20 Recipes Perfect for Thanksgiving

Haven’t finalized your Thanksgiving menu yet? Need to add another side dish? I’m sharing a roundup of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes to help you get your menu set!

20 RecipesPerfect ForThanksgiving

Appetizers

Appetizers set the vibe of your meal – and keep your hungry guests out of the kitchen while you finish prepping the main meal! I always like to have a mix of old favorites and new-to-me plates!

CranberrySalsa

Cranberry Salsa

CranberryPumpkinSpread

Cranberry Pumpkin Walnut Spread

Baked Spinach Dip

Baked Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Spicy Pretzels

Spicy Pretzels

Sides

While the turkey is the center of the meal, we all know the main stars are the side dishes! Great versions of the classics are my favorite.

Brown Sugar Butternut Squash 1

Brown Sugar Butternut Squash

GreenBeanswithBacon

Green Beans with Bacon and Brown Sugar

IPMashedPotatoes

Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

PomegranateAvocadoSalad

Pomegranate and Avocado Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette 

Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole

Autumn Salad

Autumn Salad with Homemade Dressing

Roasted Garlic Macaroni and Cheese

Roasted Garlic Macaroni and Cheese

Bacon Parmesan Green Beans

Bacon Parmesan Green Beans

CranberrySauce

Cranberry Sauce

Desserts

Dessert is undeniably my favorite part of the meal. I’m not a pumpkin fan, so apples and cranberries are my go-tos for Thanksgiving!

Cranberry Ice Cream 4

Cranberry Ice Cream

AppleRoses

Baked Apple Roses

CaramelAppleCheesecakePie

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Pie

ButtermilkCustardApplePie

Buttermilk Custard Apple Pie

Apple Hazelnut Chocolate Cake

Apple Hazelnut Chocolate Cake

CranberryAppleCrisp

Cranberry Apple Crisp

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Cranberry Pear Mocktail Mules

I received complimentary products in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.

You know what I realized this week? For the last five Thanksgivings, I’ve been nursing or pregnant (or both). Five. In a row.

Cranberry Pear Mock Mules

Suffice it to say things have swung in the opposite direction this year and it’s making me obsess over the perfect Thanksgiving cocktail. But, as a woman who has (very recently) been there, I know I want to have a mocktail on the menu too – not only for pregnant and/or nursing crowd but also for the designated drivers, kids, and people who would just rather not have the alcohol.

This Cranberry Pear Mocktail Mule is a non-alcoholic take on a Moscow Mule with a seasonal twist. I love the way the sweetness of the pear nectar plays off the tartness of the cranberries – and then you get the bite from the ginger beer at the end! Despite being a non-alcoholic, this drink feels celebratory!

Cranberry Pear Mock Mules 3

These gorgeous copper mugs are from Moscow Muled. All of their mugs are handmade (hand hammered!) and lined with high-grade nickle to prevent the copper from reacting with your drink. They’re truly works of art and perfect for your holiday drinks!

Cranberry Pear Mock Mule 4

Cranberry Pear Mocktail Mules
(a Kate’s Recipe Box original)
Serves 2

2/3 cup pear nectar
2/3 cup sparkling cranberry-apple juice
1 bottle ginger beer
Ice
Pear slices
Fresh cranberries

Fill the mugs halfway with ice. Stir together pear nectar and cranberry-apple juice. Divide between two mugs. Top off each with ginger beer. Garnish with pear slices and cranberries.

Fresh Corn Salsa (12)

Cranberry Pecan Doughnuts #CranberryWeek

Looking for the perfect treat for breakfast on Thanksgiving or Christmas? Look no further than these Cranberry Pecan Doughnuts!

Cranberry Pecan Doughnuts 1

You know what I love more than holiday dinners? Holiday breakfasts. Dinners always seem to demand a certain amount of structure and tradition – but anything goes for breakfast.

These Cranberry Pecan Doughnuts are on point with the seasonal flavors, but they’re not fussy and can be made the day before, so they’re perfect for a holiday.

Cranberry Pecan Doughnuts 3

The pecans and cranberries are chopped pretty small using the food processor, which makes an even flavor and texture throughout the doughnuts. There’s also orange juice and zest in these. The orange flavor doesn’t come through strong, but it does add a nice balance!

Cranberry Pecan Doughnuts 2

I’m excited to be sharing this recipe as part of Cranberry Week – now in it’s third year! See all the tasty cranberry recipes being shared today below and follow #cranberryweek on social media for more ideas all week long.

