Easy and Delicious Thanksgiving Recipes for Your Holiday Meals

thanksgiving recipes

Looking for Thanksgiving recipes that will satisfy your family and friends during the holidays? Well, why not check out our list of affordable Thanksgiving dinner ideas that will not keep you in the kitchen for hours just to prepare? After all, this holiday is for spending time with family, right?

This is especially true for first time hosts. Not only do you want to impress your guests, you want to be able to entertain them properly as well. Getting all stressed out and frazzled over complicated recipes isn’t the best start to your Thanksgiving, so we’ll help you avoid that.


Traditional Thanksgiving Meals

Whenever we think of the traditional Thanksgiving menu, some of the first things that come to mind are the staples such as roast turkey, turkey stuffing, green beans, mashed potatoes, gravy, dinner rolls, corn, pumpkin pie, and cranberry sauce. These dishes are not only filling, but they are also very nostalgic for many of us.

They bring to mind past dinners and all the memories that go with it. Perhaps, this is also the reason why some folks find it difficult to change things up. Here’s some interesting Thanksgiving trivia: Isn’t it funny how we always serve turkey as part of a Thanksgiving meal, but it was never really part of the first Thanksgiving menu?

These traditional Thanksgiving recipes are all great, but what if you’re a novice at preparing them? Grandma’s old recipes might be a little too complicated for you, but don’t fret. We are going to simplify some of these old favorites and add new life to them. Keep on reading because we’ll help you plan your Thanksgiving 2020 menu the easy way!


Thanksgiving Recipes – Appetizers

Easy thanksgiving recipes for appetizers? We’ve got your back. If your family tends to get impatient when it comes to the main course, just pop in some of the best Thanksgiving movies on Netflix and serve up these delicious appetizers to keep them sated.

The best bit? These are make ahead Thanksgiving recipes so you can store them away and bring them out whenever needed!


Mini Veggie Pops

Mini Veggie Pops
Photo by Dayvison de Oliveira Silva from Pexels

No Thanksgiving meal would be complete without a yummy appetizer. They are also a great vegan food addition to any menu.


  • ½ cup of ranch dip
  • ½ cup of chopped carrots
  • 8 ounces of crescent roll dough
  • ½ cup of chopped cauliflower
  • ½ cup of chopped broccoli
  • Optional: grated parmesan cheese


  • Take the crescent rolls out and press down each one so it becomes flatter. Using a pizza cutter, cut every triangle into three smaller pieces. It doesn’t have to be perfectly cut, but make sure each piece has points.
  • Bring out your muffin tin pans and apply cooking spray to it. Place each triangle in the bottom of each slot. Bake this for 10 minutes at 375 degrees, until the dough cups turn golden. Allow these to cool.
  • As for the filling, take about 1 to 1 ½ teaspoons of ranch and put it inside the dough cups. Add your finely chopped veggies on top then store in the fridge until ready to serve.


Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Photo by Shameel mukkath from Pexels

For Thanksgiving recipes and other gatherings as well, an artichoke dip is a must!


  • 5 ounces of marinated artichoke hearts (save 2 teaspoons of the marinade and drain the rest)
  • ½ cup of mayo
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup of grated parmesan and an extra half-cup for topping
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 10 ounces of chopped spinach (if frozen, thaw and squeeze-dry)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese


  • Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees. While waiting, prepare and grease a 7×11 baking dish.
  • Next, mix your softened cream cheese, mayo, and sour cream until smooth. Add in the spinach and chopped artichokes.
  • Once covered, mix in the reserved marinade, lemon juice, and garlic. Fold in 1 cup of your parmesan.
  • Spread this evenly onto the baking dish, then bake covered for about 20 minutes.
  • Remove the cover then add your parmesan topping. Bake again for another five minutes or until the surface turns golden brown.
  • Serve this with sourdough or rye crostini.


Tortilla Rollups

Tortilla Rollups
Photo by Chitokan from Pexels

It may not be part of your traditional Thanksgiving menu, but these roll-ups are always a welcome treat.


  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 5 ounces green chilies (drained and diced)
  • 8 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 5 ounces black olives (drained)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (depends on your taste)
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 5 pieces 10” tortillas


  • Mix your sour cream and cream cheese together. Add in your olives, chilies, cheese, and seasoning.
  • Next, spread this mixture evenly on the tortillas and roll each one tightly.
  • Wrap these in a plastic wrap or just secure with a toothpick to keep its shape. Refrigerate overnight or, at least, two hours before serving.
  • Plate with a side of salsa.

We made sure that these vegetable recipes for Thanksgiving are light enough that they won’t make your guests too full before the main course. Use the recipes for other gatherings too! They’re really versatile.


Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Do you want to go traditional or serve something a bit out of the ordinary? There are many Thanksgiving recipes to choose from. For side dishes, we’ve collected a few that should add a bit more variety to your Thanksgiving dinner menu.


Sweet Potato Casserole

Image by Bernadette Wurzinger from Pixabay

If it’s easy sweet potato recipes for Thanksgiving that you’re looking for, give this one a try.


  • 5 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 ¼ cup of almond milk (you can use oat milk, too)
  • 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and some extra for drizzling
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup fresh sage leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper


  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup pecans with extra
  • ½ garlic clove
  • ¼ cup walnuts with extra
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper


  • Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. While waiting, line your baking sheet with foil and brush an 8×11-inch dish with olive oil.
  • Using a fork, poke a few holes into your sweet potatoes to make sure they are cooked through. Place these on the sheet and roast until they become tender.
  • To make your crumble, just toss in all the ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until you get your desired texture. Remove this and set aside.
  • Once cooled, scoop out the sweet potato flesh and add this to a clean food processor. Pour in your olive oil and almond milk. Toss in the ginger, salt, and pepper. Combine well.
  • Spread the sweet potato mixture onto the baking dish then top with your crumble mix. Drizzle olive oil on top then bake again for another 20 minutes.


Parsnip Puree

Parsnip Puree
Image by Blandine JOANNIC from Pixabay

This is one of the best Thanksgiving sides since it’s much fluffier than your usual mashed potatoes. It’s also a bit healthier, too!


  • About a pound of parsnips, chopped and peeled
  • 2 pound-cauliflower, broken into pieces (include cores)
  • 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil with extra
  • 5 cloves of roasted garlic
  • ½ tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon of sea salt (add more as needed)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 heaping teaspoon of rosemary


  • Fill a large pot with water and salt. Bring this to a boil then add the cauliflower and parsnips. Leave for ten minutes or until tender. Cool it off a bit after before transferring to a blender.
  • Take your roasted garlic and add it to the blender, along with the rest of your ingredients. Blend this until the consistency is smooth and there are no chunks left.
  • If needed, add some water or a bit of broth. Make sure you do so sparingly to avoid it becoming too thin. Season as preferred.
  • Pour this into a serving bowl and stir in the rosemary while the puree is still warm. Drizzle with olive oil on top.

What did you serve for 2019 Thanksgiving? For side dishes, it’s much easier to switch things up since you have plenty of options to choose from. This time, we went with classic Thanksgiving food with a slight twist!


Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Using veggies in your Thanksgiving meal doesn’t quite count as a vegan meal. If you have guests with very particular diet needs or you simply want to be healthier for Thanksgiving 2020, here are some vegan recipes for Thanksgiving you can try.


Vegan Stuffing

Vegan Stuffing
Photo by ready made from Pexels

What to serve for Thanksgiving dinner recipes? Try this vegan version of an old favorite. It’s as close to the traditional recipe as possible, but minus the eggs and butter.


  • 2 bags of green tea
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil with extra
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped sage
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme
  • 16 cups of stale, cubed white bread
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • Kosher salt and black ground pepper


  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. While waiting, grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  • Brew your tea bags in about two cups of water. Don’t squeeze out the tea bags when you remove them.
  • Heat up three tablespoons of oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add your celery and onions, cook this until soft. Next, toss in your sage, thyme, and mushrooms. Sprinkle in your seasoning and cook for another four
  • Once the mushrooms have softened, add in your green tea. Bring this to a simmer then remove from heat.
  • Take your bread and pour in the green tea mixture onto it. Add the parsley and toss everything until every piece is evenly coated.
  • Let the bread rest for ten minutes so it can soak up the liquid. Toss a few more times then spread it on the baking dish. Drizzle with oil.
  • Cover this with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Once done, uncover and bake for another 15 minutes. Best served hot.


Crunchy Brussels Sprouts Salad

Brussels Sprouts Salad
Photo by Damir Mijailovic from Pexels

For healthy Thanksgiving recipes, nothing beats Brussels sprouts. These are flavorful and versatile, providing a nice little crunch to your Thanksgiving meal.


  • 1 pound brussels sprouts
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • Kosher salt and ground pepper
  • ½ cup dried cranberries


  • First, remove the core and slice the sprouts thinly.
  • Warm up some olive oil in a large skillet, on medium heat.
  • Add your sprouts, nutmeg, and seasoning. Cook this until the sprouts turn bright and are slightly wilted.
  • Mix in the cranberries and walnuts. Toss to combine properly.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl while still warm.

