Thanksgiving Feast: A Guide to Planning the Perfect Turkey Day Menu

One thought immediately crosses our minds when we store our Halloween costumes: what to serve (obviously) at the Thanksgiving table. Thanksgiving only comes once a year (or twice if you count all those leftovers the next day). A classic Thanksgiving meal is difficult to top, with plenty of potatoes, stuffing, turkey, and gravy to cover it all. And you must save room for dessert. We predict pumpkin pie and pecan pie cheesecake in your near future, so make sure to leave plenty of space for them (or just take one of those fantastic post-turkey naps before digging in again) Be sure to make this Thanksgiving the best one ever with the 50 classic Thanksgiving recipes.

We know that the turkey is the showstopper on the table, but were mostly here for the stuffing. Check out all of our favorite stuffing recipes; our classic stuffing is the undisputed champ of the bunch. Speaking of Thanksgiving sides, you can be confident that you’ll be enjoying the best mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and sweet potato casserole ever because we thoroughly tested our recipes. We’ll just say that having these leftovers for one of these enormous Thanksgiving leftover sandwiches will make you very happy.

If you’re still not full, make sure to finish your meal with lots of our best Thanksgiving desserts, like this creative Thanksgiving pie board.

For those who detest marshmallows in sweet potato casseroles, this recipe substitutes a buttery, brown sugar pecan topping that is still exquisitely sweet and delectable. Get the Sweet Potato Casserole recipe.

Our love for crescent roll recipes is no secret. Why make dough from scratch when everyone loves the canned stuff?! These are a fan favorite every fall. They always go bad in a matter of minutes, presumably due to the DELICIOUS combination of crunchy pecans, sweet-tart cranberry sauce, and salty, creamy brie.

A Thanksgiving meal is not complete until the turkey is on the table. Turkeys are large, so we get it, but they dont have to be intimidating. Brine the bird! This is the one thing you can do to make sure it stays juicy and doesn’t dry out in the oven!

For this recipe, we ditched the canned cream of mushroom soup and went for fresh instead. By sautéing mushrooms with sliced onion in butter, youre building a base with some serious depth of flavor. Cook the mushrooms enough that they get a little caramelized, and youll be good to go. Get the Green Bean Casserole recipe.

Every Thanksgiving dessert table needs pumpkin pie. Its basically the law. Weve got tons of tips and tricks for how to bake your best pie ever. Were big fans of making our own pumpkin spice blend too!.

Mashed potato casserole is the ultimate holiday side dish we’ve all been waiting for. It will inevitably make an appearance on your holiday dinner table at some point, but it is a delicious side dish to have any time of year. Its creamy, fluffy, and oh so cheesy.

Whatever you choose to do with Brussels, we especially enjoy treating them to the Thanksgiving fare, which calls for an abundance of butter, cream, and cheese. Even the most unassuming veggies become the star of the show when prepared this way; even skeptics will be requesting seconds.

We view the sweet potato casserole and roast turkey as sides to the stuffing when it comes to the large Thanksgiving meal. Thanksgiving dinner can be made or broken by the stuffing, and this one will undoubtedly elevate your holiday meal. Get the Classic Stuffing recipe.

Thanksgiving, a time for family, friends, and an abundance of delicious food. But with so many options, planning the perfect Thanksgiving menu can feel overwhelming. Fear not, fellow feast-makers! This guide will help you navigate the culinary landscape and craft a Thanksgiving spread that will delight your guests and leave you feeling like a culinary rockstar.

Step 1: Embrace the Classics

For many, Thanksgiving is synonymous with tradition The familiar flavors and aromas of classic dishes evoke warm memories and create a sense of comfort and joy. So, let’s start with the essentials:

  • The Turkey: The centerpiece of the Thanksgiving table, the turkey is a must-have. Choose a size that accommodates your guest list, and don’t forget the gravy!
  • Mashed Potatoes: Creamy, buttery, and oh-so-satisfying, mashed potatoes are a Thanksgiving staple. You can keep it simple or add a twist with roasted garlic or herbs.
  • Stuffing: This savory side dish is a Thanksgiving tradition. Whether you prefer it classic or with a modern twist, stuffing is a crowd-pleaser.

