Best Thanksgiving Dishes

Best Thanksgiving Dishes: Finding the Perfect Thanksgiving Dishes for You

As much as Thanksgiving is known for being thankful, it is also known for food and family. There is just something about gathering around a table of delicious Thanksgiving dishes with family and friends that brings out the thankfulness. And while those around your holiday table should be thankful for any food that is there, when it is dishes from this list of the best Thanksgiving dishes, they will be all the more thankful.

This list of the best Thanksgiving dishes will cover all of the necessities and maybe even a few dishes you hadn’t considered before. You will be able to pick and choose a couple of them or use this list for your entire Thanksgiving Day food lineup.

Either way, this list of popular Thanksgiving dishes will have all of your food needs covered.

While you are waiting for Thanksgiving dinner to be ready, make sure to keep your guests happy with a few appetizers, snacks, and mixed drinks (adults only). Just make sure that everyone is keeping their appetite for the main courses!

And, if you are with a large group of extended family, try out some of these icebreakers to keep things fun and interesting. And of course, our lists of the best card games and board games will keep the fun times rolling.


Top 25 Thanksgiving Dishes:



Mashed Potatoes

1. Mashed Potatoes

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Cook Time: 45 Minutes

About Thanksgiving Dish: While mashed potatoes are likely eaten year-round for most people, they remain one of the most quintessential Thanksgiving sides. Preparing the potatoes consists of four easy and essential steps. First, cube the potatoes so that they will cook quickly and evenly. Second, boil the potatoes only until a knife or fork can pierce them easily.

Next, drain your potatoes, add them back into the pot, and hold over a low heat burner for a minute or two to let some of the steam and moisture evaporate. Lastly, mash your bowl of starchy goodness and add a few ingredients to bring all the perfect flavors together.




2. Turkey

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Cook Time: 3 Hours and 30 Minutes

About Thanksgiving Dish: The Thanksgiving turkey is perhaps the most iconic piece of the fall feast. Whether you’ve cooked a turkey a hundred times before or this is your first time, this recipe is worth trying as it is one of the best Thanksgiving recipes out there. Not only is it simple and easy to follow, but it removes all of the complicated and extra things people tend to do to their turkeys and explains why each of them is either necessary or unnecessary.

For example, she suggests that brining the turkey is ineffective and simply removes heat from your oven. Additionally, stuffing your turkey with dressing will leave the turkey dry. Sometimes less is more, and this recipe is an excellent example of that.



Stuffing and Dressing

3. Classic Stuffing and Dressing

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 2 Hours and  15 Minutes

About Thanksgiving Dish: If you’re looking for a classic stuffing recipe, look no further. This recipe is devoid of any extra steps or ingredients. First, cube up about a pound of white french bread and put it in the oven to dry out.

Second, add butter, onions, and celery to a pan and cook until the vegetables are soft. Add the mixture to your bowl of dried bread. Next, add your spices and broth. Then, mix up 1 ½ cups of broth with two eggs, pour it over the stuffing, and mix thoroughly. Finally, dot the dressing with butter and bake to delicious perfection.



Traditional Sweet Potato Casserole

4. Traditional Sweet Potato Casserole

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Cook Time: 40 Minutes

About Thanksgiving Dish: A traditional sweet potato casserole is simple and delicious, and this side dish recipe delivers on both of those criteria. First, gather the following ingredients: sweet potatoes, butter, brown sugar, salt, vanilla, pecans, cooking spray, and mini marshmallows.

Next, boil your potatoes until tender, then add them to a large bowl. Then mix in the butter, brown sugar, salt, and vanilla before stirring in the pecans. Finally, spread this mixture into a baking pan, top with the remaining pecans and the mini marshmallows, and bake.



Turkey Gravy

5. Turkey Gravy

Prep Time: 5 Minutes

Cook Time: 15 Minutes

About Thanksgiving Dish: Turkey gravy is one of the most popular Thanksgiving side dishes, and it all starts with turkey drippings. Before doing anything else, pour all of the drippings out of your turkey pan into a heat-safe glass container and let the liquid separate.

Skim the fat off the top and add to a saucepan, heat it until it’s melted, and stir in some flour to form a roux. Next, get your liquid drippings nice and hot in the microwave and add the juices to the roux. Once your gravy reaches the right consistency, add salt and pepper to taste and top it off with a tablespoon of either butter or cream.



