Updated: December 8, 2023
Thanksgiving is the favorite holiday of the season, other being Christmas. Thanksgiving is a big day in America. Everybody likes celebrating Thanksgiving and the main attraction of Thanksgiving is family, friends and food. Other than being a holiday, Thanksgiving is best known for the elaborate dinners and the Thanksgiving Turkey. Besides the Turkey, the Thanksgiving dinner ideas range from different varieties of meat to desserts that not only look appealing, but are very delicious. The following article will throw light into the some tasty and healthy Thanksgiving dinner ideas that will guarantee everyone coming back for a second helping.
1. Tuscan Turkey
Most people consider Turkey to be bland and not suitable for gravy dishes. Rub some roasted garlic and fresh sage on the bird along with Dijon and white wine that will ensure the meat is tender and juicy. If the Turkey comes with the giblets, remove them and store it for making turkey stock. The giblets can be used to make turkey gravy too. If the turkey starts to overbrown after an hour in the oven, cover it with foil loosely and roast again. Once done, let the turkey to rest so that the juices can spread evenly. Once cooled, it will be easier to carve.
2. Onion Garlic Mashed Potatoes
If you are looking for an interesting mashed potato recipe for Thanksgiving, then look no further. This is the creamiest and flavorful mashed potato that is sure to get positive reviews. There are many variations of this dish, but what makes this dish special is the onion and garlic. The grated onion along with garlic makes it flavorful and tasty. If you are not comfortable with the amount of garlic in this recipe you can alter it according to your taste. This dish goes pretty well with many other saucy dishes and not only turkey. You can prepare extra and store in the refrigerator for few days. Heat it before eating and you are ready to go.
3. Maple Walnut Cranberry Pie
Desserts are an integral part of any dinner. Desserts are special on Thanksgiving day and not only kids, even adults love to gorge on these sweet treats. Moreover, the weather and occasion adds to the sweet cravings. The maple walnut cranberry pie is easy to make and the ingredients can be found easily in supermarkets. The shiny red color is always an attractive quality. The buttery and maple scented pie filling has got its inspiration from pecan pie. Here, you add cranberries and toasted walnuts for a vibrant and appealing color; the tart flavor contrast cuts the sweetness.
4. Tasty Gravy for the Turkey
A perfect and a tasty gravy is essential to lift the flavor and taste of your main dish on the Thanksgiving dinner table; the turkey. We need very few ingredients to create this dish and requires very little time. Melt butter in a pan and add flour to it and whisk continuously until the mix turn golden. Whisk any available pan drippings and allow it to boil until the mixture thickens. Add herbs like thyme and sage leaves. Add a cup of chicken or turkey broth and allow the mix to boil. Allow it to thicken and if the gravy is too thick you can slowly add some more broth. Season the gravy with pepper and salt according to your taste.
5. Sausage Gravy
Sausage gravy is a southern classic dish. You need not go to a restaurant to try this one out because it is easy to make at home. The whole dish takes under 20 minutes to prepare. Cook sausage without their casings on a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook the sausage until they are brown from all sides. Sprinkle flour over it and cook for a minute. Pour milk and allow it to boil. Reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for about 5 minutes until it thickens. Season it with sufficient salt, pepper and cayenne. Remove and serve it with biscuits.
6. Baked Sweet Potato
Sweets potato dishes are a hit at any parties. Sweet potato is highly in demand and is a great Thanksgiving dinner ideas. Sweet potatoes are healthy and tasty. They are a great addition to any meal. The baked sweet potato, Thanksgiving dinner ideas is simple and easy to make with very less time required. Preheat the oven for 425 degrees and on a baking sheet, prick the sweet potatoes with a fork. Bake for 40 minutes until they are tender. Once cooled, split the top open and add some butter. Finally, season with salt, pepper and serve.
7. Roasted Vegetables
Holiday season is the time when you indulge in heavy eating. Why not opt for some healthy Thanksgiving dinner ideas that everyone in the house would love to gorge on. Take few Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved, few carrots, peeled and sliced. Preheat oven to 400 degree F. Toss the above vegetables on a large sheet and toss olive oil. Coat every vegetable with oil from all sides. Add balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Place some cut herbs on the sides of the pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the vegetables are done. Toss pecan and cranberries before serving.
8. Cheese topped Sweet Potato Casserole
Sweet potato casserole is a nice cheesy way to decorate your Thanksgiving dinner table. Mix sweet potato, garlic, onion and stock in a pan and cover and cook until the potatoes are soft and tender. Place the potato in a dish. Stir butter in a pan, whisk flour and stir until it starts bubbling. Remove from heat and mix stock and milk. Heat until the sauce boils and thickens. Stir in some thyme. Pour this sauce over the sweet potato and top it up with breadcrumbs and cheese. Bake this for 20 minutes until they brown.
