Hey guys! I put together this Thanksgiving menu a couple years ago to give you some ideas for what recipes to make on the big day. It has many of my old standbys, but I decided to add some of my new favorite recipes as well! I have a couple more recipes that will be published this week that would be great for Thanksgiving (Cranberry Cherry Pie with Almond Glaze! My aunt Shirley’s Christmas Slush!), so be sure to check back! Enjoy! -Karen From the Present (November 2017) 

(Karen from The Past (2015):) So as I sat down to write up this list of Thanksgiving Menu ideas for you guys, I asked my brother Nathan what goes on the table. Here’s his answer, verbatim:

mashed potatoes
cranberry sauce FROM A CAN, any other sauce must only be in addition to this.
sweet potato
8 pies
Those are all the requisites. Everything else is in addition.”

I like the 8 pies part especially.

(And about the cranberry sauce from a can, as kids Nate and I loved this neatly sliced gelatinous delicacy so much that one time we saw it at the salad bar at Home Town Buffet and PILED it on our plates only to find out that they were actually beets.)

Thanksgiving Menu ideas from The Food Charlatan

Some of you have been asking what I’m making for Thanksgiving this year so I thought I would share. Of course I’m not making all of these, but I will be making many of them! We are hosting for the first time this year. (!!!) (Update: my turkey was raw when it was time to eat and we had to put it back in the oven for like an hour. GAH!)

Come back on Saturday for an awesome MAKE AHEAD roasted veggie side dish (UPDATE: Here’s the recipe for Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts), and on Monday for the perfect last minute cranberry sauce/leftover turkey sandwich sauce. (UPDATE: Here’s the recipe for 2 Ingredient Creamy Cranberry Sauce.) It’s a game changer. (But only in addition to the canned variety, apparently.) Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

You can click on the link or click on the picture to get to the recipe.


Easy Strawberries and Cream Appetizers: You could replace strawberries with something more seasonal: pears come to mind.

Easy Strawberries and Cream Appetizer from The Food Charlatan


Smokey Almond Cream Cheese Endive Bites <<these are nice because they feel fancy, are super duper easy, and they are light so no one feels full before dinner has even happened.

Smokey Almond Cream Cheese Endive Bites from The Food Charlatan


Sparkling Cranberry Brie Bites: These are so pretty!

Sparkling Cranberry Brie Bites

Goat Cheese, Pesto, and Sun-Dried Tomato Terrine: (I LOVE this one)

Goat Cheese, Pesto, and Sun-Dried Tomato Terrine from TheFoodCharlatan.com

And here’s this Easy Appetizer Round Up if you need more ideas:

Easy Appetizer Ideas for New Years Eve from The Food Charlatan


Sage-Butter Roasted Turkey: This is the one I make pretty much every year!

Sage Butter Roasted Turkey from The Food Charlatan

Apple Cider Brined Turkey: Soooo gooood!

Thanksgiving Recipes and an Apple-Cider Brined Turkey with Savory Herb Gravy from The Food Charlatan


If you’re not into turkey, make this Oven-Roasted Cranberry-Dijon Glazed Ham! It’s so good and makes amazing leftovers.

Oven-Roasted Cranberry-Dijon Glazed Ham from The Food Charlatan



Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy:  (I just made mine yesterday!)

Make Ahead Turkey Gravy for Thanksgiving from The Food Charlatan


This year (2017) I’m making my Aunt Shirley’s Famous Creamy Mashed Potatoes. They are SO flavorful!

Aunt Shirley's Famous Creamy Mashed Potatoes from The Food Charlatan


Slow Cooker Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes:

Slow Cooker Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes from The Food Charlatan


Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes:

Browned Butter Mashed Potatoes from The Food Charlatan


Gruyere-Crisped Potatoes Au Gratin:

Gruyère-Crisped Potatoes Au Gratin


Classic, straight from my own dear mother Mashed Potatoes from Heaven:

Mashed Potatoes (From Heaven) from TheFoodCharlatan.com


Chipotle Sweet Potatoes with Bacon:

Chipotle Sweet Potatoes with Bacon from TheFoodCharlatan.com


Fresh Cranberry Orange Sauce: (I will probably never make any other sauce. I mean, besides buying the can.)

Fresh Cranberry Orange Sauce from TheFoodCharlatan.com


I think stuffing is a total waste of Thanksgiving plate space. I have zero stuffing recipes posted. Send me your recipe if you have one you swear by and maybe I will try it out. But for all you soggy-bread lovers, here are some mean lookin’ recipes from friends:

Cranberry and Walnut Stuffing from FoodieCrush
Hawaiian Sweet Bread Stuffing from The Cookie Rookie
Rustic Herb Skillet Stuffing from What Gaby’s Cooking
Cornbread Stuffing with Andouille Sausage from Crazy for Crust
Pizza Stuffing from Taste and Tell <<< now we’re talkin.