Cranberry Sauce

6. Cranberry Sauce

Prep Time: 5 Minutes

Cook Time: 10 Minutes

About Thanksgiving Dish: Cranberry sauce sets off the brown-filled colors and flavors of Thanksgiving with a pop of color and punch of flavor. Additionally, it is wildly easy to make. First, combine all four ingredients in a saucepan. This includes cranberries (fresh or frozen), sugar, orange juice, and a cinnamon stick.

Next, bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until it has reached your preferred consistency. Finally, cool it off and enjoy it! If you have any leftovers, try spooning some cranberry sauce onto vanilla ice cream or a juicy turkey sandwich.



Sauteed Brussel Sprouts

7. Sauteed Brussel Sprouts

Prep Time: 5 Minutes

Cook Time: 15 Minutes

About Thanksgiving Dish: While raw or undercooked Brussels sprouts may be bitter, these sauteed sprouts are, “Charred and crispy on the outside, lightly caramelized and meaty on the inside.” The base of this side dish recipe consists of the following ingredients: Brussels sprouts, olive oil, salt, pepper, and either balsamic vinegar or lemon juice.

Best of all, you can choose from many options for additional flavors. Try adding pine nuts, parsley, parmesan, onions, and bacon, or a combination of your favorite spice blends. Even if Brussels sprouts have not historically been your favorite, this recipe and method of cooking them may just make them your next Thanksgiving dinner classic.



Green Bean Casserole

8. Classic Green Bean Casserole

Prep Time: 5 Minutes

Cook Time: 30 Minutes

About Thanksgiving Dish: If you’re looking for a perfect Thanksgiving side recipe, look no further. This classic green bean casserole takes less than 5 minutes to prepare and about 30 minutes in the oven, plus it tastes fantastic! First, drain your cans of green beans and add them to a mixing bowl.

Next, add a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup and ½ a can of French’s fried onions. Mix them together and add them to a 9×9 baking pan. Bake for 20 minutes, then add more French’s fried onions and bake for another 10 minutes. Voila! You’ve got a crowd-pleasing Thanksgiving side ready to serve up and enjoy.



Macaroni and Cheese

9. Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Cook Time: 15 Minutes

About Thanksgiving Dish: Cheese on cheese on cheese is a sure way to beef up your Thanksgiving side dishes! This baked macaroni and cheese recipe requires ten ingredients. They are elbow pasta, butter, flour, whole milk, half and half, medium sharp cheddar, Gruyere cheese, salt, pepper, and paprika.

First, cook the pasta and shred the cheese. Then, create a thick cream with butter, flour, milk, and half and half. Next, stir in the spices and cheeses. Finally, layer the pasta and creamy cheese mixture in an oven-safe pan and bake to golden, melty perfection.



Glazed Ham

10. Brown Sugar Mustard Glazed Ham

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: 1 Hour and 15 Minutes

About Thanksgiving Dish: Take your holiday ham up a level with this brown sugar mustard glazed ham recipe. The best part is, it is way easier to make than it sounds! Simply remove the rind, baste with your flavor-packed glaze, and bake!

One thing to note is that the ham does need to be basted every 15 minutes, which requires more attention than some might prefer. Aside from this, however, the ham is very easy to make and will come out flavorful and juicy every time.




11. Homemade Biscuits

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: 12 Minutes

About Thanksgiving Dish: These homemade biscuits are easy to make and sure to impress any dinner guests you have. Because they only require six simple ingredients, you probably won’t need to buy anything special to make up a batch of these, either.

The ingredients are flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, butter, and whole milk. It is important to note that the biscuits will not turn out correctly if you mishandle the butter. Fortunately, this Thanksgiving recipe gives clear instructions on how to keep your butter at the perfect temperature throughout the baking process.



Dinner Rolls

12.  Homemade Dinner Rolls

Prep Time: 3 Hours

Cook Time: 12 Minutes

About Thanksgiving Dish: Whether you’re looking for a simple side dish or want a fresh bread recipe for leftover sandwiches, this homemade dinner roll recipe is the perfect solution. First, mix the milk, yeast, sugar, salt, butter, and eggs. Then slowly mix in the flour until the doughy consistency is reached.

Next, add the dough to a greased bowl and let rise. After the first rise, divide the dough up and form it into rolls, then cover and let rise again. Bake for 12-14 minutes and brush with butter while they are still hot. If you want to save some time on Thanksgiving Day while still taking advantage of this delicious bread recipe, simply make the dough in advance and bake on the day of!



