Easy Thanksgiving Recipes And How To Make Gravy

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I thought I would share some ideas on how to make some easy Thanksgiving recipes from scratch. Please share the family favorites that you like to make on Thanksgiving, I love to hear. Several readers have requested tips on making homemade gravy. I made it in a printable form. I love gravy!!

You may make some of the ones I’ve listed, plus some I have never tried. It would be too cumbersome to share recipes, but I would love to hear the name of the favorites you fix every year. Of course, we typically all have a turkey or a ham, but it’s the side dishes and the desserts I want to hear about. Let the holiday begin.

I also want to hear if your family loves gravy or not. I have to say, I put gravy on my turkey, mashed potatoes, and the dressing. Now, here’s another question, do you call it stuffing or dressing? You know the yummy stuff we all like to make this time of year. I have always called it dressing.

Not sure that is right or wrong, but my mother-in-law made the best dressing in the world. So, my daughters grew up calling it dressing. My kids and grandkids love my gravy so I am sharing my recipe today. It’s easy to make and really yummy. So let’s get started.

Easy Thanksgiving Recipes

Mark’s Family Turkey Dressing

5 from 1 vote
Thanksgiving Trimmings
Loosli Family Thanksgiving Turkey Dressing
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 15 people
Ingredients
  • 1 cup oleo I use butter you can tell this is a really old recipe now
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped celery
  • 2 or 3-14 ounce cans chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons RUBBED ground sage
  • 12 cups dried bread cubes
  • Giblets chopped (optional), I never use them
Instructions
  1. Saute the onion, celery, giblets, salt, pepper, and sage in a small skillet. Combine this mixture with the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl. Add more liquid if the mixture is too dry. Bake covered in a greased pan at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until heated through. I have cooked this in my slow cooker on low as well.

Lisa’s Apple Yams

5 from 1 vote
Thanksgiving Trimmings
Lisa's Apple Yams
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 people
Ingredients
  • 4 large yams (peeled and cooked until tender. Slice the yams' the thickness you desire)
  • 4 cooking apples (peeled and sliced)
  • Yummy Sauce Ingredients:
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
Instructions
  1. Grease a 9-inch by 13-inch pan and layer the yams and apples in the pan.
  2. In a medium saucepan combine the water, brown sugar, salt, and cornstarch, stirring constantly. Add one cube (1/2 cup) of butter. Continue stirring constantly. Cook until it starts to thicken. Add 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice. Sprinkle nutmeg and cinnamon over the apples and yams.
  3. Pour the sauce over all of it.
  4. Bake covered at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. No marshmallows on this one. This recipe is fabulous!

My Sister’s Cranberry Pie

5 from 1 vote
cranberry pie
My Sister's Cranberry Pie
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 people
Ingredients
  • 4 cups chopped fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg beaten for glaze
  • pastry for 2 crust 9-inch pie (one for the bottom of the pie and one for the lattice top)
Instructions
  1. Combine the cranberries, salt, sugar, flour and refrigerate the mixture one or more hours. Add the butter when you add the cranberry mixture into the pie crust. Make a lattice pie crust for the top of the pie. Brush the top of pie crust lattice top with egg.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Bake the pie 10 minutes. Then lower the oven to 350 degrees and bake another 45 minutes. Serve pie in wedges with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Linda’s No-Fail Dinner Rolls

5 from 2 votes
dinner roll
Linda's No-Fail Dinner Rolls
Prep Time
40 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 36 rolls
Ingredients
  • 4 Teaspoons SAF Instant Yeast
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 2 Cups Warm Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1-1/2 Teaspoons Sea Salt
  • 4 Teaspoons Dough Enhancer
  • 2 Eggs
  • 6-7 Cups White bread flour (Add 1/2 of the flour and then add more until the dough pulls away from the sides of the mixing bowl)
Instructions
  1. Place all of the ingredients in order into your mixing bowl. Be careful with the eggs not to add the warm milk too slowly or you will have scrambled eggs. Add half of the flour and keep adding the rest of the flour until the bread dough pulls away from the sides of the mixing bowl. Cover with greased plastic and let rise the first time about an hour. Punch the dough down and mold into small balls about 1-1/2 inches to 2 inches in diameter. Cover with greased plastic and let rise one more time about an hour or until double the size. Remove the plastic wrap and bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes on a greased cookie sheet. Do not overbake. They should be golden brown. I spread a little butter on the tops after baking so the rolls are soft on top. If you like a crispier top you can skip this step.

