20+ Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas - The Recipe Rebel (2024)

This is your one-stop guide to making your perfect Thanksgiving Dinner Menu with a combination of classic and some new Thanksgiving dinner ideas.

Find succulent turkey main dish recipes, delicious ham and pork alternatives, and a wide range of classic casseroles, veggie side dishes, and creamy mashed potato recipes!

20+ Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas - The Recipe Rebel (1)

Table of Contents

  • What is served at a traditional Thanksgiving dinner?
  • What do I do with leftovers?
  • Main Dishes
  • Thanksgiving Side Dishes
  • Even More Delicious Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas

Whether you’re having an intimate Thanksgiving with a small groupor a full traditional Thanksgiving feast with a crowd, this list has everything you need to plan your main meal—and some ideas for leftovers the next day!

What is served at a traditional Thanksgiving dinner?

For a classic American Thanksgiving meal, you can expect to find a roasted turkey, savory onion and celery stuffing, creamy mashed potatoes, flavorful gravy, crisp green beans (or green bean casserole), sweet corn, soft dinner rolls, tangy cranberry sauce, and a delicious pumpkin pie.

Here in Canada, we do things slightly differently. We tend to have a few other things as well, like Brussels sprouts, roasted butternut squash, and sweet maple and pecan mashed sweet potatoes (you can see my list of Best Thanksgiving Side Dishes here!).

Check out the list below to get a head start on planning for the holidays!

What do I do with leftovers?

Sometimes it can be difficult to know just how much to cook for the holidays – especially if you’re having guests! If you find yourself with a lot of leftover meat, don’t worry! It can be revived into delicious, easy meals so you don’t have to prep more mini-feasts for the rest of the week!

Some of my favorite leftover turkey recipes include my Creamy Turkey Shepherd’s Pie,One Pot Turkey Tetrazzini Recipe, orTurkey Noodle Soup.

Try one of my Easy Leftover Ham Recipes if you’re making ham for your main.

Main Dishes

Click the title of any recipe to view the complete recipe.

Whether you serve a traditional Thanksgiving turkey, ham, pork, or beef, we’ve got lots of recipes to tingle your tastebuds!

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Crockpot Turkey Breast

Juicy and tender, this dish is great for smaller gatherings, and requires almost no prep time!

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Roast Turkey Breast with Cranberry Marinade

This turkey breast recipe is perfect for an intimate holiday dinner, and it’s easy to prep ahead, leaving you more time to enjoy your company!​

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Easy Spiral Ham with Apple Cider Glaze

This ham is the perfect holiday dinner table centerpiece with a perfect balance of juicy, sweet, and salty flavors!

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This Sous Vide Turkey Breast recipe is expertly seasoned, with crispy, golden skin, and a scrumptious apple cider gravy!

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Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry Sauce

This easy recipe can be prepped to cook the next day, giving you more time to enjoy the festivities! It’s great for a weeknight meal but has a great presentation that’s perfect for a fancy holiday dinner.

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Garlic Brown Sugar Dry Brine Turkey

With a crispy, golden exterior, this recipe ensures juicy, succulent meat that will leave you craving for more. This roast turkey is truly one of a kind and is sure to be a hit with everyone who tries it!

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Instant Pot Turkey Breast

With just 10 minutes of preparation and 40 minutes in the Instant Pot, this recipe ensures your turkey is perfectly cooked, succulent, and delicious!

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Instant Pot Ham with Pineapple Glaze

Ready in just 35 minutes, cooking ham in the Instant Pot is a much faster way to cook it than in the oven, and it saves you space for your sides in the oven too! Drizzled with a simple and sweet pineapple glaze, it’s so juicy!

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10-Minute Turkey Brine Recipe

Add a ton of moisture and flavor in just 10 minutes to your turkey and knock your holiday meal out of the park!

Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Some of my fondest memories of the holidays are because of the side dishes, so I’d recommend planning them with a bit of time to spare! There are so many great ways to complement a holiday dinner.

If you’re making a big meal, try to choose a variety of dishes that can be made with different cooking methods, so you’re not relying on the oven for everything.

Some of the recipes here are good to make in the Instant Pot, some in the Slow Cooker, some on the Stovetop, and others in the Oven. Plan your dishes so you won’t have to cram things into your oven. This will also allow you to time it so all the food is ready at the same time!

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Homemade Stuffing Recipe

A beloved holiday side dish that everyone enjoys! It’s filled with a variety of delicious flavors and textures, and it’s simple to prepare in advance.

