No need for a big fuss, make this easy 2 Sheet Pan Thanksgiving Dinner!
The first sheet pan holds the turkey and dressing, the second sheet pan the parmesan roasted brussels sprouts and candied sweet potatoes.
If you’re traveling in your camper during the holiday, this is perfect for a small galley oven and you can prepare some of the sides ahead of Turkey Day to make the meal even easier! Add a couple of store bought items and you will have a feast fit for a King and Queen of the road.
In order for the turkey to cook properly in this meal, make sure you plan ahead and have it completely thawed before time to cook. Brining a turkey for even a few hours will give you a tasty and moist breast. Brine Recipe below.
Brined Turkey Breast
Find a 3 – 4 pound turkey BREAST. Purchase one that is bone-in and skin-on, because it will give you the best flavor! I’ve used different vessels to brine the turkey depending on the size of the bird from a Homer Bucket, zip bag to a purchased brining bag. Brining recipe is below.
After brining, rinse the breast well, dry it with paper towels and before putting the turkey on the sheet pan, remove the two breasts from the bone. After removing the bone, you should have about 2 pounds of turkey meat, which will cook in perfect timing with the other dishes.
Season the breast by rubbing with butter, sprinkle of salt, pepper and a dash of poultry seasoning.
When cooking, check the turkey multiple times to make sure it’s not over or under-cooked. Turkey is done when the thickest part of the turkey breast reaches 165 degrees F. Remove the turkey at 160 degrees, as it will cook those extra 5 degrees as it’s sitting. Let the turkey rest for about 10 minutes before carving into it. Tent it with foil to keep it nice and warm!
You can assemble the dressing and sweet potatoes ahead of time!
The dressing can be completely assembled and refrigerated overnight or up to 24 hours (cover it tightly in the fridge). If you are baking the dressing right from the fridge, expect to add an extra 10 or so minutes to the baking time. Make your favorite recipe, line half of the sheet pan with foil to make a “barrier” between it and the turkey breast.
To cook sweet potatoes in the oven can take well over an hour. If your camper has a microwave, cook the potatoes halfway in the microwave, about 6-10 minutes depending on size of the sweet potatoes.
Prick the sweet potatoes all over with a fork. The small holes allows the steam to escape as the potato cooks. This also keeps the sweet potato from exploding and making a mess all over the microwave. You’ll want to prick the potatoes about 8-10 times all over. (You only need small holes for the skin — don’t worry about piercing the potato all the way through).
Be aware that cooking times will vary depending on the size of the potato AND the power of your microwave. Most medium-large potatoes take about 7-13 minutes to cook at full microwave power.
Start with the potato cooking for 5 minutes and then flip it on the other side and cook for another 3-4 minutes. If it’s still not tender, continue cooking checking it every 1 minute. (Note that cooking more than 1 potato at a time will take almost double the amount of time.)
Remove the potatoes, split in half. When cool enough, remove the inside and mix it with some butter, brown sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon. Put back in the shell and then add the marshmallows topping. When time to assemble, place the potatoes on half of the sheet pan next to the brussel sprouts and cook them for another 15-20 – which should be done about the time the brussel sprouts are finished.
Use fresh Brussels sprouts (look for outer leaves that are dark green and vibrant and stem ends that aren’t dried out). For a quick prep time you can buy pre-washed brussels sprouts. But if not, prep those ahead of time by removing any dead leaves and washing them thoroughly. You want the brussels COMPLETELY dried before starting this dish.
If you can’t stand brussel sprouts, green beans make a great substitution. Cook the same way as the sprouts.
Cut off and discard the stem end. Pull off and discard the outer leaves of the brussels sprouts (just the first layer OR if you want a less intense brussels sprouts flavor, you can peel off more leaves until you get a softer green). Halve the brussels if they’re large but keep small brussels their full size. Toss with a drizzle of olive oil, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and spread on half of the sheet pan.
Serve roasted Brussels sprouts hot or warm – they will keep delicious and warm for up to 30 minutes if you cover them and set them in a warm place. I use brussels in this sheet pan meal, because it allows for a little variance in cooking the other things. (They’ll stay warm if everything else needs a little longer).
While the turkey is resting, prepare the gravy. Follow the directions on the included gravy package, if your turkey came with one, or if you’re like me and are “gravy challenged”, the jar type can be quite good! While you’re picking up a jar of gravy, stop by the frozen section and pick up some dinner rolls and your pumpkin pie! Voila~ an easy and scrumptious Thanksgiving dinner on two sheet pans!
There you have it! Easy and yummy!
2/3 C. sugar
2/3 cup kosher salt
6 quarter size pieces of ginger
2 Bay leaves
1 tsp. black pepperorns, crushed*
2 Allspice berries, crushed
4 juniper berries, crushed
8 Cups unsweetended Apple Cider
4 Cups Ice Water
In a large saucepan, stir together the salt, sugar, cloves, juniper berries, peppercorns, and allspice. Crush them in a grinder or plastic bag. Add the ginger and bay leaves along with 8 cups apple cider. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Boil for 3 minutes, then remove from the heat. Add 4 cups of ice water and stir to cool the mixture. Set aside and let cool to room temperature. When cool submerge the turkey and marinate for at least 4 hours – better overnight.