Thanksgiving Recipes

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November 16, 2010

Red cabbage with apples.Many immigrants from different countries that arrive in America make Thanksgiving festivities to fit in with their own cultures. I think that is wonderful. We are free in this country to celebrate Thanksgiving any way that is special to each of us.


My parents were German immigrants. They had no idea what Thanksgiving was about. They had never eaten turkey. They wanted to fit in with America and therefore bought their first turkey. My mother learned how to cook the turkey and some of the traditional American trimmings and incorporated some of her traditional German dishes. I married, had children, and we all went to Oma's (grandma) house for a German-American Thanksgiving every year.

Our family moved and it was too far to go home every year for Thanksgiving so I started cooking the meal and kept most of my mother's German dishes and added some of my own trimmings. The kids grew up with my mother's red cabbage and cucumber salad and always loved it. I could never get it just like she made it but it is very close.

We then moved much further away, and I became a single mother, but the Thanksgiving traditions stayed on with me and the kids. Sometimes we would have guests over that had no other place to go for Thanksgiving. Our special meal was always a discussion at the dinner table as they tried some of the delicious fare.


The girls are married. The older one comes home for Thanksgiving when she can. My son does whatever his current girlfriend wants. I now go to my daughter's in-laws for Thanksgiving every year. They have a large extended family, something we never had. Everyone brings a dish. Every year, I am asked to bring my mother's dishes that they now also look forward to every year.

My parents have both passed. I know that Mom would be happy to know that her traditions are still kept alive. This will be an extra special Thanksgiving. My youngest daughter just had a baby girl on Nov 3rd, a sister to a 3 year old brother. In time, they will also enjoy Great Oma's German-American Thanksgiving. A tradition, I hope, that will continue to be passed down for generations to come.


I have tried to get these recipes as close as possible since nothing was measured out and the girls and I know how to make it. I learned by watching my mother and doing it myself and writing things down as I went along. I hope the readers enjoy these simple recipes.

By xintexas from San Antonio, TX

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October 6, 2010

Inexpensive, quick and easy crowd pleaser. Combine one packet potato flakes and one bag stuffing mix in bowl with half a cup of hot water; stir.


October 22, 2010

It's almost turkey time again, so I want to share this great dressing recipe with you. It is easy, flavorful, and comes out perfect every time.


Don't let the fact that it has Stove Top in it fool you, this tastes nothing like Stove Top.


November 20, 2004

Wonderful Recipe for Thanksgiving Yeast Rolls. Why not try making your own this year?


Silver Post Medal for All Time! 267 Posts
November 21, 2021

Although everyone's Thanksgiving food varies for each family, there are some traditional dishes that grace tables across the U.S.; like turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. These recipes are all from New England, where the first Thanksgiving was celebrated. Families have incorporated their own favorite dishes into their own celebrations. My family is planning on rice, stir fried green beans and mac and cheese this year, in addition to the basics.

Recipes for Thanksgiving


Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

October 8, 2007

I'm looking for recipes for Thanksgiving dinner that can be made ahead of time and frozen or can be cooked a couple of days early. We're going to my parents on Thanksgiving Day, and then the next day we're having my husband's family over, so I will not have time to prepare the day before.

Char from IL


October 8, 20070 found this helpful
Best Answer

Cook your turkey ahead of time. When cool, slice meat from turkey and place in ziplock bags and freeze. If making homemade stuffing, prepare it in a disposable aluminum baking pan, Bake and then cool, cover with foil and freeze in pan it's baked in.


Do the same for baked yams, etc.... everything can be thawed in the fridge and re-heated in the oven an hour before your meal.

By (Guest Post)
October 9, 20070 found this helpful
Best Answer

If you really want to impress your in-laws with your cooking, get your turkey ready the day before Thanksgiving and refrigerate it. Get up early on Friday morning and bake it. There is nothing more that says 'it's leftover' than frozen turkey, whether you want it to be or not. Sorry, but I am not a fan of frozen cooked meat of any kind, especially poultry. If you must do it this way, at least boil some of the juices you baked it in and pour over the warmed turkey to help give it that just cooked flavor. The potatoes can be made ahead and put in the crockpot that morning to warm. Good luck!

By cheapo (Guest Post)
October 10, 20070 found this helpful
Best Answer

i'm so glad you asked.
i love how this idea works out!
i make my mashed potatoes weeks in advance.
i mash the potatoes as usual.
then i fold in some shredded mozzerella cheese,


some finely diced ham and 1 egg (lightly beaten).
put the mixture into a buttered casserole dish.
sprinkle the top with a mixture of bread crumbs and grated parmesan cheese. Dot with butter.
cover with clear wrap and tin foil.
and freeze for up to one month
or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
before baking - remove clear wrap and replace foil.
bake for 45 mins to 1 hour at 350 degrees
until heated through and top becomes slightly golden. you can remove foil for the last ten minutes.

