Mouthwatering Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas

thanksgiving recipe ideas

Before stimulating your salivary glands with cooking directions for some luscious food and cherished Thanksgiving recipe ideas from the KnownHost family, we’d like to point out the obvious.

Thanksgiving is a special time of year, wherever you are.  Regardless of what trials and tribulations in life you encounter throughout the year, this is a great time to reflect on those things you feel worthy of giving thanks.  It’s also a great time for fabulous foods that you might not get any other time of year 🙂


In celebrating those thoughts of thanks, we’d like to say, “THANK YOU” to all our customers, website visitors, family, friends and neighbors.  You are truly what inspires us – THANK YOU!   


Special thanks go out to Anna S., and family, without whom this post wouldn’t have been possibleTHANKS ANNA!


gratitude changes everything


In a Hurry?

If you’d like to save these Thanksgiving recipe ideas offline, print or share with friends, we’ve compiled all the information into this handy Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas PDF file.

Should you decide to share with others, it would be nice to mention that these came from our very own Anna S. (and family).


Top Tips

Ease of Use

It’s helpful to keep this on a clipboard for easy paper shuffling or if someone is working on a recipe and needs to have it loose for a minute.  Note that all temps are Fahrenheit.

Verify Your Inventory

Make sure you have on hand those non-food items that are a must:

•   Aluminum Foil
•   Dishwashing Detergent
•   Paper Towels
•   Trash Bags

Double Check

Make sure your Crisco isn’t rancid and your flour doesn’t have bugs. Check the date on your baking powder. If you can’t remember when you got it last, pick up a fresh can. If your sugar is hard as a rock, just get new sugar instead of fooling with it.

Stocking Up

A month to two weeks before:  Pick up dry and canned goods and stuff that isn’t going to go bad.
One week before:  Buy turkey and rest of ingredients. Put turkey in the fridge to thaw.
Enough butter?  Get another pound just to be certain.

Food / Cooking Tips

Turkey:  If the Thanksgiving turkey is whole, bake 2/3 of the time breast down, then flip over. Take out when thermometer reads 160. Final temp should be 170.  165 is the minimum safe temperature it must reach before considering it fully cooked.
How Long to Cook:  Roast at 325 for about: 10-18 lbs 3 1/2 to 4 hours 19-24 lbs 4 to 5 hours.
Butter:  If you’re in doubt if you’ll have enough butter, get another pound.
Gravy:  Will always take about twice as long as you think it will to cook.  Serve using a creamer – it works well.
Mashed Potatoes:  Keep them warm in a crockpot until time to eat.
Cranberry Sauce:  Serve in a sugar bowl – it’s just the right proportions.
Dark Chicken Broth:   Make it from roasted chicken wings, it’s far superior to canned broth, if you have the time.
Large Toaster Oven:  It’s helpful to bake pies, the rolls, and the smaller casserole dishes. Out of counter space? Plug it in elsewhere as long as you won’t pop a breaker and it’s not a fire hazard.
Deviled Eggs:  Make a nice snack while waiting for dinner.



Get Organized

Equipment List (in addition to the usual pots and pans)

•   Turkey Roasting Pan•   2 Cast Iron Skillets
•   Dressing Pan•   Immersion Blender
•   Food Processor•   Half-gallon Sized Pitcher
•   Pie Plates•   Casserole Dishes
•   Pepper Grinder•   Large stockpot big enough to hold the turkey
•   Hand Mixer•   Potato Ricer
•   Colander•   Pecan Cracking Equipment
•   Rolling Pin•   Crockpot
•   Pastry Brush•   Meat Thermometer
•   Kitchen Timer


Grocery List (# in parens refers to the recipe that uses that ingredient)

Canned GoodsDry Goods
(3b) 29 oz can Bruce’s YamsAll purpose flour
(4) 1 can cream of mushroom soupSelf Rising White Lily Cornmeal
(4) French’s French Fried OnionsBaking Powder
(7) MayonnaiseSalt
(7) MustardSugar
2-3 cans chicken broth* Get 2 more cans if not making brothSmall tub or sticks of Crisco
3 cans cream of chicken soupLight brown sugar
(8b) Karo light corn syrup(6) Yeast (verify exp. date)
(8c) 16 oz can pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)(9) Semisweet chocolate chips
(8c) Pet Milk(9) Graham cracker
(3b) Package of regular sized Marshmallows


