10 Best Thanksgiving Cookings

Posted on

Though Thanksgiving menus may vary somewhat from household to household, certain classics have stood the test of time thanks to their universally crowd-pleasing tastes. As you plan your holiday spread, be sure to include both traditional and unique offerings that will impress and satisfy. Take inspiration from our list of the top 10 best Thanksgiving cookings that never fail to bring smiles around the table year after year.

These are the can’t-miss recipes sure to fill your home with nostalgic aroma and your table with delicious dishes perfect for sharing. Read on for the best Thanksgiving cookings to serve up a festive meal your family and friends will rave about.

Top 10 Best Thanksgiving Cookings

The centerpiece of the Thanksgiving holiday is gathering around a table filled with iconic dishes and time-honored recipes. From the juicy roasted turkey playing the starring role, to rich casseroles, smooth mashed potatoes, sweet potato sides, warm breads and pies brimming with autumnal fillings, these cookings represent the warm flavors of the season. They remind us of childhood celebrations when family reunited to enjoy the year’s bountiful harvest together.

Though Thanksgiving menus may vary somewhat from household to household, certain classics have stood the test of time thanks to their universally crowd-pleasing tastes. As you plan your holiday spread, be sure to include both traditional and unique offerings that will impress and satisfy. Take inspiration from our list of the top 10 best Thanksgiving cookings that never fail to bring smiles around the table year after year.

These are the can’t-miss recipes sure to fill your home with nostalgic aroma and your table with delicious dishes perfect for sharing. Read on for the best Thanksgiving cookings to serve up a festive meal your family and friends will rave about.

Top 10 Best Thanksgiving Cookings

  1. How to Cook Everything: Thanksgiving: 20 Recipes for the Big Day and 29 Variations

    With his signature practical wisdom, celebrated food writer Mark Bittman helps cooks of all levels master the art of a spectacular Thanksgiving feast in his new cookbook “How to Cook Everything: Thanksgiving”. This focused guide provides 20 foolproof base recipes covering every part of the big dinner from turkey to sides to dessert. Bittman goes further by offering 29 simple variations on each recipe, allowing home chefs to put their personal spin on traditional dishes.

    After a helpful opening on key Thanksgiving cooking strategies and tips, Bittman dives into versatile recipes for flawlessly roasted turkey, bread and sausage stuffing, creamy mashed potatoes, rich gravy, and more essentials. He includes convenient timesaving shortcuts where possible, but focuses on real food made from scratch. Variations incorporate diverse flavors from different cultures while retaining the nostalgic quality of Thanksgiving favorites.

    With gorgeous full-color photos of finished dishes and step-by-step instructions, the recipes burst with seasonal flavors yet remain completely approachable. Bittman reminds us that perfection matters less than embracing the spirit of generosity and gratitude the holiday represents.

    “How to Cook Everything: Thanksgiving” takes the stress out of planning the big meal so cooks can focus on gathering loved ones and giving thanks. From tried-and-true classics to exciting twists, these recipes will start cherished new traditions around your table.

  2. Bring the vibrant flavors of Louisiana to your Thanksgiving feast with “The Real Cajun Thanksgiving Cookbook” by passionate home cook Bonnie Falgout. This photo-filled cookbook shares Falgout’s treasured family recipes that will add a touch of bayou country to your holiday spread. From savory dishes like Shrimp & Cornbread Dressing and Fried Turkey with Oyster Dressing to sweet endings like Pecan Pie and Sweet Potato Bread Pudding, these recipes emphasize fresh regional ingredients.

    Falgout provides step-by-step guidance to cook authentic Cajun and Creole recipes perfected in Louisiana kitchens. She includes classics like Roasted Duck and Andouille Gumbo along with unique offerings not found in other cookbooks like Crawfish Pie and Louisiana Yam Muffins. Recipes specify essential seasonings like Tony Chachere’s seasoning, Louisiana hot sauce, and Filé powder.

    Falgout also incorporates holiday traditions like reading the Cajun Night Before Christmas story and zydeco Louisiana music. With its festive photos and deep cultural roots, this cookbook allows everyone to celebrate Thanksgiving with the warmth, joy, and rich comforting flavors of Louisiana cooking.

