Holiday Food/ Thanksgiving

25 Classic Thanksgiving Recipes

Every year around Thanksgiving Day, our family prepares our menu. Of course, the classic and iconic recipes such as a buttery whole roasted turkey, cranberry sauce, cornbread, creamed spinach, homemade gravy, brussels sprouts, dinner rolls, herb stuffing, or cornbread dressing, and roasted carrots always make it to our family table. You’ll love this list of 25 Classic Thanksgiving Recipes that will give you plenty of new and traditional recipes to include in your celebration of the autumn harvest.

A collage of thanksgiving recipe images that include cranberry flufff salad, carrots, broccoli, brussels sprouts, turkey breast and gravy, spiral ham, creamed spinach, cranberry sauce, cornbread, apple crisp, asparagus, and roasted turkey.

Creamed Spinach

Creamed spinach, classic, decadent, and richly creamy, this side dish is served in some of the most famous restaurants around the country like Ruth Chris’s and Morton’s Steak house besides being traditionally made for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. The key to the ultra-velvety texture is the dairy cream flavored with a white cheese like mozzarella and added to fresh spinach.

Creamy cooked spinach in a thick cream sauce. Served in a bowl with a gold spoon.

Our family loves to entertain for Thanksgiving. Typically, we invite family and friends. Everyone is welcome. Plenty of these recipes can be made ahead of time and simply reheated before serving. In addition, I have included other methods to prepare dishes to reserve precious oven time for the turkey. These methods include using an Instant Pot pressure cooker, and stovetop skillet, and the Crock-Pot slow cooker. Several recipes don’t require any cooking method to prepare which makes it perfect to prepare last minute or a day or two in advance.

A collage of 12 food photos featuring classic Thanksgiving recipes including cranberry fluff, carrots, broccoli, brussels sprouts, turkey breast and gravy, ham, apple crisp, cranberry sauce, cornbread, roasted asparagus, creamed spinach, and a roasted turkey.

Best ever Crack RoastedBrussels Sprouts

Please everyone with oven-roasted crack brussels sprouts that have a wonderful, charred crunch and are easy to make in just 30 minutes. Not just for the holidays, this recipe uses ranch powder, garlic, and lemon citrus with the unexpected taste of parmesan cheese accompanied by the crunch of sliced almonds.

CRACK BRUSSELS SPROUTS are T H E B E S T oven-roasted brussels sprouts with an outrageously easy and totally delicious seasoning blend. Baked with a little crunch and served with toasted almonds, this vegetable recipe is top-rated among my family for a good reason.

Cranberry Sauce

Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without the sweet taste of this cranberry sauce. If you have always used canned sauce, this super simple cranberry recipe will amaze you and make you wonder why you didn’t try it sooner. Easy to make ahead and refrigerate for the big day or save for all the wonderful leftover dishes you create after Thanksgiving.

A bowl of homemade cranberry sauce with fresh cranberries and cranberry sauce.

Best Crack Roasted Carrots

Take your Classic Roasted Baby Carrots with chives, and parsley and turn it into something special with Hidden Valley ranch seasoning. In this easy-to-make carrot dish, nothing takes a recipe up a notch than to add some unexpected seasoning. Easy to prep, Classic Roasted Baby Carrots features simple ingredients. Make ahead and just reheat in a slow cooker, microwave, skillet, or in an aluminum sleeve next to the turkey pan in the oven.

Baby oven-roasted carrots on a sheet pan and garnished with chopped parsley.

Cranberry Fluff Salad

This Cranberry Fluff Salad is a perfect side dish for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter. Loved by adults and kids alike, Cranberry Fluff Salad is an easy way to incorporate cranberries into the perfect meal. Watch everyone ask for seconds. Not too tart, and not too sweet, and not the usual jelled cranberry right out of the can, sitting on your beautiful table.

Cranberries mixed in a bowl with marshmallows and whipped cream.

Sweet Buttermilk Cornbread

Instead of rolls for Thanksgiving or Christmas, this time around, try a sweet buttermilk cornbread that will taste like it was made from fresh butter and honey from the country. Great to eat during sweater weather with a cup of hot chocolate or a glass of cold milk as well, nothing will satisfy your tummy more than this moist, tender, and cake-like treat.

A tall slice of cornbread on a winter themed napkin. Glazed in honey.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Convert anyone to a sweet potato lover with this Ultimate Sweet Potato recipe. Tender hot, mashed sweet potatoes accompanied by an unexpected crunchy streusel topping will have everyone begging for the recipe. Give your guests this fun to make and tasty side dish that will create a buzz from the very first bite.

