15+ Thanksgiving recipes to enjoy all day long from breakfast to appetizers, the big meal and dessert!
Get your stretchy pants ready, people, Thanksgiving is a-comin’!
I’ll admit my mind has largely moved onto Christmas as its already snowed a couple times which all but forced me to decorate the tree and hang up our stockings to cope, but I know that once I step foot inside my parent’s house next Thursday morning, one hand reaching for a mimosa, the other for a plate of Breakfast Casserole, my eyes scanning the family room for the closest open seat to the fire, that it will hit me.
Ahem. Although 95% of my family’s main Thanksgiving menu goes unchanged from year to year, there’s still room for a new breakfast, appetizer, side dish or dessert recipe to throw in the mix. If your family’s the same way, hopefully you can squeeze in one of my favorite, Thanksgiving-ready recipes to enjoy during your day of feasting and thanks-giving. I’ve scanned the IGE archives to find my favorite recipes from breakfasts to enjoy in the morning, appetizers to nibble on in the afternoon, side dishes to supplement the turkey, and desserts to savor while planted on the couch watching movies or football afterwards.
Since some of these recipes were created before I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, and thus had to go gluten-free, I’ve indicated which recipes are gluten-free, not gluten-free, or gluten-free adaptable (meaning you’ll just have to make one or two ingredient swaps.)
I would be so honored to be a part of your family’s Thanksgiving day this year. If you make a recipe be sure to tag me on Instagram or Twitter @IowaGirlEats or #iowagirleats so I can see! Happy Thanksgiving, all!
8 Minute Mini Cinnamon Rolls (Not GF)
8 Minute Mini Cinnamon Rolls are one of the most pinned recipes here on IGE and for good reason. They take just 8 minutes to make and are the CUTEST little 1-bite treats. They seriously fit on a spoon. Take my advice and make a double batch!
Shortcut Caramel Cinnamon Rolls (Not GF)
Craving homemade cinnamon rolls for Thanksgiving but don’t want to take the time to make the dough from scratch? Use frozen bread dough instead. Seriously, you’ll never know the difference and it’ll save tons of time in the kitchen. These Shortcut Caramel Cinnamon Rolls are delightfully sinful and ooey-gooey.
Orange Glazed Mini Poppy Seed Muffins (GF Adaptable)
My Mom usually makes loaves of Orange-Glazed Mini Poppy Seed Muffins around the holidays to hand out to friends and neighbors, but this mini version is my favorite. The orange glaze sinks down into the muffins then turns a tad bit crisp on top as it hardens. SO GOOD. To make gluten-free, use a gluten-free flour baking blend instead of regular all-purpose flour.
Crock Pot Breakfast Casserole (GF)
If a sweet beginning to Thanksgiving morning isn’t your thing, I bet Crock Pot Breakfast Casserole could be! This recipe is hearty, warm, and filling, and cooked right in the crock pot.
Crab Rangoon Bites (GF Adaptable)
Did you make these Crab Rangoon Bites when I posted them last year? They are one of my favorite appetizer recipes ever. So simple and 100% tastes like a stuffed crab rangoon, except you don’t have to do all the folding and frying. To make gluten-free, spread the filling into a baking dish, bake per recipe instructions, and then serve with gluten free crackers or chips.
How to Make a Cheese Platter for Entertaining (GF)
Set out a full and fabulous cheese plate a couple hours before the main meal to let everyone nibble on without ruining their appetite. My guide for How to Make a Cheese Platter for Entertaining makes it easy!
Baked Brie Bites (Not GF)
Baked Brie Bites can be customized with three different types of fillings for everyone’s appetite. A twist on regular baked brie that’s much easier to pop and savor.
Skinny Cheesy Spinach, Artichoke and Mushroom Dip (GF)
We love warm dips at our house over the holidays like Skinny Cheesy Spinach, Artichoke and Mushroom Dip. This dip is just cheesy enough, with the flavors of spinach and artichoke dip, and buttery garlic party mushrooms.
