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What is The Best Thanksgiving Dinner

by Christine Smith • 2023-07-17 22:31:58 • Proven solutions

As the name suggests, Thanksgiving is a way of saying thanks for a good harvest of the preceding year. Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday and celebrated in the United States, Canada, Grenada, Brazil, Liberia, and Saint Lucia. Some sub-national entities like Leiden, Norfolk Island, and Puerto Rico also celebrate Thanksgiving Day.

Thanksgiving Dinner is a way of bestowing gratitude to God and people's services under whom a robust harvest as possible. It is the largest eating event in the United States. People tend to eat more on Thanksgiving Day than any other day.

Hosting a soul food thanksgiving menu dinner is the perfect way to commemorate this momentous day. Through the following article, let us learn more about this festive occasion.

Part 1. What is the best menu for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner

Whether hosting Thanksgiving Dinner for the first time or for a veteran, the amount of work is overwhelming. A lot of planning comes before it is the time to serve and savor the platter on Thanksgiving Day.

From getting the perfect Thanksgiving Centerpiece to garnishing and churning out other delicacies, one has a lot on their plate before the Big Day! There is nothing like an easy thanksgiving dinner. It is rather an extravagant spread with fancy varieties. Some dishes for thanksgiving are constant. Classics like mashed potatoes, stuffing recipes, and the time-honored favorite of the ritual- turkey, never change. Still, you don’t want to be repetitive. So, to add spark to the gala, a few interesting additions are always on the Thanksgiving menu.

Sounds overwhelming. Hey, chill out. Following Thanksgiving dinner ideas will help you whip up a scrumptious feast. Rest assured that these Thanksgiving dishes ideas will bring a smile to even the most discerning guests.

1. Appetizers

Thanksgiving appetizer recipes are a must-have on any thanksgiving dinner menu if you plan to have guests before the actual feast begins. It will be embarrassing to have your guests conk out with hunger while you’re still roasting your favorite turkey. Among the best Thanksgiving appetizers, prepare something simple and easy-to-consume. Some easy appetizers for thanksgiving are nachos-cheese platter, biscuit sandwiches, mixed nuts, stuffed mushrooms with roasted tomatoes and goat cheese, and Caprese kabobs to name a few. You can also serve fruits, olives, and fresh salad for high health and nutrition. These light thanksgiving appetizers offer appropriate filling till the next thanksgiving turkey dinner feast.


2. Drinks

Want to raise a perfect toast to your elaborate traditional thanksgiving dinner? The best way to have a relaxed ambiance before your grand show is by working up a Thanksgiving cocktail, no doubt! Liven up a small side-table for some juicy cocktails like Pumpkin Spice Martini, Pumpkin Pie Punch, or Pumpkin Spice White Russian. Then there are Apple Cider Mimosas, Apple Cider Mojitos, Pecan Pie Martini, Thanksgiving Mules, and Thanksgiving Jungle Juice, a hit with all age-groups. Your adult guests will love you if you spruce up the dinner with some heady cocktails like Cranberry Champagne, Apple Toddy, Bring on the Bourbon, or Maple on Tap. Here are 3-cheers to Thanksgiving dinners to go!


3. Main Course

Thanksgiving turkey, what else? Among the many foods for Thanksgiving, Turkey is the Thanksgiving Centerpiece of the traditional dinner. How you want to do your turkey is entirely your choice. Whether classic roast, air-fried, juicy, ranch-seasoned, cooked in herbs and spices, or done with a creative stuffing, turkey is the quintessential star-dish of the thanksgiving dinner menu.

Turkey-roast done over the wood chips is another popular choice. It gives a typical flavor to the bird meat that makes you long for the delicacy all year-round.

Main Course

4. Sides

Doesn’t the star-attraction turkey get a bit boring and repetitive every year? It is the assortment of delicious side dishes for Thanksgiving dinner that come to your rescue and set the ball rolling. Thanksgiving recipes side dishes such as cornbread, mashed potatoes, and green beans are ideal finger-licking foods that keep your family and friends well-satiated. With some creativity and delectable twists, you can churn out easy side dishes for thanksgiving. Add a twist to your mashed potatoes by adding a crunchy pecan topping. Dish out a healthy Vegan Scalloped Potato Salad with silken tofu, garnished with brown onions. Give a smoky upgrade to your corn with a new recipe called Charred Creamed Corn. Of course, Brussels sprouts, mashed turnips, and baby carrots are traditional Thanksgiving platter items. With such mouthwatering choices, your side dishes are bound to steal the show.


