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, ensure your holiday is as delicious as possible using our 101 best Thanksgiving recipes.
When your guests begin to arrive, it’s important to have something tasty to start soaking up the holiday cocktails. Some of the recipes can be made ahead of time, some are a breeze to prepare, and all of them are delicious!
Who doesn’t love a festive cheese ball? Serve it with crackers, pits bread, even apples and pears- a wonderful way to start Thanksgiving dinner.
Give your stuffed mushroom appetizer a makeover with a little kick and a dab of tart-sweet cherry to contrast with the salty bacon.
This warm and decadent appetizer is not difficult to prepare. Simply mix diced apples with dried cranberries, chopped pecans, and maple syrup to make the relish, then spoon it over the warm cheese wheel. Serve with slices of toasted baguette.
This vegetable platter is fun for the whole family and makes a perfect appetizer for guests to snack on before the big meal.
For a slightly different version of shrimp cocktail to serve guests, try grilling the shrimp! You can enjoy these hot or cold, so feel free to make these ahead of time.
Forget pigs in a blanket and make these zingy, creamy, puff pastry-coated jalapeño poppers instead.
These dates have a creamy peanut butter filling, taking a classic dish — devils on horseback — to a whole new level.
If there’s any occasion to go light on the appetizers, it’s Thanksgiving. These sweet and salty nuts are the perfect welcoming snack to go with cocktails while the turkey finishes up in the oven. Oh, and they’ve got bacon mixed with them.
Ok, so don’t actually forget about pigs in a blanket. They are a perennial favorite, after all — and so easy to make.
Crispbreads are a pantry item that can easily be transformed into a pre-dinner nibble with just a few ingredients. Top them with your favorite cheese, pate, or lightly dressed vegetables.
Here is a great no-fuss appetizer that will help make entertaining a breeze. A package of store-bought puff pastry, a few tomatoes and some aromatic garlic and herbs will result in an effortless nibble that looks elegant and delicious.
Try these savory, cheesy shortbread cookies for the perfect accompaniment to a pre-dinner drink.
Everyone loves a dip, right? This recipe is a go-to recipe that people will love dipping into.
The asparagus adds a lovely crunch and the delicate, salty flavor of the prosciutto to this simple and easy recipe.
While you’re preparing the bread for this year’s Thanksgiving dinner, twist a few slices of bacon in it. As we get closer to Christmas, you can bend them into candy cane shapes! Watch out for fights over the breadbasket this year.
Make individual challah rolls this year for a wonderful breadbasket full of soft rolls that everyone will adore.
Adding bacon and Cheddar to your cornbread mix gives something extra special to an American staple.
Good bread is beyond necessary for Thanksgiving — what is better than a soft fresh roll to mop up that extra gravy on your plate? As far as tradition goes, Parker House rolls are a famous Thanksgiving side. They are buttery and crispy on the outside but light and fluffy in the middle.
These pretzel rolls are salty and a little sweet and a perfect treat to make for Thanksgiving.
Sausage and rosemary, rolled into bread? Sounds divine! Another plus? This recipe only calls for six ingredients, so you won’t have to struggle home with a huge bag from the supermarket to make it.
This sweet loaf might have to make an appearance at the dessert table, but that’s no reason not to make it! It will fill your home with all of the aromas of autumn and be warm and ready by the time the main course is over.
What better way to give thanks and enjoy the holidays than with a sharing loaf. Come on — it’s in the name! Oh, and it’s full of cheese too! Di-vine!
Fluffy and served hot from the oven, these roll are sure to disappear quickly.
Not only are these delicious to eat, they’re also made with whole wheat flour and wheat germ so they’re actually healthier than the regular, white, dinner rolls.
Every Thanksgiving table must have some spuds upon it. Whether you like them sweet or savory, mashed or not, we have a recipe for you.
These baked sweet potatoes have the familiar sweet and crunchy flavor of a traditional sweet potato casserole with a few twists here and there like coconut milk, lime juice, and blueberries.
Use a dash of truffle oil in your mashed potatoes to transform them into a dish of pure decadence!
