A list of our favorite , tried and tested Thanksgiving Recipes - find all the best Thanksgiving side dishes, Thanksgiving desserts and the best turkey recipe in one place! Plus tips and tricks on how to make preparing a Thanksgiving meal low-stress!
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Our family has the best traditions and we enjoy a day full of fun, food and moments together. Here's a list of all our favorite Thanksgiving Recipes, as well as tips and tricks on what can be made ahead of time to reduce the amount of work in the kitchen on Thanksgiving day!
Tips on Making Thanksgiving Low-Stress
- Choose recipes from trusted sources. Obviously I hope to be a great resource for you and all your Thanksgiving recipes, but there are many wonderful places to find delicious Thanksgiving sides, desserts, etc. Just be sure to choose recipes that you have tried before or those that come from cooks or resources that you trust.
- Make a list and check it twice! Once you've gathered the Thanksgiving recipes you will be cooking, make a shopping list of the ingredients required for your holiday. Don't forget to include the amounts of each - how much butter? how many Brussels sprouts? etc.
- Read recipes thoroughly. In order to plan well, it's important to know the steps in the recipes you choose. Which Thanksgiving recipes can be prepared or prepped the day before? This helps with the next step, which is to make a plan!
- Make a plan. Create a game plan and choose the order in which you'll prepare the Thanksgiving recipes. This helps ensure everything is ready to eat at the same time so nothing gets cold.
Prepare Thanksgiving Recipes days in advance
I start preparing for Thanksgiving days in advance. Here's the flow of what I usually do:
- 5 days before Thanksgiving (Saturday): Transfer turkey from freezer to refrigerator to begin thawing (we usually cook a 20 - 24 lb. bird so it needs days to thaw).
- 4 days before Thanksgiving (Sunday): Prepare homemade dinner rolls and put them in the freezer to thaw and bake on Thursday.
- 3 days before Thanksgiving (Monday): Get all the shopping done! I like to have 99% of the Thanksgiving shopping completed on Monday. Then if I need to send someone out for a few items that I forget later on in the week I'm certain I have mostly everything I need before it sells out!
- 2 days before Thanksgiving (Tuesday): Make Homemade Cranberry Sauce and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Wash, trim and cut vegetables (green beans, Brussels sprouts, etc). Make homemade pie crusts, wrap and chill to make pies the next day.
- Day before Thanksgiving (Wednesday): This is the day I am in the kitchen the longest. I prepare the sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, and stuffing - then store them in oven-safe containers in the refrigerator to re-heat on Thanksgiving. I bake all the pies or desserts (like this flourless chocolate cake). We also brine the turkey and let it sit in a cool place overnight.
- On Thanksgiving: If I do all this prep work in advance, on the day of (after we run our Turkey Trot of course) I just have to roast the turkey, make gravy, roast Brussels sprouts, Saute green beans and warm/bake everything I prepared the days before. So easy!
Helpful Cooking Gear to make Thanksgiving Recipes
Here are some of my must-have kitchen tools to cook Thanksgiving dinner!
- Potato ricer. The key to the creamiest, fluffiest, dreamiest mashed potatoes is using a potato ricer to mash them.
- Turkey Baster. Because it's all about that baste!
- Roasting Pan with a wire rack to roast your turkey!
- Marble rolling pin. I've used this rolling pin for 13 years and counting. Perfect for rolling out pie crusts.
- Thermometer. Using an instant read thermometer is the best way to ensure your turkey is done (and doesn't get over-done)!
- Pie plates. You'll need more than one - trust me!
- Oven-Safe containers. use these to store and then warm the dishes you make in advance.
Make enough for leftovers
Don't forget to plan more food than you really need so that everyone can have their fair share of leftovers. What's Thanksgiving without enjoying leftovers all week long? Here are some yummy ways to use leftovers:
- Make this turkey cranberry sandwich! It's so good!
- Use leftover mashed potatoes to make these potato pancakes.
- This turkey pot pie is delicious and made from scratch.
Turkey & Gravy
The main event on Thanksgiving is always the Turkey! Check out our recipe for the BEST roast turkey and turkey gravy.
Thanksgiving Side Dishes
Who else thinks the magic of Thanksgiving lies in the sides?! Here are some of our favorite Thanksgiving side dish recipes.
What's Thanksgiving without delicious pies and all the flavors of fall? My motto is, there's always room for dessert! Here are some of our favorite Thanksgiving dessert recipes.
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