Easy Thanksgiving Recipes - For Any Cooking Level (2024)

Uncategorized By Kristen Chidsey | 12 Comments | *This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

You don't need to be a chef to make a 5-star Thanksgiving Dinner! These Easy Thanksgiving Recipes are impressive, yet easy to make!

Easy Thanksgiving Recipes - For Any Cooking Level (1)

If you have been put in charge of making Thanksgiving Dinner or need to bring a recipe for your family potluck, I have you covered with easy, yet impressive recipes fit for any Thanksgiving Feast.

Whether you are a seasoned cook or this is your first time preparing a holiday dish, I am here to help you make a delicious dish (or the entire Thanksgiving Dinner) with ease.

Tips to Keeping Thanksgiving Dinner Easy

I have been hosting Thanksgiving for over 20 years and have learned quite a few tips for hosting a stress-free Thanksgiving. But when it comes to the food, I have a handful of crucial tips to help you keep it simple!

  • Limit the Menu. Don't feel like you need to make every dish that someone may desire on Thanksgiving Day. Pick one appetizer, one main course, two to three sides, and one dessert. Trying to do it all, means you will be too exhausted to enjoy the meal.
  • Enlist Help. Never be afraid to accept help. Encourage your guests to bring a dish to share. And if you are hosting out-of-town guests, it is okay to allow them to help you cook and/or clean up after the meal. It should be a family event, not a one-person show.
  • Make a Plan. Make a detailed menu, shopping list, and a plan for when each dish needs to be prepared. It will make your day go a lot smoother.
  • Don't Experiment. Now is not the time to experiment with an unfamiliar recipe. Even if it is a new recipe you are following, pick dishes you know and love.

The Ultimate Easy Thanksgiving Recipes

1. Roasted Turkey

Turkey can feel overwhelming to prepare, but this recipe is the easiest method (no basting required) for roasting a turkey. With or without a turkey brine, your turkey will be golden, juicy, and perfectly cooked.

2. Instant Pot Turkey Breast

If you are only preparing a turkey breast, this is hands down the easiest, most flavorful way to cook it. This herb-seasoned turkey breast is cooked to perfection and is served with an easy gravy made right in the Instant Pot.

3. Turkey Gravy

Skip the jar of gravy and make this incredibly easy homemade turkey gravy instead. Not only does it take minutes to prepare, it is made without drippings so it can be made days in advance.

4. Crockpot Mashed Potatoes

The easiest way to make creamy, fluffy mashed potatoes is using the slow cooker. The added bonus is that you can keep your mashed potatoes warm for hours once prepared, which is crucial for Thanksgiving dinner.

5. Mashed Potato Casserole

Instead of classic mashed potatoes, try this Mashed Potato Casserole. It is creamy, cheesy, and can be made several days in advance.

6. Old-Fashioned Bread Stuffing

This recipe for stuffing is just like Grandma made! It is also super easy to prepare. It is also prepared in a baking dish so you don't have to mess with actually stuffing the bird. Have an Instant Pot? Try my Instant Pot Stuffing for similar results.

7. Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Homemade cranberry sauce is one of the easiest Thanksgiving recipes. You dump, stir, and simmer and the flavor is FAR superior to anything canned. Or use my recipe for Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce.

8. Homemade Applesauce

Homemade applesauce is a must on my family's Thanksgiving menu, and my no-peel stovetop applesauce or Instant Pot applesauce is truly the easiest way to prepare delicious applesauce.

9. Green Beans Almondine

While I love Green Bean Casserole from Scratch, it has a lot of steps involved. This simple recipe for green beans comes together fast, yet still delivers an elegant, tasty vegetable side dish.

10. Hasselback Sweet Potatoes

Even though my recipe for Sweet Potato Casserole is not hard to make, you do have to first bake the sweet potatoes. This easy recipe delivers the same flavors as sweet potato casserole but comes together with minimal prep.

11. Corn Casserole

This sweet, yet savory, creamy corn casserole is beyond delicious, and couldn’t be easier to make--even without using a box of Jiffy! If this is your first time asked to bring a dish, bring this! Super easy and always a favorite.

12. Instant Pot Creamed Corn

Instant Pot Creamed Corn is one of the easiest Thanksgiving recipes. It is a dump-and-cook recipe that delivers creamy, buttery, rich corn that is perfect for Thanksgiving dinner.

13. Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Glazed with honey, garlic, and a bit of hot sauce, these Roasted Brussels Sprouts are sweet and savory, and deserve a spot on your Thanksgiving table! No room in your oven? Try my recipe for Air Fryer Crispy Brussels Sprouts.

14. Brussels Sprouts Salad

Easy, fresh, and made with only a handful of ingredients, you will impress everyone at your Thanksgiving Table with this super simple salad.