Linda’s Gravy

5 from 1 vote
Thanksgiving Trimmings
Linda's Homemade Gravy
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
23 mins
Total Time
38 mins
 
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10 people
Ingredients
  • Turkey Drippings
  • Flour
  • Water
  • Salt & pepper
  • Sugar
Instructions
  1. I use the pan the turkey was baked in with the "drippings" and bring the liquid to a boil. If you have very little juice or drippings add some water. Now I can't give you exact measurements because this depends on the size of turkey you purchased. I take about 1-2 cups of flour and put it in a quart jar with cold water and shake it like crazy. I slowly add this mixture to the hot boiling turkey drippings. Use a whisk and stir constantly. I have a quart pitcher with cold water to add to this pan as the gravy thickens. I add water until it's the consistency I prefer. Not too runny, but not too thick. I add salt, pepper, and sugar to taste. Yep, it's the sugar that brings out the flavor. Of course, it's optional. Now, if you have some lumps no worry, bring out the hand mixer. The flavor is fabulous and so easy to make.

Allison’s Creamed Corn Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Side Dishes
Allison's Creamed Corn Recipe
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
4 hrs
Total Time
4 hrs 10 mins
 
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 people
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds frozen white super sweet corn
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
Instructions
  1. Instructions
  2. Combine the ingredients in a large slow cooker and cook on low for 3-4 hours or until heated through.

Do you love the holidays as much as I do? The leaves are starting to turn colors right now and the weather is getting colder. Let me know if you have some easy Thanksgiving recipes you make every year. Thanks again for being prepared for the unexpected. May God bless this world.

Linda’s No-Fail Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls

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30 thoughts on “Easy Thanksgiving Recipes And How To Make Gravy

  • November 23, 2015 at 7:24 am
    Permalink

    Great Recipes Linda! Paul and I are going camping to test out all our emergency supplies this week, and we will be making a few Thanksgiving dishes ahead of time and warming them up while camping, but we will be using the sun oven and Wonder Bags to cook some of the other treats! Love your book! Hugs, Deb

    Reply
    • November 23, 2015 at 7:31 am
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      Hi Debbie, that sounds so fun to go test out your emergency supplies by camping! I love it! Linda

      Reply
  • November 23, 2015 at 7:31 am
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    Hi! I love your site first of all. I am wondering for the rolls can I use self rising flour? I had to get some for another recipe. I usually use yeast etc when I make bread during the week but now have a package of self rising and wondering if I can use? Thank you so much and Happy Thanksgiving!

    Reply
    • November 23, 2015 at 8:10 am
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      Hi, Kristen. Self rising flour includes baking powder and salt. You can use it in quick breads and the like and just not add the baking powder and salt in the recipe. Yeast breads are different and you won’t get the results you are looking for if you replace the yeast and flour with self rising flour. I’ve made Linda’s bread and rolls, as her recipes read, many times and they are wonderful. I highly recommend you try them, even if you have to get more flour. Save the self rising flour for something else. BTW, her recipes call for instant yeast, which makes the rising time very short. Hope that helps, Mare

      Reply
      • November 23, 2015 at 1:20 pm
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        Hi Mare, thanks for the advice. I only buy bread flour or grind my hard white wheat. You rock! Happy Thanksgiving! Linda

        Reply
    • November 23, 2015 at 1:19 pm
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      Hi Kristin, I would think you could use that self-rising flour. I buy bread flour for everything I use. As long as it’s less than a year old the flour should be okay. I always stress fresh flour, yeast, etc. Happy Thanksgiving to us as well! Linda

      Reply
      • November 23, 2015 at 1:48 pm
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        Hi Linda! Thank you so much for the advice. Thank you too Mare. I appreciate both of your help. I will be trying them no matter what! LOL. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!!

        Reply
  • November 23, 2015 at 12:41 pm
    Permalink

    Hi, Linda! Yes, ma’am, pass the gravy, this ol’ girl needs lots of it… on everything! As for the dressing or stuffing, in our house it was always stuffing. You stuff the turkey with it, right? Actually, I don’t stuff my birds and haven’t for years, since I either smoke or deep fry my turkeys. I usually make it in a crock pot, so I guess it’s technically dressing, but I still call it stuffing.
    Your dressing and gravy recipes are almost identical to what my family has been making for at least four generations. The only differences are we add chopped hard boiled eggs to our stuffing and we don’t use any sugar in our gravy.
    I make a cranapple pie every year that everyone loves. It’s very similar to the cranberry pie recipe you posted, but the fruit is a combination of cranberries and apples. For the crust, instead of the lattice top, I make the pie dough and roll it out in a very wide circle. I center it over in the pie tin, put the fruit mixture over the pie crust, then kind of pleat the rest of the crust over the top, leaving a 1 1/2 to 2 inch opening in the center of the top. We always have pumpkin and mince pies, as well.
    I’m going to have to try the apple yams. That sounds great. I usually make caramel (homemade) candied yams topped with chopped pecans. Of course, you have to have mashed potatoes, as well.
    Other traditional family sides are parker house rolls, green beans with onions and bacon, homemade cranberry sauce, and frozen fruit salad or ambrosia. We also have a small array of finger foods: deviled eggs, celery stuffed with Old English sharp cheddar spread, olives, sweet and dill pickles, radishes, and green onions.
    If I don’t talk to you again before Thursday, I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
    Hugs, Mare

