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Thanksgiving dinner recipes and food ideas

Updated on October 30, 2009

Thanksgiving Day is a joyous family festival celebrated with lot of enthusiasm in US, Canada and several other countries. Thanksgiving is the biggest food holiday of the year. Turkey is the centerpiece of your Thanksgiving dinner recipes. Mashed potato is also one of the traditional Thanksgiving food. A great way to keep your mashed potatoes warm throughout the whole meal is to keep them in a slow cooker. They will stay nice and warm without drying out. If you want to shake things up, you can always serve mashed sweet potatoes with toasted pecans, brown sugar, and butter.

Here are some Thanksgiving dinner recipes and food ideas to help make your holiday a fun and tasty one. Try these out and post your comment below. Do not forget to check out the video on youtube that is given below on how to cook roasted turkey.

1. Rosemary roasted turkey recipe

Thanksgiving rosemary roasted turkey recipe
Thanksgiving rosemary roasted turkey recipe

This Thanksgiving recipe for Rosemary Roasted Turkey makes your turkey moist and full of flavor. You can also use this recipe for Cornish game hens, chicken breasts or roasting chicken.


  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 1 (12 pound) whole turkey

Recipe for thanksgiving rosemary roasted turkey:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

2. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, garlic, rosemary, basil, Italian seasoning, black pepper and salt. Set aside.

3. Wash the turkey inside and out; pat dry. Remove any large fat deposits. Loosen the skin from the breast. This is done by slowly working your fingers between the breast and the skin. Work it loose to the end of the drumstick, being careful not to tear the skin.

4. Using your hand, spread a generous amount of the rosemary mixture under the breast skin and down the thigh and leg. Rub the remainder of the rosemary mixture over the outside of the breast. Use toothpicks to seal skin over any exposed breast meat.

5. Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan. Add about 1/4 inch of water to the bottom of the pan. Roast in the preheated oven 3 to 4 hours, or until the internal temperature of the bird reaches 180 degrees F (80 degrees C).

Video that shows how to cook Thanksgiving roasted Turkey

2. Thanksgiving Turkey Gravy recipe

Turkey Gravy
Turkey Gravy

Another delicious thanksgiving dinner recipe is given below - how to make Thanksgiving turkey gravy.

Here's the recipe:


  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 4 cups chicken or turkey stock
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme sprig
  • Pan drippings from roast turkey
  • Salt & ground black pepper to taste

Cooking method for Thanksgiving turkey gravy:

1. Start by making a roux with the melted butter and flour and hold to the side. In a saucepan bring chicken stock or turkey stock, thyme sprig and pan drippings to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer.

2. Whisk the reserved roux to simmering stock being careful to get rid of any lumps. Over low heat, cook the gravy for about 10 minutes until it has reached the desired thickness.

3. Season with salt and pepper to taste, strain to remove the thyme sprig and any unsightly "stuff" from the pan drippings and serve.

3. Sausage stuffed mushrooms recipe

Thanksgiving Sausage stuffed mushrooms recipe
Thanksgiving Sausage stuffed mushrooms recipe

Here is another thanksgiving dinner food idea - thanksgiving sausage stuffed mushrooms. Pork and cream cheese provide a flavorful, creamy stuffing for cute little mushroom caps.


  • 1/2 pound ground pork sausage
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (8 ounce) package fresh mushrooms, stems removed

Cooking method for sausage stuffed mushrooms:

1. Preheat the broiler.

2. Place sausage in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain and transfer to a medium bowl.

3. Blend cream cheese with the sausage. Stuff mushroom caps with the cream cheese and sausage mixture.

4. Arrange stuffed mushroom caps on a medium baking sheet. Broil in the preheated oven 2 to 3 minutes, until lightly browned.

4. Spinach salad with cranberries and pumpkin seeds

Thanksgiving Spinach salad with cranberries and pumpkin seeds
Thanksgiving Spinach salad with cranberries and pumpkin seeds

Here is a healthy thanksgiving food idea for kids and adults. What a great way to start a Thanksgiving dinner feast.


  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon whole-grain Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (5-ounce) package fresh baby spinach
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup salted pumpkinseed kernels, roasted
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced Manchego cheese

Recipe for Thanksgiving spinach salad with cranberries and pumpkin seeds:

1. Whisk together first 5 ingredients (through pepper) in a small bowl until smooth. Add the vinegar, 2 tablespoons water, and olive oil, whisking until well-combined.

2. Combine the spinach, cranberries, and pumpkinseeds in a large bowl. Add the vinaigrette, and toss until well-coated. Divide the salad evenly among 4 plates. Arrange the Manchego slices evenly over each salad; serve immediately.

5. Garlic Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Thanksgiving Garlic Mashed Potatoes Recipe
Thanksgiving Garlic Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Another deliciousThanksgiving dinner recipe

Mashed potato is a must to accompany any Thanksgiving dinner meal. Garlic mashed potatoes are quick and easy to make and always loved by kids.


  • 2 bulbs garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 3 lbs. potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 C. whipped cream
  • 4 T. butter, softened
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons minced fresh chervil (optional)

Garlic Mashed Potato recipe:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove outermost papery leaves from garlic but do not break bulbs apart or remove thin paper sheath covering each clove. Rub garlic bulbs with olive oil and wrap together with thyme sprigs in a loose aluminum foil packet. Place packet in a baking dish and roast until garlic is very tender (about 1 1/2 hours). When cool enough to handle, peel garlic and squeeze soft cloves into a bowl.

2.Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover by 1 inch with cold salted water. Bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Cover and cook until potatoes are tender (15 to 20 minutes). Drain. Purée potatoes in a food mill or potato ricer, or mash with a potato masher (not a food processor). Return to a clean saucepan; stir in cream, butter, and garlic cloves, and beat well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a warm bowl and garnish with minced chervil.

Happy Thanksgiving!


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    • HoneyBB profile image

      Helen Laxner 5 years ago from Illinois

      This sounds great! I'm going to share your link on my facebook page! Thanks!

    • washingtonson profile image

      washingtonson 9 years ago from Walhalla

      Love this Hub! Put a link to it on my Blog,Washington Son,

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 9 years ago from America

      Recipes look great....I love Thanksgiving.