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Roasted Green Beans

This 5-ingredient recipe is made with fresh green beans that are roasted to crisp-tender perfection, and they go perfectly with any main!

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Creamed Corn

Use fresh, frozen, or canned corn to make this classic recipethat comes together in minutes. It’s a Thanksgiving classic that is perfect for any holiday dinner!

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Garlic Mashed Potatoes

They are incredibly smooth, creamy, and buttery, with just the right amount of garlic. Best of all, they can be ready in just 30 minutes! Perfect for elevating any meal!

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Homemade Garlic Herb Dinner Rolls

These rolls are a breeze to make and are bursting with flavorful garlic and herb goodness! They’re so tender and fluffy, they complement any meal perfectly.

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Slow Cooker Honey Orange Glazed Carrots

This is one of the easiest holiday side dishes I know, and it’s always a huge hit when I make it. It’s perfect even for the pickiest eaters on the big day!

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Broccoli Casserole

A comforting side dish with tender broccoli tossed in a creamy cheese sauce and topped with crushed cheese crackers. Once baked, it becomes irresistibly melty and crispy!

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Green Beans with Bacon

Simply toss fresh green beans with aromatic onions and garlic, simple seasonings, and some crispy bacon bits to make this delicious side dish for the holidays!

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Homemade Crescent Rolls

These rolls are light and fluffy and totally made from scratch with just 15 minutes of prep time. They’re always a crowd-pleaser, and work well with any main course!

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Roasted Carrots

These classic veggies are simple but versatile, and they work well with any main dish. You can add color and nutrients to your table in just 30 minutes!

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Homemade Cranberry Sauce

A holiday staple, this fresh cranberry sauce is ready in 15 minutes with fresh orange juice and brown sugar.

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Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes

This stovetop recipe takes only 25 minutes to make and produces a smooth, decadent potato side dish loaded with butter and herbs. Enjoy the deliciousness without any fuss!

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Garlic Parmesan Scalloped Potatoes and Carrots Recipe

With sliced potatoes and carrots, a creamy bechamel sauce, and plenty of parmesan, this dish is sure to please. It’s sure to become a new family favorite!

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No Knead Artisan Bread

With a hearty and chewy texture, this loaf has a deliciously golden crust. It’s an ideal choice for novice bakers, perfect for any occasion!

Wondering how to finish off your holiday meal? Try these 15 Easy Thanksgiving Desserts!

Even More Delicious Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas


Easy Pot Roast recipe (the BEST gravy!)


Easy Cinnamon Roll Casserole recipe (7 ingredients!)


Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies


Chai Cookies Recipe

20+ Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas - The Recipe Rebel (2024)


How do you cook a large group for Thanksgiving? ›

Plan Ahead:

Making and freezing a large batch of your favorite recipe ahead of time to have on hand will save you a bunch of time—and cleanup. Keep it simple (you'll have ample opportunity to impress your guests on Thanksgiving) and go for one-pot wonders you can easily reheat, like a hearty stew.

What are the top 20 Thanksgiving foods in America? ›

Top 20 Thanksgiving Recipes
  • Apple Stuffing.
  • Homemade Buttermilk Cornbread.
  • Asparagus Bake.
  • Creamy Green Bean Casserole.
  • Cranberry Sauce.
  • Creamy Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes.
  • Turkey Gravy.
  • Apple Pie.

What is a traditional Thanksgiving dinner menu? ›

Traditional Thanksgiving dinner includes Roast turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing (or “dressing”), and some kind of pie for dessert, typically pumpkin, apple, or pecan. Common sides are green bean casserole, scalloped corn, and roasted sweet potatoes.

How do you host Thanksgiving for 30 people? ›

Share this story
  1. Organization Is Key. The most important part of hosting a big dinner, like Thanksgiving, is being really organized. ...
  2. Opt for Multiple Make-Ahead Casseroles. ...
  3. Distract With Snacks. ...
  4. Ask Guests to Bring Their Own Wine. ...
  5. Make Punch. ...
  6. Bake Desserts Two Days Early. ...
  7. Attitude Is Everything. ...
  8. Talk About the Food.
Oct 31, 2019

How much food do I need for 20 people for Thanksgiving? ›

How Much Food to Make for Thanksgiving
Menu ItemSmall (2 to 4 )Large (14 to 20 )
Appetizer13 to 4
Soup4 cups16 cups
Turkey (whole)6 pounds18 to 25 pounds
Salad12 to 3
9 more rows
Oct 29, 2021

