55 Best Thanksgiving Recipes of All Time
Whether your Thanksgiving menu is down-home traditional or upscale gourmet, these are the best recipes for appetizers, salads, and sides to serve alongside your turkey.
Sweet Potato Crostini
Consider this the modern version of your grandma’s classic sweet potato casserole. Top toasted slices of baguette with mashed sweet potatoes, chopped pecans, and mini marshmallow to give everyone a taste of what’s to come with the main meal (don’t worry, Grandma!).
Butternut Squash Soup with Cinnamon
Warm-up after a rousing game of touch football in the backyard with this butternut squash soup, a classic Thanksgiving recipe. Let everyone serve themselves straight from the slow cooker or dish out individual bowls and sprinkle a little crystallized ginger and freshly cracked black pepper on top.
Cranberry Brie Pecan Pinwheels
Incorporate the delicious dairy into your Thanksgiving menu with these pretty pinwheels which are made with Brie, cranberry sauce, and pecans rolled up in a sheet of puff pastry.
Pumpkin Pie Dip
Don’t want to wait until dessert to get your pumpkin pie fix? Now you don’t have to, thanks to this delicious dip. Put it out as guests arrive with crackers and sliced apples for dunking. Then, when it’s dinner time, bring it to the table to use as a spread for that loaf of warm bread.
Cranberry Sauce Meatballs
Here’s a Thanksgiving recipe you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of sooner: Take your favorite appetizer (meatballs, obviously) and sauté them in cranberry sauce for a sweet and savory starter. You can make your own meatballs from scratch or, if you’re pressed for time, use a bag of frozen ones. Just make sure you prepare them according to the directions on the package first!
Best-Ever Stuffed Mushrooms
These sausage-stuffed mushrooms are a Thanksgiving recipe that’s a little more complicated than chips and dip but the extra effort will be well worth the looks on your guests’ faces when they bite into the creamy caps. You can also just make the filling on its own to put out with toasted bread or crackers.
Sage & Proscuitto Pinwheels
THIS is how you turn frozen puff pastry into an elegant appetizer: add Gruyere cheese, thinly sliced prosciutto, fresh sage, and a smear of honey mustard. You can even make the rolls beforehand (don’t slice the individual wheels yet), then put them in the freezer until you’re ready to bake them.
Bacon Cheddar and Swiss Cheese Ball
Can you go wrong with a cheese ball? Correct answer: No. And this impressive creation takes the traditional appetizer to a whole new level, with a blend of both mild Swiss and sharp cheddar and a crunchy coating of bacon bits, fresh parsley, pecans, and pimento peppers.
Mushroom and Smoked Gouda Puff
Make all your mushroom dreams come true with these party-worthy pastries. The smokiness of the Gouda combined with the earthiness of the portobellos and shiitakes adds delicious depth to the light, flaky crust. Did you know that mushrooms are one of the foods you shouldn’t wash before cooking?
Savory Party Bread
A pull-apart party bread like this one is finger food at its finest. This Thanksgiving recipe requires only five ingredients, including a round loaf of crusty sourdough bread, melted butter, and a pound (!!) of Monterey Jack cheese. Let guests go to town ripping off hunks of cheesy goodness—make sure you provide plenty of napkins!
Cranberry Cream Cheese Spread
Ten minutes is all it takes to (literally) whip up this creamy cranberry spread. With orange zest and dried apricots mixed in, you can smear it on savory crackers or pita chips for a starter or save it for dessert and pair it with ginger snaps.
Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad
In a sea of super-rich dishes, this salad will be a very welcome lighter option. The trick to getting the perfect texture is dressing it an hour before you’re ready to eat it. Let it sit covered in the fridge so the raw brussels sprout become tender and lose any bitterness. Oh no! Did you mess something up? Know these quick fixes for Thanksgiving recipes in a pinch.