Cranberry Pecan Doughnuts 4

Cranberry Pecan Doughnuts
(from Inspiring Pretty)
Makes 1 dozen

For the doughnuts:

3/4 cup cranberries
1/2 cup pecans
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 Tbsp. orange zest
2 1/4  cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cups milk

For the glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. orange zest
3 Tbsp. heavy cream

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and spray your doughnut pans with non-stick spray.

Add the cranberries, pecans, and brown sugar to a food processor. Process until chopped into small, even pieces.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a larger bowl, whisk together the coconut oil and sugar until creamed. Stir in the vanilla, eggs, and orange zest.  Stir in some of the flour mixture, then some of the milk – alternating until all combined, ending with milk. Stir in the cranberry mixture.

Spoon the batter evenly into the doughnut pans, filling halfway. Bake for 10-14 minutes, until lightly golden. Cool completely.

When the doughnuts are cool, add all of the glaze ingredients to a small bowl and stir until well combined. Drizzle or pipe over the doughnuts.

Fresh Corn Salsa (9)

Cranberry Orange Muffins #CranberryWeek

Cranberry Orange muffins are my favorite. I love cranberry and orange together, and this time of year always feels like muffin weather. Curl up with one of these and a hot beverage and you’ve got the perfect fall treat.

Cranberry Orange Muffins 1

These are an easy one to mix up and I love that it makes a relatively small batch – great for a small family brunch.

The flavors are bright. Orange juice and orange zest make the batter a sunny color, and the fresh cranberries add a great tart bite to these. I love these fresh out of the oven, but you can also pop them in the oven or toaster to warm up the next day and they’re also fabulous.

Cranberry Orange Muffins 2

I’m excited to be sharing this recipe as part of Cranberry Week – now in it’s third year! See all the tasty cranberry recipes being shared today below and follow #cranberryweek on social media for more ideas all week long.

Cranberry Orange Muffins 3

Cranberry Orange Muffins
(from Joyful Healthy Eats)
Makes 12 Muffins

2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup cranberries
1 egg
3/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 tsp. grated orange zest

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake papers.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in cranberries.

In another bowl, whisk together the egg, orange juice, orange zest, and coconut oil. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined.

Fill muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned.

Fresh Corn Salsa (8)

Cranberry Ice Cream #CranberryWeek

What is the typical Thanksgiving weather where you are?

Cranberry Ice Cream 3

I was recently chatting about Thanksgiving plans with a far-flung friend and she mentioned wearing shorts on Thanksgiving. It struck me as funny, because it is so not what I think of as Thanksgiving weather. We’re lucky if it’s warm enough to go for a walk after dinner without getting totally bundled up!

It also got me thinking about how much different my Thanksgiving dinner would be if it was warm outside. Is it weird to have cranberry apple crisp when it’s 90 degrees out?

Cranberry Ice Cream 2

Ice cream seems way more appealing – and this would be perfect on a Thanksgiving table. It’s a perfect balance of sweet and tart and I just love the color. It’s also a great option for Thanksgiving because you make it ahead – giving you more free time to focus on the rest of the meal!

I’m excited to be sharing this recipe as part of Cranberry Week – now in it’s third year! See all the tasty cranberry recipes being shared today below and follow #cranberryweek on social media for more ideas all week long.

Cranberry Ice Cream 4

Cranberry Ice Cream
(from Wonky Wonderful)
Makes 1/2 gallon

Cranberry Puree:
1/4
 cup water
1/4 tsp. salt
12 oz. fresh cranberries cleaned & sorted
2 Tbsp. orange juice

Ice Cream:
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups cranberry puree

Combine the water, salt, and cranberries in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 6-7 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 10 minutes.

Transfer the cranberry mixture to a blender or food processor and add orange juice. Puree.

Refrigerate for several hours.

To make the ice cream, mix together the cream, milk, sugar and cranberry puree. Churn in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Transfer the ice cream to a chilled container and freeze for at least 4-6 hours. Thaw for 5 minutes before serving.

Fresh Corn Salsa (7)

(Leftover) Turkey and Cranberry BBQ Sauce Pizza #ThanksgivingLeftovers

Leftover turkey + leftover cranberry sauce = pizza night, of course.

I’ve always preferred to reimagine my turkey leftovers into non-Thanksgiving fare – like Turkey Cranchiladas or Turkey and Chorizo Hash – and this pizza fits right in. The cranberry sauce gives you a slightly sweet, slightly tart edge to your barbecue sauce – and it pairs awesome with the turkey and cheese.

This is a great dish to make at the end of the weekend when your turkey and stuffing sandwiches are getting tired!

