These 50 Thanksgiving Classics Never Fail—Here's How To Perfect Them

grilled turkey
50 Traditional Dishes For ThanksgivingPHOTO; RACHEL VANNI; FOOD STYLIST; SIMON ANDREWS

As soon as we put away our Halloween costumes, one thing is on our mind: what to serve at the Thanksgiving table (obviously). Thanksgiving only comes once a year (or twice if you count all those leftovers the next day). And it's hard to beat a traditional Thanksgiving feast, from turkey to stuffing to allllll the potatoes with enough gravy to top it all off. And you must save room for dessert. We see a whole lot of pecan pie cheesecake and pumpkin pie in your near future, so definitely save some room (or just take one of those amazing post-turkey naps before digging in again). Be sure to make this Thanksgiving the best one ever with the 50 classic Thanksgiving recipes.

On turkey duty this year? No matter if you're a newbie to roasting up a whole bird or a seasoned pro looking for new inspiration, we've rounded up turkey seasoning, how to dry brine a turkey, how long to thaw out a turkey, as well as a handy size chart for how much turkey to cook per person. We're pretty partial to using our best-ever turkey brine, which makes roasting a whole turkey (without drying it out) super-easy.

We know that the turkey is the showstopper on the table, but we're mostly here for the stuffing. Check out all of our favorite stuffing recipes; our classic stuffing is the undisputed champ of the bunch. Speaking of Thanksgiving sides, we tested (and tested, and tested) our recipes so you can rest assured you'll be digging into the most perfect mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and sweet potato casserole ever. Let's just say you'll be very happy you have these leftovers for one of these giant Thanksgiving leftover sandwiches.

Still hungry? Round out your meal with plenty of our favorite Thanksgiving desserts (especially this clever Thanksgiving pie board).

Grilled Turkey

Grilled turkey is going to be your next best idea for Thanksgiving. It frees up oven space and lends itself to some delicious char marks that you don’t get from oven roasting. This turkey will complement just about any side. In case you need them, our green bean casserole, classic stuffing, and homemade biscuits are a win-win-win.

Get the Grilled Turkey recipe.

grilled turkey

Green Beans Almondine

This classic French recipe turns humble green beans into an easy and impressive side dish you can make all year round. Sautéed with shallots and garlic, tossed with buttery, toasted almonds, and finished with lemon, these green beans are quick enough to serve for a weeknight dinner while also being fancy enough for holiday meals and dinner parties.

Get the Green Beans Almondine recipe.

green beans almondine

Mashed Potato Casserole

Mashed potato casserole is the ultimate holiday side dish we’ve all been waiting for. It's bound to find its way onto your holiday dinner table at some point during the season, but it makes a great side dish any time of the year. It's creamy, fluffy, and oh so cheesy.

Get the Mashed Potato Casserole recipe.

mashed potato casserole

Thanksgiving Rolls

A warm, freshly baked dinner roll is one of the biggest highlights of the holidays. If you’ve never tried your hand at making them from scratch, this straightforward, easy recipe is for you. With only a few simple ingredients and a little bit of hands-off time, you can have soft, buttery dinner rolls not only for Thanksgiving dinner, but any time of the year.

Get the Thanksgiving Rolls recipe.

thanksgiving rolls

Sweet Potato Gratin

Your sweet potatoes are tired of being baked all on their own. Give them the chance to become something much more exciting and turn them into sweet potato gratin. Just like the OG potatoes au gratin, these sweet potatoes (including purple AND orange ones) are layered with plenty of cheese and herby cream sauce and baked until golden brown and bubbly. 😍

Get the Sweet Potato Gratin recipe.

tri color sweet potato gratin with gruyere and thyme

Garlic-Parmesan Roasted Carrots

This recipe made us wonder, Why don’t we roast carrots more often? When they roast, their flavor concentrates and sweetens. Pair that with copious amounts of umami-packed Parmesan and just a touch of lemon, and you’ve got a super-irresistible side.

