35+ Essential Thanksgiving Recipes to Try This Year

updated Jul 17, 2023
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

Thanksgiving is just around the corner — do you have your menu planned? Whether you’re cooking for two or 20, 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 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 side dishes, desserts, and drinks, we’re sharing the essential recipes you need for a memorable and delicious holiday dinner, and a few new ideas that will bring an extra dash of delicious to your Thanksgiving celebration.

Turkey Recipes

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.

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Classic Roast Turkey for Thanksgiving
Here is our super basic, super simple, super easy recipe for roasting a super beautiful turkey.
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Roasted Turkey Breast
Turkey breasts are a cinch to roast — no flipping, no basting, no fuss. Here's a recipe to show you how to cook it, step by step.
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Sweet and Smoky Turkey Tenderloin
If boneless, skinless chicken breasts are regularly featured on your weeknight menu, consider turkey tenderloin as an equally versatile alternative.
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Easy Turkey Gravy

The deeply browned and rich scrapings from the bottom of the roasting pan can turn into the perfect turkey gravy.

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Bourbon-Glazed Roast Turkey
A recipe for turkey roasted with a brown sugar and orange compound butter and finished with a bourbon whiskey glaze.
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Black Pepper & Maple Roast Turkey
Spicy black pepper and sweet maple syrup mix together in a compound butter to flavor this easy roast turkey.
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Bacon-Wrapped Turkey
Bacon-wrapped turkey makes a flavorful turkey and creates a stunning, crispy “skin”
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Grilled Spatchcocked Turkey

Even if you live in a colder climate, don’t let the weather stop you from trying grilled turkey; it’s both easy and delicious.

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How to Roast a Turkey in an Oven Bag
A step-by-step guide on how to season and roast a turkey in an oven roasting bag.
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Roast Stuffed Turkey with Cornbread Chestnut Dressing Recipe
The aroma of roasted chesnuts combined with cornbread, sage, thyme, and a hint of bay leaf is just as magical as it is delicious.
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Deep-Fried Turkey Recipe
Because turkeys cook twice as fast as deep-fried (than when traditionally roasted), you will never eat juicier, tender meat wrapped with delicous crackling skin.
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Smoked Turkey Recipe
Smoking your turkey gives the mild-flavored meat a boost of flavor, the low cooking temperature helps retain the juices, and smoking frees up your oven for other dishes.
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Miso-Butter Spatchcocked Turkey with Mushroom Gravy Recipe
This turkey is spatchcocked, flavored with a miso butter, then cooked on high heat for a flavorful Thanksgiving bird that's ready in an hour.
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Citrus-Herb Roast Turkey
A citrus and fresh herb compound butter flavors this easy roast turkey and also turns the tasty drippings into gravy.
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

Thanksgiving Sides

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.

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The Best Easy Stuffing
The easiest 5-ingredient stuffing, thanks to smart supermarket shortcuts.
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How To Make Stuffing
Like the boxed stuff, but so much better. This is the only stuffing recipe you'll need on Thanksgiving — or any day.
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Gluten-Free Stuffing
Gluten-free stuffing has nearly the same DNA as traditional stuffing: onions, celery, butter, fresh herbs, broth, eggs. Only here, we use gluten-free sandwich bread instead of wheat bread.
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How To Make Stuffing in a Slow Cooker
Classic stuffing made in the slow cooker, filled with homey flavors and plenty of crispy, toasty edges.
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Vegan Stuffing
This herby, buttery stuffing recipe is a plant-based delight that can deliciously cater to everyone at the table.
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How To Make the Best Sausage and Herb Stuffing
Savory sausage, toasted sourdough bread, and fresh herbs make this stuffing is the best part of the holiday meal.
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How To Make Wild Mushroom Stuffing
This stuffing is packed with in-season wild mushrooms and an earthy blend of herbs, and is so cozy and comforting it will warm you right up.
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Classic Corn Bread Dressing
You won't find an ounce of added sugar in this classic cornbread dressing! This cornbread dressing tastes of corn, butter, and a little tang from buttermilk.
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Grilled Bread Dressing with Cranberries and Leeks

This stuffing is inspired by Judy Rodgers’ legendary warm bread salad served with her perfect roast chicken at Zuni Cafe in San Francisco.

