Recipes the World Forgot: My Thanksgiving Menu This Year
Here are my classic, tried-and-true Thanksgiving recipes that I go to year after year, because they are simply the best!
Have you narrowed down your Thanksgiving menu yet?
If you’re like me, sometimes that very task seems a little daunting with all the millions of “must-try!” Thanksgiving-inspired recipes floating around the internet.
I’m always tempted to try new recipes at Thanksgiving, and sometimes I do, but often, I stick with the classics from my recipe archives because a) they work and b) my family would revolt if I didn’t.
Here’s a look at what I serve year after year!
Happy Thanksgiving Menu Planning!
As always, I’d love to know what YOU are serving or making!
48 Comments on “Recipes the World Forgot: My Thanksgiving Menu This Year”
Hosting my first Thanksgiving this year. Thank you for helping me and providing recipes to most of what I am making. Your recipes are a life saver and always so yummy!
Thanks, Valerie! Good luck hosting!
How would you compare the chocolate pie in this list to the new one you posted in the pie boot camp posts? I’ve made the one above many times (in a regular pie crust though, cuz I LOVE pie crust) and was debating which one to make this year!
Great question! The one I posted recently in the pie boot camp post has a sturdier filling – not quite as pudding-like as the one listed above.
Hi Mel, LOVE your Thanksgiving recipes. Our food is made almost exclusively from your recipes. :-). One question for you…my husband is going to smoke the turkey this year, so I’m wondering how I can make gravy. Any ideas for a tasty gravy with no drippings from the meat? Thank you!
Yes! It won’t have quite the same depth of flavor as if you had drippings to use, but this is my base model for pretty stellar gravy: 6 tablespoons butter, 1/2 cup flour, 3-4 cups broth. Melt the butter and add the flour. Cook that mixture for 2-3 minutes until it’s toasty and golden (don’t let it burn, just stir often over medium heat). Gradually whisk in the broth and simmer gently until thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste!
You are the best! Thank you!!
Ok tell me you’re posting these recipes before Sunday! I was just about to go to the store with your current green bean recipe, the potato rolls (but overnight rolls that make me cry sound so much better!) and I’ve been dying for a slow cooker mashed potato recipe to ease my burden in the kitchen on thanksgiving!
I hate that I signed up this year for all the work but I love finding your recipes and deciding which ones you sounded more excited about in your commentary!
Right now I’m deciding between the maple glazed spiral ham that I’ve made before and loved— and the sweet oven ham that you shouted from the rooftops about! (I don’t have a pressure cooker yet -it’s on my Christmas list again this year!).. which would you choose??
Yes! Rolls are going up tomorrow (Wednesday), green bean casserole on Thursday, stuffing on Saturday, and the potatoes on Monday (sorry for the delay on that one, but all you need are potatoes, milk and butter…and a slow cooker of course). If you’ve loved the spiral ham, I’d probably go with that to ease your stress. The sweet baked ham is my favorite ham of all time, but it is a little more work and if you haven’t made it before, I wouldn’t want you stressed about it for a big holiday!
You are so incredible.. did I mention that?! Thank you for all of your hard work!
Thanks, Amy! 🙂
I just want to put in a plug for the sweet baked ham, because it really is the best of all time, AND you can do all the work the day before! That’s how I always make it, anyway. It might not look quite as pretty as a full ham, but piling it on a nice plate would work. Hmmm… now I kind of want ham instead of turkey for Thanksgiving…
I’m interested in trying the pressure cooker mashed potatoes. I found a new variety (well, new to me) of potato called klondike rose, which is red on the outside, and creamy gold inside, like a yukon gold. I mash these, skins and all, and it makes lovely garlic butter mashed potatoes. secret ingredient: one container of little ceasar’s garlic butter sauce , leftover from pizza nite.
thanks for the ideas! definitely interested in trying out those pumpkin pie cupcakes soon.