More Grocery List (# in parens refers to the recipe that uses that ingredient)

Dairy / MeatProduce
2 dozen eggs3-4 yellow onions (or a bag of them)
1 gallon milkCarrots – bag
1 quart buttermilkCelery
2-3 pounds butter(3a) 6 Sweet Potatoes
(3b + 9) 1 pint heavy whipping cream2 bags cranberries
Turkey (Publix has nice ones)5-10 lbs white potatoes
Bacon(4) Large (14-18 oz) bag frozen green beans
Cheap chicken parts, like wings, for broth(8a) 3-4 apples
(8a) 2-3 firm pears


Misc Grocery List (# in parens refers to the recipe that uses that ingredient)

Dinner rolls (if you’re not making your own)Italian loaf bread
PecansSalt Grinder
Pumpkin Pie Spice OR cinnamon + ginger + nutmeg + cloves(7) Curry powder
(7) PaprikaVanilla

Want to Save This for Later?

If you’d like to save these recipe ideas offline, print or share with friends, we’ve compiled all the information into this handy Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas PDF file.

Should you decide to share with others, it would be nice to mention that these came from our very own Anna S. (and family).


sliced loaf of cornbread


Thanksgiving Recipe #1 – Country Cornbread


See what ingredients are required, and how to make this scrumptious cornbread.  Hint: There’s a couple of “country” ingredients Martha Stewart doesn’t use – so read on!


* Remember, 1 cup self-rising flour is really just 1 cup all purpose flour + 1.5 teaspoons of baking powder + a pinch of salt.

•   3 cups self rising White Lily cornmeal
•   1 1/2 cups self rising flour *
•   1 onion, finely chopped
•   4 eggs
•   3 cups buttermilk
•   6 Tablespoons Bacon Grease

Step by Step

Heat the oven to 400.

Chop the onion. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix with a fork. Throw in the onion and stir around some more.

In a pitcher, beat the eggs. Add the buttermilk and beat some more.

By now, the oven should be hot, so put a glob of bacon grease in each cast iron skillet and put in the oven.  If you don’t have cast iron skillets, you CAN bake in a traditional pan, and will end up with a square or rectangular loaf (pictured above).

Pour the contents of the pitcher into the dry ingredients and mix until it’s not too lumpy. But don’t mix too much or the cornbread will turn out tough.

By now the bacon grease should be hot. If it’s smoking, pour it out and start over. Take the skillets out of the oven. Very carefully pour most of the bacon grease into the mixture and mix it a bit. Leave about a tablespoon in each pan.

Pour the cornbread mixture into the pans and put back in the oven. After about 12-15 minutes, swap them in the oven. When the cornbread is browned and cracked on top, after about 30-40 minutes total, it should be done. Listen for it “singing.”


aunt bessies cornbread dressing


Thanksgiving Recipe #2 – Aunt Bessie’s Dressing


Remember that cornbread you just made?  You’re going to need it for the dressing!


* You have to start the night before on this one – so heads-up.

•   2 pans Country Cornbread
•   6 slices day old loaf bread Italian loaf bread works well for this
•   3 stalks celery and an onion
•   2-3 cans cream of chicken soup
•   4 eggs
•   2-3 cups dark chicken broth

Step by Step

The night before, slice the bread and leave it on top of the fridge to dry out.

Crumble the cornbread and bread in a VERY LARGE bowl. This takes forever, so sit down at a table and get out of the kitchen.

Finely chop the celery and onion and saute in bacon grease.

In a pitcher, beat the eggs, 2 cans of the cream of chicken soup, and 2 cups of the chicken broth.

Pour the pitcher into the crumbs and mix. If it looks like it needs more liquid, which it likely will, add some more chicken broth and possibly some cream of chicken soup.

