Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas

This collection Of Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes and Tips will help you have a stress-free holiday. From planning, organizing, shopping, and making, to a whole list of recipe ideas—this post has everything you need to know about turkey day!

I’m helping you get prepped for Thanksgiving – from dinner ideas to appetizers and side dishes, we’ve got you covered! Check out these recipes to help you prep and make the main dish for Turkey Day.

MORE COLLECTIONS: Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Appetizers, Thanksgiving Side Dishes, Thanksgiving Desserts

Thanksgiving dinner ideas collage

making a thanksgiving menu

When it comes to Thanksgiving Dinner, it can be a little bit overwhelming even knowing where to start, especially if you’re the HOST. But, don’t you fret, we are sharing all the best recipes and tips to help you plan your Thanksgiving menu.

One of the things we like to do when we gather as a family for thanksgiving is to divide the work and assign each person to bring a dish (or two)

Whether you are dividing the responsibility, or it’s all on you, here are a handful of tips to make sure you pull off an amazing Thanksgiving dinner without having to stress!

Perfect Roast Turkey - Thanksgiving dinner recipes

Tips for Making Thanksgiving Dinner easy

Seasoned Thanksgiving Cooks know the secret to a successful meal: ORGANIZATION. Whether you’re a first timer or a pro you need to have a plan to execute a successful Thanksgiving Feast. I’ve gathered a few tips to help you out:

  • THE MENU: From appetizers to dessert, plan out everything you want to serve (use our FREE Thanksgiving Menu Planner to help).
    • How much to make: Figure out about how many people will be attending. Then, decide how much to make of each item. Add a new dish for every 5-8 people attending. 
    • Don’t be afraid to ask your guests to bring a dish. Most are happy to help!
  • SHOPPING: Don’t wait until the last minute. You should have your menu planned out so use that as a guide on what you need to have then, purchase as much of it as you can as far ahead as you can. You don’t want to make a last minute trip to a crowded store only to find they are all out of the ingredient you need. 
  • STORAGE: clean out the fridge the week before. Take note of any items that do not HAVE to be refrigerated. Some fruits and veggies can be kept on the counter for a day or two to make room for other dishes. 

More Tips

PLAN A COOKING SCHEDULE: Here are a few questions and bit of information that will help you when planning your schedule:

  • What are all the items that need to be cooked in the oven and in what order?
  • Can any items go into the oven at the same time?
  • What are all the items that need to be cooked on the stove top and what order?
  • Can anything be made in a crock pot?
  • How can I keep items warm? 
  • Can Anything be made ahead of time? Do they need to be reheated and how?

AHEAD OF TIME: There are several dishes such as pies, casseroles, and salads that can be made the day before. This saves a lot of stress the day of. You can also prep ingredients before hand like making sure the turkey is defrosted, chopping veggies, and pre measuring ingredients so they’re ready to be mixed. 

ON THE DAY OF: Figure out what time you want to eat. Then figure out how long each item takes to cook, or to be reheated, and subtract that amount from the time dinner is supposed to be served. 

For example: Dinner is at 2pm – 20 minutes to reheat the casserole – 3 hours to cook the turkey – 40 minutes for sweet potatoes – a 30 minute buffer. That means you need to start putting food in the oven by 9:30 am 

Crock Pot Ham

Favorite Thanksgiving Dinner ideas

If you’re stumped on what to serve for all the courses, here are a few suggestions.

Of course, most of them are the typical items you would find on any table in America on thanksgiving day (Turkey, Mashed Potatoes, Rolls, etc.) but there are a few that are a little more uncommon that we tend to enjoy in our family.

We typically end up picking out 2 main dishes, 1 potato dish, one veggie dish, rolls and then LOADS of desserts!

thanksgiving Main DISHes:

Turkey is usually the Main dish served at Thanksgiving. Typically you can plan to serve 1.25 lbs of turkey per person.

