Our 30 Easiest Thanksgiving Recipes for a Stress-Free Holiday

spatchcock turkey with thyme and sage on sheet pan on table

If you're looking for maximum flavor, yet minimal effort this holiday season, these recipes are perfect for you. From roasted turkey to classic sides like mashed potatoes and green bean casserole, these recipes only require 20 minutes of active time or less, so you can get everything started in the kitchen and kick back until dinner time. Recipes like our Air-Fryer Brussels Sprouts and Spatchcock Turkey with Sage & Thyme will get you in and out of the kitchen in no time at all.

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Kale Salad with Cranberries


This easy holiday salad gets its flavor from a sweet citrus dressing that's infused into the kale by massaging the greens and the dressing together with your hands. We like a mix of kale for this recipe, but any type of kale will work.

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Air-Fryer Brussels Sprouts


These super-crispy and browned air-fryer Brussels sprouts with sweet onions and salty bacon--all amped up with bright lemon juice--are sure to be a hit, whether you serve them for a weeknight side dish or as part of your holiday spread for Thanksgiving. This recipe makes enough to serve eight but is easily halved, though once you taste it you may well want a double serving. And if you prefer a vegetarian side, simply omit the bacon.

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Melting Sweet Potatoes with Maple Butter


As the name implies, these sweet potatoes melt right in your mouth. After browning in a hot oven, thick slices of sweet potato simmer in broth and soak up the flavors of maple syrup and lemon. This simple dish is great alongside roasted chicken or pork and makes a great Thanksgiving side dish.

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Spatchcock Turkey with Sage & Thyme

spatchcock turkey with thyme and sage on sheet pan on table

When it comes to cooking a whole turkey quickly and evenly, spatchcocking--removing the entire backbone from the bird and splaying it open--is a great technique. This skin on this spatchcocked turkey gets crispy and browned because nearly all of the skin is exposed. This recipe uses a simple blend of oil, fresh herbs and spices for classic roasted turkey flavor. Look for a small turkey, about 12 pounds, as it fits better in most roasting pans.

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Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pie


One of the tasters of this dairy-free pumpkin pie called it a "vegan's dream come true." The filling has just the right amount of spice, while the crust--made with part whole-wheat flour--has a wonderful nutty flavor and crispy texture. The pie is great as is, but to really please the plant-based eaters at your Thanksgiving table, top it with Coconut Whipped Cream (see Associated Recipes).

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Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast with Garlic


Bone-in, skin-on turkey breasts, also called split breasts, are inexpensive, flavorful, and nice for (just enough) leftovers. Try this any time of year!

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Instant Pot Green Bean Casserole


Free up space in your oven and on the stovetop this Thanksgiving with the help of an electric pressure cooker, like the Instant Pot. Not only does it cook entirely in one pot, it cooks super-quick, perfect for a last-minute side dish.

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Easy Mashed Sweet Potatoes


This healthy mashed sweet potato recipe has just 5 ingredients and is dinner-ready in 20 minutes. Using sweet potatoes for this classic side dish adds color to your plate along with a little sweetness and a boost of Vitamin A. With classic and simple flavors, it can easily be paired with any of your favorite dishes.

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Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad


This raw Brussels sprouts salad featuring shaved Brussels sprouts, toasted pecans, sweet-tart cranberries and nutty Parmesan cheese is tossed with a light and lemony vinaigrette. You can shave the Brussels sprouts using a chef's knife--or use the slicing attachment of your food processor to make it even easier. This quick and easy recipe is perfect for fall or anytime you have crisp, fresh Brussels sprouts on hand.

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Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Buttermilk


These garlic mashed potatoes are extra creamy, thanks to the addition of both butter and buttermilk. To prevent the potatoes from getting gummy, be sure not to overmix them in Step 2. Mashed vegetables tend to get cold easily; keep all tools--the ricer and bowl--warm by running under hot water before using.

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Slow-Cooker Maple-Mustard Turkey Breast


Depart from the expected roasted whole turkey for Thanksgiving dinner, and serve this succulent, slow-cooker turkey breast instead. You'll delight guests with a new dish and also save yourself hands-on time and effort. As a bonus on Turkey Day, this recipe leaves your oven free for stuffing and casseroles. If whole turkey breast isn't available, ask your butcher to cut up a whole turkey and give you the whole turkey breast. To make this recipe gluten free, use gluten-free Dijon. For a pretty presentation, serve with fresh thyme and cilantro sprigs.

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Creamy Mashed Rutabaga with Bacon


Rutabagas have tough skin and are often enclosed in wax to prevent them from drying out. Cut away the wax (or boil for 1 1/2 minutes and wipe off) and skin with a sharp chef's knife instead of using a vegetable peeler. Whole milk adds a smooth, creamy texture to this mash.

