Cinnamon stick
  • 4 ea Juniper berries
  • 4 ea Cloves
  • 1 ea Star anise
  • 4 ea Allspice
  • 10 ea Black peppercorns
  • 1 ea Bay leaf


  • Add Part A ingredients into a sauce pot. Over low - medium heat, bring mixture to a simmer.
  • Place Part B ingredients into a cheesecloth and tie into a sachet.
  • Place the sachet into the pot and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Simmer until the cranberries have burst and it has reduced by half.
Gravy being poured onto turkey

Turkey Giblet Gravy

Executive Chef David Baarschers shares his recipe for scratch-made turkey gravy.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Side Dish
Keyword: Gravy, Thanksgiving
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Author: Chef David Baarschers


  • 1 ea Drippings from roasted turkey
  • 1/2 cup All purpose flour
  • 1 ea Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 ea Giblets from your turkey


  • In a medium sized saucepan use some of the fat from your roasted turkey drippings to sear off the heart, liver, and gizzards of the turkey on medium heat.¬†
  • Once the giblets are nicely seared remove them from the pan
  • Using the same pan, add the flour to the fat and stir until combined.
  • Slowly add the liquid from the cooked turkey to the flour mixture and whisk. You may need additional chicken or turkey stock to suppliment the drippings.
  • Add enough liquid to achieve desired gravy texture, and simmer. You may need to add more liquid as the gravy will thicken as the flour cooks out.
  • Once the gravy has simmered, remove the pot from heat and add the giblets back in. Blend with a hand blender until smooth.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Pumpkin pie with an autumn background

Pumpkin Pie

The perfect finale to a Thanksgiving dinner, Executive Chef David Baarschers shares his recipe for pumpkin pie.
4 from 1 vote
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Course: Dessert
Keyword: Baking, Pumpkin Pie, Thanksgiving
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8
Author: Chef David Baarschers


  • 1 ea 9" Unbaked pie shell
  • 15 oz Pumpkin puree
  • 14 oz Sweet condensed milk
  • 2 ea Large eggs
  • 1 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Salt


  • Preheat conventional oven to 350F
  • In a bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, condensed milk, eggs, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt together until smooth.
  • Gently pour the pumpkin mixture into the pie crust.
  • Bake in preheated oven for approximately 45 to 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted 1 inch from the crust comes out clean.

Rainbow Shortbread Cookies

  Featured in Fairmont Hotel Vancouver's Treat-Cycle ice cream cart for Vancouver Pride weekend in August, this rainbow shortbread cookie is a delicious delight.

TGIF! Ice Cream Social Fridays

Visit our bright new teal Treat-Cycle serving up delicious house-made ice cream every Friday this summer!

Recipe – Mom’s Spring Rolls

Mother’s Day Special! Notch8¬†Executive Chef, Danai Hongwanishkul shares his mom’s special recipe for spring rolls.