Thanksgiving for Every Kind of Cook

Whatever your dream Thanksgiving dinner is, one of these seven ingenious menus -- featuring cool new dishes, make-ahead tips and even vegetarian recipes -- will make it come true!
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Whatever your dream Thanksgiving dinner is, one of these seven ingenious menus -- featuring cool new dishes, make-ahead tips and even vegetarian recipes -- will make it come true!

Pick Your T-Day

Imagine your ideal holiday. Is it super fast? Can you make it ahead of time? Is it full of cool new dishes? The following seven menus cover all the bases, so you're sure to find the perfect menu for you!

Thanksgiving table

First-Timer

Even if you're a kitchen newbie, you can ace this menu. These supersimple recipes hit all the right notes -- a juicy turkey, easy sides and a zero-stress pie -- without any complicated techniques, hard-to-find ingredients or fancy equipment. Don't blame us if your new in-laws want to have Thanksgiving at your house every year.

First-Timer Thanksgiving Menu

Download the First-Timer Thanksgiving menu here

Herb Butter Turkey

Size matters! A 12-pound turkey is small enough to easily handle -- and still feeds a crowd.

Herb Butter Turkey with Cranberry-Grapefruit Sauce

Get the Herb Butter Turkey with Cranberry-Grapefruit Sauce recipe

Root Vegetable Bread Salad

This is a stuffing and vegetable side dish in one! It doesn't require last-minute baking (so you can focus on the turkey) and can be served at room temperature.

Root Vegetable Bread Salad

Get the Root Vegetable Bread Salad recipe

Maple-Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Skip peeling -- just roast the potatoes in their skins before mashing.

Maple-Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Get the Maple-Mashed Sweet Potatoes recipe

Green Bean Salad

This fresh take on classic green bean casserole can be put together in only five minutes.

Green Bean Salad with Toasted Pine Nuts

Get the Green Bean Salad with Toasted Pine Nuts recipe

Pecan Pie

Pecan pie is a beginner's dream dessert; the filling doesn't crack the way custard pies (like pumpkin) can.

Pecan Pie with Bourbon Ice Cream

Get the Pecan Pie with Bourbon Ice Cream recipe

Speedy

Thanksgiving dinner in 2 hours? It's true! Roast a turkey breast instead of a whole bird, go for simple seasonal sides and use that other oven (hello, microwave!). Get ready. Get set. Cook!

Speedy Thanksgiving Menu

Download the Speedy Thanksgiving menu here

Cherry-Chipotle Turkey Breast

Roasting a turkey breast instead of a whole bird cuts your cooking time in half. (Bonus: it cooks more evenly than a whole bird, which ensures juicy results!)

Cherry-Chipotle Turkey Breast

Get the Cherry-Chipotle Turkey Breast recipe

Cornbread & Chorizo Stuffing

Use premade cornbread from the market's bakery section in this savory side.

Cornbread & Chorizo Stuffing

Get the Cornbread & Chorizo Stuffing recipe

Quick Cauliflower Puree

Cauliflower cooks up fast -- and beautifully! -- in the microwave. Whiz it in the food processor, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and serve.

Creamy Cauliflower Puree

Get the Quick Cauliflower Puree recipe

Caesar Salad with Pepitas

Swap in a simple salad in place of a second cooked vegetable. This dish adds color and crunch to the plate and comes together in a snap.

Caesar Salad with Pepitas

Get the Caesar Salad with Pepitas recipe

Chocolate Cream Puffs

Puff pastry makes dessert extra-special. Use frozen shells, and all you have to do is stick 'em in the oven.

Chocolate Cream Puff with Cranberry Compote

Get the Chocolate Cream Puff with Cranberry Compote recipe

Adventurous

Take the traditional feast into exciting new territory with this Indian-inspired menu. All your favorites -- turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce -- are here, but our adventurous recipes make them taste brand-new!

Adventurous Thanksgiving Menu

Download the Adventurous Thanksgiving menu here

Tandoori-Spiced Turkey

This flavorful turkey was inspired by tandoori chicken, a classic Indian dish that's rubbed with spices and cooked in a clay oven.

Tandoori-Spiced Turkey with Cracked Pepper Gravy

Get the Tandoori-Spiced Turkey with Cracked Pepper Gravy recipe

Naan & Cashew Stuffing

Say goodbye to mushy stuffing! Chewy naan bread soaks up liquid and retains its texture after cooking.

Naan & Cashew Stuffing

Get the Naan & Cashew Stuffing recipe

Cranberry-Mango Chutney

Sweet dried mango mellows out cranberry's tang. A hit of fresh ginger adds a little bit of heat.

Cranberry-Mango Chutney

Get the Cranberry-Mango Chutney recipe

Stir-Fried Peas with Coconut

Boost the flavor of frozen peas with global ingredients like cumin, coriander and shredded coconut.

Stir-Fried Peas with Coconut

Get the Stir-Fried Peas with Coconut recipe

Cardamon-Vanilla Custards

A touch of cardamom gives these little treats a subtle floral flavor. Candied nuts add an appealing crunch.

