You can sense it already. Someone is screaming at the TV as if the football players can hear them. The turkey is in the oven and you are dying to check it, but opening that door might cause it to dry out and your in-laws will be furious if it’s not perfect. Kids are outside playing in wet mud that they are definitely going to track over the floors. One of your cousins brought their new puppy, and no, he is not house trained. Plus, you accidentally slept in and missed the Macy’s Day Parade and you were really looking forward to seeing Snoopy and the Pillsbury Doughboy. 

Hosting or cooking for Thanksgiving is a task for true family and friends gathering champions. There’s a big responsibility and the weight on your shoulders (and that of a 30 lb turkey) is a heavy one. Don’t let this holiday be a hectic one, we’ve got some recipes that will warm your guests hearts and fill their stomachs!

The good, the bad and the breads:

PHOTO/SOURCE: All Recipies

Classic Dinner Rolls – All Recipes: These rolls are soft, fluffy, buttery and oh so simple to bake from scratch. Make ’em and bake ’em ahead of time, they store in the fridge up to a week. Go for the finishing touch and brush warm butter right before you serve to win over any dinner crowd.


Focaccia Bread – bon appétit : If you are wanting to look and feel fancy, without the additional effort, this is the best bread for you. Focaccia is one of the easiest breads to bake. Its ability to act as the perfect vehicle to dip into spreads, eat on the side or just rip and devour makes it a crowd pleaser. Your guests will be delighted.

PHOTO/SOURCE: Taste of Home

Pumpkin Shaped Rolls – Taste of Home: Regular rolls just won’t cut it? Make them as aesthetically pleasing as possible with these pumpkin dinner rolls. These rolls mix pumpkin flavor with savory notes of oregano and cheddar, creating the perfect pre-dinner bite or meal accompaniment.

Show stopping sides:

PHOTO/SOURCE: Southern Living

Old-School Green Bean Casserole – Southern Living: These beans are reminiscent of childhood for some of us. That crispy fried onion topping almost makes you forget you are eating vegetables. This recipe by Southern Living can be partially made up to three days in advance. Click the photo for the recipe.

PHOTO/SOURCE: The Chunky Chef

Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese – The Chunky Chef: Everyone loves macaroni and cheese. From grumpy grandparents to picky kids, the pasta and cheese combination can never go wrong. This recipe is brought to you by The Chunky Chef who promises it’s the perfect side or stand alone dinner.


Ombré Gratin – New York Times Cooking: With colors like the autumn leaves, this is potatoes in their prettiest form. This side is vegetarian, colorful and crispy. Red potatoes and sweet potatoes join forces in this side dish that can’t help but draw attention.

The Bird of Honor:

Ina Garten’s Perfect Roast Turkey – Food Network: This turkey is easy, straight to the point for those looking to keep it on the simple side. The recipe only calls for ten ingredients and a bit of patience for the two and half hour cooking time.

PHOTO/SOURCE: bon appétit

Spatchcock Turkey With Anise and Orange – bon appétit : Try turkey in a different way! By spatchcocking or butterflying the bird, you create more surface area for flavors and browning. It will keep the juiciness you want, but also add a crisp layer of skin for texture.

PHOTO/SOURCE: Budget Bytes

Vegetarian Stuffing – Budget Bytes: What is a turkey without the stuffing? This vegetarian recipe is the perfect compliment to the main course and it can easily be made vegan. The key to the best stuffing? Stale bread.

Always Room For Dessert:

PHOTO/SOURCE: Sally’s Baking Addiction

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake – Sally’s Baking Addiction: If you can’t decide between the classics, mixing them together is a good way to go. The warm and nutty flavors of pumpkin are the best friend to cheesecake’s tart and tangy flavors. Add the gingersnap cookie base and boom! dessert dreams comes true.

PHOTO/SOURCE: Once Upon a Chef

Brown Butter and Bourbon Pecan Pie – Once Upon A Chef: Pecan Pie as an American classic, gracing tables every holiday season. This recipe adds a bit of a bang with a richer flavor coming from the brown butter and bourbon. It calls for 1/2 cup of “golden syrup”, but if you can’t find it then substitute with 1/4 cup light corn syrup and 1/4 cup brown sugar.


Pumpkin-Butterscotch Custard, Red Wine-Pear Cardamom Cake and more – NYT cooking: Move over pie! These recipes from Melissa Clark with NYT Cooking showcase more than just crusts and lattice work, instead opt for a custard or cake to break out of the mold.