The first Thanksgiving was celebrated centuries ago in 1621 when the New World came together after the Pilgrims’ first harvest. Native Americans and Pilgrims prepared together for the feast that lasted three days.

But before the Pilgrims arrived, Native Americans lived for a long time creating their own cultural traditions including a variety of staple foods they were able to harvest in the Americas.

From all of those dishes arose Hominy Stew.

This Native American Thanksgiving dish is a slow simmered stew filled with meat and hominy in a tomato base stew.

The main ingredient in this dish is hominy. It was used in a variety of dishes and has been around for centuries. Hominy was frequently boiled and eaten alone and sometimes combined with animal fat or beans and meat to create a more substantial meal.

This versatile ingredient was even turned into a mash and eaten as hominy pudding and frequently used as a paste and then fried to create hominy patties.

Eventually, it was added into different broths and served during celebrations, which is where hominy stew arose.

The indigenous people were able to use this ingredient through the process of nixtamalization, which consisted of soaking the corn in an alkali solution made from hardwood ash. It is now readily available as a shelf ingredient and is a staple in Indigenous food culture.

If you’d like to make this recipe for yourself, follow the steps below!


1. In a pot over medium heat, add enough oil or lard to coat the pan. Add the onions and allow to soften for about 5 minutes.

2. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

3. Add the ground turkey and cook until brown, making sure to break up into small pieces.

4. Then, add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, broth, hominy and spices. Stir thoroughly.

5. Cover and allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes.

6. Serve alongside fry bread and optionally, top with sour cream and green onions.

7. Enjoy!


1. 2 tablespoons oil

2. 1 pound ground turkey

3. 1 15-ounce can white hominy (drained)

4. 1 10-ounce can tomato sauce

5. 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes (not drained)

6. 1 cup chicken stock or broth (low sodium)

7. 1 cup diced yellow onions

8. 1 tablespoon minced garlic

9. 1 tablespoon oregano

10. 1 tablespoon dark chili powder

11. 1 teaspoon ground cumin

12. Salt to taste

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