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Easy Thanksgiving Ham Dinner Menu: Best Recipes for Glazed Ham, Potato Casserole, and Cranberry Salad

Published by Odis Denten

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Although most people serve turkey for Thanksgiving, a succulent ham is a refreshing departure from this age-old tradition; and the perfect side dishes to accentuate the unique flavor of pork is a creamy whipped-potato casserole and tangy jellied cranberry salad.

Recipe for Thanksgiving Orange-Glazed Spiral Ham

Out of all the ham recipes, many cooks agree that this is number one.


  • 1 fully cooked spiral-cut ham (approximately 8 pounds)
  • 1 cup dark-brown sugar (tightly packed)
  • 1/4 cup orange juice (light can be used instead of regular)
  • 1 cup orange marmalade (12-ounce jar)
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • Orange slices for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place the ham cut-side down on a rack in a large roasting pan.
  3. Add 2 cups of water to the pan.
  4. Cover ham with aluminum foil and heat for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes or until thoroughly (internal temperature should be 140 degrees).
  5. Combine brown sugar, orange juice, marmalade, and mustard.
  6. Once ham is thoroughly heated, brush it with 3/4 cup of the glaze, and heat another 30 minutes or until nicely colored.
  7. Remove ham from oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes.
  8. Slice by cutting around the center bone, freeing as many slices as desired; then cut along seams of the ham to remove slices from the bone).
  9. Serve slices with remaining glaze on the side and garnished with orange slices.

Recipe for Thanksgiving Whipped-Potato Casserole


  • 5 pounds potatoes (peeled and quartered)
  • 1/2 cup (or 1 stick) softened unsalted butter or margarine
  • 1 and 1/4 cups half-and-half (low-fat if desired)
  • 1 tub whipped cream cheese with chives (8 ounces) or 1 tub plain whipped cream cheese with 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • Fresh chives for garnish if desired


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cover potatoes with water in a large pot, bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer until fork-tender (Lightly salt while cooking if desired).
  3. Coat a 13x9x2-inch pan with nonstick spray.
  4. Put potatoes in large bowl and mash, using hand-held mixer.
  5. Add butter, half-and-half, cream cheese, garlic salt, and nutmeg.
  6. Beat on medium speed until potatoes are smooth.
  7. Spoon potatoes into prepared baking pan.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes (uncovered).
  9. Sprinkle sliced almonds over casserole.
  10. Bake an additional 15 minutes or until almonds and top of casserole are lightly browned.
  11. Remove from oven and allow casserole to cool for 15 minutes.
  12. Garnish with chives and serve.

Recipe for Thanksgiving Jellied Cranberry Salad


  • 1 pound fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 and 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 box (3-ounce size) cherry or strawberry gelatin
  • 1 head leafy lettuce
  • 1 cup walnuts or almonds, whichever is preferred
  • 1 small tub sour cream
  • Sliced fresh oranges or orange peel for garnish


  1. Thoroughly rinse cranberries and drain.
  2. Combine berries, orange juice, and sugar in a saucepan.
  3. Bring to a boil then continue boiling for 10 minutes or until berries are tender.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Add dry gelatin to mixture and stir until dissolved.
  6. Pour into a 4-cup mold and refrigerate until firm.
  7. Arrange lettuce leaves on individual salad plates.
  8. Remove jellied cranberry from mold (invert onto a plate), slice, and place desired number of slices on bed of lettuce.
  9. Sprinkle with nuts.
  10. Top with desired amount of sour cream.
  11. Garnish with fresh orange slices or orange peel.

Granted, a golden-brown turkey can be quite tasty; however, pork—the other white meat—is a delicious alternative for cooks who want to try something different for Thanksgiving, especially when the ham is served with the perfect complimentary side dishes.

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