25 Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes
Putting together a Thanksgiving meal is no small feat, but having your Thanksgiving menu laid out can help you get started. We picked out some of our favorite recipes to help you with planning.
Slow-Roasted Rosemary Turkey with Peppercorn Gravy
A rub made of herbs, lemon zest, and garlic infuses every bite of this juicy bird. It's accompanied by a rich homemade gravy made from pan drippings and a touch of cream.
Healthy Green Bean Casserole
Typical green bean casseroles bathe ingredients in a heavy cream sauce and top them with buttered breadcrumbs or cheese. Our healthier version saves about 160 calories and 12 grams of saturated fat compared to a traditional recipe.
Roasted Fennel & Italian Sausage Stuffing
This homemade stuffing recipe is special because it comes complete with a sausage-making lesson from the Sausage King himself, author and famed business owner Bruce Aidells.
If you love mushrooms, this simple gravy recipe is one you'll want to serve with chicken, turkey, or mashed potatoes. Try oyster, shiitake, and/or crimini mushrooms for exotic taste and texture.
Spiralized Onions with Crispy Parmesan Breadcrumbs
You may not have considered onions as candidates for the spiralizer, but you should. They create beautiful ribbons that make this recipe reminiscent of fried shoestring onions. And because this onion ring-inspired recipe is baked rather than fried, they're really easy to make. Serve them alongside your favorite family recipes or as a Thanksgiving appetizer before feasting.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
What could be more satisfying than mashed potatoes? In this garlic mashed potato recipe, the potatoes are flavored with poached garlic, thinned with chicken stock and enriched with a small amount of sour cream. The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled if you're cooking for a crowd--say for Thanksgiving dinner.
Sweet Potato Soufflé
This scrumptious sweet potato soufflé is sweet without being cloying like some sweet potato casseroles can be. A crunchy pecan-and-oat topping nicely complements the creamy sweet potatoes. The casserole requires just 25 minutes of active time to prepare, so you can whip it up for Thanksgiving without a lot of fuss. And the filling can also be made up to five days ahead, so you just have to top it and bake it when it's showtime. With a sweet potato soufflé that's so easy, there's no need to serve it just for the holidays--try it with oven-fried chicken and green beans for a healthy dinner with a Southern accent.
Apple-Shallot Roasted Turkey with Cider Gravy
In this herb-roasted turkey recipe, apples and shallots cook inside the bird to keep the meat moist and add rich flavor. The extra shallots in the roasting pan also give the gravy recipe a rich, caramelized-onion depth and, with apple cider, the gravy is out-of-this-world delicious. The easy turkey stock adds extra flavor to the gravy, but you can use chicken broth instead with good results.
Green Bean Casserole
This healthy revision of green bean casserole skips the canned soup and all the fat and sodium that come with it. Our white sauce with sliced fresh mushrooms, sweet onions and low-fat milk makes a creamy, rich casserole for your Thanksgiving feast.
Wild Mushroom Stuffing
Wild mushrooms make an amazing, rich base for a stuffing for Thanksgiving dinner. This stuffing includes diced turkey liver, which gives it an intense, deep flavor. If you're not a liver lover or if you're serving vegetarians, you can omit it from the recipe. Recipe adapted from Alice Waters.
Bacon Mashed Potatoes
Bypassing deep-fried turkey lets you indulge in some other feast upgrades—and these bacon-studded chunky mashed potatoes may turn into one of your favorite Thanksgiving recipes.
Make this low-fat gravy in the roasting pan while the turkey rests. Apple cider adds rich fall flavor.
Gingered Cranberry-Raspberry Relish
Unlike cranberry sauce, a relish involves no cooking. Here, plump raspberries add a juicy freshness, while crystallized ginger provides sweetness and warmth. It is best served cold. Hold the mayo on your post-holiday sandwiches--use this relish instead for a real treat.
Meringue-Topped Sweet Potato Casserole
This lightened-up take on the classic Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole is spiked with crushed pineapple and toasted pecans. We top it with an airy, slightly sweet meringue. You can pipe the meringue to make it look fancy or simply spread it neatly with a rubber spatula.
A holiday staple in many households, creamed onions are usually bathed in a rich white sauce made with heavy cream. In this version, we roast the onions for an added layer of flavor and lighten up the sauce with low-fat milk. The result is a luxuriously silky sauce with a sweet roasted onion flavor for far fewer calories and less fat. We like the smaller size of pearl onions, but boiling onions also work well.
Thyme-Braised Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts braised in broth and thyme is a surprisingly simple preparation that yields rich and savory results.
The early American yeast bread, anadama bread, made with molasses and cornmeal, inspired these delicious dinner rolls. We think the sweet figs and floral aniseeds enhance the rich molasses flavor and make the rolls extra festive. Any type of cornmeal works in this recipe, but we especially like how stone-ground cornmeal looks on top of the rolls.
Deep-Dish Apple Pie
With all that delicious fruit an apple pie should be healthy, but the truth is a slice can have as much as 750 calories and 30 grams of fat. For the most part, the culprit is the crust. We use whole-wheat pastry flour to add fiber and lower the saturated fat by replacing some of the butter with canola oil. The brown sugar-sweetened filling in this pie is made with two kinds of apples for the perfect balance. A slice has half the calories of a typical version and only 10 grams of fat--sweet!
Holiday Pumpkin Pie
This lighter pumpkin pie has the rich, subtle spices of the classic and a delicate, faintly sweet crust.
Sage-Rubbed Roast Turkey with Lemon-Bay Gravy
This roast turkey recipe is flavored with sage and served with gravy made extra-tasty with the lemony pan drippings from the turkey and bay leaves in the giblet stock. The salt rub in this recipe acts as a “dry brine,” plumping and seasoning the meat for moist, juicy, flavorful turkey.
Sweet Potato Pie with Cream Cheese Swirl
This creamy sweet potato pie recipe is seasoned like a pumpkin pie with plenty of cinnamon and nutmeg and gets nice ginger flavor from the gingersnap crust. For the best results, roast sweet potatoes in the oven; in a pinch, microwave them instead.
Cranberry Sauce with Star Anise
This cranberry sauce recipe is scented with star anise, which has a dynamic flavor--earthy, spicy and sweet at the same time.
Two-Toned Mashed Potatoes
In this recipe, Yukon Gold potatoes and sweet potatoes are roughly mashed together with leeks for a beautiful mottled white-and-orange take on mashed potatoes. The creme fraiche topping offers a tangy counterpoint.
Slow-Cooker Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows
The genius hack in this recipe: topping sweet potatoes with marshmallows while they're still piping hot from the slow cooker yields a baked marshmallow topping that's typical with baked sweet potato casseroles.
Mini Apple Pies with Cheddar
Here's a healthy--and adorable--twist on deep-dish apple pie. This mini apple pie recipe will give you just a bit of something sweet and the melted wedge of Cheddar on top is a nod to the New England tradition of serving cheese with apple pie.