Lots of Thanksgiving recipes to help you set the perfect table for one of the best days of the year. It’s all here: turkey, stuffing, vegetables, cranberries, desserts and breads! Included is a handy day-by-day, hour-by hour guide for a stress-free Thanksgiving dinner.

Thanksgiving guide graphic with text and photos.
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Isn’t Thanksgiving just the best? I love it! It’s a wonderful time to gather around the table with family and friends, appreciating each other and sharing good food. Take time to acknowledge the many ways we’ve been blessed.

Tips For Success

  • Plan ahead. If you haven’t nailed down every last detail of your Thanksgiving meal, I hope this round-up of delightful recipes will help you plan your dinner. I’ve also included a guide with a day-by-day, step-by-step plan for preparing for the big day. Hopefully that will make the preparation just a bit easier for you. (It’s always a good idea to have a plan.)
  • Ask guests to help out. Don’t hesitate to share the load. Your guests will love having the chance to bring their favorite sweet potatoes, salad, rolls, or dessert. Ask a younger member of the family to set the table or serve the dessert. Give everyone a chance to shine.
  • Just enjoy yourself! This is my favorite tip: Don’t sweat the small stuff. It doesn’t matter if everything doesn’t go perfectly. I remember one Thanksgiving dinner when I forgot to take the stuffing out of the oven until dinner was completely over! Nobody even noticed, or if they did, they were too nice to mention it. Trust me, everything does not have to be perfect.

Free Guide to a Stress-Free Thanksgiving

We’ve created an ultimate guide to hosting a stress-free Thanksgiving with your friends and/or family. It includes a menu to get you started, a grocery list, and a plan for time management and getting everything done at the same time.

Even if you don’t use the menu, I’m sure you’ll find the schedule super helpful!

Get the free guide here!

Thanksgiving guide image.

Turkey, Gravy, and Stuffing (Dressing)

If you aren’t inclined to roast an entire turkey, here are a few alternatives, including a couple of recipes for a turkey breast which is perfect for families who don’t care for dark meat. I’ve also included a sheet pan turkey dinner (turkey and all the fixings on one pan!) and a roasted chicken recipe for those of you who may be cooking for fewer people.

This section also contains an easy, make-ahead gravy that you won’t want to miss!

Herb roasted turkey breast, half sliced, half not sliced, on platter.

Herb Roasted Turkey Breast Recipe

4.74 from 15 votes
Herb roasted turkey breast is a delicious and flavorful choice for special occasions, like Thanksgiving dinner, or for food prepping.
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Sliced turkey breast with a knife and fork.

Instant Pot Turkey Breast Recipe

4.34 from 3 votes
With lots of flavorful herbs, a quick-cooking Instant Pot turkey breast is always juicy, tender, and perfectly done. And the bonus? There's no need to thaw it first!
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Make ahead turkey gravy in a white ladle.

Make Ahead Turkey Gravy

4.67 from 3 votes
Avoid the Thanksgiving last minute rush with make ahead turkey gravy. It's rich and flavorful, with plenty of sage, thyme, and parsley.
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Close up of a Thanksgiving dinner on a sheet pan: turkey breast, dressing, potatoes, and asparagus.

Sheet Pan Thanksgiving Dinner

5 from 10 votes
Cooking a smaller dinner for Thanksgiving? You love this sheet pan Thanksgiving dinner with turkey breast, stuffing, potatoes, and asparagus all cooked on one pan. So delicious and such an easy clean up!
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Roasted chicken in a white baking dish with potatoes and carrots.

Roasted Chicken Recipe

4.91 from 10 votes
If you're not a fan of turkey or want something smaller, a roasted chicken is a great idea for Thanksgiving!
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Stuffing (Dressing), Mac & Cheese

Whether you call it stuffing or dressing, Thanksgiving dinner wouldn’t be complete without it. And many of you would say the same for mac & cheese!

Overhead view of crockpot stuffing in black slow cooker.

Easy Crockpot Stuffing (perfect stuffing every time!)

4.60 from 40 votes
Try crockpot stuffing this Thanksgiving and free up valuable oven space. Fix it and forget it, this stuffing never gets dried out.
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Baked mac and cheese in a white oval casserole dish.