Get the Garlic-Parmesan Roasted Carrots recipe.

garlic parmesan roasted carrots

Cornbread Dressing

You might be wondering, as we did, what the real difference is between stuffing and dressing. Online research yielded unclear results—we couldn't find any notable disparities. Then, food editor Makinze told us that dressing is stuffing that is cooked separately (i.e., not stuffed into the carcass of the turkey). So, nowadays, most "stuffing" is actually, technically dressing. The more you know!

Get the Cornbread Dressing recipe.

cornbread dressing
Parker Feierbach

Cranberry Sauce

This sweet-tart sauce is almost as easy as opening up the canned stuff, and you know your Thanksgiving spread deserves better.

Get the Homemade Cranberry Sauce recipe.

cranberry sauce in a bowl

Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese Bites

These are a great finger food to pile onto a platter for your Thanksgiving dinner or holiday celebration, but would be equally delicious served with a side salad as an elegant lunch. You’ll be amazed at how easy they are to make and how impressed people will be when they eat one.

Get the Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese Bites recipe.

caramelized onion and goat cheese bites

Homemade Mac & Cheese

Here at Delish, our best-ever mac and cheese is perfect for any occasion, from family weeknight dinners to holiday spreads. In our book, the perfect macaroni and cheese recipe has to nail three things: be extra creamy, plenty cheesy, and paired with a golden, crunchy topping. This tried-and-true recipe aces all of these requirements (and more!) with flying colors, so put that box back on the shelf.

Get the Homemade Mac & Cheese recipe.

homemade mac and cheese baked with breadcrumbs

Sweet Potato Pie

This recipe is an amazing way top off a Thanksgiving dinner or a nice treat after a long week in October. We included a recipe for the pie crust, but to make it even easier, feel free to use store-bought!

Get the Sweet Potato Pie recipe.

sweet potato pie slice with whipped cream dolloped on

Best Corn Casserole

Every potluck casserole falls into a particular category. You’ve got the superstars (macaroni & cheese and candied yams), the classics (green bean casserole and stuffing), and the… experimental (looking at you, everything bagel casserole). That being said, this corn casserole transcends those commonplace categories into a league of its own. It’s packed with sweet corn, balanced by a pinch of paprika and herby chives, and has an insanely tender and custardy texture that will have you on your third helping before you even know what hit you.

Get the Best Corn Casserole recipe.

classic midwestern casserole made with jiffy muffin mix, creamed corn, and fresh corn then baked and topped with paprika and chives

Green Bean Casserole

For this recipe, we ditched the canned cream of mushroom soup and went for fresh instead. By sautéing mushrooms with thinly sliced onion in butter, you're building a base with some serious depth of flavor. Cook the mushrooms enough that they get a little caramelized, and you'll really be good to go.

Get the Green Bean Casserole recipe.

green bean casserole
Ethan Calabrese

Roast Turkey

Whether you're roasting your first bird for Thanksgiving or hosting for the 26th time, use this handy guide to roast the perfect holiday turkey. This foolproof method has been tested (and tested and tested) by the Delish kitchen—it's the best.

Get the Roast Turkey recipe.

roasted turkey

Pecan Pie Cheesecake

Take your pecan pie to the next level by turning it into a rich and nutty cheesecake! Extra creamy base + sweet and sticky pecan topping = best Thanksgiving dessert ever.

Get the Pecan Pie Cheesecake recipe.

pecan pie cheesecake
Joel Goldberg

Cranberry Whipped Feta Dip

Ever wonder how you can get all of the flavors of a holiday cheese board with a fraction of the effort? Wonder no more. This cranberry-topped whipped feta dip is here to save your holiday appetizer planning.

Get the Cranberry Whipped Feta Dip recipe.

whipped garlic and herb feta, topped with fresh cranberry sauce, pistachios, and honey

Apple Stuffing

Classic stuffing is a favorite on the Thanksgiving menu, but sometimes it can feel a bit heavy. Enter: our apple stuffing. In this recipe, apples and cranberries add a freshness to balance out the hearty Thanksgiving side. The bright, tart notes pair perfectly with the buttery bread in this recipe, giving this classically savory side a hint of sweet that we can't get enough of.

