50 Modern Thanksgiving Menu Recipes 2023 (2024)

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I’m sharing some of my favorite modern Thanksgiving menu recipes, from appetizers and side dishes to desserts. Plus, a bunch of new ways to cook turkey to inspire the centerpiece of your holiday dinner. There are a few non traditional Thanksgiving dishes, too. My recipes are easy enough for a home cook without a lot of time on their hands.

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Table of Contents

Roasted Turkey

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When it comes to a tasty modern turkey dish, you still want to make flavorful, juicy meat. But this year, get creative and put some of the most popular new kitchen appliances to use.

bAnd if you’re having a smaller gathering, instead of cooking the whole bird, cook turkey tenderloin or turkey breast. Here are some ideas…

Turkey legs

  • Baked turkey legs
  • Smoked turkey legs
  • Air fryer turkey legs
  • Sous vide turkey leg

Turkey breast

  • Roasted turkey breast
  • Smoked turkey breast
  • Air fryer turkey breast
  • Sous vide turkey breast (you can even make it from frozen)
  • Slow cooked turkey breast (like you would slow cook a whole chicken)

Tips for letting turkey rest before serving

Letting the turkey rest is important, so the juices have time to settle before carving it. I suggest covering cooked turkey with tin foil when it comes out of the oven, smoker, etc.

Let smaller pieces of turkey like the tenderloin and turkey breast rest for 20-25 minutes and a whole turkey to rest 30-45 minutes (or as long as food is safe), but cool enough for the juices to rest.

Roasted Potatoes

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When it comes to making something different for your Thanksgiving meal, potatoes are a good place to start.

Fancy’d up baby potatoes, little potatoes, and diced potatoes are just as great for Thanksgiving as mashed potatoes.

  • Air fryer baby potatoes
  • Sous vide little potatoes
  • Roasted red potatoes in air fryer
  • Sous vide fingerling potatoes
  • Roasted parsnips and potatoes
  • Smoked mashed potatoes cooked with turkey blend Traeger pellets
  • Roasted brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes
  • Smashed potatoes
  • Potato skins
  • Roasted potatoes, carrots, and onions
  • See more potato side dish recipes

Au Gratin

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Potatoes ​​au gratin is a great side dish because you can assemble it a day ahead of time and bake it an hour before eating. Beyond potatoes, there are more modern ways to make au gratin including seafood and vegetables as a base…

  • Vegetables potatoes au gratin
  • Cheesy potatoes gratin with pesto
  • ​​Cauliflower au gratin
  • Turnip au gratin
  • Broccoli and cauliflower au gratin
  • Seafood au gratin
  • Crab meat au gratin

Mashed Potatoes

Garlic mashed potatoes are the ultimate, but you can make your own restaurant style spin on mashed potatoes by using compound butter and fresh herbs like dill and sage throughout.

  • Crock pot sweet potatoes
  • Cauliflower mashed potatoes
  • Chipotle mashed sweet potatoes
  • Mashed potatoes cream cheese
  • Potato chip mashed potatoes

How to reheat mashed potatoes

The best way to reheat mashed potatoes in my opinion is to add 1 tbsp butter to a skillet on the stove, add the potatoes, and smoosh them around while they cook on medium, until they are soft again.

Another great idea is to fry up potato pancakes with leftover mashed potatoes.

Simple Gravy

Save the drippings from the turkey – or just buy the package mix and whip it up on the stove before serving the turkey.

Sweet potatoes

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Slow cooked, roasted, mashed, baked with marshmallows on top… sweet potatoes are always a beautiful dish on the table. Serve them with a sprinkle of green on top.

  • Twice baked sweet potatoes
  • Roasted cubed sweet potatoes like in this farro salad
  • Air fryer sweet potato tots

Appetizers

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This is the part of the meal where you want to start with some fun Thanksgiving food items. Think of things that are a bit unexpected, and look fancy but are easy to make…

  • Bacon-wrapped jalapeño poppers
  • Labneh dip
  • Whipped ricotta crostini
  • Make ahead zucchini soup

Butternut squash soup

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See how to make butternut squash soup

Green Beans

Green bean casserole is definitely the most popular dish when it comes to this category, but you can modernize your Thanksgiving menu with Italian style green beans (loaded up with garlic) or sous vide green beans.

Easy side dishes

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When it comes to side dishes for Thanksgiving, I like to think of recipes for vegetables and condiments that will be tasty to eat with a bite of turkey.

