We’re officially a week out from the big day — the food holiday to end all food holidays, turkey’s time to shine, the Super Bowl of side dishes — Thanksgiving.
You’re going to need to decide how to cook your turkey, which cocktails to shake up, which appetizers and side dishes to serve, which wines to pair with everything, with which desserts to end the meal and which things to prep ahead to make your life easier.
In the spirit of simplification, we’ve compiled a list of 20 of our most popular Thanksgiving recipes from all-star chefs. Many of these tried-and-true recipes have been on our website for years, becoming Thanksgiving staples in many of your homes.
Martha Stewart, queen of Thanksgiving, is kicking off the festivities with her roasted turkey in parchment, a moisture-locking technique she swears by. She usually prepares it with stuffing, but you could also pair it with Bobby Flay’s cornbread dressing and Elizabeth Heiskell’s quick turkey gravy.
Spice up your spread with Priyanka Naik’s chile-infused cranberry sauce (then use the leftovers to make Alejandra Ramos’ cranberry sauce margarita) and Jordan Andino’s habanero-studded sweet potato casserole. Speaking of casseroles, Siri Daly knows how to make a mean green bean one, and Melissa Clark turns mashed potatoes into a cheesy one. To make sure you get your greens, JJ Johnson offers up his collard green salad, while Marcus Samuelsson brings his caramelized Brussels sprouts to the table.
Of course, you’ve got to save room for dessert — even if that means taking a quick, tryptophan-induced nap between courses — because you’ll to want to sample Christina Tosi’s pumpkin pie bars (if you don’t feel like making a whole pie) or Maya-Camille Broussard’s German chocolate pecan pie (if you’re feeling up to the task).
With these chefs’ and home cooks’ recipes — many of which can be made ahead — this Thanksgiving will be the best ever.
Appetizers and drinks
Use the leftover ingredients from other dishes you’re making for Thanksgiving to make this flavorful appetizer. It’s a great make-ahead dish, as it can sit in the fridge for up to 48 hours, allowing the flavors to meld.
Tart cranberry sauce and a cinnamon sugar rim add a fall twist to the classic margarita cocktail. Note that this recipe works best with jammy or whole-berry cranberry sauces — not the jellied variety.
When entertaining, you can multiply the cocktail into a larger batch and keep it chilled in a pitcher without ice until it’s time to serve. You can also make the cinnamon sugar for the rim a few days in advance so everything is ready to go when your guests arrive.
Alejandra’s tip: When shaking this (or any!) cocktail, the trick is to shake until the cocktail shaker is fully frosted. Always use metal cocktail shakers, which are more effective than glass or plastic shakers.
Turkey and gravy
Here’s an unexpected but totally genius way to cook your turkey for Thanksgiving. Martha Stewart’s parchment bag technique yields moist meat and crisp, golden skin every time. (She uses her Classic Stuffing in this recipe.)
“If you’re like me and can’t get enough of the turkey legs at the Thanksgiving table, why not cook up some extra?” says Matt Abdoo. “This state fair-style roasted or smoked turkey leg recipe is a great option to add to your Thanksgiving feast. They are economical, cook quickly and are always juicy and delicious!”
Matt’s tips: Unwrap the turkey the night before to get the crispiest skin. Brine turkey legs for extra moisture and seasoning.
This easy gravy is great, whether or not you have pan drippings from your turkey. Even if you fried it or bought your turkey precooked, you can still have amazing gravy.
Cooking this mushroom-cornbread dressing in a cast-iron pan gives it a wonderful golden-brown crust. Plus, you can serve it right in the pan, saving you another dish to clean at the end of Thanksgiving dinner.
“While a green bean casserole is a classic Thanksgiving staple, this version gets elevated by ditching the canned soup for a homemade mushroom stock that’s full of umami flavor,” says Siri Daly. “And while there’s nothing wrong with store-bought crispy onions, you’ll never go back once you realize how easy and delicious these fried shallots are. It’s a dish that always finds its way onto our table, and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.”
Siri’s tip: Shock the beans in an ice bath to stop the cooking process and help retain their bright green color.
“This is the best spin on a classic Thanksgiving dish that I’ve ever made,” says Darnell Ferguson. “Everyone talks about it, everyone asks for it, and it combines two of my favorite Southern staples into one dish.”
Darnell’s tip: Make sauce ahead and freeze in containers. Thaw the day before cooking, then toss with noodles and bake day of.
“Thanksgiving in the Naik household looks very different from any other household — you won’t find a turkey and you likely won’t even find any meat,” says Priyanka Naik. “I am vegan and I grew up vegetarian, so my family is primarily vegetarian. We use this time to make dishes that have the essence of Thanksgiving but with a spicy Indian flavor (because who doesn’t like some spice in their life?). And that is how this cranberry sauce was born — a little sweet, a little tang from the tamarind and a little spice from dried red chiles.”
