Thanksgiving in Amish Country

The holiday season is here! Just like many of us, that holds significance for the Amish, who observe numerous religious holidays. These include Christmas, Pentecost, Good Friday, Easter, and, as one might expect, Thanksgiving.


In this post, we’ll take a closer look at how the Amish celebrate this special day. At the bottom, I’ve included several of their traditional Thanksgiving recipes, which they prepare with the same enthusiasm and devotion that they put into their fine crafted furniture.


In observance of the true meaning of the holiday, the Amish take Thanksgiving Day to express sincere gratitude for all they have.


Not all Amish affiliations practice the same customs, but for most, their day begins early, and it involves some type of devotional. For some, a morning church service is on the docket.


After they’re done with devotionals, the Amish begin putting the finishing touches on their Thanksgiving feast. The meal is made ready by the women, and it sometimes takes several days to prepare it, since their families can be quite large.

When all the preparations are complete, they gather around the table for the much-anticipated feast.


Most Amish celebrate with their families, although in some instances, friends are invited over, as well.


In many ways, the menu resembles that of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. For instance, turkey is served in a lot of households. Some families cut the turkey up into pieces and keep it warm in a broth, while others stuff it with tasty dressing.


The Amish also serve juicy hams, freshly baked rolls and mashed potatoes with melted butter and/or gravy. Traditional fall harvest vegetables, such as corn, squash and carrots, are also in abundance. Bowls of honey, butter and cream can be found on the table, as well as fresh fruit.


Of course, it wouldn’t be a true Thanksgiving feast without dessert. After the main course is over, the Amish treat themselves to some of their favorite delights, including cookies, cakes, pies and candy.


When the meal finally draws to a close, the families take the rest of the day to talk and enjoy each other’s company in a festive setting.  Meanwhile, the children entertain themselves with fun-filled games.


Thanksgiving is a special holiday for the Amish, and this isn’t just because it allows them to indulge on large amounts of food. More importantly, it’s a day set aside to thank God for their numerous blessings, while bonding with their loved ones over a delicious feast.





Pumpkin Pie


4 eggs (separated)

2 c. pumpkin

1 ¾ c. sugar

2 Tbsp. flour (heaping)

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. ginger

¼ tsp. ground cloves

1 tsp. vanilla

2 Tbsp. light honey

1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

4 c. evaporated milk

2  9” unbaked pie shells


Beat egg yolks and add pumpkin, sugar, flour, salt, vanilla, spices and honey. Heat milk and add. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Stir all together. Pour into unbaked pie shells. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, then at 325 degrees for approx. 35 minutes until almost set.




Pecan Pie


2 eggs (beaten)

Pinch of salt

½ c. sugar

1 c. light Karo

2 Tbsp. flour

1 c. milk

1 tsp. vanilla

2 Tbsp. butter (melted)

1 c. chopped pecans

1 unbaked pie shell


Mix sugar, salt and flour. Add beaten eggs, syrup and vanilla. Mix well. Add milk and melted butter. Put pecans in unbaked pie shell and pour mixture over pecans. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, then at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Serves 6-8. Note: Make 1 ½ batch for large pan.




Raisin Pudding


Syrup:  2 c. hot water, 1 c. brown sugar, 1 Tbsp. butter

½ c. sugar

1 c. flour

2 tsp. baking powder

½ c. raisins

½ c. milk


Pour liquid into greased 2-qt. casserole dish. Mix batter and pour into liquid. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve warm or cold. May be served with milk.




Apple Dumplings


8 apples

2 c. flour

2/3 c. (or less) milk

2 tsp. baking powder

½ c. brown sugar

½ c. shortening

2 Tbsp. butter

1 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. cinnamon



¾ c. brown sugar

1/3 c. butter

1 1/3 c. hot water

dash of cinnamon


Mix dry ingredients. Add shortening and butter. Mix, then add milk to make a soft dough. Roll out and cut into 8 squares. Peel and core apples. Wrap each apple in a square of dough. Place in baking dish. Make sauce and pour over dumplings. May want to double sauce recipe. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve with milk. Serves 8.



Bakery Rolls


2 Tbsp. yeast

1 c. warm water

1 c. sugar

1 c. butter

2 c. scalded milk

2 tsp. salt

4 eggs (beaten)

8-10 c. flour

2 c. mashed potatoes


Dissolve yeast in water and 1 Tbsp. sugar until bubbly. Mix scalded milk with remaining sugar and butter; add potatoes. Pour in yeast mixture. Add salt and eggs, then add flour. Let rise 1 hour. Knead down and let rise until double. Roll out ¼ ” thick. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon. Roll up and let rise for 20 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.











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