30 Essential Thanksgiving Recipes to Try This Year

(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

Thanksgiving is just around the corner — do you have your menu planned? Whether you’re hosting this year, or have been asked to make a dish for a potluck Thanksgiving, we have 30 essential recipes that cover the classics and also offer something a little new.

You can make classic mashed potatoes, or brighten them up with a surprise vegetable. You can bake a classic pumpkin pie, just like Grandma’s, or spice it up with extra ginger and a graham crust. Green bean casserole, or green beans with lemony almond topping? Take your pick; we have all the essentials you need for a classic holiday, and a few new ideas that will bring an extra dash of delicious to your Thanksgiving celebration.

How to Make a Quick Turkey Gravy(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

Last week Faith shared The Kitchn’s outdoor Thanksgiving gathering in California, which I think perfectly highlights small changes to classic Thanksgiving dishes. Instead of making traditional stuffing, there was grilled bread dressing with cranberry and leeks. Instead of roasting a turkey, there was a grilled spatchcocked turkey. The same basic ingredients, just reimagined for the place and theme.

Of course, both the classic and unique Thanksgiving recipes should be given a big, hearty welcome on any table this month. The bird, side dishes, desserts, and drinks – pick and choose at your leisure. When Thanksgiving is about sharing food with people you love, anything you want to eat goes.

How to Cook a Turkey: The Simplest(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

The Bird

From the traditional method (put it in the oven and roast until it’s done) to a more innovative approach (spatchcocked! grilled!) we have you covered. Either way, though, consider dry-brining your turkey for maximum juiciness and flavor.

The Traditional

Something New

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

The Trimmings

The trimmings get the same traditional/traditional-with-a-twist treatment here. One simple and classic recipe, and then one with a little something new.


Mashed Potatoes


Green Beans

Sweet Potatoes

Bread & Salad

Bread is the star of some Thanksgiving tables; others push it to the side. Both of these recipes are simple, classic, and always welcome. And don’t forget salad — it’s rarely something with a serious tradition attached, so you can do whatever you like.



(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

The Dessert

There are a few classic essentials for the Thanksgiving dessert table — pumpkin pie, pecan pie. But why not switch one up this year and make an extra-spicy pumpkin pie, or pecan pie bars instead of the traditional?

Sparkling Apple Cider Sangria(Image credit: Maureen Petrosky)

The Drinks

Wine may be the traditional tipple on Thanksgiving but we have some more ideas. Sangria, hot punch, and a honey-rye pitcher cocktail are all welcome at a Thanksgiving happy hour.