Here are all the best Thanksgiving recipes to add to your table! These fresh and healthy spins on the classics are absolutely full of flavor.
Thanksgiving is the top food holiday of the year, and we take it very seriously around here. Looking for Thanksgiving recipes? We’ve put together a list of the best of the best recipes to make your table shine. The approach? Our recipes are full of colorful vegetables, seasonal flavors and cozy vibes. You’ll find recipes for all types of diets: vegetarian and vegan Thanksgiving recipes, gluten free spins, and overall healthier spins on classics. You’ll find gourmet green bean casserole made from scratch, and pumpkin pie made with not one ounce of butter.
But the overwhelming theme here? Each recipe is absolutely, undeniably delicious. Pick from this list of Thanksgiving side dish recipes, main dish ideas, desserts and holiday drinks: your family will thank you later! Let’s get started.
And now…our top Thanksgiving recipes (everything but the turkey)!
At the top of the best Thanksgiving recipes: mashed sweet potatoes! Serve them savory instead of sweet and they'll be a hit with everyone. Here they're combined with Yukon gold potatoes and garlic, and mashed together into a savory sweet puree. Top with chives and serve warm.
This ain’t your mama’s green bean casserole: it's a fresh spin made all from scratch! It’s got crisp tender green beans and real mushrooms. The creamy sauce coats each of the beans, but isn’t gloppy. And it’s got a new take on the traditional fried onion topping: using crushed potato chips! Here's a modern take on this holiday favorite.
This unique Thanksgiving recipe is a show-stopper: baked gnocchi! The gooey pasta dumplings are drenched in savory pumpkin sauce with creamy pockets of goat cheese—need we say more? We've made it for many fall occasions and it always gets rave reviews.
What Thanksgiving table would be complete without a great stuffing recipe? This one is a classic stuffing, made from scratch with whole grain bread. Bake it up with artisan bread cubes, leeks, onion and celery and spices. It makes the entire kitchen smell like Thanksgiving: no turkey needed!
The smell alone of this butternut squash risotto bubbling away is reason to make it. The tender, caramelized roasted squash makes sweet pockets in the creamy Parmesan rice dotted with sage. And that smell of shallots sautéing in butter, with a splash of white wine? DIVINE. It’s a stunner in our Thanksgiving recipes.
These Brussels sprouts really are next level, and here’s why. They’re impossibly crispy, baked until they’re caramelized and the outside layers flake off into darkened crunchy chips. Then they’re draped in a tangy maple balsamic glaze that heightens the flavors to their peak. One bite of these, and everyone around the table will be asking how you did it.
Wow is all we can say about this one. This vegan shepherd’s pie is the dinner recipe version of wearing a fuzzy sweater and drinking hot mulled cider. It’s cozy comfort food to the max! Imagine: a creamy gravy filled with tender vegetables, lentils and scented with fennel and sage. Then a fluffy layer of Yukon gold potatoes, topped with fresh rosemary. It’s layered together in a baking dish and then baked until golden. (It's also plant based.)
There are mashed potatoes, and then there are roasted garlic mashed potatoes! These creamy, dreamy mashed potatoes are scented with the sweet aromatic flavor of roasted garlic. It’s milder and more luxurious than the typical pungent bite of the raw stuff. Mix it together with creamy Yukon gold potatoes and a bit of Parmesan cheese, and it’s truly something magical.
Here's a perfect Thanksgiving recipe that's fresh and healthy, and full of huge flavor. When you eat them raw, Brussels sprouts are crunchy with a mild flavor: a little like a sweeter-flavored cabbage! Here they make the most delightful salad that makes you feel like you're getting healthier with every bite. The spouts are mixed with crisp apple and tart pomegranate seeds and covered in a tangy vinaigrette.
A hot oven makes magic with just about every vegetable; here it turns green beans into a tender, caramelized version of themselves. Add a spritz of lemon juice and a sprinkle of toasted almonds, and it’s an easy yet gourmet side dish that's perfect for Thanksgiving (or anytime).
