Home Recipes 30 Thanksgiving Recipes for a Memorable Family Gathering

30 Thanksgiving Recipes for a Memorable Family Gathering

by Rena

Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and delicious food. With so many dishes to prepare, it can be overwhelming to decide what to make. Fortunately, there are countless Thanksgiving recipes to choose from, ranging from traditional favorites to modern twists on classic dishes.

Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a beginner in the kitchen, there are Thanksgiving recipes for every skill level. From the perfect turkey to mouth-watering sides and desserts, there’s something for everyone. With so many options to choose from, it’s easy to find recipes that fit your dietary needs and preferences. So, get ready to impress your guests with a delicious and memorable Thanksgiving feast!

Homemade Roasted Thanksgiving Day Turkey

Credit: bhofack2/iStock

1. Roast Turkey with Herb Butter

Roast turkey with herb butter is a classic Thanksgiving dish that never goes out of style. To prepare this recipe, the turkey is rubbed with a mixture of herbs, salt, and pepper before being roasted in the oven. The herb butter is then spread over the turkey during the last few minutes of cooking to add extra flavor and moisture.

To achieve the perfect roast turkey with herb butter, it’s important to let the turkey sit out at room temperature for about an hour before cooking. This helps the turkey cook more evenly and ensures that the meat stays juicy and tender. Additionally, basting the turkey every 30 minutes with the pan drippings will help to keep the skin crisp and golden.

2. Classic Stuffing

Classic stuffing is a must-have dish on Thanksgiving. It is a simple and traditional recipe that has been passed down through generations. The dish is made by combining bread cubes, sautéed vegetables, fresh herbs, and broth, then baked until golden brown.

To prepare classic stuffing, start by sautéing onions and celery until they are softened. Then, combine the sautéed vegetables, bread cubes, and herbs in a large bowl. Add broth and mix well. Transfer the mixture to a greased baking dish and bake until it is golden brown.

3. Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce is a staple side dish during Thanksgiving dinner. It complements the turkey and adds a sweet and tangy flavor to the meal. There are many variations of cranberry sauce, from classic recipes to modern twists.

One popular recipe is the traditional cranberry sauce, which is made with cranberries, sugar, and water. This recipe is easy to make and takes only a few minutes to prepare. Another popular recipe is the cranberry relish, which is made with raw cranberries, orange zest, and sugar. The relish has a refreshing taste and adds a bright pop of color to the table.

4. Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole is a classic Thanksgiving side dish that has been enjoyed by many families for generations. This dish is made with fresh green beans, creamy mushroom sauce, and crispy fried onions on top.

To make Green Bean Casserole, start by blanching the green beans in boiling water for a few minutes. Then, mix the green beans with the mushroom sauce and top with crispy fried onions. Finally, bake in the oven until heated through and the onions are golden brown.

5. Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are a classic Thanksgiving side dish that everyone loves. They are easy to make and can be customized to suit different tastes. To make mashed potatoes, start by boiling potatoes until they are tender. Then, mash them with butter, milk, and salt to taste. For extra flavor, you can add garlic, cheese, or herbs.

There are many variations of mashed potatoes, from traditional to more creative recipes. Some popular options include garlic mashed potatoes, loaded mashed potatoes with bacon and cheese, and mashed sweet potatoes. You can also make mashed potatoes ahead of time and reheat them in the oven for an easy Thanksgiving side dish.

6. Gravy

Gravy is an essential component of any Thanksgiving meal. It is a sauce made from the juices that come out of the turkey while it cooks. The juices are mixed with flour and other ingredients to create a thick, flavorful sauce that is perfect for pouring over turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing.

Making gravy can be a bit tricky, but with the right technique, anyone can do it. One important thing to keep in mind is to use a good quality turkey stock or broth. This will give the gravy a rich, full flavor. Another tip is to whisk the flour into the pan drippings slowly to prevent lumps from forming.

7. Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet potato casserole is a classic Thanksgiving side dish that is loved by many. It is a delicious combination of sweet potatoes, sugar, butter, and spices, topped with a crunchy pecan and marshmallow topping. There are many variations of this dish, but they all have one thing in common: they are all delicious.

To make sweet potato casserole, start by cooking the sweet potatoes until they are soft. Then, mash them and mix in the other ingredients. The pecan and marshmallow topping is then added and the dish is baked until golden brown and bubbly.

8. Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin pie is a classic dessert that is often enjoyed during Thanksgiving. It is a sweet and creamy pie that is made with pumpkin puree and a blend of spices. Many recipes call for cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves to give the pie its signature flavor.