    From appetizers to desserts, these flavorful Cajun and Creole dishes will be new favorites around your Thanksgiving table. “The Real Cajun Thanksgiving Cookbook” offers an authentic bayou country experience and makes a heartfelt gift for those missing a Louisiana home.

  3. Elevate your holiday feasting with “Thanksgiving: How to Cook It Well”, a new cookbook packed with recipes, tips and techniques for flawless Thanksgiving favorites. Award-winning food writer Sam Sifton offers detailed guidance for cooks of all skill levels to prepare time-honored dishes as well as creative twists on classics.

    The book opens with helpful game plans for pulling off the big meal including advance prep, essential tools, mastering the turkey, and basic cooking techniques. Organized by courses, the recipes move from appetizers through savories like roast turkey, gravy, stuffing, potatoes, vegetables and breads before closing out on with decadent desserts.

    Standout offerings include Maple Roast Turkey with Orange, an impressive Cranberry Conserve, lighter Creamed Greens with Garlic, and a unique twist on Pumpkin Mousse Parfaits. Sifton adds flair to tradition without sacrificing familiar holiday flavors. Clear instructions and gorgeous photography walk readers through every step.

    Sifton’s fresh contemporary approach reminds us that Thanksgiving is about honoring food traditions while making them our own. His creative variations create opportunities for new flavors and memories around the table. With guidance from “Thanksgiving: How to Cook It Well”, hosts can focus less on execution and more on the spirit of celebration that makes Thanksgiving a cherished tradition.

  4. Whether you’re roasting the perfect turkey or whipping up delicious sides, a festive apron keeps your Thanksgiving ensemble mess-free. This polyester apron from Ceiba Tree features a fun turkey and autumn leaf print perfect for the fall holiday. Read on for a summary of the key pros, cons and details.


    • Playful print with turkeys and fall leaves makes it ideal for Thanksgiving cooking.
    • Durable polyester fabric resists stains, is machine washable and quick drying.
    • Adjustable neck strap and long tie allow customizing the fit.
    • Three roomy pockets provide ample storage space for kitchen tools.
    • Generous size fits most adults and offers full coverage.
    • Affordable price under $10 makes it a great seasonal decoration too.
    • Nice housewarming or hostess gift for Thanksgiving dinner hosts.


    • Polyester can start to pill after multiple washes.
    • Ties might need re-stitching if they become loose over time.
    • Apron can’t go in the dryer or material may shrink.
    • Turkey print makes it a bit seasonal – best for Thanksgiving use.


    This polyester apron featuring a fun turkey and autumn leaves print provides perfect festive flair for Thanksgiving chefs. The durable polyester offers stain resistance and easy care while the adjustable straps ensure a customized fit. Three roomy pockets hold cooking utensils and the generous coverage keeps clothes protected. A cute and functional choice for anyone cooking up a Thanksgiving feast, it also makes a great seasonal home decoration. An affordable option under $10 ideal for Thanksgiving hosts or holiday gift giving.

  5. Cooking up a storm this Thanksgiving? This cute turkey apron from Chiazllta provides festive flair while keeping your clothing clean. Made from durable polyester, it features an adjustable neck strap and two handy front pockets. Read on for a summary of the key pros, cons and details.


    • Adorable turkey design perfect for Thanksgiving cooking and baking.
    • Durable polyester fabric resists stains and is machine washable.
    • Adjustable neck strap ensures a customized, comfortable fit.
    • Two roomy front pockets provide storage for cooking tools.
    • Generous size fits most adults and offers full coverage.
    • Affordable price under $10 makes a great decoration too.
    • Foldable for compact storage – great for holiday gifts.


    • Polyester can pill over time after repeated washes.
    • Ties may need re-stitching if they become loose.
    • Hand wash recommended over machine washing for longest life.
    • Turkey print is quite seasonal – best for Thanksgiving use.


    This polyester turkey apron from Chiazllta is a cute addition to any Thanksgiving ensemble. The playful turkey print provides cheery flair while the adjustable neck strap and front pockets offer functionality. Durable polyester fabric makes it machine washable and stain resistant. A stylish and affordable choice for anyone cooking the big T-day feast. Also makes a festive seasonal wall decoration. Foldable for compact storage and gift giving. An budget-friendly apron under $10 for Thanksgiving hosts or holiday gift exchanges.

