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70 Delicious Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas

These Thanksgiving dinner ideas are great for traditionalists and folks looking to add new dishes to the holiday table.

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Cranberry-Orange Roasted Turkey

You'll have an elegant centerpiece to your meal with this tender, juicy turkey. The cranberry makes it so good. It has such a wonderful aroma and flavor. —Kara de la Vega, Santa Rosa, California

Get our step-by-step guide for how to cook a turkey with tips from Test Kitchen experts. Trust us, you won’t want to miss it.

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German-Style Cabbage and Beans

This is one of my greatest hits for a potluck dish at church suppers. If you use some red cabbage, it will have very festive colors, light pink with green. It looks so pretty. —Winifred Winch, Wetmore, Michigan

Host the best Thanksgiving ever with our 20 favorite side dishes.

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Lattice-Topped Apple Pie

Lattice-Topped Apple Pie

You can’t beat my mom’s yummy apple pie. Pretty as a picture, the golden crust is flaky and the filling has just the right amount of spices. —Anne Halfhill, Sunbury, Ohio

End the holiday on a sweet note with these best-ever Thanksgiving pies.

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Cauliflower au Gratin

Count on this dish to make new vegetable converts. Whenever I serve it, people ask for the recipe. Sometimes I’ll substitute broccoli for all or half the cauliflower, and the green veggie tastes just as good! —Jacki Ricci, Ely, Nevada
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Scalloped Sweet Corn Casserole

This is my Grandma Ostendorf's corn recipe I grew up enjoying. Now a grandmother myself, I still serve this comfy, delicious side as a family classic. —Lonnie Hartstack, Clarinda, Iowa
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Frosted Cranberry Drop Cookies

I started making these treats after tasting a batch my friend whipped up. I immediately requested the drop cookie recipe and have been baking them by the dozens ever since. The icing is an ideal complement to the tart berries in the cookies. —Shirley Kidd, New London, Minnesota
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Mulled Wine

This mulled wine is soothing and satisfying with a delightful blend of spices warmed to perfection. Refrigerating the wine mixture overnight allows the flavors to blend, so don't omit this essential step. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Swiss Chard with Onions & Garlic

I like to make this Swiss chard a main dish by serving it with pasta, but it’s also a tasty side dish all on its own. My boys love it and ask for it often. —Rebekah Chappel, Portales, New Mexico
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Roasted Squash, Carrots & Walnuts

After the turkey’s done, I dial up the oven temp and roast carrots and squash for this yummy side. That frees me up to start the gravy. —Lily Julow, Lawrenceville, Georgia
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Golden Apricot-Glazed Turkey Breast

Basted with a simple glaze, this wonderfully moist and tender turkey bakes to a lovely golden brown. Make it the centerpiece of your holiday table; guests will be glad you did. —Greg Fontenot, The Woodlands, Texas
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Hearty Butternut Squash Soup

The comforting combination of squash, meat, beans and veggies makes this my go-to soup in fall. It's full of freshness. —Jaye Beeler, Grand Rapids, Michigan
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Aunt Margaret's Sweet Potato Casserole

My great-aunt made an incredible sweet potato casserole for our holiday dinners. I’ve lightened it up a bit, but we love it just the same. —Beth Britton, Fairlawn, Ohio
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Garlic-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Mustard Sauce

Don’t be afraid to bring out the roasted Brussels sprouts. Mellowed with mustard sauce, they may just delight even the most skeptical folks. —Becky Walch, Orland, California
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Roasted Butternut Tossed Salad

This salad makes an easy and special side dish for Thanksgiving dinner, and it's packed with nutritious veggies, almonds, berries and squash. —Katie Wollgast, Florissant, Missouri
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Double Delights

You get the best of both worlds with these chocolate and vanilla cookies. They're an appealing addition to any cookie tray. I usually serve them at the holidays, when they're often the first cookies to disappear, but you can have them any time of year. —Ruth Ann Stelfox, Raymond, Alberta
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Quick & Easy au Gratin Potatoes

On holidays, a friend serves these creamy, cheesy potatoes when we gather together to celebrate with lifelong friends and grown children. —Carol Blue, Barnesville, Pennsylvania
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Maple-Sage Brined Turkey

When the leaves start turning, it’s turkey time at our house. We use maple-sage brine to help brown the bird and make the meat incredibly juicy. —Kim Forni, Laconia, New Hampshire
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Sausage and Rice Casserole Side Dish

