Here at Cooking Chew, we don’t need an excuse to party — but Thanksgiving’s as good as any.
Religious origins and controversial history aside, the notion that we ought to take more time out to be thankful for what we have and acknowledge how lucky we are (some of us more than others) is plenty celebration-worthy.
It’s a holiday season when we gather and share with some of our closest people, and invite those who may not have a place to wear their fat pants.
In place of cooking a dozen different same-ol’ dishes, we’ve decided to innovate with a fresh, vibrant spread that we’re hoping will halve our traditional intake of leftover turkey.
Who knows, maybe you’ll find a few new favorite Thanksgiving potluck recipes.
Here’s every recipe you need to create or add to a wonderful Thanksgiving potluck.
Yee-haw. This decadent, ooey-gooey mac and cheese has the soft, comforting consistency of something your grandmamma has served you countless times — though we’re sure you’ll appreciate the modern addition of a delectably crisp breadcrumb top.
Here in the south, this is one of those classic sides most potlucks don’t go without.
Potluck cooking’s got to be inclusive — that’s why we love these gluten-free, vegan pumpkin cheesecakes.
That and the fact that they’re delicious.
3. Kale Salad With Apples And Cheddar Cheese
“How nice of you to bring salad to the potluck . . . You can set it down over there, thank you. Yes, right next to the untouched cranberry sauce and corn pudding.”
Look, we know what you’re thinking and no, we’re not trying get you sneered out of the room — but kale deserves its moment in the spotlight.
Plus, this fragrant, zesty salad popping with cheddar cheese pairs excellently with turkey.
This Thanksgiving, we’re grateful our meal looks nothing like the feast Wampanoag Indians and Pilgrims first ate in 1621 (a dozen deer and some corn).
It’s them we’re getting tipsy in homage to, and there’s no better way to do it than with this fizzy, spicy cider.
Add cinnamon sticks to garnish, if desired.
Remember those first couple of months during quarantine when banana bread became a coping mechanism?
You know what the perfect place to show off those recently acquired baking-chops would be?
Your Thanksgiving potluck dinner.
You can add vanilla ice cream or just plenty of butter and call this one of your trendy Thanksgiving desserts.
Thanksgiving is the perfect time for the comfort of simple, warming treats like these wonderfully-fluffy salami and scallion biscuits.
Pale gold, and craggy with butter — you’ll want a nick a few of these yourself before the party. In the interest of taste-testing, of course.
Serve with a light dusting of parmesan cheese.
Cheddar beer bread rolls — the breakfast, lunch and dinner of champions. And frat boys. Coming soon to a potluck near you.
Pro Tip: Did you know you can even keep dinner rolls warm in a slow cooker? Yes. Preheat to the Keep Warm setting, add your rolls and leave the lid on but not sealed.
The best thing about this classic pâtissier’s tart is that it can be made well in advance — now you can spend Thanksgiving getting suitably drunk and still impress guests with a show-stopper dessert.
Ah, this one’s a crowd favorite!
These slow-cooked, velvet-soft mashed potatoes are going to make you famous and everyone else fat.
Top with fresh herbs to pretend you’re eating a vegetable. You’re welcome.
We pity the oft-maligned Brussels sprouts: if you can’t season, that’s on you.
This zingy, bold recipe is the farthest thing from bland — and it makes for an excellent companion to rich, salty meats, especially turkey.
Pumpkin lends this lovely, moist loaf a mellow sweetness while maple syrup adds characterful pomp and flavor. Serve at room-temperature with a nice scoop of vanilla-bean ice-cream.
Add a little extravagance to your Thanksgiving dinner with this gloriously-decadent chocolate tart. Best enjoyed in generous wedges straight out of the fridge.
A big bowl of seriously creamy, comfortingly-cheesy pasta with salty, juicy chunks of butternut squash scattered throughout . . . a flourish of bold flavors that will definitively outdo any other side dishes unfortunate enough to be present at the same table.
Our alternative to sweet potato casserole and the “melty, cheesey, corn thing” guests will be asking about for weeks to come. We think a little acid cuts nicely through the butter here — pair with a cold cider.
15. Broccoli Caesar
Raw broccoli takes center stage in this fresh, bright riff on a classic.
If you’re the sort that thinks a Caesar’s got to be smothered under layers and layers of ranch and croutons, this stunning dish is about to broaden your horizons.