These are really no different from your usual Southern Thanksgiving recipes. Some might argue that it isn’t Southern without the butter and the eggs, but trust us when we say these are still as delicious as the original.


Keto Thanksgiving Recipes

If you’ve been following Bon Appetit Thanksgiving recipes and are wondering if you could enjoy the same deliciousness while maintaining Keto, then we’ve got your back. What is Keto diet? It’s a weight loss program that helps people lose weight safely.

You shouldn’t have to compromise your diet just to partake in a proper Thanksgiving dinner. Here are some keto recipes that you can make:


Keto Thanksgiving Mac and Cheese

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
Photo by Magda Ehlers from Pexels

Pasta is certainly not considered one of the Keto foods, but this recipe will let you safely indulge. This is one of our favorite diabetic Thanksgiving recipes, too.


  • 16 ounces of cauliflower, chopped to your desired size
  • 2 ounces of cream cheese, room temp
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • ½ teaspoon ground mustard
  • ½ teaspoon cracked pepper
  • 1/3 cup grated Monterey Jack Cheese
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • Bring a pot of water to a boil. Season it slightly with salt before adding your cauliflower pieces. Leave this for five minutes.
  • Next, drain the water but keep the cauliflower in the pot over low heat.
  • Add the rest of your ingredients. Stir this well, so everything gets coated evenly. Wait until the cheese melts completely.
  • Serve immediately. You can top this with bacon bits, too.

Speaking of bacon, try this Keto bacon cheeseburger soup from It’s meaty and sinfully cheesy!


Keto Bread Rolls

Keto Bread Rolls
Photo from Pixabay

Why suffer through an entire evening staring at those warm bread rolls, when you can just make some that are Keto-friendly? Look no further for the gluten free Thanksgiving recipes, because this is the only one you’ll need.


  • 1 ½ cups part skim and low-moisture shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour1
  • 1 ounces full fat cream cheese
  • 1/3 cups of super fine almond flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ½ tablespoon aluminum free double acting baking powder


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, then line a baking sheet with parchment.
  • Whisk together your almond and coconut flours, along with the baking powder. Set this aside.
  • Take a microwave safe bowl and place your cream cheese in it. Cover this and melt at 30-second intervals. Stir it after each one, until it becomes smooth and dough-like.
  • Once the cheese is slightly cooled, add it to your food processor. Toss in your flour mixture and two eggs.
  • Use the dough blade attachment and pulse on high speed until everything is combined well. The dough will be quite sticky.
  • Cover the dough in plastic wrap and knead until you get a uniformed ball. Divide this into 8 parts. Roll each ball in your palms before placing each one onto your baking sheet. Leave a 2-inch gap between each.
  • Whisk your last egg and generously brush the surface of the rolls with egg wash.
  • Bake these for about 20 to 25 minutes or until they turn golden. These are best served and eaten hot.

It may not be the most indulgent Food Network Thanksgiving, but with these simple Keto Thanksgiving recipes, you’ll be able to enjoy your food without worry.


Instant Pot Thanksgiving Recipes

The ever-reliable Instant Pot is every household’s partner when it comes to preparing delicious feasts, without having to slave over a hot stove. Here are some of our favorite Thanksgiving turkey recipes using it.


1-Hour Instant Pot Turkey with Gravy

Instant Pot Turkey with Gravy
Image by Shutterbug75 from Pixabay

It’s a whole Thanksgiving meal in less than an hour. Quick and delicious—it’s perfect if you have unexpected guests coming over!


  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 2 skin-on and deboned turkey breasts
  • 2 cups turkey stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ cup dry wine
  • Salt and pepper


  • Whisk all of your herbs together. Add the garlic, five teaspoons of salt, and half a teaspoon of pepper.
  • Carefully stuff the herb mixture under the turkey’s skin, making sure that you’re evenly coating the flesh. Repeat this for the other piece, then cover it up. Let it sit in room temperature for about an hour. You can also chill it for up to three days.
  • Melt six tablespoons of butter in a six or eight quart Instant Pot. Set this to high sauté setting. Add the flour; then cook, stirring consistently. Once your roux is a deep golden brown, transfer into a heatproof bowl.
  • Add your remaining butter and cook each turkey breast one at a time. Cook skin-side down until it turns golden. Transfer to a baking sheet once done.
  • Add your wine to the pot to deglaze. Make sure you scrape any browned bits from the bottom. Cook the wine until it no longer smells of alcohol, which should take around four minutes.
  • Pour in your stock or broth, then place the rack in the pot. Put the turkey breasts on the rack side by side to cook these evenly.
  • Set the pressure to high for 15 minutes. Do be careful of the steam.
  • Transfer the turkey to a baking sheet and let sit, while you work on the gravy.
  • Set the Instant Pot to high again, to bring the liquid to a boil. Add in the roux and whisk until it thickens. Turn off after five or so minutes.
  • Serve the slices topped with gravy.


