The Ultimate Thanksgiving Menu Plan

Monthly Holiday Meal Plan Series

Whether you’re serving a favorite family recipe or trying a new holiday dish this Ultimate Thanksgiving Menu Plan will help you serve a fabulous feast that’s both traditional and delicious.

The Monthly Holiday Meal Plan Series is your one-stop shop for holiday/seasonal recipes, from appetizers to main dishes to desserts, plus printables and decor ideas.

photo collage of thanksgiving food

 

originally posted in November 2017. Updated in November 2021 with more pictures and information.

This month’s meal plan is the biggest yet!! It’s full of everything you need to for your Thanksgiving Menu Plan — 50+ recipes and ideas from make-ahead slow cooker turkey and pecan topped sweet potatoes to cranberry appetizers and pumpkin creme brulee. You’ll find family-favorite Thanksgiving recipes (even for leftovers!), free Thanksgiving printables, and table decor that will make your Thanksgiving dinner a success. 

Thanksgiving Menu Plan from start to finish:

From a beautiful fall charcuterie board to cranberry meatballs to apple cider bourbon cocktails and mulled wine, you’ll find all the Thanksgiving appetizers and drinks you’ll need.

Perfect Fall Charcuterie Board – No gathering is complete without a spectacular charcuterie or cheese board. You’ll impress your guests with a Smoky Cheese Ball, Homemade Cheese Crisps, figs, nuts, pears, and more.
Fall Charcuterie Board in white kitchen with wine
Cranberry Jalapeno Cream Cheese Appetizer is the perfect easy addition to your Thanksgiving appetizer table! It’s no-cook and can be ready in 10 minutes!

Cranberry Jalapeno Cream Cheese Appetizer from Honey and Birch: The Ultimate Thanksgiving Menu Plan from make-ahead slow cooker turkey and peacan topped sweet potatoes to cranberry appetizers and pumpkin creme brulee. You’ll find family favorite Thanksgiving recipes that will have them coming back for more!! Get all the Thanksgiving Menu Recipes at TidyMom.net

Spicy Cranberry Meatballs require just three simple ingredients and can be made right on the stovetop, or for convenience, in your slow cooker.

Spicy Cranberry Meatballs from Yellow Bliss Road: The Ultimate Thanksgiving Menu Plan from make-ahead slow cooker turkey and peacan topped sweet potatoes to cranberry appetizers and pumpkin creme brulee. You’ll find family favorite Thanksgiving recipes that will have them coming back for more!! Get all the Thanksgiving Menu Recipes at TidyMom.net

Red Wine Cranberry Cheese Log – wine-spiked cranberry syrup is spooned over a goat cheese log; quick, easy, and delicious!

Red Wine Cranberry Cheese Log appetizer with bottle of wine

Turkey Cranberry Toppers transforms leftovers into the star of the show when you top buttery crackers with melted cheese, turkey, and cranberry sauce.

Turkey Cranberry Topper recipe at TidyMom.net

Cranberry Walnut Sweet Potato Rounds – This appetizer has all the flavors of Thanksgiving in one tasty bite.

Cranberry Walnut Sweet Potato Rounds on wooden tray

Apple Cider Bourbon Cocktail – Apple cider takes on a grown-up twist with the addition of bourbon in this delicious Thanksgiving Cocktail. 

bourbon apple cider cocktail with thyme garnish

Caramel Apple Moscow Mule – Made with sweet caramel vodka, fresh apple cider, and ginger beer it’s no wonder it’s a favorite fall cocktail!

A Caramel Apple Moscow Mule is perfect for autumn! Made with sweet caramel vodka, fresh apple cider, and ginger beer it’s sure to become a favorite fall cocktail! Get the recipe at TidyMom.net

Mulled Wine, or GlühweinPerfect for a holiday gathering, this warm mulled wine recipe is ready to serve in 30 minutes. It’s so easy to make on the stove or in a slow cooker.

