31 Recipes for a Gloriously Extra, Next-Level Thanksgiving

Citrus-Champagne Punch for Thanksgiving Recipe Gallery
Photo: Photo by Noah Fecks / Food Styling by Drew Aichele / Prop Styling by Ethan Lunkenheimer / Set Construction by Johnny Figueroa

When it comes to Thanksgiving, menus tend to be extra by default — crisp, bubbling dishes of macaroni and cheese, mounds of creamy, gravy-laden mashed potatoes, and the star of the show, roasted (or deep-fried! Or smoked!) turkey. But why not turn it all the way up to 10? Here, we've gathered over 30 recipes to create the ultimate extra Thanksgiving spread, covering ground from impressive appetizers to unforgettable desserts. In the mood for sparkling wine? Use it to make a gorgeous (and very much adults-only) Cranberry-Orange Sparkling Wine Gelatin. Need a new gravy recipe? This one is bolstered with caramelized mushrooms, cultured butter, apple brandy, and more, resulting in layers upon layers of flavor. Whether you pick just one of these recipes or use them to curate your whole menu, you'll definitely be bringing something impressive to the table.

01 of 31

Caviar-Topped Deviled Eggs

Caviar-Topped Deviled Eggs
Caitlin Bensel

These deviled eggs get dressed up with the help of sturgeon caviar and also get an extra boost of flavor thanks to olive brine.

02 of 31

Apple Flambé Pie

Apple Flambé Pie
Photo: Victor Protasio / Food Stylist Torie Cox /Prop Stylist Claire Spollen

Apple cider, fresh and dried apples join forces in this stovetop apple pie filling. The pie is topped with flaming apple brandy just before serving.

03 of 31

Mushroom Toasts with Délice de Bourgogne

Mushroom Toasts with Delice de Bourgogne
Eva Kolenko

Triple créme cheese, an ultra-rich version of brie, is topped with pan-roasted mushrooms and herbs in this elegant appetizer.

04 of 31

Four-Layer Caviar Dip

Four Layer Caviar Dip Recipe
Justin Walker

Layers of creamy egg salad, crisp red onion, herbed cream cheese, and salty, briney caviar come together in a beautiful molded dip that serves up an entire caviar platter in one dish.

05 of 31

Oyster Casserole with Cracker Crumbs

Oyster Casserole with Cracker Crumbs
Photo by Noah Fecks / Food Styling by Drew Aichele / Prop Styling by Ethan Lunkenheimer

In this quick, simple recipe from the The Fannie Farmer Cookbook by Marion Cunningham, tender and juicy oysters are drizzled with a bit of cream and hot sauce, then baked in a sumptuous buttery crumb mixture for a bit of crunch. Serve as an appetizer for a dinner party, or as a side dish with ham or turkey. For individual servings, the mixture can be divided among four ramekins instead of one baking dish.

06 of 31

Corn Biscuits with Savory Herb Streusel

Corn Biscuits with Savory Herb Streusel
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Torie Cox

2021 Food & Wine Best New Chef Thessa Diadem's streusel-topped corn biscuits star a trio of corn — cornmeal for texture, creamed corn for moisture, and freeze-dried sweet corn for its intense flavor. "Freeze-dried corn works better than fresh corn, which has too much moisture," Diadem says. The labneh in the recipe mimics full-fat buttermilk and provides acid that helps the biscuits rise.

07 of 31

Cheddar-Scallion Biscuits

Cheddar-Scallion Biscuits
Greg DuPree

"The buttermilk dough bakes atop a pile of grated cheddar, bringing not just a wonderfully caramelized flavor, but a clever textural element in the form of crisp, lacy 'feet' that form around the bottom or each biscuit," Food & Wine's Kat Kinsman says of these biscuits. "Add a hefty amount of chopped scallion into the mix and it's a savory, joyous match for the ages."

08 of 31

Citrus, Beet, and Arugula Salad with Halloumi Croutons

Citrus, Beet and Arugula Salad with Halloumi Croutons
Photo by Dan Perez / Food Styling and Prop Styling by Nurit Kariv

Resplendent with mixed citrus and jewel-toned roasted beets, this peppery arugula salad gets elevated to holiday status courtesy of crispy halloumi croutons.