Priyanka’s tip: This sauce can be made weeks in advance and kept in the fridge until ready to use.
Will Coleman gives his mom’s cornbread recipe a smoky and spicy twist with cheddar, bacon and jalapeño. It pairs perfectly with collard greens.
Will’s tip: Make your life easier by pouring the cornbread batter into muffin tins to avoid the need for cutting. You can use different size muffin tins to create different portion sizes.
“This is one of my favorite recipes that my mom makes every year. Coming from an Italian family, pasta was always a course on the Thanksgiving menu,” says Ayesha Nurdjaja. “We usually had lasagna, but by the time we got through the pasta course, no one had any room for the turkey (my favorite part)! So my mother had to pivot, and she came up with this recipe. It has the same crispy edges that are the best part of the lasagna, but is lighter, which leaves room for us to enjoy the bird.”
Ayesha’s tip: The secret ingredient in this recipe is store-bought onion soup mix, which adds major flavor.
“(On a) gray chilly day, I am imagining a creamy mushroom filling made of many mushrooms (as advertised), baked between two pieces of flaky, perfectly salty, almost-too-buttery pie crust,” Alison Roman says about her hearty side dish that doubles as a vegetarian main. “I am thinking of how creamy the filling is, how rich and meaty it tastes without any meat at all and how despite my obsession with chicken potpie, this mushroom potpie is admittedly better.”
Alison’s tip: Baking the pie crust enough underneath is important to avoid a soggy bottom — this is where a glass pie plate comes in handy.
While Thanksgiving is an admittedly carb and protein-rich meal, most people would agree that the menu isn’t truly complete for this holiday without something green included. This recipe is a new take on an old holiday favorite: Brussels sprouts. This isn’t your grandma’s recipe, we promise. This side dish tastes great warm but can also sit at room temperature, so it won’t take up precious space in your oven in the lead up to your meal!
Marcus’ tip: Make sure the Brussels sprouts are spread out in one layer, cut-side down and not too crowded on the baking tray so they evenly caramelize, not steam.
This is Jordan Andino’s take on his dad’s signature stuffing recipe he’s been devouring for 25+ years. It’s sweet (thanks to the sweet potatoes), spicy (thanks to the habaneros) and savory (thanks to the pork). The best part about it is that you can make it days in advance, freeze it and it reheats perfectly. You can also use the leftovers the next day for a great breakfast hash.
Jordan’s tip: Generously coat your casserole dish with melted to butter to avoid sticking and add flavor.
Traditionally, collards are braised and simmered, but in this case, the greens are served raw, making it a light, bright addition to an otherwise rich and heavy meal. Simply balance the natural bitterness of collard greens with a bright, sweet and spicy dressing for a delicious change.
JJ’s tips: Remove the stems from the collards and slice the greens very thinly. Rinse the rise to avoid a starchy salad.
These rich and cheesy potatoes have plenty of flavor from herbs and the browned onions, and can be easily made ahead of time.
Melissa’s tip: Make the mashed potatoes up to three days in advance and add the crumb topping right before baking.
“When fall strikes, I long for cozy, gooey treats, but I am not always down to make a full pie,” says Christina Tosi. “These little squares deliver big on dessert magic.”
The crust doubles as a crumb topping, so the whole thing comes together in no time. By turning your pie into bars, everybody gets a small portion, leaving room for more dessert.
Making the dough for this all butter pie is easy as, well, pie! It only requires six ingredients and comes together in just a few quick minutes. By adding just one additional ingredient (the heavy cream) to a traditional apple pie filling, this dessert becomes a glorious, gooey caramel apple pie.
Gesine’s tips: Instead of a labor-intensive top crust, use a seasonal shaped cookie cutter to cut out fun shapes for a decorative top.
The use of this yeasty, salty condiment in a brownie is surprising, but it brings a complex depth of flavor to this classic sweet treat. The soy sauce amplifies the chocolaty flavors, bringing a rich caramel glow. The taste very much resembles salted caramel. This brownie is gluten-free, by way of nutty almond meal and a gluten-free soy sauce.
Hetty’s tips: Make it the day before. It actually tastes better the next day — it becomes firmer and the flavors develop further. You could even make in advance and freeze it. Use a double boiler to gently melt the butter and chocolate.
A popular dessert at Thanksgiving, this pie is an interpretation of a beloved classic, rich in chocolate filling with nutty undertones from the pecans and sweetened coconut flakes. In other words, it’s an absolute dream.
Maya-Camille’s tip: Slowly and continuously pour the batter so the pecans are evenly distributed in the pie crust.