Mulled Wine. A warm winter German version of sangria that tastes like Christmas. Start a new family tradition with this belly-warming hot holiday punch recipe at TidyMom.net

Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate is a delicious fall treat with real pumpkin puree and notes of vanilla and pumpkin spices – keep it on warm in a slow cooker for a holiday party!

pumpkin spice hot chocolate in a glass mug

Turkey Munch Popcorn Snack Mix is an easy popcorn mix full of fall flavor and color that comes together in just 10 minutes, perfect for holiday gatherings.

Turkey Munch - Fall Popcorn Snack Mix with bugles, reeses pieces and sprinkles all drizzled in white chocolate and pumpkin candy melts. Recipe at Tidymom.net

Some say Thanksgiving is all about the side dishes. Including the classics like mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole and stuffing to cranberry sauce, gravy, green beans to Brussel sprout salad and so much more we’ve got your Thanksgiving side dishes covered.

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes are perfect for busy holidays. These creamy mashed potatoes will keep up to two days in the refrigerator and are heated in the oven before serving to save time. They come out creamy and buttery, with a slightly crunchy golden crust on top every time!

plate of food with mashed potatoes

Best Ever Italian Stuffing includes sausage, celery, onion, and seasonings making it a classic. The Italian bread takes it over the top, with big chunks of bread. A nice crunch on top, but moist on the inside you will love this flavorful stuffing for Thanksgiving dinner.

Best Ever Italian Stuffing from A Dash of Sanity: The Ultimate Thanksgiving Menu Plan from make-ahead slow cooker turkey and peacan topped sweet potatoes to cranberry appetizers and pumpkin creme brulee. You’ll find family favorite Thanksgiving recipes that will have them coming back for more!! Get all the Thanksgiving Menu Recipes at TidyMom.net

Sweet Potato Casserole – When it comes to Thanksgiving sides, sweet potato casserole with marshmallows is always on our holiday table. It seems to be everyone’s favorite as we rarely have leftovers! 

spoonful of sweet potato casserole with marshmallows

Fresh Cranberry Sauce – The mixture of fresh cranberries, blueberries, and raspberries, and a hint of spice will quickly become a traditional must-have for your next Thanksgiving dinner.

Fresh Cranberry Sauce with rosemary sprig

Acorn Squash Mashed Potatoes – Nutty acorn squash and buttery Yukon gold potatoes are mashed to creamy perfection. The result is a festive, flavorful mashed potato recipe everyone will love.

acorn squash mashed potatoes in bowl

Make The BEST Turkey Gravy with just a few ingredients! This easy gravy recipe is ready in minutes and the perfect touch to your Thanksgiving dinner.

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad includes kale, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, and Parmesan with a zippy lemon yogurt dressing. A fresh winter salad that’s perfect for holiday entertaining!

Pecan Topped Sweet Potatoes is so delicious your guests won’t know if it is a side dish or a dessert.

Pecan Topped Sweet Potatoes from Your Homebased Mom: The Ultimate Thanksgiving Menu Plan from make-ahead slow cooker turkey and peacan topped sweet potatoes to cranberry appetizers and pumpkin creme brulee. You’ll find family favorite Thanksgiving recipes that will have them coming back for more!! Get all the Thanksgiving Menu Recipes at TidyMom.net

Making Turkey Gravy Without Drippings is quick, easy, and perfect for Thanksgiving dinner!

Maple Braised Butternut Squash is braised with turkey broth, butter, and maple syrup and seasoned with fresh thyme for the ultimate fall side dish.

maple braised butternut squash in a bowl

Wild Rice Stuffing – Dried cranberries add a touch of sweetness to the nutty taste of this breadless stuffing with all the classic flavors of a traditional Thanksgiving stuffing.

wild rice stuffing in baking dish

 Free up the oven and stove this holiday season with Slow Cooker Stuffingmade with artichokes, mushrooms, and toasted pecans.

