Ultimate Thanksgiving Dinner Menu Best Dishes: Turkey, Stuffings, Side Dishes and Desserts

Thanksgiving Dinner
Credit: Jemal Countess / Stringer/ Getty

You can’t have the ultimate Thanksgiving dinner without the traditional Thanksgiving dishes. These include a turkey, mashed potatoes, Thanksgiving side dishes, and, of course, the Thanksgiving dessert.

Although Thanksgiving Day is now upon us, you still have time to put together the ultimate Thanksgiving dinner menu, and we’re here to help with some top-notch recipes and recommendations.

Thanksgiving Dinner Menu

Let’s begin with the appetizers. A survey found that the top ranked appetizer at Thanksgiving was deviled eggs, but if you need a seafood option, shrimp cocktail, smoked salmon dip, and oysters also polled fairly well. Looking for a super easy and creative way to spice up your deviled eggs? Try these square deviled eggs instead:

OK, now let’s move on to the main. Of course you’re going to serve up turkey, right? Well, if you want some variety, there are many options, including smoked turkey, deep fried turkey, spiral ham, roast beef, turdunken (a chicken stuffed in a duck stuffed in a turkey), fried duck, meatloaf, and for your vegan friends and family, tofurky.

However you serve the Thanksgiving bird, make your life easier and try out Food Network star Ina’s foolproof turkey. The secret ingredient is butter, which your guests will love.

Now on to the Thanksgiving sides. The most popular side dish is stuffing, with mashed potatoes being a close second—the poll revealed just a one-percent difference between the two! With such high popularity, your turkey must definitely be paired with these starches.

For an amazing stuffing recipe, look no further than Chef Anne Burrell; and for the potatoes, give your guests added nutritional benefits by preparing a sweet potato soufflé.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without cranberry sauce, but why opt for a plain Jane sauce when you can enjoy a spiked jellied cranberry sauce instead! The only downside to this sauce is that it’s not kid-friendly (hence, the spiked part) so make sure this sauce doesn’t end up on the kiddie table.

Add a shot of cheer to your Thanksgiving spread with our Spiked Jellied Cranberry Sauce! [link in bio]

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We’ve made it through the appetizers, enjoyed the main, and now all is left is the grand finale – or the best part, frankly – Thanksgiving dessert. The most popular Thanksgiving dessert is pumpkin pie, closely followed by apple pie, apple crumble, pecan pie, and sweet potato pie to round off the top five.

Sure, you can head to your local grocery store and purchase a pie, but nothing screams Thanksgiving like the smell of a fresh pie baking in the oven. You can easily find a simple recipe for a traditional pumpkin pie, but don’t worry, if you just heat up a store bought one, no one will be able to tell.

In addition to the apps, the main, and the dessert, there is another large component to Thanksgiving dinner: the drinks. The number one beverage for Thanksgiving dinner is wine. If there is enough wine present, then all of your guests will be happy – just make sure they are being responsible, too. No driving after!

You can visit your local alcohol retailer to find out which wines best pair with your Thanksgiving dinner. Whether you choose red, white, or even rose, there is something out there for everyone.

We hope that by narrowing in on the top food items for Thanksgiving, we have made your Thanksgiving dinner planning just a bit easier.

Hickey, W., “The Ultimate Thanksgiving Dinner menu,” FiveThirtyEight website, november 22, 2016; http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-ultimate-thanksgiving-dinner-menu/, last accessed November 23, 2016.