15. Holiday Salad

This seasonal mixed greens salad can be prepped up to 48 hours in advance and assembled right before serving, making it another easy salad recipe for Thanksgiving.

16. Pumpkin Pie

Skip the homemade crust and buy a quality frozen pie crust and this pie couldn't be easier to make! You can even make this classic Thanksgiving dessert several days in advance.

17. Pumpkin Cake

Enjoy the same flavors you love in a Pumpkin Roll, in this super simple pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting. It is the perfect easy dessert for Thanksgiving.

18. Fruit Turkey

While this adorable fruit turkey platter looks impressive, it takes just minutes to prepare. In fact, it is a great dish for the kids to prepare to share with family and friends.

More Family-Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

While I just shared with you my EASIEST Thanksgiving Recipes, I do have a few more favorites if you are feeling a bit more adventurous in the kitchen. None of the following Thanksgiving Recipes are hard to make, but they are a bit more labor intensive than the easy recipes shared above.

  • Turkey Brine: This is an EASY recipe, but can intimidate people. I challenge you to try it. It is truly a game-changer when it comes to turkey.
  • Homemade Buttery Mashed Potatoes: Made with Yukon gold potatoes that are steamed and then riced, these are the creamiest mashed potatoes ever!
  • Green Bean Casserole From Scratch: A from scratch Green Bean Casserole made with fresh green beans, creamy mushroom sauce, and a homemade "fried" onion topping.
  • Homemade Sweet Potato Casserole: Made with roasted sweet potatoes that are flavored with warming spices and rich maple syrup and then topped with an oatmeal crumble, no one would guess this Sweet Potato Casserole is both dairy-free and gluten-free.
  • Broccoli Cheese Rice Casserole: Full of rice, broccoli, and a from-scratch, creamy, cheesy sauce, this is one side dish that makes everyone chow down on their veggies.
  • Stuffed Acorn Squash: This impressive recipe is worthy of being the main event! Stuffed with a rich filling made from sausage, wild rice, apples, dried cranberries, and fresh herbs, this is an impressive, hearty dish made with seasonal fall flavors.
  • Twice Baked Butternut Squash: Creamy, buttery, and cheesy, this twice baked squash is an inventive way to serve up this fall vegetable.
  • Roasted Butternut Squash Salad: Made with roasted butternut squash, sweet pears, dried tart cranberries, sharp feta, and homemade apple cider vinaigrette marry together to create a healthy fall salad that is filled with robust flavors.
  • Instant Pot Pumpkin Cheesecake: A creamy pumpkin spice cheesecake with gingersnap crust is made in the pressure cooker, for a perfectly creamy dessert.
  • Pumpkin Roll: A perfectly spiced light pumpkin cake is rolled around a creamy and tangy cream cheese filling, creating a show-stopping pumpkin dessert.
  • Dutch Apple Pie: Made with a flaky pie crust, a perfectly sweet apple pie filling, and a buttery streusel, this Dutch Apple Pie is everything you crave in apple pie.

I hope these easy Thanksgiving Recipes inspire your own Thanksgiving Dinner and that they make entertaining at the holidays much less stressful. And don't forget, if you have leftovers, put them to use with one of these delicious Leftover Thanksgiving Recipes. Happy Thanksgiving.

« Instant Pot Meatballs

14 Tips for Hosting a Stress-Free Thanksgiving »

About Kristen Chidsey

Hi, I am Kristen, creator of A Mind "Full" Mom. I believe that making a wholesome family meal does not need to be hard or expensive! I love nothing more than to share with you delicious solutions for your hungry family.

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  1. Laura Ann Swist

    Last year I made your sweet potato casserole using the Instant Pot method.
    So yummy, it is on the menu again for this Thanksgiving!
    Hard to believe I've been following your YouTube channel for over a year 🙂


    • Kristen Chidsey

      I am so grateful you found my channel and are still enjoying my recipes. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.


  2. Carrie R

    This is such a great resource for planning that Thanksgiving dinner menu! 🙂 Thank you for sharing.


    • Kristen Chidsey

      So glad you found these tips helpful! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.


  3. Angela

    This list is so helpful! I can't want to make some of them for Thanksgiving. Thanks for putting everything in one place and keeping it so easy!


  4. Tara

    Such a fun collection of recipes for the holidays! I especially love the Hasselback Sweet Potatoes and Pumpkin Cake.


  5. JAndrews

    Thank you for all of your tips and recipes! Have a Happy Thanksgiving!


    • Kristen Chidsey

      You too!! Thank you!


    • Ann

      Cooking a complete meal can be intimidating. Any help is welcomed. Thanks!


  6. Charla

    So many delicious recipes to choose from, thanks for sharing!