My girlfriend (the italian home economics teacher)
calls this "Italian Potatoe Pie"

good luck.

By Laura (Guest Post)
October 11, 20071 found this helpful
Best Answer

Mashed Potato Casserole

  • 5 lbs. potatoes, peeled
  • 1 cup half and half or milk, warmed
  • 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, room temp.
  • 6-8 oz. French onion dip, room temp. or sour cream, optional
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper or to taste
  • Dry parsley and paprika to taste

Cook potatoes. Mash, season with salt, pepper and parsley; adding butter as needed. Add half and half, cream cheese and onion dip using whip or hand mixer. Do not over beat.

Put in a 9x13 inch greased casserole. Brush top with butter and sprinkle with parsley and/or paprika.

Bake in 350 degree F for 30 minutes. Serves 12.

Can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen. Bake for one hour at 350° to reheat.

Personal Note: I warm the cream cheese, sour cream, and half and half in the microwave at a low setting.

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October 28, 2007

This is the first year I'm hosting Thanksgiving. We recently bought our first house and my parents and my in-laws, plus my grandparents will all be coming here for the meal. There will be 9 people, not to many. However, my family has the exact same thing every year for thanksgiving. Turkey, stuffing, cranberry, yams, lima beans, mashed potatoes, jello salad, apple salad, date pudding and pumpkin pie. Not only am I getting tired of this menu after 23 years, but I want my in-laws to and family both like the menu.

What are some things you thrifty fun readers make that are big hits? My mom's allergic to shell fish, and my dad can't eat pork since he's Jewish. Also 2 people are diabetics. Any ideas?

Amy from Anderson, IN


By Angelina (Guest Post)
October 29, 20070 found this helpful

Menu Suggestions for an Italian flavor Thanksgiving - Italian Wedding Soup, Lasagna with spinach and ricotta, Roast capon, chicken or cornish hens with potatoes and carrots. Caesar Salad and then pumpkin pie ala mode with spumoni ice cream. Optional, wine on the table. Some of these items can be made ahead. We had this when we were growing up for the Holidays.

October 29, 20070 found this helpful

Here is one of my family's faves!


1 (29 oz.) can yams or
2 c. mashed sweet potatoes
1/4 c. sugar
3/4 stick butter, melted
2 eggs
1/2 c. milk (canned)
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Mix with mixer. Bake 25 minutes in 400 degree oven. Then add topping.


1/2 c. finely crushed cornflakes
1/2 stick butter
1/2 c. pecans or walnuts
1/2 c. light brown sugar

Combine all the topping ingredients and sprinkle over the casserole. Bake another 15 minutes or until knife blade comes out clean. Bake in an 8 inch square baking dish.

October 30, 20070 found this helpful

I haven't eaten actual cranberry sauce for years. I am diabetic and this is what I make instead.
1 large navel orange
2 bags fresh cranberries
Sweeten to taste with sugar or Splenda
Wash the oranges as u will be using skin and all
Clean and wash the cranberries
Cut oranges as small as necessary to fit in food processor(I have a hand crank meat grinder which I use solely for this purpose)
Alternate orange wedges with handfuls of cranberries as you grind them together.
After finished grinding, let sit for about 5 minutes until gets some juice.
Add Spenda to taste.
This recipe can be increased as needed and freezes like a dream (treat like jam and leave a air space at top of containers for effects of freezing.
How about this:

8 sweet potatoes
1/2 c. brown sugar(I'd use the Splenda Brown Sugar Blend)
2 tbsp butter(or marg I would think)
Dash cinnamon (personally I do more than dash with cinnamon :], it is a natural regulator of blood sugar as well for your diabetics.)
1/4 c. slivered almonds
1/8 tsp salt
Pare potatoes and cook until tender in lightly salted water
Split potatoes and place in greased, shallow pan
Combine sugar, water, butter, salt and cinnamon in saucepan
Stir in almondws
Simmer 3 minutes
Pour over potatoes in casserole
Bake at 425, uncovered, for 20 minutes
Baste with syrup during cooking time, once or twice.

Replace that heavy pumpkin pie with something like this:
Note: All starred ingredients may have to be purchased for this recipe.


1 c. low fat plain yogurt 250 mL
1/4 c. canned pumpkin puree* 50 mL
2 tbsp sugar free maple-flavoured syrup* 30 mL
Pinch cinnamon Pinch

Layer in parfait glasses with toasted chopped pecans or ginger snap crumbs.

