A French-Inspired Thanksgiving Menu

From remoulade to Jacques Pepin's apple tarte, our favorite French recipes for a Thanksgiving feast

Start your meal with a crunchy fall salad and dunk pretty brioches à tête into smooth, sweet-and-savory soup. Ditch the canned cranberry sauce in favor of one or two boozy fruit accompaniments to an oyster-stuffed bird. Or skip the roast entirely and confit your turkey in duck fat à la Française.

Buttery haricots verts and a bistro-style potato dish or two round out the meal, but go easy on the sides; the French have mastered the art of pâtisserie better than just about anyone, so you want to save room for the last course.

A pumpkin pie from Guy Savoy or an an apple tarte from Jacques Pépin will appeal to traditionalists while delicate maple pots de crème or fragrant pear tarte tatin will delight diners looking for something a little different. Make two or three desserts and be sure to whip up plenty of crème chantilly for dolloping on everything.

The Appetizers

Apple, Celeriac, and Carrot Salad

Apple, Celeriac, and Carrot Salad
This simple salad is lighter and more modern compared to traditionally heavy Norman dishes. It pairs crisp celery root—a vegetable grown in abundance in the region—with raw apples. Get the recipe for Apple, Celeriac, and Carrot Salad »Matt Taylor-Gross

Pear, Shallot, and Delicata Squash Soup

Pear, Shallot, and Delicata Squash Soup
Pear and autumn squash take on savory depth in elegant delicata squash soup, brightened by a splash of vinegar and a drizzle of maple syrup. Get the recipe for Pear, Shallot, and Delicata Squash Soup »Helen Rosner

Brioche a Tete

Brioche a Tete
Golden on the outside, with a feathery, rich-tasting interior, the brioche is a perfect showcase for butter. The French name of this type of brioche (tete means head) refers to the confection's shape: a large sphere topped with a smaller one (the "head"). Get the recipe for Brioche a Tete »André Baranowski

The Turkey

Sage-Brined Roast Turkey with Oyster Dressing

Sage-Brined Roast Turkey with Oyster Dressing
This sage-infused roast turkey is stuffed with a bacon-enriched dressing brimming with wild rice, hazelnuts, and oysters. Get the recipe for Sage-Brined Roast Turkey with Oyster Dressing »Todd Coleman

The Sides

Potatoes Baked in Milk and Cream

Potatoes Baked in Milk and Cream
You can smell the milk and cream turn from sweet to savory as this dish bakes. Get the recipe for Potatoes Baked in Milk and Cream »Ben Fink

Pomme Purée

Pomme Puree
Passing cooked potatoes through the fine holes of a potato ricer ensures a silky consistency for this ultrarich side. Get the recipe for Pomme Purée »Ingalls Photography

The Desserts

French Pumpkin Pie

French Pumpkin Pie
Make Guy Savoy's fresh pumpkin pie the day you plan to eat it. With hints of granny smith apples, vanilla, and pecans, we're sure you won't have a problem finishing it. Get the recipe for French Pumpkin Pie »Martin Schreiber

Maple Pot de Crème

Maple Pot de Crème
Creamy custard sweetened with maple syrup makes a lovely ending to any meal. Get the recipe for Maple Pot de Crème »Todd Coleman

Pear Tarte Tatin

Pear Tarte Tatin
This tart is traditionally made with apples, but firm-fleshed pears make a delicate and delicious alternative. Get the recipe for Pear Tarte Tatin »Vanessa Rees