    Reply
    • November 23, 2015 at 1:22 pm
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      Hi Mare, oh man I have got to try my cranberry pie that way. I might add apples to it as well! My family has a lot of finger foods while we get the feast ready. I love the ones you are describing! Let the munching begin! Happy Thanksgiving! Hugs, Linda

      Reply
    • November 23, 2015 at 1:23 pm
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      Mare, I forgot to say I’m glad you love gravy as much as me! Linda

      Reply
  • October 13, 2018 at 7:33 am
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    Since my family LOVES gravy, I get 3-4 turkey wings ahead of time, roast them with a few carrots, a few ribs of celery, an onion (no peeling necessary) until nice and brown, and make 2 quarts of rich broth ahead of time. Add that to your roux made from the drippings from the roast bird and you have a LOT of great gravy.

    Reply
    • October 13, 2018 at 9:14 am
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      I do something similar, Kathy. I save all of the turkey (and chicken) bones and freeze them until I have enough to make a big batch of broth. I roast the bones with vegies, as you do, then make broth. At that point, I strain the broth and either pressure can it, or store it in the freezer. That way I have it on hand for gravy, soup, or whatever else I want to use it with.

      Reply
      • October 13, 2018 at 9:23 am
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        Hi Mare, oh how I wish we were neighbors we would learn so much from each other!! Now I need to try and roast the bones with veggies and make broth. Great comment!! Linda

        Reply
    • October 13, 2018 at 9:20 am
      Permalink

      Hi Kathy, oh my gosh, I never thought of buying just turkey wings to make broth!! I LOVE this idea! It’s one of those, why didn’t I think of that! Thank you! I love gravy, great comment!! Linda

      Reply
  • October 13, 2018 at 9:13 am
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    Hi Linda, love your tips and advice. I’m a Southern gal and we call it dressing. I add chopped hard boiled eggs also. I don’t add sugar to the gravy though. I have a question, what is dough enhancer?
    Have a blessed day

    Reply
    • October 13, 2018 at 9:22 am
      Permalink

      Hi Zandra, oh my gosh, I love it! I have never heard of adding hard boiled eggs to dressing! My mother didn’t add sugar to her gravy either. Dough enhancer for rolls or bread is always optional. It makes the bread fluffy and light. Linda

      Reply
      • October 13, 2018 at 10:47 am
        Permalink

        Hi Linda, lol. My Dad chopped the eggs and added to the dressing before baking. Adds another dimension of flavor. Thank you for answering. Where do I purchase dough enhancer. I would love to make my own rolls this Thanksgiving instead of the pre made variety. You’re a treasure trove of info

        Reply
        • October 13, 2018 at 11:02 am
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          Zandra ~
          I purchase my dough enhancer at Winco. They have it in the bulk section along with the yeast and spices.

          Reply
        • October 13, 2018 at 3:50 pm
          Permalink

          Hi, Zandra, I buy mine off Amazon. If you have a Winco, that’s awesome! I don’t have one here. If you make my no-fail recipe you will see how easy it is to make dinner rolls, cinnamon rolls and so much more. This is the brand I buy: NutriMill Dough Enhancer 16oz Bag made by Nutrimill. I store what I use in the frig for the month and the rest goes in the freezer. Linda

          Reply
          • October 14, 2018 at 12:24 pm
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            Hi Linda, thank you so much!! I’ll have to get it from Amazon. Love reading all these tradtions for Thanksgiving dinners. Mine was Turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes&gravy, potato salad and deviled eggs. My Dad was an excellent cook. Much love and blessings.

          • October 14, 2018 at 8:39 pm
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            Hi Zandra, potato salad is a new one for Thanksgiving! I love deviled eggs, I remember my mom making those for Sunday dinner, Thanksgiving, and Christmas dinners! Thank you for sharing your traditional dishes for Thanksgiving, I love hearing them! Linda

  • October 13, 2018 at 10:54 am
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    I love all things Thanksgiving. There are a number of favorite foods that I grew up with: Turkey and dressing. Sorry Linda, but my mother made the BEST dressing! It is basically the same recipe that you posted but there was something about Mom’s dressing that is better than all the rest (perhaps the love that was put into it?)! Then, the mashed potatoes with lots of butter and gravy. We always had veggies that we put up during the summer – not always the same but it might be peas in a butter sauce (I do not know how my mother made her butter sauce – tears) or candied carrots, or bacony green beans or creamed corn – whatever we had lots of. We also had a tray of pickles of 2-3 varieties that we put up during the summer. We always had lots of pies: apple, cherry, pumpkin, mincemeat (mom made her own mincemeat – I didn’t care for it though). Lots of homemade bread/rolls as well.