Onion side dishes

  • Caramelized onions
  • Red wine caramelized red onions
  • Sautéed onions and peppers

Vegetable side dishes

  • Air fryer broccoli
  • Sauteed carrots with garlic butter
  • Trader Joe’s cauliflower rice
  • Sous vide beets
  • Sous vide asparagus
  • Sous vide Brussels sprouts
  • Sous vide corn on the cob
  • Air fryer acorn squash

Stuffing

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Dressings, cornbread stuffing, and traditional bread stuffings are must have foods for Thanksgiving dinner. But if you’re still using a recipe from 10 years ago, it’s time to try a more sophisticated version. There is so much creativity to be had with this dish.

  • Chorizo sausage stuffing (my husband’s favorite twist)
  • Crockpot stuffing with sausage
  • Pineapple stuffing
  • See more stuffing recipes

Breads

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  • Grill pan crostini
  • Focaccia bread with Everything Bagel Seasoning
  • Garlic herb compound butter

Salads

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There are so many seasonal fall themed foods that go well on salads, from candied pecans and walnuts, to dried cranberries and slices of apples and pears.

Here are some of my favorite new ideas for salad recipes you can use as inspiration for your own…

  • Strawberry feta salad
  • Fresh peach salad
  • Caprese cucumber salad
  • Oven baked parmesan croutons
  • Blueberry salad
  • Honey lemon basil dressing
  • Tomato pesto pasta salad
  • Kale apple slaw

Cranberry Sauce

There are so many options beyond using canned cranberry sauce. Most grocery stores carry premade fresh cranberry sauce in the deli department around Thanksgiving.

My favorite is an orange cranberry sauce that uses zest and juice from fresh orange as the liquid to simmer fresh cranberries on the stove. I’ll have some exciting new recipes coming soon.

Sauces

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Beyond gravy, there are a lot of other tasty sauce recipes for turkey and vegetable dishes. Some of these are delicious dips for bread and crackers, too. Here are some of my favorites…

  • Jalapeno ranch dressing
  • Peppercorn sauce
  • Chimichurri sauce
  • Spinach basil pesto
  • Easy romesco sauce

Drinks

Nothing says “Happy Thanksgiving” like having co*cktails, nice wine, and fruit juices lined up for your guests when they arrive. You don’t have to greet them at the door with a co*cktail like they’re going on a cruise, but setting up a drink bar on a buffet table or kitchen island is a good idea. See my list of tropical drinks

Tip: add fruit to Thanksgiving drinks

One way I like to make drinks special is by adding fruit to float on the top of them. You can prepare a beautiful pitcher of a co*cktail or non alcoholic beverages like cranberry juice, and toss in some diced carrots and pomegranate seeds to float on top.

Casseroles

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Modern cooking techniques aside, sometimes you just want a comfort food casserole to put on the table. These will do…

  • Italian stuffed shells
  • Cheesy baked rigatoni with ground beef
  • Keto friendly lasagna with pesto
  • Air fryer mac and cheese balls

Non traditional thanksgiving main dishes

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Here are some different Thanksgiving dinner ideas…

  • Honey Glazed Ham Nugget
  • Tri Tip In Oven Perfectly
  • Lemon Pepper Wings
  • Air Fryer Filet Mignon
  • Sous Vide Pork Loin
  • Puff Pastry Pizza

Leftover turkey ideas

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You can’t go wrong with a classic turkey avocado sandwich. See these leftover turkey recipes for more inspiration.

Pumpkin Pie

A modern Thanksgiving dessert instead of traditional pumpkin pie would be something like a sous vide pumpkin cheesecake made in tiny mason jars (like sous vide egg bites).

  • Mini pumpkin pies

Apple Pie

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My favorite way to make a modern day apple pie is to serve them individually in mini handheld bites.

  • Mini Apple Hand Pies With Pie Crust

More desserts

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I suggest picking two or three desserts, and making most of them really easy to prepare in advance. Turnovers are great for that purpose, so are cookies and brownies.

  • Air fryer chocolate chip cookies
  • Raspberry turnovers
  • Blueberry turnovers
  • Blueberry compote
  • Italian lemon olive oil cake
  • Chocolate cream pie
  • Lemon olive oil cake
  • Cherry pie turnovers
  • Cherry cake bars
  • Chocolate bundt cake
  • Fudge brownies from scratch

Are you a foodie, too?

Hey home chefs, hope that answers all your questions about hosting a modern Thanksgiving with delicious food ideas. To get my latest and greatest recipes before they’re shared on the site, connect with me on Instagram @sipbitego. And for more deliciousness, subscribe to the Sip Bite Go channel and see the Sip Bite Go recipe collection.

50 Modern Thanksgiving Menu Recipes 2023 (2024)
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