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50 Quick and Easy Thanksgiving Recipes

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50 Quick and Easy Thanksgiving Recipes

Think of Thanksgiving, and a festive table brimming with food comes to mind. Turkey is the star of the show, but it's got a strong supporting cast of casseroles, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry relish, dinner rolls, and veggies galore. Suffice to say, prepping a holiday feast is certainly a labor of love, with plenty of Thanksgiving recipes involved.

But at the heart of the holiday—and what makes Thanksgiving truly special—is the gathering of friends and family. So, what if you could spend less time in the kitchen, and more time enjoying the holiday with your family members and friends?

Here, with simplicity in mind, we've rounded up delicious Thanksgiving recipes covering everything from appetizers to desserts to even your post-Thanksgiving leftovers.



Healthy Spice Roasted Nuts

Mixed nuts Shutterstock

Set out a dish of cocoa pecans or five-spice peanuts. Watch the holiday crowd go nuts! We've actually got four different types of simple and delicious nut recipes that you can make on rotation during the holiday season.

Get our recipe for Healthy Spice Roasted Nuts.


Stuffed Dates

healthy stuffed dates Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Stuffed with blue cheese and wrapped in bacon, these easy-to-assemble dates taste decadent. Bring them as an appetizer to Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving; watch future invites roll in.

Get our recipe for Stuffed Dates.


Melted Brie with Vegetables

Vegetarian melted brie vegetables Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Brie cheese appetizers feel familiar during the holiday season. But this one goes beyond melty cheese and crackers, with pears and stacks of veggies added to the mix.

Get our recipe for Melted Brie with Vegetables.


Shrimp Cocktail

healthy shrimp cocktail Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

You could put out store-bought shrimp cocktail as an appetizer. But this roasted shrimp cocktail recipe is super-easy and gets a flavor boost with Old Bay seasoning. Plus, you can make your own cocktail sauce with ketchup, lemon juice, horseradish, and sriracha.

Get our recipe for Shrimp Cocktail.



Vegetarian bruschetta two ways Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

A toasty baguette can get dressed up several different ways. Try white beans sautéed with jarred artichoke hearts or white beans sautéed with jarred artichoke hearts.

Get our recipe for Bruschetta.


Thanksgiving Turkey Veggie Tray

Part art, part appetizer, this colorful vegetable tray is a crudite masterpiece. Just look at that carrot beak on the turkey's bell pepper face! It's almost too cute to eat. Almost.

Get the recipe from Lil' Luna.


Baked Rosemary Beet Chips

With just four ingredients and one pan, these beautiful beet chips can be whipped up in less than 30 minutes. In a beautiful red hue, these crispy, savory treats sprinkled in rosemary will satiate snackers while the main course is cooking. A mandolin slicer will make this an even easier job.

Get the recipe from Minimalist Baker.

Soup and Salads


Butternut Squash Soup

Healthy butternut squash soup Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Warm up a crowd with a butternut squash soup. Green apple, grated ginger, and nutmeg add to the fall flavor profile.

Get our recipe for Butternut Squash Soup.


Fig and Prosciutto Salad

Healthy fig and prosciutto salad Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Sweet or savory? Why choose? Appeal to everyone at your holiday table with this fig and prosciutto salad with goat cheese tossed in and a crunch from pine nuts.

Get our recipe for Fig and Prosciutto Salad.


Spinach and Goat Cheese Salad with Apples and Warm Bacon Dressing

Healthy spinach & goat cheese salad with apples & warm bacon dressing Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Caramelized apples and toasted pecans turn this spinach salad into a fall masterpiece. Then, a warm bacon dressing and creamy goat cheese elevate it, making it perfect for a Thanksgiving starter.

Get our recipe for Spinach and Goat Cheese Salad with Apples and Warm Bacon Dressing.


Classic Balsamic Vinaigrette

plated salad of lettuce strawberries chicken with balsamic vinaigrette Shutterstock

Forget the store-bought dressing. Your holiday salad is deserving of a homemade vinaigrette and this five-ingredient balsamic recipe will wow guests. If you want a sweeter vinaigrette to drizzle on your salad, you could swap out the dijon mustard for maple syrup.

Get our recipe for Classic Balsamic Vinaigrette.