Easiest Ever Baked Macaroni and Cheese

4.42 from 649 votes
Easiest ever baked macaroni and cheese – this is a go-to recipe of many of my readers and it will become the same for your family!
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Large scoop of crockpot mac and cheese.

Crockpot Mac and Cheese

4.70 from 20 votes
Perfect for Thanksgiving when oven space can be limited, crockpot mac and cheese is creamy, flavorful, and so easy to make. Ready to serve in just 2 hours!
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Potatoes, Cheesy Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes

Crockpot mashed potatoes in a white bowl.

Crockpot Mashed Potatoes

5 from 9 votes
With no boiling or draining required, easy crockpot mashed potatoes are perfect for Thanksgiving dinner. The crockpot keeps the potatoes warm until you're ready to serve them.
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Instant pot mashed potatoes in a white serving bowl.

Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

3.92 from 12 votes
Fluffy and white, mashed potatoes are a classic favorite. Instant Pot mashed potatoes turn out perfectly every time. You'll be amazed!
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Mashed red potatoes with butter and chives.

Mashed Red Potatoes

4.75 from 4 votes
Creamy and buttery, with loads of flavor, mashed red potatoes are an easy side dish to prepare. Throw away the box and enjoy freshly made mashed potatoes!
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Spoon scooping out cheesy potatoes in a slow cooker.

Crockpot Cheesy Potatoes

4.69 from 32 votes
Everyone's favorite crockpot cheesy potatoes are a classic dish for holidays, including Thanksgiving. They're so easy to make in a slow cooker!
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Twice baked sweet potatoes with streusel topping.

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes Recipe

4.67 from 3 votes
Twice baked sweet potatoes have a sweet creamy filling with a crunchy streusel topping. If you're feeding a crowd, the recipe can easily be made into a casserole, too.
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Vanilla bean mashed sweet potatoes in a round bowl.

Vanilla Bean Mashed Sweet Potatoes

4.73 from 11 votes
Creamy and sweet, vanilla bean mashed sweet potatoes taste like dessert. They're so easy to make and will quickly become a favorite!
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Scalloped sweet potatoes with bacon on a spoon.

Scalloped Sweet Potatoes with Bacon and Gruyère

5 from 3 votes
Decadent scalloped sweet potatoes are an unforgettable side dish. Full of rich Gruyère cheese and flavorful bacon, they are sure to be a hit!
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Slice of healthy sweet potato casserole topped with chia seeds, oats, and pepitas.

Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole

4.75 from 12 votes
This sweet potato casserole is gluten-free, nut-free and dairy-free, and so, so delicious!
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Hasselback sweet potatoes in a white baking dish.

Hasselback Sweet Potatoes

5 from 1 vote
Sweet and delicious, roasted Hasselback sweet potatoes make an impressive presentation yet are easy to make. No hassle required!
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Vegetables

If you’re like me, you could skip the turkey and fill up on these wonderfully delicious vegetable side dishes.

Homemade green bean casserole in a white dish.

Green Bean Casserole

4.44 from 79 votes
Homemade green bean casserole with bacon, fresh mushrooms, and sharp cheddar cheese is deliciously creamy without canned soup.
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Green beans almondine on a white plate.

Green Beans Almondine

4.72 from 7 votes
A classic French recipe, green beans almondine elevates ordinary green beans into a memorable side dish with the addition of toasted almonds, browned butter, shallots, and lemon zest. 
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A match made in heaven, these green beans with bacon are completely irresistible. They very well might be your new favorite green bean recipe! 

Green Beans with Bacon, Garlic, and Onion

4.23 from 9 votes
A match made in heaven, these green beans with bacon are completely irresistible. They very well might become your new favorite green bean recipe! 
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Roasted carrots in a dark colored bowl with a silver spoon.

Roasted Carrots with Thyme and Nutmeg

4.84 from 6 votes
Roasted carrots with thyme and nutmeg are so sweet, flavorful, and good for you (but they taste almost like candy).
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Crockpot glazed carrots in a white slow cooker, with a wooden spoon. Parsley is sprinkled on top.

Crockpot Carrots with Cinnamon Glaze

4.52 from 31 votes
Sweet and gently spiced, slow cooker glazed carrots are perfect for Thanksgiving dinner: delicious and no-fuss.
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Creamy white parsnip puree garnished with rosemary.

