In this series of blog posts, I am sharing my family recipes for enjoying Thanksgiving dinner at the campground. There are so many ways to bring festive holiday cheer on the road, and this year I am focusing on dishes that offer those classic Thanksgiving flavors, but can be made mostly in advance and with minimal fuss.
Growing up, my family lived near a military base, so we were blessed to meet families from all over the country. This corn casserole dish was first made for us by a southern woman who brought the tastes of her Georgia childhood to our northeastern Thanksgiving table. Then she was kind enough to share the recipe. It has now been in our holiday rotation for over 20 years.
- 2 packages (16 oz) of frozen corn, lightly steamed
- 8 tablespoons butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 4 tablespoons of flour (I love Wondra)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- dash of pepper
- 2 eggs slightly beaten
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 cup shredded cheese
- 2/3 cup cornbread stuffing mix
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet, and sauté the onion and pepper until soft and translucent. Stir in the flour, salt, paprika, dry mustard, and pepper and whisk. Then slowly pour in the milk and mix in the cheese, bringing to a gentle boil and whisking constantly for one minute. Remove from the heat. Fold in the egg and corn, and stir until combined.
Place the corn mixture in a casserole dish. Toss the cornbread stuffing with 4 tablespoons of melted butter and spread over the top of the casserole. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
For Thanksgiving at the campground, I prepare this dish in advance, then cover with foil and place in my RV refrigerator. I then cook for 30 minutes in my RV oven on Thanksgiving day.
Instapot Mashed Potatoes
There are plenty of crock pot mashed potato recipes out there, but I am obsessed with my Instapot and will be using it to prepare my potatoes on Thanksgiving day. This is so easy and quick it is almost unbelievable. You can adapt your favorite mashed potato recipe if you have one, or go along with my pretty standard version. If you aren’t sure of what an Instapot is (or whether you need one), we reviewed the appliance in our 2016 Spring Gear Guide.
- 5 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 1/2 sticks butter
- 1 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups milk
Pour 1 cup of water into the Instapot, then add your potatoes. I add some salt at this point, but that depends on your preference. Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes and allow the steam to naturally release. Open the lid, and prepare the mashed potatoes right in the Instapot bowl. Just place the rest of the ingredients in the bowl and mash away.
I like to place the milk and butter into my large liquid measuring cup and heat in the microwave before adding it my potatoes. I also like to add salt and pepper slowly at the end, so the potatoes don’t get over salted.
Start to finish, the potatoes take about 20 minutes and they are absolutely, classically delicious.
Apple, Carrot, and Raisin Slaw
With all of the rich foods that find their way to the Thanksgiving table, I prefer a salad that offers a bit of tang and crunch. This is one of my favorite campground salads because it doesn’t require a ton of fresh produce and the dressing is easy to make ahead of time.
- 3 apples, chopped (I use Gala)
- 1 bag julienned carrots
- 1 cup raisins (or a few small packages if you keep them for the kids!)
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
In a bowl whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, garlic, salt, and pepper. Place in a tupperware to bring to the campground. To prepare the salad, toss the apples, carrots, and raisins in a bowl and then stir in the dressing. Easy, peasy.
Whether you are frying a turkey or making sandwiches like us, we hope you have a wonderful holiday with your loved ones.
From our RV to yours, Happy Thanksgiving and we’ll see you at the campground!