Thanksgiving Menus

Thanksgiving should be a time for celebrating the company of family and friends—not for stressing out. That’s why we aim to make our Thanksgiving dinner menus as simple as they are scrumptious—using techniques and ingredients that save on time and effort but never skimp on flavor. All of the traditional favorites are right here: cranberry sauces, potato side dishes, green bean recipes, healthy salads, cornbread stuffings, easy turkey recipes, and of course, pumpkin desserts. Sure, it’s a lot—but trust us: with our handy checklist to keep the meal prep organized, you’ll never go off track. Looking for a few creative new Thanksgiving recipes to round out the classic spread? We’ve got lots of ideas—from a deconstructed turkey basted with thyme butter to dark chocolate cacao nib brownies studded with tart cranberries—that are sure make your menu feel fresh all over again, whether it’s first year in the kitchen or your 50th.

10 Fresh Fall Salads for the Thanksgiving Table

Sure, Thanksgiving might be mostly about the turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. But that doesn’t mean that you should skip the greens: they’re a fresh counterpoint to all of the carb-heavy plates. And when you’ve got an exciting salad selection picked out, they won’t feel dutiful. You need something that’s light with interesting texture and color to stand up to all of the other healthy dishes. You also need something with a bit of structure that won’t wilt immediately, especially if you do Thanksgiving family style. Luckily, each of these ten options fits the bill. And, as an added bonus, each one is also make ahead. Take our Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Manchego and Almonds. You can assemble the entire dish the day ahead, and the Brussels won’t brown or turn soggy during the meal. Our Grilled Radicchio Salad with Goat Cheese, Thyme, and Grapes has a smoky component, a tangy component, a salty one, and a sweet one. It’s balanced and complex, and won’t be shoved to the far corner of the dinner table. Several of our other salads have sweet-tart components in them like apples, citrus segments, and pomegranate seeds. Think about it: these flavors are in cranberry sauce, too, and pair exceptionally well with roasted meat. You might just want to add some of these options to your regular weeknight dinner rotation.

6 Seasonal Thanksgiving Sides You Can Make in a Slow Cooker

Juggling all the details on a Thanksgiving menu can be a logistical nightmare. Put everyone’s favorite time-saving appliance to work instead.

Thanksgiving Pies Worth Making Room For (No Matter How Full You Are)

There’s only one way to end a holiday meal: with a dessert that’s just as satisfying as the main event. From the unexpected, like Chocolate Whiskey Pecan Pie, to the old standbys, like Sweet Potato Pie, we’ve got a dozen dessert ideas that’ll leave your guests wanting just one more sliver.

The Fastest Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes Ever

Anyone can pull off a simple, delicious Thanksgiving feast that takes just one day to make—no advance prep needed. All it takes is smart recipes, which we’ve rounded up right here. Start off by cooking our genius Quick-Roasting Turkey recipe. Cooking a bird just right, so the thighs are done but the breast isn’t dried out is challenging even for the most talented cooks. On top of that, having it ready on time is heroic. Spare yourself of the stress by cutting up a whole turkey before you cook it. Here’s how to cut up a raw turkey. Not only does this recipe allow you to give the breast and thighs separate treatment, but also it takes just 1 hour and 20 minutes from start to finish. Onto potatoes, there’s no need to mash them—really. We love smashed potatoes, which have all of the milk, butter, and salt of classic mashed, but are, well, smashed instead, skins and all (hey, they’re a little more nutritious this way, too). Sweet potatoes are delicious simply sliced in half and roasted with tons of fontina and Parmesan. No one will be asking for sickly sweet mashed sweet potatoes again, trust us. Read on for salad, stuffing, dessert, and more.

10 Easy Pie Recipes That You’ll Want to Try This Weekend

From the classics (chocolate cream) to the unexpected (raspberry buttermilk), these simple pie recipes are definite crowd-pleasers.

3 Recipes for Stuffing Mix

The greatest thing since sliced bread: simple combos that turn boxed stuffing mix into a standout Thanksgiving side dish.

Our 11 Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

If the Real Simple food department hosted Thanksgiving, this is what it would look like: a crowd-pleasing potluck featuring favorite family recipes (dog-eared, make-ahead, easy as pie).

9 Easy Thanksgiving Desserts

Each of these delicious Thanksgiving desserts—from a cherry cheesecake to a chocolate tart—takes 20 minutes or less to prep.

Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Dinner Menu    

With these crowd-pleasing recipes that you can prep in advance—plus an easy-to-follow timeline—your table will be deliciously composed this Thanksgiving. As will you.

4 Fantastic Thanksgiving Menus

Hungry yet? There are dozens of ways to combine turkey, side dishes, wines, and desserts for a dinner tailored to your tastebuds. Here are a few stellar lineups.