Here's one of our most popular Thanksgiving recipes: prepare to be amazed! Vegetarian meatloaf might sound odd until you try it. The mixture of nuts, vegetables, and cheese has the flavor and texture of meat, pleasing even the most passionate meat lovers. You won’t believe it until you try it yourself!
When the air gets that certain chill, it’s like a flip switches. Here’s a recipe that morphs this tough-to-cut squash into a silky orange puree. Meet our go-to Butternut Squash Soup recipe! To put a modern spin on the classic, it’s a plant based and vegan butternut squash soup. It's perfect as a side or appetizer for Thanksgiving.
Why mash potatoes when you can roast them to a golden crisp? We’ve always been partial to a crispy-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside potato. These are our favorite oven roasted red potatoes, baked until crispy with garlic powder, then showered with fresh herbs.
This is no ordinary green side salad. This is something special, a hearty and healthy salad perfect for Thanksgiving! It stars our favorite squash: the delicata, brilliantly sweet with edible skin (no peeling necessary!). Roast up that squash in just 20 minutes, and in the meantime prep those refreshing pomegranate seeds, crunchy pistachios, and tangy honey mustard dressing.
Does deviled eggs fit in your criteria for Thanksgiving recipes? These easy deviled eggs are totally classic and taste amazing. They’ve got a twist: Greek yogurt in the filling along with the mayo. Along with both yellow and Dijon mustard, it adds the perfect flavoring to these eggs without being overly rich! Garnish with dried dill or smoked paprika, or a mix of the two to make it festive.
This recipe is pretty magical: these vegetables taste like they’ve been roasting under a chicken or turkey all day long! But they're plant-based and take just 1 hour to whip up. They’re bursting with flavor that takes cozy to the next level. These braised veggies are the perfect side dish to any Thanksgiving main, with the jewel toned purple onion and orange carrot.
If you're used to tasteless, bland whipped potatoes as a Thanksgiving side dish: try these! Instead of loading them with cream, these mashed red potatoes are flavored with just enough milk and butter, then stirred with Parmesan and green onions. You can leave the skin on here: it adds nutrients and a tasty texture.
No need for turkey here: this gravy is 100% vegan and plant based! Made simply with onion, flour, vegetable broth, and almond milk, it's seasoned with thyme and whole fennel seeds to bring in a meaty undertone. If you're looking for something to please meatless eaters at the table, they'll love drowning their plate in this gravy.
Here's one of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes we've been making for years, but it's always satisfying. Meet these roasted apples and cauliflower! The sweetness of the apple works perfectly with the savory cauliflower: and topping with fresh dill brings an herbaceous note. The best part? The bright purple of the roasted onion against the bright pink of the apple is stunning.
What’s more festive than a pot pie? And this vegetable pot pie is a show stopper. It’s got a ton of veggies in a savory gravy, which makes for a filling that's incredibly savory and earthy. Top that with a crispy, flaky crust scented with sage, and it’s crazy delicious. It happens to be vegan, which makes it work for everyone around the table.
This sweet acorn squash is roasted until tender, then it’s draped in a toasted pecan rice stuffing that makes your kitchen smell like a fall paradise! You know that scent of onions, celery and leeks cooking in butter? Well, this recipe delivers it in spades.
This beet salad is the perfect Thanksgiving side dish, a fresh, crisp counterpoint to savory gravy and mashed potatoes! Sweet roasted beets are paired with our tangy Best Balsamic Vinaigrette. Top with thinly sliced shallots and pistachios, and it's a showy centerpiece for entertaining.
Want to add pasta to your Thanksgiving recipes? Try these pumpkin stuffed shells! Pumpkin, ricotta cheese and fresh sage make a savory, gooey filling. It can work as a filling meatless main dish or side dish that works with other Thanksgiving sides.
Here' a mix of our very favorite roasted vegetables, roasted up across 2 sheet pans for a crowd! Perfect as a colorful Thanksgiving side dish recipe, this veggie mix features cauliflower, broccoli, bell peppers, red onion, and sweet potato. Mix it together with our magic seasoning blend and everyone will be impressed.