When we did Thanksgiving (in October here in Canada), we served turkey, cooked in a paper bag the way my mom taught me, mashed potatoes and gravy, peas, jellied cranberry sauce (from a can–to avoid the family revolt!), candied sweet potatoes, and Stove Top stuffing (I usually make stuffing in the crock pot, but it just didn’t happen this year), and pumpkin pie for dessert.
Thanks for sharing! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving!
We will host the family and will have a traditional menu
-Turkey – always cooked in a bag – turns out perfect every year
-one of your roll recipe
-stuffing (apple and turkey sausage with homemade cornbread)
-sweet potatoes – usually your recipe, but maybe we will try the new recipe with apple and bacon
-green veggie tbd
-your delicious cranberry salsa
-canned cranberries – my husband perfers that
-either apple pie-cake or apple pie
Delicious lineup, Valerie!
Just so you know if I didn’t make Banofee Pie and Chocolate Chip cookie pie I would be in big trouble with my gang! Those 2 pies have become new traditions for our Thanksgiving dinner. We also love the crustless pumpkin pie muffins and your cranberry salsa also has to be on the menu… we love it!! I made the confetti corn for the first time last year… I think i’ll add that and the stuffed apple and bacon and sweet potatoes. I always have to make a big batch of yams that we mash and top with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon… Super simple, but a staple for Thanksgiving. I also love your green bean casserole recipe, so I may have to include that. My problem at Thanksgiving and Christmas is that I just want to make everything!! We really love FOOD!! And since you came into my life there is so much yummy stuff to make …. I just can’t help myself. I guess I should get serious about narrowing it down… but thanks to you I have no shortage of wonderful possibilities 🙂
Haha, I have the same problem, Helen! I want to make ALL THE THINGS and then I run out of energy AND fridge space. 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving!
Can I just please come to your house for Thanksgiving instead? This all sounds amazing but a ton of freakin work. Pretty please?!?
Haha, you are right, it IS a ton of work. I wonder every year why we do this. Memories I guess, right?
Your menu looks great! A must at our house is the Silver Palate Sour Cream Apple Pie. I’ve made it every year for the holidays since I first discovered it on the Epicurious website.
Oooh, can’t wait to check out that pie recipe, Theresa!
This year I am hosting my mom and my own family. Even though half of our group is 5 and under we are serving a full (traditional) spread.
Turkey- I might attempt your recipe since I’ve only been in charge of Turkey once before!
Some kind of green salad
I’ll definitely be looking for creative ways to use up leftovers! 2 years ago my little family was without extended family plans. Instead of making a full scale dinner we made very fancy turkey sandwiches and spent the day just being together!
I love that “fancy turkey sandwich” Thanksgiving! Sounds like you have a fun/big one this year. Good luck with all that cooking!
I am so THANKFUL for your blog! You continue to be my go-to for everyday and holiday recipes, so THANK YOU!!
For Thanksgiving this year, I will do most of the cooking for about 16 people, very traditional menu. I will be making two turkeys, one traditionally roasted in the oven, the other brined & smoked in the big green egg. First time smoking a turkey but we’ve heard it’s delicious!
We’ll have your fresh cranberry salsa, as that has been a major hit the last 2 years, and will try your buttery cornmeal crescent rolls this year. I will look out for your updated green bean casserole too!
Can’t wait to see your new pie. I discovered a cranberry lime pie with a ginger snap crust last year on bonapetit- you must try it! It’s gorgeous, delicious, and adds a bright pop of pink to the table (which I can use in a house of boys!)
Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Thank you so much, Jody! That’s quite the menu! I always say I don’t need another turkey recipe, but you reminded me that I do need to post my favorite honey smoked turkey recipe I used to make years ago. That cranberry lime pie sounds AMAZING!
Please please post that smoked turkey recipe!! My husband wants to smoke the turkey this year and I told him let me check with Mel first. I was sad to see no smoked turkey recipe. I know with you’re recipe it’s going to be good! Now we were left with taking a gamble on someone else’s opinion of a dang good turkey. Even if you don’t get around to posting it to your site, would it be at all possible to email it to me!!?