Pour into a big lasagna pan. At this point, if it’s only going to be a few hours, cover with a clean dishtowel and put in a chilly place where the dogs can’t get to it. Otherwise find a spot in the fridge.

Bake at 350 for 50 minutes to an hour or so. It’s done when you can stick a butter knife in it and it’s clean (but kinda greasy).

WARNING: If you are not involved in the making of the cornbread or the dressing, do not antagonize the people who are by repeatedly asking when it’s going to be ready. Otherwise they may smack you in the head with a cast iron skillet.


sweet potato souffle


Thanksgiving Recipe #3a – Sweet Potato Souffle


It may sound posh, but this one is definitely great old-fashioned, down home cooking!


* Getting the strings out is a critical step, so don’t skip over it.

•   3 cups sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed
•   3/4 cup sugar
•   2 eggs, beaten
•   1 teaspoon vanilla
•   1/4 cup butter, melted
•   1/3 cup milk

•   Crumble all this up with your clean fingers
•   1 cup brown sugar, packed
•   1 cup pecans, chopped
•   1/3 cup flour
•   1/3 cup butter, softened

Cook sweet potatoes:
•   Wash and dry about 5-6 sweet potatoes
•   Poke with a fork
•   Rub with Crisco
•   Bake on a cookie sheet at 375 for about an hour or until tender

Step by Step

Peel sweet potatoes and throw the ends away.

Use a mixer to get the strings out (they’ll wind around the beaters) or push through a sieve (a potato ricer works well). This is extremely messy and time consuming, so try to do it the night before.

Once you’re satisfied the potatoes are relatively string and lump free, add the sugar, eggs, vanilla, butter, and milk. Beat until fluffy and creamy looking.

Pour the sweet potato mixture into a greased casserole. Scatter the topping on top, but not until right before it’s going in the oven.

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes until bubbly.


yams with mini marshmallows baked on top


Thanksgiving Recipe #3b – Lazy Ass Yams

Too Easy

If the sweet potato souffle is too much trouble, or if there’s been some sort of sweet potato blight, this is a far quicker and easier alternative. You can always put pecans on top instead of doing marshmallows. Or hell, have both.


Yes, you can substitute mini marshmallows if you can’t find the full sized variety (probably because someone already bought them all).

•   29 oz can Bruce’s Yams, drained and mashed
•   1/4 cup brown sugar
•   1/2 tsp salt
•   1 tsp cinnamon + 1/2 tsp nutmeg OR pumpkin pie spice
•   1 tablespoon melted butter
•   1/4 cup cream (milk would probably do)
•   16 regular sized marshmallows

Step by Step

Blend together everything but the marshmallows. Cut 6 marshmallows in half and stir in. Pour into a greased casserole.

Cut remaining marshmallows in half and arrange on top.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes until puffy and marshmallows are browned. Keep an eye on this so the marshmallows don’t turn into charcoal.


green bean casserole with fried onions


Thanksgiving Recipe #4 – Green Bean Casserole

More Than One Right Way

If you don’t like French Fried Onions, some toasted nuts like cashews or something like that would probably be good on this.  Image credit to Campbell’s Kitchen, all rights reserved – their cream of mushroom soup is perfect for this recipe.


French’s French Fried Onions are a great time saver with incredible taste and texture.

•   1 large bag (14 to 18 oz) frozen green beans
•   1 can cream of mushroom soup
•   1/2 to 3/4 cup milk
•   French’s French Fried Onions

Step by Step

Thaw and drain green beans. Snap into smaller pieces if necessary. Fresh green beans are really pointless in a casserole.

Dump everything but onions in a casserole and mix together.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Stir. Sprinkle some onions on top and bake for 5 minutes more until onions are golden and crunchy.


Want to Print This Out?

If you’d like to save these recipe ideas offline, print or share with friends, we’ve compiled all the information into this handy Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas PDF file.

Should you decide to share with others, it would be nice to mention that these came from our very own Anna S. (and family).



cranberry sauce


Thanksgiving Recipe #5 – Cranberry Sauce

No Need for Store Bought Sauce

Do this one the day before, so it has time to congeal.