UPDATE 2017: I finally found a stuffing I like. Here it is: Butternut Squash, Cranberry, and Lentil Stuffing.

Butternut Squash, Cranberry, and Lentil Stuffing from The Food Charlatan


ROLLS (Nate forgot to put rolls on his list up there. When I called him on it he said, “meh, only necessary for leftovers.” WHAT. NO THEY’RE NOT.

Aunt Shirley’s Famous Buttery Dinner Rolls: These are the fluffiest, most delicious rolls you will EVER try.

Aunt Shirley's Famous Dinner Rolls from The Food Charlatan


Buttery Sweet Potato Rolls:

Buttery Sweet Potato Rolls from The Food Charlatan


Samoan Coconut Rolls: (this sounds not very Thanksgiving-y, but I swear, it works.)

Samoan Coconut Rolls


Big Fat Crescent Rolls, Yeah. << of course there’s a story behind this title.

Big Fat Crescent Rolls from TheFoodCharlatan.com


Here’s what you should put on your rolls: Cinnamon Honey Butter

Cinnamon Honey Butter from The Food Charlatan



Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts << this is a top recipe on my blog!

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts from The Food Charlatan


Apple Cider Roasted Carrots with Plums :

Apple Cider Roasted Carrots with Plums from The Food Charlatan


Broccoli with Feta and Fried Almonds: (I make this every year!)

Broccoli with Feta and Fried Almonds from TheFoodCharlatan.com


Balsamic Browned Butter Asparagus: (still one of my favorite recipes)

Balsamic-Browned Butter Asparagus


Slow Cooker Brown Butter Carrots: save oven space!

Slow Cooker Brown Butter Carrots from The Food Charlatan


Pineapple Spinach Salad:

Pineapple Spinach Salad | TheFoodCharlatan.com This twist on the Strawberry Spinach Salad is easy and bright-tasting!


Make Ahead Green Beans:

Make Ahead Green Beans with Garlic Bread Crumbs and Almonds from The Food Charlatan


Roasted Carrots with Dill:

Roasted Carrots with Dill from The Food Charlatan


Don’t forget the jello!! 

Sea Foam Salad (Creamy Pear Jello) << this is my great grandma Doris’ recipe. We have it every year without fail!


Coca Cola Jello Salad with Cherries:

Coca-Cola Jello Salad with Cherries from TheFoodCharlatan.com


Creamy Strawberry Banana Jello:

Creamy Strawberry Banana Jello from TheFoodCharlatan.com


DESSERTS: (Forgive me, I can’t stop myself.)

Creme Brulee Pumpkin Pie: I used to think I didn’t like pumpkin pie. Then I TORCHED it. Now I like it!

The Best Pumpkin Pie


Cheesecake Pecan Pie << this is my friend Jocelyn‘s recipe and it’s SO GOOD!

Cheesecake Pecan Pie (Make Ahead!) from The Food Charlatan


Easy Pumpkin Pie Cake:

Easy Pumpkin Pie Cake from The Food Charlatan


Cranberry Custard Pie:

Cranberry Custard Pie from The Food Charlatan


Pumpkin Butterscotch Lava Cakes << way easier than you think.

Pumpkin Butterscotch Molten Lava Cakes from The Food Charlatan


Brown Butter Cranberry Tart:

Brown Butter Cranberry Tart from TheFoodCharlatan.com


Maple Cheesecake with Roasted Pears:

Maple Cheesecake with Roasted Pears from TheFoodCharlatan.com


Apple Custard Pie with Cinnamon Streusel << this is a huge favorite of mine!


Butterscotch Pumpkin Cake:

Butterscotch Pumpkin Cake | TheFoodCharlatan.com


Have a very Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Reach out if you have any questions about any of my recipes!

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  1. Your menu (and gorgeous photos) looks sooooo incredibly delicious! I’m going to save these recipes and incredible ideas for another day. I hope you and your family enjoy this incredible feast!!!! Thank you so much and Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Thanks Karen, they all look delicious. i particularly like the goat cheese terrine, what a brilliant idea! And I’m still laughing at the beets sauce incident :)

  3. Bahaha, one of my best friends also insists that canned cranberry sauce is the way to go! And I hope you make the 8 pies happen!! All these dishes look so good!

  4. This is a wonderful round up of super delicious looking food!! I love how your brother said he wanted 8 pies!!! Your going to need to get started like now getting all those baked!

  5. I hope you’re planning to make minimum 8 pies. Is that one for every adult in the room? Maybe you might need more.

    Your meal plan is EPIC. My mom already sent me your make-ahead gravy and requested we make that!

    PS. Stuffing – good stuffing – is my FAVORITE part of the Thanksgiving plate. With cornbread, sausage, and apples. Dude. You’re missing out. I have my recipe from the past 8 years on my blog and it’s always a hit. Make it (but you can make it not gluten-free;).

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