The Ultimate Thanksgiving Menu
This is our ultimate Thanksgiving menu, for your viewing and planning pleasure! Below is absolutely everything you need for your thanksgiving menu ideas.
Tons of options, recipes and ideas below, ranging from classics like cranberry sauce to baking leftovers (like a dutch baby!), side dishes, tons of veggies, main courses and MORE perfect for your thanksgiving meal, or any Friendsgiving as well!
Below is everything for the ultimate thanksgiving menu
Here’s my dream menu and one I just hosted (fear not, more ideas and tons of options are below as well!)
Roasted Garlic & Herb Yogurt Dip: You can serve this dip with crudite, or what I did is serve it with spears of endive, or you can already load them in the endive, for little “hand salad” cups. When I hosted with this recipe last, I added some goat cheese in the mix, too!
Charcuterie and Cheese Board: Mix and match with all your favorite seasonal fruits and pair with nuts, your favorite cheese and meats. In short, this is a great starter, since you can set it up in advance on thanksgiving day, and bring it out when guests are arriving to nosh on while you prepare the rest of dinner.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup: I absolutely LOVE this soup because it can be prepped up to two days in advance, meaning it’s truly low effort. You can make it with coconut milk (like this recipe) which is great for any vegan or vegetarian guests. However, you can also sub with heavy cream, too. This is ALWAYS a show stopper!
Leading into mains and sides
We served TWO chickens! One was a garlic and herb whole roasted chicken, and the second was a gochujang chicken. Sorry, my menu doesn’t have turkey this year, but these chickens brined to perfection get SO tender and filled with insane flavor. We are serving the chicken with chicken gravy and cranberry sauce.
Cranberry sauce/Cranberry Compote: This sauce is super versatile since it is being utilized for starters like these Cranberry Brie Bites (another great appetizer option) and then for leftovers the day after to make this Dutch Baby with Cranberry Compote.
Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes: These mashed potatoes are ALWAYS a hit! They are easy to prep ahead too, get super creamy and are absolutely fantastic.
Lemon Haricots Verts With Crispy Shallots and Roasted Vegetables & Sesame Sunflower Butter Dressing: Two vegetable sides that are my go-to’s for parties. They cover all your bases with greens, brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes. (Add some carrots to the mix, too in the roasted vegetables for even more variety!)
Persimmon & Avocado Salad with a Citrus Vinaigrette: This seasonal salad is impressive and super easy to come together.
Easy Homemade Focaccia: An impressive recipe that isn’t a thanksgiving classic vs. dinner rolls, or cornbread is this focaccia. It is unique to serve for Thanksgiving, has a crispy crust on the bottom and super fluffy on the inside. The dough can also be prepared overnight ahead of time, too! We are serving it with a Butternut Squash Butter. Which is EPIC! You can also just do a honey butter here, and omit the butternut squash, too.
Finally, dessert! Chocolate Coffee Mousse: Okay, I truly make chocolate mousse for all my desserts because it’s THAT easy! Make it completely the night before, so all you have to do is just take it out of the fridge come dessert. Add more salt to the mix to make a “salted” chocolate coffee mousse, that is just everything.
Isn’t this the best thanksgiving feast?
Below we’ve outlined even MORE thanksgiving menu ideas
That include a starter cocktail, tons of appetizers, main options, all the sides, and ending with our favorite go-to dessert (for every holiday!) for the perfect thanksgiving dinner.
If you’re looking for even more ideas and roundups, check out the below:
- Thanksgiving Main Dishes That Aren’t Turkey
- The Best Appetizers and Sides For Thanksgiving
- 18 Fall Soups To Keep You Cozy
Now, let’s begin with some cocktails:
Try this Cranberry Smash, it is crisp, sweet and delicious! It gives me major Thanksgiving vibes here, I’ll start off the dinner with that here.
Want some other drink options, check out the below:
Next, let’s lead into appetizers!
Gosh, am I a sucker for a good app. Sometimes, it may even trump the actual dinner, what do you think?
The above are our mushroom & sage toasts with whipped goat cheese, which are a MUST. I would start with the cranberry cocktail and do a lil toast situation for a starter. Some Thai style spicy cashew peanuts on the table are also a great idea to keep guests talking, munching and conversing!
Another great idea is to serve our Herb Lamb Meatballs with a Horseradish Dipping Sauce on toothpicks with the horseradish side along-side. YUM.