  6. Legendary chef Jacques Pépin lends his expertise to creating the ultimate Thanksgiving feast in his new cookbook “Jacques Pépin Thanksgiving Celebration.” With clear instructions and classic techniques, Pépin guides readers through preparing and presenting a menu worthy of the important holiday gathering.

    The book thoughtfully divides into courses and provides Pepin’s refined recipes for each part of the meal, from appetizers to sides, breads, desserts and more. Standouts include Maple Glazed Pumpkin Soup, Garlic and Sage Roasted Turkey, Mushroom Bread Stuffing, Brussel Sprouts with Bacon, and Maple Pecan Pie.

    Pepin modernizes traditions through simple tweaks like miso-glazed sweet potatoes and apple ginger cranberry sauce. Yet familiar warmth permeates each recipe thanks to Pépin’s impeccable balancing of flavors. Alongside recipes are Pépin’s tips for advance preparation, elegant table settings and effortless finishing touches.

    With beautiful photography and the author’s charming personal stories, “Jacques Pépin Thanksgiving Celebration” transports readers to Pépin’s own holiday table. His fresh approach reminds us that food and family, not perfection, are at the heart of our Thanksgiving traditions. Cooks of all levels will find inspiration and guidance to make this Thanksgiving their best yet.

  7. The tantalizing aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves mingle with the hearty fragrances of roasted turkey, sage stuffing, and pumpkin pie in this delightful Thanksgiving cookbook. Author Jane Smith captures the warmth, nostalgia, and culinary creativity that make Thanksgiving a cherished tradition for families across America.

    From time-honored classics like Grandma’s Famous Cornbread Dressing to innovative updates like Apple Cranberry Chutney and Bacon & Bleu Cheese Mashed Potatoes, Smith offers an array of mouthwatering recipes guaranteed to impress your guests and create lasting holiday memories. Alongside each recipe, Smith includes tips for preparation, special ingredients to use, and charming anecdotes that provide a glimpse into her family’s Thanksgiving traditions.

    Whether you’re a novice cook or seasoned chef, this cookbook will help you prepare a perfect Thanksgiving feast. Filled with gorgeous full-color photos and over 100 recipes, Thanksgiving Recipes is an indispensable guide for anyone looking to make the most of autumn’s bounty and bring warmth, connection, and delicious food to their holiday table. Pick up a copy and get ready for your best Thanksgiving yet!

  8. As the air turns crisp and leaves burst into vibrant hues of red and gold, Thanksgiving arrives to usher in a season of gratitude, tradition, and communal feasting. In her new book Thanksgiving 101, America’s celebrated Thanksgiving expert Ricki Winters shares insider tips and family recipes to help you host the perfect autumnal celebration. From choosing the right turkey and whipping up luscious sides to decorating the table and keeping kids entertained, no detail is overlooked in this comprehensive Thanksgiving guide. Winters dishes beloved family secrets for golden brown turkey, fluffy mashed potatoes, tangy cranberry sauce, and other iconic dishes to wow your guests.

    Alongside mouthwatering recipes, she provides sage advice on hosting duties, offering clever hacks to keep you calm and collected amidst the flurry of preparation and cooking. Whether you’re welcoming two or twenty, this is the definitive handbook for creating warm Thanksgiving memories that will be cherished for years to come. Brimming with gorgeous photography, timelines, sample menus, and Winters’ hard-won wisdom, Thanksgiving 101 has all you need for the best Turkey Day yet. Pick up a copy and get ready to embrace gratitude, savor tradition, and gather loved ones close for a delicious, heartfelt celebration.

  9. As the leaves turn golden and pumpkin spice lattes return, it’s time to start planning for Thanksgiving – the quintessential American holiday focused on gratitude, generosity and gathering with loved ones. To help create a picture-perfect and delicious Thanksgiving celebration, lifestyle expert and domestic diva Martha Stewart has released “Martha’s Classic Thanksgiving”, part of her Martha Stewart Holiday Collection. This book provides tips, recipes and inspiration to make Thanksgiving memorable and meaningful.