Roasted Carrots with Thyme
Elevate this humble root vegetable by slicing the carrots in half lengthwise (you can even leave the leafy tops on for an extra trendy touch) and adding a drizzle of honey along with a pinch of thyme. Our mouths are watering already…
Three-Cheese Creamed Spinach
It’s a favorite at steakhouses and with a creamy blend of parmesan, mozzarella, and cream cheese, this warm gooey blend works just as well with Thanksgiving turkey. Top with crispy fried onions for a bit of texture.
Roasted Green Beans with Lemon & Walnuts
This Thanksgiving recipe deserves a spot on every holiday table, whether you eat the green beans in casserole form or in this roasted variation flavored with lemon zest and shallots. Add a little crunch by tossing on chopped toasted walnuts at the end.
Pumpkin & Cauliflower Garlic Mash
Mmm, tastes like mashed potatoes—except it’s not. This low-carb alternative, which is a gorgeous orange hue, swaps spuds for a whole head of cauliflower and a can of pumpkin. Whip in fresh thyme for flavor and cream cheese for texture.
Parmesan Roasted Broccoli
Even the pickiest of eaters (looking at you, kids’ table!) will happily snag seconds of this roasted broccoli dish. The secret to its success? A generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese before putting it in the oven. If you have a picky eater in your family, try these nutritionist-approved tips on how to get them to eat—and actually enjoy it.
Brussels Sprouts in Rosemary Cream Sauce
So creamy and oh-so-dreamy, the savory herb sauce is definitely what makes these Brussels sprouts. Fragrant fresh rosemary and minced garlic simmering in heavy cream will make your kitchen smell incredible, too—no scented candle necessary.
Agave Roasted Parsnips
OK Food Network-wannabe, we see you with your parsnips and leeks roasted in agave nectar. It may sound like something off a hip downtown restaurant menu, but since parsnips taste similar to potatoes, it’s sure to be a hit with everyone.
Roasted Apple Salad with Spicy Maple-Cider Vinaigrette
No sad salad here! Tossed with warm roasted apples, chopped dates, goat cheese crumbles, and a spicy cider vinaigrette (a splash of Siracha brings some heat), this Thanksgiving recipe adds some freshness to your table.
Waffle Iron Acorn Squash
When you can’t fit one more thing in the oven, break out the waffle iron to sear your squash. Not only does it free up valuable space, but it also leaves grill marks on the acorn squash for a prettier presentation. Tip: It’s best enjoyed drizzled with maple syrup! Memorize these other surprising cooking hacks for Thanksgiving using everyday objects.
Maple-Glazed Green Beans
Speaking of syrup, it’s delicious on more than just squash, too. Like these glazed green beans, where the sweetness is balanced out with salty bacon strips and a splash of boozy bourbon. Toss everything together right before serving.
Makeover Creamed Corn
It might have half of the calories and a third of the saturated fat of your usual creamed corn dish, but this lighter version still has all of the flavor. AKA, your guests will be totally shocked when you tell them that they can enjoy those seconds (or, uh, thirds) guilt-free.
Garlic-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Mustard Sauce
Brussels sprouts have been having a moment—and for good reason. Besides being one of these 10 cancer-fighting fruits and veggies, the little cabbages also make an addictive side dish when roasted with garlic and paired with a Dijon mustard sauce for dipping.
Red Wine Cranberry Sauce
The best part about making this sweet sauce? It’s the perfect excuse to pour yourself a glass of wine while you cook (hey, the bottle is already open, right?!).
Apricot-Apple Cranberry Sauce
If plain cranberry sauce just isn’t really your jam (pun intended!), try this fruitier version with apricots, apples, orange juice, and lemon zest. Freeze any leftovers for later—it’s great for spreading on a slice of whole-wheat toast or on a turkey sandwich. Plan everything out the right way with this Thanksgiving timeline.
Festive Cranberry Fruit Salad
Apples, bananas, cranberries, blueberries, mandarin oranges, strawberries, raspberries: too much of a good thing is definitely a good thing when it comes to this loaded fruit salad. Hint: If the fresh fruit at the store doesn’t look great in the off-season, use frozen berries instead.