By Marta (Guest Post)
October 30, 20070 found this helpful

Here are some corn casserole recipes that my family enjoys. Both can be prepared ahead of time and baked on Thanksgiving Day. I use whatever size bag of corn bread mix they have at the store, I can't always find the 8 or 8.5 oz and they come out fine. These casseroles are also great served with chili.

Yield: 6 servings
Preheat oven to 350.

1/2 cup butter
1 (16-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (16-ounce) can cream style corn
1 cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 (8-ounce) package corn bread mix
1 small onion, grated
Gated cheddar cheese, for topping

Combine all ingredients except cheese. Place in greased 8x8-inch casserole dish. Top with grated cheese. Bake in greased 8x8-inch casserole at 350 for 45 minutes.

FROM: Diana S. at
Yield: 7 servings

4 cups shredded zucchini
1 onion, chopped
2 eggs, beaten
1 (8.5 oz) package dry corn muffin mix
0.50 teaspoon salt
0.25 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 2 quart casserole dish. In a large bowl mix together the zucchini, onion, eggs, muffin mix, salt and pepper. Stir in 4 ounces of the cheese. Spread this mixture into the casserole dish; top with remaining 4 ounces of cheese. Bake in preheated oven for 60 minutes.

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October 22, 2010

What should I cook for Thanksgiving dinner?

By shannon from Hazleton, PA

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November 5, 2009

I am attending a family Thanksgiving dinner and I need ideas as to what to bring. They do not make a traditional Thanksgiving meal; I never know what they are making. And we will be driving about 2 hours away for this dinner.

By Shannon from Austin, MN

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October 21, 2007

Any ideas for an easy, cheap Thanksgiving menu and the recipes?

Kathy Milligan from Mira Loma, CA.


Diamond Post Medal for All Time! 5,887 Posts
October 21, 20070 found this helpful

I will give you the sample Thanksgiving menu that is in my mother's cookbook, along with as many recipes as possible.

Harvest Celebration Cup

To begin with this Harvest cup, thaw 2 pkgs. (12oz. each) frozen mixed fruit as per directions on package. Do not drain! Spoon 1/3 c. fruit with syrup into each of 8 punch cups. Pour about 1/4 c. chilled sparkling grape juice into each cup. Stir once and serve immediately. Delicious!

Roast Turkey & Dressing

Heat oven to 325. Rinse bird in cold water. Drain and pat dry. Fold wings, bringing wing tips to the back of the bird. Fill neck cavity with stuffing, if desired. Stuff body cavity as well, but do not pack stuffing as it will expand as it cooks. If you do not wish to stuff the bird, rub the inside of the bird with salt. Push drum sticks under a band of skin at the tail. Place turkey, breast down, and allow to bake at least 1/2 of the time. Then turn the turkey over carefully. Baste with butter. The browning of the bird will take place now so continue to baste with the juices from the roasting pan every 30 minutes. If you use a meat thermometer, make sure it does not touch the bone. Covering with aluminum foil will prevent excessive browning. Allow the turkey to stand 20-30 minutes to set before carving.

Mashed potatoes & gravy from drippings from the turkey.

Fried corn:

8 lg. size ears of sweet corn (husked, silked & washed)
whipping cream
3 T. brown sugar (firmly packed
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 stick butter
Cut corn from each cob and scrape each cob to remove the cream from the cob. Spray electric skillet with non-stick cooking spray. Melt butter in skillet. Place corn in skillet. Top with brown sugar and whipping cream to cover corn. Season with salt & pepper. Cover; bring to a boil and reduce heat and simmer. Stir often. AS it cooks down, stir to keep from burning. Bring caramelization to the top while stirring. This will take 20-25 minutes. The corn w8ill have a beautiful golden color. Delicious also!

Cranberry Relish:
1 pkg. lemon gelatin (3oz.)
1 c. boiling water
1 pkg. frozen cranberry-orange relish (10oz.)
1 can crushed pineapple (not drained) (8oz.)
1 red apple (chopped)
1/2 c. celery (chopped)
crisp salad greens
Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Stir in frozen relish, fruit and celery. Stir until relish is thawed. Pour into 1 qt. mold; chill until set. Unmold on fresh salad greens.

Hot rolls & butter

Green Bean Casserole:
2 cans green beans(drained)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can water chestnuts
Pour all ingredients into a well greased rectangular dish. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Sprinkle a can of French-fried onions over the top of the casserole for the last 5 minutes or baking.

Creamy Fruit Salad:
1 can drained mandarin oranges
1 can drained crushed pineapple
2 bananas, sliced
1 c. mini marshmallows
12 maraschino cherries
1 carton Dream Whip (mixed with 3 t. sugar & 1/4 t. almond extract)
Mix ingredients together.