Pumpkin Pie

13. Pumpkin Pie

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: 45 Minutes

About Thanksgiving Dish: Apart from the turkey, the pumpkin pie might be the next most iconic Thanksgiving recipe. Additionally, this might be one of the easiest pumpkin pie recipes out there. First, grab yourself an unbaked pie crust and sprinkle it with a sugar/flour mixture. Next, mix your ingredients in the specified order. Then pour into the crust and bake it for a total of just over an hour.

Don’t forget to cool your pie down for at least two hours before serving. If you are looking for even more dessert-related items for your Thanksgiving meal, check out our lists of the best dessert recipes and best cookie recipes. And of course, if you really want to enjoy your pie, make sure to serve it with a glass of milk or your favorite coffee.



Corn Pudding

14. Corn Pudding

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 45 Minutes

About Thanksgiving Dish: If you don’t have a favorite holiday corn dish already, try making this easy and delicious corn pudding.  First, mix the butter, sugar, and eggs. Then, in a separate bowl, mix the milk and cornstarch until smooth.

Next, combine the two mixtures into the larger bowl and add the vanilla and nutmeg. Finally, stir in the corn and pour your mixture into a prepared baking sheet—Bake at 400 degrees for 40-50 minutes.



Scalloped Potatoes

15. Scalloped Potatoes

Prep Time: 25 Minutes

Cook Time: 1 Hour and 15 Minutes

About Thanksgiving Dish: When you’re looking for a potato dish with more flare than mashed potatoes, this scalloped potato recipe will be a sure winner.  When you are buying your ingredients, consider red or Yukon gold potatoes over russets, as they are less starchy.

Additionally, for a more creamy texture, try shredding your own cheese instead of using a bag of pre-shredded. Finally, consider using a mandolin for slicing the potatoes, as this will ensure they are all a thin, even thickness.



Roasted Potatoes

16. Roasted Potatoes

Prep Time: 5 Minutes

Cook Time: 30 Minutes

About Thanksgiving Dish: Crispy on the outside and warm and soft on the inside, these roasted potatoes are a deliciously rustic addition to your Thanksgiving feast. While many people would simply roast them and eat them, this recipe adds extra flare with a fantastic dressing.

The dressing consists of olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, garlic, rosemary, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Plus, this is one of those Thanksgiving recipes that can also be enjoyed and devoured year-round.



Green Beans

17. Simple Skillet Green Beans

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: 8 Minutes

About Thanksgiving Dish: When you’re looking for an elegant, one-pot side dish for Thanksgiving, take this simple green bean skillet recipe for a test drive. It is important to note that green beans and string beans are different, and you definitely want to buy green beans for this recipe. While some Thanksgiving side dishes are elaborate with many ingredients, this recipe only requires the following contents: olive oil, green beans, red pepper flakes, salt, garlic, and water.



Pumpkin Roll

18. Classic Pumpkin Roll

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: 25 Minutes

About Thanksgiving Dish: This classic pumpkin roll recipe takes the mess out of the cake-roll process so that anyone can create it successfully. If you don’t believe it, read through a basic rundown of the steps. First, combine your ingredients and spread the batter into a parchment-lined jellyroll pan. Next, bake your cake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.

Then, remove the entire cake with the parchment paper and roll the cake up (with the parchment paper) starting with one of the shorter ends. Let the cake cool, then unroll it, frost it, and re-roll it without the parchment paper for a perfect Thanksgiving pumpkin roll! And while this cake recipe is one that is most commonly enjoyed at Thanksgiving time, we won’t tell if you use it during the year as well.



Twice Baked Potato Casserole

19. Twice Baked Potato Casserole

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: 1 Hour and 15 Minutes

About Thanksgiving Dish: Although this recipe requires a few steps to get everything cooked and bring it together, it is straightforward to make and will be a crowd-pleaser. The first step in creating a twice-baked potato casserole is to bake eight russet potatoes. While they are baking, cook up a half-pound of bacon.

Once the potatoes are done, peel off 6 of the 8 skins, cut the potatoes into thirds, and mash thoroughly with the butter, sour cream, milk, cheese, salt, pepper, and about half of the bacon. Next, add your potato mixture to a pan, top with the remaining bacon and some extra cheese, and bake for 20-25 minutes.




