Thanksgiving Menu and Side Recipes

Here is my Traditional Thanksgiving Menu and Recipes

Thanksgiving Menu and Side Recipes

Many of my most cherished memories and favorite traditions stem from times gathered around the Dinner table, and Thanksgiving is the best opportunity to create more!

I was talking with my friend Melissa over lunch today about our favorite menus and recipes and traditions for Thanksgiving. I discovered that my Menu and necessities include a few homey comfort recipes that remind me of childhood Thanksgivings, as well as a few updated new favorites, a few that make prep a little simpler, and a few that are worth the little extra effort. So that is what I’m going to share with you, my Traditional Thanksgiving Menu with all the details to take what you want and make it your own.

The Menu

Relish Tray

Roast Turkey with Pan Gravy

Tart Cranberry Dipping Sauce

Basic Stuffing

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Green Bean Casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole

Mom’s Homemade Rolls

Honey Butter

and of course, Pumpkin Pie

And to drink… Sparkling Cider (anything but Apple is best!)

(I’m drooling on the keyboard just writing this!)

Relish Tray

I LOVE having a relish tray for any Holiday feast because it’s the prefect opportunity to let people munch before the dinner is ready. It’s also the best excuse to have vegetables on Thanksgiving. Plus, we would be bad parents if we didn’t give our children the opportunity to create memories of eating olives off their fingertips! For your own Relish Tray, load it up with your favorite veggies, dip, and olives and pickles! Easy and yummy!

It’s a great excuse for some healthy snacking while you’re spending the day in the kitchen too.

Roast Turkey and Pan Gravy

I have included an entire separate post about my Thanksgiving Turkey, so go check it out here, and then come back for the rest of the yummy food!

Tart Cranberry Dipping Sauce

I stumbled onto this unique recipe a few years ago on my quest for the ultimate Thanksgiving recipes.

Instead of a Cranberry Jelly that looks like the same shape as the jar it came out of, try this! It’s more of a liquid sauce, and I serve it in individual ramekins for my guests to dip their turkey in. Although, I’ve found that more of them just ladle it all over their turkey like gravy. This is another jewel from Alton Brown.

1 pound frozen cranberries
2 cups orange juice
3 cups ginger ale
2 T maple syrup
2 T brown sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 orange, zested
Combine all ingredients in a non reactive saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30-45 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half.
Carefully puree with an immersion blender, or blender until smooth. Check for seasoning and serve in small ramekins.
When it comes to stuffing, I’m a purist. Don’t stuff it into my bird, and don’t add any weird ingredients!
I love gourmet and updated versions of some things as much as the next person, but I want my stuffing classic and simple, and I don’t mind it out of the box either!
1 cup; butter (2 sticks)

1 cup; onion, chopped

1 cup; celery, chopped

1 1/2 – 2 cups; liquid or broth*

1 box; Mrs. Cubbison’s Herb Seasoned Cube Stuffing

Oven Casserole Directions
Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 45 minPreheat oven to 350°F. In a large saucepan, melt butter on medium heat, sauté vegetables until translucent.Combine stuffing mix; stir in liquid* gradually and blend lightly. Place stuffing in greased casserole dish, cover and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover last 15 minutes for crisper top.

I could eat a whole bowl of good, creamy Mashed Potatoes all by myself! And if you think Mashed Potatoes come from a box, try these and they just might change your life!!

Creamy, Mashed Potatoes


12 large potatoes, peeled and diced

1 stick butter

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup sour cream

Salt and Pepper

Fresh grated nutmeg


Cook potatoes in salted boiling water for about 20 minutes or until fork tender. Drain and place potatoes in large bowl.

Meanwhile, melt butter and warm creams in small saucepan on stove.

You can use a Potato Ricer if you would like really smooth potatoes, if not, mash potatoes in bowl with potato masher. Slowly add butter and creams while mashing. Add cream as necessary to achieve desired consistency. Season generously with salt and pepper to taste. I grate some fresh nutmeg into my potatoes as well! Serve hot!

This one takes me back to my childhood, and while on any other day I might love a fresh, steamed Green Bean with Bacon and fresh Mushrooms. On Thanksgiving, I want a traditional French’s Green Bean Casserole!

Green Bean Casserole 


1 (10 3/4 oz.) can CAMPBELL’S® Cream of Mushroom Soup

3/4 cup milk

1/8 tsp. black pepper

2 (9 oz. each) pkgs. frozen cut green beans, thawed*

1 1/3 cups FRENCH’S® Original or Cheddar French Fried Onions


MIX soup, milk and pepper in a 1 1/2 -qt. baking dish. Stir in beans and 2/3 cup French Fried Onions.

BAKE at 350°F for 30 min. or until hot.

STIR. Top with remaining 2/3 cup onions. Bake 5 min. until onions are golden.

There are a few odd things about this recipe for me personally. I don’t particularly like Sweet Potatoes or Pecans, I have never been to Ruth’s Chris Steak House, and I got this recipe from my sister, Jodi! And yet, despite all those odds, I LOVE this recipe! It’s so yummy!! And I have to say, I like Sweet Potatoes now, but they were never my favorite because as a kid, my exposure was when someone else brought a pan of canned yams topped with Marshmallows for Thanksgiving, and let’s be honest, those are just gross!! But this recipe is fabulous if you want to try something new!

Ruth’s Chris Sweet Potato Casserole

1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 cup chopped nuts (pecans preferred)
1/4 cup butter (melted)

3 cups mashed sweet potatoes (cooked, drained, and mashed)
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs (well beaten)
1/2 cup butter, melted (1/2 cup)

Combine brown sugar, flour, nuts and butter in mixing bowl. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine sweet potatoes, sugar, salt, vanilla, eggs and butter in a mixing bowl in the order listed. Mix thoroughly.

Pour mixture into buttered baking dish.

Sprinkle the surface of the sweet potato mixture evenly with the crust mixture.

Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to set at least 30 minutes before serving.

My favorite roll recipe comes from where most of my great recipes come from, my Mom!! I’ve tried others but this is still my favorite.

There is sort of a running joke at our Holidays concerning Mom’s rolls. Every holiday, my sister Nicole offers to bring the rolls saying this is the year she is finally going to  make Mom’s rolls. Most years, she shows up with store bought Bakery rolls!  I think last year was the first year she was finally successful!!

Having said that, I think this is a fail proof yummy soft roll recipe!

Mom’s Quick Rolls


6 cups flour

2 tsp salt

1/2 cup sugar

4 tsp Instant yeast

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

2 cups very hot milk (125-130 degrees)

1/2 cup very hot water (125-130 degrees)


Mix together dry ingredients. Add oil, eggs, milk, and water. Stir until smooth, add up to 1 cup flour to make dough workable.

Knead about 5 minutes (in Kitchen Aid or Bosch stand mixer)

Put dough into ball and let rest for 10 minutes. Divide dough and shape.

Let raise about 1 hour.

Bake 375 for 12-15 minutes

(This recipe happens to be great for Cinnamon Rolls too!)

Honey Butter

2 sticks butter, softened

1/2 cup honey

1/8 tsp fresh grated nutmeg

1/8 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla

Place all ingredients in a food processor bowl or blender. Pulse and blend until smooth and creamy.

(This honey butter is so easy, but it’s so amazing that your guests will truly be impressed!!)

These are my cute kids last Thanksgiving, and the reason I put all my efforts into creating wonderful meals, lasting memories, and cherished traditions!

So get out your favorite family recipes, and maybe even try one or two of mine this year!

Happy Thanksgiving!


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