Thanksgiving Sangria

Sangria: It's not just for sipping on rooftops in the summer. Give the wine cocktail Thanksgiving treatment by mixing in cider, brandy, spices, and a splash of ginger beer. Bonus points if you show up to Friendsgiving with this autumn-inspired sangria in a pumpkin-shaped pitcher. Making a big batch ahead of time means you won't have to play bartender all night.

Get the recipe from Half Baked Harvest.


Sparkling Caramel Hot Cider

This easy-to-mix drink doubles as dessert, as you'll stir caramel sauce into the apple cider. Ginger ale gives it the sparkle, and apple slices and cinnamon sticks make it Instagram ready.

Get the recipe from Your Cup of Cake.

RELATED: No-sugar-added recipes you'll actually look forward to eating.


Pomegranate Prosecco Smash

Maple syrup helps cut the tartness of pomegranate in this pretty spritzer that's spiked prosecco and vodka. Rosemary sprigs are a festive garnish.

Get the recipe from How Sweet Eats.


Cranberry Margaritas

For a festive and fall spin on margs, just add some cranberry juice and garnish with fresh cranberries. You can make a pitcher of this to serve your crowd. Now to decide: Sugar or salt on the rim?

Get the recipe from Gimme Some Oven.

Main Dishes


90-Minute Roasted Turkey with Orange-Cranberry Relish

Paleo 90 minute roasted turkey with orange cranberry relish Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Yes, it's absolutely possible to cook a turkey in under two hours. The trick? Get a turkey that's 12 to 14 pounds and really turn up the heat in your oven, because you'll be roasting the bird at 500 °F. While the turkey is in the oven, simmer those cranberries and make an orange-cranberry relish that pairs perfectly with turkey.

Get our recipe for 90-Minute Roasted Turkey with Orange-Cranberry Relish.


Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast

Gluten-free turkey breast herb roasted Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Hosting a smaller crowd this year and not sure you want to cook an entire bird? Scale down supper by making turkey breasts that are roasted with rosemary and still feel on-brand with the holiday.

Get our recipe for Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast.


Bourbon-Glazed Ham with Peach Chutney


Low-calorie bourbon glazed ham with peach chutney Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Hosting Friendsgiving and know that your guests will get their fair share of turkey at their family celebrations? Cook a ham instead! The honey-bourbon glaze on this ham is equal parts sweet and spicy.

Get our recipe for Bourbon-Glazed Ham with Peach Chutney.


Crispy Duck Breast with Balsamic

Paleo crispy duck breast in balsamic Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

While you'll spot duck on holiday menus in restaurants, it's not something the average home chef attempts to make very often. Change that this year. Duck breasts with cherries is a great alternative to turkey with cranberries.

Get our recipe for Crispy Duck Breast with Balsamic.


Thanksgiving Dinner on Two Sheet Pans

Just imagine how easy clean-up will be by making your entire Thanksgiving dinner on a pair of sheet pans! This recipe shares how you can do just that. We're talking turkey breast and gravy, candied sweet potatoes, stuffing, and parmesan Brussels sprouts. Dibs on doing dishes this year.

Get the recipe from Chelsea's Messy Apron.


Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili

If you're hosting a vegetarian dinner or have a few plant-based guests at your table, this chili, loaded with veggies and pumpkin puree, is a great option. The one-pot meal can be made in a slow-cooker, too.

Get the recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction.


Easy Roasted Turkey with Sage Butter

Roasting a turkey can be intimidating, especially when you're cooking for a crowd. Take an easy approach with this recipe that seasons the bird with sage butter and roasts it with lemons and apples to flavor the pan juices. You can finish a 13-pound turkey in two hours, but you'll need to factor in another hour for it to rest.

Get the recipe from I Breathe I'm Hungry.

Side Dishes


Apple Sausage Stuffing

Healthy apple-sausage stuffing Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Skip the boxed stuffing and never look back. This stuffing, which is baked on its own, is made with sausage, tart Granny Smith apples, and fresh sage. Cranberries add a nice touch for Thanksgiving.

Get our recipe for Apple Sausage Stuffing.


