Classic Thanksgiving Menu and Recipes

From Turkey to Dessert: A Classic Thanksgiving Menu With Recipes

thanksgiving dinner dishes
LauriPatterson/Getty Images

This is a classic Thanksgiving dinner menu with many choices, including turkey, ham, popular side dishes and potato recipes, fruit and vegetable salads, cranberry sauces and relishes, bread and rolls, and extra special desserts.

Choose from the recipes below to create a menu for a memorable Thanksgiving feast.


Watch Now: The Easiest and Most Elegant Way to Carve a Turkey

  • 01 of 27

    Thanksgiving Roast Turkey: Stuffed or Unstuffed

    roast turkey
    Claire Cohen

    The roast turkey is the quintessential main dish choice for most traditional Thanksgiving feasts. This roast turkey recipe includes directions for defrosting, stuffing, trussing, seasoning, and roasting. Dress it up with herbs or leave it plain. Make sure you buy a large enough turkey to feed your guests. Some guests might want to take some leftovers home, so always err on the side of more.

  • 02 of 27

    Brown Sugar Glazed Baked Ham

    brown sugar glazed baked ham
    Claire Cohen

    If your family isn't a fan of turkey, or you just like to have a few main dish options, we have the perfect dish for your feast. This maple and brown sugar glazed ham is an excellent choice.

  • 03 of 27

    Homemade Oven-Baked Stuffing With Fresh Sage

    bread dressing with fresh sage
    The Spruce

    This fragrant, moist bread dressing with sage is a Thanksgiving classic, and there are many extra flavor options. Add some chopped nuts, raisins, diced apples, or dried cranberries.

  • 04 of 27

    Cornbread Dressing

    Dressing or Stuffing
    Diana Rattray

    Old-fashioned cornbread dressing is always a hit, and this Southern-style dressing is sure to please. The dressing includes cornbread and soft breadcrumbs along with chopped vegetables and herbs.

    Continue to 5 of 27 below.
  • 05 of 27

    Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

    roasted garlic mashed potatoes
    Diana Rattray

    These extra-special garlic mashed potatoes are loaded with flavor. To save time and oven space, roast the garlic the day before. Add chopped fresh chives or parsley for extra color and flavor.

  • 06 of 27

    How to Make Perfect Mashed Potatoes

    mashed potatoes
    Molly Watson

    These step-by-step instructions are especially helpful if you are a novice home cook, and the lump-free, delicious mashed potatoes will be a hit with your friends and family.

  • 07 of 27

    Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

    Instant pot mashed potatoes (pressure cooker mashed potatoes)
    Diana Rattray

    If your stovetop is covered with other dishes and the oven isn't an option, use the Instant Pot to cook your potatoes. These Instant Pot mashed potatoes are cooked in a fraction of the time, leaving you free to work on other things.

  • 08 of 27

    How to Make Amazing Turkey Gravy

    basic turkey gravy
    The Spruce

    Turkey and mashed potatoes without gravy is just wrong. This turkey gravy is rich and delicious, and will not disappoint. The pan drippings from turkey (or chicken) provide the flavor. Turkey stock is usually available around Thanksgiving time, but feel free to use chicken stock or water if you can't find it.

    Continue to 9 of 27 below.
  • 09 of 27

    Sweet Potato Casserole With Brown Sugar Pecan Topping

    sweet potato casserole

     Diana Rattray

    Sweet potatoes are a traditional side dish for many, and this sweet potato casserole is an incredibly delicious choice. It can even be made with canned yams in a pinch. If you don't have room in the oven, try this easy Instant Pot pressure cooker version!

  • 10 of 27

    Sautéed Sweet Potatoes

    Sautéed sweet potatoes.
    The Spruce

    These garlic sautéed sweet potatoes are super easy, and they taste great. They are simply sauteed in garlic-flavored olive oil. And they're vegan-friendly!

  • 11 of 27

    Candied Yams With Marshmallows

    candied yams with marshmallows
    Diana Rattray

    These candied yams with marshmallows are another popular way to enjoy sweet potatoes.

  • 12 of 27

    Bacon Roasted Brussels Sprouts

    Bacon roasted brussel sprouts

    The Spruce


    Brussels sprouts are another holiday favorite. These bacon roasted Brussels sprouts are a simple preparation, yet they're special enough for a holiday feast.