This dish combines nutty brown butter with butternut squash and mashed potato, making a tasty side dish that will brighten up the Thanksgiving table with its colorful appearance.
Candied yams go perfectly with turkey — their sweetness is simply irresistible and punctuates the turkey’s savory meatiness.
You can lighten your basic mashed potatoes by adding softly caramelized onions and plenty of fruity olive oil.
This casserole has a delectable, crunchy breadcrumb topping and transforms dull mashed potatoes into something fabulous. Make this the day before for an easy side that will satisfy without causing stress.
If you’re struggling to find room on the table, combine two favorites into one with this mashed sweet potato purée!
Give your mashed potato an extra punch of flavor with roasted garlic. After all, what’s a little garlic breath among friends?
Add a touch of warmth and spice to your roasted sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes roast beautifully on a low and slow heat that breaks down the starch, turning it into sugars for an extra-delicious sweet potato.
Roast small potatoes like fingerlings on a bed of salt for perfectly cooked spuds that are crispy on the outside and wonderfully tender on the inside.
Warm, cheesy, and perfectly seasoned, this dish will be the talk of your table. Cooked over low, gentle heat for three hours, these potatoes emerge soft and delicious.
Sweet potato casserole topped with marshmallows has been a favorite Thanksgiving side dish since the early 1900s. This featured recipe, however, is less sweet but no less tasty. Instead of marshmallows, this dish is adorned with a brown sugar pecan streusel.
Just when you thought mac and cheese was perfect… along comes salty smoked bacon to raise the bar.
This dish works best with thicker, sturdier pasta shapes that will hold up to the prolonged heat and moisture. The result will be an incredibly tender and cheesy mac and cheese that you can set proudly on your table this year.
Mac and cheese is a surprisingly common Thanksgiving side. This version is made with colby and Cheddar cheeses, and has a crisp, crunchy topping made with breadcrumbs and pine nuts.
Bundle asparagus in thick slices of bacon to bulk up your vegetable side dish. Roast until delicious.
This year, take a break from the gloopy green bean casserole and instead go with these bacony green bean bundles individually sized to make each guest feel special — not to mention, they’re wrapped with a beautiful bacon bow.
Caramelized sprouts, sweet dates, and bitter-sour kumquats up the ante when it comes to the infamous Brussels sprout, transforming the most misunderstood holiday vegetable and making it undeniably delicious.
For a slight variation on candied yams, try this caramelized butternut squash, instead.
This dish uses honey, butter, and an orange peel to infuse tender carrots with a bright and rich flavor. These delicious carrots are a great way to up the vegetable count at your table, too.
For the Citrus and Honey Glazed Carrots recipe, click here.
This simple corn pudding is made with corn, lime juice, butter, and paprika. The citrus and spice will enliven the otherwise overly rich meal.
This popular vegetable preparation goes great with turkey, but it's also excellent with lamb or roasted chicken. You can even bake portabella mushrooms stuffed with creamed spinach for a tasty Thanksgiving appetizer.
For the Creamed Spinach With Nutmeg recipe, click here.
Some might say it’s not Thanksgiving without a green bean casserole on the table; for those traditionalists, all is not lost. This green bean casserole is easy, creamy, and crunchy and will satisfy all.
These green beans are ready in less than 15 minutes and the additions of walnuts and lemon make this dish taste deceptively complex and fancy.
Throw all the ingredients, bacon included, into a slow-cooker this Thanksgiving. It’s easy, plus making use of your slow-cooker allows you more time to focus on the turkey.
“Blech, Brussels sprouts!” is a phrase uttered far too often. But these green brassicas can come alive when they are prepared the right way: with some crispy char and a drizzle of sweet maple syrup. Trust us: These Brussels sprouts will not last long. You could also add a few slices of bacon for another divine upgrade.
The sweet-salty-crisp combination of bacon and maple syrup will induce euphoria.
You can’t have turkey without stuffing, right? No matter what you’re looking for, we have the stuffing recipe for you.
