The holidays are quickly approaching, and now is the time to start planning an unforgettable Thanksgiving meal. Whether you’re going for formal flair or casual comfort, incorporating Maine lobster adds a unique and delicious twist on Thanksgiving’s traditional dishes.

 Not only that, but by purchasing lobster, you’ll be helping Maine lobstermen who depend on the late-season income as they wrap up operations for the winter. Here are a few recipes and ideas to make Maine lobster the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving feast.

Baked Buttery Lobster Tails

For a fancy dinner

For a more classic presentation, bake one lobster tail per person with a garlic butter glaze, and serve them alongside traditional Thanksgiving sides. When baked in a dish with a small amount of water, essentially steaming them, the lobster tails emerge perfectly cooked — tender, with an intensity of garlic butter. If you live locally, you can still get live lobster anywhere on the coast from purveyors, as well as frozen lobster tails at Jess’s Market or Greenhead Lobster.

After splitting the lobster tails and placing them in a shallow dish, cover with aluminum foil and bake. The sauce is simple: minced garlic in butter with parsley and lemon juice. A showstopper! Get the Baked Buttery Lobster Tails recipe. 

Lobster Pot Pie

For a family dinner

Make a hearty lobster pot pie with a flaky crust, filled with lobster, vegetables and a creamy sauce that will have everyone reaching for seconds and thirds. This hearty comfort dish is perfect for a family-style Thanksgiving dinner that doesn’t need elaborate plating. Save the lobster stock steamed with shells and start a roux in a large pan, gradually whisking in the stock. Then add diced potatoes, shallots, peas, carrots, corn, seasonings and heavy cream. When the stock is thickened, add three cups of coarsely chopped steamed or cooked lobster. In the meantime, get your pastry dough (store-bought or handmade) and roll it to cover the baking dish with the seams slightly hanging over it. (See below for the perfect side dish recipes.) Get the Lobster Pot Pie recipe.

Turkey With Lobster Cornbread Stuffing

For a traditional dinner

Some people have their hearts set on having turkey for Thanksgiving, and that’s OK because with this dish, you get the best of both worlds. Start with four lobster tails and layer in a deep pan with salted water (1.5 cups). They’ll be red when done, so remove them to cool and save that lobster stock! This dish is slowly built with savory crunchy pancetta, garlic, carrot, onion and two kinds of bread: cornbread and sourdough bread. This rich seafood dish, when done, complements the briny poultry. Get the Lobster Cornbread Stuffing recipe.

Delish Lobster Side Dishes

To bring as a guest

Let’s say you’ve been invited to a family Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving and want to “wow” your hosts by arriving with a knockout lobster side dish. The two recipes below are guaranteed to be gone before dessert is served.

Lobster Risotto

This slow-cooked dish brings the creaminess of Arborio rice, light cream and Parmesan to a new level with the sweetness of honey and freshly cooked lobster meat. Add wine, sherry, butter and shallot, reducing the broth in the rice slowly, until the flavors are built up, before adding the lobster at the end. Get the Lobster Risotto recipe.

Lobster Mac & Cheese

Cheddar and Gruyere cheese put the tang in this perennially favorite dish, along with 1 1/2 pounds of chopped cooked lobster meat. Using the traditional method of making macaroni and cheese with a hint of nutmeg, this dish can be spread out amongst several gratin dishes for easy reach around the table. Get the Lobster Mac & Cheese recipe.

Read our blog about how to get lobster shipped to you and look for other excellent lobster recipes brought to you by Maine Lobster Festival happening again — with free admission — July 31-Aug. 4, 2024 in Rockland, Maine.