Dinner is the centerpiece of Thanksgiving, one of the most widely celebrated national holidays in the United States and Canada. Though most associate the holiday with Pilgrims and Native Americans coming together, its roots are more generically tied to the tradition of harvest festivals which date back to pagan times and the autumn equinox — also known as the Festival of Thanksgiving.
The very first American Thanksgiving was celebrated by the Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoag Indians in 1621, but it was not until 1863 that Thanksgiving was proclaimed a national holiday by President Abraham Lincoln and assigned to the date we know now: the last Thursday of November.
For many, Thanksgiving is all about traditions — eating too much, unbuttoning pants that are suddenly too tight, watching football, enjoying parades, and avoiding drunk Uncle Larry. It’s about being surrounded by the people you love, even if they sometimes drive you crazy! Meaning, for better or for worse, that even if you aren’t at your grandma’s dining room table, sitting amidst your family, listening to them make inappropriate jokes and talk politics — you still want to eat as if you are.
This is why Thanksgiving is a holiday that's all about classic dishes: turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole; even such strange foods as Jell-O “salad” — however objectively absurd they may seem — have a place on some tables. It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without them.
This collection of 101 Thanksgiving recipes, organized by course (kind of) begins at the beginning with appetizers, moves swiftly into wonderful bread recipes you can make at home, and on to an entire section devoted to potatoes. Mashed, roasted, sweet, and not we have everything spud-related covered. Side dishes are next in line with macaroni and cheese, delectable Brussels sprouts and green bean casserole, then stuffing — an assortment of recipes that are sure to inspire! Cranberry sauce recipes flow into gravy recipes and then the grand moment arrives: turkey o’clock. Last but certainly not least, it’s time for dessert (and an abundance of pie) and then, perhaps, a tryptophan fueled nap.
It’s never too early to begin planning a delicious Thanksgiving menu. Now that the leaves are beginning to turn, what better way to spend a cozy afternoon than poring over the indulgent recipes we save for this special time of year? Whether you are cooking for an intimate group, or planning to feed an army, our 101 Thanksgiving recipes are an excellent resource to turn to.From classics with a twist to perennial Fall favorites, these are the recipes you need to make your Thanksgiving feast utterly delicious.
Rachael Pack contributed to this roundup.