Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Menu

First published: October 5, 2010 in Recipes

Last Updated: November 22, 2010 2:07 pm Tough to read? Print this! Tough to read? Print this! Email This Email This
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There is something very special about Thanksgiving – probably because families and friends get together for a satisfying big meal, enjoyable company and in all that, tradition is being gradually built to create life long memories.

But it does take a lot to plan that satisfying big meal – whether you decide to stick to what is traditional or get adventurous in your kitchen and create a new, gourmet style feast.

If this year is the first year you are hosting your first Thanksgiving dinner, I have put together the very basic, traditional menu, complete with easy to make recipes.

The Menu:
  • Turkey with Basic Bread Stuffing
  • Turkey Gravy
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Glazed Carrots
  • Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie

This menu is pretty much guaranteed to satisfy all your dinner guests – and there is something special about sticking to tradition.

Basic Bread Stuffing


Enough for an 8 to 10-pound turkey.

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 4 cups bread cubes
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • turkey or chicken brot


  1. Sauté onion and celery in the butter until softened.
  2. Combine onion mixture with bread, pepper, eggs, salt, sage and poultry seasoning in large mixing bowl.
  3. Stir in broth until well moistened.
  4. Stuff the inside of your turkey and close off the opening
  5. Or, bake in a greased covered shallow casserole at 325° for about 35 to 45 minutes.
  6. Take the cover off the last 5 minutes to brown.

Basic Turkey Gravy


  • Pan drippings
  • Flour
  • Water


  1. Pour the turkey or chicken pan drippings into a 2 cup measuring cup and skim the fat off.
  2. Put about 1/4 cup of the fat into a saucepan and stir in 1/4 cup of flour (all purpose).
  3. Add enough water to the drippings (throw the rest of the fat away) to make 2 cups of liquid.
  4. Pour the 2 cups of liquid into the flour/fat mixture.
  5. Cook, stirring, until thickened and bubbling.
  6. Cook for about 1 minute, stirring.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste.

This recipe makes about 2 cups of gravy.

Mashed Potatoes


  • 3 pounds potatoes
  • water to cover
  • salt
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup milk
  • 6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper


  1. Peel potatoes and cut into large pieces.
  2. Cover and cook in boiling salted water for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are tender.
  3. Drain potatoes.
  4. Put potatoes through a ricer or mash in a large mixing bowl until no lumps remain.
  5. Add milk in small amounts, beating after each addition, until desired consistency is reached.
  6. Add butter, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper, beating until mashed potatoes are light and fluffy.

Glazed Carrots


  • 16 ounces baby carrots
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup water
  • dash salt
  • pepper, to taste


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the baby carrots with remaining ingredients.
  2. Stir to blend ingredients. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  3. Reduce heat to medium and continue boiling (uncovered) for about 20 to 25 minutes,or until carrots are tender and the liquid has evaporated.

Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie


  • 1 -1/4 cups pumpkin puree, canned or fresh
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup evaporated milk, undiluted
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 unbaked pastry shell (9-inch)


  1. Combine pumpkin, sugar, salt, spices, and flour in a medium mixing bowl.
  2. Add eggs; mix well.
  3. Add evaporated milk, water, and vanilla; mix well.
  4. Pour into pastry-lined pie pan.
  5. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 350° and bake about 35 minutes longer,or until center is set.

If you are interested in putting together a more advanced gourmet Thanksgiving feast, you will find complete menu and recipes here: Gourmet Thanksgiving Dinner Menu and Recipes

I hope you’ve enjoyed these recipes and that they helped you make a good old fashioned Thanksgiving dinner. Please send in your comments, suggestions and experiences, your input is always welcome and very much appreciated!

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Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Menu, 5.8 out of 10 based on 86 ratings