23 Thanksgiving Menu Ideas to Suit Any and All Taste Preferences

Aerial view of Thanksgiving meal spread
Photo: Blaine Moats

Whether you want to stick to tradition or start a new one, we have a foolproof Thanksgiving menu for you. From classic holiday dishes to an utterly meatless menu, everyone will leave the table satisfied when you follow these Thanksgiving dinner menus.

01 of 21

Traditional Thanksgiving Menu

Perfect Mashed Potatoes

Do you prefer pumpkin or pecan pie? This traditional Thanksgiving dinner menu features both of those classic desserts, plus stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, and terrifically tender turkey, of course. To cut down on stress the day of, prepare the potatoes up to 48 hours ahead and chill. Then, a couple of hours before guests arrive, transfer them to your slow cooker to bring the velvety potatoes back up to temp.

02 of 21

Quick and Easy Thanksgiving Menu

Easy Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes
Blaine Moats

Don't spend all day (or several days) sweating in the kitchen to bring your Thanksgiving dishes to the table. Take note of our clever countdown clocks and you'll see that some of these quick and easy Thanksgiving recipes (including pumpkin pie cupcakes) take just 10 minutes to prepare! The longest prep time? Just over two hours for the hazelnut-crusted turkey breast entree.

03 of 21

Soul Food Thanksgiving Menu

Bacon Corn Bread
Blaine Moats

Bacon-topped corn bread is only the beginning of this soul food Thanksgiving dinner menu! This warm and comforting menu features buttermilk biscuits, cream-topped Brussels sprouts, plus bourbon-spiked sweet tea. Wrap things up with a crowd-pleasing mash-up dessert: soul food sweet potato pie.

04 of 21

Vintage Thanksgiving Menu

Green Bean Casserole with French Fried Onions
Andy Lyons

This vintage Thanksgiving menu starts with a classic cocktail like the Old Fashioned and finishes with a slice of sweet and crunchy pecan pie. In between, you'll savor our best vintage stuffing recipe (Corn bread, sage, and onion? Yes, please!), light and fluffy dinner rolls, and condensed soup-free green bean casserole. This is how your great-grandma may have prepared her Thanksgiving feast.

05 of 21

Budget-Friendly Thanksgiving Menu

Pumpkin Pan Pie
Blaine Moats

Your stomach and your bank account will be overjoyed about these low-cost Thanksgiving dinner ideas that take advantage of budget-savvy options like turkey thighs, canned pumpkin (in the yeast rolls, and the feeds-an-army pie), butternut squash, and potatoes. Pssst...don't miss the spiced cider!

06 of 21

Elegant Thanksgiving Menu

Sparkling Cranberry-Ginger Panna Cotta
Carson Downing

Pop the bubbly! Made with decadent ingredients like brie cheese and showcasing Instagram-worthy items like a shiny cider-brined turkey, these elegant Thanksgiving dinner ideas look like they came straight out of a gourmet restaurant kitchen. Be sure to light a few candles to set the mood!

07 of 21

Chinese Thanksgiving Menu

Pot Stickers
Andy Lyons

Sesame seeds, shiitake mushrooms, hoisin sauce, and other Asian ingredients star in this global holiday meal. Don't think we forgot about dessert! Here, the pumpkin pie is dressed up with a gingery filling and a brown sugar-sweetened meringue that's the perfect way to end this Chinese Thanksgiving dinner.

08 of 21

Thanksgiving Brunch Menu

pumpkin cinnamon rolls
Jason Donnelly

When you dine out at brunch, you have to make a very difficult decision: go savory and opt for eggs or lean sweet and order pancakes? Since you're cooking this Thanksgiving brunch menu at home (and since it's a holiday) you can have it all! Snack on pumpkin cinnamon rolls, sausage, and corn muffin sliders. Savor a turkey and egg strata and then wash everything down with a spiked coffee cocktail.

09 of 21

Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Menu

Sage and Bacon Slow Cooker Stuffing
Jason Donnelly

Step away from the stove and actually enjoy your company this Thanksgiving with a make-ahead menu that takes off the pressure! Stick to easy make-ahead appetizers like cheese balls that can hang out in the refrigerator overnight, and set and forget our green bean casserole in your slow cooker. All of our make-ahead side dishes pair beautifully with our sanity-saving turkey recipe (complete with done-early gravy).

10 of 21

Cajun Thanksgiving Menu

Florence Mama’s Candied Yams
Squire Fox

No holiday vacation this year? No problem. This Cajun Thanksgiving menu will transport you to New Orleans from the comfort of your own table. Spicy sausage stuffed peppers, Cajun corn bread, and a turkey topped with a bacon lattice (you read that right!) are all here. The sweetest way to wrap up your meal is with a classic Cajun dessert: beignets!

