Are you cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the first time this year? Here is a traditional Thanksgiving menu, complete with a grocery shopping list and recipes that is easy enough for a beginner. Even the first-time Thanksgiving host will be able to turn out a dinner sure to delight everyone with memories of classic Thanksgiving dishes. This menu takes advantage of a few shortcuts, such as premade dinner rolls, and includes classic Thanksgiving recipes such as Green Bean Casserole and Candied Sweet Potatoes.
- Roast Turkey
- Giblet Gravy
- Cornbread Dressing
- Green Bean Casserole
- Mashed Potatoes
- Cranberry Sauce
- Dinner Rolls
- Pumpkin Pie
Grocery List for Thanksgiving Menu
- Turkey, approximately 14 – 20 pounds depending on how many people you are feeding
- 4 pounds of Sweet Potatoes
- 7 sticks of Butter (enough for cooking and serving with dinner)
- Brown Sugar
- Dry White Wine, 750-ml bottle
- 16-ounce package of Corn Bread Mix
- Cranberry Sauce, canned
- 2 pounds of Potatoes
- 2 Cups Chicken Stock, more if you want extra gravy
- Ground Cloves
- 15-ounce can of Pure Pumpkin
- 12-ounce can of Evaporated Milk
- Pie Shell, unbaked, 9-inch, deep dish
- Ground Ginger
Perfect Roast Turkey for Thanksgiving Dinner
For the perfect roast turkey and giblet gravy, you can’t go wrong with the queen of cooking, Martha Stewart. Her recipe for Perfect Roast Turkey is a classic and includes step-by-step photographs for the beginner.
Keep it simple and cook the cornbread dressing for Thanksgiving in a separate pan from the turkey. This easy recipe starts with a cornbread mix that you dress up. Grandma’s Cornbread Dressing is a crowd pleaser that is easily topped with giblet gravy.
Candied Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes seem to be one of those dishes that brings up the most controversy at Thanksgiving. Some like them plain, others with marshmallows, or even topped with pecans. This recipe for Old Fashioned Candied Sweet Potatoes gives you the option of doing any of these variations.
Most people prefer a plain mashed potato recipe for Thanksgiving dinner since you are topping them with gravy, but you can always make a variation if you like by adding roasted garlic, grated cheese and bacon or ranch dressing mix. A good basic mashed potato recipe is always the best place to start though.
Green Bean Casserole
It’s the Green Bean Casserole recipe you grew up with and always seems to find its way onto the holiday table. You can mix up the casserole the day before and refrigerate. Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before you are ready to bake to allow the dish to come to room temperature.
While you certainly can make your own dinner rolls, there are so many different types that are easily available at the grocery store. Choose your family’s favorite; it could be refrigerated crescent rolls, frozen Parker House rolls or fresh from the bakery rolls, to complement your Thanksgiving Dinner menu.
Pumpkin Pie is a Thanksgiving standard and is easy to mix up, especially if you use a prepared pie crust. You could also purchase a fresh pumpkin pie at your local grocery as they are abundant during the holidays, or you could also purchase a frozen variety that you bake at home.
Be sure to read through all of the recipes in advance and double check your pantry to make sure you have all of the necessary ingredients. Most of all make sure you enjoy yourself during your Thanksgiving celebration. Take some of the shortcuts mentioned above if you are preparing the entire dinner yourself and always say yes if someone offers to help by bringing a side dish or dessert. Hopefully this beginner’s guide to your Thanksgiving dinner will help make your holiday a delicious success.