Step 2: Explore the Sides

Now, let’s add some variety and excitement to your Thanksgiving table Here are some ideas for side dishes that will complement your main course:

  • Green Bean Casserole: This creamy casserole is a Thanksgiving classic. You can make it from scratch or use a canned version for convenience.
  • Roasted Vegetables: Roasted vegetables are a healthy and flavorful addition to your Thanksgiving spread. Try a medley of carrots, Brussels sprouts, and sweet potatoes.
  • Cranberry Sauce: This tart and tangy condiment is the perfect accompaniment to turkey. You can make it from scratch or use a store-bought version.

Step 3: Don’t Forget the Sweets!

No Thanksgiving meal is complete without a decadent dessert. Here are some ideas to satisfy your sweet tooth:

  • Pumpkin Pie: This classic Thanksgiving dessert is a must-have. You can make it from scratch or use a store-bought crust and filling.
  • Apple Pie: Another Thanksgiving favorite, apple pie is a delicious way to end the meal.
  • Pecan Pie: This rich and nutty pie is a perfect alternative to pumpkin pie.

Step 4: Plan Like a Pro

With your menu finalized, it’s time to get organized. Here’s a handy schedule to help you stay on track:

  • One week before: Purchase non-perishable items and make your pie dough.
  • Two days before: Prepare your stuffing and cranberry sauce.
  • One day before: Assemble your pies and bake them.
  • Thanksgiving Day: Roast your turkey, prepare your side dishes, and set the table.

Bonus Tip: Delegate tasks! Thanksgiving is a time for family and friends to come together. Don’t be afraid to ask for help with cooking, setting the table, or cleaning up.

Remember: This is just a guide, feel free to customize it to your liking. Add your own personal touches, experiment with new flavors, and most importantly, have fun!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Additional Resources:

  • Allrecipes: How to Plan a Thanksgiving Menu
  • Martha Stewart: A Classic Thanksgiving Dinner Menu and an Hourly Schedule to Keep You on Track

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • What do I need for a turkey dinner?

For a classic turkey dinner, you will need:

  • A turkey

  • Gravy

  • Mashed potatoes

  • Stuffing

  • Cranberry sauce

  • Green bean casserole

  • Roasted vegetables

  • Pumpkin pie

  • Apple pie

  • How much turkey do I need?

Plan on 1-1.5 pounds of turkey per person.

  • How do I cook a turkey?

There are many ways to cook a turkey. You can roast it in the oven, smoke it, or deep-fry it.

  • What are some Thanksgiving side dishes?

Some popular Thanksgiving side dishes include:

  • Mashed potatoes

  • Stuffing

  • Green bean casserole

  • Roasted vegetables

  • Cranberry sauce

  • Sweet potato casserole

  • Cornbread

  • What are some Thanksgiving desserts?

Some popular Thanksgiving desserts include:

  • Pumpkin pie
  • Apple pie
  • Pecan pie
  • Cheesecake
  • Cookies

Cranberry Brie Pull-Apart Bread

what do you need for a turkey dinner

Pull-apart bread reaches a whole new level, thanks to brie and cranberry sauce. Use your favorite homemade sauce recipes, but store-bought works too if youre short for time.

Get the Cranberry Brie Pull-Apart Bread recipe.Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

what do you need for a turkey dinner

Baby bella mushrooms stuffed with garlicky, herby bread crumbs and plenty of cheese. When you stuff them ahead of time and bake them off right before serving, really, what could be better?

Get the Stuffed Mushrooms recipe.

Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese Bites

what do you need for a turkey dinner

These are a great finger food to pile onto a platter for your Thanksgiving dinner or holiday celebration. When they eat one, you’ll be astounded at how simple they are to make and how impressed everyone will be.

Get the Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese Bites recipe. Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

what do you need for a turkey dinner

Homemade gravy is an essential during the holidays, whether it’s drizzled over flaky biscuits, mashed potatoes, or roast turkey. Since it’s such a staple, its gotta be perfect—THIS is the recipe you need.

Get the Perfect Gravy recipe.

what do you need for a turkey dinner

Quick: Put down the instant potatoes, grab your favorite potatoes, a large pot, a masher, and get ready for comfort in a bowl. Name something better than creamy, buttery, steamy, perfect mashed potatoes! See? You can’t!

Get the Perfect Mashed Potatoes recipe.

Gordon Ramsay’s Thanksgiving Recipe Guide

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