30 Thanksgiving recipe ideas – classic and contemporary dishes for your holiday menu

These gorgeous Thanksgiving recipe ideas will help add some oomph to your holiday spread. From turkey, to festive desserts and cocktails too, these are the best Thanksgiving dishes to try

Thanksgiving dinner
slow cooker turkey crown
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We have rounded up our favorite Thanksgiving recipe ideas for you to try out at home this year. From ten types of potato, to turkey five ways, and all the pumpkin-filled desserts you could imagine, a Thanksgiving dinner menu is something of an art form, right? And, although our Thanksgiving plans are looking a little different for 2020, it's still a food-filled holiday to look forward to.

So we've brought together our favorite Thanksgiving recipes to help you put your seasonal menu together, right on time for the Holidays and just before you start prepping your Christmas dinner menu also. We all know too well the stress that can come with getting everything together on the day itself: roasting the turkey, sorting out snacks for the children and what not – so be inspired by these gorgeous and easy entrées, main courses, desserts and more, to ensure that you have the most glorious and memorable Thanksgiving celebration at home this year.

Carving a turkey

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

What is a traditional Thanksgiving Day menu?

Traditionally, you'd enjoy a soup to start – to keep it light – followed by roasted turkey – that's even more succulent following a good ol' turkey brine recipe – with sides like mash, sweet potato, green bean casserole, corn, and bread rolls along with cranberry sauce, just like mom used to make.

For dessert, the choices tend to be pumpkin-filled. Pumpkin pie is a favorite while lots of different pies and desserts are creeping onto our tables – the more the merrier, right? 

And for drinks, boy, do we have some tasty festive suggestions in store for you. It's not all eggnog – but eggnog is still on the list!

So we've included not only traditional Thanksgiving recipes but also different takes on the classics. Keep scrolling to get your mouth watering, and to create your Thanksgiving menu of dreams.

1. Succulent Thanksgiving turkey

Carving a turkey

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

A timeless dish, adorn your Thanksgiving turkey with cranberries for an even more festive display and this will be the main event of your Thanksgiving menu, 

2. Maple-glazed bird

Waitrose turkey recipe

(Image credit: Waitrose)

It's in the name, glaze your Thanksgiving bird this year and you will be in for serious treat. Our maple-infused glazed turkey recipe is seriously divine.

3. Spiced pumpkin soup

Pumpkin soup

(Image credit: Monika Grabkowska/Unsplash)

A full bowl of seasonal soup is one of the best Thanksgiving recipes around. It's one of the most heart-lifting entrées we can think of, delicately spiced and wholesome, this pumpkin soup will never let you down.

4. Creamy parsnip soup

parsnip soup recipe from National Trust

(Image credit: National Trust)

Seasonal and flavored with apple, this parsnip soup perfectly balances sweet and savory notes, making it a gorgeous Thanksgiving starter idea that the whole family will enjoy.

5. Savory butternut squash soup

healthy soup recipes: butternut squash soup

(Image credit: Getty)

Simple. Check. Seasonal. Check. Delicious. Check. Sub the butter and cream for plant-based alternatives if you're vegan and you won't even tell the difference with how gorgeous this butternut squash soup actually is. Plus that color is sure to complement your Thanksgiving table decor perfectly. 

6. Paprika deviled eggs 

Deviled eggs recipe with paprika sprinkle

(Image credit: Getty)

Smokey, creamy and delicious. Deviled eggs make a brilliant appetizer on any day, but most especially on Thanksgiving. Plus, they are so darn easy to make.

7. Parmesan crusted smashed potatoes

smashed potatoes

(Image credit: Getty)

Behold the first type of potato – the smashed potato. Unconventional you say? Taste these tots and you won't argue with us!

8. Royal roasted potatoes 

Roast potatoes

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Or rather Real Homes' favorite type of potato, it's not a Thanksgiving menu without roast potatoes and we've got a handful of successful methods for you to try for yourself.

9. Paprika pumpkin fries

Aldi pumpkin fries with paprika and garlic dip

(Image credit: Aldi)

Spiced with paprika, add this dish to your Thanksgiving recipes repertoire because once you put these pumpkin fries on your table spread, it'll be hats. off to the chef! So easy to make, but they won't be around for long!

10. A cheeky charcu-turkey board


(Image credit: That Cheese Plate)

Oh yeah, it's a trend and every charcuterie lover's dream. Easy and super fun to create, then delicious to devour, this charcuterie board is a must on every family's Thanksgiving table spread for 2020!

11. Chestnut stuffing with bacon


(Image credit: Getty)

This side dish is good enough already, but the added flavor that bacon brings to the party is perfect with the sweet chestnut stuffing base. Try this out on your Thanksgiving dinner menu and we guarantee you'll bring it out again for Christmas too!