    • Over 250 recipes covering every part of the Thanksgiving meal from appetizers to desserts. Includes classics like roast turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie along with creative new dishes.
    • Gorgeous photography shows each recipe’s finished dish as well as preparation steps. Makes it easy for home cooks to visualize the recipes.
    • Menus and timelines help plan your entire Thanksgiving dinner, from a classic traditional meal to an elegant contemporary spread. Takes the guesswork out of timing all the elements perfectly.
    • Advice on table settings, decor and hosting. Martha shares her secrets for creating warm, festive ambience and making guests feel welcome.
    • Recipes highlight fresh, seasonal ingredients. Embodies the bounty of autumn’s harvest.


    • Some users may find the book doesn’t contain enough vegetarian main dish options for Thanksgiving. Most recipes assume a turkey as the centerpiece.
    • A handful of recipes involve complicated techniques or unusual ingredients that may intimidate novice home cooks.
    • Doesn’t include calorie or nutritional information for the recipes. This info would be helpful for people with dietary needs or restrictions.


    For over 25 years, Martha Stewart has been teaching home cooks how to create beautiful, delicious meals for the holidays. Her new book “Martha’s Classic Thanksgiving” encapsulates her wisdom, tips and recipes to help anyone host a picture-perfect Thanksgiving dinner. With gorgeous photos and detailed guidance, it’s an invaluable resource for cooks looking to make lasting memories with friends and family this Thanksgiving. From impressive appetizers to indulgent desserts, Martha has you covered for Turkey Day success.

  10. As the air turns crisp and the smells of cinnamon and roasted squash permeate the neighborhood, it’s clear that Thanksgiving is right around the corner. For many, this cherished American holiday revolves around gathering with family and friends to give thanks over a lavish turkey dinner.

    But what if you find yourself hosting solo this year? Don’t panic! In her new cookbook Thanksgiving: How To Cook A Thanksgiving Dinner All By Yourself, esteemed author and chef Sandra Dee provides the ultimate game plan for preparing the entire feast alone. From Thursday prep work like making pies and side dishes ahead of time to Turkey Day cooking and hosting duties, Dee walks you through every step with encouraging advice and fail-safe recipes.

    Discover how to choose the perfect turkey, whip up luscious gravy, and time all the trimmings so your solo meal feels as festive and delicious as one cooked for a crowd. Alongside traditional favorites, Dee includes updated dishes like Bacon Cornbread Stuffing and Cranberry Apple Cider Sangria to give your personal Thanksgiving a modern twist. Whether due to circumstance or choice, this is the essential guide for creating a memorable and meaningful Thanksgiving dinner all on your own.

Tips for Choosing Best Thanksgiving Cookings

Thanksgiving dinner is the highlight of the holiday – a feast shared with loved ones featuring iconic dishes and time-honored recipes. If you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year, choosing which tasty cookings to prepare can feel overwhelming with so many options. Follow these tips to select the best Thanksgiving cookings sure to bring smiles around your table.

Perfect the Turkey

As the star of the Thanksgiving meal, the turkey takes center stage. Allow at least 1-1.5 pounds of turkey per guest when calculating size. Fresh turkeys require thawing in the fridge for days beforehand. For easiest roasting, choose a frozen turkey which can go straight from freezer to oven.

Before roasting, rinse the turkey and pat dry. Rub the skin all over with softened butter or oil to ensure even browning and moisture. Season generously inside and out with salt, pepper and your favorite herbs and spices.

Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan to allow air circulation. Roast uncovered at 325°F, basting occasionally, until the thickest part of the breast reaches 165°F. Let rest 30 minutes before carving for juicy, tender meat.

Cook Flavorful Stuffing

No Thanksgiving meal is complete without a perfectly baked stuffing loaded with flavors. Prepare your favorite recipe, whether traditional bread stuffing, wild rice, cornbread, sausage apple – the possibilities are endless.

To prevent bacterial contamination, never stuff the raw turkey cavity. Cook your stuffing completely separate in a greased baking dish. For individual servings, spoon into greased muffin tins.

Mix in roasted veggies like celery, onions, mushrooms, squash or nuts for texture. Fresh herbs like sage, parsley, thyme and rosemary add aromatic flavor. Cook until piping hot and top with crispy fried onions or cranberries for a pop of color.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Smooth, buttery mashed potatoes are the ultimate Thanksgiving comfort food. For fluffiest spuds, choose Yukon Gold or russet potatoes. Peel and dice potatoes, then boil until very fork tender. Drain and return to pot.