09 of 31

Red Cabbage Salad with Baked Cherries, Apples, and Almond Dukkah

Red Cabbage Salad with Baked Cherries, Apples, and Almond Dukkah
Marcus Nilsson

This refreshing, vibrantly colored salad features bright cherry vinegar and sweet roasted cherry juice. Earthy, spice-filled dukkah grounds the flavors and adds a nutty crunch.

10 of 31

Crab Pithivier with Scallop Frangipane

Crab Pithiviers with Scallop Frangipane
Photo by Caitlin Bensel / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Audrey Davis

Perfect for a dinner party or any sort of special occasion, this stunning dish from chef Angie Mar is a project that's well worth your time. The crab and scallops lend a delicate sweetness, and the sherry sauce brings nuttiness and brightness. Almond flour is essential, as it holds the filling together and gives it texture.

11 of 31

Butternut Squash Soup with Bacon and Crème Fraîche

Butternut Squash Soup with Creme Fraiche and Bacon
Erin Kunkel

Roasting the butternut squash with honey and a touch of salt intensifies the natural sweetness of the squash and caramelizes the honey. Take time browning the onions; cooking them low and slow deepens the foundational flavor of this hearty soup.

12 of 31

Lobster Risotto

Lobster Risotto
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

A small pinch of saffron goes a long way in imparting a vibrant golden hue and floral fragrance to this creamy lobster risotto. Precooked lobster and bottled clam juice deliver robust layers of flavor with a minimum amount of effort, making this a perfect weeknight supper. Pair it with a bottle of white Bordeaux, recommends sommelier Tonya Pitts, of Les Dames D'Escoffier International, San Francisco. "I love white Bordeaux with this easy dish. It highlights the lobster and creaminess of the risotto, ultimately becoming intertwined with the flavor and textures."

13 of 31

Kish Family Two-Bread Stuffing

Kish Family Two-Bread Stuffing
Eva Kolenko

Top Chef winner Kristen Kish's mom came up with this two-bread stuffing to please both sides of her family: half from Michigan, where white bread stuffing is essential, and half from Texas, where they demand cornbread. A double batch feeds a crowd with plenty of leftovers for the next day.

14 of 31

Rustic Bread Stuffing with Swiss Chard and Chestnuts

Bread stuffing with Swiss chard and chestnuts
David Malosh

Swiss chard lends a pleasant earthiness to this hearty stuffing; meaty chestnuts add texture and richness. Choose high-quality crusty bread for this recipe to ensure a fluffy texture and crisp top. Infusing the vegetable broth with dried porcini mushrooms helps add extra umami to the stuffing.

15 of 31

Herb-Scented Mashed Potatoes


To make these flavor-packed potatoes, F&W Culinary Director at Large Justin Chapple first steeps fresh rosemary, sage, and garlic in a combination of milk and cream, then folds that fragrant mixture into boiled and riced potatoes. To make them even more irresistible, he brushes the mashed potatoes with butter and broils them before serving, creating a deliciously light and crispy potato crust on top.

16 of 31

Green Bean Casserole with Almost-Burnt Almonds

Green bean casserole with almost burnt almonds
David Malosh

This riff on the Thanksgiving classic features tender-crisp green beans in a silky vegetarian sauce. With incredible crunch and intense nutty flavor, almost-burnt almonds take this dish to the next level; carefully cut one almond in half after the initial bake to make sure it's browned all the way through.

17 of 31

White Gold

Photo by Caitlin Bensel / Food Styling by Rishon Hanners / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

This sweet and sour soju cocktail from Kim Kyungmoon brings to mind the tart creaminess of a gin fizz but brings the punchier, grain-forward notes of Golden Barley 40% soju in place of floral gin. The frothy egg white cuts through those brightly boozy and acidic flavors to balance each sip. Soju, a Korean spirit made by distilling rice wine, is enjoying a renaissance in Korea; Kyungmoon imports it and sells it though his online shop, Woorisoul.

