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General Food Shopping List for an American Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner

Updated on August 1, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

American Thanksgiving traditions are all focused around that one thing we can't resist...a good old fashion Turkey Dinner! Year to year somethings change, sometimes we have a new kind of pie or drink. Without a doubt though some essentials are always their for the family feast! Regardless of your family size a great dinner can be planned out easily using these ingredients. Due to the fact everyone seasons, prepares, and cooks differently this will just be a list of things that would make any Thanksgiving feast have that traditional remembrance. From what kind of veggies to have to how many Turkeys you should cook!

Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner

An American Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner is a wonderful tradition. Its also one of the tastiest too!
An American Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner is a wonderful tradition. Its also one of the tastiest too!

The List:

Main Meal

  • Whole Turkey - This is the main focus of any "Turkey Dinner". While a turkey can be cooked many different ways, the two ways most done on Thanksgiving nowadays are Oven Baked and Deep Fryed.
    (2 Turkeys for 8-12 people, 3 Turkeys for 13-18, 4 Turkeys for 19-25)
  • Gravy - Make sure you have gravy to cover your turkey and potatoes with! Personally, I put gravy over the vegetables aswell.
  • Stuffing - The stuffing is also one of many peoples favorite parts of the meal. You can use real stuffing baked inside of the turkey or you can use Stovetop, whichever is preferred.
  • Mashed Potatoes - The main filler of the meal, the potatoes should be mashed. Large batches of this should be made to keep all those bellies full.
  • Squash - Squash is a great vegetable for Thanksgiving. Its a fall flavor that just adds that little extra oomph to the meal.
  • Carrots - Good for the eyes and even better for dinner. Carrots are most kids favorite food. While cut up into little rings are excellent, whole baby carrots work well too.
  • Corn - Its not Thanksgiving without corn. Corn was one of the main lures of Indians back during the First Thanksgiving and one of the main crops found at the time.
  • Green Beans - While it seems odd, French Style Green Beans are the best option for Thanksgiving dinner. Don't ask me why, I had both French Style and normal cut green beans and French Style just work better.
  • Dinner Rolls - Hot freshly cooked dinner rolls are to die for. I been spoiled by my family because every year my aunt would make fresh rolls from scratch for Thanksgiving.
  • Cornbread - Again, when you think of Thanksgiving you think of warm cornbread. It makes my mouth water just listing it.
  • Cranberry Sauce - Just a hint of cranberry sauce completes any full turkey dinner plate.


  • Wine - a classy white and/or red wine make is a wonderful way to enjoy your turkey dinner.
  • Beer - half my family drinks beer all day long. Football and beer.
  • Soda - orange and Pepsi are my family's traditional soda for Thanksgiving, pick whatever one your family likes!
  • Coffee or Tea - a nice hot drink to keep the fall chills off you.


  • Apple Pie w/ Ice Cream - This is the traditional fave. Every year I enjoyed a piece of Apple Pie topped off with Hood Vanalla Ice Cream.
  • Pumpkin Pie - A great pumpkin pie will bring smiles!
  • Pumpkin Cream Pie - A wonderful new favorite! This tasty pie is often the first one gone.
  • Pecan Pie - Another great pie for Thanksgiving.
  • Cookies - Home Baked Chocolate Chip Cookies are to die for and special made Diamond Cookies (I dont know the real name, its a family recipe) are scrumptious.

Note: Yes, we have all of these at my family Thanksgiving.

Table Food

For lack of a better term, this is the food thats around all day long. From when we arrive, to Dinner, to when we leave we are free to grab some off the tables.

  • Vegetable Platter - A platter of vegetables like baby carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes.
  • Fruit - Pineapple, Cantaloupe, Honeydew, and Strawberries with dip in the middle. You eat it with toothpicks.
  • Nuts - peanuts, cashews, and a mixture of uncracked nuts are tradition.
  • M&Ms - I have never gone a single Thanksgiving without M&Ms both peanut or classic around in little glass dishes. This is a favorite of everyone in the family!

Well I hope this list helps you out in having your own Thanksgiving Holiday! Its a lot of stuff to remember and it becomes really costly to feed many people. There are thousands of variations to my Thanksgiving Feast. I can say though, that having this for many years I have never once been dissatisfied by the selection. I will suggest though that you use some of these food warmers to help make your Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner a success!


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    • thranax profile image

      Andrew 5 years ago from Rep Boston MA

      @vespawoolf - It doesn't matter when you want it its still a great meal any time of year! They have "Christmas in July" so why not have "Thanksgiving in July" also?


    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

      Although it's not even near Thanksgiving, I have a hankering for a turkey dinner with all the fixings so this list is very handy! It's cold here in Peru, so that may have triggered my craving. Thank you. Voted up!