Honey Whole Wheat Pan Rolls
Everyone loves fluffy Parker House rolls—and now you can make your own copycat version at home with this Thanksgiving recipe. We even dare to say that they’re better than the original, made with whole wheat flour for a heartier bite and drenched in sweet honey.
Consider yourself warned: You’ll definitely want to bake a double batch of this crave-worthy cornbread. Because as soon as your guests take a bite of the melt-in-your-mouth fluffiness, they’ll be reaching for at least two more squares, promise. Bonus: Serve with either butter or maple syrup for an added treat.
Grandma’s Sweet Potato Biscuits
Southern-style biscuits get a fall facelift with this yummy rendition. The new ingredient on the list? Mashed sweet potatoes. And to cut down on prep time while you’re busy making your other Thanksgiving recipes, try this hack: Set aside some sweet potatoes while you’re making the casserole to use for these biscuits. If you’re hosting this year, know these Thanksgiving hosting tips to save your sanity.
No-Knead Harvest Bread
To be honest, one of the worst things about making your own bread is the endless kneading…and kneading…and kneading. While it’s a great arm workout, it’s also probably not what you want to spend Thanksgiving morning doing. Which is where this hearty harvest bread comes in—no kneading necessary!
Crescent Dinner Rolls
These aren’t your everyday straight-from-the-tube rolls. Nope, these cute crescents are 100 percent made from scratch, from mixing the dough to creating each individual shape. The end result is worth the extra work, so roll up those sleeves and get started.
Irish Soda Bread
Don’t be fooled by the name—there’s no Coke in this traditional Irish bread. What it does have is baking soda (to help the dough rise faster), plus the mix-ins of your choice. Keep it plain if you prefer, or add dried fruit for a hint of sweetness or nuts for a delightful crunch.
Name one person who doesn’t like French bread. We’ll wait…Since everyone (or most everyone) loves a nice, crusty loaf, you really can’t go wrong baking your own for the big day. This recipe makes two 12-inch baguettes, so there’s more than enough to go around.
Bacon Walnut Bread with Honey Butter
Homemade bread is amazing on its own, but add in bacon, walnuts, and a thick layer of honey butter and it’s taken to a whole new level. The sweetness of the spread perfectly complements the savory dough, which even has blue cheese dressing folded in.
Sour Cream Fan Rolls
Make these fancy fan rolls and you’ll be crowned Martha Stewart of your family’s Thanksgiving celebration. Just don’t tell anyone how easy they were to make (you just stack strips of dough in a muffin cup) or that the secret ingredient is two cups of sour cream! For before, during, and after the meal—try these Thanksgiving traditions you’re going to want to make your own.
Seeded Butternut Squash Braid
Meet the bread that’s so beautiful, you almost don’t want to eat it (keyword: almost). And it turns out braiding dough, which has butternut squash for extra antioxidants, is just like braiding hair. Sprinkle on some pepitas (aka pumpkin seeds), slip it in the oven, and you’re good to go.
Sausage Bread Dressing
Sometimes basic is best, especially when it comes to your most beloved Thanksgiving recipes. This sausage stuffing is about as traditional as it gets, which means it’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser. While it’s fun to experiment with unique, modern dishes, try to incorporate a few staples as well (like this one!) so it truly feels like Turkey Day.
Badger State Stuffing
Where do we even begin with this remixed Thanksgiving recipe for dressing?! The ingredients list has that “everything but the kitchen sink feel,” with mushrooms, bacon, sauerkraut, and even beer. It’s a mish-mash of every Wisconsin favorite, but somehow it all comes together for a seriously satisfying side dish. Psst: Here are more Thanksgiving recipes with secret ingredients.
Pecan-Stuffed Butternut Squash
The turkey isn’t the only thing getting stuffed this Thanksgiving if your menu includes these scrumptious squashes. And don’t expect a savory stuffing—each half is filled with a mixture of cream cheese, butter, brown sugar, and pecans making it an uber decadent side dish.
