How to host an American Thanksgiving dinner in Denmark

How to host an American Thanksgiving dinner in Denmark

First off, I am well aware I’m not American. But when I lived in New Orleans for some time and experienced a real American (Southern) Thanksgiving, I was instantly hooked. My landlady had invited me to spend it with her and her family, and I got to enjoy the most delicious turkey, oyster stuffing and sweet potato casserole, and I knew I had to have this back home, too. Now, “back home” means Copenhagen, but the boyfriend and I have been hosting Thanksgiving dinners for our friends every year since we moved here together, and I love it (I hope the others do, too!). And since I’ve read a lot of requests about Thanksgiving foods in some of the Facebook groups for expats in Copenhagen, I thought I’d share some of the knowledge I’ve acquired.

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The turkey

A Thanksgiving without a turkey would – so I’ve been told – be completely unthinkable. The first time we hosted, it was only for 6 people, so I made do with two large turkey breasts, but last year, we were 10, so more meat was required! Since I also made all sorts of side dishes that needed to be baked, I simply ran out of oven space (despite my great planning, complete with a time-chart of what would be in the oven when and which dishes could overlap due to similar baking temperatures). So we decided to check around and see if there were any butchers or catering companies that would deliver a roasted turkey.

If you are looking to prepare your own turkey, your best choice would probably be a larger supermarket with a good selection and a “real” meat and butcher’s section, like Føtex. You might have to pre-order, as they likely won’t have turkey on stock regularly. Confirmed places where you can get a turkey:

Now if you, like me, are looking for a ready-made turkey, you will want to look around at butcher’s shops. Be prepared though that the price can be quite steep, we paid 900 DKK for a 5kg (ca. 11 lb) turkey, all roasted and with stuffing inside. I know the following confirmed places for ordering a ready-made turkey, but the last two on the list above might also prepare turkeys upon request.

[UPDATE] Rotunden in Hellerup also makes turkeys to order, including stuffing. It costs about 100 DKK per kilo, plus another 200 DKK for the preparation.

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Last year’s feast

Other food items

Now, you’ve sorted out the turkey, but what about all the ingredients for the sides? Unfortunately, I don’t know of any purely American grocery stores in the greater Copenhagen area, but there are some larger supermarkets that carry some American products. I’ve seen that SuperBrugsen on Matthæusgade (just off Vesterbrogade) has a large shelf with American products.

[UPDATE] Bilka at Fields mall has a shelf full of American products as well.

If you don’t find what you’re looking for, there are several online stores with larger selections of American food items:

  • My American Market, a French company that also ships to Denmark (delivery costs are around 120 DKK for a 5 kg package). They have a Thanksgiving section with pumpkin pie filling, canned yams, corn muffin mix, etc.
  • ShopAmerica.eu, a Dutch company (shipping costs to Denmark are 60 DKK for orders up to ca. 500 DKK, otherwise free!)

My own approach during the last two years has been to make everything from scratch (apart from the turkey), so if you’d like to try something new, why not give it a go? There are a million recipes out there that will teach you how to make all the favorites you might have bought previously yourself and from scratch! Some examples:

 

The pies

[UPDATE] This year, I’ll forego baking in favor of ordering two pies from The American Pie Company. One pie will set you back DKK 329, but they are SO worth it!

Pies from The American Pie Company in Copenhagen - The Copenhagen Tales

 

The football

For some people, Thanksgiving and football are intimately connected. Lucky for you, football is on the rise in Denmark and you’ll be able to catch at least one or two games before tucking in! The games start at 7pm Danish time, and you can be sure that at least one will be broadcast on TV (usually on TV3 Sport or TV3 Plus).

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Are you going to be hosting a Thanksgiving dinner? What are your all-time favorite dishes, and how do you prepare them here in Denmark?

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9 thoughts on “How to host an American Thanksgiving dinner in Denmark”

  • I’m in the US and not Denmark, but I wanted to say that you have Thanksgiving covered very well. Not everyone does oyster stuffing, but it’s my favorite. Your photo of last year’s feast looks delicious and very authentic. I’m sorry to hear that you have so much trouble finding what we call our basics. I applaud your effort. The things on my menu that never change are: turkey with cornbread oyster stuffing, cranberry sauce with whole cranberries, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, green beans with tomatoes, southern corn souffle, cranberry jello salad, and of course, pumpkin pie with whipped cream. And we never miss watching the Macy’s Parade on television in the morning while the turkey is baking. :)

    • Thanks so much, that means a lot coming from an American! :)
      Your menu sounds so delicious! Last year, I made three pies in “mini editions”: apple pie and pumpkin pie, baked in a muffin tin, and a banana cream pie in little glasses, so that people had a chance to try all three. Unfortunately, I don’t think we can watch the parade, so we have to make do with football :) Already looking forward to this year’s dinner!

      • your “mini pie” idea is wonderful! It’s so much better than having a lot of leftover pie. Many northern states have pumpkin, apple and mincemeat while southerners also like to include pecan pie. I may decide to make an assortment of minis this year, thank you.

  • Love it! I’m (American) moving to Copenhagen next week! But have been living in Australia for four years now. How good is pumpkin pie from fresh puréed pumpkin? Do you have many American friends in Copenhagen? Looking to meet some new friends :)

  • Great resource! Coming from this American IN Denmark. I will admit I stocked up on some Libby’s canned pumpkin before coming back on most recent to States. We were thinking of mixing it up this year and making a sort of Turducken roulade. With all the requisite sides of course! Cheers, Erin

      • Hi Erin, I can confirm for sure that it’s available at Bilka in Fields, and at Meny in Hellerup. I’ve also made my own pumpkin puree from Hokkaido pumpkin, and it’s super easy (you don’t even need to remove the skin).

  • THANK YOU! Last year we ordered our turkey from Cleaver’s Meat Market at Torvehallerne, and while it was organic and delicious, it set us back 175 kr/kg. I was about to go order another one today for this year’s Thanksgiving, but decided it couldn’t hurt to call up Rotunden in Hellerup as you suggested, especially considering it’s on my way home from work. Just ordered my turkey for 100 kr/kg, saving me about $60 when all is said and done! Side note for anyone interested, I also called Slagteren ved Kultorvet (since it’s the closest to my house) and their turkey goes for 165 kr/kg. HAPPY THANKSGIVING 2017!!

    • Hi Kaylee, thanks for the additional pricing info :) We got our turkey from Rotunden again this year, too. I believe they charge 150-200kr for roasting it for you (I don’t have sufficient oven space). Hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving!

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