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Simplify Thanksgiving this year with these Easy Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes! We’ve compiled the best and easiest Thanksgiving appetizers, side dishes and desserts for you. Make all of them for a full Thanksgiving dinner menu or just pick and choose your favorites.

easy thanksgiving dinner menu tablescape.

I’ve broken down an easy Thanksgiving dinner into digestible categories. If you are serving a crowd, you can make this whole menu, or you can pick and choose a few from each section. This will give you a well-rounded and satisfying meal!

You could also give a quick look to my Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Menu for more ideas. That menu has a full prep plan to tell you when to make each dish for an easy Thanksgiving!

Why You Will Love these Easy Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes

  • Simple, easy to follow recipes. A professional chef guides you through only the easiest dishes for Thanksgiving. Many have under 5 ingredients and can be prepared in under 30 minutes.
  • Professional tips and recipe tutorials. My vast experience is here for you! I share all the lessons I’ve learned over the years in professional kitchens and making Thanksgiving dinner on a large scale!
  • Broken down in a stress-free way to help you create the perfect menu. I’ve done the heavy lifting of sifting, testing and re-testing, so that you can pick as many recipes as you need from each section. Et voilà, the perfect easy Thanksgiving menu! [None of these recipes actually require sifting, because no easy recipe starts with sifting!]

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a basic Thanksgiving dinner menu

The most basic Thanksgiving dinner includes turkey, steamed corn, stuffing, potatoes or sweet potatoes, a vegetable side dish and bread. At least one type of pie is typically served for dessert but some people skip dessert all together.

What are the 3 most popular food dishes served on thanksgiving?

People agree that the 2 most popular Thanksgiving dishes are turkey and mashed potatoes, but the third is up for debate. There is a tie between green bean casserole and stuffing.

How do you simplify Thanksgiving dinner?

The best way to simplify Thanksgiving is to plan, prepare ahead of time and make easy dishes.

thanksgiving dinner plate in hand piled with easy Thanksgiving dishes.
20 Best Thanksgiving Pie Recipes sliced
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Easy Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes

I’ve broken each course of a Thanksgiving dinner menu down by section, so you can easily pick and choose your favorites or make them all for a plentiful, yet easy, dinner! There are classic side dishes mixed in with some easy new favorites!

Easy Thanksgiving Cocktails

Here is a small selection of festive cocktails for Thanksgiving. They are all easy to make in large batches, so you can focus on keeping the conversation flowing without a cocktail shaker in hand!

pomegranate cranberry sangria bright red in glass.

Greet guests with a bright red, pomegranate Thanksgiving Sangria from A Paige of Positivity and start the dinner off with a smile. It is easy to make ahead and can be made in 5 minutes!

glass full of red Thanksgiving sangria.

Thanksgiving Sangria

Thanksgiving Sangria is the perfect cocktail for your holiday gathering. Ready in just 5 minutes and full of bright & festive flavors.
View Recipe
apple cider mocktail in glass with garnish.

No one does mocktail recipes like Elizabeth from Entirely Elizabeth. This Apple Cider Sangria Mocktail has all the flavors of your favorite Fall cocktail, alcohol-free! Guests will appreciate the option to sip something special without the alcohol or sparkling grape juice.

Apple Cider Sangria Mocktail

Apple Cider Sangria Mocktail

Fresh, fruity, and crisp Apple Cider Sangria Mocktail made using alcohol removed white wine. It is fun, easy, and perfect for fall entertaining.
View Recipe
pear apple fig white wine sangria in glasses.

I was only going to share one sangria recipe but this Fall Harvest Sangria recipe from The Crumby Kitchen is just too beautiful and unexpected not to share! It has pears, apples, figs and starfruit with just the right amount of spice. I say mix up a white and a red sangria and let your guests decide!

Spiced Fall Sangria

Made with seasonal fruits and spices steeped in your favorite white wine, this Spiced Fall Sangria delivers the warmth and comfort of autumn in every sip!
View Recipe

Simple Appetizers for Thanksgiving

Don’t overthink the Thanksgiving appetizers; everyone is here for the company and the main event! You want people to have a little something to nibble on while the bird finishes roasting (or frying)! Pick one or two from the list below or skip the appetizers all together. No one will complain when they have more room for pie later!

sweet potato bites on wooden board.

I like to think of these easy Sweet Potato Bites from Food, Fun & Faraway Places as a flavorful teaser for the meal to come! A tiny bite of sweet potato, cranberry sauce, goat cheese and a crunchy walnut topping!

sweet potatoes goat cheese bites with rosemary.