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  • 13 of 27

    Baked Maple and Brown Sugar Butternut Squash

    maple and brown sugar butternut squash
    The Spruce

    Maple syrup and brown sugar team up in this delicious squash dish. Even your most ardent squash-haters will find themselves asking for seconds!

  • 14 of 27

    Cauliflower Cheese Side Dish

    cauliflower and cheese casserole
    The Spruce

    A tasty cheddar cheese sauce is featured in this cauliflower and cheese casserole. The dish is prepared on the stovetop and then finished in the oven.

  • 15 of 27

    Easy Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots

    brown sugar glazed carrots
    The Spruce

    Glazed carrots are so easy to make, and this version is one of our most-requested Thanksgiving side dish recipes.

  • 16 of 27

    Sweet and Savory Apple, Blue Cheese and Fig Salad

    apple fig salad
    Leah Maroney

    This apple, blue cheese, and fig salad is an autumn celebration, and it's super easy to throw together. Add this delightful salad to your Thanksgiving dinner menu.

    Continue to 17 of 27 below.
  • 17 of 27

    Colorful Autumn Salad

    Thanksgiving Salad
    Evi Abeler

    This is another inviting salad with autumn flavors. Dried fruits, bacon, and goat cheese are tossed with baby spinach and romaine. The balsamic and shallot dressing is the perfect finish.

  • 18 of 27

    Broccoli Salad With Bacon

    Broccoli Salad With Bacon

    The Spruce

    This broccoli salad is always a hit, and it goes well with just about any main dish. Add some walnuts or sunflower seeds for extra crunch.

  • 19 of 27

    How to Make Cranberry Sauce

    cranberry sauce
    Leah Maroney

    Once you make this cranberry sauce with fresh cranberries, you'll never go back to canned. It's just that easy! And make sure you buy plenty of fresh cranberries to freeze, because, unlike most fruits, they are seasonal and aren't available year-round. You can also use the Instant Pot or Crock Pot to make a delicious cranberry sauce.

  • 20 of 27

    Vanilla Citrus Fruit Salad

    citrus fruit salad
    Leah Maroney

    With its combination of oranges, grapefruit, and pineapple, this citrus fruit salad goes beautifully with baked ham.

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  • 21 of 27

    Frozen Pineapple and Cranberry Salad

    cranberry pineapple salad with walnuts
    Diana Rattray

    Every family has their food traditions, especially when it comes to Thanksgiving salads. This frozen pineapple and cranberry salad is always popular. If you are looking for a gelatin salad, you might like this cranberry Jello salad with raspberry flavored gelatin and cream cheese.

  • 22 of 27

    Parker House Rolls

    Parker House Rolls
    The Spruce

    These soft, delicious Parker House yeast rolls are folded to hide a buttery center. The original recipe was created by the Parker House Hotel in Boston and goes back to the late 1800s.

  • 23 of 27

    Soft Pumpkin Cloverleaf Rolls

    Pumpkin Cloverleaf Rolls

    Diana Rattray

    Pumpkin purée gives these cloverleaf rolls bright color and flavor, and chopped pumpkin seeds add texture.

  • 24 of 27

    Classic Autumn Pumpkin Pie

    Diana Rattray

    This classic pumpkin pie contains just the right blend of spices and creaminess. It's the perfect pumpkin pie for a Thanksgiving dessert table.

    Continue to 25 of 27 below.
  • 25 of 27

    Pumpkin Crème Brûlée

    pumpkin creme brulee
    Diana Rattray

    This pumpkin crème brûlée should be on your holiday dinner menu. Aside from being incredibly delicious, it can be made a day in advance. When it's time for dessert, all you have to do is take it out of the fridge, top it with sugar, and torch it to make the burnt sugar topping.

  • 26 of 27

    How to Make an Apple Pie

    homemade apple pie
    Leah Maroney

    These step-by-step instructions make it a snap to make a homemade apple pie. If you would rather skip a top crust, take a look at this apple crisp pie.

  • 27 of 27

    Super Moist Vegan Carrot Cake

    vegan carrot cake
    The Spruce

    This amazing moist carrot cake is so delicious, you won't believe it is vegan! The cake is finished with a vegan "cream cheese" frosting. If you have vegan guests or family members, this carrot cake is an excellent choice.