Roasted Butternut Squash

Vegetarian roasted squash Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Roasting butternut squash will bring out some of the veggie's sweet flavors. Sweeten it up some more with maple syrup. Add some chopped sage leaves. Talk about squash goals!

Get our recipe for Roasted Butternut Squash.


Brussels and Bacon

Healthy brussels and bacon Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This five-ingredient recipe is good enough to convert non-Brussel Sprouts fans into Brussel believers. Smoky bacon, red pepper, and crunchy almonds combine for a delicious side dish that steals the show.

Get our recipe for Brussels and Bacon.


Green Bean Casserole

Vegetarian green bean casserole Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

It's time the green bean casserole gets a modern makeover, right? The recipe, developed in the 1950s by Campbell's, called for a can of cream of mushroom soup and canned green beans. But for a fresh take on this casserole, ditch the cans and use cremini mushrooms and fresh green beans. Sorry, crispy fried onions, you've been cut, too… panko breading will do the trick for giving this casserole a crunchy top layer.

Get our recipe for Green Bean Casserole.


Yukon Gold and Sweet Potato Gratin

Vegetarian yukon gold & sweet potato gratin Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Meet your new favorite Thanksgiving side dish. This slimmed-down, four-layer gratin combines Thanksgiving's two popular potatoes, Yukon gold and sweet potatoes, and it tastes rich thanks to a Gruyère cheese. The prep is pretty simple, but it does require about 40 minutes of oven time.

Get our recipe for Yukon Gold and Sweet Potato Gratin.


Cranberry Orange Relish

healthy orange cranberry relish Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

You might want to double this recipe so you've got plenty to smother on leftover turkey sandwiches. Orange zest and ginger add flavor to the quintessential cranberry relish.

Get our recipe for Cranberry Orange Relish.


Mac and Cheese

Healthy mac and cheese Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Trust us; everyone is secretly hoping this cheesy comfort food will show up on the Thanksgiving table. The secret to this sharp cheddar mac and cheese dish is a Greek yogurt that gives it a creamy sauce.

Get our recipe for Mac and Cheese.


Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Vegan roasted garlic mashed potatoes Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

If the turkey is the star of the Thanksgiving table, then mashed potatoes deserve accolades for their supporting role. Yukon Gold potatoes are smooth and buttery, and the roasted garlic in this dish makes them even tastier.

Get our recipe for Garlic Mashed Potatoes.


Easy Roasted Carrots

Vegetarian honey roasted carrots Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Roasting veggies brings out their inherent sweetness. Plus, these carrots are tossed in honey. What we're getting at? Even the pickiest eater at the kids' table will eat all their veggies.

Get our recipe for Easy Roasted Carrots.


Spicy Mashed Sweet Potatoes

mashed sweet potatoes Shutterstock

Move over, marshmallows and brown sugar! These flavor-packed, mashed sweet potatoes go the spicy route with a kick of heat from chipotle peppers.

Get our recipe for Spicy Mashed Sweet Potatoes.


Roasted Parmesan Asparagus

Asparagus with cheese and lemon and pine nuts Shutterstock

Lemon juice and a sprinkling of Parmesan take asparagus to the next level. Plus, this side dish comes together in no time, so you can turn your attention back to the turkey.

Get our recipe for Roasted Parmesan Asparagus.


Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Vegan sweet potato fries Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

You've already got mashed potatoes planned. Why not serve your sweet potatoes in a different way? These healthy sweet potato fries are spiced up with a pinch of cayenne pepper. Serve them as an appetizer to snack on or treat them like a side dish and invite them to the main table.

Get our recipe for Baked Sweet Potato Fries.


Blackening Spice

Paleo blackened tilapia with garlic lime butter Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Need to add extra flavor to some of your Thanksgiving veggies? Do just that with this easy, DIY blend that you can make in advance with spices you probably already have in your pantry. The trick is to cook over high heat until it turns into a savory crust on anything from carrots to Brussels.

Get our recipe for Blackening Spice.


Thanksgiving Dressing

An easy stuffing recipe with fresh herbs and day-old sourdough bread can be prepped in 20 minutes flat. That way, you've got plenty of time to focus on perfecting your turkey.

Get the recipe from Chelsea's Messy Apron.


Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

Dinner rolls, but make 'em pumpkin! To get this right, smother them in honey butter. You can make these delicious rolls the night before to help cut down on Thanksgiving day prep.

