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Thanksgiving recipes from The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army Eastern Territory is home to talented chefs, cooks, and food preparers. Whether it’s for a culinary class at a Kroc Center or a dinner at a corps hosted for a community, some delicious meals have been created in Salvation Army kitchens. This Thanksgiving season, we are happy to share some of these recipes with you.

by Hugo Bravo

Roasted turkey with garlic and sage

by Chef Timothy Tucker
Culinary Arts Manager at The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Boston Kroc Corps Community Center

“This recipe was created by me and the Boston Kroc’s Culinary Arts Training Program’s Class 22. It’s for someone who does not have hours to cook turkey.”


    • 10 lb. whole turkey
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 1 bunch or about 15 pieces fresh sage leaves
    • 8 garlic cloves, cut into quarters
    • 2 oz. soft butter
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil



    1. Break down turkey; remove breast, legs, and wings.
    2. Make small openings under the skin of legs and wings.
    3. Stuff sage, garlic, and butter under the skin of turkey using small openings. Distribute evenly.
    4. Apply salt and pepper to surfaces of wings, breast, and legs evenly (to taste).
    5. Place turkey onto half–sheet tray. Drizzle with olive oil.
    6. Roast turkey in oven for 30 minutes at 500°F or until internal temperature is 165°F
    7. Remove turkey from oven and let rest for 10 minutes.
    8. Slice thin and serve.



Sweet potato, leek, and sausage gratin with thyme

by Christina Schweitzer
Employment Services Program Director at The Salvation Army Buffalo, N.Y., Area Services

“I received this casserole from a co–worker when I worked at Children’s Hospital. Her husband is a chef and it was one of their favorites.”


    • 4 3–lb sweet Italian sausages with casings removed
    • 1 1/3 cups canned low–salt chicken broth
    • 1 1/3 cups dry white wine
    • 1 1/3 cups apricot nectar or orange juice
    • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
    • 4 cups sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only; about 4 leeks)
    • 2 1/2 pounds tan–skinned sweet potatoes, peeled, thinly sliced
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme or 1 tablespoon dried
    • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)



 STEP 1 (can be done a day ahead)

    1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Cook sausages in heavy large skillet over medium–high heat until brown and cooked through, crumbling with back of spoon, about 6 minutes.
    2. Using slotted spoon, place sausage in small bowl. Pour off any drippings in skillet.
    3. Add broth, wine, apricot nectar, and 2 tablespoons butter to same skillet; boil until liquid is reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 15 minutes. Pour into another bowl.
    4. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in same skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes.
    5. Cover and refrigerate sausage, broth mixture, and leeks separately.


    1. Arrange half of potatoes in 13 x 9 x 2–inch glass baking dish.
    2. Sprinkle with half of thyme, season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup cheese. Top with half of leeks and all of sausage.
    3. Cover with remaining potatoes.
    4. Sprinkle with remaining thyme. Season with salt and pepper.
    5. Cover with remaining leeks. Top with remaining cheese.
    6. Pour broth over. Cover and bake 30 minutes.
    7. Uncover and bake until potatoes are tender, and liquid thickens (about 15 minutes). Cool slightly.



Sweet potato pie with Graham Cracker crust

by Philip J. Supeck
Hospitality Ministry Director at The Salvation Army Philadelphia Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center  

“I first made this pie a few years ago at the request of our fitness manager. It has been a popular ‘cheat day’ request and favorite ever since.”


    • 1 lb sweet potatoes (about two medium sweet potatoes)
    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
    • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup whole milk
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 2 teaspoon vanilla


    • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
    • 1 1/2 cups Graham Crackers crumbs, about 9 whole crackers



    1. Boil potatoes for 50 minutes. Make sure water is always covering the potatoes or until soft.
    2. Immediately drain and run cool water over potatoes and skin the potatoes.
    3. In a large bowl, mash the potatoes.
    4. Add butter and mix well.
    5. Add brown sugar, milk, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla.
    6. Mix until smooth.
    7. Pour into pie crust.
    8. Bake at 350°F for 65-75 minutes or until toothpick in center comes out clean.
    9. Let cool and serve.
    10. For the crust – make while sweet potatoes are boiling.
    11. Preheat oven to 350°F.
    12. Mix the melted butter, brown sugar, and crumbs in a medium mixing bowl.
    13. Put into a 9–inch pie pan.
    14. Press down evenly with the back of a spoon until all the mixture is evenly spread on bottom and up the sides of the dish.
    15. Cook at 350°F for 7 minutes
    16. Let cool completely before adding filling.

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