When company's coming or when I need a quick-and-easy dish to pass, this is my hands-down favorite. A neighbor introduced me to the delicious combination of fluffy rice and sage-seasoned sausage. One forkful was all it took to convince me that I'd found a winner. —Joyce Green, Bettendorf, Iowa
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Cranberry-Orange Bars

My mother has had this recipe for years. I love it! These bars make great snacks, but can also be served for dessert. —Margaret Adelman, Bellingham, Minnesota
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Cranberry Cornmeal Dressing

This moist dressing is perfect when paired with poultry or even pork. The sweet-tart flavor of the dried cranberries really complements the dish's turkey sausage. —Corinne Portteus, Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Mom's Roast Beef

This well-seasoned roast is Mom’s specialty. Everyone loves slices of the fork-tender roast beef and its savory gravy, and people always ask what her secret ingredients are. Now you have the delicious recipe for our favorite dish! —Linda Gaido, New Brighton, Pennsylvania
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Creamy Hash Brown Casserole

This versatile side dish is so good with grilled steak, and is delicious with other meats as well. A creamy cheese sauce and crunchy topping make this potato casserole popular for family dinners and potlucks. —Teresa Stutzman, Adair, Oklahoma
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Black Bean 'n' Pumpkin Chili

Black Bean 'n' Pumpkin Chili

My family is crazy about this slow cooker chili because it uses ingredients you don't usually find in chili. Believe it or not, I discovered that pumpkin is what makes the dish so special. Cook up a big batch and freeze some for later; it tastes even better reheated. —Deborah Vliet, Holland, Michigan
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Frosted Maple Cookies

Living in New England, I've come to appreciate the unique qualities of our area. Many people here enjoy the flavor of maple in their recipes, and I love this adaptation of an old favorite. —Connie Borden, Marblehead, Massachusetts
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Cranberry Cornbread Casserole

What could be better on a cold day than a warm casserole and creamy sweet cornbread put together? Since it starts with a mix, this side takes no time to make. Just bake, scoop and eat. Yum!—Valery Anderson, Sterling Heights, Michigan
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Potato Stuffing Casserole

I adapted this recipe from a Pennsylvania Dutch cookbook, and it's indicative of the fine German cooking found in this area. If you're looking for an alternative to mashed potatoes, try this dish. —Elsa Kerschner, Kunkletown, Pennsylvania
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Golden Roasted Turkey

Your holiday turkey will never turn out dry again if you reach for this recipe. Brining overnight and stuffing with apples results in moist, tender meat.—Michael Williams, Moreno Valley, California
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Walnut Pumpkin Cake Roll

This is one of my family's favorite dessert recipes, especially for holiday gatherings. —Mary Gecha, Center Rutland, Vermont
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Perfect Winter Salad

This is my most-requested salad recipe. Serve it as a side salad along with your holiday meal, or enjoy it for lunch the next day with cubed turkey or chicken on top. —DeNae Shewmake, Burnsville, Minnesota
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Gingersnap Pumpkin Cake

It just so happened that on the first day that really felt like fall, we were getting together with friends. I had to make this pumpkin cake. —Koni Brewer, Fort Worth, Texas
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Shredded Gingered Brussels Sprouts

Even people who normally don't care for Brussels sprouts will ask for a second helping of these. —James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Editor
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Pumpkin & Cauliflower Garlic Mash

I wanted healthy alternatives to my family's favorite recipes. Pumpkin, cauliflower and thyme make an amazing dish. You'll never miss those plain old mashed potatoes. —Kari Wheaton, South Beloit, Illinois
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Holiday Brussels Sprouts

Make Brussels sprouts special with peas, celery and, of course, bacon. The recipe doubles easily if needed. —Jodie Beckman, Council Bluffs, Iowa
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Slow-Cooker Chai Tea

A wonderful sweet and spicy aroma wafts from the slow cooker as this pleasantly flavored chai tea cooks. —Crystal Jo Burns, Iliff, Colorado
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Scalloped Apples Casserole

When preparing my first Thanksgiving dinner years ago, I wanted to add something special to the table and came up with this recipe. It's been a part of our traditional dinner ever since. —Kellie Erwin, Westerville, Ohio
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Marinated Thanksgiving Turkey

