35+ Essential Thanksgiving Recipes to Try This Year

updated Oct 26, 2021
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

Thanksgiving is just around the corner — do you have your menu planned? Whether you’re scaling back your holiday feast or still plan to cook up your usual spread (because those leftovers are totally irresistible!), we have over 35 Thanksgiving essentials that cover the classics and also offer something a little new.

You can make classic mashed potatoes, or give them an extra-indulgent twist with some cream cheese. 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. From the bird to the sides dishes, desserts, and drinks, we’re sharing the essential recipes you need memorable and delicious holiday dinner, and a few new ideas that will bring an extra dash of delicious to your Thanksgiving celebration.

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.

Stuffing

Mashed Potatoes

Cranberries

Green Beans

Sweet Potatoes

Bread & Salad

Bread is the star of some Thanksgiving tables, while 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.

Bread

Salad

(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?

Credit: Perry Santanachote

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.