11 of 21

Healthy Thanksgiving Menu

Spicy Green Beans with Herb Salad
Blaine Moats

Thanksgiving dinner doesn't have to be brown on brown on brown. Try our healthy Thanksgiving dishes like sweet potato and pomegranate salad, spicy green beans, and spinach-stuffed turkey. No recipe in this round-up, including dessert, has more than 260 calories per serving.

12 of 21

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Menu

hasselback potatoes with seasoned bread crumbs
Jason Donnelly

A Thanksgiving menu without turkey can be satisfying. Let a few hearty sides (like hasselback potatoes, protein-rich green bean salad, and roasted sprouts with apples) do the talking and round things out with a vegetarian Thanksgiving menu entree of Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese. Save room for a slice of PSL pie, too!

13 of 21

Vegan Thanksgiving Menu

mushroom sweet potato moussaka
Carson Downing

If you're looking for vegan Thanksgiving recipes, this tasty menu has everything you need. Start with a tasty crostini appetizer, then serve a delicious sweet potato moussaka (a great vegan swap for the traditional sweet potato casserole!), a hearty squash soup, and plenty of veggies. We've even got tasty vegan dessert and drink options to finish out this tasty menu.

14 of 21

Mexican Thanksgiving Menu

Roasted Pumpkin Guacamole
Reed Davis

Pumpkin guacamole, you have officially become our new favorite appetizer. It's the perfect starter for this Mexican-Influenced Thanksgiving dinner menu. Give the rest of your holiday meal some south-of-the-border flair and top baked sweet potatoes with jalapenos, stuffed squash with chorizo and Cotija cheese, and add a layer of chipotle-cream cheese to your pumpkin pie.

15 of 21

Seafood Thanksgiving Menu

Easy Boiled Lobster
Blaine Moats

Light yet satisfying, these seafood holiday recipes will be stars even if you live hundreds of miles from the coast. Just be sure to catch the freshest seafood you can for dishes that range from Pumpkin-Shrimp Bruschetta to Bouillabaisse (a French stew that calls for scallops, mussels, whitefish, and more). For a refreshing dessert to perfectly complement your seafood Thanksgiving, try a fruit- and rose-topped pavlova.

16 of 21

Hawaiian Thanksgiving Menu

Sweet and Spicy Meatballs with Mango Salsa in spoon
Andy Lyons

Mango, pineapple, coconut, and other island ingredients will make you feel like you have your feet in the sand as you enjoy this Hawaiian Thanksgiving dinner. The unique spins on stuffing, baked ham, and soup will have your guests begging you for the recipes.

17 of 21

International Thanksgiving Menu

Warm Indian-Spiced Acorn Squash Salad
Andy Lyons

Attention wanderlust-ers: This international Thanksgiving menu will allow you to hop from India to Korea to China to Mexico—all without waiting in any airport lines! The Sesame Green Bean Tart will make everyone forget green bean casserole ever existed, and the ginger, garlic, and chili sauce notes in the turkey rub give each bite a bit of a kick.

18 of 21

Creole Thanksgiving Menu

Paella-Style Stuffing
Blaine Moats

How can you tell the difference between creole and cajun food? Creole recipes often include tomatoes, while Cajun recipes tend to skip them. Try tossing a few diced cherry tomatoes into the paella stuffing to give a nod to tradition, then complete your Creole Thanksgiving dinner with a big batch of collard greens, spicy cranberry barbecue turkey, and bourbon pumpkin pie with salted pecans.

19 of 21

Spicy Thanksgiving Menu

Spicy Scalloped Sweet Potatoes
Blaine Moats

Crank up the heat this holiday and pull together a spicy Thanksgiving menu featuring roasted mole-basted turkey, cumin-rubbed sweet potatoes, and chipotle pepper green bean casserole. Even the dessert has a kick: Mexican Chocolate Pumpkin Pie! We don't offer any wine pairing ideas here...you might just want a glass of milk.

20 of 21

Friendsgiving Menu

Brie Passano

Celebrate the year with your best pals—and a table full of cheesy cauliflower gratin, quick-cooking turkey breast, and pumpkin ice cream. Assign everyone a dish and make it a potluck Friendsgiving!

21 of 21

Small Thanksgiving Menu

Caramelized Pear Skillet Cake
Carson Downing

If you're planning a small Thanksgiving dinner with a few close friends or family members, you can afford to get a little more creative with your dishes than you would when cooking for big crowds. Rather than cooking up a big bird and dealing with loads of leftovers, consider a petite fowl like the Cornish game hen—we've got two delicious recipe suggestions. Creative twists on traditional classics make this menu a meal to remember.

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