If you’re already adding chocolate to your stuffing, go ahead and toss some bacon in that mix for good measure.
This recipe uses elegant shelled French chestnuts and rich brioche bread to create an indulgent, flavorful stuffing that's for more than just stuffing the bird with.
Swap cornbread for your usual loaf and see how just a small change can make all the difference. The classic stuffing flavors that everyone loves shine though with the cornbread, making it just a little different in the most delicious way.
Give everyone their own individual stuffing muffin that will be crispy on the outside and soft in the middle, perfect for mopping up any gravy!
A little bit of hot sausage and a bit of sweet to balance out the heat is essential in this simple but satisfying stuffing recipe.
The fattiness of the pork in this sausage stuffing is a lovely accompaniment to the lean turkey meat. Don’t be shy about adding herbs like rosemary, sage, and parsley; the aromatic herbaceousness will round out the flavor of the rich sausage.
This stuffing uses cornbread and corn kernels for an extra dose of that golden deliciousness that is corn.
We all know Italians love their sausage stuffing, but we thought they could do it even better with the addition of ingredients like rosemary and sun-dried tomatoes.
Unfortunately, when pressed for time, we can’t always cook everything from scratch, which is where The Daily Meal’s store-bought stuffing taste test will be an invaluable guide to remember when shopping for your Thanksgiving dinner. But if you do want to go homemade, definitely buy pre-cut dried bread cubes at the store and follow this straightforward recipe that flavors this simple dish with mushrooms and shallots.
Add pumpkin to your cornbread for a tasty, autumnal twist on a traditional fall favorite.
If you are a Reuben fan, then this is the stuffing recipe for you! Full of flavors from rye breadcrumbs, a plethora of herbs and spices, this stuffing also features plenty of cooked bacon, making it perfect for bacon lovers, too.
Sweet onions, mushrooms, sage, and cream come together to create a divine stuffing that is reminiscent of French onion soup. A perfectly decadent side dish to accompany a hearty Thanksgiving meal.
On a day when your oven is probably jam-packed, it makes sense to turn to another handy kitchen tool to free up some precious cooking real estate. Throw your ingredients into your slow-cooker two hours before the madness begins and rest easy knowing that warm, sweet, buttery cornbread will be ready in time for dinner.
Simple but so delicious, this bread pudding, savory and creamy, is sure to be a welcome addition to the table.
Even if you don’t actually like cranberry sauce, it’s got to be on the table. Maybe one of our tasty recipes will change your mind and have you piling it on by the spoonful — you never know!
It would take all of 10 seconds to pop open a fresh can of jellied cranberry sauce and slide it onto a plate, but if you want the real thing, how does a 10-minute cranberry relish sound? Check out this Thanksgiving hero’s guide to the perfect cranberry relish that whips together the tart condiment in just 10 minutes. If you are looking for a cranberry sauce that is a little outside the box, look no further than this recipe that combines frozen blueberries and cranberries for a sweeter sauce.
If you like you cranberry sauce simple and classic, then this is the recipe for you. With a hint of orange rind, a splash of red wine and tart fresh cranberries, this sauce is sure to pair well with all the other Thanksgiving fixings.
Zest up your cranberry sauce this holiday season by infusing it with ginger and onion.
For some, a chunky cranberry relish is desirable, and for others still, a smooth citrus-studded sauce is the norm — as in this recipe, where fresh cranberries are gently simmered with lime and honey.
Pinot noir, Chinese five-spice powder, and a hint of curry powder liven up a traditional Thanksgiving essential.
Gravy and turkey go hand in hand; find your ideal gravy recipe ahead!
Mix rendered bacon fat with flour to make a roux and then add half-and-half until the mixture is creamy, smooth, and awesome.
This simple and classic chardonnay gravy will go perfectly with your Thanksgiving bird!
Paleo is all the rage these days, and gluten sensitivity is also on the rise. What better recipe to have up your sleeve than a gluten-free, paleo-friendly gravy recipe, so everyone can douse their plates liberally with a great tasting sauce.