Get the Apple Stuffing recipe.

apple stuffing
Emily Hlavac Green

Stuffed Turkey Breast

This is the turkey recipe you make for folks who think they don’t like turkey. A savory mushroom and bacon filling keeps this roasted turkey breast juicy while making it fancy and hearty enough to take the place of a whole bird on the holiday table. Dry turkey breast can officially be a thing of the past.

Get the Stuffed Turkey Breast recipe.

gouda, mushroom, and bacon stuffed turkey breast with lemon cream sauce

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

You know the only thing that may be better than mashed potatoes? Roasted garlic mashed potatoes! That extra-savory flavor from melty, roasted garlic adds the perfect kick to classic mashed spuds (we also add a splash of tangy balsamic vinegar to kick them up a notch).

Get the Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes recipe.

roasted garlic mashed potatoes
Erik bernstein

Turtle Cheesecake

This rich turtle cheesecake takes its inspiration from turtles, a delicious chocolate candy filled with gooey chewy caramel, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate, and crunchy toasted pecans all throughout.

Get the Turtle Cheesecake recipe.

turtle cheesecake

Candied Carrots

Just a heads up: Any dish that features the word “candied” is bound to be on the sweet side and more than likely something you won’t be eating every day. That said, don’t be shy about the amount of butter and brown sugar that goes into these candied carrots. Decadence is the goal here!

Get the Candied Carrots recipe.

candied carrots
Erik bernstein

Turkey Seasoning

Chances are, if you’re already making holiday dinners, you’ve got all the spices needed to make a quick and delicious turkey seasoning. Making your own spice mix not only saves you the cost, but also gives you the freedom to customize to your liking! Use this turkey seasoning for your Thanksgiving turkey or any time you want to roast a big bird.

Get the Turkey Seasoning recipe.

turkey seasoning

Easy Pumpkin Pie

Every Thanksgiving dessert table needs pumpkin pie. It's basically the law. We've got tons of tips and tricks for how to bake your best pie ever. We're big fans of making our own pumpkin spice blend too!

Get the Pumpkin Pie recipe.

pumpkin pie with homemade flaky crust

Best Turkey Brine

If you've never brined your Thanksgiving turkey—this is your year. If you want the juiciest, most flavorful turkey possible, you have to try this easy, simple, and delicious brine. Our version is filled with the best fall herbs for that cozy, holiday feel, plus two types of citrus for brightness.

Get the Best Turkey Brine recipe.

turkey brine
Parker feierbach

Cheesy Green Bean & Mushroom Tart

Green beans and mushrooms are an earthy veggie match made in heaven. Whether they’re together in a green bean casserole or simply sautéed in butter, this combo is a classic that we never get tired of, and that goes double for this cheesy green bean and mushroom tart.

Get the Cheesy Green Bean & Mushroom Tart recipe.

cheesy green bean and mushroom tart with crispy shallots

Pecan Pie

Is there anything more iconic to see on your Thanksgiving dessert spread than a beautiful pecan pie? The craggly top is filled with nuts that you know gives way to that delicious, rich interior. This recipe is the easiest way to get it on your holiday table (or any table for that matter, make it in June for all we care!).

Get the Pecan Pie recipe.

pecan pie with crunchy pecans and a flaky crust

Perfect Mashed Potatoes

Quick: Name one thing better than creamy, buttery, steamy, perfect mashed potatoes! See? You can't! So put down the instant potatoes, grab your favorite spuds, a large pot, a masher, and let's get ready for comfort in a bowl.

Get the Perfect Mashed Potatoes recipe.

best mashed potatoes

Perfect Gravy

Gravy is luscious and full of umami, one of our favorite food enhancers. What other sauce could be drizzled over all the different types of meats, veggies, and sides of your holiday meal? And we think that your Thanksgiving only deserves the best, which is why perfecting gravy is worth it—and so easy!