Slow Cooker Stuffing with artichokes, mushrooms and toasted pecans. Easy, flavorful and perfect for any holiday meal. Get the recipe at TidyMom.net

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon Pecan Crunch – This cinnamon-infused sweet potato casserole recipe with a pecan-pie-inspired topping highlights all the wonderful flavors of the holiday season!

 

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon Pecan Crunc

Sautéed Green Beans are full of flavor. Made with crispy bacon, minced garlic, and fresh green beans they are ready in 15 minutes, making it a great quick side dish for Thanksgiving dinner.

Sautéed Green Beans with bacon in a blue skillet

Pull-Apart Garlic Rolls will be the first thing to disappear from the table. A can of biscuits turns into delicious, flaky, buttery garlic rolls in just a few simple steps.

Waldorf Brussels Sprout Salad is made with apples, cranberries, Brussels sprouts, and bacon or pancetta. The perfect salad for your Thanksgiving meal plan.

 

 

Whether this is your first time hosting Thanksgiving dinner or a seasoned pro, looking for something simple or a little fancy these turkey recipe ideas just might make this the best Thanksgiving ever!

Mayonnaise Turkey is self-basting, just one of the reasons it is the best turkey you will ever make. Even the juicy leftovers will have you wondering why you’ve made your turkey any other way. 

Apple Cider-Brined Turkey with Savory Herb Gravy, a delicious, incredibly moist turkey, roasted with a nice sealed and browned skin.

Slow Cooker Turkey in Gravy is the easiest way to make never-dry turkey that is totally foolproof! 

Slow Cooker Turkey in Gravy from Sweet Cs: The Ultimate Thanksgiving Menu Plan from make-ahead slow cooker turkey and peacan topped sweet potatoes to cranberry appetizers and pumpkin creme brulee. You’ll find family favorite Thanksgiving recipes that will have them coming back for more!! Get all the Thanksgiving Menu Recipes at TidyMom.net

Rosemary Sage Turkey is incredibly moist and flavorful, and so simple to make. Perfect for Thanksgiving dinner, or any time!

Rosemary Sage Turkey from The Baker Upstairs: The Ultimate Thanksgiving Menu Plan from make-ahead slow cooker turkey and peacan topped sweet potatoes to cranberry appetizers and pumpkin creme brulee. You’ll find family favorite Thanksgiving recipes that will have them coming back for more!! Get all the Thanksgiving Menu Recipes at TidyMom.net

Roasted Apple Butter Turkey – The combination of sweet and salty is divine when it comes to a brined turkey paired with sweet apple butter!

Roasted Apple Butter Turkey from The Cookie Writer: The Ultimate Thanksgiving Menu Plan from make-ahead slow cooker turkey and peacan topped sweet potatoes to cranberry appetizers and pumpkin creme brulee. You’ll find family favorite Thanksgiving recipes that will have them coming back for more!! Get all the Thanksgiving Menu Recipes at TidyMom.net

Slow Cooker Make Ahead Turkey is baked in the oven then slow-cooked on Thanksgiving day! This easy, flavorful, and moist turkey is the only turkey recipe you need!

Slow Cooker Make Ahead Turkey from Julie's Eats & Treats: The Ultimate Thanksgiving Menu Plan from make-ahead slow cooker turkey and peacan topped sweet potatoes to cranberry appetizers and pumpkin creme brulee. You’ll find family favorite Thanksgiving recipes that will have them coming back for more!! Get all the Thanksgiving Menu Recipes at TidyMom.net

It’s not Thanksgiving without a slice of classic Thanksgiving pumpkin pie. But there are SO many more great Thanksgiving dessert recipes to add to your holiday dessert table.

This is our favorite Homemade Pumpkin Pie recipe! With a rich, spiced pumpkin filling this easy pumpkin pie from scratch is packed with flavor. Thanksgiving pie never looked this good or so easy!

pumpkin pie with leaf cut-outs

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie is a great alternative to classic pumpkin pie. It’s decadent, sweet, and perfect for Thanksgiving.

pumpkin cream cheese pie slice with whipped cream on top

A Pumpkin Slab Pie is an easy way to make pumpkin pie for a lot of people.