One of the best ways to get intensely flavorful gravy is to utilize the giblets and turkey neck that come packaged inside your store-bought turkey.
You may already have a favorite turkey recipe, one that is made one day a year, no questions asked. Is it time for a change? There’s no harm in looking — maybe one of our recipes will inspire you to make the best turkey yet.
Because, why would you not want to wrap your turkey in bacon? It keeps the breast from browning too quickly and adds a delicious, crisp bacon bonus to your plate.
Beer-can turkey is smoky, succulent, and tender — all you have to do is heat your grill or smoker to 300 degrees, shove a partially filled beer can up your bird’s, er, cavity, and cook the turkey to a perfect 160 degrees.
Deep-frying turkey may seem daunting, but this recipe will make the process easy and very doable. All you need is your bird, a couple of quarts of hot sauce, and a lot of oil.
If it’s good enough for Bobby Flay, it’s good enough for us. This herb roasted turkey is the one he serves at his New York City restaurant Bar Americain. It’s a simple, no-fail way to cook a fantastic turkey.
For a turkey that has perfectly crispy skin and meat that is not dry, turn to mayonnaise! You wouldn’t hesitate to use olive oil, and since mayo is made with oil, it possesses many of the same, wonderful crisping properties so there’s no need to hesitate when using it on your turkey this year.
This pan-seared turkey is topped with a gremolata made with parsley, sage, garlic, lemon, and crushed red pepper flakes.
This turkey is glazed with a sweet syrup, made from tangerine juice, ginger, and sage. It is festive, zingy, earthy, and delicious.
Roasted turkey tenderloins cook in a third of the time of a big Thanksgiving turkey but still have all those comforting turkey flavors.
To smoke a turkey, put the bird on a rack in a large, deep aluminum pan, and place the pan in the smoker. Smoke it for five hours and then serve one of the tastiest turkeys you will ever come across.
Spinach, feta, ricotta, scallions, parsley, and dill are mixed together then stuffed inside turkey breasts in this delicious dish.
If you don’t want to cook a whole turkey, a stuffing-filled turkey breast is the way to go. You get all of the great traditional taste of Thanksgiving without spending a fortune on (and devoting precious fridge space to) an enormous bird.
Chef Bryan Voltaggio has trouble believing those gorgeous Thanksgiving roasted turkey photos plastering magazine covers and computer screens taste as good as they look. So instead, he prefers to break down his turkey and cook each section in a way that ensures the best texture and flavor.
Butterflying a turkey might seem like a daunting task, but it makes the whole process of cooking a perfect turkey almost fool-proof. Your turkey will cook faster and the end result with be juicier and crispier than you could possibly imagine.
The yogurt-based turkey glaze makes a luxuriously thick basting liquid and lends a sweet and tangy flavor to the skin and meat.
Classic apple crumble is updated with bacon salted caramel. Do you need to read that again? I said: Bacon. Salted. Caramel.
This twist on the American classic adds bacon to the filling and crust, and then makes a beautiful bacon-weaved topper to complete the bacon trifecta.
Toasty brown butter and dates that have been cooked in espresso (!) cut the sweetness of a traditional pecan pie in this recipe that will rival all other pecan pie recipes.
It’s a no-brainer that you can save time when you buy a pre-made pie crust. All that is left to you is the filling. Consider baking your pie before the other dishes so it has time to set throughout the day.
Bacon goes perfectly with a maple bourbon pecan pie. Duh.
You don’t have to choose between pumpkin pie and cheesecake anymore! This incredible, over the top dessert will have you drooling before the first bite. It’s basically all of your traditional holiday desserts, rolled into one and topped with bacon. It’s sweet, salty, creamy heaven.
Ginger, bacon, and an almond crust make this red wine poached pear and cranberry tart extra delicious.
Apples tossed with sugar and cinnamon bake down to create a delightfully sweet and thick sauce. Also, the allure of the crispy and flavorful oat crumble is impossible to deny.
Try adding candied bacon to sweet potato pie. Just do it. Trust us and rembember pies are the ultimate Thanksgiving dessert!
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