Get the Perfect Gravy recipe.

gluten free gravy
Parker Feierbach

Ruth's Chris Sweet Potato Casserole

At Ruth's Chris, a layer of mashed, soufflé-like sweet potato gets topped with a crunchy, sweet brown sugar and pecan crust and baked into a winning combination of textures we just had to recreate. You can also turn this into dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Get the Ruth's Chris Sweet Potato Casserole recipe.

ruth's chris sweet potato casserole
Erik bernstein

Turkey Roulade

Sometimes, roasting a whole turkey is just too much of an undertaking. A roulade, though? It's surprisingly easy (we swear!), super-flavorful, and much easier to carve. Perfect served with a side of mashed potatoes and some tart cranberry sauce.

Get the Turkey Roulade recipe.

turkey roulade
Parker feierbach

Fondue Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes, move on over! If you’ve ever dreamed up a cheese fondue combined with mashed potatoes, this would be it. Fondue mashed potatoes, or more classically known as pommes aligot, are super-creamy, silky mashed potatoes that have a starchy, cheesy pull that you’ve never seen before.

Get the Fondue Mashed Potatoes recipe.

fondue mashed potatoes

Sweet Potato Casserole With Marshmallows

Most sweet potato casseroles have only marshmallows or pecans. Don't even think about making this mistake. Topping with a pecan streusel and then marshmallows helps this casserole stand out above all the rest.

Get the Sweet Potato Casserole With Marshmallows recipe.

dish, food, cuisine, ingredient, cottage pie, casserole, comfort food, dessert, strata, produce,
Ethan Calabrese

Honey Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts

The hardest part of making these Brussels sprouts is leaving them alone. They're cooked until perfectly tender and golden brown, then glazed with a balsamic glaze that will change your life. If you're anything like us, you're going to be popping these in your mouth like they're popcorn.

Get the Honey Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts recipe.

honey balsamic glazed brussels sprouts
Parker feierbach

Mini Piecakens

If desserts were people, these mini piecakens would be the biggest divas you ever met. Inspired by pastry chef Zac Young’s viral three-layer piecaken, these fun-sized versions feature a tiny cranberry pie baked inside a spiced pumpkin cupcake, crowned with a generous dollop of whipped cream, more cranberry pie filling, and a tiny round of sugary pie crust. A little extra, you say? Maybe. But soooo worth it.

Get the Mini Piecakens recipe.

mini piecakens

Classic Stuffing

When it comes to the big Thanksgiving feast, we consider the roast turkey and the sweet potato casserole as sides to the STUFFING. A good stuffing makes or breaks Thanksgiving dinner, and this one will absolutely make your holiday meal all the better.

Get the Classic Stuffing recipe.

classic stuffing
Ethan Calabrese

Candied Yams

For many, candied yams are an indispensable part of the Thanksgiving meal, along with mashed potatoes and homemade cranberry sauce. We agree! Though candied yams might be super-sweet on their own, they're the perfect complement to a plateful of savory dishes.

Get the Candied Yams recipe.

dish, food, cuisine, pepperoni, ingredient, chorizo, sausage, produce, sujuk, ventricina,
Beatriz de Costa

Cranberry Pie

The filling of this pie tastes like a combination of coconut panna cotta, cranberry curd, and raspberry sorbet. The crust, made of crushed Biscoff, is the perfect foil for the sweet-tart filling. Plus, it tastes like cookie butter.

Get the Cranberry Pie recipe.

cranberry pie
Andrew Bui

Fluffy Potato Rolls

Have a leftover baked potato? The only logical thing to do is to mash the insides and make dinner rolls. These are truly the fluffiest. Dinner. Rolls. Ever. Fresh out of the oven, each roll has a crispy bottom, buttery top, and unbelievably soft center.

Get the Fluffy Potato Rolls recipe.

potato rolls
Andrew bui

Apple Butter Pie

Want something that couldn’t be easier to put together—and to eat? This pie, a cross between a pumpkin and a Dutch apple pie, is adorned with an irresistible crunchy crumble. (And we know that custard pies sometimes need a little lift with some texture.) You can buy apple butter at most grocery stores or make your own, especially for apple pickers in the fall.