Sweet Potato Bites

Roasted sweet potato rounds create the perfect cradle for a goat cheese, cranberry sauce and walnut topping that your guests are absolutely going to love!
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fig brie baked in small cast iron skillet.

It isn’t a Winter party without a fun baked brie. This Brown Butter Fig Baked Brie from The Crumby Kitchen is as unexpected as it is flavorful. Figs, caramelized pears and crunchy pecans bring this easy baked brie dish together.

Brown Butter Fig & Pear Baked Brie

This creamy Brown Butter Fig & Pear Baked Brie is both elegant and comforting, and is sure to be the hit of any holiday or cold weather party!
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bright green broccoli wrapped in prosciutto.

Say hello to your new favorite appetizer! There is something so simple and unexpected about the combination of salty prosciutto and perfectly cooked broccoli. These Prosciutto Wrapped Broccoli are Luci’s Morsels’ fun (and better) twist on prosciutto wrapped asparagus. Genius.

Prosciutto Wrapped Broccoli Appetizer

Enjoy the delectable combination of salty prosciutto and steamed roasted broccoli in this elegant & simple broccoli appetizer.
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cheesy bacon crescent tartlets in wooden bowl.

These easy Bacon Cheese Crescent Tartlets are made with Crescent dough and a perfect combination of savory toppings. Crispy, buttery tartlets filled with smoky cheese, salty bacon, and green onions!

Bacon Cheese Crescent Tartlets

Bacon Cheese Crescent Tartlets

Bacon Cheese Crescent Tartlets uses crescent dough with savory ingredients like smoky cheese, bacon and green onions for the perfect bite of appetizer heaven.
View Recipe

Perfect Roasted Turkey

Roasted Herb Turkey Roasting Dish

This roasted turkey has chopped herbs between the breast meat and the skin, so the whole turkey is flavored with herbs and butter! The recipe is incredibly easy and flavorful, and I filmed a turkey tutorial to make it as foolproof as possible for you as you cook your easy Thanksgiving dinner!

You could also make a roasted chicken if you are only having a small gathering or don’t care for turkey.

Roasted Herb Turkey Perfect Roasting
5 from 2 ratings

Roasted Herb Turkey

This easy Roasted Herb Turkey has chopped herbs under the skin, so you get a nice crisp turkey skin and herb-flavored turkey meat!
Roast Turkey!

Easy Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Only the easiest, most delicious side dishes made this list! These are the ones you could pull together without any stress or prep the day before, but you could also prepare them all ahead and just bake on Thanksgiving day! You can also peruse the 30 Best Thanksgiving Side Dishes for more inspiration.

Creamy Swiss Cheese Mixed Vegetable Casserole red dish.

This easy vegetable casserole recipe is made with thawed frozen veggies for the easiest Thanksgiving side dish with a surprisingly complex flavor. Only 5 ingredients and 5 minutes of prep time!

Mixed vegetable casserole in a square red baking dish on a light wood surface.
4.75 from 4 ratings

Easy Vegetable Casserole

Creamy, cheesy, flavorful. 5 ingredients and 5 minute prep time: This casserole couldn’t be easier yet it has a surprisingly complex flavor!
Make Cheesy Vegetable Casserole
Hasselback Sweet Potatoes Two Servings

This hasselback sweet potato casserole is as easy as slicing and baking. The topping is mixed by hand in one bowl and then crumbled on top during the final baking. You could even simplify the dish further by slicing the sweet potatoes on a mandolin! Just arrange them in the dish and call it a day.

It is a healthier version of traditional sweet potato casserole, so it has all the flavors you love with a fraction of the calories.

Hasselback Sweet Potatoes Perfect Texture
5 from 1 ratings

Hasselback Sweet Potato Casserole

This Hasselback Sweet Potato Casserole is a fun twist on the traditional sweet potato casserole. It has all the flavors without all the work!
Make Hasselback Sweet Potato Casserole!
Classic Cornbread Stuffing White Ramekin.

I am a card-carrying member of the Stove-Top Lovers Club, so you know I support your box-mix choices. However, if you want to make a homemade stuffing this year, this classic cornbread stuffing is easy and delicious. It requires less prep than my apple sausage stuffing or mushroom cornbread stuffing, but it is just as delicious!