9. Herbed Oyster Stuffing
Oyster stuffing is a classic dish for the holiday season. You can have them any time of the year. This is easy to make dish is so moist and flavorful that it melts in your mouth. Heat the oven to 325 degree F. Divide the bread cubes between two baking sheets and bake for 25 minutes or until the bread cubes are golden. Allow the bread cubes to cool for 10 minutes. Cook the bacon in a saucepan over medium flame until they are crisp with occasional stirring. Drain the bacon on the paper towel and pour off any excess fat. Heat butter in saucepan and stir in vegetables like celery, garlic, onions and thyme until they are tender. Stir in the broth and the remaining oyster liquid. Add the bread cubes, oysters and bacon and mix. Spoon the stuffing mix onto a greased casserole and cover. Bake until the mix is hot.
10. Dark Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie
Chocolate pie or any dish containing chocolate is always a hero on the dinner table, be it any occasion. Leave kids, even adults would want to dig their teeth. Dark chocolate in a pecan pie is a unique combination one needs to try out this season for Thanksgiving. Preheat the oven for 400 degree F. In a bowl beat few eggs until they foam. Mix browned butter, white and brown sugar. Whisk everything well and then add flour, bourbon, milk and vanilla. Add pecans and chocolate and mix well. Pour this mix into a pie crust. Bake for 10 minutes first and then lower the oven temperature to 325 and continue the process until the center no longer cooks. Let it cool before slicing and serving.
11. Wild Mushroom Gravy
Gravies of different varieties are always welcome as Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas. Vegetarians love their gravies and for them it’s more the better. Mashed potatoes are always boring to eat if you don’t add some gravy over it, though many like it plain, simple and cheesy. Traditionally gravies were made from fat from the meat and for vegetarians that’s not a good option. Mushrooms have a nice earthy flavor making it a good alternative to turkey. You can use any mushrooms and vegetable broth to prepare this gravy. Even mushroom stock will do. In a pan add oil and stir in onions, thyme, salt and mushrooms. Sauté for few minutes until the mushrooms are brown, Add sherry and cook until the liquid evaporates. Add the broth and allow it to boil until the gravy becomes thick. Whisk flour and water. Add this mix to the mixture and boil. Reduce the heat to low and allow it to simmer. Once done add butter and pepper and serve hot.
12. Honey Maple Roasted Carrots
The humble carrot can be transformed into a very interesting side-dish this Thanksgiving. The honey maple roasted carrot recipe will surely disappear from the dinner table fast this holiday season. You can make them the previous day and heat it before serving. This is an easy vegetarian dish. The carrots are cut diagonally so that it caramelizes easily. Toss it with maple syrup, olive oil, coriander, honey, salt and pepper. Spread them in a pan and place it in an oven. After 25 minutes, these carrots are sufficiently caramelized and ready to serve. Season with sesame seeds, pomegranate arils and chopped herbs.
13. Slow Cooker Creamed Corn
The slow cooker creamed corn is creamy and easy to make. You can make this side-dish with just few simple daily use ingredients, primarily corn, cheese, milk, butter, cream, sugar and pepper. Simply add everything into a Crockpot, cover and stir. Cook for 2-3 hours. Open and check if butter and the cream cheese are combined well. Cover and cook for extra 15 minutes on high heat. The final dish is creamy, rich and perfect to taste. Serve immediately as they taste good when the corn is hot.
14. Roast Lamb
Roasted lamb is a worthy contender for that Thanksgiving dinner table. Roast lamb is easy to make and takes just an hour and half to finish, so it will not take too much of your time on the busy day. Preheat the oven to 450 degree F. In bowl mix thyme, rosemary, garlic and a teaspoon of olive oil and season the lamb generously along with salt and pepper. In a roasting pan toss some potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place the lamb on top of the potatoes and roast for about an hour and 15 minutes. Once done allow it to warm and then slice to serve.
15. Pork Loin Roast
Meat roasts are always a major draw on dinner tables. Thanksgiving dinner table is incomplete without the pork loin roast. This pork dish is easy to make and requires only an hour and 15 minutes to make. Preheat the oven to 400 degree F and place a pan with foil in the oven. Roll the flap of the boneless loin into a cylinder and tie the pork with a twine every few inches for even cooking. In a bowl mix together garlic, thyme, rosemary, mustard, salt and black pepper. Apply this mix all over the pork and bake for 30 minutes. Flip the loin carefully and bake until the thermometer reads 155 degrees. Mix brown sugar and melted butter and apply it on the Pork loin and allow it to caramelize. Allow it to rest for few minutes before you cut into slices and serve with the pan juices.
The above Thanksgiving dinner ideas will surprise your friends and relatives when they gather around the table. The above menu includes a mix of some traditional and classic dishes that will cater to different taste buds.