20. Cornbread

Prep Time: 5 Minutes

Cook Time: 20 Minutes

About Thanksgiving Dish: Cornbread is one of the best fall-weather dishes for warming the body and the soul. Since it requires only eight ingredients and 25 minutes from start to finish, this dish is perfect for adding to your Thanksgiving spread. First, combine all of the dry ingredients in a bowl.

Next, make a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients into the well. Then mix your ingredients, pour the batter into a prepared baking pan or cast-iron skillet, and bake until golden brown. This cornbread recipe is also an excellent side for soups or any other meal that you can pair cornbread with.



Thanksgiving Salad

21. Thanksgiving Salad

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Cook Time: N/A

About Thanksgiving Dish: When you’re looking to add healthy and delicious Thanksgiving side dishes to your holiday table, try making this stunning Thanksgiving salad. The salad base includes D’Anjou pears, lemon juice, salad greens, Brie, pomegranate seeds, and halved pecans.

The dressing is a balsamic vinaigrette made from olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. Overall, this salad is healthy, yummy, and quite festive. If this salad doesn’t quite speak to you, or maybe you want to add multiple options for your Thanksgiving dinner guests, make sure you visit our list of the best salad recipes.



Broccoli Casserole

22. Southern Broccoli Casserole

Cook Time: 40 Minutes

About Thanksgiving Dish: This southern broccoli casserole recipe takes heart-healthy broccoli and smothers it in butter, cream, cheese, and all sorts of other delicious ingredients for a casserole that is enjoyed by many. First, steam and chop the broccoli.

Then, combine the broccoli, cream of mushroom soup, mayo, butter, eggs, onion, salt, and pepper. Add one cup of cheese and mix well. Pour your mixture into a prepared dish, then top with the remaining cheese and crushed crackers. Finally, bake it up and enjoy your ooey-gooey broccoli casserole.




23. Rosemary Garlic Roast

Prep Time: 1 Hour

Cook Time: 1 Hour and 30 Minutes

About Thanksgiving Dish: If roast beef isn’t a traditional part of your Thanksgiving meal yet, this recipe may convince you to add it to your holiday menu. To season your roast, you will simply add garlic cloves, olive oil, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper.

One of the tricks to getting the flavor to seep down into the meat is to use a knife to poke holes across the roast beef and insert the pieces of garlic cloves down into the holes. Then combine all of your other spices and rub them into every side of the roast. This is Thanksgiving dish is simple to make and delicious to devour.



Acorn Squash

24. Herb Roasted Acorn Squash

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 25 Minutes

About Thanksgiving Dish: If you’re looking to add another fruit-based dish to your Thanksgiving table, consider this savory herb-roasted parmesan acorn squash recipe. First, gather the following ingredients: one large acorn squash, parmesan cheese, fresh or dried herbs (ex. oregano, rosemary, thyme, etc.), butter, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

Then slice up your squash and lay it into your pan. Mix up all of your other ingredients and using your hands, sprinkle the mixture over the squash and press them gently into each piece. Finally, bake for about 25 minutes and garnish with parmesan and/or herbs before serving.



Roasted Butternut Squash

25. Roasted Butternut Squash

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 30 Minutes

About Thanksgiving Dish: What is better than a Thanksgiving dish that is both easy to make and elegant to eat?! This roasted butternut squash recipe is a holiday must-have. First, peel and chop your squash. Then, mix it in a bowl with olive oil, cinnamon, maple syrup, salt, and pepper. Spread the seasoned squash onto your prepared baking sheets and cook for about 30 minutes. Finally, garnish it with rosemary and serve it while it is still warm.


Best Thanksgiving Dishes Conclusion

A couple of things before using this list of the best Thanksgiving dishes, one, get ready to be asked for the recipe on these dishes (we won’t judge if you say it is a secret family recipe). And then two, make sure you are ready to be asked to either host or bring several dishes the next year.

If you are good with both of those, this list of the top Thanksgiving dishes is going to be for you!

After Thanksgiving, it seems like Christmas is right around the corner, and this means another family dinner to get ready for. Don’t worry, though, we have all of your Christmas needs taken care of as well. From Christmas dinner to stocking stuffers to online Christmas shopping, we have it all.

Before you know it, you will own both Thanksgiving and Christmas time!

Have you tried one of these Thanksgiving dishes? If so, we would love to hear your feedback in the comments below.