Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Menu Ideas, Recipes for 2021

You can be someone who is throwing the Thanksgiving dinner for the very first time. Or, you can be someone who has been doing the same for years now. But, in both cases deciding on a thanksgiving dinner menu can be a challenge several times.

It is obviously because you need to choose the stuffing recipes, mashed potato recipes, and the turkey. But, this year, for your convenience, we’ve put together the best traditional Thanksgiving menu ideas.

So, without any delays, let’s get started!

Historical Thanksgiving Dinner Menus

The use of the turkey is most common in the United States for Thanksgiving dinner. Although there are many other meats that are popular, but the roasted turkey has always been placed at the head of the table. Talking about the dessert, the famous pumpkin pie is included in the historical menus. In fact, the pumpkin pie has such significance in a true Thanksgiving occasion that it remains incomplete without pumpkin pie.

Thanksgiving Menu
Thanksgiving Menu from Wikipedia

Other popular dishes which are very popular are:

  • Cream of chicken soup
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Fried smelts
  • Sauce tartare
  • Olives
  • Roast turkey
  • Oysters on the half shell
  • Baked squash
  • Almond ice cream
  • Lemon jelly
  • Chicken salad
  • Venison pastry
  • Pumpkin pie
  • Mince pie
  • Charlotte russe
  • Hickory nut cake
  • Cheese
  • Fruits and coffee etc.

Thanksgiving Day Main Dishes

As we also mentioned above, Turkey is the most common main dish on a Thanksgiving dinner. Therefore, people also call Thanksgiving as “Turkey Day.”

Thanksgiving day dinner meu
Whole thanksgiving dinner menu for 2021

After a few years, the turkey had also become an indispensable part of the Thanksgiving dinner in New England. The Thanksgiving turkeys are most commonly get stuffed with a traditional savory bread pudding and then get roasted.

However, there is a traditional herb named ‘sage’ which is added to the stuffing. Plus, turkey is stuffed with chopped onions and celery as well.

Some other ingredients that are used most popularly for stuffing are:

  • Crumbled sausage or bacon
  • Carrots
  • Chopped chestnuts
  • Tree nutscranberries
  • Raisins or apples

Alternatives to Turkey

A dish called ‘entrees’ is sometimes served at the Thanksgiving dinner. It is served either alongside the turkey, or it is sometimes placed as the main dish.

Apart from this, baked ham is also served at Thanksgiving in many households. At some places, the main dish is the roast goose or duck, whereas at some places, especially in Italy, capon is considered the main dish.

And, Irish immigrants have prime rib of beef as their centerpiece. But what about non-vegetarians? We know not everyone eats turkey or other non-veg dishes.

So, in that case, vegetarians or vegans may choose tofu. They can also go for wheat gluten or lentil-based substitute such as tofurky. The vegetarians can be served with the vegetable-based dishes such as stuffed squash etc.

Thanksgiving Day Side Dishes

Side dishes for thanksgiving 2021
Side dishes to make on this Thanksgiving day

There are numerous dishes that can be typically served along with the main dish.

The most commonly served vegetable side dishes are: winter squash and sweet potatoes, which are prepared differently.

There are some roasted vegetables that are also served as the side dish, such as carrots, beets, celery, turnips, asparagus, sprouts, and cauliflower, etc.

Creamed corn and Green beans are also very popular side dishes. Green beans are served in the form of green bean casserole.

Many times, a fresh salad may be included in a relish tray with various pickles, olives, onions or peppers, and much more.

Thanksgiving Day Desserts

Deserts for Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving deserts including different pies

When it comes to a dessert on Thanksgiving dinner, I can’t think of anything but a pie. Yes, because it is a tradition, and various pies are usually served as a dessert on Thanksgiving.

As we mentioned earlier, pumpkin pie is the tradition of Thanksgiving dinner. Hence, it is the most popular sweet dish for celebrating Thanksgiving.

But, apple pie and pecan pie are also among the most favorite desserts. In addition to all these pies, sweet potato pie, mincemeat pie, cherry pie, and chocolate cream pie are also served in many households.

Thanksgiving Day Beverages

Beverages for Thanksgiving
Healthy beverages for thanksgiving

Well, when it comes to beverages, it depends. It varies depending on who is present at the table and their tastes. However, in the 90’s it was common to consume hard cider and alcoholic punches.

Other Thanksgiving beverage options are milk, water, and lemonade, and pitchers of sweet tea. Coffee is also a frequently served beverage at the end of Thanksgiving dinner.

However, spirits or cocktails are generally offered before the main meal. On the dinner table, the most often served beverages are unfermented apple cider or wine.

Final Thoughts on Thanksgiving Day Dinner Menu

This was all about the food items that you can include in your Thanksgiving dinner.

We hope this write-up will help you decide what options to keep in the thanksgiving dinner this year.

However, it was just the suggestions you can try something very new if you have something in mind. Or, you can go with the traditional dinner options only. To conclude, we would say… Enjoy your thanksgiving day to the fullest!!