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Maggiano’s Celebrates Thanksgiving

by Maggiano's Little Italy

In addition to giving thanks, there’s so much more to Thanksgiving than canned relish, mashed potatoes and turkey if you’re willing to be creative. We asked our team what out-of-the-box dishes they plan on bringing to the table and you may be surprised what you find!

Maggiano’s Celebrates Thanksgiving

Apple Crostada. It’s fall, a time for spiced drinks and desserts, so why not make one of our Little Italy favorites for dessert? That’s what Regional Operating Chef Paolo Pineda plans to do, but there’s more: “I like to add fresh pumpkin or butternut squash to this recipe and make it with a gluten free crust. Top it with homemade cinnamon gelato, and you’re set.”

Bacon-Wrapped Maple Sausage, Roasted Potatoes & a Cheese Course. Hayley, from Maggiano’s Training team loves “wrapping maple sausages in bacon. Being from England, a customary dish is roasted potatoes. It has simple seasonings like garlic, onion, chives and basil, but it’s so comforting, I make four trays of it! Another thing I like to make is a cheese and fruit tray – it’s a common dessert course – I use Brie, garlic & herbed goat cheese, sharp cheddar, Gouda, apples, assorted nuts and pepperoni.

Cotija, Cheddar & Chorizo Macaroni and Cheese. Stephanie on Maggiano’s Marketing team said, “I wanted to upgrade the mac and cheese that my mom buys from the frozen section. After years of being inspired by the Culinary team, I thought I’d learn how to make a nice roux and béchamel for the creamiest dish. I’m excited about that kick from the aged, English cheddar, Cotija cheese and chorizo. Instead of elbow macaroni, I’m using penne.”

Homemade Cranberry Sauce. Tyson’s Corner’s Executive Chef John Reavis says, “homemade cranberry sauce is so easy to make and it tastes so great with my family’s dressing recipe. My recipe has a little orange zest and brandy. The best part is the next day – I put the leftover cranberry sauce on my grilled cheese. Just a little fontina and Dijon mustard on the bread, and I spread the cranberry sauce on right before it hits my Panini press.”

Shrimp & Butternut Squash Bruschetta. Chef Jeff Mann, likes to share a light bite with everyone while he performs his culinary magic for his holiday spread. “While we watch parades, dog shows and football, I prepare an appetizer. I like to take advantage of the season’s best ingredients, so with my leftover butternut squash from another recipe, I can make a delicious and light snack.”

We invite you to the warm atmosphere at Maggiano’s Little Italy for your next meal or special occasion. We also invite you to join our E-club, follow us on InstagramTwitter and Pinterest, and watch us on YouTube for more chef tips, recipes and ideas.


Spaghetti with Butternut Squash and Shrimp

by Maggiano's Little Italy

Believe it or not, Halloween is catching on in Italy! You may catch a glimpse of carved pumpkins, Halloween themed parties, ghost tours and costumed kids throughout the piazzas. This year you can celebrate Halloween Italian-American style. Try this devilishly delicious Italian recipe, Spaghetti with Butternut Squash and Shrimp – an inspiration from Giada de Laurentis, star of Every Day Italian on The Food Network.

Spaghetti with Butternut Squash and Shrimp

Serves 6

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 5 cups)
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 1/4 cups dry white wine
2 cups fish broth, fresh or frozen, or canned vegetable broth
2 pounds uncooked large shrimp, peeled and de-veined
Salt and pepper
17.5 ounces black or orange-colored spaghetti or linguine or gluten-free pasta
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter


Heat the oil in a heavy large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for just a minute. Add the squash, rosemary and thyme and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes. Add the wine and broth and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Decrease the heat to medium-low and simmer until the squash is tender and the liquid is reduced by about half, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add the shrimp and simmer gently until almost cooked through, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Season, to taste with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Drain pasta. (Alternatively, you can use dried pasta, which will take 8 to 10 minutes to cook).

Toss the pasta, squash mixture, and butter in a large bowl until the liquid thickens slightly and coats the pasta. Transfer the pasta mixture to a wide shallow bowl and serve.

You are always welcome to join us at Maggiano’s Little Italy for your next meal out or special occasion. We also invite you to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Pinterest, and watch us on YouTube for more recipes and tips.