18 of 31

Southern-Style Mac 'n' Cheese

Southern Style Mac n Cheese
Photo by Noah Fecks / Food Styling by Drew Aichele / Prop Styling by Ethan Lunkenheimer

Three kinds of cheese — extra-sharp cheddar, Colby-Jack, and cream cheese — go into this creamy, savory macaroni and cheese recipe, which also gets layers of flavor from fresh bay leaves and dry mustard. Southern-style mac 'n' cheese is typically made with a milk-and-egg base rather than a roux. Here, the milk component is an infused milk-and-cream mixture reserved from cooking the noodles (which adds even more richness to the dish). Make this one of the starring sides at your Thanksgiving table.

19 of 31

Lobster Mac and Cheese

Lobster Mac and Cheese
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Ali Ramee / Prop Styling by Christina Daley

This decadent lobster mac and cheese has it all: A generous amount of lobster meat and a rich, three-cheese sauce made with fontina, Gruyère, and mascarpone are mixed with pasta, and baked under a crunchy topping of panko and Parmesan. The cheese sauce has a secret flavor booster. The shells are separated from the meat and cooked with aromatics, wine, milk, and cream, infusing the sauce with a surprising depth of lobster flavor. The shells are then strained out before adding the cheese in this luxurious main course dish.

20 of 31

Smoky Sweet Potatoes with Chorizo Butter

Smoky Sweet Potatoes with Chorizo Butter
Photo by Christopher Testani / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Prissy Lee

Smoky and spicy, cured Spanish chorizo infuses melted butter with its rich color and flavor, balancing the natural sweetness of these tender roasted sweet potatoes. Scoring baked sweet potatoes and then broiling them gives them a hint of smoke and lets the chorizo butter soak into every bite.

21 of 31

Cranberry-Orange Sparkling Wine Gelatin

Cranberry-Orange Sparkling Wine Gelatin
Photo by Noah Fecks / Food Styling by Drew Aichele / Prop Styling by Ethan Lunkenheimer

This festive layered gelatin is a conversation-starting centerpiece and sure to delight potluck guests. The rosy cranberry layer is tart, bursting with cranberries and a splash of gin, and the sparkling wine layer, with a hint of elderflower liqueur, still playfully maintains its bubbles. Spiked with three types of alcohol, this is an adults-only side or dessert.

22 of 31

Cranberry-and-Citrus Chutney with Fennel Pollen

Cranberry-and-Citrus Chutney with Fennel Pollen
Eva Kolenko

For this dish, Top Chef winner Kristen Kish was inspired by her grandfather's raspberry-studded Jell-O salad, which was served at the holidays as a savory side to turkey and then again as dessert with a dollop of Cool Whip. Kish's version, a glossy chutney peppered with candied orange peel and spiced with fennel pollen, is the perfect counterpoint to a holiday roast or Thanksgiving turkey.

23 of 31

Mushroom-and-Herb Gravy with Apple Brandy

Mushroom-and-Herb Gravy with Apple Brandy
Photo by Noah Fecks / Food Styling by Drew Aichele / Prop Styling by Ethan Lunkenheimer

Multiple factors take this umami-rich gravy to the next level, from the caramelized mushrooms to the herb "whisk" used to impart a fresh herb flavor. Melting cultured butter into the sauce at the end ensures a velvety texture, and also gives the gravy a subtle tang. It's perfect with Thanksgiving turkey and delicious with roast chicken; substitute well-reduced homemade chicken stock for the turkey jus.

24 of 31

Gougères with Smoked Salmon, Caviar and Prosciutto

Smoked Salmon and Caviar Gougeres
Photo by Fred Hardy II / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn / Prop Styling by Christina Brockman

These cheesy puffs look fancy, but come together in minutes to make any snack feel like an occasion.