Other recipes to remember include: Turkey Brine, Turkey Gravy (No Drippings), Turkey Gravy (With Drippings).

iIf you do not like turkey, or you are planning to serve a crowd, then, you can most definitely choose a different protein to serve.

Here are some of our favorites:

Perfect Roast Turkey
Main Course Oven Roast Turkey Recipe
How to Roast the Perfect Turkey – so full of flavor and a hit any holiday or day of the year, but especially Thanksgiving!!
Total Time: 3 hours
5 from 16 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Pot Roast Recipe
This Crock Pot Roast Recipe is one of our favorite Sunday dinners. It takes only 3 minutes of prep time and then the slow cooker does the rest! The chuck roast ends up being SO tender and full of flavor from the brown gravy, Italian, and ranch dressing mix! 
Total Time: 7 hours 5 minutes
4.9 from 28 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Brown Sugar Ham Recipe
This crock pot ham is made entirely in the slow cooker, which makes for quick prep time and minimal effort. With a deliciously sweet brown sugar glaze, it’s our favorite way to make a holiday ham!
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
5 from 15 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Honey Glazed Ham Recipe
Simply place a spiral cut ham in the crock pot, cover with a 5-ingredient glaze, and 4 hours later you'll have a tender and juicy Honey Glazed Ham!
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
5 from 11 votes
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Main Course Crockpot Roast Chicken Recipe
Juicy and flavorful roasted chicken made in the slow cooker! So simple to make an entire chicken with the help of your crock pot.
Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
5 from 4 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Swiss Chicken Bake Recipe
Delicious Creamy Swiss Chicken Bake – a simple and delicious dinner recipe that includes Swiss and Parmesan cheese.
Total Time: 1 hour 7 minutes
4.89 from 179 votes
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Main Course Prime Rib Recipe
Perfect prime rib, seasoned with garlic and cooked in the oven. A secret trick will give you the most tender and juicy meat you've ever made!
Total Time: 3 hours 35 minutes
5 from 18 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Easy Steak Marinade Recipe
This is Our All-Time Favorite Steak marinade! It requires only four ingredients, and makes our steak taste SO amazing! Everyone always asks for this Easy Steak Marinade recipe because it’s just that good!!
Total Time: 5 minutes
4.89 from 26 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Roast Turkey Recipe
Directions for a perfectly roasted and seasoned turkey every time. Herb-glazed roast turkey is a juicy, moist show-stopper.
Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
5 from 6 votes
Check out this recipe

Turkey Veggie Tray


Check out our complete list of Thanksgiving Appetizers

Plan to serve 3-5 appetizers per person. If you only have 5-10 people coming plan to serve 1-2 different appetizer dishes. Add another appetizer dish for every 5-8 people in attendance.

Appetizer Turkey Vegetable Tray
The most festive vegetable tray you will ever make! Perfect for your Thanksgiving dinner with friends and family. Both kids and adults will be impressed!
4.97 from 131 votes
Check out this recipe
Appetizer Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball Recipe
This Bacon Ranch Cheese ball is the perfect partner for your veggie tray! With cheese, bacon, and ranch flavors, you can do no wrong!
Total Time: 15 minutes
4.89 from 9 votes
Check out this recipe
Appetizer Deviled Egg Recipe
Nothing better than a smooth deviled egg appetizer! You’ll be surprised with how easy these are to make. Tons of flavor, super delicious and perfect for parties and holidays.
Total Time: 30 minutes
5 from 23 votes
Check out this recipe
Appetizer Spinach Dip Bites Recipe
Spinach Dip Bites are crunchy, bite-size treats are cheesy and buttery, making them a great appetizer. They are a hit every time!
Total Time: 20 minutes
4.75 from 31 votes
Check out this recipe
Appetizer Pull Apart Bread Recipe
This pull apart bread is a favorite appetizer. With cheese, butter and seasonings, there is cheesy, delicious goodness in every bite!
Total Time: 30 minutes
5 from 1 vote
Check out this recipe
Appetizer Caprese Kabobs Recipe
Simple, quick and delicious Caprese Kabobs take minutes to throw together and are perfect for any party or get together.
Total Time: 10 minutes
5 from 7 votes
Check out this recipe
Appetizer Spinach Artichoke Dip Recipe
This is the BEST Spinach Artichoke Dip recipe, and the ultimate dip for any get together! Filled with spinach, artichoke hearts, cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, and mayo – this easy spinach artichoke dip is sooo cheesy and flavorful, served perfectly with chips, bread pieces or veggies.
Total Time: 30 minutes
4.97 from 64 votes
Check out this recipe
Sweet potato casserole with marshmallows


