All the recipes you need for the best turkey day ever—right down to the (many) pies. Happy Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving Side Dishes
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There are inventive ways to reuse every part of your Thanksgiving dinner—veggies, mashed potatoes, leftover stuffing—but here, we’re concerned with leftover turkey recipes. Here you’ll find our best leftover turkey recipes, so you can give that extra meat the second life it deserves.
While turkey is arguably the center of attention at dinner, Thanksgiving side dishes are just as important. Sidesgiving is all about creative riffs on the classics. Like a lush kimchi and squash mac and cheese, flaky parathas layered with brown butter and sage, or spicy cauliflower studded with cashews and fresh herbs. And for the traditionalists among us, there's Thanksgiving stuffing, sweet potatoes, green beans, and brussels sprouts. Here you’ll find our best Thanksgiving side dishes.
This foolproof ultimate Thanksgiving turkey recipe produces a holiday centerpiece that is excellent in every way other whole turkeys often fall short: It’s full of flavor and juicy as heck, thanks to an easy dry brine. And cooking the turkey on a rimmed baking sheet, not in a deep roasting pan, is great for all-over browning—just be extra careful as you remove it from the oven so that the drippings don’t slosh over the sides.
The wonderfully delicious vegetarian holiday menu offers big comforting moments, alongside lighter fresh bites. This sets vegetables free. No longer dubbed sides, they can gather in the center of the table, and shine all on their own. Cheesy pumpkin strata, brown butter green beans, soy caramel brussels sprouts, and more where that came from.
The key to a breezy Thanksgiving is to do absolutely everything you can ahead of time. This stuffing recipe requires as little day-of labor as we could manage. Most stuffing recipes can be made at least partially in advance, but this recipe leans even more heavily on the day before so you get the flavor benefits of slow-cooked ingredients without the time crunch, and you don’t need to stress about finding using your oven on Turkey Day.
We asked the expert of hosting for her best holiday tips. For Ina Garten, that means a combination of canny decision-making, careful planning, and a good dose of humility. Whether this is your first time hosting Thanksgiving or your 30th, just relax. The Barefoot Contessa is here to help.
Here is something that any cook can do to completely transform how they roast Thanksgiving turkey: Roast it in parts. Roasting a broken-down turkey in parts has distinct benefits over roasting a whole bird. It promotes deeper browning, enhanced fat rendering, and crispier skin because the oven’s heat can hit more surface area, faster. That means cooking and resting times are greatly reduced. It's the best and easiest way to to get a delicious turkey on the table in way less time.
There’s Thanksgiving dinner, and then there are Thanksgiving desserts. These are two separate events. Line your dessert table with pumpkin cheesecake, pecan pie, caramel apples, Bundt cake, brownies, cupcakes with maple buttercream frosting, and whatever other fall flavors your heart and stomach desire. Whether you’re a die-hard traditionalist or here for fun twists on the classics, we’ve got all of our best Thanksgiving desserts in one place.
This is the best easy Thanksgiving stuffing recipe. And yes, while we refer to it as a bread stuffing, it’s technically more of a dressing because it’s cooked outside of the bird in a separate casserole dish and not inside the cavity of a turkey. It's the ideal side dish recipe for your big Thanksgiving dinner.
The creamy base of this pastry-clad pie leans on American Cheese which melts seamlessly into the silky gravy. If turkey isn’t your thing (we get it) feel free to swap it for an even weight of chicken thighs or breast. Serve with your favorite vinegary hot sauce, like Cholula or Frank’s RedHot, to balance out all of that richness.
A make-ahead casserole, like this pumpkin-infused strata with all the cheese, is just what your busy holiday schedule needs. It will shine as a vegetarian main or side on your Thanksgiving Day table or any other point over the busy holiday weekend—and beyond. Any leftovers can be warmed in a skillet and served with a fried egg.
If you're going to make one Thanksgiving turkey this year (if any at all), please let it be this one. Yes, this recipe involves breaking down the bird into parts before roasting, which means removing the legs and wings and part of the backbone so the turkey can lie mostly flat on a large rimmed baking sheet. This method may sound tedious—we promise it’s easy to do following our step-by-step, or you can ask your butcher to do it—but it has many benefits.
Fried chicken makes for a natural, crowd-pleasing swap for roast turkey on your Thanksgiving table. It’s done entirely on the stovetop, which frees up oven space for the rest of your menu, and is a classic counterpart to many traditional sides (looking at you, mashed potatoes and biscuits). Give your crispy, crunchy chicken a festive angle by adding sage and thyme to the dredge and making a quick cranberry-mustard sauce for dipping.
It’s safe to say that these brussels sprouts, drizzled with a luscious, complex maple-soy caramel that straddles the line between sweet and salty, will likely become your new favorite Thanksgiving side dish or main course. Using maple syrup instead of sugar offers deep undertones that pair perfectly with the savoriness of soy sauce. To make this dish gluten-free, swap the soy sauce for tamari.
Free up space in your oven on Thanksgiving for other heavy hitters by assembling and baking this dressing recipe the day before. All you’ll need on the big day is 15 minutes to heat the baking dish without the foil to warm the stuffing through and crisp up the top layer.
Everything you need to know about turkey roasting times, plus tips to optimize the outcome. Armed with the step-by-step guide below, you’ll have ample time to focus on arguably everyone’s favorite part of the Thanksgiving dinner spread, the side dishes, without stressing about the main event.
This perfect comforting side dish has stood the test of time more than any other. It’s an easy corn casserole recipe that’s an unparalleled combo of creamy and salty, and it’s easy to put together. Is it fancy? Nope. Is it absolutely delicious? Of course. Is it something you’ll want to reheat and eat straight from the Pyrex while wearing your pj’s, binge-watching holiday movies, and nursing that post-Thanksgiving hangover? Hell yes.