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.
Whip up a traditional Thanksgiving meal with these six classic dishes:
See photos and learn more about each of these classic recipes below.
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
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.
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
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:
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
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.
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.