Pumpkin Spice Flourless Chocolate Cake is a moist and delicious, gluten-free dessert that’s always a hit at Thanksgiving or any gathering.

Pumpkin Spice Flourless Chocolate Cake from The Reluctant Entertainer: The Ultimate Thanksgiving Menu Plan from make-ahead slow cooker turkey and peacan topped sweet potatoes to cranberry appetizers and pumpkin creme brulee. You’ll find family favorite Thanksgiving recipes that will have them coming back for more!! Get all the Thanksgiving Menu Recipes at TidyMom.net

Pumpkin Crème Brûlée is a deceptively simple dessert that’s elegant enough for any holiday celebration.

Pumpkin Creme Brulee with molasses. A simple holiday dessert. Get the recipe at TidyMom.net

Chocolate Pudding Pie is nestled in a pretzel crumb crust covered in chocolate ganache and topped with fresh whipped cream. Pure bliss for any chocolate lover.

chocolate cream pie with a pretzel crust on a white plate

This Lemon Meringue Pie recipe is a family favorite! It’s an easy pie recipe with homemade lemon filling and sweet meringue.

Lemon Meringue Pie from Crazy for Crust: The Ultimate Thanksgiving Menu Plan from make-ahead slow cooker turkey and peacan topped sweet potatoes to cranberry appetizers and pumpkin creme brulee. You’ll find family favorite Thanksgiving recipes that will have them coming back for more!! Get all the Thanksgiving Menu Recipes at TidyMom.net

Layered Walnut Pumpkin Pie – Unlike traditional pumpkin pie, this pie is layered with CoolWhip on the inside, instead of on top, making it light, fluffy, and served cold.

LAYERED WALNUT PUMPKIN PIE has been a 30+ year tradition in our family for Thanksgiving. A recipe that was handed down to me by my grandpa. This EASY recipe not your ordinary pumpkin pie, it’s a light and fluffy, scrumptious, cold creamy pumpkin pie! A perfect alternative to regular pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving or Christmas dessert. PRINT the recipe at Tidymom.net

This Roasted Sweet Potato Cheesecake is a wonderful tasting cheesecake that is perfect topped with maple whipped cream.

Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie with Streusel Topping is a delicious combination of apple and pumpkin, in a heavenly spiced custard pie.  The slightly crisp pecan streusel topping gives a surprising crunch in every bite.

slice of pie on a white plate with a fork

Upside-Down Apple Pecan Pie is a self-glazing, award-winning pie that is sure to please any crowd. If you like pecan pie and apple pie, you’re going to want this apple pie recipe for your Thanksgiving dessert table!

UPSIDE-DOWN APPLE PECAN PIE is a self-glazing, award-winning pie that is sure to please any crowd.

 

 

Thanksgiving leftovers

Tired of reheated holiday leftovers? There are plenty of ways to repurpose Thanksgiving leftovers and say goodbye to the basic turkey sandwich.

Turkey Caesar Sandwich on Garlic Toast Texas garlic toast turns an ordinary Turkey Caesar Sandwich into something special. It’s the perfect way to use up leftover Thanksgiving turkey or enjoy any day with deli-sliced turkey!

Turkey Caesar Sandwich. Easy homemade caesar dressing and garlic toast turns an ordinary cold-cut sandwich into something special. Perfect way to use up left-over Thanksgiving turkey or any day with deli sliced turkey! Print recipe at TidyMom.net

Leftover Turkey-Cranberry Monte Cristo Sandwiches turn leftover turkey into next-level deliciousness!!

Use leftover turkey and cranberry sauce for this easy Cranberry Pear Turkey Crescent Braid recipe. 