Instant Pot Thanksgiving Leftovers Pasta

Instant Pot Thanksgiving Leftovers Pasta
Image by RitaE from Pixabay

Leftover Thanksgiving recipes can be just as delicious as the feast itself—but only if you know what you’re doing. Let us guide you through this deliciously creamy pasta dish using leftover turkey.


  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 3 cups of turkey or chicken broth
  • 1 can of sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 12 ounces of bow tie pasta
  • 1 packet of Italian dressing (or you can use this one from Cooks Country Recipes)
  • 1 can cream of chicken Soup
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 3 cups leftover turkey, shredded


  • Pour your broth into the inner liner pot of the Instant Pot.
  • Add in your mushrooms and cream cheese. Add the Italian dressing, too.
  • Next, toss in your pasta and spread it out. Remember, don’t stir.
  • Pour the cream over your pasta, then spread the cream of chicken soup over it. Don’t stir.
  • Close the lid, securing the knob. Press the pressure cook or manual button.
  • After it cooks, choose a controlled quick release to make sure no soup starts spewing out along with the steam. Do be careful!
  • Once done, add in the leftover turkey and stir everything until everything is combined well. Let this sit, so the turkey can warm up before serving.

Easy-peasy, right? We think these 3 ingredient Thanksgiving recipes from Epicurious will go well with the turkey feast you’re planning.


Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes

Last, but never least, we have dessert. What can I bake for Thanksgiving dinner recipes, you might have asked yourself while planning. It has to be easy, but maintains the spirit of the holiday. While Thanksgiving cake recipes might seem very complicated and time consuming, we’ve prepared a few that will only bite off a few minutes of your day.


Baked Pumpkin Churros

Baked Pumpkin Churros
Image by Pixabay

If you have no more room for cake, but want something sweet to cap off the heavy meal, try this recipe.


  • ½ cup water
  • Unsalted butter
  • Brown sugar
  • Canned pumpkin
  • Salt
  • Vanilla
  • Spices: cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg
  • Eggs
  • All-purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar


  • Preheat your oven and prepare the baking sheets.
  • Mix together your water, butter, pumpkin, brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and other spices, and your salt.
  • Cook while stirring frequently. Wait until it boils.
  • Mix in your flour and continue cooking, and stirring, for another minute.
  • Cool it for a bit, then transfer to an electric stand mixer. Add in your vanilla and eggs. Mix until properly combined.
  • Transfer your dough to a large piping bag. Use a large star tip.
  • Pipe the dough onto your prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake in the center of your oven until it becomes golden brown.
  • While you wait, whisk together some granulated sugar and cinnamon.
  • Once it’s done baking, brush the churros with melted butter then roll it in the cinnamon sugar.


Five-Ingredient Apple Fritters

Apple Fritters
Image by RitaE from Pixabay

If it’s easy Thanksgiving recipes you’re after, this delicious after-meal treat is just right for you. Great recipe for Thanksgiving potlucks, too!


  • 2 apples, peeled and diced
  • ½ teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Refrigerated cinnamon rolls
  • 1/3 cup water


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Next, spray an 8×4 inch pan with cooking spray (preferably, one with flour in it).
  • Open your cinnamon rolls, but set aside the frosting. Cut each roll in half.
  • Place your apples in a microwave safe bowl. Add the water, then cook for two to three minutes or until soft. Drain well.
  • Stir the cinnamon and brown sugar into the softened apples.
  • To put the bread together, just place one slice of the cinnamon roll on a flat surface. Top this with the apple mixture, then place another roll slice on top. Like an apple-cinnamon sandwich.
  • Place each one onto your prepared pan, then bake for half an hour to 40 minutes. The rolls should go golden brown before you take it out.
  • Let this cool then pour the frosting on top. If stored properly, this can be kept for two days.

We hope these Thanksgiving dessert recipes help satisfy your sweet tooth. Remember, these are make ahead Thanksgiving recipes, too. Keep them in the fridge until you are ready to serve them up.

In Closing:

Thanksgiving recipes can be traditional and they can also be tweaked according to your taste. We like to think that the real joy of a Thanksgiving dinner lies in the company and the act of love you show by preparing the meal itself. Whether it’s a grand feast or a relatively simple one, it’s all about thanks giving for the blessings you’ve received throughout the year.

Thanksgiving 2020 may not be easy for everyone, but we hope some of these recipes would help make your holidays just a bit warmer.