    Basically, Thanksgiving was the bounty of our own farm. We didn’t raise turkey’s but everything else was homegrown! When I was married and living far away, I tried to emulate the bounty and I did put up a lot of things.

    Now, the torch has passed to my daughter and son-in-law to host the day. They serve the basics but everyone brings something.

    I’ve been trying out a couple of things differently: I always take the cranberry sauce – love making homemade! I also try to come up with a low carb dessert (I know, I know! but my daughter’s father-in-law is diabetic and she has a niece who has celiac) and have been successful on occasion!

    My favorite low carb dessert is a Low Carb Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse! I found it on Pinterest and it is yummy! It is by Sugarfreemom.com

    Anyway – as the torch was passed to the next generation, I find myself reminiscing about past holiday gatherings. I could tell stories!!

    Reply
    • October 13, 2018 at 3:52 pm
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      OH my gosh, Leanne, my you and I grew up eating the very same side dishes! My mom made her own Mincemeat pie (I didn’t care for it). LOL! We always had pickles as well! Oh, I can hardly wait for the holidays!! Great comment! Linda

      Reply
  • October 13, 2018 at 3:39 pm
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    Linda,
    When we have Thanksgiving we always have a cranberry salad. We actually call it our Christmas salad but here is the recipe: 2 cups raw cranberries, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup crushed pineapple, 1/2 cup
    chopped pecans, 1 1/2 cup water and 1 3oz. package cherry Jello. Add water to cranberries in a pan,
    simmer COVERED for 10 minutes. Add sugar and Jello. Remove from heat and cool. Add pineapple and nuts. cover and chill.
    We have another salad recipe we use, it’s kind of simple and the ingredients might sound odd together but this is a good salad. Pineapple salad: 1 regular size can chunk Pineapple, drained,
    1/4 pound of Velvetta cheese, cubed, 1 cup small marshmallows. Put in a bowl.
    In a sauce pan make a sauce of ; 1 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon of cornstarch, 1 egg and juice
    from the pineapple.
    Cook till thick. Pour over cheese, marshmallow and pineapple mixture while still hot. Mix
    well and cover and chill.
    Hope you enjoy these.

    Reply
    • October 13, 2018 at 3:56 pm
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      Hi, June, I LOVE these salad recipes! I’m going to copy and paste them and make them! I’ve been meaning to tell you, a few months ago or maybe even a year, I mentioned I didn’t have the red velvet cooked frosting and you shared yours with me. Guess what??? I was going through my mom’s old recipe box and it’s the SAME recipe you shared with me! It was a cartwheel moment for me! That means I was ecstatic!! What are the chances it would have the exact same measurements?? Hugs! Linda

      Reply
  • October 13, 2018 at 4:45 pm
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    On my! I have been looking for easy recipes! I just LOVE me some gravy lol. Any idea how to cook a turkey breast? I only like white meat and a household of only 2. Thanks! You are awesome!

    Reply
    • October 14, 2018 at 6:59 am
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      Hi Jo Ann, oh my gosh I love hearing someone loves gravy as much as I do!! As far as your turkey breast, I would look at the wrapper it comes in. It usually gives instructions on how to cook it. I love hearing you like only white meat1!! I wish I could talk Mark into buying just the turkey breasts. He always wants the wishbone. But get this, the wishbone will sit on the kitchen counter for weeks and he doesn’t even make a wish and break it!! Thanks for stopping by! Linda

      Reply
  • October 14, 2018 at 5:53 am
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    Linda,
    I have one more recipe that we always have on our table at Thanksgiving. Not everyone is
    a fan and some might say YUCK!!!! but it is good.
    Scalloped Oysters
    2 cans of Oysters, not drained
    1 can of Milnot
    3 tablespoons melted butter
    3/4 cup cracker crumbs
    pepper to taste
    Pour into a greased 1 1/2 quart casserole dish. Bake at 350 till set.

    Linda, where can I email you so I can give you my recipe for Stollen or Fruit cake which ever one it
    was that you wanted. I finally found it and it is almost Christmas time again.

    Reply
    • October 14, 2018 at 7:01 am
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      Hi June, oh my gosh, my husband would love this recipe with oysters!! Thank you! I would love both the Stollen and Fruit Cake recipes. Please send it to: foodstoragemoms@yahoo.com I thank you from the bottom of my heart!! I can hardly wait to get them!! Hugs, Linda

      Reply

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