Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas & Side Dish Recipes | Handle the Heat

Thanksgiving Recipes

Here’s a collection of the very best Thanksgiving recipes! You’ll find all kinds of dessert ideas from pies to sheet cakes to bar desserts. Plus all my crowd-pleasing bread recipes, side dishes, turkey and more!

How To's

No need to be intimidated by making pie crust or homemade bread recipes with these how-to articles. Tons of tips, tricks, and make ahead directions inside!


For flaky pie crust, keep everything COLD.

Especially your butter! If your kitchen is above 73°F, you can refrigerate all of your ingredients and equipment including your bowl, rolling pin, and pie tin until it’s between 65-70°F.


Make your homemade bread rolls ahead of time!

All doughs can be refrigerated for up to 48 hours, which slows the activity of the yeast.


Save room in your oven when you can.

With my Slow Cooker Turkey Breast recipe, you’ll save valuable oven space. Plus, you’ll only need 10 minutes of prep time.

How to Make the BEST Pie Crust

Download my free Pie Crust Troubleshooting Guide now!

Bake With Me!

Step inside my kitchen and sharpen your baking skills for Thanksgiving with these baking how-to videos.

Make Ahead Tips for the Easiest Thanksgiving Ever!

With my Make Ahead Baking Guide, you’ll learn how to prep your Thanksgiving breads, pies, and other recipes ahead of time.

All Thanksgiving Recipes

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Thanksgiving FAQ Section

Almost everything can be made ahead of time, at least in part! Stuffing and casseroles, bread dough, and almost all desserts will keep best. You can prep veggies and portion ingredients ahead of time. Mashed potatoes and meat products should be cooked the day of.

Depending on the appetite of your guests and how much turkey leftovers you want, estimate about 1 to 1 ½ pounds per guest. The smaller the bird, the more you want to lean towards 1 ½ pounds because the bones will make up a higher portion of the total weight. The large the bird, the more you can lean towards 1 pound because there will be more meat vs. bones.

Only purchase a fresh turkey if you’re able to buy less than 3 days before Thanksgiving. Ideally a fresh turkey is purchased within 48 hours of Thanksgiving. This is perfect if ordering from a local farmer or butcher shop.

It will take about 30 minutes per pound of turkey to thaw from frozen in the refrigerator. It’s better to give yourself a wider buffer, just in case!

I highly recommend making as many dishes ahead of time as you can. You can also get creative with slow cooker and no-bake recipes. Check out my Slow Cooker Turkey Breast and No-Bake Pumpkin Mousse Pie recipes to save room in your oven on turkey day.

A traditional Thanksgiving dinner menu consists of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, homemade cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, dinner rolls, and pumpkin pie. This will be the ultimate Thanksgiving feast with flavors that everyone will love.

Besides the turkey, you can estimate ¾ cup cooked stuffing, 1 potato, ¼ cup gravy, ¼ cup cranberries, 4 oz veggies, 2 rolls, and one sixth of a pie per guest. I always like to make extra just in case and to ensure leftovers!

Any and all appetizers or casseroles are a great idea, so is anything that can be held in a slow cooker to keep warm. But truly, you can’t go wrong with dessert. Especially one that can be held at room temperature, like apple pie, so you don’t require any more space in your host’s fridge.

Most pies can be made a day ahead of time. Some pies can also be frozen and made up to a month before Thanksgiving. At the very least, get a head start on your pie dough because that can be stored in the freezer for quite a while! Check out my make ahead guide with detailed instructions on preparing pies ahead of time.

Thanksgiving Leftover Stuffing Muffins are made in minutes with leftover stuffing and turkey for a tasty breakfast or snack that you can dip in cranberry sauce or gravy!

These Thanksgiving Leftover Hand Pies are another delicious idea to use up leftovers.

Looking for more recipes?


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