Parsnip Purée

5 from 2 votes
With surprisingly sweet earthy flavors, ultra-creamy parsnip purée is sure to please. It pairs perfectly with Thanksgiving dinners!
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Cheesy brussels sprouts gratin with a spoon scooping out one big cheesy scoop.

Cheesy Brussels Sprouts au Gratin

4.50 from 4 votes
Bubbling with a creamy Gruyère sauce, cheesy Brussels sprouts au gratin is irresistible. A perfect dish to serve for Thanksgiving!
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Smoky Brussels sprouts with shallots, on a wooden spoon.

Smoky Brussels Sprouts with Shallots

5 from 3 votes
Flavorful smoky Brussels sprouts with thinly sliced shallots and smoked paprika make a delicious and simple side dish.
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German red cabbage in a white bowl.

German Red Cabbage

4.25 from 8 votes
Brightly colored, sweet and tangy, classic German red cabbage complements a rich turkey dinner, and is a memorable Thanksgiving side dish.
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Salads

I don’t think I could choose a favorite from this list of salads, I love them all! Each of these recipes is made with seasonal ingredients that are abundant during the Thanksgiving season.

Brussels sprouts salad in a round clear glass bowl, on white marble background.

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Apples, Cranberries, and Walnuts

5 from 5 votes
With crisp tart apples, sweet dried cranberries, and crunchy walnuts, this Brussels sprouts salad is a great holiday salad, easy to make and healthy, too.
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Colorful salad made with arugula, roasted cauliflower, sweet potatoes, shallots, and pomegranate seeds

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Arugula & Sweet Potato

5 from 2 votes
Bursting with flavor, roasted cauliflower salad with sweet potato, arugula, and pomegranate is a feast for the eyes and taste buds. You'll love this salad!
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Image of a kale salad in a white bowl topped with pears, feta cheese, red onions, and savory granola.

Kale and Pear Salad with Yogurt Dressing

4.88 from 8 votes
With the surprising addition of fresh mint leaves, this kale and pear salad combines tender kale, juicy ripe pears, briny feta cheese, and a sprinkling of savory granola, topped with a creamy yogurt dressing.
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Overhead view of kale salad with dried cranberries.

Sweet Kale Salad with Dried Cranberries and Poppy Seed Dressing

4.39 from 47 votes
This sweet kale salad is a copycat of the popular bagged salad you find in grocery stores — but as always, homemade is way better!
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The perfect salad to keep in your fridge and grab at lunch time, this kale salad with apples and raisins is tangy, tart, sweet and full of flavorful nutrition. Get the recipe on RachelCooks.com!

Kale Salad with Apples and Golden Raisins

4.34 from 3 votes
Kale salad with apples and raisins is tangy, tart, sweet, and easy to make.
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Cranberry Sauce

Kick the canned sauce to the curb! Cranberry sauce is easy to make and so much more flavorful than the canned sauces.

Kick your cranberry sauce game up a notch with this flavorful orange cranberry sauce with cardamom! People will be asking what your secret ingredient is. Get the recipe that's perfect for Thanksgiving on RachelCooks.com!

Cranberry Orange Sauce

4.58 from 14 votes
Kick your cranberry sauce game up a notch with this homemade cranberry orange sauce. This is an easy Thanksgiving recipe that you can make ahead (only 3 ingredients).
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Overhead of white bowl filled to the brim with cranberry sauce, on tan and white striped cloth.

Easy Cinnamon Apple Cranberry Sauce

4.36 from 34 votes
Don't settle for cranberry sauce from a can! This flavorful cinnamon apple cranberry sauce is super easy to make and can even be made a day or two in advance!
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Cranberry sauce with roasted grapes and shallots.

Cranberry Sauce with Roasted Grapes, Apples, and Shallots

5 from 4 votes
Add this beautiful jewel toned side to your holiday menu!  Cranberry sauce with roasted grapes, apples, and shallots provides a burst of flavor, both sweet and savory, that is unforgettable. 
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Breads and Rolls

Aka the only thing the kids eat, am I right?

Close up soft fluffy parker house rolls on a wooden board.

Parker House Rolls

5 from 4 votes
Bake your own classic Parker House rolls, filling your kitchen with the tantalizing fragrance of yeast and butter. So soft and delicious! Even a novice baker can handle these. 
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Three slices of cranberry walnut bread.