Making pumpkin pie is a simple process that involves preparing the crust, mixing the filling, and baking the pie until it is set. There are many variations of the recipe, but most call for canned pumpkin puree, eggs, sugar, and evaporated milk.

9. Apple Pie

Apple pie is a classic dessert that is perfect for Thanksgiving. It is a simple yet delicious dessert that can be made in many different ways. Some people prefer a traditional apple pie recipe that uses cinnamon and sugar, while others like to add a twist to their recipe by adding caramel or nuts.

One of the keys to a good apple pie is using the right type of apples. Granny Smith apples are a popular choice because they are tart and hold their shape well when baked. However, other types of apples such as Honeycrisp or Braeburn can also be used.

Autumn pecan pie, overhead table scene with cut slice on a rustic wood background

Credit: jenifoto/iStock

10. Pecan Pie

Pecan pie is a classic dessert that’s perfect for Thanksgiving. It’s a sweet and nutty pie that’s easy to make and always a crowd-pleaser. The filling is made with pecans, eggs, brown sugar, corn syrup, molasses, melted butter, vanilla, and salt.

To make a pecan pie, preheat the oven to 350°F. Mix the filling ingredients together until smooth and pour into a prepared pie crust. Bake for 50-60 minutes until the pie is set and the top is lightly browned. Let the pie cool completely before serving.

11. Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Brussels sprouts with bacon is a classic Thanksgiving side dish that adds a savory touch to the meal. The dish is easy to prepare and can be made ahead of time, making it a convenient option for busy cooks.

There are many variations of this dish, but most recipes involve roasting the Brussels sprouts with bacon and seasonings such as garlic, salt, and pepper. Some recipes also include additional ingredients such as maple syrup, pecans, or Parmesan cheese for added flavor and texture.

12. Cornbread

Cornbread is a classic Thanksgiving side dish that is easy to make and always a crowd-pleaser. There are many variations of cornbread, from sweet to savory, and it can be served as a standalone dish or used in stuffing.

One popular recipe for cornbread is to mix cornmeal with flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, eggs, milk, and melted butter. The mixture is poured into a greased baking pan and baked until golden brown. Once cooled, the cornbread can be cut into squares and served warm.

13. Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese is a classic comfort food that is perfect for Thanksgiving. It is a crowd-pleaser that everyone loves, and it is easy to make. There are many variations of macaroni and cheese, from the traditional to the more adventurous. Some recipes call for different types of cheese, while others add in ingredients like bacon, vegetables, or even lobster.

To make a basic macaroni and cheese, all you need is pasta, cheese, milk, and butter. The pasta is cooked, and then mixed with a creamy cheese sauce made from the milk, cheese, and butter. The dish is then baked in the oven until it is golden and bubbly.

14. Glazed Carrots

Glazed carrots are a classic side dish that can be enjoyed throughout the year, but they are particularly popular during Thanksgiving. The dish is easy to make and can be customized to suit different tastes by adjusting the glaze.

To make glazed carrots, start by boiling the carrots until they are tender. Then, melt butter in a saucepan and add brown sugar, honey, and any other desired seasonings. Add the boiled carrots to the saucepan and stir until the carrots are evenly coated with the glaze.

15. Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut squash soup is a classic Thanksgiving dish that is both comforting and delicious. It’s a great way to incorporate vegetables into your holiday meal, and it’s easy to make. There are many variations of butternut squash soup, but the basic recipe involves roasting the squash, sautéing onions and garlic, and then blending everything together with some broth or cream.

To make the soup more flavorful, you can add herbs like thyme or rosemary, or spices like cumin or paprika. You can also add toppings like croutons, bacon, or sour cream. Butternut squash soup is a versatile dish that can be served as an appetizer or a main course. It’s also a great option for vegetarians or those who prefer lighter Thanksgiving dishes.

16. Roasted Root Vegetables

Roasted root vegetables are a delicious and healthy side dish that can be served at any Thanksgiving dinner. They are easy to prepare and can be customized to suit your taste preferences. Common root vegetables include carrots, parsnips, turnips, sweet potatoes, and beets.

To prepare roasted root vegetables, simply chop them into bite-sized pieces, toss them with olive oil and seasonings of your choice, and roast them in the oven until they are tender and caramelized. Some popular seasonings include rosemary, thyme, garlic, and paprika.

17. Cranberry Relish

Cranberry relish is a classic Thanksgiving side dish that adds a pop of color and tangy flavor to the table. It’s a simple dish to make and can be customized to suit different tastes.

One popular recipe involves blending fresh cranberries, oranges, and sugar in a food processor until smooth. The mixture is then refrigerated for at least an hour before serving. Some variations include adding other fruits like apples or pineapple, or using honey instead of sugar for a healthier option.