Pumpkin or Apple Pie
For the pumpkin pie, my mom always used the recipe that comes on the can of Libby's pumpkin. For the apple pie, here is the recipe.

Apple Pie:
2 (9 inch) unbaked pie shells
7 apples (peel & core)
Slice into pie shell. Mix the following:
1 c. sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
1 c. cream
1 c. grated cheddar cheese
pat of butter
Pour over apples. Sprinkle grated cheese over top. Cover top with second pie shell layer. Brush with cream. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Bake 45 minutes at 400 degrees.

I hope these are good suggestions for you. Good luck!

By U*u*U (Guest Post)
October 22, 20070 found this helpful

How about a cooperative effort? You do the turkey and the dressing, and assign various people to bring veggies, desserts, beverages, etc? Most people are usually happy to show off their best dishes. Those who don't or can't cook might bring beverages, refrigerator rolls, paper goods or fresh corn for boiling, etc.

Even the children can participate by making and bringing a few hand decorated placemats each.

By Kathy Milligan (Guest Post)
October 22, 20070 found this helpful

Thank you everyone for posting such great ideas! Everyone of them look so good!

By marilyn (Guest Post)
October 23, 20070 found this helpful

Call a fast food chicken place like KFC or others and they have all the fixings and turkey for usually about 50.00

By Lynda (Guest Post)
October 26, 20070 found this helpful

Depends. When we were even poorer, we ate Turkey TV dinners. lol

As we progressed, we cooked large precooked frozen Turkey slices in gravy with dressing and frozen veggies.

Later in the years I began to cook traditionally, getting a free turkey with $50.00 in groc., tossing Stovetop boxed dressing and canned broth together, along with deviled eggs and canned sweet potatoes/green beans and iced tea/packaged rolls, and delicious frozen cooked pies.

The last many years I made a full to-die-for homemade Thanksgiving meal, costing MUCH more than I ever imagined, so I wound up taking my daughter-in-law's advice from then on: Either have each family bring a main dish, salad or dessert, OR go out to a bargain buffet BRUNCH and make memories without the work !

Now, I'm an elder remembering all the times I cooked, invited couples who were having marital problems who never showed or who cancelled at the last minute with sincere apologies, and comparing them with the many childhood memories in my grandmother's kitchen and lap, smacking on everything delicious she'd feed me.

It's really up to us, isn't it? What do we celebrate Thanksgiving for? Isn't it about being grateful for what God has given us freely? About loving one another, not impressing others?

Making good memories is work, but needs to be made in unconditional love and sincere sweat labor, knowing it will be remembered one day and appreciated as well. God bless you all. : )

By (Guest Post)
October 26, 20070 found this helpful

walmart sells already cooked turkey packages (includes pot,cranberry sauce etc...)in a box
Just heat and eat.

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November 6, 2009

I need some new inspiration. What does your Thanksgiving Day menu include? I am looking for ideas from main dish, to sides, to dessert etc. (Links to recipes online if you have them would be great as well.) Many thanks.


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January 15, 2020

This is an amazing twist on the typical veggie tray. For Thanksgiving, why not create a turkey shaped veggie tray. The steps needed to make one of your own follow. Then all that remains is the eating.

Thanksgiving Turkey Veggie Tray - awesome turkey veggie tray

November 11, 2011

It is always fun to decorate cupcakes for the season and Thanksgiving is no except. There are lots of creative ways to tailor these goodies to complement your Thanksgiving dinner.

Cupcakes decorated to make a turkey using several with different frostings..

November 10, 2011

For some people, Thanksgiving isn't all about the turkey or ham. There are many delicious vegetarian dishes that you can served at your holiday meal. This page contains vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes.

Pumpkin soup inside a pumpkin.

November 22, 2021

Thanksgiving is not just about the turkey, favorite family side dishes are anticipated from year to year. As families blend, new dishes are added or substituted for old but some are nearly always included on the Thanksgiving table, like mashed potatoes, candied yams and stuffing.

A collection of traditional Thanksgiving side dishes.

November 22, 2021

I am not a good cook but I love Thanksgiving dressing. I would like to request a recipe for what I believe is called cornbread dressing.

A bowl of Thanksgiving dressing or stuffing.

September 16, 2014

Thanksgiving is one of those food centric holidays, perhaps even more so since historically is has been celebrated to commemorate a meal shared with the Native Americans. There are many recipes that children can make for the holiday. This page contains Thanksgiving recipes for kids.


October 18, 2012

Round out your holiday meal or get together with a variety of tasty appetizers. This page contains Thanksgiving appetizer recipes.

Cute Edible Apple Turkey

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