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Oyster Dressing
Oyster dressing is a Southern-style side with briny Gulf oysters, savory mushrooms, and crusty bread.
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The Best Mashed Potatoes
Here's our recipe for how to make the best classic mashed potatoes, with recommendations for potato type, dairy additions, and mashing methods.
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Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes
Cream cheese upgrades classic mashed potatoes into the creamiest, dreamiest side.
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Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Mash tender Yukon Gold or russet potatoes with garlic-infused milk and melted butter for the creamiest garlic mashed potatoes.
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Vegan Mashed Potatoes
These garlicky potatoes are so creamy and lush — without a single drop of cream or butter.
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Cranberry Sauce
A recipe for simple cranberry sauce made with fresh or frozen cranberries, sugar, and water.
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Citrus-and-Fig Cranberry Sauce Recipe
Citrus and figs amp up this bursting-with-flavor cranberry sauce.
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Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce
This is a classic "dump it and forget it" recipe that will show you how to make the easiest batch of cranberry sauce to feed the whole crowd.
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Classic Green Bean Casserole
Learn how to make green bean casserole using the right grocery store shortcuts to rival the classic back-of-the-box recipe.
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Lemony Green Beans With Almond Breadcrumbs

Here’s a Thanksgiving-worthy alternative that’s fresh, zippy, and a nice counterpoint to all the other rich foods on the holiday table.

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Vegan Green Bean Casserole
The fall time casserole we know and love gets dairy-free makeover, and a grown-up upgrade with homemade crispy shallots. The number of pans required to make it? Just one.
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The Absolute Easiest 5-Ingredient Sweet Potato Casserole
You know and love sweet potato casserole. Here's how to make it even easier.
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Stovetop Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Maple and Pecans

This is an easy way to make sweet potatoes that are really intense in flavor. The toasty maple drizzle really is the star of the show, and the pecans are a perfect match for it.

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Sour Cream Balsamic Sweet Potatoes

With brown sugar, balsamic, and sweet potatoes, these potatoes lean on the sweeter side, but the tang of balsamic and sour cream give it a rich balance.

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Mashed Sweet Potatoes
An easy, step-by-step guide to making creamy mashed sweet potatoes sweetened with maple syrup.
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Breads and Salads

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.

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Easy Buttery Crescent Rolls
Flaky, buttery crescent rolls ready in less than an hour.
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Buttermilk Biscuits

The terms “tender” and “flaky” are often used together to describe baked goods like pie dough and biscuits, but very few biscuits are both. These are.

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Potato Dough Rolls

These are simple, enriched rolls, tarted up with butter, eggs, and sugar, which means they are never dry.

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Thanksgiving Slaw

This easy, colorful slaw won’t wilt like other green salads and can sit out for a while, making it a great addition to the Thanksgiving buffet.

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Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Apples, Hazelnuts & Brown Butter Dressing
This salad takes a little more time to make than the usual shaved sprouts salad, but the extra work is worth the flavor and texture combination.
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Roasted Cabbage Slaw with Hazelnuts & Lemon

This salad is warm and roasted, with the sweet, smoky edge that a detour under the broiler brings to cabbage.

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Credit: Joe Lingeman


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?

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Easy Pumpkin Pie

With only five ingredients, this pie might actually be easier than buying one.

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Ginger Pumpkin Pie with Graham Cracker Crust
A new favorite take on pumpkin pie made with a graham cracker crust and a heaping spoonful of fresh ginger.
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Apple Pie
An easy, foolproof recipe for when you want a warm slice of apple pie as soon as possible.
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How to Make a Classic Dutch Apple Pie
A classic Dutch apple pie with a crunchy streusel topping.
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Cranberry Tart with Nut Crust

The tart is a spot-on combination for fall: the assertive nutty flavor of the crust paired with the tart berries and the maple sugar is the perfect dessert for Thanksgiving.

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Maple Pecan Pie Bars
These maple pecan pie bars bring you all the flavor of pecan pie, with none of the fuss.
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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.

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Fall Sangria
The secret to this ultimate make-ahead cocktail is peak-season fruit.
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Sparkling Apple Cider Sangria

The recipe looks sophisticated but it’s simple, and that’s something we can all be grateful for with the endless to- do list during the holidays.

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Mulled Cranberry Apple Cider

A recipe for hot mulled cider that is made in the slow cooker and perfect for fall and winter gatherings.

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The Rye & Honey

This pretty pitcher drink is a serious sip that captures the golden brown colors (just like the leaves!) and warm spicy notes of fall.

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