Hearty Rice Dressing
It’s time for breadcrumbs to take a backseat. The star of this stuffing is wild rice, mixed with unique ingredients like diced pimientos, green pepper, ground pork, and a packet of French onion soup mix. To heat things up, don’t forget the Creole seasoning and cayenne pepper, too.
Grandma’s Corn Bread Dressing
Remember that double batch of cornbread we recommended you make? You can also use some of it for this delicious dressing. Crumble a few squares into a mixing bowl, then toss in onion and celery for crunch. If you’re craving more of Grandma’s good cooking, try one of these 20 recipes inspired by past generations.
There are two types of people in this world: those who love oysters and those who hate them. If you belong to the first group, you’ll want to serve up this seafood stuffing for the holiday, especially if you’re planning a romantic Thanksgiving meal for two. After all, oysters are one of the 19 natural aphrodisiacs.
Wild Rice Stuffed Squash
Gluten-free eaters, rejoice! You too can now enjoy dressing with this rice-based recipe. With no flour, no bread, and lots of veggies (including the acorn squash itself), it’s slightly healthier than the standard stuffing. For more gluten-free options for your holiday meal, check out this list of nutritionists’ favorite foods sans wheat.
Fruit + stuffing = the unlikely combo you never knew you needed until now. There’s just something about the sweet and sour flavors of the apples and cranberries mixed with the savory bread crumbs and herbs that is seriously addicting. You’re welcome.
Deluxe Mashed Potatoes
Why fix what ain’t broke? We hear you, which is why we recommend this must-make mashed potato recipe that’s everything you want in a bowl of buttery goodness.
Triple Mash with Horseradish Bread Crumbs
Three is definitely not a crowd in this mashed medley. Whip together potatoes, parsnips, and rutabaga, then add a little heat with a sprinkle of spicy horseradish breadcrumbs. Bonus: According to this research, eating hot foods can actually help you burn more calories (aka go ahead and treat yourself to seconds).
Gruyere Mashed Potatoes
Just when you thought mashed potatoes couldn’t get any better (or any creamier), this rich recipe went and added a hunk of Gruyere cheese. Not a fan of Gruyere? No worries, you can substitute Swiss.
Yep, you read that right—these potatoes are smashed, not mashed. All that means is that you leave the skins on the spuds instead of peeling them. To add a pop of color to the dish, opt for vibrant red potatoes instead of the standard Yukon gold.
Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes with Pancetta
Mashed potatoes, but make them Italian. That’s the inspiration behind this twist on the traditional with salty pancetta, fragrant garlic, and a healthy helping of olive oil. And with flavors that intense, you don’t even need to add gravy. Buon appetito!
Aunt Margaret’s Sweet Potato Casserole
Even sweet potato naysayers will beg for another bite of this classic casserole. After all, with a layer of mini marshmallows on top and a lot of butter and sugar inside, it’s more dessert than sidedish. One thing that makes this Thanksgiving recipe different (and a wee bit healthier) is that you add in whole grain oats, too. Try more easy Thanksgiving side recipes, too.
Pretzel-Topped Sweet Potatoes
For anyone craving something sweet and salty, these pretzel-crusted potatoes will hit the spot. A sprinkle of cranberries on top gives it a bit of tartness, too.
Skillet Hasselback Sweet Potatoes
Who said sweet potatoes had to be served in casserole form? And believe it or not, these stylishly sliced spuds taste even better than they look, drenched in melty butter and Parmesan cheese and sprinkled with fresh herbs and toasted whole wheat bread crumbs.
Buttery Sweet Potato Casserole
When the thought of peeling, boiling and mashing one more potato makes you want to cry this holiday season, reach for this classic Thanksgiving recipe. It tastes just like the traditional casserole but uses canned sweet potatoes instead for a simple, stress-free swap. Need even more ideas? Try this ultimate Thanksgiving menu for inspiration.