Thanksgiving Menu

One year an online friend from NY was visiting her sister in KY for Thanksgiving.  They drove over to visit us (we were living in KY at the time) and she brought a dish of leftover sausage stuffing. I loved it and tried over and over to duplicate it.  Even with her instructions, mine never tasted like Sue’s.  I still think about it every Thanksgiving. Just to prove that . . I blogged about it in 2009 . . I really do think about it every Thanksgiving.

I had always used a spiced up salt water brine but in 2010, I used a dry rub brine and it was the best turkey ever.  I’m going to do that again this year.  Thursday I’ll take the big bird out of the freezer and let her thaw in the fridge and then Monday I’ll rub her down and stick her in an ice chest, and let her brine til time to bake on Thursday.  That reminds me . . Vince needs to get the old oven hooked up. The front panel fell off of the oven when Vince was messing with it and he needs to get that back on but it’s going to be so nice to have this oven out in the shop and I can use it for overflow baking.

I heard on the news the other day that the average Thanksgiving dinner for 10 costs right at $50 so that’s a bit less than $5 per person.  I’ve been thinking about that and I just can’t quite reconcile that with what we fix.  Maybe they have 10 light eaters and we have 4 pretty heavy eaters at our house.  Mom and dad are coming for Thanksgiving.  They’ll get here Tuesday so I dug out little red folder with my Thanksgiving menu and recipes and then found the picture I had taken last time mom and dad were here for Thanksgiving, printed off the menu again and I’m all ready to start baking and cooking.

What do you fix for Thanksgiving?  We have the same think every year.  I don’t have rolls on the list but here’s our menu.


  1. 1

    Mary Jo says

    Since our family is a lot larger that yours, 47 of us, ranging in age from 1 to 86, we have lots more food that you do. Turkey, ham, dressing, rice, giblet gravy, cranberry congealed salad, mac and, several green vegs (they vary) corn, sweet potato casserole and more! Of course there are lots of desserts and since we don’t have much food (NOT) we start with appetizers!
    And no go Southern family would go without having sweet tea to drink! Hope your Thanksgiving is good. We all have so much to be thankful for even in light of all of the disasters that have happened lately. So many of our brethren around the world have so much less that the things we take for granted.

  2. 2

    Mary Jo says

    My computer and I often have problems with leaving out letters! I should have said the no GOOD Southern family..
    I’m sure that my problem is the computer, not me!

  3. 3

    Gwen says

    Preparations are kinda weird here! We are having a big family dinner at my brother’s new home. The first time for the sibs to be together for Thanksgiving since Mom passed away in 03. We will be traveling on Wednesday so my sister will be doing some prep work and I will finish the dressing that afternoon to be baked Thursday morning. Cooking will be taking place in 4-6 locations and all come together about 2 PM to have smoked turkey, roast turkey, ham, cornbread dressing, green bean casserole, broccoli rice casserole, mashed potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce, cranberry relish, fruit salad, jello salad, rolls, pumpkin pie, buttermilk pecan pie, apple cake, pumpkin cookies, forgotten cookies, chocolate chip cookies and pumpkin bars. There will be in the neighborhood of 25 -30 and at least two have to have gluten free so lots of food and variety. Gonna be a fun day in Tyler!

  4. 4

    Debbie Rhodes says

    I make about the same although we are about 8 of us… I also make a broccoli casserole and a corn casserole. homemade noodles. and banana pudding with vanilla wafers and cookies along with pumpkin pie. might make a coconut creme pie also.. the list gets longs the closer Thanksgiving comes.. my two daughters help along with my granddaughters lots of fun in the kitchen

  5. 5


    Our menu will consist of Fried Turkey, dressing, giblet gravey, cranberry sauce (made with oranges and Grand Mariner, YUM), onion roasted sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, lima beans, rolls, and dessert. I am not in charge of dessert, so I do not know what they will bring. Probably cheesecake and pumpkin pie. I can’t see how they can get the cost down to $5 per person. My meal always seem to cost more than that.

  6. 6


    We are celebrating this Sunday because I am the hostess and I thought I had to work. We are having turkey, sausage dressing, mashed potatoes, several veggies, rolls, wine, desserts and laughter and family! I am doing the cooking at my sisters. And I volunteered to work on Thanksgiving after all!

  7. 7

    Ida in Central PA says

    Last year, as empty nesters, we had Panko-breaded pan-fried Turkey Cutlets and fettuccine alla carbonara. 🙂

    This year we’re considering a Butterball deep-fried turkey breast from Sam’s Club. I’m worried that 3 pounds is too much for us.

