Food Network’s Thanksgiving Recipe Search Trends

People are creatures of habit, and Food Network has noticed a pattern in how Americans plan their Thanksgiving menu

Desserts were one of the first things American started thinking about when planning Thanksgiving, and these cheesecake recipe was the most popular.

How do you start planning your Thanksgiving menu? Although the general theme of the meal has been consistent over the years, people are always looking for new ways to serve the classics — a twist on standard mashed potatoes, a deep-fried turkey instead of a roasted one, or subbing in some roasted Brussels sprouts for the traditional steamed green beans. To give us insight into how Americans start planning their Thanksgiving, Food Network turned to the most valuable resource they have: the internet.

Food Network's Thanksgiving Recipe Search Trends

While we know that many Americans rely on family recipes or favorite cookbooks when planning their holiday menus, we also know that the Internet is a huge part of the planning process as well. Weeks, even months, before Thanksgiving, people begin searching holiday recipes online as they start to craft their holiday meal, and while this is no surprise, Food Network picked up on some pretty interesting themes in people’s Thanksgiving search habits.

By examining their site’s search data from 2010 and 2011, Food Network was able to determine what part of the Thanksgiving meal Americans start planning first. While appetizers coming in first on the list may not surprise you, did you know that the turkey is one of the last things people think about?
Here, we share these findings and more from Food Network’s Thanksgiving recipe search trends. These insights will tell you not only what Americans want to serve this year, but how and when they go about deciding what will be on the menu.


Anne Dolce is the Cook Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @anniecdolce