The Best Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Menu and Meal Planner

Looking for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner menu? Find all of your favorite recipes, plus a printable menu and meal planner so you know exactly when to start cooking. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tradtitional Thanksgiving Dinner Menu
Tradtitional Thanksgiving Dinner Menu

Cooking Thanksgiving dinner can be a daunting task.

You’re usually cooking for more people than you are used to, and making recipes that you only cook at this time of the year. Which really ups your chances of having a turkey that is under cooked, stuffing that’s too dry, and pumpkin pie that looks more black than brown.

To make sure that you get it all done at the right time with the least amount of stress possible, it helps to have a plan.  Knowing what to make and when to start will help you feel like you’re ready for the challenge.

I also like to make crockpot versions of some of the traditional dishes.  If you’re like me, your oven isn’t big enough to fit all of those roasting dishes and casseroles…and it makes everything so much easier when you can get some of the food ready a little earlier.

Which is why I put together this menu of traditional recipes (some cooked in non-traditional ways), along with a printable meal plan that will help you figure out how to get everything ready on time.

Keep reading to see my traditional Thanksgiving dinner menu, meal plan and recipes.

You can also click HERE to find more tips on pulling off a successful holiday meal without causing yourself too much stress.

The Menu and Meal Plan

Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Menu and Recipes, with a printable menu card (great for dressing up your Thanksgiving dinner table) and cooking schedule to help make sure everything gets done on time
Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Menu

One thing to keep in mind when making Thanksgiving Dinner is that the turkey usually takes up most of the oven and takes a long time to cook.

So you don’t want to have a lot of other dishes that cook in the oven (unless you are lucky enough to have more than one oven).  That’s why most of these recipes make use of crock pots and dishes that cook on top of the stove so that you don’t have to worry about the oven not being available.

The pumpkin pie is the only other dish to be made in the oven.  You can either make it in advance (if you don’t mind serving it cold), or have it ready to put in the oven when you take out the turkey.  That way it will be done cooking by the time everyone has finished eating dinner.

Having a cooking schedule will make your dinner easier to manage and less stressful.  That will let you know exactly when everything should start cooking so that it all finishes at the right time, especially if you can do some of the preparations ahead of time.  You can download the printable meal plan in the box below.

Keep reading to get the recipes for this traditional Thanksgiving dinner menu.

If you’re looking for some Thanksgiving table decor ideas, you can find some inspiration from this gold and copper fall table setting, and this purple and silver Thanksgiving tablescape.

Mandarin Orange Romaine Salad

Mandarin Orange Romaine Salad | Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Menu and Recipes, with a printable menu card (great for dressing up your Thanksgiving dinner table) and cooking schedule to help make sure everything gets done on time
Mandarin Orange Romaine Salad

I always like to serve a salad with meals.  This mandarin romaine salad is light, easy to make and can be made in advance (just add the dressing when you serve it).

You can serve it as an appetizer to your meal or as part of the main course, depending on your preference.

Click here to see our recipe for the Mandarin Romaine Salad.

Brined Turkey

Brined Turkey | Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Menu and Recipes, with a printable menu card (great for dressing up your Thanksgiving dinner table) and cooking schedule to help make sure everything gets done on time
Brined Turkey

In my house, Thanksgiving doesn’t seem right without a turkey, but it can be a little tricky to cook.

It always seems to be under-cooked or over-cooked.  I’ve found that brining the turkey is the trick to solving this problem (and it adds some flavor as well).

Click here to see our step-by-step instructions on how to roast a turkey (so that it’s cooked properly).

Old Fashioned Stuffing

 

Old Fashioned Stuffing | Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Menu and Recipes, with a printable menu card (great for dressing up your Thanksgiving dinner table) and cooking schedule to help make sure everything gets done on time
Old Fashioned Stuffing

This stuffing is absolutely delicious and can either be cooked separately or used to stuff the turkey.  Either way, there’s rarely any left by the time dinner is over.

Click here to see our Old Fashioned Stuffing recipe.

Mushroom Turkey Gravy

Roasting Pan Mushroom Turkey Gravy | Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Menu and Recipes, with a printable menu card (great for dressing up your Thanksgiving dinner table) and cooking schedule to help make sure everything gets done on time
Roasting Pan Mushroom Turkey Gravy

Roasting pan gravy is the traditional way of making gravy using the drippings left over from cooking the turkey (it also works if you are cooking chicken).

Adding some mushrooms dresses it up a bit for a holiday event.

Click here to see our recipe for Roasting Pan Turkey Gravy.

Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese

Crock Pot Macaroni And Cheese | Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Menu and Recipes, with a printable menu card (great for dressing up your Thanksgiving dinner table) and cooking schedule to help make sure everything gets done on time
Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and Cheese is a comfort food that everyone loves.  Being able to make it in advance in a crock pot makes it easy to serve at a hectic time like Thanksgiving.

Click here to see our recipe for Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese.

Julia Child’s Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Julia Child's Garlic Mashed Potatoes | Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Menu and Recipes, with a printable menu card (great for dressing up your Thanksgiving dinner table) and cooking schedule to help make sure everything gets done on time
Julia Child’s Garlic Mashed Potatoes

via saveur.com

Julia Child is one of the most known classic chefs around.  And her recipe for garlic mashed potatoes lives up to her reputation.

Click here to see Julia Child’s Garlic Mashed Potatoes recipe on saveur.com.

The Barefoot Contessa’s Green Beans

The Barefoot Contessa's Green Beans | Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Menu and Recipes, with a printable menu card (great for dressing up your Thanksgiving dinner table) and cooking schedule to help make sure everything gets done on time
The Barefoot Contessa’s Green Beans

via barefootcontessa.com

To get away from the starches and carbohydrates, green beans are a great Thanksgiving meal vegetable.  This recipe from the Barefoot Contessa adds some garlic and lemon juice for a twist on the usual recipe.

Click here to see the Barefoot Contessa’s Green Bean recipe.

Chardonnay Glazed Carrots

Glazed Carrots | Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Menu and Recipes, with a printable menu card (great for dressing up your Thanksgiving dinner table) and cooking schedule to help make sure everything gets done on time
Glazed Carrots

via bhg.com

Another traditional dinner vegetable, carrots are an easy addition to your Thanksgiving meal.  This recipe from Better Homes and Gardens uses some white wine to dress them up a bit.

Click here to see the Chardonnay Glazed Carrots recipe from bhg.com.

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Casserole

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Casserole | Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Menu and Recipes, with a printable menu card (great for dressing up your Thanksgiving dinner table) and cooking schedule to help make sure everything gets done on time
Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Casserole

via chelseasmessyapron.com

This sweet potato casserole recipe tastes great and is another slow cooker option that saves oven space (just make sure you have a second crock pot to cook it in).

Click here to see the Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Casserole recipe from chelseasmessyapron.com.

Traditional Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie | Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Menu and Recipes, with a printable menu card (great for dressing up your Thanksgiving dinner table) and cooking schedule to help make sure everything gets done on time
Pumpkin Pie

This pumpkin pie recipe has been in my family for generations, so it is definitely a tradition!  It is still the best pumpkin pie that I have ever had.

Click here to see our Pumpkin Pie recipe.

With all of this food, no-one attending your Thanksgiving Dinner should go hungry!

Have comments or questions about the Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Menu?  Tell us in the section below.

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