5. Desserts

All‘s well that ends well. Desserts are the best way to wrap up the perfect Thanksgiving dinner. Surprising it may sound, but all guests manage to keep some room for the delicious desserts served towards the feast's end. Pumpkin desserts and apple desserts are all-time favorites that satiate any gathering. You can also dish out something festive that reflects the ambiance of the fall season. Cranberry juice cakes, Pecan-pie desserts, Chocolate Pumpkin Truffle Pops, Pumpkin Trifle, and Warm Apple Crisp are some unbeatable sugary delights bound to draw crowds to your dessert table.


Thanksgiving is a family affair. Almost all people dine at home with friends and family. Therefore, Thanksgiving is one of the leanest days for restaurants. However, if you Google thanksgiving dinner near me, a name likely to pop up is Cracker Barrel thanksgiving dinner. The restaurant serves sumptuous thanksgiving dinner food, “The Homestyle Turkey ‘n' Dressing Meal.” For desserts, Cracker Barrel has a bountiful choice of freshly baked pies.

Part 2. What is served at a traditional Thanksgiving dinner

A traditional Thanksgiving dinner in the US and Canada comprises an elaborate meal, the centerpiece of which is a grand roasted turkey. Because of this reason, Thanksgiving Day is popularly called “Turkey Day.” Sometimes, traditional turkey is replaced by baked ham, roasted goose, duck, or fowl native to the dinner region.

A variety of side dishes like cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes with gravy, and stuffing complement the dinner. Green bean casserole, corn, sweet potatoes, and winter squash are also popular as additional side dishes. These dishes are created with ingredients/supplies that reflect the cultural heritage and tradition of the region.

Traditional Thanksgiving dishes will have roast turkey, turkey stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, corn, green beans, cranberry sauce, dinner rolls, and pumpkin pie.

The most attractive part of the Thanksgiving Dinner is stuffing or dressing. Many North Americans regard the dinner as incomplete without this garnishing. Lately, people have started experimenting with the classic Thanksgiving menu. While some love to explore non-traditional thanksgiving dinner ideas, a few prefer whole foods thanksgiving meals.

In short, a lavish table with new varieties along with the traditional Thanksgiving favorites does the trick.

thanksgiving dinner

Part 3. Why do eat turkey at Thanksgiving

Turkey is a uniquely American bird. Therefore, it gained popularity as a Thanksgiving food of choice after Winston Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday in the mid-1800s. Soon Thanksgiving was recognized as a family feast. There were more practical reasons for consuming turkey on the day. Being a family reunion of sorts, Thanksgiving Day dinner entailed having a bird large enough to feed the huge gathering. For this reason, turkey became one of the Thanksgiving main dishes.

Ironically, there were no turkeys in the first Thanksgiving food. "The First Thanksgiving," a 1621 banquet at Plymouth Colony, had waterfowl, clams, lobster, venison, squash, pumpkin, berries, and fruit.

eat turkey

Part 4. What needs to do before eating Thanksgiving dinner

Before the start of the Thanksgiving Day food, all family members and friends gather together and offer prayers for thanksgiving dinner. This is the way of expressing their gratitude to the Almighty.

The traditional prayers for Thanksgiving dinner go like this-

Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts which we are about to receive. From Thy bounty, through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Thank you, heavenly Father, for my bread, dad, mother, and bed.

This food comes from the Earth and the Sky. It is the gift of the entire universe.

Thank God for home, and crisp, fair weather.

prayers for thanksgiving

Part 5. What time do most people eat Thanksgiving dinner

The most popular time to serve Thanksgiving dinner is in the early afternoon. According to recent research in the United States, 42 percent of families start their Thanksgiving dinner between 1:00 p.m-3:00 p.m. Sitting down for an early dinner means that guests arrive early and savor the hearty meal with drinks. This gives ample time for the food to settle in their system before heading back home. Also, Turkey causes drowsiness because it is loaded with tryptophan, a sleep-inducing nutrient. By eating early dinner, one gets a lot of sleep time before going to work the next day.

In a nutshell

When hosting a feast, from the youngest amongst the crowd to adult guests, it is important to cater to everyone’s tastes. Ensure that you ask your guests about their choices well in advance to be able to do justice to everyone. This way, your “Turkey Day Toast” will be a memorable gala, something that everyone will look forward to in the coming years!

Christine Smith

Christine Smith

chief Editor

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