Dorie Greenspan’s Holiday Kuri Squash and Apple Soup is a perfect make-ahead dish. (Scott Suchman for The Washington Post)

Most of us probably would call the theme of our Thanksgiving meal “cobbled together” — you know, a mix of old favorites, new dishes and a bunch of things in between.

But if there are particular holes in your meal that you’d like to fill, or if you’d like a fully fleshed out meal by category, we have some menus for your consideration. (Click on the links below to take you to each particular menu.)

Make ahead | Last minute | Simple | With a twist | Americana | Cooking for two | Vegetarian | Vegan | Calorie conscious | WaPo Favorites

Make-ahead recipes

You probably don’t have enough kitchen space to do all of your Thanksgiving cooking on Thursday, so it’s important to cross at least a few dishes off the list before Turkey Day arrives.

Dorie Greenspans’ Holiday Kuri Squash and Apple Soup

Cranberry and Fig Sauce

Jumbled Greens

Turkey Breast Stuffed With Pears, Fennel and Hazelnuts

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy

Pumpkin-Caramel Tart With Toasted Hazelnut Crust

Last-minute recipes

So you forgot Thanksgiving was coming up. It happens. Not to worry, however: These recipes can be made before company arrives, and your guests will be none the wiser.


Oysters Gin and Tonic. (Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Oysters Gin and Tonic

Celeriac Puree

Cream Soda Butternut Squash

Herb-Crusted Roast (Butterflied) Turkey

Cranberry-Apple Crisp

Simple recipes

Thanksgiving is a holiday of excess, but that doesn’t mean you have to go overboard with elaborate ingredients and kitchen techniques. You can’t go wrong with these simple, sure-thing dishes.


Celery, Walnut and Pecorino Salad. (Renee Comet for The Washington Post)

Celery, Walnut and Pecorino Salad

Basic Mashed Potatoes

Green Beans With Lemon Zest

Jellied Cranberry Sauce

Pam Ginsberg’s No-Fuss Roast Turkey

Dorie Greenspan’s Custardy Apple Squares

Turkey Day with a twist

For a twist on some classic Thanksgiving fare, try these alternative yet still holiday-appropriate recipes.

Olive Oil Biscuits

Arugula and Grapefruit Salad

Beet-Sweet Potato Packets With Goat Cheese Cream

Kalua Turkey


Cranberry-Gingersnap Ice Cream Pie. (Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Cranberry-Gingersnap Ice Cream Pie

Classic Americana

These more-than-classic Thanksgiving recipes are steeped in Americana, many with ties to the White House.

Oysters Biltmore

Grover Cleveland Parsnip Fritters. (Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; tableware from Crate and Barrel) Grover Cleveland Parsnip Fritters. (Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; tableware from Crate and Barrel)

Grover Cleveland Parsnip Fritters

Cracklin’ Corn Bread

Cranberries Cooked in Honey

Rich, Velvety Potato Puree

Annelie’s Cinnamon-y Sweet Potatoes

Laura Bush’s Green Beans With Anchovy Butter

White House Thyme-Roasted Turkey

Mamie Eisenhower’s Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

Cooking for a party of two

You don’t need to be expecting a big crowd to eat well on Thanksgiving. These recipes are perfect for a party of two.

Broccolini Salad With Gorgonzola and Pistachios

Crab Salad on Kohlrabi

Apple Cider-Glazed Turkey Kebabs


Mashed Potatoes With Tuscan Kale. (Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; dinnerware from Crate and Barrel)

Mashed Potatoes With Tuscan Kale

Cranberry-Almond Crisp

Vegetarian dishes

Contrary to popular belief, meat is not a Thanksgiving prerequisite. These dishes are a delicious alternative.

Roasted Sunchoke and Celery Root Soup

Moroccan-Style Carrot and Beet Salad

Kale and Butternut Squash Gratin

Tamari-Roasted Brussels Sprouts


Vegetarian Roast Beast. (Jennifer Chase for The Washington Post)

Vegetarian Roast Beast

Garam Masala Pumpkin Tart

Vegan dishes

These vegan recipes are worth a place on any Thanksgiving table.

Fennel, Persimmon and Pomegranate Salad

Squash and Apple Puree

Corn Bread Apple “Sausage” Stuffing


Whole Roasted Cauliflower With Chimichurri and Almonds. (Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Whole Roasted Cauliflower With Chimichurri and Almonds

Mushroom and Stout Potpies With Sweet Potato Crusts

Bourbon Pecan Pie

Recipes for the calorie conscious

Looking for a lighter Thanksgiving? These recipes are on the healthier side, without sacrificing flavor.

Brussels Sprouts California Style


Sugar Snap Peas With Cranberry-Apple Cider Sauce. (Tracy A. Woodward/The Washington Post)

Sugar Snap Peas With Cranberry-Apple Cider Sauce

Sweet Potato Casserole (a Makeover)

Salt-Encrusted Turkey Breast

Baked Ricotta Custards

Washington Post Food favorites

Everyone has a favorite recipe or two that they’re happy to make year after year. These are some of ours.

Thanksgiving Jell-O

Cranberry Sauce Mold

Fifteen-Layer Potato Gratin

Balsamic Pearl Onions

Hazelnut and Sausage Stuffing

Julia and Jacques’ Deconstructed Turkey With Corn Bread Stuffing and Gravy


Persian-Spiced Sweet Potato Pie. (Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Persian-Spiced Sweet Potato Pie

Tiny Tim Cranberry Tarts

Fluffy Pumpkin Buttermilk Pie