An image showcasing a bustling kitchen scene on Thanksgiving, with a beautifully roasted turkey taking center stage, surrounded by traditional side dishes like creamy mashed potatoes, golden-brown stuffing, vibrant cranberry sauce, and steaming green bean casserole

Are you wondering what most people cook on Thanksgiving? Well, we’ve got you covered! In this article, we’ll explore the traditional turkey recipes that are a staple at Thanksgiving dinners.

Not only that, but we’ll also delve into the popular side dishes and mouthwatering desserts that make this holiday so special. And if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, don’t worry – we’ve got some delicious options for you too.

Plus, we’ll even share creative leftover recipes to make the most of your Thanksgiving feast!

Traditional Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes

If you’re looking for a classic Thanksgiving turkey recipe, you can’t go wrong with a tried and true family favorite.

Start by preheating your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

While the oven is heating up, prepare your turkey by rinsing it and patting it dry with paper towels.

Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan and season it generously with salt, pepper, and any other herbs or spices you prefer.

Next, melt some butter and brush it all over the turkey to help keep it moist and flavorful.

Cover the turkey with foil and roast it in the oven for about 15 minutes per pound, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Let the turkey rest for about 20 minutes before carving and serving.

Enjoy your delicious and classic Thanksgiving turkey!

Popular Side Dishes for Thanksgiving

You can’t go wrong with popular side dishes like mashed potatoes and green bean casserole for Thanksgiving. These classic favorites are a must-have on every Thanksgiving table.

Creamy and buttery mashed potatoes are the perfect complement to the main course, providing a comforting and familiar taste. Whether you like them smooth or with a bit of texture, they are sure to please everyone.

And let’s not forget about the rich and flavorful green bean casserole. With its creamy mushroom sauce and crispy fried onions, it adds a delicious twist to the meal.

These side dishes not only add variety and color to your plate, but they also bring a sense of tradition and nostalgia to the Thanksgiving feast. So load up your plate and savor every bite of these beloved classics.

Delicious Thanksgiving Desserts

One of the most delicious Thanksgiving desserts is pumpkin pie, with its creamy filling and flaky crust. You can’t help but crave that rich, spiced pumpkin flavor that melts in your mouth. The smooth texture and the warm aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg make it the perfect ending to a hearty Thanksgiving meal.

And let’s not forget the dollop of freshly whipped cream on top, adding a touch of sweetness to every bite. Whether you’re enjoying a slice after a traditional turkey dinner or indulging in a late-night snack, pumpkin pie is a classic dessert that brings comfort and nostalgia.

Vegetarian and Vegan Thanksgiving Options

There’s a wide variety of vegetarian and vegan options available for Thanksgiving, including dishes like roasted butternut squash with quinoa stuffing and mushroom Wellington. These alternatives are perfect for those who prefer a plant-based meal or have dietary restrictions.

Instead of turkey, you can indulge in a hearty and flavorful roasted butternut squash. The squash is stuffed with a mixture of quinoa, herbs, and vegetables, creating a delicious and satisfying main dish.

If you’re craving something savory, try the mushroom Wellington. It’s a savory pastry filled with a medley of mushrooms, onions, and herbs, baked to perfection.

These options are just as delicious and will leave you feeling satisfied and grateful for a Thanksgiving feast that caters to your dietary preferences.

Creative Leftover Recipes for Thanksgiving

Get creative with your Thanksgiving leftovers by making a delicious turkey and cranberry grilled cheese sandwich.

Take that leftover turkey and slice it up into thin pieces. Spread cranberry sauce on one side of two slices of bread.

Layer the turkey on top of one slice and top it with some shredded cheddar cheese. Place the other slice of bread on top with the cranberry sauce side facing down.

Heat a skillet over medium heat and melt some butter. Place the sandwich in the skillet and cook until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted.

Flip it over and cook the other side until it’s golden brown as well. Cut the sandwich in half and enjoy the perfect combination of Thanksgiving flavors in a grilled cheese sandwich.


So now you know what most people cook on Thanksgiving! Whether it’s a succulent turkey, mouthwatering side dishes, delectable desserts, or even vegetarian and vegan options, there’s something for everyone.

And don’t forget about those creative leftover recipes to enjoy the next day. Thanksgiving is a time to come together, share delicious food, and create lasting memories.

So go ahead and get cooking, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving feast!


I'm Cooking Master, your culinary guide on Cooking Planet! With a passion for cooking and a deep appreciation for the diverse flavors and techniques scattered across the globe, this website is where I share my knowledge and experiences. From baking delectable treats to grilling mouthwatering dishes, I aim to inspire your cooking endeavors. Join me as we embark on a gastronomic expedition, exploring the realms of roasting, boiling, frying, and more. From Asian delicacies to European classics, African delights to American favorites, let's unlock the secrets of cooking around the world together. Discover the vast and appetizing world of Cooking Planet!