Classic Cornbread Stuffing White Ramekin.
4.67 from 3 ratings

Classic Cornbread Stuffing

This Classic Cornbread Stuffing uses fresh, savory cornbread with an abundance of spices, herbs and aromatics for a delicious side dish!
Make Classic Cornbread Stuffing from Scratch!
Vegetarian Stuffed Sweet Potatoes on blue plate

For a healthy alternative to sweet potato casserole with pecans, try these stuffed sweet potatoes! Baked (or microwaved) sweet potatoes topped with sauteed shallots, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and broccoli!

Vegetarian Stuffed Sweet Potatoes on blue plate
5 from 2 ratings

Vegetarian Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

These Vegetarian Stuffed Sweet Potatoes have a little natural sweetness, a little heat from the red pepper flakes and a salty tang from the feta. Easy, vegetarian, and healthy!
Make Stuffed Sweet Potatoes!
Sweet Southern Cornbread a 30 Best Thanksgiving Side Dishes.

Opt for an easy, one bowl sweet Southern cornbread instead of the more time-consuming potato dinner rolls or spiced pumpkin dinner rolls. Sometimes we aren’t up for any type of yeasted bread, even something as simple as my easy dinner rolls.

Sweet Southern Cornbread a 30 Best Thanksgiving Side Dishes.
5 from 7 ratings

Sweet Southern Cornbread

This Sweet Southern Cornbread is a buttery, sweet(er) cornbread with a velvety texture. It comes out perfect every single time.
Make Easy Cornbread!
easy thanksgiving dinner recipe for cranberry chutney in bowl on wooden surface.

There are only 5 ingredients plus spices in this easy cranberry chutney recipe. The tart, fragrant sauce pulls all the different side dishes together and adds a welcome burst of acidity. This is great to make ahead, but it is also wonderful to have cooking when guest arrive because the aroma fills the air!

cooked cranberry chutney in pot.
4.97 from 52 ratings

Cranberry Chutney

My Grandmother's recipe for Cranberry Chutney is the perfect balance of tart and sweet. Easy and aromatic, it completes your Holiday table!
Make Cranberry Chutney!
Gravy From Scratch White Gravy Dish

If you are already roasting a whole bird for this year’s Thanksgiving Menu Plan, then why not make a flavorful Gravy from the Pan Drippings? This easy recipe can be made with any pan drippings and I give you all the cheat codes for making it delicious no matter what happens.

Gravy From Scratch Delightful Overhead
5 from 48 ratings

Easy Gravy from Pan Drippings

A professional chef shows you how to make gravy from drippings! This easy gravy recipe makes a thick, rich, robust gravy.
Get the Recipe!

Simple Vegetable Side Dishes

If you are more the simple, roasted vegetable type, we’ve got you covered. These easy vegetable dishes are healthy and just as flavorful as the more decadent options we’ve include above.

Spiced Roasted Butternut Squash Plated.

I make this roasted spiced butternut squash at least once a week all Winter long and it is a perfect dish for Thanksgiving. It gives you all the prerequisite squash vibes without any of the guilt or prep.

Spiced Roasted Butternut Squash Perfect Serving
5 from 1 ratings

Roasted Spiced Butternut Squash

A delicious, healthy recipe for roasted spiced butternut squash! Cubed butternut squash tossed with herbs, a pinch of cinnamon and olive oil for a delicious, healthy side dish!
Make Roasted Butternut Squash!
Brown Sugar Baked Acorn Squash Silver Spoon.

These Baked Acorn Squash Halves are baked with a little butter, salt and brown sugar for a slightly indulgent side dish! This baked acorn squash recipe is incredibly easy to prepare and reheats nicely for left overs. A great alternative to mashed sweet potatoes!

Brown Sugar Baked Acorn Squash Delicious Serving
5 from 1 ratings

Baked Acorn Squash Halves

These Baked Acorn Squash Halves are baked with a little butter, salt and brown sugar for a slightly indulgent side dish! These baked acorn squash halves are incredibly easy to prepare and reheat nicely for leftovers.
Easy Baked Acorn Squash!
Rosemary Roasted Potatoes on baking sheet with olive oil.

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes are an easier and healthier alternative to creamy mashed potatoes. Simply season, toss to coat and roast until golden brown on the outside and soft and creamy on the inside.  