My family enjoys this Thanksgiving turkey because it cooks up tender, tasty and golden brown. Build up flavor by marinating the meat, then grill it to add a tempting barbecued flavor. —Ken Churches, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
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Sweet & Salty Truffle Pie

Homemade truffles—a little bit sweet and a little bit salty—will keep you coming back for more. Store extra truffles in the fridge.—Shirley Warren, Thiensville, Wisconsin
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Brussels Sprouts au Gratin

In our house, Brussels sprouts have always been popular. When I topped them with a creamy sauce, Swiss cheese and bread crumbs, it became a new holiday dinner tradition. —Gwen Gregory, Rio Oso, California
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Scalloped Potatoes with Mushrooms

Potatoes and mushrooms make a one-dish meal I love – it’s the calories you have to watch. Swap out dairy products with lower fat options. —Courtney Stultz, Columbus, Kansas
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Sweet Potato & Carrot Casserole

This tangy and sweet casserole is full of flavor. We've served it at many celebrations over the years and it's always been a big hit! —Gloria Mezikofsky, Wakefield, Massachusetts
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Pumpkin-Lentil Soup

I was really craving a hot delicious soup—something filling and healthy. I looked around my kitchen for a few ingredients, then created this recipe. Pumpkin adds creamy richness and body. —Amy Blom, Marietta, Georgia
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Roasted Turkey with Maple Cranberry Glaze

I prepare turkey with a taste of Canada in mind. The sweet maple flavor comes through even in the breast meat. You may start to notice it's caramelized color after about 2 hours. That's when I cover it loosely with foil while it finishes cooking. The meat will stay tender and juicy. —Suzanne Anctil, West Vancouver, British Columbia
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Spiced Butternut Squash Pie

My mom always made this dessert with her homegrown squash. It was my dad's favorite after-dinner treat. I continue to make it to this day. —Johnna Poulson, Celebration, Florida.
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Fudge-Topped Brownies

If you love brownies and fudge, why not combine the two? Mix up a pan of these exquisite brownies for any holiday or special gathering—or just when you want to treat yourself to the ultimate chocolate dessert. —Judy Olson, Whitecourt, Alberta
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Wendy's Apple Pomegranate Salad

My grandparents grew pomegranates, pecans and walnuts and would send us some each year. Some of my best memories are the days I used to spend with my grandmother learning how to cook with her. Whenever I make this, it's like having lunch with my grandmother again. —Wendy Ball, Battle Creek, Michigan
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Easy Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin pie does not have to be difficult to make. This easy Thanksgiving dessert recipe has a wonderful taste and will be a hit at your holiday meal. —Marty Rummel, Trout Lake, Washington
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Slow Cooker Caramel Apple Cider

Slow Cooker Caramel Apple Cider

Spiced with cinnamon sticks, allspice and caramel, this warm-you-up sipper will chase away winter's chill. Serve brimming mugs alongside a platter of festive cookies at your next holiday gathering. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Best Coconut Pecan Cookies

I gave cookies to friends every year, and these are a favorite. Freeze the dough in logs, then slice and bake the crisp, buttery, coconut pecan cookies when you need them. —Betty Matthews, South Haven, Michigan
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Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Garlic

When we have company, these sprouts are my go-to side dish because they look and taste fantastic. Fancy them up a notch with pancetta instead of bacon. —Mandy Rivers, Lexington, South Carolina
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Glazed Spiced Rum Pound Cakes

My recipe makes two loaf-sized treats, perfect for sharing. The spiced rum flavor really comes through in both the cake and the glaze. —Christine Russell, Littleton, New Hampshire
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Eggnog Sweet Potato Bake

I love eggnog so I am always looking for new ways to use it. When I added it to mashed sweet potatoes I knew I had a winner. You can make this the night before and refrigerate it unbaked; the next day, let it stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.—Katie Wollgast, Florissant, Missouri
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Scrumptious Sweet Potato Pie

There are many good sweet potato pies out there, but this one doesn't contain milk. It does have a splash of whiskey and a hint of lemon. —Suzanne Smith, Maumee, Ohio
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Kipplens

My Great-Aunt Hilda makes this recipe every Christmas, and everybody loves them! Kipplens taste a lot like Mexican wedding cakes, but I like my aunt's version better. —Susan Bohannon, Kokomo, Indiana
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Sweet Potato Cheesecake Bars