CranberryBBQPizza

(Leftover) Turkey and Cranberry BBQ Sauce Pizza
(slightly adapted from Recipe Runner)
Makes 1 12″ Pizza

1/2 lb. pizza dough
1/2 cup cranberry sauce
3 Tbsp. barbecue sauce
1 cup turkey, shredded
1 1/2 cups mozzarella
2 Tbsp. red onion, thinly sliced
Chopped cilantro, to taste

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment.

Roll out the pizza dough and place on the prepared baking sheet.

In a small bowl, stir together the cranberry sauce and barbecue sauce and spread over the crust. Top with turkey, cheese, and red onion.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the crust is golden.

Top with cilantro and serve.

Looking for more leftover ideas? I’ve teamed up with a bunch of great bloggers today to share lots of great ways to use up your leftovers:

Cranberry-Orange Brie Bites by Books n’ Cooks

Cranberry-Topped Baked Brie by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

(Leftover) Turkey and Cranberry BBQ Sauce Pizza by Kate’s Recipe Box

Prosciutto & Asiago Stuffed Mushrooms by Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice

Spicy Turkey Quesadillas by Jolene’s Recipe Journal

Thanksgiving Leftover Empanadas by The Redhead Baker

Turkey Croquettes by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings

Turkey Gumbo by Palatable Pastime

Turkey Pot Pie by Making Miracles

Cranberry Sauce

I hosted Thanksgiving for years before I tried making my own cranberry sauce. I always assumed it would be difficult and not worth it.  It’s not – and it is.

This only takes about fifteen minutes to make and tastes so, so much better than the canned version. It’s also make-ahead friendly and is the perfect dish to bring with you if you’re travelling because it can be served warm, cold, or at room temp.

CranberrySauce

Cranberry Sauce
(from Savory Sweet Life)
Makes about 2 cups

1 12 oz. bag fresh cranberries
3/4 cup orange juice
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is mostly evaporated.

You’ll hear the cranberries popping as this cooks – that’s okay! You want them to open up!

This can be served warm, chilled, or at room temperature.

Cranberry Apple Crisp

Yes, January is almost over. And yes, I’m just now sorting through my Christmas pictures. Apparently this is life with two kids.

To be fair, all of the good family pictures and such were on my phone. I really need to get better at my camera!

I did find this, though. A quick shot of a delicious dessert – so I just had to share. If you’re someone who doesn’t like overly sweet desserts, this is for you. The tart cranberries and apples offset the sugar in this nicely.

I recommend serving it warm with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. Heavenly!

CranberryAppleCrisp

Cranberry Apple Crisp
(from The Blonde Cook)
Serves 6-8

For the filling:
3 cups cored, chopped and peeled granny smith apples
2 1/2 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. flour

For the crisp:
1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 and spray a 11×7 baking dish with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and flour for the filling. Stir in the cranberries and apples and mix, gently, until evenly combined. Pour into prepared baking dish.

In another bowl, stir together all topping ingredients until well combined. Sprinkle evenly over fruit mixture.

Bake for 50 minutes, until edges are bubbly and fruit is tender.

Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon Honey Butter

I love sweet potatoes. And I love that making them in the IP is so damn quick.

This is a great, basic method for cooking them. I served them mashed with cinnamon honey butter (yum!) but if you were baking them to top with pulled pork or cooking them to use for another recipe, this is the way to go!

IPSweetPotatoes

Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes with Cinnamon Honey Butter
(method from Add a Pinch)
Serves 4

4 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean
1 cup water
4 Tbsp. butter, softened
2 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. cinnamon

Place a steamer basket in the Instant Pot and add sweet potatoes. Pour 1 cup of water over. Cook on manual for 10 minutes, then let the pressure naturally release for 25 minutes.

While the potatoes cook, mix together the butter, honey and cinnamon.

Serve the potatoes topped with cinnamon honey butter.

Cranberry Salsa

I was so excited when I found this recipe. First, it was another no-cooking-involved appetizer that was still fun and festive. Second, I knew any leftovers would be awesome alongside my favorite use of leftover turkey – Turkey Cranchiladas. Seriously, though – can you think of a better day-after-Thanksgiving meal?

If you’ve already have your Thanksgiving menu set, keep this in mind for Christmas. The color is such a beautiful, rich red that would be super festive on a holiday table!

CranberrySalsa

Cranberry Salsa
(from Bake-aholic)
Makes about 2 cups

1 (12 oz.) package of fresh cranberries
3/4 cup sugar
1 medium jalapeno, seeded and roughly chopped
1 green onion, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1/4 tsp. cumin

Combine everything in a food processor and pulse until you reach the desired consistency. Serve with tortilla chips.