My Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

Thanksgiving is almost here and I’m just now thinking about the grocery list — and getting hungry! Everyone has their favorite go-to recipes, so I thought I’d share mine (and please share yours in the comments if you’d like).

But first, a throwback to the cutest little baker around:

This little guy loved making Pillsbury Crescent Rolls. I can’t believe how little he was! At 15, he towers over me.

Now the recipes

After many Thanksgivings, with plenty of fails, these recipes are consistent winners.


My first turkey was a total success thanks to this recipe by Emeril Lagasse:

Brined, Herb Roasted Turkey

Image Credit: Food Network

It was the most juicy, flavorful WHOLE turkey I’ve ever had and I couldn’t believe I made it. I didn’t love flipping it over mid-roast, but the recipe is so good I would hate to do anything to change it. Ordering a fresh turkey made it so I didn’t have to thaw it ahead of time — worth it.

After we had thoroughly enjoyed the turkey, I put the carcass, including the herbs and citrus stuffed inside, into a pot and made the most delicious turkey broth. I would never have thought to add orange and lemon to my broth, but it brightened the flavor fantastically. Emeril really made me look good that year.

If you’re looking for something simpler, this recipe by Ina Garten is amazing:

Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast

Image Credit: Food Network

We like to have leftovers so I made two for our family of five. The prep was easy enough that my 11 year-old son did one while I did the other. The final result was juicy, flavorful, and easy to carve. There was very little mess as well. The only thing that was missing was that delicious pot of turkey broth afterward, but it’s a fair trade for the time and effort saved.

Mashed Potatoes

There’s only one recipe I absolutely crave. It’s probably extremely fattening, but I refuse to find out exactly how bad it is because it’s SO GOOD!

Creamy Mashed Potatoes by Ree Drummond

Image Credit: Food Network

Here’s the thing to watch out for: she has multiple recipes for mashed potatoes, but THIS IS THE ONE. It is AMAZING. How could it not be with that much butter and cream cheese? Thanksgiving only comes once a year so live it up. And don’t skip the seasoned salt, it adds great flavor. I love this recipe.

Cranberry Chutney

I always thought I disliked all things cranberry. Then my sister brought this dish.

Williams-Sonoma Spiced Cranberry Chutney

It’s from the Williams-Sonoma Complete Entertaining cookbook (which I bought just for this recipe), but I was able to find it online just for you! This chutney smells like Christmas, the color is gorgeous, and it’s delicious with turkey. Trust the recipe and make it just as it’s written.

Also, I love the cookbook, totally worth the purchase.

Dinner Rolls

This recipe is locally famous. The rolls are light and airy, and not difficult to make.

Original Lion House Rolls

Photo Credit: Temple

The recipe doesn’t call for it, but after I’ve rolled out the dough I brush it liberally with butter before I shape my rolls. There’s not enough butter in the meal already, right? But it’s so good. And Thanksgiving only comes once a year, so why not?

The recipe does have you brush the hot rolls with butter after they come out of the oven….and I do that too.

Vegetables: a necessary evil

No, I’m kidding. I love them. My kids will even eat them if I prepare them just right. This recipe from Julia Child is THE way to make green beans.

Julia’s Blanched and Buttered Green Beans

Sometimes I add a little minced garlic, but they’re perfect just as she wrote it. Use French green beans. They’re thin, crisp, and have a bright flavor.

We also love roasted carrots:

Roasted Carrots by Ina Garten

Photo Credit: Foot Network


I’m serious! After all of that cooking, how can I resist a stuffing as easy as this? I can boil water. And who needs more pans to clean? At this point I’ve already done the dishes 927 times that week so, Stove Top. And we like it.


BUY A PIE AT COSTCO. Yes, at this point in Thanksgiving prep I’m getting lazy. I don’t make my own pies. I do make pies, but never for Thanksgiving. And if you’re not set on going the traditional route, we LOVE this recipe:

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cakes

Photo Credit: Food Network

This dessert is EASY. And yes, more butter. Thanksgiving is all about butter. And by this point I never want to cook again, but these are so good with homemade whipped cream.

I’m kind of tired after just writing about it. We went to a buffet one year and the kids loved it. That sounds more and more appealing.

Whatever you do, have a happy Thanksgiving!

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