Bacon-Wrapped Almond-Stuffed Dates (GF)
Bacon-Wrapped Almond-Stuffed Dates may not be lookers but I promise they’ll be one of the first appetizers to go from your Thanksgiving spread. The combination of sweet and savory, chewy and crunchy is totally mind melting.
Kale and Wild Rice Bowls with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette (GF)
I brought Kale and Wild Rice Bowls with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette to Thanksgiving last year and it was a total hit. Fresh but hearty, and full of Thanksgiving-y flavors (that’s a real thing,) like apples, dried cranberries, and savory wild rice.
Luann’s Kale Salad (GF)
With fun textures and flavors in every bite, Luann’s Kale Salad is a tasty and light option to serve instead of plain ol’ salad!
Grandma’s Holiday Salad (GF)
Ok “salad” is a bit of a stretch, but sweet and fluffy Grandma’s Holiday Salad has been a staple on my family’s holiday table for over 3 decades. It is fantastic!
Side Dish Recipes
Lighter Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Shallots (GF Adaptable)
Say goodbye to thick and gloopy green bean casseroles of yesteryear with Lighter Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Shallots made without condensed soup. The crispy shallots on top will knock your socks off! To make gluten-free use gluten-free flour (any kind – I recommend white or brown rice flour) instead of regular all-purpose flour.
Quinoa with Caramelized Butternut Squash & Roasted Brussels Sprouts (GF)
If you’re not feeling green bean casserole this year, give Quinoa with Caramelized Butternut Squash & Roasted Brussels Sprouts a try. I LOVE the combination of sweet and savory, and the dusting of fresh parmesan on top is a real treat. Healthy and delicious.
Sweet Potato Stuffed Apples with Toasted Marshmallows (GF)
Sweet Potato Stuffed Apples with Toasted Marshmallows are another IGE-family tradition! My Mom used to make extra for my friends to enjoy post-Thanksgiving, they’re so good. Think sweet potato casserole baked inside a scooped out apple shell.
Healthier Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes (GF)
If regular mashed potatoes are too heavy for you, give Healthier Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes a try. They’re made with half cauliflower, half potatoes, and jazzed up with roasted garlic. Much lighter than all potato, but taste-wise, you’d never know why!
Party Potatoes Deluxe (GF Adaptable)
Ok, I probably sound like a broken record but Party Potatoes Deluxe have been the pillar of our Thanksgiving table foooorrrreeeevvvverrr. Creamy, cheesy, and crunchy – I’d eat them everyday if I could. They’re my #1 favorite food on the Thanksgiving table! To make gluten free, make homemade cream of chicken soup and omit the corn flake topping, or use gluten-free corn flakes if you can find them.
Bacon-Wrapped Turkey Breast with Creamy Wild Rice Stuffing and Cranberry-Apple Chutney (GF*)
If you’re expecting a small crowd for Thanksgiving this year and don’t want to cook an entire bird, make my Bacon-Wrapped Turkey Breast with Creamy Wild Rice Stuffing and Cranberry-Apple Chutney. The flavors are spot on, and it feeds about four.
*Double check wild rice mix to make sure it’s gluten-free.
Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pies with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting (GF Adaptable)
I’ve been making Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pies with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting for years and years. Cakey and sweet, they are the perfect marriage of cake and cupcake. Love these festive pies to pieces! To make gluten-free, use a gluten-free flour baking blend instead of regular all-purpose flour.
Pumpkin Gingersnap Cheesecake (GF Adaptable)
Pumpkin Gingersnap Cheesecake is dense, creamy, and decadent. If you don’t love pumpkin pie – this is your Thanksgiving dessert! To make gluten-free, use gluten-free gingersnaps.
Honey, Pomegranate, Pecan Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps (Mayo-Free!) (GF)
Don’t forget to use your leftover turkey in fresh and light Honey, Pomegranate, Pecan Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps. Just sub turkey for chicken!