Pairs very well with an audacious, nutty goat cheese.
If you’ve got some wontons (store-bought is fine) and cream cheese lying around, you can rustle up the easiest, most irresistible last-minute dinner party snack of all time.
17. Banana Cream Pie
Whipped cream turrets, glittering peanuts and a banana cream moat — the humble banana is elevated here to dizzying new heights, floating amongst clouds of rich custard nestled inside a salty cracker base.
There’s nothing quite so intensely satisfying as a green-bean casserole. This iteration features garlicky sausages but you can use whatever links you’d like.
These sweet potato bites are hybrid of two American classics: s’mores and pecan pie. If you like either, you’ll love these more.
This is one of those sweet potato recipes that just holler holiday flavor could become a new favorite side dish recipe.
We’ve got a thing for canned cranberries. And brie.
One fateful night spent furtively eating both by the light of the fridge yielded the discovery that they paired exceedingly well together.
Do away with all the trappings of a traditional charcuterie board — this is fruit and cheese at their finest.
21. Turkey Pot Pie
Would you rather not bother with a whole turkey? This turkey pot pie is a great way to do that and still end up with leftovers.
It’s all about the bird.
You can’t go wrong with this succulent, juicy, fail-safe main course meat-lovers are certain to enjoy.
And you can find plenty of high quality birds at your local grocery stores.
If ordinary cranberry sauce isn’t your thing, you’ll be pleased to know you can turn it into an unexpectedly delicious orange infused jelly.
It’s time to trot out those Jell-O molds.
These blistered, spicy Sichuanese dry-fried beans are as quick to put together as they are delicious.
Soft, salty and delightfully crunchy — these will be among the first thing to go at your Thanksgiving table.
Or take it back to basics when your oven space is jammed: Green Bean Casserole you make in the microwave.
Sugar and spice and everything nice — that’s what pumpkin pies are made of.
And this particular easy recipe is a favorite of ours: warm ginger and cinnamon melting into sweet caramel with a spiced, fluffy topping.
This impossibly pretty pink cake makes a lovely Thanksgiving centerpiece — it’s definitely a cut above chocolate pilgrims.
We’re not cookie-puritans — because we love fun and having it. These chewy pumpkin-chocolate chip cookies are just that: fun.
Do cookies count as a delicious side dish?
The bottom line:
Look — buckets of gravy and mountains of sweet potatoes aside, Thanksgiving is meant to remind you what you’re grateful for, not stress you out.
And if we happen to be invited somewhere for even less stress, we can choose from a nice curated list of some really special Thanksgiving feast recipes.
We’re taking a chilled-out approach to the holiday season this year with a pared down Thanksgiving meal spread of some of our favorites. Whether you’re cooking for few or many, we hope the recipes on this list have made your job a little easier.
Admit it, there are never enough food browsing opportunities:
- 15 Easy Thanksgiving Dessert Ideas
- Vegan Thanksgiving Options
- 13 Thanksgiving Side Dish Ideas
- 11 Creative Cranberry Sauces
- How To Reheat Homemade Stuffing
From our family members to yours: Happy Thanksgiving!
- Southern Macaroni And Cheese
- Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Kale Salad With Apples And Cheddar Cheese
- Apple Cider And Bourbon Punch
- Nutella Banana Bread With Brown Sugar
- Salami And Scallion Biscuits
- Cheddar Beer Dinner Rolls
- Glazed And Flaky Apple Tart
- Mashed Potatoes With Cripsety Crunchies
- Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Warm Honey Glaze
- Pumpkin Bread With Maple Salted Butter And Brown Sugar
- Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart
- Butternut Squash Baked Pasta
- Cheesy Corn Casserole
- Broccoli Caesar
- Crispy Cram Cheese Wontons
- Banana Cream Pie
- Green Bean Casserole
- Sweet Potato Bites
- Cranberry Brie Bites
- Turkey Pot Pie
- Roast Turkey Breast
- Lightening Quick Cranberry And Orange Jelly
- Dry Fried Green Beans With Tofu And Wild Rice
- Pumpkin Pie With Cinnamon Cream Fraiche
- White Cake With Cranberry Buttercream
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Pick as many ideas as you want to make
- Follow the recipe instructions
- Have a happy Thanksgiving