The Food & Wine Guide to Thanksgiving

We've rounded up everything you need to pull off a feast to remember.

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 you're preparing for Thanksgiving — the Super Bowl of food holiday meals — only the best will do. This is why we rounded up everything you need to pull off a feast to remember. With our tried-and-true recipes, chef-inspired tips, and planning suggestions, you can make an elegant Thanksgiving spread that includes the best roast turkey recipes, spectacular sides, delicious drinks and must-have gadgets. We even have clever recipe ideas to revive your leftovers the next-day.

Ready? Let's get started.

01 of 11

Entertaining and Planning Guides

Estelle Colored Glass Wine Glasses
Photo by Noah Fecks / Prop Styling by Ethan Lunkenheimer

We collected Ideas to Make Your Thanksgiving Table a Joyful Space to pull off the ultimate Thanksgiving feast and Martha Stewart shares Timeless Holiday Entertaining Tips to help you host the best party. Plus, Chefs Share Their 16 Secret Weapons for Thanksgiving Dinner with their favorite ingredients, techniques, and tools to make prepping and hosting a piece of cake. 

Looking to get organized? Consider making a pre-Thanksgiving checklist with Thanksgiving Meal Planner: A Day-by-Day Guide or Anthony Bourdain's Three-Day Thanksgiving Strategy to make prepping a breeze. While you’re thinking about planning, here are 7 Thanksgiving Dishes You Should Always Make Ahead (and 5 You Should Never)

No oven? No problem. Here’s 5 Ways to Cook a Thanksgiving Turkey Without an Oven.

02 of 11

Get Your Turkey Plan Together

Simple Smoked Turkey Recipe
Marcus Nilsson

We’ve compiled everything you need to know about turkey including shopping tips, where to purchase the best boutique mail-order turkeys and common mistakes home cooks make when preparing the bird. We’ve got showstopping Thanksgiving turkey recipes from classic roasting and every variation in between.

Check out these recommendations on how to roast a turkey for a crowd and how to prepare the juiciest bird including slathering your turkey in mayo inside and out! Looking to switch up your turkey game this year? Try salt-roasting or check out these tips on how to safely deep-fry your turkey. Don’t forget this great advice from Ina!

03 of 11

Main Course Alternatives to Turkey

Garlic butter prime rib
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

We get it. Not everybody loves turkey, or some people only like dark meat. For those folks we have compiled our greatest no-turkey hits for every palate. We have alternative birds like this Buttermilk-Brined Roast Chicken and Roast Chicken with Butternut Squash. Or maybe Roasted Duck is more up your alley. If you’d like something meatier, perhaps you’d prefer a classic Honey-Baked Ham or this decadent Garlic-Butter Rib Roast. Serving pescatarians? This Salt-Baked Whole Fish with Fennel and Olives will impress your guests with its dramatic reveal. And if you’re looking to skip the usual turkey day fare and eat a lasagna instead…we’ve got you covered.

04 of 11

Start with Snacks

Cheese Croustades Recipe
Justin Walker

Thanksgiving isn’t just about the spread. Your guests need a place to graze while they wait for you to work your magic in the kitchen. Here are our favorite Thanksgiving appetizers and quick hors d’oeuvres to inspire you. Want to add a fresh bite to your spread? Salad is a great way to bring some balance to an otherwise heavy and rich meal.

05 of 11

Vegan and Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes

Mizono's Whole Roasted Cauliflower
Greg DuPree

We've rounded up all the classics you would expect for your vegan or vegetarian Thanksgiving spread, with some alternatives for mains, like our glorious Miznon's Whole Roasted Cauliflower. Plus, these 5 Vegetarian Thanksgiving Sides Will Make Your Holiday.

New to meat-free for Thanksgiving? Learn from the experts on How Vegan Chefs Think Outside the Tofurkey for Thanksgiving as well as learn how to Build a Beautiful Vegan Cheese Board (that should absolutely include this brilliant Vegan Pimiento Cheese recipe).

06 of 11

We're All About the Stuffing, Sides, and Vegetables

Root Vegetable Gratin
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

On Thanksgiving, the sides are also the main event. Go all out with these next-level sides. We also have everything from the classics like our best Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, sweet potato and mashed potato recipes. 

