If there was ever a meal for going all out to the nines, it would be what you queue up for your Thanksgiving menu. No matter how many mouths you’re planning on feeding at the table, the shining prospect of serving up a sequence of mouthwatering dishes fills our hearts and tastebuds with hope. Whether it’s the special invitation to try our hand at festive Thanksgiving recipes, or the tantalizing seasonal aromas wafting from the kitchen as our loved ones connect nearby, it’s that once-a-year chance to create a memorable gathering experience.
We all know, however, that the ultimate Thanksgiving menu isn’t something that can simply be thrown together at a moment’s notice. This is the meal where every course—appetizers, main dishes, sides, and desserts—is usually a must. So, we’ve done the research on them all for you, and have rounded up the best Thanksgiving recipes that touch on a bit of everything—the holiday’s fragrant flavors, warm colors, and traditional staples alongside some tasty twists.
Find your inspiration in these 30+ Thanksgiving recipes for a resulting Thanksgiving menu that delights everyone’s appetites.
Put a spicy spin on classic cornbread with this pleasurable explosion of sweet and savory flavors, packed into a yummy muffin.
A crunchy and creative cracker that combines raisins, mixed nuts, and seeds, making it a lovely autumn-y cracker to pair with an assortment of cheeses and dips.
Brussels sprouts look forward to Thanksgiving day every year—it’s their chance to gain more likes. Even for those who claim to detest this fall harvest veggie, this salad’s blend of apples, shaved parmesan, cranberries, and its delicious homemade vinaigrette of Dijon mustard, olive oil, lemon juice, maple syrup, and apple cider vinegar might fool them into actually enjoying them!
An easy roasted sweet potato recipe garnished with avocado, feta, and juicy pomegranate seeds. Using sweet potatoes rather than toasts or crackers gives this a wonderfully smooth and creamy texture to bite into. And while the recipe calls for using avocado mash packets—which are nice if you’re in a hurry—you can also swap in fresh avocados that you mash yourself, too!
For an adult libation, this white wine-based sangria is a refreshing apple-forward cocktail spiced with cinnamon. And if you happen to have any leftover apples from apple picking, they can certainly be put to good use here!
If you’re looking to present everyone with a generous appetizer smorgasbord to serve themselves, this epic board of various cheeses, breads, crackers, fruits, charcuterie, nuts, and seeds is a crowd-pleaser. The included recipes for candied bacon and a bourbon apple butter spread really takes this board over the top!
A classic sweet and salty combination that wins many a mouth over when presented as an appetizer, these bacon-wrapped dates are great bite-sized additions to any appetizer arrangement.
Thanksgiving Main Dishes
Of course we had to start with a classic, here. Cooking an entire turkey from start to finish can be intimidating; this recipe does a fantastic job guiding you through every stage of the process, so that you wind up with a juicy and flavorful knock centerpiece for your meal.
For a 60-minute turkey alternative, try this recipe for a tender and juicy turkey that’s filled with hearty cranberry stuffing and drizzled with apple cider vinegar gravy. The savory meat and spices are perfectly complemented by the sweet cranberry and slightly tangy gravy.
If turkey isn’t your thing, or you’d just like to serve a seasonal meat alternative, this caramelized ham is dripping with a unique glaze. Flavor-packed brown sugar, honey, vinegar, yellow mustard, and spices, would you believe that orange juice is laced in, too?! If you’re hoping for a tasty and memorable main course, this could be it.
Pork chops are a scrumptious way to present something besides turkey. These nicely seasoned stuffed pork chops are filled with a nourishing homemade stuffing, and they’ll definitely tempt guests into believing that turkey isn’t the only satisfying Thanksgiving pièce de résistance.
12. Chicken Pot Pie
We’ve covered turkey, ham, and pork, but would be remiss not to include a chicken recipe. It doesn’t get more traditional than a wholesome chicken pot pie. This recipe’s golden–it’s entirely homemade, filled with fresh ingredients, and you can prep it in just about 40 minutes prior to baking it.
