Start Planning the Perfect Thanksgiving Dinner With These Recipes


What's not to love about Thanksgiving? It's all about eating a giant feast of delicious food with all of your favorite people. Where's the downside? Oh, yeah — planning and cooking the meal. Nothing is more overwhelming than feeding a crowd, so hatch a plan now and provide the ultimate Thanksgiving fare when you still have time to mull things over. Whether you plan to add accompanying recipes to your family favorites, or you want to try a bunch of new dishes, these 10 options will help you get your table covered. From classic mashed potatoes and heaps of herbed stuffing, to gooey sweet potato casserole and rich pecan pie, we've planned it all so that all you need to add is a turkey. Now that you have a plan, it's time to countdown to the party.

(Image: eHow)

Say Yes to a Sweet Potato Side

Sweet potatoes may be heralded as a healthy choice, but on Thanksgiving, a marshmallow-topped sweet potato casserole makes the veggie a tad more indulgent. But who can say no to this recipe's creamy sweet potato, sticky marshmallows and crunchy pecan topping? It’s a side that doubles as a dessert, so get ready to dish out seconds!

(Image: Kristan Raines)

Go Gaga for Green Beans

While many Thanksgiving tables have the requisite green bean side, it is definitely difficult to time your meal so that these lovely green veggies don’t come out limp and overcooked. Instead of playing a guessing game with your green beans, cook fresh green beans perfectly by simmering them for about 5 minutes before the meal is served. Add a dash of sea salt, and you will have a vegetable even the kids will love.

(Image: Jennifer

Dress Up Your Bird With Savory Herbed Stuffing

While some may argue that this meal revolves around the turkey, this stuffing will beg you to differ. Packed full of dynamic flavors like Italian sausage and freshly chopped herbs, this stuffing will be the understated star of the show.

(Image: Leigh Ann Chatagnier)

Take Your Carrots to the Next Level

When you plan your meal around the big contenders — like the turkey, stuffing and desserts — minor players like the veggies can get ignored. This won't be the case with these oven-roasted honey and rum glazed carrots. These babies make a beautiful addition to a buffet, and they add a crunchy sweetness to the rest of your meal.

(Image: Shaina Olmanson)

Crave These Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Whipped mashed potatoes can be transformed with just the right amount of cream and butter — and this recipe does not disappoint. Whether you plan to create a moat for your gravy or simply eat them plain, these mashed potatoes have a creamy texture and hint of garlic that make them incredibly satisfying.

(Image: Leigh Ann Chatagnier)

Gravitate Toward Homemade Gravy

Take the flavor profile of your Thanksgiving meal to new heights with a homemade gravy made from pan drippings, fresh herbs and homemade stock. The added benefit is that this gravy will absolutely make sure that your turkey is never dry and your potatoes are anything but boring.

(Image: Jennifer Farley-

Eat the Best of Both Worlds With Pumpkin Cheesecake

Creamy textures, pumpkin spice flavor, and a salty-sweet graham cracker crust definitely contribute to why pumpkin cheesecake should be your go-to dessert this Thanksgiving. Why, you ask? The flavors of pumpkin pie and cheesecake combine to make the best of both worlds.

(Image: Ashley Manila)

Pass the Pecan Pie

A piece of pie is the perfect treat after a hearty Thanksgiving meal, and this pecan pie has everything a good dessert needs. It's sweet and crunchy, rich and flaky — basically, it's everything you love about eating in every bite.

(Image: Ashley Manila)

Top Your Pie With Vanilla Ice Cream

Nothing goes better on a warm piece of pie than a large scoop of vanilla ice cream. Wow your guests by making this vanilla ice cream from scratch. With a few tools, cream, condensed milk, vanilla and sugar, you’ll have churned ice cream for your delectable dessert. It’s definitely worth it.

(Image: Julie Mueller)

Tempt Your Tastebuds With Hot Buttered Rum

When dinner is over, and you are completely satisfied, sit by the fire and sip on a glass of this deliciously decadent hot buttered rum. With a swirl of whipped cream and a hint of lemon zest, this boozy drink can be the flawless conclusion to a gourmet evening.

(Image: Kristan Raines)

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