Top 10 Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes {Start Here!}

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Planning a traditional Thanksgiving dinner for the first time? Start with this basic Thanksgiving meal plan and then add your favorite variations to fill your buffet table.

The photo collage shows several traditional Thanksgiving dinner recipes including a roast turkey, stuffing, cranberries, and sweet potato casserole.

If you want to host a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with a classic turkey and old fashioned side dishes, you only need a handful of popular family recipes to pull it off.

These main Thanksgiving dinner recipes are at the core of the most delicious Thanksgiving feast.

Start your Thanksgiving meal plan with these dishes and then be playful with your favorite holiday variations.

Jump to:

Why These are the Best Traditional Thanksgiving Recipes

The Thanksgiving holiday is all about family and memory making.

Who doesn't love to come to the table knowing they'll find a cherished favorite waiting for them?

These are the best traditional Thanksgiving recipes because:

  1. Widely Popular: These are the core Thanksgiving dinner recipes that make up that picture-perfect Thanksgiving table everyone imagines.
  2. Time Tested: These are the dishes I've made again, and again, and again, for almost 20 years of Thanksgiving cooking.
  3. Easy and Wholesome: The recipes are simple to prepare, made from scratch whenever possible, and use just a few handy shortcuts to make the meal prep easier.

Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes

The star of any traditional Thanksgiving dinner is always a turkey but you definitely have options for which turkey recipe to choose depending on your goal for the feast:

  1. Classic Roasted Herb Butter Turkey: This is the Normal Rockwell whole turkey recipe that you'll proudly bring on a platter to the table.
  2. Easy Slowcooker Boneless Turkey Breast: This is my new favorite holiday shortcut and the easiest turkey recipe you'll ever find.

Turkey Gravy and Cranberry Sauce

Every Thanksgiving turkey needs a little sauce to bring out the flavor.

Traditionally you'll use a homemade turkey gravy and a citrusy cranberry sauce.

These sauces help to add so much flavor to all the dishes on your dinner plate.

Thanksgiving Stuffing

While Thanksgiving stuffing is usually stuffed into the turkey while it bakes, you can have a traditional dinner with an oven baked dressing made in a baking dish and served on the side. Or make my Crockpot stuffing if you need more space in the oven.

Thanksgiving Potatoes

A traditional Thanksgiving dinner will offer one or two potato side dishes.

The most classic options are usually a white mashed potato with butter that pairs well with gravy and a sweet potato casserole with marshmallows or streusel topping.

Thanksgiving Vegetables

Fall seasonal vegetables roasted or turned into an easy casserole side dish traditionally fill out the Thanksgiving dinner plate.

Get all the best Thanksgiving vegetables here

The Bread Basket

Yes, there are already lots of starches on the table at this point but it's not really a traditional Thanksgiving dinner without a bread basket and pats of softened butter.

Get all the best Thanksgiving bread recipes here

Thanksgiving Pies

A traditional Thanksgiving dinner always ends with a choice of pies!

Pumpkin pie and pecan pie are the two most popular options but you can find a list of my favorite easy Thanksgiving pies right here:

More Thanksgiving Ideas

Now that you've got your easy Thanksgiving side dishes all picked out, what about the rest of your Thanksgiving meal plan?

Don't miss my other easy Thanksgiving recipes for your family feast:

The photo collage shows a roast turkey, a pan of sausage stuffing, whole cranberries, and a pan of sweet potato casserole.

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