Check out our complete list of Thanksgiving Side Dishes.

Plan about 6 oz of potatoes per person and 4 oz of veggies per person. For every 5-8 people attending add another dish to the menu. Plan to serve 1.5 rolls per person. 

Bread Dinner Rolls Recipe
These Are Our ALL-TIME FAVORITE Dinner Rolls! They Are Soft, Butter-Y And Always The Hit For Any Dinner Or Holiday Get Together. It’s So Hard To Eat Just One!
Total Time: 35 minutes
4.95 from 174 votes
Check out this recipe
Side Dish Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe
Would Thanksgiving be the same without stuffing?? This homemade stuffing recipe, made with sourdough bread, is exactly what you need to pair with your Thanksgiving turkey!
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
5 from 8 votes
Check out this recipe
Side Dish Green Bean Casserole Recipe
Green Bean Casserole is a classic side dish, especially at holiday meals! This savory casserole is simple, delicious and requires only 4 ingredients, which makes it the perfect addition to your holiday menu!
Total Time: 30 minutes
5 from 14 votes
Check out this recipe
Side Dish Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe with Marshmallows
Classic sweet potato casserole with a sweet pecan streusel and toasted melty marshmallows on top.
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
5 from 17 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Mac and Cheese Recipe
The cheesiest, CREAMIEST homemade mac n cheese you’ll ever make! Macaroni pasta covered in sharp cheddar cheese, melted into a warm cream sauce, and topped with a perfect panko crust. The whole family will definitely approve!
Total Time: 35 minutes
4.93 from 65 votes
Check out this recipe
Side Dish Best Mashed Potatoes Recipe
My FAVORITE mashed potatoes recipe! These Buttery smooth mashed potatoes are our Go-To potato side dish recipe for every dinner and holiday get together.
5 from 25 votes
Check out this recipe
Side Dish Funeral Potatoes Recipe
Cheesy and delicious Funeral potatoes (aka Cheesy potatoes, Party Potatoes). This simple casserole is a potato lovers dream. With cheesy, sour cream, butter, cream of chicken and born, these potatoes are perfect for any meal or holiday.
Total Time: 50 minutes
4.93 from 144 votes
Check out this recipe
Potato Roll Recipe
Potato rolls are soft, chewy and buttery. The mashed potatoes make the rolls very pillow-y and add that little extra something to make them melt in your mouth!
4.89 from 17 votes
Check out this recipe
Perfect pumpkin pie


Check out the complete list of Thanksgiving Desserts

A  9 inch pie can serve 6-8 people. Plan to have enough desserts for people to have 2 servings. Although pie is the most common dessert for Thanksgiving, there’s nothing wrong with serving other desserts—especially ones with seasonal flavors like pumpkin! 