  7. DJ

    Thanks. Happy Holidays to you and yours!? Have a Blessed holiday!


    • Kristen Chidsey

      You too!


Easy Thanksgiving Recipes - For Any Cooking Level (2024)


What are the 12 most popular Thanksgiving dishes? ›

Scroll through to take a look at our most popular Thanksgiving recipes.
  • 01 of 24. Perfect Turkey. ...
  • 02 of 24. Roasted Brussels Sprouts. ...
  • 03 of 24. Cranberry Sauce. ...
  • 04 of 24. Homemade Mac and Cheese. ...
  • 05 of 24. Sweet Potato Pie. ...
  • 06 of 24. Granny Kat's Pumpkin Roll. ...
  • 07 of 24. Slow Cooker Turkey Breast. ...
  • 08 of 24. Cream Corn Like No Other.
Oct 26, 2023

What are the 10 traditional Thanksgiving foods? ›

Our Top 10 Easy Traditional Thanksgiving Dishes w/ Recipes
  • Creamy Mashed Potatoes. Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 15 minutes | Serves: Up to 4 people. ...
  • Stuffing. ...
  • Green Bean Casserole. ...
  • Sweet Potato Casserole. ...
  • Baked Corn. ...
  • Mac and cheese. ...
  • Peas & Water Chestnuts. ...
  • Fresh Rolls.
Oct 28, 2021

What all you cook for Thanksgiving? ›

Turkey; stuffing; gravy; scalloped corn (special recipe); green beans with cream sauce and onion rings; mashed potatoes (I make them ahead and they have creamed cheese in them); cranberries; pies of various sorts, including at least one pumpkin pie and one chocolate pie.

What is the most popular side dish for Thanksgiving? ›

Mashed potatoes are a traditional Thanksgiving side dish for a reason, and we definitely look forward to serving up this delicious dish every November.

What are 3 main foods on Thanksgiving? ›

The traditional roasted turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, candied yams, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie are on almost every modern Thanksgiving menu, in some form or variation. This menu has evolved over time and continues to evolve today. President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863.

What is served at a black Thanksgiving dinner? ›

You will likely be eating roast turkey, barbecued turkey, deep fried turkey, glazed country ham, collard greens, macaroni and cheese, green beans, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes mashed and covered with marshmallows, corn, cornbread, yeast/potato rolls, black eyed peas, rice, gravy, potato salad, cranberry sauce from ...

What is a Southern Thanksgiving? ›

In the South, planning for Thanksgiving usually consists of turkey and ham with all the fixin's, including cornbread dressing, green bean casserole, and sweet potato pie.

What foods do people eat on Thanksgiving for dinner list at least 8? ›

A traditional Thanksgiving meal consists of roast turkey and many sides including stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, green beans and cranberry sauce, with pumpkin pie as dessert.

What is the least favorite Thanksgiving food? ›

"For the third year in a row, cranberry sauce takes first place as the most disliked traditional Thanksgiving food. Over 31% of respondents, 82 million American adults, do not want cranberry sauce for their Thanksgiving dinner.

What is the number one food for Thanksgiving? ›

Turkey (and Gravy)

Let's start with the star of the show: the turkey. There are many different ways to prepare a Thanksgiving turkey, from the oven to the fryer to the smoker. Then you've got brines, rubs, and herbs. But our favorite way is to start with the best bird we can find, and simply roast it with some herbs.

What is the most important meal on Thanksgiving? ›

Turkey. Some would say a turkey is the most important food item at the table. A turkey is the center of the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. In fact, 88 percent of Americans eat Turkey on Thanksgiving, with 46 million Turkeys eaten on the holiday.

How many side dishes should you have for Thanksgiving? ›

How many dishes should I serve with the turkey? For 4 people, choose 1-2 appetizers and 3 sides. For 8 people, choose 1-3 appetizers and 3 sides. For 16 people, choose 2-3 appetizers and 3 or more sides.

How do you host a small Thanksgiving dinner? ›

I make the pies, gravy, stuffing, and mashed potatoes ahead. Then all I have to do is stuff the bird and roast it. Another fun idea is to host a Thanksgiving hors d'oeuvres party. Instead of a meal, serve lots of finger food and amazing drinks!

What should you not forget for Thanksgiving dinner? ›

Use this list to make sure you're prepared to have the feast you planned for.
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk. A number of tasty desserts rely on this often forgotten item. ...
  • Cranberries or Cranberry Sauce. ...
  • Chicken Stock or Broth. ...
  • Simply Done Containers. ...
  • Foil, Parchment Paper, Pastic Wrap. ...
  • Centerpiece. ...
  • Nuts or Dried Fruit. ...
  • Dinner Rolls.
Nov 25, 2019

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