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Host a soul-food Thanksgiving with apricot-herb turkey, collard greens and cornbread

These foolproof recipes will make Thanksgiving a lot less stressful — and a lot more flavorful.
Courtesy Moriah Brooke
/ Source: TODAY

Getting Thanksgiving dinner on the table shouldn't be something you dread. It should be a time to celebrate your family traditions and create new memories. For this year's dinner, I'm celebrating with a few of my favorite dishes inspired by my time spent in the kitchen with my mother. I'm taking all of the years spent as a teenager shopping, prepping and cooking Thanksgiving dinner with my family and putting my own twist on the classic meal. These recipes are for anyone who's looking to enjoy a delicious, affordable, stress-free, make-ahead Thanksgiving. The best part about these recipes is that you can make them unique to you and serve them alongside your favorite Thanksgiving staples.

Turkey is universally known as a Thanksgiving staple, but it has also been known to lack flavor and be on the dry side. Over the past years, I've concluded that many home cooks are simply overthinking the turkey-cooking process. Getting the perfect turkey on your dinner table is simpler than you think! No, you don't need to baste every 30 minutes — all you need is a heavy sprinkle of salt and pepper and my apricot-herb compound butter. So, if you've been skipping out on turkey because of its dry and flavorless reputation, I urge you to give it another chance with this foolproof recipe.

My momma's collard greens recipe has been a staple on my family table ever since I could remember. Whether at a cookout, birthday party or a simple family dinner, a pot of greens was sure to be present. Now, I'm finally getting around to making them in my own kitchen with the encouragement and advice from my mom on video call. These greens wouldn't be complete without a hearty slice of cornbread and a little bit of soul. I'm adding a smoky and spicy twist to my mom's cornbread recipe bacon and cheddar.

Momma's Pinto Beans

Every year, my mother makes these pinto beans the day after Thanksgiving. After scraping my fair share of bowls clean, I've recently started putting her recipe to use in my own kitchen. Growing up, I was always taught to not waste anything in the kitchen, so in this recipe, I use my mom's hot tip for using leftover holiday ham to add smoky flavor to this dish. The best part about this recipe is that there's no bean-soaking required. And though these hearty beans are incredibly delicious by themselves, they also do well paired with rice or cornbread.