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Every Recipe You Need for a Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner source: popsugar.com
Vegetarian Thanksgiving: Meatless Vegetarian Yums
Vegetarian Thanksgiving: Meatless Vegetarian Yums

Every Recipe You Need for a Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving–a day of giving thanks for all the loved ones and opportunities you had this year, gratefulness for your health and well-being, and overall a time to be happy and be surrounded by the people you love most. For some that’s family, for others, it’s having great friends and company to share a delicious meal with. When it comes to Thanksgiving–whether you’re hosting it or someone else is–you’ll need to know everything about preparing the perfect Thanksgiving feast. If you fancy a meatless approach to Thanksgiving, you’ll want to checkout our vegetarian Thanksgiving article instead. Otherwise, you’re in the right place. Here’s a full list of classic Thanksgiving recipes you’ll need, plus some awesome make ahead versions that are so delicious, your friends & family won’t know the difference.


You’ve gotta have these, especially since the turkey might be delayed or if any other mishaps occur in the kitchen in the hours before dinner. If your party is watching the football game on this day, you better have some easy-to-eat finger foods to satiate your guests. We’ve got a great list of thanksgiving appropriate finger foods your guests will totally swoon over. Although these are not a must and not traditional, you’ll enjoy either making these for a Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving potluck, for feeding your guests with more than they’ve bargained for.

  1. Festive Cocktails

    holiday cocktail source: fitfoodiefinds.com

    Alright, this isn’t a total must, but it’s definitely nice to have festive cocktails when you’re entertaining for a special holiday such as Thanksgiving. Your guests will appreciate the effort you put in. On the other hand, alcohol is alcohol, and a couple bottles of your favorite wine or liquor will do the trick just fine.

  2. Deviled Eggs

    jalepeno popper deviled eggs source: spicysouthernkitchen.com

    These are a staple for nearly every special occasion, but you can totally spice things up by adding a few ingredients to update a classic appetizer.

  3. Fruit or Veggie Platter

    vegan crudite source: minimalistbaker.com

    You can’t go wrong with these! Especially with all the indulgent foods this day consists of, your health-conscious guests will appreciate the thoughtfulness of something light like fruit or veggies. Throw in some seasonal fruits like figs, persimmons–whatever you can find at your local market.

  4. Cheese Board

    ultimate cheese board source: joyfulhealthyeats.com

    Of course, this is a classic app that’s easy to put together and easy for guests to eat as they mingle around with family & friends. If you’re on a time crunch, you can find pre-made boxes of cubed cheese and crackers. Throw in some prosciutto and salami if you’re feeling fancy.

  5. Baked Brie

    baked-brie-cranberries-bacon source: fakeginger.com

    Okay, this is totally not something that people make for all occasions, so if you want to make things extra special–and also make this ahead–baked brie is the way to go. It’s super easy to do; all you need is a wheel of brie, some dried fruits of your choice, some honey, agave or even jam, herbs, etc., and you’ve got yourself a super fancy app your guests will love! Add a variety of crackers nearby for dipping and bake right before your guests arrive. Pause for ooh’s & ahh’s.

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Main Courses

  1. Turkey

    martha steward turkey recipe source: popsugar.com

    Turkey is definitely one that deserves a whole ‘nother article. Not knowing what you’re doing when it comes to the turkey can be a recipe for disaster (pun intended). All jokes aside, there are so many ways to perfect your turkey to give you a flavorful, moist, perfectly roasted bird, but the key here–no matter what–is to get the turkey to be moist throughout. Of course, this comes with ample amounts of butter (we’re not complaining)!

  2. Green Bean Casserole

    green bean casserole from scratch source: sallysbakingaddiction.com

    If you love tradition, don’t break it by omitting the green bean casserole. It’s a classic dish that speaks volumes of comfort. It’s also a great way to sneak some veggies onto your plate!

  3. Roasted Ham

    crock pot ham source: spendwithpennies.com

    Booked in advance, some honey roasted hams are a must-have at dinners. Surprise your guests with your own roasted ham! You can make it as sweet or as savory as you want, or add extra herbs and spices to flavor it your own way.

Side Dishes

  1. Cranberry Sauce

    cranberry sauce source: queenofmykitchen.com

    Cranberry sauce is a must have at any Thanksgiving dinner. If it’s absent, you just can’t call it a Thanksgiving dinner now, can you? There’s a bunch of variations of this staple, including an apple cranberry sauceorange cranberry sauce or even a vanilla bourbon cranberry sauce… but you’ll find the classic here.

  2. Gravy

    turkey gravy in a bowl with spoon source: centercutcook.com

    Ah, gravy. Not only is it required for most mashed potato recipes, but it’s also delicious when paired with a nice slice of turkey, cranberry sauce, and even some ham. We’re talking about that finishing touch on your Thanksgiving stars.

  3. Dinner Rolls

    dinner roll recipe source: yummyhealthyeasy.com

    Usually you can just pick up a pack of dinner rolls from the store, but isn’t this holiday all about making things with love? Well, the way we see it, that’s only the half of it. If you don’t have the time to make dinner rolls from scratch, a great alternative is grabbing a store-bought pack, brushing the tops with butter, and warming them in the oven right before guests arrive. No one will ever know the difference!

  4. Mashed Potatoes

    mashed potato recipe source: laurenslatest.com

    What would any great american dinner be without a heaping pile of mashed potatoes on your plate? We’re talking super buttery, creamy, and even CHEESE-y mashed potatoes. GET IN MY BELLY.

  5. Stuffing

    classic thanksgiving stuffing recipe source: averiecooks.com

    Of course, the stuff that makes the day unique… seriously what other holiday do you have stuffing? It’s a total must to company the rest of your meal.

  6. Sweet Potato Casserole

    sweet potato casserole source: dinneratthezoo.com

    There are so many ways to prepare a classic sweet potato dish. The traditional way is to serve up a sweet potato casserole. Is it a side dish or a dessert? Both?


Cake? Yeah, we’re good on that–let’s save that for birthdays. Instead, served up for dessert on Thanksgiving is none other than… PIE. Who can resist the buttery, crisp crust of a good pie, and the sweet decadent filling that goes with it? There’s something about a pie that feels like home, wherever ‘home’ may be for you. If you want to veer off the traditional route, fall desserts inspired by  fall flavors like pumpkin spice, cinnamon apple, and others are a great way to top off your Thanksgiving meal.

  1. Pecan Pie

    pecan pie recipe source: iambaker.net

    This staple Thanksgiving dessert recipe will satisfy any sweet tooth. Don’t end your meal without a sweet & sticky slice!

  2. Pumpkin Pie

    pumpkin pie recipe source: sallysbakingaddiction.com

    Of course, the fall favorite, pumpkin pie is something you need to be serving at any fully stocked dessert table. We’re a sucker for the classics, and it doesn’t get more classic than pumpkin pie. Making your own is the icing on the cake, so to speak. If you’re going to have pumpkin flavored anything, it better be pumpkin pie.

  3. Apple Pie

    Homemade Organic Apple Pie Dessert Ready to Eat source: 12tomatoes.com

    Nothing like a delicious flaky, buttery crust and luscious apple filling to finish off your Thanksgiving meal. This is def a classic you can’t miss.