Get the Apple Butter Pie recipe.

apple butter pie with crumble topping

Baked Sweet Potato

Adding sweet potatoes to your Thanksgiving spread is an easy and delicious way to eat healthy during the holidays—the vegetable is a total superfood, packed with vitamin C and fiber. They're also totally versatile, but baking them whole in the oven is arguably the simplest way to prepare them, and they will be the perfect base for all types of toppings.

Get the Perfect Baked Sweet Potato recipe.

perfect baked sweet potato
Ethan Calabrese

Apple Pie

A homemade apple pie that will even impress your grandma. We like to fill our homemade flaky, buttery, lattice crust with a combination of apples for an irresistibly sweet-tart filling. You’ll know the pie is ready to come out of the oven when the filling bubbles and the crust is golden.

Get the Classic Apple Pie recipe.

apple pie with a flaky homemade pie crust

Cornbread Stuffing

Truth: Not everyone likes classic Thanksgiving stuffing. However, it’s hard to be mad at sweet, crunchy-yet-tender cornbread stuffing. We're okay with this. Also known as cornbread dressing, this dish is a classic in the South, where you’ll often find it mixed with sausage, bacon, jalapeños, nuts, even chopped oysters.

Get the Cornbread Stuffing recipe.

dish, food, cuisine, ingredient, stuffing, produce, recipe, vegetable, staple food, casserole,
Parker Feierbach

Dry Brined Turkey

A Thanksgiving meal is not complete until the turkey is on the table. Turkeys are large, so we get it, but they don't have to be intimidating. The one thing you can do to ensure a bird that stays juicy and doesn't dry out in the oven: Brine it!

Get the Dry Brined Turkey recipe.

dry brine turkey delish com
Parker Feierbach

Pumpkin Pie Turkeys

Looking to get a little crafty with your Thanksgiving dessert this year? These pumpkin turkeys are just the thing. This easy-to-make dessert transforms your classic pumpkin pie in the most adorable Thanksgiving turkeys. Plus, you'll get to snack on the scraps before your guests arrive!

Get the Pumpkin Pie Turkeys recipe.

pumpkin pie turkeys

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

We all love classic sweet potato casserole, but sometimes it feels like the marshmallows steal the spotlight. So this year, why not mix it up—literally—and try mashing them instead? Steamed 'til beautifully tender and then blended with plenty of butter and half-and-half, these easy mashed sweet potatoes are creamy and just sweet enough. You won’t even miss the marshmallows.

Get the Mashed Sweet Potatoes recipe.

mashed sweet potatoes
Ethan Calabrese

Holiday Roasted Vegetables

The dried cranberries and balsamic vinegar add some sweetness and tartness, while the pecans add a crunch to these holiday-worthy vegetables. We use Brussels sprouts and carrots, but feel free to add extra vegetables or swap in some of your favorites.

Get the Holiday Roasted Vegetables recipe.

roasted vegetable medley
Parker Feierbach

Balsamic Roasted Baby Carrots

Sweet baby carrots are the perfect match for this tangy balsamic glaze. Fancy enough for a holiday meal, but easy enough for a weeknight, this recipe is endlessly riffable and guaranteed to deliver crisp-tender carrots every time.

Get the Roasted Baby Carrots recipe.

balsamic roasted baby carrots
Parker feierbach

Easy Cranberry Stuffing

You don't need meat to make a stuffing everyone will love. This vegetarian option is filled with everyone's favorite Thanksgiving flavors—apples! cranberries! sage! thyme!—if anyone complains about meatless stuffing, just send them home without dessert. 😉

Get the Easy Cranberry Stuffing recipe.

cranberry stuffing
Kat Wirsing

Creamed Brussels Sprouts

These are a holiday party MUST—even Brussels haters will love it. Not a fan of Fontina? Gruyère or white cheddar would also be delicious here!

Get the Creamed Brussels Sprouts recipe.

creamed brussels sprouts
Parker feierbach

Sweet Potato Casserole

This recipe is for everyone who hates marshmallows atop their sweet potato casserole—in their place is a buttery, brown sugar pecan topping that is still perfectly sweet and dessert-worthy.

Get the Sweet Potato Casserole recipe.

sweet potato casserole
Ethan Calabrese

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