18. Dinner Rolls

Dinner rolls are a staple at any Thanksgiving dinner table. They are the perfect complement to the main course and a great way to soak up all the delicious gravy. There are many different types of dinner rolls to choose from, including sourdough, Parker House, and cloverleaf rolls.

For those who want to make their own dinner rolls, there are plenty of recipes available online. Some of the most popular recipes include Bobby’s Best-Ever, 5-Star Thanksgiving Dinner Roll Recipe and King Arthur Baking’s Sourdough Dinner Rolls.

For those who prefer to buy their dinner rolls, there are many options available at local bakeries and grocery stores. It’s important to choose a high-quality dinner roll that is fresh and has a good texture.

19. Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs are a classic appetizer that can be served at any occasion, especially Thanksgiving. They are easy to make and always a crowd-pleaser. To prepare deviled eggs, start by boiling eggs until hard-boiled, then peel and slice them in half. Remove the yolks and mix them with mayonnaise, mustard, and other seasonings of your choice. Spoon the yolk mixture back into the egg whites and serve chilled.

There are many variations of deviled eggs, such as adding bacon, chives, or even avocado to the yolk mixture. They can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Deviled eggs are a great addition to any Thanksgiving menu and are sure to be a hit with your guests.

Stuffed mushrooms with salmon and cream

Credit: Mariha-kitchen/iStock

20. Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed mushrooms are a classic and delicious appetizer, perfect for Thanksgiving or any other special occasion. They are easy to make and can be customized to suit your taste. The basic recipe involves removing the stems from the mushrooms, stuffing the caps with a mixture of breadcrumbs, cheese, and herbs, and baking them until they are golden brown and crispy.

There are many variations of stuffed mushrooms, including vegetarian and meat-filled options. Some popular fillings include sausage, spinach, and cream cheese. Stuffed mushrooms are a great addition to any Thanksgiving spread and are sure to impress your guests.

21. Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Spinach and artichoke dip is a classic appetizer that is perfect for Thanksgiving gatherings. It is a creamy and cheesy dip that is easy to make and can be served with tortilla chips or bread.

To make this dip, spinach and artichokes are cooked with cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, garlic, and Parmesan cheese until hot and bubbly. The dip can be baked in the oven or prepared on the stove.

22. Baked Brie with Cranberries

Baked Brie with Cranberries is a delicious appetizer that is perfect for Thanksgiving dinner. This dish is easy to make and is sure to impress your guests. To prepare this dish, slice a round of brie horizontally in half to create two equal sized rounds. Place one of the halves (rind side down) on the parchment paper. Evenly top with about 1/2 cup of the cranberry sauce, leaving a 1/2-inch bare margin around the perimeter. Top with the other brie half (rind side up) to create a ‘sandwich’. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes or until the cheese is gooey and the fruit is bubbling. Serve with crackers or bread.

23. Turkey Gravy

No Thanksgiving meal is complete without a delicious and savory turkey gravy. Making gravy from scratch might seem intimidating, but it’s actually quite simple. The key is to use the turkey drippings and add flour to thicken it up.

To make the perfect turkey gravy, start by melting butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and thyme until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in reserved pan drippings. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 5-10 minutes. Stir in parsley; season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Another option is to use a combination of milk, stock, or water to achieve the desired consistency and taste. Simmer for 5 minutes and season with salt and pepper to taste if needed.

24. Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Garlic mashed potatoes are a classic Thanksgiving side dish that can be made easily and quickly. To make them, start by boiling potatoes until they are tender. Then, mash them with butter, milk, and garlic. The garlic can be added in the form of garlic powder or fresh garlic cloves that have been minced or mashed.

Some recipes call for sour cream or cream cheese to be added for extra creaminess. Others suggest warming the butter and milk beforehand to prevent the potatoes from getting too cold. Regardless of the recipe, garlic mashed potatoes are a delicious and comforting addition to any Thanksgiving meal.

25. Honey Glazed Ham

Honey glazed ham is a classic dish that is often served during Thanksgiving. It is a delicious and easy-to-make dish that requires only a few ingredients. To make a honey glazed ham, the ham is first scored and studded with cloves. Then, a glaze made of honey, brown sugar, and spices is brushed over the ham and it is baked in the oven.

There are many different variations of honey glazed ham recipes, but they all have one thing in common: the use of honey as a sweetener. Some recipes also include other ingredients such as mustard, soy sauce, or pineapple juice to add more flavor to the glaze.

26. Corn Pudding

Corn pudding is a classic Thanksgiving side dish that is creamy, sweet, and savory. It is a simple recipe that can be made with fresh or canned corn, and it is perfect for feeding a crowd. Corn pudding is typically made with a mixture of corn, eggs, milk, butter, and sugar, and it is baked until golden brown.