Some people have never tried freshly made cranberry sauce – which is a shame!

•  cranberries

Step by Step

Wash and sort cranberries. The bad ones will be mushy to the touch.

Put cranberries in a pot with 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar per bag. Simmer on medium low until they’ve all popped and it looks like jam.

Note: It is not necessary to make a simple syrup with the water and sugar first. Just cook everything in the pot all at once.

Note: Reserve 3/4 cups cranberries if making that pie


dough balls to be dinner rolls


Thanksgiving Recipe #6 – Rolls

Sagely Advice

A good recipe is on page 524 of Anna’s Fanny Farmer Cookbook.


Here are just the ingredients and times, because if you’ve never made homemade yeast rolls before, the holidays are not a good time for a first attempt. Try to make the dough the day before and let rise in the fridge.

Mix and let cool to lukewarm:
•   4 tablespoons butter
•   2 tablespoons sugar
•   2 teaspoons salt
•   2 cups warm milk

Step by Step

Dissolve a packet of yeast in 1/4 cup warm water.

Use about 5-6 cups of flour.

Set up rolls in two 8-9 inch cake pans. Brush with melted butter. Bake at 425 for about 12-15 minutes.


deviled eggs with paprika on top


Thanksgiving Recipe #7 – Deviled Eggs

Paprika Required

They’re just not the same without Paprika sprinkled on top.


First, count the eggs and make sure you have enough, plus a couple of extra, to cook all the food.

•   eggs
•   mustard
•   mayonnaise
•   salt
•   curry powder
•   paprika

Step by Step

Boil a bunch of eggs and chill.

Peel, cut in half, and mash up the yolks with some mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and curry powder.

Instead of glopping the yolk mixture into the egg white halves, put it in a ziplock bag, cut a tiny corner off a tip, and pipe the mixture.

Sprinkle with paprika.


Thanksgiving Recipe #8 – Pie Crust

Crisco Time

There are substitutes, but if you don’t use Crisco, don’t say we didn’t warn you.


Perfect every time.

9 inch basic pie shell
•   1 1/2 cup flour
•   1/4 teaspoon salt
•   1/2 cup Crisco
•   3-4 Tablespoons cold water

Top and Bottom crusts:
•   2 1/2 cups flour
•   1/2 teaspoon salt
•   3/4 cup Crisco
•   6-7 Tablespoons cold water


apple pear pie being sliced


Thanksgiving Recipe #8a – Anna’s Apple Pear Family Gluttony Day Pie

More, More, More

The reason they invented the word “moreish“.


You’ll never make enough apple pear pie to go around – it’s a fact!

•   2 cups thinly slice peeled apples
•   2 cups thinly slice peeled pears
•   3/4 cup fresh cranberries
•   1/3 cup granulated sugar
•   2 tbsp flour
•   1/4 tsp nutmeg or pie spice

Step by Step

Heat oven to 425.

In large bowl, stir together filling ingredients. Spoon filling into crust. Cover with lattice strips in whatever fashion you deem appropriate.

Bake 10 minutes, reduce to 350, bake additional 20-30 minutes until edges are deep golden brown and fruit is tender.


whole pecan pie


Thanksgiving Recipe #8b – Pecan Pie

A Taste of the South

No Thanksgiving is complete without Pecan Pie.


Use the recipe on the bottle of Karo Light Corn Syrup.

•   3 eggs
•   1 cup sugar
•   1 cup Karo Light Corn Syrup
•   2 tablespoons melted butter
•   1 teaspoon vanilla
•   1 1/2 cups (6 oz) pecans
•   9 inch unbaked pie shell

Step by Step

Beat eggs. Add everything but pecans and stir until blended.

Stir in pecans. Dump into pie shell.

Bake at 350 for 55-60 minutes




Thanksgiving Recipe #8c – Pumpkin Pie


PET evaporated milk – it’s for people, not pets!  Don’t tell Grandma Ruth we put nuts on top – Robb added this one in without saying a word, shhh.


Use the recipe on the can of PET milk like Grandma Ruth always did. Do not use Carnation brand – it doesn’t taste the same.