What are the 12 most popular Thanksgiving dishes? ›

Scroll through to take a look at our most popular Thanksgiving recipes.
  • 01 of 24. Perfect Turkey. ...
  • 02 of 24. Roasted Brussels Sprouts. ...
  • 03 of 24. Cranberry Sauce. ...
  • 04 of 24. Homemade Mac and Cheese. ...
  • 05 of 24. Sweet Potato Pie. ...
  • 06 of 24. Granny Kat's Pumpkin Roll. ...
  • 07 of 24. Slow Cooker Turkey Breast. ...
  • 08 of 24. Cream Corn Like No Other.
Oct 26, 2023

What is the unhealthiest Thanksgiving food? ›

Worst: Sausage Stuffing

It's often made with fatty processed meat, butter or margarine, and refined bread or rice. It's a high-calorie food that packs a load of fat, carbs, and nitrates, which are cancer-causing. If you add dried cranberries, there's a good chance they're sweetened and add sugar to your stuffing.

What is the most unpopular Thanksgiving food? ›

Jones shared the following on the most disliked traditional Thanksgiving foods ranked by percentage of how many participants didn't like them:
  • Coleslaw — 25.57%
  • Pumpkin pie — 24.28%
  • Mashed potatoes — 18.66%
  • Macaroni and cheese — 17.47%
  • Carrots — 16.98%
  • Apple pie — 16.29%
  • Corn — 15.50%
  • None of these, I like them all.
Nov 13, 2023

What is the most loved Thanksgiving food? ›

Popular Thanksgiving foods ranked
  1. Stuffing.
  2. Potatoes. ...
  3. Pies and other sweets. ...
  4. Other random foods. ...
  5. Rolls. Though rolls are certainly not a main dish, they are a key element of any Thanksgiving meal. ...
  6. Turkey. The classic entree for Thanksgiving is definitely a large turkey dish. ...
Nov 10, 2023

What is a must for Thanksgiving dinner? ›

But a few things are guaranteed, no matter where I am or who I'm with: There will be turkey; there will be stuffing; there will be cranberry sauce, gravy, potatoes, and pie.

What is the most popular Thanksgiving side? ›

Mashed potatoes are the front-runner to be on the most plates this Thanksgiving. Turkey no longer reigns supreme. Findings showed that over half of the United States would be content to only have sides on their holiday plates and 67% of Americans prefer side dishes to the main entrée!

What is a traditional black Thanksgiving dinner? ›

You will likely be eating roast turkey, barbecued turkey, deep fried turkey, glazed country ham, collard greens, macaroni and cheese, green beans, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes mashed and covered with marshmallows, corn, cornbread, yeast/potato rolls, black eyed peas, rice, gravy, potato salad, cranberry sauce from ...

How do you simplify Thanksgiving dinner? ›

Tips To Simplify Thanksgiving Entertaining
  1. Pick the menu early. Don't leave menu planning and shopping to the last minute. ...
  2. Brine your bird. Turkey is the centerpiece of the feast, so give it every opportunity to shine. ...
  3. Start prep work a few days before Thanksgiving. ...
  4. Serve batched co*cktails. ...
  5. Create simple centerpieces.
Nov 1, 2023

How do you cook for large amounts of people? ›

8 Tips For Cooking For Large Groups
  1. Keep things simple. ...
  2. Cook a crowd pleaser. ...
  3. Make something that's adaptable. ...
  4. Plan/Cook ahead. ...
  5. Invest in a slow cooker (or two) ...
  6. Make everyone your sous-chefs! ...
  7. Use a buffet approach. ...
  8. Finger food essentials.
May 24, 2019

How much stuffing do I need for 50 people? ›

In order to fill the cavity of the bird you are stuffing, you should make 3/4 cup of stuffing per person. You may not be able to fit all the stuffing into your turkey. If this is the case, then you can even make a casserole to fill up your guests!

How many pounds of potatoes do I need to feed 100 people? ›

A: 100, 1/2 cup servings of potatoes needs 25 pounds of potatoes. However, if the group has other choices for sides, I think you can get by with about 15-20 pounds minimum.

How much stuffing do I need for 100 guests? ›

How Much Stuffing per Person?
  1. Amount per person: 3/4 cup of stuffing.
  2. Total Amount per 100 servings: 75 cups (18 3/4 quarts) of stuffing.


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