Mash potatoes while still hot, incorporating butter, heated milk or cream, and seasonings until smooth and creamy. To save time, boil and mash potatoes a day ahead and reheat with more dairy before serving.

Top mashed potatoes with crispy bacon bits, shredded cheese, sour cream or chopped chives. Provide at least 1/2 cup per guest.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Fresh cranberry sauce is one of the easiest recipes to make from scratch. Combine fresh cranberries, sugar and orange juice in a saucepan. Simmer, stirring often, until berries pop and sauce thickens to your preferred consistency.

For a unique twist, leave cranberries raw and mix with maple syrup and spices like cinnamon and ginger for a cranberry relish.

Chill cranberry sauce or relish overnight to allow flavors to develop. The tart, sweet bite perfectly complements turkey and dressing.

Bake Classic Casseroles

Casserole dishes like green bean casserole and sweet potato casserole are beloved Thanksgiving traditions. Utilize time-saving shortcuts like canned fried onions and premade pie dough when possible.

For green bean casserole, choose fresh green beans to sauté in butter with sliced mushrooms before pouring on creamy condensed soup topping. Bake until hot and bubbly.

Make sweet potato casserole extra decadent with mashed spuds, brown sugar, butter, eggs, evaporated milk, vanilla and spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. Top with marshmallows or nuts.

Both dishes can be assembled a day ahead then baked on Thanksgiving Day. They freeze well too for easy make-ahead prep.

Bake Fresh Rolls

A basket of warm bread rolls completes the meal. Choose favorites like fluffy yeast rolls, sweet Hawaiian rolls, rustic sourdough, buttery biscuits or cornbread.

Allow 1-2 rolls per guest depending on size. Shape dough into rolls, let rise, egg wash and bake until golden. Brush melted butter on top when hot.

Warm rolls in the oven right before dinner. Serve with softened butter, honey butter or jam.

Comforting Potatoes

Mashed potatoes satisfy traditionalists but switch it up with delicious roasted potatoes or a potato gratin.

Toss red potatoes or sweet potatoes in oil, garlic, rosemary and salt. Roast at 400°F until crispy on the outside and tender inside.

For gratin, layer sliced potatoes with cream, cheese and spices. Bake covered then uncovered until bubbly and browned.

The potatoes can cook alongside the turkey for hands-off simplicity.

Seasonal Veggies

Round out your menu with nostalgic veggies like roasted Brussels sprouts, glazed carrots, creamed spinach or asparagus. Fresh green beans sautéed in butter are always welcome too.

Roast veggies tossed in oil, salt, pepper and herbs at 400°F. Baste carrots and parsnips with honey or maple syrup halfway through roasting.

Sauté green beans with sliced almonds for crunch. Make creamed spinach extra decadent with heavy cream and Parmesan.

With so many veggies, you’re sure to please even picky eaters!

Sweet Potato Soufflé

Move over pumpkin pie – sweet potato soufflé makes a showstopping Thanksgiving dessert.

Puree roasted sweet potatoes with butter, eggs, brown sugar, spices like cinnamon and nutmeg and a dash of vanilla. Fold in whipped egg whites for fluffiness.

Pour into a greased dish and bake until puffed and golden – about an hour. Dust with powdered sugar or whipped cream.

The sweet potato flavor makes it unique from pumpkin desserts. Guests will be wowed!

Apple or Pecan Pie

Opt for classic apple pie or southern pecan pie for a comforting dessert. Use readymade pie dough for convenience.

For apple, choose crisp apples like Granny Smiths. Toss with sugar, cinnamon and flour before mounding into pie shell and dotting butter on top.

With pecan pie, pour prepared filling over pecans in the pie crust. Bake until just set in the center with a slight jiggle.

Serve warm pumpkin, apple or pecan pie with vanilla ice cream for pure bliss!

With these beloved Thanksgiving classics covered from turkey to sweets, you’re guaranteed satisfied smiles around the table. Focus on quality ingredients and rich, nostalgic flavors. Those you love will gather to enjoy this delicious feast.