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 your 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 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

STAY ORGANIZED: 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. 

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. If 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
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 13 votes
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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
4.82 from 16 votes
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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 14 votes
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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 2 votes
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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 1 vote
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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
4.92 from 102 votes
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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 10 votes
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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
4.79 from 14 votes
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Easy Meatloaf Recipe
Tender flavorful meatloaf that the whole family will devour! This meatloaf recipe is super simple- making it perfect for all levels of cooks in the kitchen.
5 from 10 votes
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Don’t forget the turkey gravy for the meat!

Turkey Veggie Tray

Appetizers

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.

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!
5 from 18 votes
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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
4.84 from 6 votes
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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 15 votes
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Spinach Dip Bites Recipe
This favorite appetizer is filled with spinach, artichokes, and three different cheeses, all baked into a crescent dough cup. Spinach Dip Bites are a hit every time they're served at a party or get together!
Total Time: 20 minutes
4.72 from 21 votes
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Pull Apart Bread Recipe
This pull apart bread is almost too good to be true! With cheese, butter and seasonings, there is cheesy goodness in every bite, making it a favorite appetizer idea.
Total Time: 30 minutes
5 from 1 vote
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Caprese Kabobs Recipe
A delicious appetizer made with just a few simple ingredients—fresh mozzarella, basil, and cherry tomatoes with a simple balsamic drizzle!
Total Time: 10 minutes
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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
5 from 34 votes
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Sweet potato casserole with marshmallows

SIDES

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. 

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
4.94 from 93 votes
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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
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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 9 votes
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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 10 votes
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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 42 votes
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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 13 votes
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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
4.94 from 82 votes
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Perfect pumpkin pie

DESSERT

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! 

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
5 from 9 votes
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Pecan Pie Recipe
The recipe for THE BEST Pecan Pie! It only takes a handful of ingredients and 10 minutes of prep work to create this ooey gooey, buttery delicacy! Not only is this pie a MUST at Thanksgiving dinner - it's a perfect pie year round!
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
4.5 from 8 votes
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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
4.19 from 11 votes
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Pecan Pie Cheesecake
Pecan Pie Cheesecake Recipe
If you love Pecan Pie, you'll love this Cheesecake! This cake has vanilla wafers crust, pecan pie filling, creamy cheesecake layer and buttery, caramel-pecan topping.
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
4.78 from 35 votes
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Pumpkin Delight Recipe
With a buttery pecan crust, a whipped cream cheese layer, light and fluffy pumpkin spice pudding, and more whipped cream topped off with chopped pecans, this pumpkin delight dessert is absolutely irresistible! 
Total Time: 3 hours 35 minutes
4.81 from 51 votes
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Pumpkin Brownie Recipe
The yummiest Pumpkin Brownies you will ever taste! Pumpkin, chocolate, and spices unite to make one pan of deliciousness that will sure to satisfy anyone's pumpkin addiction.
Total Time: 1 hour 3 minutes
5 from 6 votes
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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
4.91 from 22 votes
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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
4.79 from 14 votes
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MORE COLLECTIONS: Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Appetizers, Thanksgiving Side Dishes, Thanksgiving Desserts

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Kristi Ritchey

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