Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Menu Ideas

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Planning the ultimate Thanksgiving dinner menu just might be the most important meal you plan all year, and with this collection of delicious and traditional Thanksgiving recipes, your feast will be the best on the block.

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Plan a Thanksgiving Dinner Menu They’ll Love

Nothing beats the classics, and we’ve got everything you need to plan a traditional Thanksgiving menu. Whether you host a family dinner on the big day or a “Friends-Giving” over the weekend, we’ve got you covered with all the classics for the perfect Thanksgiving feast.

There are ideas for both traditional and unique appetizers, side dishes, bread and rolls, desserts, and the all-important turkey, so let’s get cooking!

There are plenty of menu ideas under each category, so you can choose recipes you love to help round out the plan you’ve already got in your head. Got a question? Leave me a comment and I promise I’ll get back to you! How can I help you make this the best Thanksgiving dinner ever?

What Should Be on Your Thanksgiving Dinner Menu?

Planning the perfect Thanksgiving dinner menu for your friends and family doesn’t have to be a stressful, complicated thing. With these easy Thanksgiving recipe ideas, you can whip up a delicious meal that everyone will be crazy for.

Top Ten Thanksgiving Foods (in no particular order)

  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Stuffing/Dressing
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Bread or Rolls
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Turkey
  • Turkey Gravy
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Vegetables: Green beans, carrots, or corn

Appetizers for Thanksgiving

Let’s start with appetizers. These are the small bites, finger foods, and dips that everyone can munch on while waiting for other guests to arrive, watching football, or just while the main meal is still being prepared.

Cranberry Meatballs
An easy 3-ingredient appetizer recipe for cranberry bbq meatballs made with cranberry sauce, spicy bbq sauce, and fresh or frozen meatballs.
A close up of Cranberry Meatballs
Cheesy Hot Corn Dip
This Cheesy Hot Corn Dip is a creamy, cheesy delicious dip that’s perfect for all your summer parties. It’s great for tailgating, too!
Sweet Potato Dip
Sweet and savory, with warm spices, this Sweet Potato Dip is a light and satisfying addition to any appetizer spread.
Cranberry Brie Bites
Cranberry Brie Bites are a sweet and tangy bite-sized appetizer. Creamy baked brie in a flaky crescent roll cup topped with sweet cranberry orange sauce.
Veggie Tray
The best veggie tray is full of colorful vegetables, and a variety of flavorful dips. A vegetable tray is a must have at parties!
Roasted Grapes
Roasted grapes are an impressive, sophisticated appetizer that can be ready in about 40 minutes.
Roasted grapes on a crostini with honey drizzled.
Roasted grapes on a crostini, with a honey drizzle.

Salads

A couple of cold salads are a great way to add veggies or just a simple cold side to the meal. I’ve included a couple of sweet dessert-type salads because we love them.

Butter Lettuce Salad
Butter Lettuce Salad is fresh, flavorful, and simple, with tender and delicate butter lettuce, radishes, croutons, and homemade vinaigrette.
Caesar Salad
A classic Caesar Salad recipe with homemade caesar salad dressing (and no anchovies!).
7 Layer Salad
7 Layer Salad is a classic potluck dish great for feeding a crowd. These layers of deliciousness can be made ahead of time for these easiest side dish ever!
7 Layer salad in a big glass salad bowl
Mandarin Orange Salad
Mandarin Orange Salad is a fluffy, sweet treat that's light & refreshing. With just 5 ingredients, this Jello Salad takes 10 minutes to make!
Wedge Salad
A Wedge Salad is a crisp and refreshing. Iceberg lettuce wedges topped with homemade thousand island dressing, bacon, tomatoes and pepper jack cheese.
A plate of wedge salad with dressing, bacon, cheese, and tomatoes on top
Cranberry Fluff Salad
Cranberry Fluff Salad is a creamy cranberry salad side dish or dessert with cranberry sauce, marshmallows, oranges, pineapple and Cool Whip.
Winter Salad
This Winter Salad is hearty, delicious and full of rich, earthy texture and flavors. A tangy homemade vinaigrette adds a smooth, tart finish.
white plates with salad on them

Thanksgiving Side Dishes

In my opinion, the sides you serve on Thanksgiving are just as important, if not more important, than the actual turkey. They can make or break your meal, so choose wisely. I recommend having at least 3 sides, including 1 vegetable for every 6-8 people.

