Photo: Chris Court

From perfect turkeys to decadent desserts, everything you need for the big day is here. Our tasty and healthy menus are fit for any occasion. Pile your plate high with our delicious recipes, guaranteed to keep everyone coming back for second servings. 

Cooking Light
August 15, 2008

If we were to vote, Thanksgiving would be neck-and-neck with Christmas as our all-time favorite holiday. Think about it: Practically everyone celebrates it, and the stars are family and food. Despite the fact that people from all different backgrounds and circumstances seem to unite around this holiday, that doesn't mean we all celebrate the same. Sure, there are some common themes, particularly on the dinner table: turkey, dressing, pumpkin pie ―and an abundance of everything. But there are probably as many variations on the Thanksgiving theme as there are folks who start their holiday shopping the day after (and if you've ever been to the mall post-Thanksgiving, you know that's a lot).

Not sure where to start when preparing your Thanksgiving dinner? We've rounded up some of our best techniques, with handy step-by-step visuals, to make the big day a breeze:

To accommodate our individual tastes, but with the Thanksgiving theme in mind, we've put together 13 menus―a mix of the traditional and the modern. Many of the recipes are based on holiday classics, with small twists to upgrade the food you know and love.

We've also got something for non-turkey-eaters out there: a pork roast menu, yummy vegetarian meal, and diverse vegan dinner. Each retains the holiday flavors and feel despite the absence of the bird. And all 13 demonstrate that the year's biggest (in popularity and in size) meal can be healthful and delicious. We give thanks for that.

Photo: Jennifer Causey


Epic Thanksgiving Menu:

Photo: Chris Court


Modern Twist on Thanksgiving Menu:

Photo: Jennifer Causey


The Thanksgiving Menu for Procrastinators:

Photo: Chris Court


Adventurous Thanksgiving Menu:

Photo: Chris Court


Quick and Easy Thanksgiving Menu:

Photo: Jennifer Causey


Vegetarian Thanksgiving Menu:

Photo: Brian Woodcock


Vegan Thanksgiving Menu:

Photo: Jennifer Causey


Clean Eating Thanksgiving Menu:

Photo: Alison Miksch; Styling: Lindsey Lower


Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Menu:

Photo: Jennifer Causey


Fall Harvest Menu:

Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez


Thanksgiving Spice Menu:

Photo Courtesy of Oxmoor House


Big Flavors Menu:

Photo: Brian Woodcock


Southern Classics Menu:

Brown Sugar-Cured Turkey with Apple-Bourbon Gravy

  • Mom's Smashed Mashed Potatoes
  • Southern Cornbread Dressing Squares
  • Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Garlic, and Shallots
  • Buttermilk Biscuits
  • Chessame Pie