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!
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!
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.
Herb Butter Turkey
Size matters! A 12-pound turkey is small enough to easily handle -- and still feeds a crowd.
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.
Maple-Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Skip peeling -- just roast the potatoes in their skins before mashing.
Green Bean Salad
This fresh take on classic green bean casserole can be put together in only five minutes.
Pecan pie is a beginner's dream dessert; the filling doesn't crack the way custard pies (like pumpkin) can.
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!
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!)
Cornbread & Chorizo Stuffing
Use premade cornbread from the market's bakery section in this savory side.
Quick Cauliflower Puree
Cauliflower cooks up fast -- and beautifully! -- in the microwave. Whiz it in the food processor, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and serve.
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.
Chocolate Cream Puffs
Puff pastry makes dessert extra-special. Use frozen shells, and all you have to do is stick 'em in the oven.
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!
This flavorful turkey was inspired by tandoori chicken, a classic Indian dish that's rubbed with spices and cooked in a clay oven.
Naan & Cashew Stuffing
Say goodbye to mushy stuffing! Chewy naan bread soaks up liquid and retains its texture after cooking.
Sweet dried mango mellows out cranberry's tang. A hit of fresh ginger adds a little bit of heat.
Stir-Fried Peas with Coconut
Boost the flavor of frozen peas with global ingredients like cumin, coriander and shredded coconut.
A touch of cardamom gives these little treats a subtle floral flavor. Candied nuts add an appealing crunch.
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.
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!
Ingredients like quinoa and lentils are packed with filling proteins that stand up to rich vegetable dishes.
Roasted Spiced Squash
Cooking the squash in the oven teases out the veggie's natural sweetness.
For this holiday meal, gussy up your fresh greens. Just a few additions (pomegranate seeds, candied nuts) make a salad sparkle.
Pumpkin Layer Cake
This layer cake lightens up by skipping the frosting on the sides. Just stack and serve!
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?
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.
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!
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.
Herbed Mushroom & Rice Stuffing
Rice as a stuffing base is just pennies an ounce -- plus, it triples in volume when you cook it.
Lemon Chess Pie
This homey dessert delivers big flavor from ingredients that are probably in your fridge or pantry!
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!
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.
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.
Blanch the florets in advance, then toss and serve this easy salad at room temperature.
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.
A couple of days in the fridge lets the trifle's flavors and textures meld -- and gives you more free time on Turkey Day!