Your whole house will be filled with the aroma of pumpkin spice when you bake these wonderful sweet potato cheesecake bars. They look complicated but are so easy, you can whip up a batch anytime. —Nancy Whitford, Edwards, New York
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Apple Sausage Salad with Cinnamon Vinaigrette

Making croutons with cinnamon-raisin bread is sweet genius. Toss together the rest of the salad while they toast. —Kim Van Dunk, Caldwell, New Jersey
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Chocolate Pecan Torte

This impressive dessert looks lovely on a buffet table. It takes some time to prepare, but it’s worth the effort. —Lois Schlickau, Haven, Kansas
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Fruit-Glazed Roast Turkey

Apple, cranberry and raspberry flavors blend with fresh herbs in a tangy glaze for the roasted turkey. It's a welcome change to a traditional entree. —Aysha Schurman, Ammon, Idaho
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Cranberry-Pumpkin Praline Pie

Here's my spin on praline pie. It has a nice crunch from the pecans, brightness from the orange zest, pop from the cranberries and richness from the cream cheese. —Barb Miller, Oakdale, Minnesota
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Slow-Cooker Turkey Breast with Gravy

This quick-prep recipe lets you feast on turkey at any time of year. We save the rich broth for gravy, noodles and soup making. —Joyce Hough, Annapolis, Maryland
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Hidden Mint Morsels

Is it a cookie or a candy? No matter which answer folks choose, they find these minty morsels yummy. The recipe makes so much that you can whip up tons of gifts at once. —Adina Skilbred, Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin
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Creamy Sweet Potatoes

I took my mother's delicious sweet potato casserole recipe and gave it a new twist by adding the tempting taste of orange-a fruit very abundant in our state. The flavors are wonderful together and make this dish a family favorite. —Norma Poole, Auburndale, Florida
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Family-Favorite Caramelized Onions

Family-Favorite Caramelized Onions

This recipe was passed down to me by my mother-in-law. After a few tweaks these onions are better than ever and, to my husband's chagrin, there are rarely any leftovers. They can easily be made ahead and reheated. —Sharon Gibson, Hendersonville, North Carolina
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Pumpkin Pie Tartlets with Maple Pecan Crust

After discovering I had multiple food sensitivities, I began developing holiday recipes that would be safe for me, but enjoyable for others, too. These tarts are delicious—with no gluten, eggs or dairy! —Chantale Michaud, Guelph, Ontario
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Seasoned Brown Rice Pilaf

For those of us who are white rice lovers at heart, this recipe makes brown rice taste great! Everyone takes seconds; it is that good. It is so easy to prepare. To convert for vegetarians, just substitute veggie broth for the beef broth. Any leftovers are delicious the next day. —Amy Berry, Poland, Maine
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Plum Conserve

My mouthwatering conserve is a versatile gift. It makes a lovely garnish for rolls during holiday feasts, is delicious paired with cheese as an appetizer, and makes a great dessert topping for ice cream or pound cake. —Ginny Beadle, Spokane, Washington
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Roasted Red Pepper Green Beans

This recipe showcases a creamy sauce with shallot-and-chive cheese. The toasted pine nuts add crunch. Just a few ingredients—so easy! —Becky Ellis, Roanoke, Virginia
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Butternut Squash Panzanella Salad

This colorful salad is easy to make—and it's even easier if you use precut chunks of butternut squash. You can use pecans in place of the almonds or watercress instead of the arugula or spinach. —Nancy Buchanan, Costa Mesa, California
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Brussels Sprouts Brown Betty

I had the idea to make a savory version of the family-favorite brown betty using vegetables in place of fruit, while keeping the classic crunchy bread crumb topping. The result is a creamy, decadent side that will turn anyone into a Brussels sprouts fan. —Shauna Havey, Roy, Utah
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Carrot, Parsnip and Potato Gratin

Carrot, Parsnip and Potato Gratin

Thanks to a challenge in the TOH community a few years back, my husband and I tried parsnips and discovered that we liked them! In fact, I started growing them in my garden and have been trying new things with them. This recipe is one of my experiments, and it turned out to be something we really enjoy! —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
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Cherry Pecan Dreams

Packed with fruit, nuts and vanilla chips, these are always a treat. To vary the flavor, swap in dried cranberries or apricots for the cherries, and pistachios for the pecans. —Mary Ann Mariotti, Plainfield, Illinois

Caroline Stanko
As an Associate Digital Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.

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