Cranberry Walnut Bread

4.49 from 41 votes
Chewy, crunchy, and unbelievably satisfying, cranberry walnut bread might just become your new favorite. It’s amazing toasted!
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A glazed apple cider muffin cut in half to reveal chunks of apples inside.

Apple Cider Muffins

5 from 3 votes
These soft and fluffy, cinnamon-scented apple cider muffins are made with real apple cider and tender bits of apple in every bite.
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Pies and Desserts

There’s a pumpkin dessert for everyone on this list, from classic pumpkin pie to easy four ingredient pumpkin pudding. Cranberries and apples make the dessert list, too. Make Thanksgiving an extra special occasion by whipping up a bowl of homemade whipped cream to top the desserts! So, so good!

Slice of pumpkin pie, viewed from above, with whipped cream.

Homemade Pumpkin Pie

5 from 2 votes
Homemade pumpkin pie is a Thanksgiving staple, but this recipe is so simple, you’ll be tempted to make it all year long!
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Slice of pumpkin pie with streusel on a white plate.

Pumpkin Pie with Streusel Topping

5 from 1 vote
It’s hard to beat a classic pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, but add crumbly brown sugar streusel on top and you’ve just succeeded in one-upping the original!
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Overhead view of cranberry pecan pie on a white plate surrounded by ingredients and more pie.

Cranberry Pecan Pie

4.17 from 6 votes
Tart cranberries contrast perfectly with rich pecan pie filling in this beautiful cranberry pecan pie.
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Cranberry clafoutis with a slice removed.

Cranberry Clafoutis

5 from 3 votes
Looking for a no-fuss alternative to pumpkin pie? Try a cranberry clafoutis, a classic custard-like pie that's a cinch to make. Serve it warm with a dusting of powdered sugar or a dollop of whipped cream.
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Pumpkin poke cake being scooped out of a baking dish.

Pumpkin Poke Cake (with real pumpkin!)

5 from 3 votes
This easy pumpkin poke cake recipe is the ultimate Thanksgiving dessert oozing with sweet cinnamon filling and smothered with tangy cream cheese frosting.
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A row of mini pumpkin pie tarts on a wooden table.

Mini Pumpkin Pie Tarts

4.73 from 11 votes
Bite-sized pumpkin pie tarts are a quick and easy no-bake treat and a delicious addition to a Thanksgiving dessert table!
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Close up view of easy pumpkin pudding garnished with whipped cream, pepitas, and cinnamon.

Pumpkin Pudding Recipe

4.43 from 7 votes
This pumpkin pudding recipe is an easy alternative to pumpkin pie. It's made with just 4 ingredients and filled with delicious pumpkin flavor.
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Close up of a spoon stuck into the corner of apple crisp topped with scoops of ice cream and cinnamon.

Easy Apple Crisp

4.66 from 20 votes
Not a fan of pumpkin? Serve warm apple crisp filled with juicy, syrupy apples and a bright ginger kick. It's a no-fuss dessert that's sure to please!
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Whipped cream piped onto a small stack of pancakes.

How To Make Whipped Cream

5 from 5 votes
White billows of rich whipped cream make even an ordinary dessert a special occasion. Elevate your desserts with this homemade whipped cream recipe!
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Appetizers

Serve festive appetizers and a refreshing cocktail while dinner is cooking. These fall-inspired appetizer ideas are perfect for Thanksgiving get-togethers because they aren’t too rich or filling.

Image of butternut squash crostini topped with pomegranate and pepitas.

Butternut Squash Crostini with Ricotta

5 from 1 vote
Butternut squash crostini appetizers elevate this humble fall gourd to super star status! Pomegranate seeds add a tart crisp note.
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Image of creamy kale bruschetta, aka crostini

Creamy Kale Bruschetta

5 from 1 vote
You'll love these creamy kale bruschetta: crisp bread topped with warm, creamy sauteéd kale, enhanced by a hint of garlic and nutmeg.
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overhead photograph of beets and goat cheese on crostini

Beet Bruschetta with Orange Tarragon Goat Cheese

5 from 1 vote
Imagine ruby red beets and tangy goat cheese, flavored with orange zest and fresh tarragon, layered on crispy slices of toasted bread and sprinkled with walnuts. Beet bruschetta with orange tarragon goat cheese are irresistible!
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Spiced pecans on a white background.