A white casserole dish with a scoop showing mashed sweet potatoes with a crunchy brown sugar, buttery pecan streusel topping.

Cranberry Relish

Cranberry relish is synonymous with Thanksgiving, but this year add a little twist with the addition of orange, apple, lemon, and sugar. Let’s face it, not everyone likes this tangy condiment, make this recipe and taste how the apple, two citrus fruits, and sugars meld together and take it down a notch.

Sweet Cranberry Relish - Just 3-minutes for a quick and easy Thanksgiving side dish using raw cranberries. This fresh fruit cranberry relish is sweet and tangy and tastes way better than cranberry sauce and cranberry fluff salad. 

Oven-Roasted Broccoli

If you are looking to one-up anyone who has ever made broccoli for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Father’s/Mother’s Day, or any other holiday, you must try this crack roasted broccoli version! Use olive oil to coat your broccoli before roasting your crowns at a high oven temperature helps caramelize your marinade of lemon, garlic, ranch seasoning, and parmesan cheese.

Crack Broccoli - The BEST 12 minute oven roasted broccoli with parmesan cheese and ranch seasoning.

Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Ham

Sometimes recipes have been around forever like this brown sugar pineapple ham. Oh, how Grandma would have loved to have used a slow cooker back in the day for holidays. The best thing about this recipe being cooked in the slow cooker is that it frees up the oven for other yummy dishes for the holidays like potato or vegetable casseroles.

CROCK POT BROWN SUGAR PINEAPPLE GLAZED HAM. It is a classic Easter ham recipe that's been around for decades in my family. Slow roasting a spiral ham with pineapple, honey, and brown sugar will save you a small fortune vs buying one from a specialty shop.

Maple Roasted Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts

If you can’t decide which delicious vegetable to make for the holidays try maple roasted butternut squash and brussels sprouts. This hearty autumn dish bakes on a sheet pan and can be served as a side to your dinner or as a warm salad. Toasted pecans, cranberries, and parmesan cheese crumbles make for an unexpected delight mixed with traditional cinnamon and maple syrup.

Roasted butternut squash and brussels sprouts on a sheet pan with pieces of pecans, dried cranberries, rosemary sprigs, and grated parmesan cheese.

Cornbread Dressing

Southerners take their stuffing very seriously and this classic southern cornbread dressing recipe will have you understanding why. The exceptional taste comes with making the cornbread from scratch and adding andouille sausage or kielbasa to a host of other ingredients in the dressing.

Cornbread dressing served in a Pyrex round dish. Pieces of cornbread with minced onions, thyme, and seasoning throughout this classic side dish.

Buttery Mashed Potatoes

This instant pot mashed potatoes dish is so easy to cook in your pressure cooker. Use the simplest of ingredients and a few minutes of prep and you have the perfect side dish. Yet another traditional dish that doesn’t take up your stove or oven space so valuable at holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter.

Creamy mashed potatoes with pats of melted butter and chopped parsley and green onions displayed in a metal instant pot pressure cooker bowl.

Caramel Apple Crisp Bars

Caramel apple crisp bars are one of those beloved desserts that will become one of your favorites. Three layers of goodness start with the bottom crust layer, working into a layer of apples followed by a final layer of an apple crisp topping with oats and drizzled with caramel. These bars are a must during autumn when the weather cools and the apples are harvested.

Apple pie bars stacked on top of each other. Each bar features a thick sugar cookie crust with layers of thinly sliced apples and an oat and buttery brown sugar topping.

Turkey Brine Recipe

Give everyone what they want for Thanksgiving this year with this foolproof turkey brine recipe that will guarantee your bird is juicy! You can read all about the different methods of “brining” and fully understand how this keeps your meat from drying out, giving you a more tender, juicy turkey. Wet, dry, short, long, it’s all here for you to choose the one you want to go with.

A dutch oven with a whole turkey in a wet salt water brine with slices of oranges, seasoning, and fresh herbs on top.

Juicy Herb Roast Turkey

This classic oven roast turkey recipe is a plethora of information. Whether this is your first turkey, or you have cooked dozens, this recipe touches on “brining”, thawing, seasoning, cooking, right down to how much turkey, gravy, and stuffing per person. I’ve listed all the links to other favorite dishes for your perfect Thanksgiving meal in here as well so grab some coffee or a drink and settle in.

A whole roasted turkey with golden brown skin and fresh herbs on top.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Skip the 20 cans of whip cream this year, your guests will enjoy this pumpkin praline cheesecake all by itself. Satisfying lovers of cheesecake and pumpkin pie alike, every bite of this decadent southern dessert with its praline taste throughout will soon turn this into a yearly favorite.