Want to preserve the tradition of turkey, but serve it a bit unconventionally for a refreshing surprise? Whatever turkey wing recipe you’re used to, this one absolutely elevates expectations. Tossed with exciting spices for seasoning and bathed in a chicken stock that’s swimming with onions, green peppers, and garlic, these wings are a most flavorsome way to upgrade turkey meat for your Thanksgiving table.
This recipe nails it in terms of creating a simple and smooth sweet potato casserole that won’t disappoint, while going above and beyond to top it with both a pecan streusel and gooey marshmallow topping.
While everybody has a different approach to the “best” stuffing, we think this one is pretty outstanding with its generously-sized pieces of French baguette bread cubes soaked and baked in a buttery fresh vegetable, chicken, and spiced broth.
With the plentiful extent of cream and butter making its way into many a Thanksgiving dish, why not incorporate a vegan mac and cheese for good measure? We can almost guarantee that if you don’t tell anyone, they may even realize they’re not eating “real”cheese!
What’s turkey without a holy grail of a dressing? Not too thick, not too runny, this straightforward gravy recipe is jusssst right!
These cloud-like dinner rolls are as every bit heavenly and wonderful to bite into as they look. Made from scratch, you get to savor the process of kneading the dough up through seeing it transform into glistening buns!
Unless it’s the canned sauce that brings your family joy, this ruby red cranberry sauce is loaded with plump juicy cranberries and the proper proportions of water, sugar, orange, and cinnamon to make it a winner.
You know someone’s going to speak up if they don’t see green beans on the table. If you didn’t have plans for a casserole yet, either, here’s a recipe for combining two ideas in one. With a base of fresh green beans, onions, garlic, broth and cream, and topped with baked “fried” onions, this really glams up green beans in all the best ways.
Give Brussels sprouts a true wow-factor with this recipe of only a few ingredients, but a lot of tasteful goodness that comes alive when you smash, roast, and sprinkle them with finely grated Parmesan cheese.
When preparing everything in a single window of time seems next to impossible, let this mashed potatoes recipe come to your rescue. They can be made up to three days in advance, and will be just as creamy, buttery, and terrific to enjoy as if they had been made on Thanksgiving!
A hybrid approach to sweet potato casserole and dinner rolls, here’s an individualized way to offer guests a classic biscuit with sweet potato puree folded in and flowing with a dreamy marshmallow sauce down the sides.
Brimming with a glaze of butter, honey, brown sugar, and various seasonings, these softened carrots are a nutritious, not-too-filling way to colorfully round out any Thanksgiving meal.
The kids at the day’s festivities will especially love these adorable little turkeys assembled with chocolate-covered pretzels, Rolos, candy corn, and orange Tic Tacs!
This dessert’s a showstopper—rather than opting for a traditional pecan pie, merge a layer of fluffy and creamy cheesecake with it and finish it off with a rich caramel pecan sauce.
In case everyone’s too full to stomach a complete dessert quite yet, these tasty little pumpkin pie chocolate cups might be too tempting to resist in the interim. While she includes a link to the pumpkin pie butter recipe she recommends filling the cups with, you can try experimenting with a pumpkin butter mixed with creamy peanut or almond butter, too!
You can trust in the perfection here. From the homemade flaky crust to the carefully arranged balance of filling ingredients, pumpkin pie devotees will adore a slice (or two!) of this!
When a recipe’s relatively breezy to make and the resulting flavors are exceptional, it definitely gets our stamp of approval. Whether you choose to use a pre-made crust or make your own, this apple pie filling gives this iconic autumn fruit her proper place in the spotlight.
We couldn’t resist adding this fascinating twist on a pecan pie by including bourbon in the pie’s filling and using a crushed chocolate cookie sandwich (like Oreos) for the crust. The medley of flavors is decadent and fabulous!
For the chocolate-obsessed, a pumpkin or apple pie just won’t do. Enter this incredible French silk pie, a whipped sensation of a fluffy chocolate filling, fresh whipped cream, and a finely crushed Oreo crust.