We are hosting my sis and BIL and their five kids this years, so the below is what we are serving:
Cajun deep-fried turkey
Coca Cola-glazed ham
Mac and Cheese
Green beans with bacon
Stove Top stuffing (its the ONLY stuffing we will eat!)
Mashed potatoes / gravy
Cranberry Apple relish
Chocolate Layer Cake
Gooey butter cake
AMAZING! What a lineup!
I’m not going to lie – just seeing all these recipes you’re going to make exhausted me and I had to go lie down. You are ambitious and incredible and like the Energizer bunny. Thank you for your blog!
Haha, don’t give me too much credit! I assigned some out to my brother and sister. 🙂
Our Thanksgiving dinner is similar to yours (turkey, mashed potatoes w/gravy, sweet potatoes, stuffing, Lion House rolls) except for the veggies & cranberry sauce. We stick with green beans (your skillet recipe) and my mother’s traditional German rotkohl–an acquired taste, but it is the taste of childhood and home for me!
I love centering the Thanksgiving table around traditions! Sounds like a delicious lineup!
This looks delicious. Among other things, I will totally be making your Yummy Fresh Cranberry Salsa; after discovering it a few years back it’s always requested both at my husband’s office holiday potlucks and for our Thanksgiving gathering. Soooo good! https://www.melskitchencafe.com/yummy-fresh-cranberry-salsa/
That IS a great addition for Thanksgiving!
I follow you (and Kimball) and use your recipes when trying something new. This spinach salad looks to be perfect for our Thanksgiving Feast this year. However, will you suggest a substitution for the crunch, if there is one? We have a severe nut allergy granddaughter.
Thank you so much!
By the way, I am going to use your “bagged turkey” recipe this year for the whole bird. For years, I have made the slow-cooker breast and gravy the day before, in order to have extra turkey for a crowd, and also to have the delicious gravy it makes prepared in advance.
Keep your wonderful recipes coming, Mel!
Kind regards, and Happy Thanksgiving!
Hi Nancy – what about pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds? Good luck with your Thanksgiving!
A new and improved green bean casserole coming up? We’re doing Thanksgiving dinner next Saturday and I’m in charge of green bean casserole. I’ve never made it but I knew I wanted a non- canned everything version and your make-ahead gbc fit the bill. Plus it comes from Cook’s Country so I know it’d be great. Please tell me the Cook’s Country recipe is still a good one! I don’t have time to switch up recipes especially since I don’t know when you’re posting the new one! Haha
Hi Kaytee – yes, the old one I have posted on my site is delicious! The new one is a modified version of that one with a little more flavor and a deliciously crunchy topping.
Yum Mel! Thanks for the ideas. We are doing the turkey and gravy, dressing and I always make your chocolate mousse cheesecake pie (my favorite dessert ever) but I’m trying to decide on another pie. I’m thinking the Banoffee pie to do something different!
Oh yes, I love that chocolate mousse cheesecake pie! Yum!
Thank you for sharing! Do you have any tips for keeping everything warm and ready to serve when you only have one oven? It’s tricky for me to get everything baked and then keep it warm until everything else is ready. Thanks!
I agree with that! The turkey is fine out of the oven (after being roasted) for at least an hour, uncarved and tented with foil, so I use that time to bake the other dishes that need finishing. I’ve found that if one recipe says 375 and another says 350, I bake them both at 350, extending the time for one or the other, if needed. It’s definitely a shuffle! I’ve also used my slow cooker (and now my Instant Pot) to keep things like mashed potatoes and gravy warm.
Great tips! Thank you!
WOW. This. Looks. Amazing!!! It will be a feast to remember! Thanks so much for sharing with the rest of us! I’m going to hang onto this for when it’s my turn to host- and I think I might just get through it okay! You’re the best, Mel! Thank you, Thank you!!
Thanks, Amy! 🙂