If you’re looking for more toasts/crostini options, some other highlights:
- Pear & Prosciutto Crostini with Gorgonzola
- Prosciutto, Mt. Tam and Fig Jam Crostini
- Burrata and Steak Crostini
- Whipped Ricotta Toast with Strawberry Jam
- Roasted Olives with Feta, Garlic & Citrus
Other appetizers to take a look at:
- 4 Cheese Ravioli Toasted in Breadcrumbs with a Tomato Vodka Dipping Sauce
- Roasted Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Hummus
- Kimchi Deviled Eggs
- Cheese Bourekas
- Muhammara Dip
- Spiced Lamb Pita Chips with Whipped Feta
- Tuna Tartare
- Whipped Ricotta with Citrus Marinated Olives
- Crispy Potatoes Topped with Salmon Roe
ALSO, soup IS a great appetizer! Here are some standouts:
- Creamy Potato Leek Soup
- Creamy Pumpkin Soup
- Butternut Squash & Apple Soup
- Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Pesto
Mains: Try some untraditional non-turkey mains like the below!
- Garlic Herb Roasted Chicken
- Red Wine Braised Short Ribs
- Mushroom Pot Pie
- Lemon Garlic Butter Scallops
- Chicken Schnitzel
- Stuffed Squash with Vegetables
Sides, the most epic part of Thanksgiving!
One of the sides that will DEFINITELY be on the Thanksgiving table are these lemon haricots verts – oh my yum!
- Horseradish Kale Ceasar Salad
- Brussel Sprouts Caesar Salad
- Crispy Grilled Potato Salad with Horseradish Sauce
- Plant Based Mac N’ Cheese, make it vegan!
- Little Gem Caesar Salad with Panko Breadcrumbs
- Garlic Parmsan Mashed Potatoes
- Persimmon Caprese Salad
- Cheesy Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
- Little Gem Salad with Yogurt Ranch
- Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Herbed Feta Dip
- Stuffed Honeynut Squash with Couscous and Feta
- Beets, Burrata, Hazelnuts and Green Goddess Vinaigrette
Can’t pick one? Cook a few options so there is something for everyone, prep as much as you can in advance, so all you have to do is just heat it up and enjoy!
Tip: Make sure there is one or two vegan and/or gluten free sides in case any of your guests don’t want meat or dairy! Something as simple as green beans will work wonders here.
Make this Chocolate Mousse! It is foolproof, impressive and is loved by all, every single time!
Tip: you can make 2 batches, 1 with cream, and 1 with coconut cream for anyone that is plant-based or dairy-free!
Or try our Mixed Berry Cobbler!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and I hope you enjoy these Thanksgiving menu ideas!
If you do make any recipes from the ULTIMATE thanksgiving menu (first of all, thank you!!), be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Don’t forget to tag me on Instagram and through social media so I can be sure to see what you’re making! If you’d like to stay in touch and get the latest to your inbox, sign up for our Newsletter here as well!
The Ultimate Thanksgiving Menu
- 1 whole chicken ours in spatchcocked but you can also use one without the backbone removed
- 1/4th cup unsalted butter melted
- 1/4th cup olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon tablespoon dried parsley
- 1/2 tablespoon tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 sprig chopped rosemary
- 2 tablespoons fresh garlic minced
- 1 head of garlic cut in half
- 1 lemon cut in half
- salt and pepper to taste and to dry brine chicken see below for directions
- Get your chicken and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper on all sides until fully coated. Place on a sheet tray and dry brine for 2 hours-overnight in the fridge, without covering.
- *Alternatively, you don’t have to dry brine; however this allows the flavors to infuse, the chicken to become more tender, and allows drying out the chicken skin to ensure extra crispness of the skin!
- When your chicken is ready, make your seasoning and preheat your oven to 425 degrees, convection if you have it. Melt butter (do not burn), and add in olive oil, parsley, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper and garlic. Mix well until incorporated.
- In a deep pot or cast iron that will fit your chicken, place your chicken in, and add in your head of garlic (halved) and your lemon (halved) around the chicken. Pour over your garlic butter herb mixture and make sure it’s coating all over the chicken.
- Place in the preheated oven and roast for 45-55 minutes, until crispy on the outside and cooked fully on the inside (around 160 degrees at the thickest part of the breast), until the juices run clear when you cut between leg and thigh. Halfway through the cooking time, you can also baste some of the liquid on top of the bird. I also rotated my pan halfway through cooking to get even crispiness on all sides.
- When fully cooked, remove, and let rest for about 15 minutes. Carve, plate and pour over any remaining butter pan juices and serve with your favorite sides!