Cardamom-Vanilla Custards

Get the Cardamon-Vanilla Custards recipe

Vegetarian

Why should carnivores have all the fun? This menu puts fall's best produce -- mushrooms, squash and pomegranate seeds -- front and center for a fresh, vibrant version of the feast. You're welcome, Mr. Turkey.

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Menu

Download the Vegetarian Thanksgiving menu here!

Mushroom & Leek Tarts

Foods like mushrooms and cheese are full of umami, or savoriness. These satisfying ingredients will make sure even meat eaters don't miss the turkey!

Mushroom & Leek Tarts

Get the Mushroom & Leek Tarts recipe

Braised Fennel

Ingredients like quinoa and lentils are packed with filling proteins that stand up to rich vegetable dishes.

Braised Fennel with Lentil-Quinoa Pilaf

Get the Braised Fennel with Lentil-Quinoa Pilaf recipe

Roasted Spiced Squash

Cooking the squash in the oven teases out the veggie's natural sweetness.

Roasted Spiced Squash

Get the Roasted Spiced Squash recipe

Pistachio-Pomegranate Salad

For this holiday meal, gussy up your fresh greens. Just a few additions (pomegranate seeds, candied nuts) make a salad sparkle.

Pistachio-Pomegranate Chopped Salad

Get the Pistachio-Pomegranate Chopped Salad recipe

Pumpkin Layer Cake

This layer cake lightens up by skipping the frosting on the sides. Just stack and serve!

Brown Butter Pumpkin Layer Cake

Get the Brown Butter Pumpkin Layer Cake recipe

Thrifty

For just $40, you can feed your crowd a showstopping feast! The trick is mixing everyday ingredients with a little creativity. Try these budget- savvy recipes for a juicy bird, fancy veggies and dressed-up stuffing. Who knew saving money could taste so good?

Thrifty Thanksgiving Menu

Get the Thrifty Thanksgiving menu

Turkey with Onion Gravy

Giving your bird a bath in buttermilk and hot sauce gives you moist meat and golden-brown skin without pricey ingredients like butter, wine or fresh herbs.

Buttermilk-Marinated Turkey with Onion Gravy

Get the Buttermilk-Marinated Turkey with Onion Gravy recipe

Gingered Carrot & Kale

These delicate, colorful ribbons may look like a four-star restaurant side dish, but a big bowl that serves eight costs just about $5!

Gingered Carrot & Kale Ribbons

Get the Gingered Carrot & Kale Ribbons recipe

Creamed Cabbage

Green cabbage costs a fraction of what spinach does, and the leaves don't shrink down as much when cooked. The baked-in-cream version really tastes like a splurge.

Creamed Cabbage

Get the Creamed Cabbage recipe

Herbed Mushroom & Rice Stuffing

Rice as a stuffing base is just pennies an ounce -- plus, it triples in volume when you cook it.

Herbed Mushroom & Rice Stuffing

Get the Herbed Mushroom & Rice Stuffing recipe

Lemon Chess Pie

This homey dessert delivers big flavor from ingredients that are probably in your fridge or pantry!

Lemon Chess Pie

Get the Lemon Chess Pie recipe

Make-Ahead

This year, sleep in on Thanksgiving morning. Our day-by-day timeline starts a week before the big dinner, so you can finish the feast long before your guests show up. Better yet, the dishes on this menu get tastier as they sit. On the big day, there will be no stress and no mess -- just eating and enjoying!

Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Menu

Get the Make-Ahead Thanksgiving menu

Brined Dijon Turkey

Carve the turkey, and plate with the gravy up to two days before for the moistest meat ever! Before sitting down to eat, just reheat.

Brined Dijon Turkey with Pan Gravy

Get the Brined Dijon Turkey with Pan Gravy recipe

Sweet Potato & Apple Gratin

Thinly sliced sweet potatoes and apples get even more flavorful when stacked together with onion sauce up to two days ahead.

Sweet Potato & Apple Gratin

Get the Sweet Potato & Apple Gratin recipe

Broccoli Salad

Blanch the florets in advance, then toss and serve this easy salad at room temperature.

Walnut & Cranberry Broccoli Salad

Get the Walnut & Cranberry Broccoli Salad recipe

Cornmeal Stuffing Muffins

Get your stuffing fix in muffin form: These light and fluffy treats can be baked in advance, then bagged and frozen. Let thaw and reheat.

Cornmeal Stuffing Muffins

Get the Cornmeal Stuffing Muffins recipe

Caramel-Pear Trifle

A couple of days in the fridge lets the trifle's flavors and textures meld -- and gives you more free time on Turkey Day!

Caramel-Pear Trifle

Get the Caramel-Pear Trifle recipe

Online Bonus: Classic Menu

Pull off your tastiest Thanksgiving yet! Update each of your family's tried-and-true favorites with a surprise technique or ingredient, and they'll stand out as your best-ever versions. From the bird to the pumpkin pie, consider these recipes your don't-get-bored-with-the-classics classics!

Classic Thanksgiving dinner menu

Download the complete Classic Thanksgiving menu!

Something Sweet!

Thanksgiving Desserts Table

Download all of our Thanksgiving dessert recipes

And the Feast Continues!

Thanksgiving