A pumpkin cheesecake with a slice cut and on a serving spoon.

Honey Baked Ham

Nothing says “tradition” more than a spiral-cut honey-baked ham. Make the perfect glaze with honey, white and brown sugar, corn syrup, and cinnamon, adding the secret ingredients: a touch of mustard, onion, and garlic powder. Shhh, just smile and claim it as your own.

Best Honey Baked Ham Recipe - Easy to prepare roast ham with a classic honey sugar glaze.

Apple Crisp

The key to a perfect apple crisp is not only the apples but the topping as well. Since we can never get enough of this buttery oat goodness, this recipe has you placing the crumbly streusel on the bottom as well. Yes, I said it…a homemade apple filling sandwiched between the streusel, and not just on top. Adding caramel sauce will really take it up a notch.

Apple crisp served on a plate with tender apples showing. A thick double buttery oat brown sugar streusel topping with caramel sauce.

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

This slow cooker turkey breast is perfect and juicy, whether you are cooking for a smaller gathering at Thanksgiving or adding more helpings to your full oven turkey, this couldn’t be easier. Additionally, turkey breasts are one of those things available year-round and perfect to cook while you are at work. Let my serving calculator and tips inspire you.

Turkey breast slices with homemade gravy. A closeup of the turkey skin golden brown with fresh herbs.

Oven-Roasted Asparagus

This year for the holidays, leave your green bean casserole behind and try this crack ranch roasted asparagus instead. Nothing is healthier or easier than roasting your asparagus in the oven. Toss some asparagus in with the seasoning ingredients then top with bacon, grated parmesan cheese, and sliced almonds. This recipe goes with any meat or eat it all by itself for a light meal.

Roasted asparagus on a sheet pan with sliced almonds, and pieces of bacon. Garnished with grated parmesan cheese and a wooden spoon scooping the vegetables.

Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball

You’ll want to make this delicious bacon cheese ball and serve it as an appetizer at your holiday party. It’s the perfect bite-size cream cheese and cracker snack loaded with tasty ranch seasoning, bacon pieces, pecans, and green onions. Everyone raves and asks for this recipe year after year.

Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball - An easy cream cheese appetizer to serve with crackers for your next party. This crack ranch cheese ball is rolled in bacon, pecans, ranch seasoning, green onions, and parsley.

Pumpkin Cornbread

Thanksgiving and fall wouldn’t be the same without some pumpkin…carved and on your front porch, in a delicious pumpkin praline cheesecake or in this incredible pumpkin cornbread. This cornbread is tender yet dense and uses real pumpkin puree in addition to pumpkin pie spice. Enjoy it further with the traditional pat of butter and a drizzle of honey.

A square slice of pumpkin cornbread on a white serving platter with a glaze of honey and a pat of butter.

Cranberry Bruschetta

Cranberry cream cheese bruschetta, a much-asked-for, vibrant, and upscale-looking appetizer to serve for the holidays. This crowd-pleaser got its name for the light cinnamon and brown sugared flavored cream cheese spread topped with chopped cranberries infused with more sugars and orange juice.

Cranberry Cream Cheese Bruschetta served on burlap. Each slice features baguette bread with cream cheese spread and fresh cranberry relish on top.

Creamed Corn

This cream corn recipe gives you all the taste of traditional cream corn while maintaining the kernels as more intact rather than soupy. The dairy products used such as cream cheese, heavy cream, parmesan, and cheddar cheese, and butter achieve the same taste with the bacon adding that something extra.

A closeup of creamed corn in a casserole dish with a wooden spoon taking a scoop of corn in a cream sauce with pieces of bacon, cheese, and parsley.

Cherry Fluff Salad

This Cherry Fluff Salad is delightfully delicious. A modern twist on cherry pie, this dessert salad uses ingredients that are steeped in decades of holiday tradition. Each bite gets better and better. That’s because the first bite tastes like creamy cherry pie. Make this potluck-style salad and serve it as a dessert or a side to your Thanksgiving Day menu this year.

Cherry fluff salad served in a white bowl. A creamy cherry white mixture with mini marshmallows fills the bowl with cherry pie filling in the center.
A collage of 25 classic thanksgiving recipes featuring cranberry fluff salad, roasted carrots, roasted broccoli, roasted brussels sprouts, turkey breast with gravy, glazed ham, apple crisp, homemade cranberry sauce, and sweet cornbread

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