Ultimate Thanksgiving dinner

Discover our best American-inspired Thanksgiving recipes for feeding a crowd, including must-haves like roast turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie.

Roasted turkey on white plate with greens

Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the US, and shines a spotlight on the best of autumn's harvest with an indulgent feast. 

Our guide has everything you'll want to include in your own Thanksgiving spead, from starters to showstopping mains and rich puddings – fill your plate with our top picks. 

For more American-inspired recipes, see our ultimate Thanksgiving collection.

Starters

Soup 

White bowl of pumpkin soup with croutons
Our silky pumpkin soup is the perfect way to kick off a Thanksgiving feast. Combine pumpkin or squash with cream, stock and sautéed onions, then serve topped with homemade croutons and toasted pumpkin seeds. Or, try our roasted sweet potato & carrot soup for another seasonal flavour. To make things even easier, prepare your soup ahead of time in a soup maker, freeze and defrost on the day for a fuss-free meal. Read our soup maker review for the best buys.

For more warming starters, see our autumn soup collection.
 

Cornbread

Squares of cornbread stacked on white plate
Hearty, American-style cornbread is a great partner to soup, or makes a delicious starter on its own. This bacon & pecan stuffing cornbread combines all the best flavours of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Make your own using polenta or cornmeal, and for extra heat, try our quick chilli cornbread. Classic cornbread wedges are also a versatile side to serve with your dinner. 

See more in our cornbread collection.
 

Salad 

Rainbow salad in white bowl
Tom Kerridge's autumn vegetable salad with saffron dressing makes for an elegant starter. This healthy salad is loaded with rainbow carrots, courgette, broccoli, plum tomatoes and cucumber. And, as it's both vegan and gluten-free, it's a crowd-pleasing dish that almost anyone can enjoy. Or, try our simple garden salad recipe.

For more fresh dishes, see our salad collection.

Mains

Turkey

Roast turkey on white dish with greens, lemons and garlic bulbs
Truly the star of the show, the turkey can make or break a Thanksgiving dinner. But, our perfect pancetta & roast shallot-stuffed turkey is a winner – the pancetta under the skin keeps the meat beautifully moist. You could also try our classic roast turkey with lemon & garlic, which uses up storecupboard ingredients and creates an extra-crisp skin on the turkey. If you're serving a smaller crowd, this roast turkey breast is ready in less than two hours and serves four to six. 

For more, see our turkey collection.
 

Vegan alternative

Pumpkin stuffed with rice on cake stand
Accommodate veggie and vegan guests with our showstopping centrepieces. This impressive stuffed pumpkin is full of autumnal flavours such as fennel, apple and pecans. Our sweet potato parcel is enhanced with sage, chestnuts and seasonal cranberry sauce. Or, try this beetroot & red onion tarte tatin for a colourful main topped with peppery salad.

See our autumn vegan recipes for more ideas.

Sides

Mashed potatoes

Mashed potatoes in white pot
Smooth, fluffy mash is a classic Thanksgiving side. Our creamy mashed potatoes taste indulgently rich, but use clever substitutions to reduce the fat and calories. Mash your potatoes using an electric whisk for a light, airy texture. This roast sweet potato, squash & garlic mash is also a great option. Serve your mash with turkey & chestnut gravy or our vegetarian gravy.

See our mash collection for more recipes.
 

Green bean casserole

Green bean casserole in white dish
Green bean casserole is a quintessential American treat at Thanksgiving. Celebrate pure comfort food with this green bean mac ’n’ cheese – runner and green beans are combined with creamy mature cheddar and topped with pumpkin seeds. If you'd prefer a lighter version, try our healthy green beans with shallots, garlic & toasted almonds.

To add some more green to your plate, see our green bean recipes.
 

Stuffing

Traybake stuffing with sage leaves
Prepare this crispy traybake stuffing up to two days in advance to help keep Thanksgiving Day stress-free. This traybake combines robust flavours like Cumberland sausages, Bramley apple, sage and chesnuts. For a chunkier stuffing, try Emma Freud's fig & pancetta American stuffing, or keep it meat-free with our vegan stuffing recipe.

See our stuffing collection for more recipe inspiration.
 

Cranberry sauce

Cranberry sauce with white ladel
Love it or hate it, cranberry sauce is a must-have on any American Thanksgiving menu. Our sloe gin cranberry sauce gives a modern spin to a time-honoured classic. Our easiest ever version, really simple cranberry sauce, uses just three ingredients and takes just 15 minutes to make. Try spicing it up with chilli, ginger or a splash of port.

For more ideas, see our cranberry sauce collection.

Dessert

Pie

Whole pumpkin pie with three slices on plates
No Thanksgiving dinner would be complete without a big slice of pie to finish. Our top-rated vegan pumpkin pie is a luxurious treat sure to please a crowd. Classic pumpkin pie is full of warming autumn spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon, while New England pecan pie is full of sweet maple flavour and sticky golden syrup. Or, keep it simple with our ultimate apple pie. Whichever you choose, serve your pie with whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream.

For more indulgent desserts, see our sweet pie collection.
 

Enjoyed our Thanksgiving menu? See our other autumn recipes...

Autumn recipes
Comfort food recipes
Autumn vegetarian recipes
Bonfire Night recipes
Healthy autumn recipes

How will you celebrate Thanksgiving this year? Leave a comment below...

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
Be the first to comment...We'd love to hear how you got on with this recipe. Did you like it? Would you recommend others give it a try?
Be the first to ask a question about this recipe...Unsure about the cooking time or want to swap an ingredient? Ask us your questions and we’ll try and help you as soon as possible. Or if you want to offer a solution to another user’s question, feel free to get involved...
Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.