Posted: Nov 22, 2013 11:00 AM
Hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year? No worries. You've got this. To help, we've gathered recipes for your entire Thanksgiving meal, from the turkey to desserts and side dishes to drinks.

Grab a pen and paper (or your smartphone) and write down your shopping list. You're going to pull together a fantastic Thanksgiving dinner!

The main event

Roasted turkey with herb butter and roasted shallots

^ Roasted turkey with herb butter and roasted shallots

AllParenting writer Dara is a master in the kitchen, and her ability to whip up a Thanksgiving bird that's to-die-for is worthy of envy. The upside is that you can do it, too. If you're uncertain of how to prepare the perfect Thanksgiving turkey, her step-by-step post, complete with photos, will convince you that herb butter and roasted shallots are exactly what your turkey needs.


  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (15- to 16-pound) turkey
  • Salt and pepper to season cavity
  • 1-1/4 pounds shallots, peeled and cut in half through the root
  • 1 carrot, unpeeled
  • 1 large celery stalk, cut in half crosswise
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
  • 3 cups (approximately) chicken broth

Visit Dara's blog for the cooking directions >>

Turkey alternative: Cornish hens

^Turkey alternative: Cornish hens

Feeling meh about turkey? That's OK. Surprise your dinner guests with something different: Cornish hens! As a bonus, they take half the time to cook.


  • 4 (1-1/2 pounds each) Cornish hens
  • 8 fresh sage leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, cut into 8 slices
  • Olive oil
  • Coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar or balsamic vinegar
  • 1 large Spanish onion, sliced

Continue reading for cooking directions >>

Thanksgiving side dishes

Mashed potatoes

^Mashed potatoes

These aren't your average mashed potatoes. They're creamy and delicious, but they contain less butter than a typical recipe and the Parmesan cheese topping makes them, well, top notch.


  • 3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  •  2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup low-fat (1 percent) milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup (packed) finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Continue reading for cooking directions >>

turkey gravy

^Turkey gravy

Forget complicated. The turkey gravy that dresses your bird and potatoes can be simple and delicious if you follow this recipe.


  • 3-1/2 cups (approximately) turkey broth or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Salt, to taste (if necessary)

Thanksgiving stuffing


It's not Thanksgiving without the stuffing! Everyone has a preference, but you can't go wrong with a traditional recipe.


  • 4 cups white bread
  • 4 cups wheat bread
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup chopped celery
  • 1/3 cup minced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1/3 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1-1/4 cups low-sodium chicken (or turkey) broth

Continue reading for cooking directions >>

Green bean casserole

^Green bean casserole

Skip the canned cream of mushroom soup. This green bean casserole is healthier, lighter and far more delicious than the old-school version.


  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut in half diagonally
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 12 ounces crimini (baby bella) mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups low-fat (1 percent) milk
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds

Continue reading for cooking directions >>

Sweet potato souffle

^Sweet potato souffle

Not only is this Thanksgiving sweet potato side dish delicious, it's also gluten-free.


  • 3 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/4 cup milk


  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons almond meal
  • 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped

Continue reading for cooking directions >> 

Thanksgiving desserts

Apple crumble pie

^Apple crumble pie

Apple pie is a fantastic fall dessert that goes nicely with your Thanksgiving meal. Serve it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


  • 8 Granny Smith apples, peeled, sliced
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 premade pie shell
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted (or 1/2 cup, if preferred)

Continue reading for baking directions >>

Thanksgiving mini pecan tarts

^Thanksgiving mini pecan tarts

Traditional pecan pie? Sure... unless you want to be different, but not so different that you're totally bucking tradition. Mini pecan tarts, made in muffin tins, are easy to prepare and they taste great, too.


  • 2 sheets thawed puff pastry
  • 1/2 cup Karo Light Corn Syrup
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups pecans, finely chopped

Continue reading for baking directions >>

Thanksgiving drinks

Apple sidecar

^Apple sidecar

Apple brandy takes the ingredients of a traditional sidecar and kicks them up a notch for a fantastic Thanksgiving cocktail.

Get the ingredients and directions >>

Spiced cranberry cocktail

^Spiced cranberry cocktail

Spiced rum and ginger beer? Yes, please! This seasonal cocktail will be a hit when served with your Thanksgiving meal.

Get the ingredients and directions >>

^Serving wine with dinner?

As you know, certain wines complement certain food better than others. Read our comprehensive Thanksgiving wine guide from a skilled sommelier.