Did you know that Thanksgiving is America's most celebrated holiday? In fact, almost all Americans gather with family and friends to say thanks. Thanksgiving is one of our most treasured traditions because it centers around family, ritual, comfort, nostalgia -- and delicious, home-cooked food.

It’s likely that wild turkey was served at the historic 1621 Thanksgiving feast held in Plymouth, Mass. when English Colonists and Native Americans shared the harvest bounty.  In the 21st century, turkey is still a widely popular meat at Thanksgiving tables.

You can add some spice to your Thanksgiving turkey with these recipes featuring chipotle, cinnamon and garlic. This tantalizing trio imbues sensational flavor to your Thanksgiving turkey, winter holiday meats, mushrooms and vegetables.

Whether you grill or oven-roast, the flavor-packed recipes below can add new excitement to holiday feasts or ordinary weekday dinners. Dry rubs and marinades are traditionally applied before grilling, but these recipes also can be used when oven roasting, pan roasting, frying and sautéing.

Both the dry rub and marinade recipes below are great on turkey and other meats, as well as portabella or white button mushrooms. They also work well with vegetables, such as bell peppers, zucchini, winter root vegetables, eggplant, round onion slices, asparagus, tomatoes slices and corn on the cob.

Chipotle, Cinnamon Garlic Rub

This dry rub requires only three ingredients and takes only minutes to assemble. It's extremely versatile and great to have on hand. Use organic ingredients whenever possible. Holiday gifts: For unique, homemade gifts, make the recipe below and put into glass jars.


Directions: Stir ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Store in a glass container in a dark, cool place.  Makes 3 cups.

To use: Before cooking, sprinkle dry rub on meats (or mushrooms or vegetables). Gently rub into meats. If needed, also rub butter or canola oil to avoid food drying out when cooking. Note: Chipotle is an amazingly flavorful, fiery spice. To turn down the heat, apply this dry rub sparingly or use the non-fiery variation below.

Non-Fiery Variation: If the chipotle is too overpowering, substitute all or part of the chipotle with domestic paprika.

Chipotle, Cinnamon & Garlic Marinade

This recipe features the same seasoning trio of chipotle, cinnamon and garlic with additional herbs and spices.


  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic granules
  • 1/4 teaspoon domestic paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seed, powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander seed, powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger root powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon clove powder

Directions: Whisk wet ingredients together in a large bowl. Then add dry spices and herbs and whisk again. Makes approximately 1 cup. Recipe can be easily doubled or tripled.

To use: Marinate meats, mushrooms and vegetables for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator before cooking. Immediately discard used marinade.

Enliven Side Dishes!

Use these vibrant herbs and spices to give the gourmet touch to bland side dishes:

Green beans or broccoli:

Boil or steam one pound of fresh green beans or broccoli until tender. In a frying pan with low heat, toss cooked vegetables with a little butter (or cholesterol-free buttery spread) and 1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence blend or 1 teaspoon Lemon Pepper blend. Toss again until all flavors are evenly distributed.

Cranberry sauce:

With low heat, warm the contents of one cranberry sauce can with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg powder, 1/4 teaspoon  cardamom powder and 1/4 teaspoon clove powder. Stir thoroughly. Serve warm or chilled.

Sweet potatoes or winter squash:

In a saucepan under very low heat, warm 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter or cholesterol-free buttery spread. Add 1 tablespoon honey. Add 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder, 1/4 teaspoon allspice powder and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder. Stir gently. Drizzle warm mixture over cooked sweet potatoes or winter squash.


The above buttery recipe also is sensational drizzled over vanilla ice cream and pumpkin pie.