Here's a whole grain side dish to add to your Thanksgiving recipe ideas: farro! Farro is an ancient grain with a chewy texture similar to barley. This farro with mushrooms is bursting with flavor from the savory mushrooms, garlic, and fresh thyme and oregano. Add a spritz of fresh lemon juice and some grated Parmesan cheese and well, its pretty heavenly.
If you want to dress up your carrots as a crazy delicious Thanksgiving side dish: make these easy roasted carrots! They come out tender, lightly charred, and sweetly earthy. Roasting them with lemon wedges gives a brightness of flavor, and fresh thyme sprigs add a hint of complexity. Give that raw carrot a glamorous makeover!
Here's an alternative to green bean casserole that's great for Thanksgiving: roasted green beans! It’s a simple side dish but the flavors are complex. The beans become tender and slightly browned during roasting, and the contrast with the zesty lemon and crunchy nuts is spot on.
Another alternative to the traditional Thanksgiving marshmallow-covered mess: roasted sweet potatoes! This orange vegetable is super versatile, but our favorite way to cook it is to pop it in the oven. The sweet potato becomes tender and caramelized, and each bite is a pop of sweet flavor. This basic side dish recipe that goes with just about anything.
Everyone will want seconds of these, because here’s the thing: the flavor is knock-out good. The secret? Fresh rosemary and lemon slices. Roast up these potatoes with lemon slices instead of lemon juice. It infuses the entire batch with beautiful tangy flavor. Rosemary adds just the right herby undertone.
One more roasted vegetable in these Thanksgiving recipes, if you please? Butternut squash caramelizes in the oven and tastes much better than it does in any other cooking method. One of the tastiest ways to cook this ubiquitous orange squash is simply roasting it in a hot oven. It comes out tender and caramelized, its sweet flavor perfectly developed.
Let's move on to sweet Thanksgiving recipes, shall we? This pumpkin bread is so moist, so cozy spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, you’ll hardly notice that’s made purely of oats…no flour at all! That makes it naturally gluten free and perfect for serving eaters of all kinds. But it's so beautifully delicious: no one will notice the difference!
Wow, will a beautiful bite of these pumpkin cream cheese muffins have you meditating on it for hours! The moist cake is cozy-scented and just sweet enough, since after all it really is a muffin. Top that with a generous gooey mound of maple cream cheese, and each bite is like eating cheesecake and a muffin all at once. It’s really a bit of heaven in a muffin wrapper. The perfect Thanksgiving recipe!
Here’s a perfect tiny and cute dessert for Thanksgiving: Mini Pumpkin Pies! They’re half the serving of a normal piece of pie, making them a healthy dessert option. They’re also customizable for gatherings of all sizes: you can make a half recipe if you don’t want to be stuck with an entire pie after the holiday! Each bite has the perfect ratio of silky smooth filling to flaky pie crust.
What makes this pie incredible? Let us count the ways. This pie is vegan yet so full of pumpkin-spiced sweetness and the flavors are so delightfully elevated, no one will guess it’s plant-based! We’re solidly in camp vegan pumpkin pie, so much so that we’ll be making this recipe for years to come.
Ready for Thanksgiving dessert recipes? Because this really is the best apple pie recipe. Every single thing about it has been tweaked to perfection: the flaky crust, the rustic lattice, and the tender, spiced filling. It's quite the stunner, perfect for Thanksgiving or any dinner party or holiday.
Want to make a show-stopping apple pie…that’s vegan? It’s 100% possible…and delicious. Meet this classic vegan apple pie! No one would guess that this pie is fully made of plants, because it’s so satisfying. A flaky, golden crust encloses a filling that’s so full of cozy spiced flavor, you won’t want the bite to end. Here are all the tricks for making the most classic apple pie…with no butter to speak of.
