Thanksgiving Menu Ideas

Thanksgiving, Day is upon us and it’s time to start planning out the menu. Thanksgiving is the ultimate comfort food holiday. Mashed potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie…Before you drift into a food coma, take a look at our menu ideas. Classic Thanksgiving Day fare with a spin. Don’t forget about the invitations! Check out what PurpleTrail, print at home or PurpleTrail Print, and design your own Thanksgiving Day, invitations

Menu: Turkey, thyme infused gravy, green bean and artichoke casserole, mashed potatoes with caramelized shallots, cranberries, sausage and chestnut stuffing, spiced sweet potato wedges, and pumpkin pie. mmm mm mmm. (unless otherwise noted recipes are from Real Simple).

Easy Brined Roasted Turkey

This turkey recipe is easy and delicious!


  • 1 pint of whiskey (wild turkey)
  • 2 c of kosher salt
  • 2 c of sugar
  • 1 to 2 c of turkey or chicken stock for basting
  • Enough water to submerge the turkey entirely
  • 1 cooler or large airtight container big enough for your turkey (5 gallon bucket)

In a medium bowl, mix whiskey, salt and sugar until dissolved. Fill cooler part way with cold water and add in whiskey mixture. Place turkey in the cooler. Add enough ice cold water to cover turkey completely. Let it brine overnight.

Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse well under cold running water. Discard brine. Preheat oven according to listed on they turkey packaging.

Pat dry with paper towels, inside and out. Place breast side down in a large, heavy roasting pan, and rub on all sides with butter. Season lightly inside and out with salt and pepper. Loosely tie the drumsticks together with kitchen string. Cook turkey per instruction for weight.

Bast with 1/2 to 3/4 c turkey or chicken stock every hour (Turkey is done when an instant read thermometer reads 165 F when inserted at large section of the thigh.

Before slicing the turkey, let meat rest for about 15 min to allow the juices to spread through the bird.

Green Bean Casserole Revisited (

Who doesn’t love green bean casserole? This is a slightly different spin on it and it is delicious!


  • 3 (15.5 ounce) cans French cut green beans, drained
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans artichoke hearts, drained
  • 2 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 8 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

Pour the green beans, artichoke hearts, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and mozzarella cheese into a 9×13 inch baking dish. Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir to blend everything thoroughly. Drizzle olive oil over the top, then cover the dish with aluminum foil.

Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, then remove the aluminum foil, and bake for another 15 minutes to brown the top slightly.

Thyme Infused Gravy

A delicious herb addition to your gravy!


  • Pan drippings from Classic Roast Turkey
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 12 sprigs thyme

Strain the pan drippings into a fat separator or large measuring cup. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Skim and discard the fat from the surface.

Place the empty roasting pan over 2 burners over medium-high heat. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes, stirring and scraping to dissolve any bits stuck to the pan. Remove from heat and pour into the cup with the pan juices.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle with the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Still stirring, slowly add the broth, then the reserved pan juices and sprigs of thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Remove and discard the thyme before serving.

Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Shallots

These potatoes are rich and creamy.


  • 5 pounds white or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 5 medium shallots
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and add 2 1/2 tablespoons salt. Reduce heat and simmer until just tender, about 15 minutes. While the potatoes are simmering, peel and thinly slice 5 medium shallots. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return to the pot. Add the butter, buttermilk, cream, nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Mash the potatoes with a handheld masher. Fold the shallots into the mashed potatoes before transferring to a serving dish. Make-Ahead Note: The potatoes can be made up to 2 hours in advance and kept warm in a double boiler or Crock-Pot. If the potatoes are chilled and then reheated, they will turn dry and pasty.

Sausage and Chestnut Stuffing

Chestnuts bring a great flavor and crunch.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or unsalted butter
  • 2 medium yellow onions, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 1 day-old baguette, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 8 cups)
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth, warmed
  • 3/4 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 cup canned chestnuts, chopped

Heat oven to 400,� F. Cook 3/4 pound Italian sausage, crumbling it with the back of a spoon. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Add the carrots and celery and cook until soft, about 6 minutes. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 3/4 teaspoon pepper, the parsley, and thyme and cook for 1 minute. In a large bowl, combine the bread, vegetables, and broth. Stir in the sausage and chestnuts. Transfer to a baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes, until heated through. Make-Ahead Note: Prepare the stuffing for baking up to 1 day in advance.

Warm Apricot Cranberry Sauce

These cranberries are the perfect blend of sweet and tart.


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated ginger
  • 16 ounces cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves

In a saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the ginger and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the cranberries, sugar, orange juice, and preserves. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries burst and the sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and serve warm. Make-Ahead Note: The sauce can be made up to 2 days in advance. Cover and keep refrigerated until ready to reheat.

Spiced Sweet Potato Wedges

This recipe will keep them coming back for more!


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 4 pounds small sweet potatoes, each peeled and cut into 8 wedges
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Heat oven to 400,� F.

In a large bowl, combine the oil, sugar, nutmeg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir in the cumin and cinnamon. Add the sweet potato wedges and toss to coat.

Transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet and arrange in a single layer. Roast, turning once, until the edges are dark brown and the wedges are crisp, about 1 hour.

Pumpkin Pie (

Easy and creamy. A delicious way to wrap up your Thanksgiving meal!


  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin, mashed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg plus 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, optional
  • 1 piece pre-made pie dough
  • Whipped cream, for topping

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place 1 piece of pre-made pie dough down into a (9-inch) pie pan and press down along the bottom and all sides. Pinch and crimp the edges together to make a pretty pattern. Put the pie shell back into the freezer for 1 hour to firm up.

Fit a piece of aluminum foil to cover the inside of the shell completely. Fill the shell up to the edges with pie weights or dried beans (about 2 pounds) and place it in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, remove the foil and pie weights and bake for another 10 minutes or until the crust is dried out and beginning to color.

For the filling, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer. Add the pumpkin and beat until combined. Add the sugar and salt, and beat until combined. Add the eggs mixed with the yolks, half-and-half, and melted butter, and beat until combined. Finally, add the vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger, if using, and beat until incorporated.

Pour the filling into the warm prepared pie crust and bake for 50 minutes, or until the center is set. Place the pie on a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Cut into slices and top each piece with a generous amount of whipped cream.

With these menu ideas there will be plenty to give thanks for at your Thanksgiving celebration. Enjoy your day with family and friends as you gather to eat this delicious turkey feast. Check out our Thanksgiving center piece ideas to complete your table. Happy Thanksgiving!

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