Classic Thanksgiving Menu Dishes the Entire Family Will Love

It's the classic Thanksgiving dinner you look forward to every year, except it's going to be even better this Thanksgiving with these yummy recipes. From dinner rolls to the turkey, this is a traditional meal you'll love.

If your Thanksgiving memories are tied to the classic dishes you loved as a child, you want a menu that will help you replicate and serve those classics to your family. A juicy turkey, dinner rolls, sweet potato casserole, mouthwatering apple pie, sweet cranberry sauce, and gravy are traditional Thanksgiving dishes sure to bring back memories. These classic Thanksgiving dinner menu ideas will help you host your best Thanksgiving dinner ever.

Classic Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes

Whip up a traditional Thanksgiving meal with these six classic dishes:

See photos and learn more about each of these classic recipes below.

The flavorful rub on this turkey allows the delicious flavors of the bird to emerge and the pan drippings make for a great gravy.

Classic Thanksgiving Main Dish: Flash-Roasted Turkey

For this year's favorite Thanksgiving entree, make Flash-Roasted Turkey—and save room for seconds. This turkey is bursting with the flavors of garlic, onions, a carrot, celery, fresh herbs, and white wine. Plus, you won't spend all day getting this main dish ready. Set your timer: It will be ready to roast in under a half hour.

Get the recipe: Flash-Roasted Turkey

This Candied Sweet Potato Casserole with Parsnips and Carrots recipe is the perfect blend of savory and sweet that will convince even picky eaters to love vitamin-A-rich root vegetables.

Classic Thanksgiving Side Dish - Vegetable: Candied Sweet Potato Casserole

Step up your sweet potato game this year with Candied Sweet Potato Casserole with Parsnips and Carrots. Don't worry—it's still the casserole you love (with marshmallow creme on top, of course). However, when parsnips and carrots are added for extra earthiness, this sweet potato casserole becomes even more complex and craveable. If you're a fan of sweet Thanksgiving sides, this recipe will satisfy with whipping cream, maple syrup, and lemon peel.

Get the recipe: Candied Sweet Potato Casserole with Parsnips and Carrots

Time-Saving Tip: If you're feeling overwhelmed by all of the day-of Thanksgiving prep, adding this make-ahead recipe to your Thanksgiving dinner menu is the solution. The casserole can be prepped and chilled up to 24 hours before baking.

 

This cranberry-packed sauce blends the flavors of cranberries and pomegranate for a Thanksgiving side dish that's way better than the canned stuff.

Classic Thanksgiving Side Dish - Fruit: Double-Cranberry Sauce

If you're a fan of cranberry sauce, get ready to be twice as excited for this side dish recipe that doubles the dose of cranberries. This Thanksgiving favorite includes fresh or frozen cranberries, and dried cranberries as well. The goodness doesn't stop there, though: Pomegranate juice, molasses, orange peel, and cinnamon crank up the flavor. Earn plating and flavor points by topping with watercress to finish.

Get the recipe: Double-Cranberry Sauce

 

Time the preparation of these Classic Dinner Rolls so they're fresh out of the oven when served to guests. They'll literally melt in mouths.

Classic Thanksgiving Side Dish - Bread: Classic Dinner Rolls

A classic Thanksgiving dinner needs rolls, and these Classic Dinner Rolls are a blast from the past. For light, fluffy rolls you can't resist, try this just-like-grandma-made recipe. Top with honey, jam, or butter—there's no wrong way to eat these delicious rolls. In a hurry? No worries! Try one of our 60-Minute (and Under) Dinner Rolls recipes.

Get the recipe: Classic Dinner Rolls

Chef tips for light, fluffy, shiny rolls: 

  • Stick to all-purpose flour rather than unbleached or bread flour.
  • After forming the cloverleaf shape in the muffin cups, allow the dough to rise and double in size in the pan before baking.
  • With one minute of baking time left, remove the pan from the oven, brush with butter, and bake 60 seconds more.

This classic gravy recipe uses the pan drippings from your cooked turkey to yield a gravy so good guests will lick their plates clean.

Classic Thanksgiving Side Dish - Gravy: Homemade Giblet Gravy

Pooled in mashed potatoes, drizzled over turkey, or sopped up with a roll, gravy is a go-to Thanksgiving side. This Homemade Giblet Gravy will pair perfectly with your classic Thanksgiving dinner menu. Carrots, celery, giblets, parsley, and more add rich flavor. No bland gravy here!

Get the recipe: Homemade Giblet Gravy

 

This pie is loaded with spiced apples and then topped with a drizzle of caramel for the perfect fall dessert.

Classic Thanksgiving Dessert: Mile-High Caramel Apple Pie

You didn't think we'd forget dessert, did you? You'll want to save room for this sweet treat—it's like your classic Thanksgiving dinner apple pie with a totally modern twist. This Mile-High Caramel Apple Pie incorporates your favorite fall flavors into a pie. In addition to delicious apples and sweet caramel topping, this dessert has cinnamon and brown sugar for extra seasonal flair.

Get the recipe: Mile-High Caramel Apple Pie

Fun Fact: One-fifth of Americans enjoy apple pie at Thanksgiving, making it the most common pie flavor.

 

Bonus: Wine Pairing Recommendations

If you love red: Try a light and dry French Beaujolais to stand up to rich, savory roasted turkey.

If you prefer white: Stock up on dry Riesling. The mild floral and stone fruit qualities work well with both sweet and savory dishes—without overwhelming any of them.

When in doubt, opt for bubbles. Sparkling wine (champagne, Prosecco, cava) is a default pairing with any food, from a cheese board to a holiday dinner. Check our complete Thanksgiving Wine Guide for more pairing suggestions.

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