Green Bean Casserole
Green Bean Casserole with Bacon is a salty, smoky update on the classic Thanksgiving side dish. Made with fresh green beans or canned.
Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes
Want to know the secret to the best mashed potatoes? Keep it simple, no fancy ingredients – just the right ratio of butter, cream and salt.
Classic Sausage Stuffing
Sausage Stuffing has savory Italian sausage, bread, vegetables, herbs and spices. It's the perfect side dish for all of your holiday meals.
Cheesy Mashed Potatoes
Cheesy Mashed Potatoes are fluffy, creamy and loaded with 3 kinds of cheese. So versatile, you can serve right away or make ahead and freeze.
A bowl of mashed potatoes
Sweet Potato Casserole
My Sweet Potato Casserole with marshmallows recipe is a classic Thanksgiving side dish with fresh sweet potatoes, brown sugar and cinnamon.
Creamy Cornbread Casserole
This from-scratch Cornbread Casserole is made with a homemade Jiffy cornbread mix. It's perfect for holiday meals or any day of the week.
Cornbread Stuffing
Southern Cornbread Stuffing is a moist and fluffy dressing with chunks of sweet cornbread and veggies soaked in an herb infused broth.
Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes
Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes are the easiest way to make perfectly cooked sweet potatoes with little effort and in a fraction of the time.
Slow Cooker Creamed Corn
Slow Cooker Cream Style Corn is a simple side dish, made with sweet corn in a creamy sauce. It's perfect for holidays and weeknight meals.
Homemade Cranberry Orange Sauce
Cranberry Orange Sauce is a delicious combination of sweet and tart, and the perfect accompaniment to all your holiday meals.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
These Garlic Mashed Potatoes are creamy and delicious. Made with minced garlic and cream cheese, it’s the best side dish and one that everyone will love!
A bowl of mashed potatoes with butter
Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon are slightly sweet, savory, and irresistibly crispy. They’re an easy side dish to serve with any dinner.
Homemade Stuffing
Homemade Stuffing has dried bread cubes tossed with celery, onions, fresh herbs and broth, then baked until it's moist and fluffy, and crispy on the outside.
white baking dish with homemade stuffing

101+ Thanksgiving
Side Dishes

Find all the sides you could possibly want for the perfect Thanksgiving menu!

The Turkey

One of the most popular recipes on this website is my Thanksgiving Turkey. But in case you’re looking to feed a smaller crowd, or just a few more mouths, we’ve got 3 different roast turkey breast recipes to choose from, too.

Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe
A Thanksgiving Turkey that's so juicy with a crispy skin. Easy step-by-step tutorial, even first time cooks can pull this turkey recipe off stress free!
Air Fryer Turkey Breast
Learn how to make the most tender and juicy air fryer turkey breast. Includes tips for boneless or bone-in, and with or without the skin.
Roast Turkey Breast Recipe
This Roast Turkey Breast has the most flavorful, juicy meat and crispy skin. It's the perfect alternative to a full-size turkey.
Instant Pot Turkey Breast
This fast and easy Instant Pot Turkey Breast cooks in a fraction of the time and is so tender and juicy every time. Make your own gravy in the pot, too!
Turkey breast, browned skin, sliced and sitting on top of large pieces of parsley. Image for social media.
Turkey Gravy
Learn how to make the best homemade turkey gravy from scratch with just a few simple steps. You'll never resort to store bought again!

Bread

In addition to the sides, a roll of a piece of bread is essential to a great holiday meal.

Cornbread Muffins
Sour Cream Cornbread Muffins are fluffy and moist. Smother with butter and honey and pair them with your favorite bowl of soup or chili.
Copycat Cheesecake Factory Brown Bread
Cheesecake Factory Brown Bread has a fluffy texture and a savory, slightly sweet flavor. A perfect copycat recipe to make at home anytime!
Cheddar Jalapeno Cornbread
Cheddar Jalapeno Cornbread is cheesy and spicy and goes perfectly with a big bowl of chili, soup or stew! Enjoy plain or with a slather of honey butter.
A pan of jalapeno cornbread
Beer Bread Recipe
This Beer Bread recipe is a simple and customizable quick bread that's slightly sweet, super moist and made with just 6 ingredients.
Buttery Rhodes Rolls with Garlic and Rosemary
Frozen Rhodes rolls are the easiest frozen dinner rolls! No kneading or mixing, just 3-4 hours of rise time for soft, and fluffy dinner rolls.
Baked Rhodes rolls in a cast iron skillet.

Thanksgiving Dessert

Finish the meal with a dessert that’s rich with fall flavor.

No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake
Learn how to make an easy, No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare. No oven required!
Pumpkin Dump Cake
Pumpkin Dump Cake is my go-to fall dessert! You just dump the ingredients into a dish and bake. It's a pumpkin pie and cake all in one!
Classic Apple Pie Recipe
A flaky, delicious Classic Apple Pie Recipe is perfect for dessert all year round! Slightly crunchy cinnamon & caramel-coated apples are tucked into a homemade pie crust and baked into the prettiest dessert on the block! 
A close up of a slice of Apple Pie
Sweet Potato Pie
Sweet Potato Pie has a creamy sweet potato filling in a flaky, buttery crust. Serve with whipped cream for a crowd favorite holiday dessert.
Pecan Bars
Pecan Bars bring you the flavor of pecan pie in an easy-to-eat bar! Made with a buttery shortbread crust topped with a sweet pecan filling.
overhead image of pecan bars sliced into squares

More Thanksgiving Ideas

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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Comments

  1. I really enjoy your website. I never comment, I am sorry for that. I do try many of your recipes and they are great. You really save me time trying to figure out what to cook. I was just trying to do a menu for Thanksgiving, and you did it for me. Your great. Georgia

  2. Every year my family usually have a party for Thanksgiving. I like it and wanna to cook some special recipe for thwm. But sometime I will get out of idea for that. Your share help me so much!