Leftover turkey can be swapped out for chicken in many recipes, like a big batch of this Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup. It’s a great way to use up leftover Thanksgiving turkey!

homemade wild rice and chicken soup in a blue bowl

Pie Crust Cookies are so flaky and delicious you can’t eat just one! Don’t throw away those pie crust scraps, use them to make cinnamon and sugar cookies!

pie crust cookies on platter with pumpkin fluff dip

Pumpkin Pie Milkshake with Pie Crust Straws A creamy and delicious way to get your pumpkin pie fix. Use leftover pie crust for pie crust “straws” in this delicious fall milkshake. 

Pumpkin Pie Milkshake

 

When entertaining for Thanksgiving, a well-set table doesn’t have to be stressful to look festive and beautiful. Whether you’re hosting a formal Thanksgiving dinner or a small intimate Friendsgiving, you can have a Thanksgiving table to impress any guest. 

Thanksgiving Table Ideas from Celebrations at Home

Thanksgiving Table Ideas from Celebrations at Home: The Ultimate Thanksgiving Menu Plan from make-ahead slow cooker turkey and peacan topped sweet potatoes to cranberry appetizers and pumpkin creme brulee. You’ll find family favorite Thanksgiving recipes that will have them coming back for more!! Get all the Thanksgiving Menu Recipes at TidyMom.net

Blue and Green Fall Tablescape – They are not your typical Thanksgiving colors but look how cozy they all look together!

Friends Plate: Seasonal Simplicity Blue and Green Fall Tablescape. Simple and elegant fall table and fall centerpiece. Get all the details along with 20+ Fall Home Tours at TidyMom.net

Your Thanksgiving tablescape doesn’t have to be fancy to be beautiful.  A neutral low-key Thanksgiving Tablescape can be every bit as warm and inviting. 

 

You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy Thanksgiving Printables. From vintage turkey wall art to labels, and printable name cards to a Thanksgiving I spy game there are free Thanksgiving printables for all ages. 

Create easy DIY Thanksgiving home decor with vintage turkey images. The poster-size printable wall art is a budget-friendly way to decorate for Thanksgiving.

print out on your own Thanksgiving Leftover Printables like these bags or labels to be sent home with your guests.

 

This Thanksgiving I Spy Printable is a great Thanksgiving Day game for kids of all ages for a little brain teaser fun while they wait for the food.

Thanksgiving I Spy Printable from Live Laugh Rowe: The Ultimate Thanksgiving Menu Plan from make-ahead slow cooker turkey and peacan topped sweet potatoes to cranberry appetizers and pumpkin creme brulee. You’ll find family favorite Thanksgiving recipes that will have them coming back for more!! Get all the Thanksgiving Menu Recipes and more at TidyMom.net

 You can add a simple touch to your Thanksgiving table with DIY Laminated Place Cards to personalize your holiday table.

FREE DIY printable and reusable laminated place cards. download at TidyMom.net and print at home.

Little ones will love every minute of making their own Handprint Turkey Cards for loved ones on Thanksgiving.

Handprint Turkey Cards from Eighteen25: The Ultimate Thanksgiving Menu Plan from make-ahead slow cooker turkey and peacan topped sweet potatoes to cranberry appetizers and pumpkin creme brulee. You’ll find family favorite Thanksgiving recipes that will have them coming back for more!! Get all the Thanksgiving Menu Recipes at TidyMom.net

Kids from young to old will have fun coloring these super cute free turkey coloring pages. An easy activity to keep them busy while waiting on the big feast.

 

Be sure to check out our previous Holiday Meal Plan, and join us next month when we’ll be sharing our favorite CHRISTMAS MEAL PLAN – food, printables and decorating ideas.

Don’t forget to pin this post so you can use all of the ideas for keeping your little family’s tummies full on Thanksgiving Day!

LIKE THIS THANKSGIVING MENU PLAN? PIN IT!

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photo collage of thanksgiving food and ideas

 

What’s your favorite dish at Thanksgiving?

 

thanksgiving dinner on a plate