Budget Thanksgiving: Viva Italia

Hosting Thanksgiving at your apartment this year and sick of the same old turkey and stuffing? Change it up with a theme besides pilgrims and indian corn. No one likes that dry old turkey anyway. Go for a crowd-pleaser like Italian food and give your holiday dinner an accent. We've scoured the web for some of the best recipes to sauce up your feast. Here's your five-point plan.

Drop the boring old white-bread-based stuffing. Here's a video recipe for Giada di Laurentiis' Ciabatta & Chestnut Stuffing.

Potatoes: Domestic Diva's Parmesan Roasted Potatoes is the perfect starch.

Vegetable: Corn, Brussels sprouts: snooze-fest. This Acorn Squash Lasagna with bechamel sauce from Serious Eats could work as a main dish if you've got vegetarian guests coming to the party. It also makes a killer and pretty hearty side dish.

Turkey: The balsamic vinegar reduction on famed PBS chef Lidia's Bastianich's Roast Turkey gives it just the right Italian twist.

Dessert: Give a traditional Italian panna cotta a seasonal twist with cinnamon and spicy autumn fruit compote from Baking Obsession.

Need more inspiration? Read other menu ideas and tips in our Thanksgiving Countdown.
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