•   1 cup brown sugar
•   2 Tablespoons flour
•   2 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
•   1/2 teaspoon salt
•   1 egg
•   1 1/2 cups pumpkin (16 oz can)
•   1 tall can (12 oz) PET Evaporated Milk

Step by Step

In saucepan, combine whipping cream, chocolate chips, butter, and sugar. Cook on low, stirring constantly, until melted.

Gradually stir half the mixture into beaten egg yolks. And by gradually, a little bit at a time – don’t dump a bunch in there at once or it’ll cook the eggs. Return the mixture to saucepan. That’s called “tempering eggs.”

Cook on medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is slightly thickened and thinking about bubbling.

Remove from heat and stir in the rest of the whipping cream. Maybe add some vanilla.

Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl. Let cool.

After it’s cooled, beat until light and fluffy. Spoon into the crumb crust and refrigerate for several hours.


no image available on chalkboard


Thanksgiving Recipe #9 – French Silk Pie

Graham Crackers Ultimate Purpose

Graham Crackers are great for smores.  They’re even better as pie crusts!  We might have had a picture, but someone (DANIEL) ate the pie!


Crumb Crust
•   1 1/2 cup fine graham cracker crumbs
•   1/3 cup sugar
•   1/3 cup butter

Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes

Pie Filling
•   1 cup whipping cream
•   6 oz semisweet chocolate chips
•   1/3 cup butter
•   1/3 cup sugar
•   2 egg yolks, beaten
•   3 tablespoons whipping cream

Step by Step

Mix dry ingredients.

Stir in egg.

Throw in cans and beat until smooth.

Pour into pie crust.

Bake at 375 for 50-55 minutes.


autumn pumpkins


Thanksgiving Checklist

Week Before

•   All groceries obtained
•   Turkey thawing

Day Before

•   Turkey put into brine
•   Bread put out to get stale
•   Cranberry sauce made
•   Dough for rolls rising in fridge or cool spot
•   Chicken parts browned in oven
•   Chicken broth
•   Pecans shelled
•   Pie crust dough made and chilling
•   Eggs boiled for deviled eggs

Night Before and/or Morning Of

•   Pies baked
•   Sweet potato topping made
•   Sweet potatoes baked
•   Cornbread made
•   Cornbread and bread crumbled
•   Deviled eggs made
•   Sweet potatoes set up (sans topping)
•   Green beans thawed and drained
•   Rolls set up in pans (morning of)

Day Of (sort of in order)

•   Turkey in at 325: Note time
•   Potatoes peeled and in a pot full of water. They’ll be OK like that for hours.
•   Potatoes boiled and mashed and put in crockpot to keep warm
•   Dressing set up
•   Dressing in at 350: Note time
•   If rolls aren’t rising fast enough, put on top of stove
•   Sweet potatoes and green beans set up
•   Sweet potatoes and green beans in at 350: Note time
•   First pan of rolls in toaster oven at 425
•   Gravy making
•   Table set


It’s always a delicate balance trying to make sure everything is hot at the same time.

The turkey should stay warm enough on top of the stove, covered in foil. It needs to rest for a while anyway so you can get out gravy fixings.

The dressing should be OK for half an hour covered in foil while the sweet potatoes and green beans cook.

Go ahead and do the mashed potatoes while the turkey’s in the oven. That way you’re not jostling around next to everyone in the kitchen with a big pot of boiling water and they’ll stay quite warm in a crockpot on low.


Even More Reason to be Thankful

The KnownHost staff would like to wish everyone the best on Thanksgiving.

We hope you’ve enjoyed these Thanksgiving recipe ideas and the fact they’ve not been peppered with advertisements.

If you ever find yourself in need of a dependable, managed, web hosting company that cares as much about you, and freeing up your time for enjoying a family holiday, as it does about its own success, be sure to give us the chance to earn your business.  We care!


Last Chance to Download This Document (you’ve reached the end)

If you’d like to save these recipe ideas offline, print or share with friends, we’ve compiled all the information into this handy Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas PDF file.

Should you decide to share with others, it would be nice to mention that these came from our very own Anna S. (and family).



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