Rustic Thanksgiving Menu

Wondering what to cook for Thanksgiving dinner? If a natural and simple holiday dinner sounds right up your alley, this rustic Thanksgiving menu is the one for you. Top your table with delicious homemade Thanksgiving recipes and time-tested favorite foods. These rustic recipes might even be the start of a new tradition!

For a Thanksgiving dinner you can actually relax and enjoy, we recommend going rustic. Just think: no stressing about if the napkins are in the right place, if all the dishes match, or if the food is plated perfectly. A meal like this is all about the flavor. And trust us, these dishes taste delicious. Like a time-weathered barn or a thrift store find, these Thanksgiving foods are all the better for being casually presented.

Rustic Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes

Make a rustic Thanksgiving meal by serving this seven tasty recipes:

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

Not only is this Thanksgiving side dish super delish, but it's also healthier than most other stuffing recipes thanks to fresh spinach and pork sausage. 

Stuffing: Corn Bread Stuffing with Sausage

No one said stuffing had to be stuffy. This corn bread stuffing recipe is down-to-Earth delicious. With mouthwatering flavor from savory sausage, this mixture of corn bread, spinach, onion, and fennel adds a serving of rustic taste to your plate. It's simple and filled with flavors that give the classic a new twist—definitely worth including in your Thanksgiving dinner plan.

Make-Ahead Tip: Bake corn bread muffins up to 1 month in advance of your holiday meal and freeze until you're ready to stir together this stuffing.

Get the recipe: Corn Bread Stuffing with Sausage

Instead of green bean casserole, take advantage of seasonal acorn squash and make this slow cooker Thanksgiving side dish instead.

Vegetable Side Dish: Acorn Squash with Rustic Raisin Sauce

This acorn squash recipe would fit right in at a forest feast. However, it'll be equally fitting on your rustic Thanksgiving dinner table, no matter how urban or rural the setting. Use a slow cooker to make the sweet sauce and roasted acorn squash. Combine onions, raisins, and apple-pie spice with honey, margarine, and vanilla for a delicious sauce to complement the squash. The finishing touch: a little extra crunch by a sprinkling of pistachio nuts. It'll quickly become one of your go-to turkey dinner sides!

Get the recipe: Acorn Squash with Rustic Raisin Sauce

Instead of Thanksgiving mashed potatoes, roast! It doesn't get much more rustic than this, especially with a fresh sage leaf on top of each potato!

Potato Side Dish: Roasted Sage Fingerling Potatoes

With just four ingredients and 30 minutes, you can make these roasted potatoes. Potatoes, olive oil, hickory-smoked salt, and fresh sage leaves combine to create this savory side dish. Prep, roast, done. The trick to turning fingerling potatoes into a picture-worthy rustic Thanksgiving recipe is using a mix of red, purple, and regular potatoes. As tasty as these potatoes are for Thanksgiving, they could easily step up a weeknight dinner as well. This is going to be a new favorite and one of the fastest recipes you'll make all year.

Double-Duty Tip: If you have any extra sage, save it for a garnish on the entrée.

Get the recipe: Roasted Sage Fingerling Potatoes

Wild rice is a tasty addition to any rustic meal, but you can make this yummy grain a little more special for Thanksgiving by transforming it into crispy griddle cakes.

Grain Side Dish/Appetizer: Toasted Wild Rice Griddle Cakes

To keep hungry guests quiet and out of the kitchen, give them a hearty appetizer to snack on! If dinner is ready to go earlier than expected (wouldn't that be nice?), these griddle cakes also make an amazing side dish. Wild rice, fennel, shredded carrot, pepper, and onion are just a few of the yummy ingredients mixed into these crispy cakes. Serve them warm, and top with sour cream and greens for a delicious treat. This rustic Thanksgiving side dish is a lot more exciting than a plain bowl of wild rice, and might even be tasty enough to replace traditional dinner rolls!

Get the recipe: Toasted Wild Rice Griddle Cakes

For a rustic Thanksgiving turkey recipe, be sure to roast your bird surrounded by root vegetables—it'll definitely add to the rustic feel, and you'll already have a Thanksgiving side dish ready to go!

Entrée: Marmalade-Glazed Roast Turkey

This bird is stuffed with a bread and fruit stuffing, surrounded by root vegetables, and topped with citrus marmalade. When everything is all cooked, you'll not only have your roasted turkey, you'll also have the stuffing, veggies, and even a giblet gravy to go along with your meal. It's a great solution if you're feeding a large crowd! This delicious rustic recipe will leave you as stuffed as the turkey.

Timing Tip: For the best results, remove your turkey from the refrigerator as you make the stuffing (about 30 minutes before roasting).

Get the recipe: Marmalade-Glazed Roast Turkey

Don't stress about wine pairings when you're planning a rustic Thanksgiving—instead, mix together a popular punch recipe that your guests can sip all night.

Drink: Mulled Cider and Pineapple Cocktail

Mulled cider is a classic Thanksgiving drink, but you can make this rustic recipe a little more interesting by adding a tropical splash of pineapple. Rather than fussing over single-serving cocktails or selecting the perfect wine pairing, stir together a big-batch punch. Serve in mismatched mugs or glasses for a rustic touch.

Tip: While this mulled cider calls for a splash of rum, feel free to omit if your holiday invite list includes those under 21.

Get the recipe: Mulled Cider and Pineapple Cocktail

Don't spend Thanksgiving morning fussing with a complicated piecrust—instead, make this rustic apple tart recipe that tastes just as good as any homemade Thanksgiving apple pie, minus the stress.

Dessert: Apple Tart with Cheddar Cheese Crust

Not only does this delicious apple tart have a cheddar cheese crust, but it also features a cheddar crumb topping. The cheesy flavor makes this traditional tart even better. Not to mention, this fuss-free dessert is easier to make than a pie. Just use one crust that's pleated over the sides of the filling. Since it's a rustic dessert recipe, it doesn't have to be perfect! Although this Thanksgiving dessert will taste incredible on its own, we recommend topping each serving with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for extra deliciousness. 

Get the recipe: Apple Tart with Cheddar Cheese Crust

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