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes featured
5 from 2 ratings

Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

I make these Rosemary Roasted Potatoes at least once a week! They are easy, delicious and the perfect complement for roast chicken. The leftovers are phenomenal on salad!
Roast Rosemary Potatoes!
Brussels Sprouts and Leeks with Lime ginger butter close up on spoon

These pan roasted brussels sprouts and leeks make for a beautiful and flavorful vegetable side dish! There is a lime ginger butter that will have guests saying, “pass the Brussels sprouts, please!”  

Brussels Sprouts and Leeks with Lime ginger butter in skillet
5 from 2 ratings

Brussels Sprouts and Leeks with Lime-Ginger Butter

These Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Leeks with a lime-ginger butter have layers of flavor! Caramelized brussels sprouts and leeks are finished with a lime ginger browned butter sauce so good, you’ll never look at brussels sprouts the same again!
Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Leeks
arugula salad with sweet potatoes and balsamic drizzle.

A salad is a nice break from the typical heavy Thanksgiving fare, but make it a festive, delicious one like this Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese from the Honour System. Healthy, flavorful and bright!

green salad with sweet potatoes on white plate.

Arugula Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

The fusion of peppery arugula leaves and the rich, tangy flavors of goat cheese all served on a bed of roasted sweet potatoes offers a delicious contrast in textures and tastes. 
View Recipe

Easy Thanksgiving Desserts

If you are new around here, then let me be the first to tell you that I am a professional pastry chef and there is no shortage of dessert recipes on this site. If none of these easy options pique your interest, we have the 20 Best Thanksgiving Pie Recipes, 21 Best Apple Dessert Recipes or even a whole collection of Thanksgiving Dessert Cupcake Recipes!  

pumpkin pie slice with fork in it.

This flavorful, well-spiced easy pumpkin pie is all whisked together in one bowl and is made with sweetened condensed milk. Bake it in a store-bought pie crust for the easiest dessert you’ve made all year, or try your hand at my foolproof vodka pie crust. You might also want to look at these 10 Easy Pumpkin Desserts for more ideas.

Pumpkin Pie slice on silver pie server.
5 from 49 ratings

Easy Pumpkin Pie

An easy pumpkin pie with only 5 ingredients! Just whisk everything together, pour into the crust and bake! It's creamy with the perfect amount of spice.
Bake The Best Pumpkin Pie
Mom's Brown Sugar Apple Crisp | An easy, family recipe for the best apple crisp! Try it for dessert tonight!

There is nothing quite so simple or satisfying as an apple crisp. This easy apple crisp has a brown sugar oat topping that is sweet and crunchy and a tart, cinnamon apple filling. Serve it with a huge scoop of vanilla bean ice cream for the perfect easy Thanksgiving dessert.

Brown sugar apple crisp with generous amount of streusel topping on red plate.
5 from 46 ratings

Easy Apple Crisp

This easy apple crisp recipe has a cinnamon apple filling with a crispy brown sugar oat topping. The tart filling balances the generous amount of brown sugar oat topping!
Bake Easy Apple Crisp!
pumpkin bread pudding blue plate with sauce wood background.

This pumpkin bread pudding has all the flavor of pumpkin pie but is even easier! Yes, easier than pie! Simply whisk together all the ingredients for the custard, pour over the bread and bake. I love to service this with a generous spoonful of crème anglaise! You could even add a splash of Bourbon to that for the adult table!

pumpkin bread pudding cherries and pecans close up.
4.98 from 41 ratings

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

An easy Pumpkin Bread Pudding with a Bourbon Sauce! The pudding is moist and flavorful, and the creamy, sweet maple Bourbon sauce pulls all the flavors together.
Bake Pumpkin Bread Pudding!
three pecan pie bars stacked.

Make a large tray of these pecan pie bars ahead for the perfect slice and bake Thanksgiving dessert. The process is simple and the results are life-changing. Maybe even pass a plate around the table for a quick bite after dinner while people wait for dessert.

pecan pie bars stacked on wooden surface with brown background.
4.99 from 52 ratings

Pecan Pie Bars

These easy pecan pie bars have a gooey brown sugar pecan pie filling on a buttery pecan shortbread crust! All of the flavors of the best pecan pie with a little bit of maple syrup.
Bake Pecan Pie Bars!

Before You Go

I hope you enjoyed this easy Thanksgiving dinner menu. You might also enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving menu, all our Thanksgiving dinner recipes, pie recipes or pumpkin dessert recipes!

Hi, I’m Chef Lindsey!

I am the baker, recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Chef Lindsey Farr. I believe in delicious homemade food and the power of dessert!

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