25 of 31

Thanksgiving Gravy Fountain with Holiday Hors d'Oeuvres

Thanksgiving Gravy Fountain
Photo by Noah Fecks / Food Styling by Drew Aichele / Prop Styling by Ethan Lunkenheimer / Set Construction by Johnny Figueroa / Floral Design by Chelsea Olayos

This recipe takes our Best-Ever Turkey Gravy and adapts it specifically for a gravy fountain, creating cascading streams of savory gravy that pair perfectly with skewered roasted vegetables, stuffing bites, French dip–style turkey sliders, and mashed potato croquettes. We've included mini-recipes for all of those hors d'oeuvres (made with Thanksgiving leftovers) in this recipe, plus three flavor variations on the gravy itself. The gravy recipe yields enough to fill a chocolate fountain that calls for four pounds of melted chocolate.

26 of 31

Spatchcocked Smoked Turkey

Spatchcocked Smoke Turkey
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer & John Somerall / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

Sweet, tangy, and succulent thanks to chef Rodney Scott's smoky dry rub and spicy mopping sauce, this turkey is easy to tackle on a kamado-style cooker. While Scott swears by the thermal qualities of a ceramic grill, this turkey can also be cooked in a kettle grill or smoker at 225°F until it reaches an internal temperature of 155°F or roasted in the oven at 325°F (cook times will vary).

27 of 31

Salt-Crusted Turkey

Salt Roasted Turkey
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Thom Driver

Banish any chance of a dry bird with this salt-crusted turkey breast. Salt-roasting is a technique that is often employed to keep lean fish moist while roasting; the mixture of salt and egg whites forms a nearly airtight crust when baked, locking in moisture and flavor. It works the same magic with turkey. Whereas traditional methods for roasting turkey tend to yield dry white meat, salt-roasting delivers an incredibly juicy breast that's perfectly seasoned to the bone, with no brining required.

28 of 31

Chipotle-Spiced Smoked Turkey Legs

Chipotle-Spiced Smoked Turkey Legs
Photo by Noah Fecks / Food Styling by Drew Aichele / Prop Styling by Ethan Lunkenheimer

Seasoning these turkey legs with a dry brine packs them with flavor before they head to the smoker, resulting in juicy, smoky, and tender meat with a light kick from the chipotle chiles. Brining the legs uncovered in the refrigerator overnight also helps to keep the skin dry, and crisp up as it cooks. The turkey legs will emerge from the smoker a beautiful mahogany color. Serve them whole (which would be perfect for Thanksgiving), or shred the meat and mix it into grain bowls, pasta salads, sandwiches, and more. Save the bones as well to make a smoky turkey broth for soups or sauces.

29 of 31

Cornmeal Cake Trifle with Sabayon and Candied Kumquats

Cornmeal Cake Trifle with sabayon and candied kumquats
Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

A masterpiece of technique and flavor, this stunning collaboration between pastry chef Kelly Fields and baking legend Claudia Fleming has many delicious components, most of which can be made ahead. Layers of crumbly cornmeal cake and fresh and candied citrus float on billowy drifts of barely boozy sabayon, topped with sweet, crisp peaks of toasted Italian meringue. The flavor of the Prosecco will come through strongly in the sabayon, so choose a quality bottle.

30 of 31

Pecan-Pumpkin Cream Pie

Joanne Chang's Pecan-Pumpkin Cream Pie
Tara Donne

This pie slices beautifully to reveal not one but two fillings: both pumpkin custard and gooey, syrupy pecan. Chef Joanne Chang's technique ensures the bottom of the pie shell is perfectly cooked and avoids sogginess. Cooling the blind-baked pie shell with weights keeps it hotter, and flatter, longer.

31 of 31

Old Fashioned Doughnut Croquembouche

Old-Fashioned Donut Croquembouche
Photo by Sarah Crowder / Food Styling by Drew Aichele

Pastry chef Paola Velez's twist on a traditional croquembouche features homemade cinnamon doughnuts instead of cream puffs. The first step is to fry up a batch of the doughnut holes. They're then "glued" together with a simple caramel to form a cone-shaped tower. For the finishing touch, dip the tines of a fork into the hot caramel, and as the caramel drips from the tines, swipe the caramel back and forth over a work surface, then gather together and drape around the tower like a sash. The dessert can be assembled up to 10 hours ahead of time and placed on a table to make an impressive edible centerpiece. There will be some caramel "glue" left over; if desired, add butter and cream and turn it into a caramel sauce for ice cream.

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