Looking for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner menu? Find all of your favorite recipes, plus a printable menu and meal planner so you know exactly when to start cooking. Happy Thanksgiving!
Cooking Thanksgiving dinner can be a daunting task.
You’re usually cooking for more people than you are used to, and making recipes that you only cook at this time of the year.
Which really ups your chances of having a turkey that is under cooked, stuffing that’s too dry, and pumpkin pie that looks more black than brown.
To make sure that you get it all done at the right time with the least amount of stress possible, it helps to have a plan.
Knowing what to make and when to start will help you feel like you’re ready for the challenge.
I also like to make crockpot versions of some of the traditional dishes.
If you’re like me, your oven isn’t big enough to fit all of those roasting dishes and casseroles…and it makes everything so much easier when you can get some of the food ready a little earlier.
Which is why I put together this menu of traditional recipes (some cooked in non-traditional ways), along with a printable meal plan that will help you figure out how to get everything ready on time.
Keep reading to see my traditional Thanksgiving dinner menu, meal plan and recipes.
The Menu and Meal Plan
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One thing to keep in mind when making Thanksgiving Dinner is that the turkey usually takes up most of the oven and takes a long time to cook.
So you don’t want to have a lot of other dishes that cook in the oven (unless you are lucky enough to have more than one oven).
That’s why most of these recipes make use of crock pots and dishes that cook on top of the stove so that you don’t have to worry about the oven not being available.
The pumpkin pie is the only other dish to be made in the oven.
You can either make it in advance (if you don’t mind serving it cold), or have it ready to put in the oven when you take out the turkey.
That way it will be done cooking by the time everyone has finished eating dinner.
Having a cooking schedule will make your dinner easier to manage and less stressful.
That will let you know exactly when everything should start cooking so that it all finishes at the right time, especially if you can do some of the preparations ahead of time.
You can get the printable meal plan in the box below.
Keep reading to get the recipes for this traditional Thanksgiving dinner menu.
Mandarin Orange Romaine Salad
I always like to serve a salad with meals.
This mandarin romaine salad is light, easy to make and can be made in advance (just add the dressing when you serve it).
You can serve it as an appetizer to your meal or as part of the main course, depending on your preference.
In my house, Thanksgiving doesn’t seem right without a turkey, but it can be a little tricky to cook.
It always seems to be under-cooked or over-cooked.
I’ve found that brining the turkey is the trick to solving this problem (and it adds some flavor as well).
Old Fashioned Stuffing
This stuffing is absolutely delicious and can either be cooked separately or used to stuff the turkey.
Either way, there’s rarely any left by the time dinner is over.
Mushroom Turkey Gravy
Roasting pan gravy is the traditional way of making gravy using the drippings left over from cooking the turkey (it also works if you are cooking chicken).
Adding some mushrooms dresses it up a bit for a holiday event.
Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese
Macaroni and Cheese is a comfort food that everyone loves.
Being able to make it in advance in a crock pot makes it easy to serve at a hectic time like Thanksgiving.
Julia Child’s Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Julia Child is one of the most known classic chefs around. And her recipe for garlic mashed potatoes lives up to her reputation.
The Barefoot Contessa’s Green Beans
To get away from the starches and carbohydrates, green beans are a great Thanksgiving meal vegetable.
This recipe from the Barefoot Contessa adds some garlic and lemon juice for a twist on the usual recipe.
Chardonnay Glazed Carrots
Another traditional dinner vegetable, carrots are an easy addition to your Thanksgiving meal.
This recipe from Better Homes and Gardens uses some white wine to dress them up a bit.
Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Casserole
This sweet potato casserole recipe tastes great and is another slow cooker option that saves oven space (just make sure you have a second crock pot to cook it in).
Note: Although this is now my go-to sweet potato casserole, in the past I have used a recipe from Chelsea’s Messy Apron (which is also good). So if you’re looking for the original link, you can find it HERE.
Traditional Pumpkin Pie
This pumpkin pie recipe has been in my family for generations, so it is definitely a tradition!
It is still the best pumpkin pie that I have ever had.
With all of this food, no-one attending your Thanksgiving Dinner should go hungry!
Other Thanksgiving Recipes You Might Like
Have comments or questions about the Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Menu? Tell us in the section below.
This post was originally published on November 12, 2015 but was updated with new content on February 20, 2023.