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Cranberry Buttermilk Pie


This custard filling is what takes this buttermilk pie recipe to the next level. It tastes like a panna cotta with a bit of attitude from the tang of the buttermilk and a generous sprinkling of cranberries on top.

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Roasted Brussels Sprout & Butternut Squash Salad

Roasted Brussels Sprout & Butternut Squash Salad

Serve this hearty and healthy fall salad with roasted pork tenderloin, chicken or salmon, or with your Thanksgiving meal. All of the vegetables are roasted on the same pan, so this recipe is easy to prep, and it tastes great warm or at room temperature so it's perfect for holiday buffet tables and potlucks. Cranberries add a sweet-tart edge, while the maple-tahini dressing provides depth.

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Slow-Cooker Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows

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.

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Maple-Glazed Turkey


Whether you're having a boneless turkey roast, a whole turkey or a bone-in turkey breast, this grilled turkey recipe will work for you! We provide the different instructions for each cut of meat, but one thing is consistent in all three recipes--the delicious maple-orange glaze that will flavor your turkey as it cooks on the grill.

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Herbed Cornbread Dressing


Cornbread studded with plenty of herbs gives this classic stuffing a subtly sweet flavor.

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5-Layer Homemade Pecan Pie


The "magic" ingredient in the filling of this chocolate-bourbon pecan pie (and many gooey baked goods) is sweetened condensed milk, which delivers that craveable texture. This pecan pie recipe without corn syrup is a wonderful Thanksgiving dessert. A little bourbon adds its complex, oak-aged perfume to the sweet mix but, if you prefer, vanilla extract tastes great too.

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Balsamic Roasted Carrots

Balsamic Roasted Carrots
Pictured Recipe: Balsamic Roasted Carrots.

Roasting carrots brings out their sweetness, which is enhanced further with a tangy balsamic and maple glaze. Serve them straight-up for an easy weeknight side dish or garnish with chopped hazelnuts for holiday meals and dinner parties.

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Spice-Rubbed Turkey


In this carb-conscious recipe, creamy low-fat yogurt cools the spicy heat of the curry- and cumin-rubbed turkey.

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Balsamic-Roasted Green Beans with Parmesan

Balsamic-Roasted Green Beans with Parmesan

Sweet balsamic vinegar and nutty Parmesan cheese complement roasted green beans and shallots in this easy and healthy side dish. Roasting the green beans gives them a sweet, caramelized flavor while they still retain some bite. Serve with chicken, fish, pork--you name it. These green beans are also a wonderful addition to your Thanksgiving meal.

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Herbed Turkey Gravy


Roasting a turkey or chicken for the holidays? Set aside the drippings to make this low-fat, low-calorie gravy.

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Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce


Thanks to an electric pressure cooker like your Instant Pot, this fix-it-and-forget-it cranberry sauce is sure to free up some room on your stove. This Thanksgiving dinner essential has just five ingredients and is super easy, hands-off and ready in 30 minutes.

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Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes


Make this classic comfort food side dish in an electric pressure cooker, like the Instant Pot, to get the potatoes soft and tender in a jiff! This easy, 5-ingredient recipe is perfect for the holidays because it's all done in one pot and doesn't take up any extra oven or stove space.

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Vegan Green Bean Casserole


Now everyone can enjoy classic Thanksgiving favorites, like this dairy-free green bean casserole. We make a homemade vegan cream of mushroom soup using almond milk for the creamy base that's combined with fresh green beans. Top it off with classic french-fried onions (we have a vegan recipe for that, too!) for a side dish everyone will devour.

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Roasted Honeynut Squash


Honeynut squash looks just like mini butternut squash, but on the inside you'll find an even sweeter, deeper orange flesh. This winter squash has only been available at farmers' markets and in select grocery stores for a few years. If you see it, grab a few to try! This simple roasting method enhances the natural flavor of the squash with butter and spices.

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Traditional Herbed Roast Turkey


A medley of fresh herbs and vegetables flavors the turkey while adding minimal carbs, calories, and fat in this recipe.

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Maple-Pecan Apple Dippers


Caramel apples can contain up to 60 grams of carbs, but these apple dippers are a lower-carb option. These apple slices--dipped in melted butterscotch, drizzled with sweet maple syrup, and sprinkled with savory pecans--will remind you of your grandmother's pecan pie.

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Cranberry Bread Pudding


This delicious cranberry pudding recipe is diabetic-friendly.

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Slow-Cooker Turkey Breast


Making turkey breast in the slow cooker guarantees moist, juicy meat every time. And it creates intensely flavorful drippings for homemade gravy. This slow-cooker turkey breast is perfect for Thanksgiving but it's easy enough that you can pull it together anytime you're in the mood for a turkey dinner (or a sandwich stuffed with leftover turkey).

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