Spiced Pecans

4.35 from 84 votes
These spiced pecans have everything you want in a spiced nut. They are sweet, crunchy, spicy, and unbelievably addicting.
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Overhead view of baked brie topped with cranberries and pecans.

Baked Brie Recipe with Cranberries and Bourbon Pecans

4.66 from 23 votes
Baked Brie with cranberry sauce and bourbon candied pecans is lovely to look at and so delicious with crackers.
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Marinated mushrooms, close up view.

Marinated Mushrooms

5 from 3 votes
With fresh herbs, garlic, and thinly sliced sweet shallots, marinated mushrooms are perfect for antipasto, charcuterie, or snacks.
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These beautiful sausage pinwheels are the perfect fall appetizer with flavors of apple, sage, and Gruyère. They're irresistible!

Sausage Pinwheels with Apple, Sage, and Gruyère

4.67 from 12 votes
Beautiful sausage pinwheels are a delicious appetizer flavored with apple, sage, and Gruyère, attractively packaged in flaky puff pastry. These could be served as a side on the Thanksgiving table, too.
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Cocktails

Celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with a festive easy-to-make cocktail!

Red wine spritzer surrounded by ingredients.

Red Wine Spritzer

5 from 3 votes
Fortify red wine with orange liqueur, add soda water for bubbles, and serve on the rocks for a refreshing red wine spritzer. A perfect Thanksgiving cocktail, light and so easy to make.
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Overhead view of a gin and tonic made with cranberry juice, garnished with fresh cranberries, lime, and rosemary.

Cranberry Gin and Tonic with Rosemary

4.70 from 10 votes
A cranberry gin and tonic brings together cranberry and lime for a tart dance with bitter tonic water and herbal gin. You'll love this easy cocktail!
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Image of a beautiful cranberry margarita in a salt rimmed glass, garnished with a lime wedge, an orange wedge, and fresh cranberries.

Cranberry Margarita

4.61 from 23 votes
This cranberry margarita is a festive addition to your Thanksgiving menu but is 100% delicious all year round!
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Overhead view of gin cocktail with an orange slice, cinnamon stick and star anise.

Orange Gin and Tonic with Cinnamon

4.84 from 6 votes
An orange gin and tonic with cinnamon is a fall twist on a classic cocktail. Sweet orange slices, spicy cinnamon stick, and star anise pair well with the botanicals of gin and the bitter notes of tonic water. 
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An iced drink in a copper cup, garnished with apple, mint leaves, and a cinnamon stick

Apple Cider Mule

5 from 1 vote
This apple cider Moscow mule puts a fall spin on a favorite classic cocktail. Fresh, zesty, served in a copper mug (of course), and festively garnished with a cinnamon stick and apple slice.
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Two apple cider mocktails garnished with round apple slices.

Apple Cider Mocktail

4.64 from 11 votes
Shake up a perfectly chilled spiced apple cider mocktail for Thanksgiving. It can easily be made into a cocktail too.
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An old fashioned cocktail on ice with an orange peel and cherries.

Maple Old Fashioned

5 from 1 vote
The woodsy flavor of pure maple syrup complements the vanilla, oak, and caramel notes of bourbon in a truly delightful and unique maple old fashioned.
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Leftover Ideas (The Day After)

While you may enjoy simply reheating leftovers for an easy day-after Thanksgiving dinner, consider that those leftovers can be repurposed into another delicious recipe. Here are a few ideas for you. By the way, remember that leftover turkey can be used in any recipe that calls for cooked chicken.

Turkey salad on a croissant.

Turkey Salad (perfect for leftover turkey!)

5 from 3 votes
Transform leftover turkey into a flavorful turkey salad. Serve it in a wrap, in a sandwich, or on lettuce.
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Turkey slider being lifted out of the pan on a large spatula.

Turkey Sliders – Rachel Sandwich Sliders

4.18 from 17 votes
Turkey sliders, aka Rachel sandwiches or turkey Reubens, are a delightful twist on a traditional Reuben. You'll love these sliders stuffed with sliced turkey, creamy coleslaw and nutty Swiss cheese, baked in the oven until golden.
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A serving of turkey soup in white bowl with chopped parsley.