Don't have time for pie? Make up a big pan of classic apple crumble (or call it apple crisp, because they’re pretty darn similar!). This cozy pan is big enough to feed a crowd, and the fresh ginger accentuates the gooey filling perfectly.
Want a fun Thanksgiving recipe that's a cross between a snack and a dessert? Try these pumpkin oatmeal cookies! They taste like oatmeal cream pies (hello, nostalgia!). They’re a healthy, pumpkin spiced spin decorated with an easy powdered sugar icing.
This Thanksgiving dessert has all the creamy, cozy-spiced goodness of pumpkin pie filling packed into a light and fluffy mousse! Here we’ve served it in a shot glass because…why not? The advantage to shot glass desserts is that they control the portion size: all the delicious dessert goodness is packed into a tiny package.
Here’s a Thanksgiving drink that’s ideal for sipping on a chilly evening: Hot Buttered Rum! Even just saying the name makes you warm inside. This historic drink has been around for centuries. Modern takes on it get a little wacky, so we’ve gone back to its roots to bring you the “real” way to make it. This version is subtly sweet, cozy-spiced with cinnamon and allspice, and spirit-forward with boozy dark rum.
Mulled cider is perfect for Thanksgiving entertaining! It's made with whole cinnamon, allspices and cloves, which infuse the entire drink with that signature cozy flavor. After simmering with mulling spices, the flavor blossoms into something warm and spiced.
This fall sangria is a perfect signature cocktail for Thanksgiving! It pairs sparkling apple cider with red wine, orange and cinnamon. In a word: wow. It's just sweet enough, more like a traditional Spanish sangria. If you'd like, pour it in layers to make the the beautiful two-tones. And don't forget the garnish: a rosemary sprig, orange slice, and cinnamon stick.
Everyone loves a classic Moscow Mule, and this seasonal spin is even more fun! It pairs apples and ginger in a bubbly, effervescent mix that looks perfectly cozy nestled in a copper mug. Why stop drinking the mule when fall hits? This autumnal variation is ideal for when the temps start to drop and is the perfect easy drink for Thanksgiving.
Who's in the mood for a little bubbly? This cranberry champagne cocktail! Its brilliant color and cozy vibe makes it the perfect fall cocktail or winter drink. It makes any occasion more fun, from Thanksgiving to holiday parties to Christmas.
Last up in our Thanksgiving recipes: this apple cider bourbon cocktail! Here cider pairs perfectly with sweet and spicy bourbon in this sophisticated drink. It’s got a hint of lemon and a surprise ingredient that rounds out the flavors into a meld that’s intriguing, complex and highly drinkable!
More Thanksgiving inspiration
We’ve got lots more lists of great ideas for Thanksgiving entertaining! If you didn’t see something that fits your fancy, pick from one of the following:
Healthy Thanksgiving Side Dishes For a holiday that’s all about food, there can be a whole lots of lifeless mashed potatoes and brown mushy stuffing. But guess what? Thanksgiving side dishes can be vibrant, good-for-you, and drop dead delicious.
Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes Some of the best, tastiest holiday recipes can be plant based and vegan! Holidays like Thanksgiving can be hard to manage for families with a variety of eaters. Here’s a list that shows plant-based recipes can be showy and celebratory, too!
Instant Pot Thanksgiving Recipes The Instant Pot is a genius extension of your kitchen for holiday cooking. While your oven and stovetop are occupied cooking other things, the Instant Pot can be making up a monstrous batch of mashed potatoes or one of these other tasty sides!
Place the Yukon gold potatoes in a large pot and cover with 3 to 4 inches of water; add a generous amount of kosher salt. Bring to a boil, then add the sweet potatoes after 5 minutes. Boil 10 to 15 minutes more until both types of potatoes are tender. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of the water. Return the potatoes to the pot.
In the pot, pour back the 1/2 cup water to potatoes. Add the grated garlic (you can grate it right in), milk, kosher salt, chopped chives, and fresh ground black pepper. Mash until the desired consistency is reached. Serve immediately.
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.