12. Authentic home made gravy

how to thicken gravy

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With no store-bought gravy or granules insight, homemade gravy is always best and these are our favorite chef-inspired recipes to ensure that yours be truly successful.

13. Fresh green bean casserole

Green Bean Casserole

(Image credit: Whole Foods)

A must-have Thanksgiving Day recipe, green bean casserole has always been a family favorite dish for the Holidays. This isn't your average recipe, as it's made using more fresh ingredients than you usually might, for an even more delicious result. 

14. Grandma's cranberry sauce

festive red cranberry sauce

(Image credit: Maria Petersson on Unsplash)

No turkey, or Thanksgiving dinner spread for that matter is complete without classic cranberry sauce. We found a recipe which is so simple, and perfectly balanced in flavor, just like grandma used to make!

15. Buttery mashed potatoes

mashed potato

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Fluffy, creamy, and loaded with texture, mashed potato is the king of all sides and one of our favorite potato accompaniments to many – not just Thanksgiving – meals.  

16. Sweet sweet potato mash

Sweet potato mash

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A close competitor, and praised highly on every Thanksgiving dinner menu for not only it's sweet flavor, but also for its gorgeous seasonal color. A little delicious decor for the whole family to enjoy,

17. Whole roasted stuffed butternut squash 

a stuffed half butternut squash

(Image credit: Photo by Megumi Nachev on Unsplash)

This is a great Thanksgiving dinner idea for vegetarians. Why not roast your butternut squash whole, but towards the end of cooking, stuff it with a little mixture from a nut roast for a completely vegetarian delight? 

18. Cheesy gratin dauphinoise potatoes 

dauphinois potatoes

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A classic French dish filled with flavor, Dauphinoise potatoes are the ultimate comfort food in winter and deliciously rich addition to your menu. Feel like jazzing it up? Add a little rosemary or a hint of nutmeg to your sauce.

19. Maple roasted parsnips

roast parsnips

(Image credit: Getty )

Try roasting parsnips but add a little maple syrup for extra sweetness and you'll be amazed at the divine outcome.

20. Simply tender glazed carrots

Roast carrots

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Perfumed with olive oil, roasted carrots are such a simple but gorgeous dish that works so well with everything else going on your Thanksgiving menu.

21. Black garlic roasted sprouts

roasted brussel sprouts on christmas table

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Unexpected? Yes. Delicious? Yes. Add some real character to your menu this year with this unusual roasted brussel sprouts recipe.

22. Waldorf salad-inspired Brussel sprouts

Waldorf salad

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Super fresh and light – which can't hurt – this is a really interesting way to liven up those Brussel sprouts, all while you enjoy the best of a Walford salad. Our refined palates say, yes!

23. Green beans with a tofu twist 

Tofu salad

(Image credit: Getty)

Whether you're vegan or not, having a few vegan or veggie Thanksgiving recipes by. your side will be useful, and you will love this take on classic green beans. This vegan tofu salad is fresh, zesty, and full of different flavors to add a little more punch to your meal.

24. Sweet and fluffy eggnog

egg nog recipe

(Image credit: Getty Images)

One of the most delicious Thanksgiving cocktails around, who can say no to eggnog? Our recipe is rich and boozy, kind of like a dessert, make sure you add it to your cocktail list!

25 Hot spiced wine

mulled wine recipe

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Up the cozy vibe of your Thanksgiving recipes with a little mulled wine. To make yours even more on season, add a drop of brandy and a few cranberries as a garnish. Delightful. 

26. Spiced toasty pumpkin seeds

roasted pumpkin seeds in a rustic serving bowl

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We all need a Thanksgiving snack and roasted pumpkin seeds always hit the spot. Super tasty and versatile, plus if you're making pumpkin pie this year like our next Thanksgiving recipe suggestion, without buying any canned pumpkin, you can make these straight after without any waste!

27. Perfect pumpkin pie

How to make pumpkin pie

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The Thanksgiving pie we all know and love take pride of place in our pudding of choice. And, this pumpkin pie is literally easy as pie to make. Pun intended.

28. Vegan pumpkin cake

Vegan pumpkin cake

(Image credit: ALDI)

Beautiful to look at, and even more exceptional to taste, this vegan pumpkin cake will be popular not just with your plant-based family members.

29. Festive cranberry cheesecake

taking a piece of cranberry white chocolate cheesecake

(Image credit: Photo by Yulia Khlebnikova on Unsplash)

A white chocolate and cranberry cheesecake is festive beyond belief and you will be in everyone's good books if this features on your Thanksgiving table spread for sure. Unique and flavorsome, this is one to try this year.

30. Cute pumpkin muffins


(Image credit: Lidl)

A great snack and a sweet way to start or end Thanksgiving Day, we've fallen in love with pumpkin muffins this year, and we're sure you will include it in your favorite Thanksgiving recipes list also.