Besides Christmas and New Year, Thanksgiving Day is a moment many Western families like to share. It’s a rare occasion for get-togethers, reminiscing memories, great food, and, of course, gratitude.
Thus, there’s no skimping over the Thanksgiving feast. There must be loads of great, heartwarming food that fill your bellies and hearts with love and gratitude. Every dish and casserole must be delicious and made with care.
If you’re at a loss for Thanksgiving menu ideas, there’s no harm in going for classic ones. In this post, I’ll highlight some easy but well-loved recipes for Thanksgiving dinner.
1. Thanksgiving Roasted Turkey Breast
There’s hardly a Thanksgiving meal without a delicious roasted turkey. However, some find a whole bird might be too big. You also wouldn’t want to spend the rest of the week eating turkey leftovers.
Here’s a more economical but tasty alternative – roasted turkey breast. Like other roasted turkey recipes, it’s basted with garlic, fresh herbs, and butter. Thus, all the flavors are present, just in a more suitable size.
Because you’re just cooking the breast, this recipe is also quicker and easier. There’s no need to make savory stuffing, just a butter and herb mixture!
2. Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes – specifically creamy garlic mashed potatoes – is a classic Thanksgiving side dish. Your Thanksgiving table may even appear bare without this crowd favorite. But don’t settle for boring instant or fast food mashed potatoes.
With this recipe, making homemade mashed potatoes is no challenge. You only need some red potatoes, butter, sour cream, whole milk, minced garlic, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.
Before mashing the potatoes, you’ll need to cook them first using a pot on a stovetop or Instant Pot. If there’s no potato masher, use an electric mixer to mash and combine the ingredients.
3. Classic Green Bean Casserole
There’s no Southern Thanksgiving menu complete without a casserole. Thus, I’ve included two such recipes in this post, starting with this green bean casserole.
It’s hard to think that creamy and green bean flavors blend well. But once you make this recipe, you can’t get enough of it. Everything comes together beautifully to make one of the best side dishes.
The post’s recipe card indicates frozen green beans, but you can always use fresh green beans for the best flavor. You’ll also need cream of mushroom soup, milk, soy sauce, black pepper, salt, fried onions, and cheddar cheese.
4. Sweet Potato Casserole
As promised, here’s another casserole recipe. This time, it’s made with sweet potatoes. It’s one of the unique side dishes you can serve on your holiday table, combining both savory and sweet flavors.
This dish might even work as a dessert! The mashed sweet potatoes hide beneath a layer of marshmallows and toasted pecans, almost reminiscent of other Thanksgiving pies.
To make this recipe, you’ll need sweet potatoes, brown sugar, butter, vanilla extract, chopped pecans, cinnamon, salt, pepper, and mini marshmallows. To assemble the dish, you’ll cook, mash, combine, top, and bake the ingredients.
5. Butternut Squash Soup
You can’t have a dinner menu without soup. Lucky for you, I’ve included a creamy butternut squash soup recipe that perfectly captures fall flavors – the best for your Thanksgiving celebration.
Butternut squash soup exudes creaminess and fantastic flavors. The dish combines the sweet flesh of butternut squash with great spices, such as onion, garlic, sage, rosemary, black pepper, and ginger. There’s also olive oil, salt, and vegetable broth for added flavor.
You can serve this soup with chopped parsley, toasted pepitas, and bread. Because there are no dairy or animal-based products, your vegan and vegetarian guests will surely enjoy it!
6. Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Garlic
Are squash, green potatoes, and potatoes not your thing? Don’t worry. You can use many more tried and true recipes for your Thanksgiving menu, like this roasted Brussels sprouts with garlic.
Brussels sprouts don’t look the most appealing of vegetables. But once you taste this dish, you’ll realize it’s not all about the looks because the flavor is king. Amaze your holiday guests with this unique side dish.
You’ll need Brussel sprouts (of course), garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, kosher salt, black pepper, and parmesan. You can add lemon, herbs, red pepper, balsamic vinegar, bacon, honey, and brown sugar.
7. Cranberry Sauce
Do you think your roasted turkey dish needs a little something … sweet? This cranberry sauce features tart and sweet flavors that amazingly complement turkey flavors.
Making cranberry sauce needs only sugar, water, and fresh or frozen cranberries. If you want more flavors and textures, add pecans, raisins, blueberries, currants, orange zest, and spices. Some specific spices you can add are nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice.
If you want a reduced sauce or one with more intense flavors, manipulate the water and sugar ratios. You can also use orange juice instead of water to highlight the fantastic fruity flavors.
8. Pumpkin Pie
A Thanksgiving celebration without pumpkin pie? It’s simply unimaginable, so I’ve included a classic recipe for our favorite Thanksgiving dessert. This pumpkin pie features a fall brown palette indicative of rich, smooth flavors.
Although this dish looks clean, this pie has a complex flavor profile resulting from a beautiful medley of spices and other ingredients. For spices, you’ll need cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and black pepper.
Other ingredients are pie dough, pumpkin puree, eggs, brown sugar, cornstarch, salt, heavy cream, and milk. For toppings, make leaves from pie dough and sugared cranberries from fresh cranberries, sugar, and water.
9. Soft Dinner Rolls
Do you find “rich flavor” a unifying theme for your Thanksgiving menu? Offset those intense flavors with a side of buttery soft dinner rolls. Fill a basket with this recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction.
Dinner rolls make the best side dishes. You can eat them with soup, like the butternut squash soup I’ve included. You can stuff them with roasted turkey breast and cranberry sauce.
Thus, you must include them in your menu. They may not be a showstopper, but they are versatile. Plus, they’re easy to make with whole milk, instant yeast, granulated sugar, egg, unsalted butter, and flour.
10. Pecan Pie
We always end our Thanksgiving meal with a dessert, so we’re doing the same with this post. A classic holiday dessert is pecan pie – rich, nutty, and sweet pecan pie.
Making pie is intimidating, but this recipe makes it easy. You’ll only need a whole unbaked pie crust, sugar (white and brown), salt, corn syrup, vanilla, salted butter, eggs, and chopped pecans. You have a fantastic pie to serve within an hour and five minutes.
Unlike other recipes, this one uses chopped pecans instead of halves. This allows the nuts to form a crunchy pseudo-top crust you’d enjoy digging into.
10 Classic Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes
Host an unforgettable Thanksgiving feast with these classic recipes.
Thanksgiving Roasted Turkey Breast
Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Classic Green Bean Casserole
Sweet Potato Casserole
Butternut Squash Soup
Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Garlic
Soft Dinner Rolls
- Select your favorite recipe.
- Organize all the required ingredients.
- Prep a Thanksgiving dinner in 30 minutes or less!