15 Vintage Thanksgiving Dishes You Should Cook This Year Gallery

Our society loves vintage things — clothes, music, sports cars, wine — but what about Thanksgiving dinner? It may seem like Thanksgiving is one of those classic, never-changing meals, but over the years, some dishes that were once standard on the Thanksgiving table have fallen out of favor. Since Thanksgiving is the American holiday most built around tradition, we've dug out recipes for some good, old-fashioned holiday fare to give your Thanksgiving dinner flavors from the past.


Fruit salad is a classic vintage party food, and no fruit salad is more iconic than ambrosia. Sweetened pineapple, mandarin oranges or fresh orange sections, miniature marshmallows, coconut, and maraschino cherries combine for a sweet side dish.

OK, maybe make these ambrosia-inspired cookies instead.

Baked Apples

Think of it as an apple pie without the crust. Yeah, it's kind of a bummer, but if you're looking to cut carbs, this vintage Thanksgiving recipe is the perfect healthy dessert.

Click here for the Baked Apple recipe.

Cheese Ball

The cheese ball is a perfect savory snack to keep your stomach from grumbling too loudly while you wait for the turkey to get on a table. Throw it back with this pecan-crusted appetizer.

Click here for the Appetizer Cheese Ball recipe.

Chestnut Stuffing

Today, people tend to reinvent this basic side dish by making quinoa stuffing or brown rice stuffing, but what happened to that classic cubed bread stuffing with crumbled chestnuts? This recipe uses elegant shelled French chestnuts and rich brioche bread to create an indulgent, flavorful stuffing.

Click here for the Chestnut Stuffing recipe.

Coca-Cola Glazed Ham

Some people live for Thanksgiving Day turkey. But not everyone is a fan of this particular piece of poultry. Try replacing your juicy turkey with a baked ham slathered with a Coca-Cola glaze for your main course this year.

Click here for the Coca-Cola Glazed Ham recipe.

Corn Pudding

Many of us take the simple route, with frozen vegetables that we instantly heat up and plop on a plate, but how often do people rave over your re-heated corn? Take it back to a classic this year with a rich creamy pudding that truly deserves its place on the plate.

Click here for the Corn Pudding recipe.

Cranberry Sauce Ring

A quivering mass of purple quickly spooned out of a can of cranberry sauce doesn't look terribly appetizing. If you're not going to make homemade cranberry sauce, try molding your canned sauce into a ring for a more aesthetically pleasing presentation. These cranberry rings used to be an incredibly popular tradition, and your parents will love seeing a throwback on your table.

Want to make your own cranberry sauce? Here's how.

Deviled Eggs

The deviled egg has come and gone as a popular party appetizer, but we love these tangy little treats more than ever.

Click here for a classic deviled eggs recipe.

Green Bean Casserole

OK, this dish is still a standard on most Thanksgiving Day tables, but we're not talking about a dish made with freshly-picked green beans and frizzled, real onions. We're talking about that casserole that comes straight from canned goods. Oh, yeah.

Click here for the Easy Green Bean Casserole recipe.

Indian Pudding

This traditional pudding dish was brought to America by the first English settlers. The American recipe was developed using cornmeal, since flour wasn't available to early colonists, along with molasses, ginger, cinnamon, and raisins to create a sweet, gooey pudding that goes perfectly with vanilla ice cream for a Thanksgiving dessert.

Click here for the Indian Pudding recipe.

Kidney Bean Salad

Bean salad is a true old-school dinner dish. But we think the hearty beans and light flavors of cucumber, tomato, and parsley will act as a nice appetizer before the big dinner.

Click here for the Kidney Bean Salad recipe.

Mincemeat Pie

If you've never tasted mincemeat pie, you're missing out. This pie combines cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg flavors for a satisfying sweet and savory bite. Though mincemeat pie's origins stem from over 500 years ago in England, Americans quickly adopted a love for mincemeat pie, and have served it at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners for years.

Click here for the Mincemeat Pie Recipe.

Relish Tray

American restaurants of an earlier era always brought a relish tray to the table along with a basket of bread. This was simply a chilled glass or metal bowl, usually oval in shape, in which trimmed pieces of raw carrot, celery, and radish, sometimes accompanied by olives, sat on a bed of crushed ice. No dip, no ranch dressing. Though relish trays are still a popular Thanksgiving tradition in some corners of the United States, some have never heard of this tradition. Improvise if you want, and modernize yours with strips of bell pepper, fennel, or some other favored vegetable. You could also add some saffron-pickled cauliflower for extra flair.

Shrimp Cocktail

This is a classic appetizer that has faded a bit from the limelight but deserves a big comeback. Think about it: Shrimp cocktail is quick to make, delicious, and makes for easy clean-up.

For the Shrimp Cocktail recipe, click here.

Sweet Potato Meringue Pie

You don't see meringue much anymore, so bake some up this Thanksgiving. Creamy sweet potato custard is baked inside a pie crust and then topped with a marshmallow-like toasted meringue topping. But if these recipes are a little too out-there for you, just stick to these classic 101 Thanksgiving recipes.

For the Sweet Potato Meringue Pie recipe, click here.

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