It can be served as a side dish with turkey, ham, or beef, or it can be enjoyed as a dessert with a dollop of whipped cream. Corn pudding is a versatile and delicious dish that is sure to be a hit at any Thanksgiving gathering.

27. Wild Rice Pilaf

Wild Rice Pilaf is a delicious and nutritious side dish that can be served during Thanksgiving. It is a perfect alternative to traditional stuffing and mashed potatoes. Wild rice is high in protein, fiber, and essential minerals such as magnesium and zinc. It has a nutty flavor and a chewy texture that complements the other dishes on the table.

To make Wild Rice Pilaf, the rice is cooked with aromatic herbs and spices such as bay leaves, thyme, and garlic. Vegetables such as mushrooms, leeks, and carrots can be added for extra flavor and nutrition. Dried fruits such as cranberries or raisins can also be added to give the dish a sweet and tangy taste.

28. Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin cheesecake is a delicious and festive dessert that is perfect for Thanksgiving. It combines the creamy goodness of cheesecake with the warm flavors of pumpkin pie. There are many different recipes for pumpkin cheesecake, but most involve a graham cracker crust, a creamy cheesecake filling, and a spiced pumpkin layer on top.

Some recipes call for a water bath to ensure that the cheesecake cooks evenly and doesn’t crack. Others suggest serving the cheesecake with whipped cream or caramel sauce. No matter how you make it, pumpkin cheesecake is sure to be a hit at your Thanksgiving feast.

29. Maple Roasted Carrots

Maple roasted carrots are a perfect addition to any Thanksgiving feast. These sweet and savory carrots are easy to make and taste delicious. To make maple roasted carrots, start by preheating the oven to 425°F. Then, toss the carrots with olive oil, maple syrup, salt, and pepper. Roast the carrots in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until they are tender and caramelized.

For an extra kick of flavor, try adding some herbs or spices to the mix. Rosemary, thyme, or chili powder all work well with maple roasted carrots. These carrots are a great side dish for turkey, ham, or any other meat you might be serving.

30. Cranberry Bread

Cranberry bread is a delicious addition to any Thanksgiving meal. It’s a sweet and tangy bread that pairs perfectly with turkey and stuffing. There are many different recipes for cranberry bread, but they all typically include fresh or dried cranberries, flour, sugar, and eggs.

One popular recipe for cranberry bread involves cutting in butter until the mixture is crumbly, adding an egg, orange peel, and orange juice, and folding in raisins and cranberries. The mixture is then spooned into a greased loaf pan and baked at 350°F for 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What traditional dishes are a must-have for a complete Thanksgiving meal?

A complete Thanksgiving meal traditionally includes a roasted turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, and mashed potatoes. These dishes are considered staples for a Thanksgiving feast, but other sides like sweet potatoes, gravy, and cornbread can also be included.

How can I incorporate vegetarian options into my Thanksgiving menu?

Vegetarian options can be easily incorporated into a Thanksgiving menu. Consider serving a vegetarian main dish like roasted acorn squash stuffed with wild rice and mushrooms or a lentil and vegetable shepherd’s pie. Sides like roasted Brussels sprouts, sweet potato casserole, and roasted root vegetables are also vegetarian-friendly.

What are some unique Thanksgiving dessert ideas?

Pumpkin pie is a classic Thanksgiving dessert, but there are many other unique dessert ideas to consider. Try making a cranberry tart, apple crisp, or pecan pie. For a non-traditional option, consider a chocolate cake or a fruit tart.

How can I prepare a Thanksgiving feast on a budget?

Preparing a Thanksgiving feast on a budget can be challenging, but it’s possible. Consider buying a frozen turkey, which is often less expensive than fresh. Shop for ingredients on sale and consider making some dishes from scratch instead of buying pre-made. Potluck-style dinners can also help to reduce costs.

What are some tips for making Thanksgiving dinner for a large group?

Making Thanksgiving dinner for a large group can be overwhelming, but there are ways to simplify the process. Consider asking guests to bring a dish or two to share. Prepare dishes ahead of time and use slow cookers or warming trays to keep food warm. Buffet-style serving can also help to make the meal more manageable.

How can I make ahead and store Thanksgiving dishes to save time on the day?

Many Thanksgiving dishes can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator or freezer. Mashed potatoes, stuffing, and cranberry sauce can all be made a day or two in advance. Pies and desserts can also be made ahead of time and stored in the freezer until ready to serve. Consider labeling dishes and storing them in airtight containers to keep them fresh.

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