Dessert Pumpkin Pie Recipe
Not only is this pumpkin pie incredibly easy – it’s the most moist, flavorful, all around perfect pumpkin pie! Made from canned pumpkin, seasonal spices, and evaporated milk, this pie is a must have dessert during the holidays.
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
4.64 from 11 votes
Check out this recipe
Dessert Pecan Pie Recipe
Buttery, nutty, ooey gooey pecan pie is SO easy to make and only requires a handful of ingredients. It's a classic that is perfect all year!!
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
4.64 from 11 votes
Check out this recipe
Dessert Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Bars
These Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars have so many delicious layers, including a graham cracker crust, cheesecake layer and pumpkin layer. They’re full of fall spices and are sure to impress at any holiday gathering.
Total Time: 1 hour
3.94 from 15 votes
Check out this recipe
Pecan Pie Cheesecake
Dessert Pecan Pie Cheesecake Recipe
Pecan Pie Cheesecake has a wafers crust, pecan pie filling, cheesecake layer and buttery, caramel-pecan topping. It is perfectly indulgent!!
Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
4.75 from 48 votes
Check out this recipe
Dessert Pumpkin Delight Recipe
Tasty 4 layer pumpkin delight dessert starts with a crunchy pecan crust topped with creamy pumpkin, cream cheese, and whipped cream layers!
Total Time: 3 hours 35 minutes
4.88 from 121 votes
Check out this recipe
Dessert Pumpkin Brownie Recipe
These are the yummiest chocolate Pumpkin Brownies you will ever taste! They are sure to satisfy anyone's pumpkin addiction.
Total Time: 1 hour 3 minutes
4.8 from 24 votes
Check out this recipe
Dessert Best Apple Pie Recipe
There’s nothing like a slice of warm apple pie served with vanilla ice cream! This recipe for Homemade Apple Pie has proven to be the BEST apple pie recipe around. With a flaky, buttery crust made from scratch, and a gooey, sweet apple filling, this pie will not disappoint!
Total Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
4.95 from 39 votes
Check out this recipe
Dessert Pumpkin Lasagna Recipe
This Pumpkin Lasagna dessert is stacked with the most delicious layers – a Pumpkin Oreo crust, cream cheese layer, pumpkin pudding layer, and topped off with cream and white chocolate curls.
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
4.88 from 24 votes
Check out this recipe

How Do you Like Your Thanksgiving Turkey?

Do you like it fried? Baked? With Gravy? Without?

No matter how you like it, we wanted to share our go-to Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe.

This herb-glazed turkey is simple and is the perfect recipe for the big day.

TOP Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas – Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

5 from 7 votes
How to make the perfect Thanksgiving Turkey recipe. This Herb-glazed roast turkey is a juicy, moist show-stopper that everyone will love.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Cook Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 786 kcal
Author Lil’ Luna


for the turkey:

  • 1 14-16 pound turkey thawed and brined
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 Granny Smith apples cored and cut into slices
  • 2-3 carrots peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 onion cut into pieces
  • 5-6 stalks celery cut into 1 inch pieces

for the glaze:

  • 1 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons dried sage leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 425.
  • Brush the olive oil all over the skin of the turkey and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place about 2/3 of the vegetables and apples in the bottom of a roasting pan with an elevated rack in it.
  • Place the turkey in the roasting pan and stuff the remaining vegetables inside the turkey. If the turkey's legs are not already tied together, tie them with kitchen twine.
  • Roast the turkey uncovered in the oven for 30 minutes, then cover loosely with foil. Reduce the heat to 375 and roast for an additional 2 – 2 ½ hours. The turkey is fully cooked when a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 degrees.
  • To finish the turkey, whisk together the glaze ingredients. Brush the glaze over the turkey, and return the turkey to the oven uncovered for 15-20 minutes, until golden.
  • Remove from oven, discard the vegetables, and let rest 10-20 minutes before serving.

MORE COLLECTIONS: Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Appetizers, Thanksgiving Side Dishes, Thanksgiving Desserts

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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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  1. 5 stars
    We love the Thanksgiving holiday and what it represents. We’re grateful for our family and time spent together enjoying yummy food!

  2. 5 stars
    My parents are on a Mission this year not only do I love the recipe suggestions., but I appreciate all the behind the scene preparation tips that my mom usually does with ease.

  3. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for sharing this amazing thanksgiving dinner recipes! Will surely have this again! It’s really easy to make and it tasted so delicious! Highly recommended!

  4. 5 stars
    This is a perfect collection of recipes! I’m trying to find just the right kinds of side dishes for Thursday – and you’ve given me plenty of new ones to consider and try. Thanks!