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Tried and True Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

18 of my Tried and True Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

Thanksgiving is just a week away and if you’re finalizing your menu plan or deciding what you’ll be contributing to a family or group meal, this is the post for you. It’s not secret that I love to cook and Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. Over the last 10 years or so, I’ve handled every part of Thanksgiving at some point from creating the dinner menu and assigning tasks to baking rolls to contributing side dishes to providing the sweet stuff to brining and roasting the bird.

Tried and True Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

In this post I’m going to share a compilation of my favorite tried and true Thanksgiving recipes. Some you can find on my blog and others are outside recipes that I’ve relied on for years. Hope you’re hungry…here we go! ๐Ÿ™‚


Relish Tray


I don’t know about you but Thanksgiving is one holiday where I prefer to bypass apps and snacking to save room for the main feast. That said, a friend introduced me to relish trays during a friendsgiving back in 2007 and it’s been my go-to ever since. They’re fun to put together, aesthetically pleasing, light and versatile.

The Modern Relish Tray
How to Build a Relish Tray
Thanksgiving Inspiration: The Modern Relish Tra

The Main Event

Alton Brown Good Eats Roast Turkey

First things first, BRINE YOUR BIRD! I swear it makes the biggest difference. I cooked this turkey two years ago and brined overnight in a huge bucket from Home Depot. This is the full recipe that I swear by when it comes to cooking the bird, from brining through roasting. It’s the Good Eats Roast Turkey from Alton Brown.

Turkey on the Big Green Egg

And if the Big Green Egg is your thing, I highly, highly, highly recommend my dad’s take on Alton’s recipe for the Big Green Egg. You can find it on my old blog!

Stuffed Pork Loin

If you want to mix it up this year and steer away from the traditional turkey or add another option, consider my cider-brined pork loin stuffed with butternut squash, apples and cranberries.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

And if you want to go meatless, my stuffed acorn squash with brown rice, kale, cranberries and pecans is where it’s at.


The Best Sweet Potato Casserole

I am obsessed with this sweet potato recipe from Southern Living and have been making it since 2007! I love the alternating rows of marshmallows and cornflake topping…it’s a crowd pleaser and tastes amazing!

Traditional White Dressing

My dad and I have been making this classic white dressing from Cuisine at Home forever and ever. Nothing fancy here, just your basic white dressing but this recipe is delicious!

Goumet Cookbook Mac and Cheese

I discovered this macaroni and cheese recipe in the Gourmet Cookbook back in 2009 when I was doing a 68 Days of Gourmet Challenge on my old food blog back in 2009. It remains my go-to mac and cheese recipe to this day.

Orange Ginger Cranberry Sauce

Orange ginger cranberry sauce. I love the addition of crystallized ginger along with orange juice and zest in this cranberry sauce recipe.

Thanksgiving Plate

My dad taught me to make homemade gravy from scratch and for that I am thankful. It’s a bit of a process but worth it 100%. I don’t have the recipe on my site or a link to it online but I made a pdf of the recipe my dad emailed me back in 2008 just for you guys! ๐Ÿ™‚ Click here.

Other delicious side dishes to check out…

Creamed Leeks
Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Caramelized Shallots
Tuscan Kale Salad with Golden Beets, Figs and Feta
Kale Salad with Butternut Squash, Pomegranate and Pumpkin Seeds
Fluffy Dinner Rolls
Green Beans with Caramelized Onions and Almond


Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake

You can never go wrong with this Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake. I make it almost every year!

Maple Apple Spice Cake

This Maple Apple Spice Bundt Cake is so yummy.

Apple Cranberry Pie

My dad makes this gorgeous Apple Cranberry Pie from Cook’s Illustrated almost every year.

I could keep going all night long but I think this covers my absolute favorites.

Do you have any tried and true Thanksgiving recipes?

Favorite way to cook the bird? Smoke? Roast? Grill? Fry?

Favorite Thanksgiving dessert?


{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Meredith (The Cookie ChRUNicles) November 18, 2016, 5:09 am

    great collection! for thanksgiving dessert, even though I like apple pie, I will gravitate towards any chocolate dessert available lol. I usually make my oatmeal raisin chocolate chip cookies for thanksgiving because everyone in my family loves them. they aren’t technically a thanksgiving type dessert but they are so good ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Jen DeCurtins November 18, 2016, 7:28 am

      Do you have your cookie recipe posted? That is one of my fave combos!

  • Brittany November 18, 2016, 6:31 am

    Jen, this post is SO well done. I’ve been reading a lot of thanksgiving recipe posts and this is the best so far. I might even cook a dish this year ๐Ÿค”

    • Jen DeCurtins November 18, 2016, 7:27 am

      Thank you so much! I love Thanksgiving and I can honestly say that all of these recipes have been made over and over by me or my family for years. xx

      • sabrina November 19, 2016, 5:19 pm

        I agree! Best post ever. THank you for the awesome ideas…I want to make everything, so many decisions…

  • Fiona November 18, 2016, 7:31 am

    My family is all about brining the turkey too! So moist and delicious! And for dessert I love eating just the filling of my mom’s pumpkin pie

  • Laura W. November 19, 2016, 9:20 am

    Thanks for all of these delicious recipes! I think I pinned nearly every recipe here so that I can make them on Thursday ๐Ÿ™‚

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