Get the recipe from Averie Cooks.



Pumpkin Cheesecake

Slice of healthy pumpkin cheesecake with whipped cream and strawberries Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Cheesecake lovers, rejoice! This pumpkin cheesecake is creamy and decadent, but the addition of Greek yogurt helps cut down on the sugar and fat in this dessert. It's best to make this the day before you're serving it so it has ample time to chill in the fridge.

Get our recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake.


Healthy Apple Crumble

Apple crumble Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Pumpkin and pecan are expected to show up on the Thanksgiving dessert table. But make room (and save room) for this apple dessert, too. Tart, sweet Granny Smith apples are baked with cinnamon and nutmeg and get a crumble topping. You could also make this dessert with pears and cranberries.

Get our recipe for Healthy Apple Crumble.


Apple Spice Whoopie Pies

group of apple spice whoopie pies Sallys Baking Addiction

The ingredient list for these whoopie pies is like a greatest hits list of fall's most delicious treats and spices: apple cider, applesauce, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and brown sugar. Spiced buttercream makes up the filling.

Get the recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction.


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Reeeemix! Pumpkin joins these chocolate chip cookies for a festive fall collaboration.

Get the recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction.


Thanksgiving Pie Tarts

Perhaps the hardest decision on Thanksgiving is whether you should go for pecan pie or pumpkin pie. Enjoy both, plus a few bites of sweet potato pie, thanks to these Thanksgiving pie tarts. The prep time is a little intensive, but consider dessert completely covered once you finish these festive tarts.

Get the recipe from Savory Simple.


No-Fail Pumpkin Pie

This classic pumpkin pie recipe can be prepped in 30 minutes. Plus, making your own pumpkin filling is easy-peasy.

Get the recipe from Inspired Taste.


Great Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Not only is this pumpkin pie delicious, but it's also gorgeous thanks to the sugared cranberries and baked leaf decor. Yes, you'll want to spend the extra time making your own pie crust. But, we're voting for this pie in a contest.

Get the recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction.



Turkey Gobbler Sandwich

Healthy gobbler Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

You've come to expect cranberry sauce on your leftover turkey sandwich. But how about some creamy avocado, whipped cream cheese, and crispy bacon, too? Pro tip: Make this sammy with some focaccia or ciabatta bread.

Get our recipe for Turkey Gobbler Sandwich.


Spinach and Ham Mac and Cheese

Healthy spinach ham mac and cheese Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This mac and cheese dish encourages some improvisation. While the recipe calls for ham, you could sub in your leftover turkey. Broccoli could replace the spinach. Either way, you're bulking up this classic comfort food with filling veggies and protein and turning it into a meal.

Get our recipe for Spinach and Ham Mac and Cheese.


Turkey BLT Salad

Turkey blt salad Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This salad rendition of a BLT proves that turkey leftovers have potential beyond sandwiches. The famous bacon, lettuce, and tomato trio gets an extra punch of protein with the addition of turkey and homemade croutons bring a crunch.

Get our recipe for a Turkey BLT Salad.


Turkey Reuben Sandwich

Healthy turkey reuben Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

You're on Day 2 of turkey-cranberry sandwiches. Get creative and gobble up your leftovers by subbing pastrami for turkey in this slimmed-down version of a reuben sandwich.

Get our recipe for a Turkey Reuben Sandwich.


Sunrise Sandwich with Turkey, Cheddar, and Guacamole

Healthy sunrise sandwich with turkey cheddar guacamole Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Enjoy this turkey sandwich when you wake up in the morning. Or after your post-feast nap—your choice! The recipe is especially great for those who smoked their turkey.

Get our recipe for Sunrise Sandwich with Turkey, Cheddar, and Guacamole.


Turkey Noodle Soup

You've had your share of turkey sandwiches and salads. Toss the remaining turkey in a soup. Spices like rosemary and thyme will dial back turkey day memories.

Get the recipe from Averie Cooks.

Whether you're hosting a Thanksgiving feast in your home or bringing a dish to a gathering, keep these easy and delicious recipes in mind for a stress-free holiday.

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Brittany Anas
Brittany Anas is a freelance travel and health writer. Read more
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