    I always insist upon cranberry sauce — or orange-cranberry relish, no matter what we have. 🙂

    And a pumpkin pie, or a crustless pumpkin pie-bar. 🙂

    Pretty simple and WAY under $25 for the two of us (if you divide the $50 in half)

  8. 8

    daneesey says

    Our menu varies from year to year, depending on who’s going to be a part of it. Our ‘stock’ meal, though, includes turkey and herbed stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, honeyed carrots, green beans, cloverleaf yeast rolls, cranberry sauce, an assortment of relishes, cranberry-apple nut bread, a pumpkin pie, a pecan pie, an apple pie, a blueberry pie, pumpkin bars, homemade whipped cream and fudge. We do Thanksgiving for the leftovers. LOL! If my sister or parents visit, spare ribs and sauerkraut and corn get added. My mom adds oyster casserole (which I adore, but have never been able to duplicate to her/my standards). The girls have added their own things to the mix as they’ve moved into their own households. It’s fun to have the dinner change and evolve!

    I took a look at your menu — it’s not all that different from my stock menu! 🙂

  9. 9

    DebrafromMD says

    We always have turkey, gravy, bread stuffing, mashed potatoes, two kinds of cranberry sauce, rolls, a green vegetable and sauerkraut. The sauerkraut is a Baltimore German tradition but it goes well with all of the other dishes. The very first year I had Thanksgiving dinner with my new in-laws, I looked around the table and asked my very southern MIL where the sauerkraut was. She gave me the strangest look, but my Baltimore-born FIL knew exactly what I was talking about. It’s been on our Thanksgiving menu ever since. I’m throwing in a sweet potato casserole this year even though some members of the family don’t care for sweet potatoes. That’s more for me. Desserts vary from year to year, but one must-have is my pumpkin cheesecake. Yum!

  10. 10


    We don’t do a traditional turkey-centered Thanksgiving meal. Each year, we select another culture and make a meal that would be common in that culture. This year, it will be an Indian feast: samosas, dal, aloo ghobi, vegetable biryani, chicken vindaloo, paratha, raita, kheer, and the usual condiments. I’m sure I’ve forgotten something. We love it and it makes every year stand out in memory.

  11. 11

    Helen Koenig1 says

    Anymore I eat Thanksgiving dinner (American) at my son’s (I’m taking home ground, home made rolls from scratch!). Haven’t been able to make it to New Brunswick yet for the Canadian Thanksgiving – but that is definitely on my agenda for next year (if I’m invited! 🙂 )

    I also have a sorta-Thanksgiving here as well – mostly because I REALLY like the leftovers and all the hustle and bustle! for here I usually don’t really have hors d’oeuvres – mostly because this body does NOT need them! I may fix them later in the week – or the following week from leftovers – but that’s another story – and that whole meal!

    I have a roasted turkey and dressing – which can be Sage dressing, although I’ve really fallen for my sister’s Cranberry dressing!, (although one year I DID fix Roast Beef and Cheshire pudding! Yum!)

    IF there is a salad – my mom’s cranberry jello salad – which I’ve seriously eaten as a dessert it’s so good!

    Vegetables include Mashed potatoes with giblet gravy, candied sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts (my dad always loved them – we called them “whistle” sprouts), maybe green beans almondine – or pickled beets – this part is almost always from home grown, home preserved veggies!

    Then hot rolls (home ground wheat, made from scratch rolls), butter, homemade preserves, Cranberry sauce or preserves (I make from store bought cranberries), olives (a family tradition).

    Dessert (IF not full enough to pop by then!) – choice of pumpkin pie or sweet potato pie with whipped cream, deep dish apple pie with cheddar.

    My mom used to figure the BEST part of the whole meal came long after dinner was over – and way on into evening – when she would sneak back to the kitchen and make turkey sandwiches with lettuce, mayo and slabs of turkey on bread! Yum!

    I always liked to have homemade turkey soup simmering in the big canning kettle the next day – bones and all – along with tops of this and that from the preparations and the juices from roasting the big bird, any leftover gravy – all of which would get strained and the meat added back into the finished broth! That I would pack away in the freezer in empty cottage cheese sized containers. NEVER enough broth – I would use this for almost any soup base!

  12. 12

    Terri says

    We have family coming up from Texas for the first time! So we’ll have 9 this time, and DH always has way to much turkey. So he is brining and roasting a turkey and smoking a turkey.

    Then we’ll have cornbread dressing (I’m trying Williams-Sonoma this year. thought it’d be easier with 4 of us, but now there will be 9 so I might do a small pan of my traditional dressing also), sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top, broccoli/cheese/rice casserole, green bean casserole, cherry fluff (my s-i-l’s recipe that they do most years), deviled eggs (wish our goofy chickens would hurry up and start laying!), cranberry relish from Williams-Sonoma (LOVE THIS!) and rolls.