You can’t forget the starches! Look no further for every variation of stuffing and dressing recipes and don’t sleep on this secret ingredient to upgrade every stuffing. Round out your spread with cornbread and our best macaroni and cheese recipes. No Thanksgiving is complete without Parker House Rolls. Looking to simplify? Check out these 20 Easy Thanksgiving Side Dishes.

07 of 11

Don't Forget the Gravy and Cranberry Sauce

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

It’s all gravy with our Best-Ever Turkey Gravy and these smart tips on how to build gravy from scratch, and a few liberating gravy tips from our editor-in-chief. Or take your gravy an extra step and give your guests the royal treatment with this delicious Mushroom-and-Herb Gravy with Apple Brandy, which starts with 3 cups of turkey jus.

For some people, cranberries are the real star of the Thanksgiving spread. We have every type of cranberry recipe from our best fresh cranberry recipes, plus tips on how to upgrade canned cranberry sauce.

08 of 11

Our Favorite Pies and Other Desserts to Finish the Meal

Brandy Pecan Pie
Gerard + Belevender

During our Thanksgiving dinner, we give thanks for the abundance of fun and tasty recipes for Our 31 Best Thanksgiving Desserts and Thanksgiving Pies. Want to take the work out of it? Two Pastry Geniuses Have Your Thanksgiving Desserts All Figured Out

We can all agree that Thanksgiving Is the Best Pie Holiday. With these Thanksgiving Pie Recipes to Suit Every Taste and Preference, you can mix and match eight pie crusts and fillings to customize your dessert. 

Not a pie person? Here are 9 Best Holiday Desserts to Make Instead of Pie, According to Top Pastry Chefs

In a time crunch? Our 17 Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Desserts are perfect for Thanksgiving preppers. For those with specific tastes, we’ve got Easy Chocolate Desserts, 21 Quick and Easy Apple Desserts, and 13 Pumpkin Dessert Recipes to Make This Fall.

09 of 11

What to Drink with Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving Cocktails
Carey Jones

While we absolutely approve of you having A Very Sommelier Thanksgiving with The Best Wines for Thanksgiving Dinner or The Best Wines to Go With Turkey, we think these Festive Thanksgiving Cocktails will also help make the occasion much more memorable – and allow you to show off your bartending skills. So, take advantage of our holiday-inspired cocktail recipes that taste like fall

We’ve got drinks for all with 7 Low-Alcohol Drinks That Are Perfect for Thanksgiving and 10 Ciders to Pair with Thanksgiving Dinner. And better yet, these Hot Cocktails Are Like Heating Lamps for the Soul and would make the perfect companion for your holiday spread.

10 of 11

Here's What to Do with Your Leftovers

Buffalo Turkey Hand Pies
Photo: Jennifer Causey / Food stylist / Chelsea Zimmer / Prop stylist Kathleen Varner

These Thanksgiving Leftovers Ideas Are Even Better Than the Next-Day Sandwich with Candied Sweet Potato Pancakes and Creamy Mashed Potato Soup with Dashi. Better yet, our Thanksgiving Leftovers Nachos combine all of your leftovers goodness with deliciously gooey monterey jack cheese for an epic post-holiday treat. 

Still have even more turkey leftover? Look at our favorite Thanksgiving Leftover Turkey Recipes to Try from Buffalo Turkey Hand Pies pies to Turkey "Carnitas" with Green Mojo, your Thanksgiving 2.0 can be repurposed into all different kinds of meals.

We’ve got you covered with ways to repurpose all of your Thanksgiving leftovers through 10 Ways to Use Leftover Pie Dough, 5 Ways to Use Leftover Roasted Potatoes, and Our Best Leftover Bread Recipes.

11 of 11

These Tools and Gadgets Make it Easy

Holiday cooking tools available on Amazon

We’ve gathered some of the best Thanksgiving tools that have the Food & Wine seal of approval that can help you to make meal prep a bit simpler. From basting to baking, we’ve found the perfect tool. 

Take the hassle out of Thanksgiving cooking with 10 KitchenAid Tools That Are Perfect for Thanksgiving Prep and 17 Editor-Approved Holiday Cooking Tools You Can Buy on Amazon

With the Best Meat Thermometers to Buy Right Now, The 7 Best Kitchen Tongs of 2022 and The 9 Best Vegetable Peelers for 2022, your Thanksgiving prep will be a breeze. Also, make sure to check out the Best Nonstick Cookware Sets, Based On Our Tests to perfect all of your sides and fixings.

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