    Then for dessert there will be a couple of pecan pies, cheesecake (from Sam’s) and my mother’s lemon pie. No meringue but in a graham crust and an eagle brand/cream cheese/lemon juice topping, think I’ll skip the rest and just eat one of these 🙂

  13. 13

    Lynne in Hawaii says

    The 2012 menu is: Bob’s corn chowder, roasted turkey (stuffed with apples, oragnes, onions, thyme and sage leaves making the turkey very juicy), mushroom and giblet dressing, homemade cranberry sauce, sweet potato surprise (with either mango or peach sauce),mashed potatoes w/cream, butter and chives, mushroom and giblet gravy, green beans with garlic and butter sauce, steamed asparagus, all-grain homemade bread, pumpkin pie and chocolate haupia pie. Yum, yum, yum.

  14. 14

    Sandy says

    We’ll have turkey, giblet gravy, oatmeal stuffing (our Scottish heritage!), homemade cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, broccoli casserole, another vegetable dish, salad (probably Waldorf), rolls, pumpkin pie, probably another pie, and assorted beverages. They’ll be 10 of us at my table this year, and although I do most of the cooking with help from others, I’m exempt from cleanup!

  15. 15

    Micki clemens says

    It is fun to hear every bodies different menus . From my Norwegian heritage we always had 7 vegetables along with turkey, sage stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes creamed onions, condiment tray of black and green olives, sweet and kosher pickles,etc. desserts were apple, pumpkin, and mincemeat pies! It was way too much,but leftovers were wonderful. This was my moms table, then my sister, then me, but time has changed and we don’t do big dinners anymore. These are great memories. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  16. 16


    That’s it, I’m coming to your house for Thanksgiving dinner! Especially since I have no oven. OK, I’m not really coming over, I don’t like flying, and besides, you didn’t invite me, hehe. We do have somewhere to go, we have a friend, from Texas who is having friends with no family to visit, over and it’ll be a little bit of an assigned-potluck. NEXT year, I hope to have my new kitchen 🙂

  17. 17


    This year I’m trying your Cranberry Cherry Salad. (I may do a pecan sweet potato dish too, but can’t take it too our dinner at friends’ house since there will be attendees allergic to nuts.)

  18. 18

    Joanne Caglione says

    $50 dollars??? That has to be a joke!! I double that and I don’t cook that exotic stuff! This year I would like to try oyster dressing – do you have a good recipe for that?

  19. 20

    Joanna says

    Our menu is always the same: Roast turkey with apple, prune, and sausage stuffing, soufleed onion mashed potatoes, roasted lemony sweet potatoes, madeira giblet gravy (all from ancient Gourmet mags), Susan Stanberg’s Mother-in-law’s cranberry sauce, James Beard’s Cornmeal Yeast bread, J. B’s cognac squash or pumpkin pie and a French apple tart. My favorite meal of the year!

    Kirk makes the turkey, and uses the dry brine. One year we used anchovies on the breast meat instead of the brine. HONEST: no fish flavor, and the saltiness made the breast meat so juicy!

  20. 21

    Mel Meister says

    There will probably only be two of us on Turkey Day, but we will share “care packages” of food for my MIL and my son. I pretty much have the same menu every year, too. I have a couple of things I add or subtract, like different versions of sweet potatoes/yams. Here is my menu, starting with breakfast::

    Pumpkin cheese coffee cake

    Appetizers – genoa salami with cream cheese, black olives, some sort of dip/chips (my chili cheese dip?), dill pickles with ham and cream cheese
    Rum Cider
    Two turkeys – roast and smoked
    mashed potatoes
    Scalloped Cranberries (like a cranberry bread pudding)
    My homemade cranberry sauce
    mashed potato rolls
    Green Bean Casserole
    Sweet Potato Balls in Freezer
    Corn pudding
    Mom’s squash with marshmallows
    Sweet Potato Puree with Bananas and Buttered Pecans
    jellied cranberry sauce

    Pumpkin Pudding with whipped cream
    Pumpkin Tiramisu
    Mincemeat pie with ice cream

    Yes, I kind of like yellow squash-like veggies (grin).

    • 21.1

      Mel Meister says

      I should add that everything is homemade… right down to boiling and mashing ONE potato for my rolls. Oh.. the jellied cranberry sauce is canned. That’s Greg’s favorite sauce.

  21. 22

    Gale says

    Mel, is thereany chance we could get the recipe for the scalloped cranberries? It sounds wonderful. Please….