Food, Thanksgiving, Travel Food, USA

What do you eat on Thanksgiving Day? Here’s everything you need to know!

September 12, 2022

If you’re wondering “what do you eat on Thanksgiving Day?”, then you’ve come to the right place!

If you’re wondering what to eat on Thanksgiving Day, then you’ve come to the right place.

Although most Americans will probably be super-familiar with Thanksgiving traditions, folks from around the world may be asking “what do you eat on Thanksgiving Day?”.

Or perhaps you’ve never cooked yourself a Thanksgiving dinner before and you’re wondering what to put in it!

Well, it’s been said that Thanksgiving Dinner is a lot like the British Christmas dinner, but there are a few classic additions and side dishes that make a Thanksgiving meal unlike any other.

So, whether you’re wondering how to bulk out your American Thanksgiving meal or you simply want to answer the question “what do you eat on Thanksgiving day”, then we’ve got you covered!


What do you eat on Thanksgiving Day for the Main Event?


Turkey (of course!)

When answering the question “what do you eat on Thanksgiving Day?”, our first answer will always be turkey! 

This delicious meat will be the centerpiece of most Thanksgiving dinners this year, but you’ll also find alternatives like salmon, pork, or prime rib on several buffet tables throughout the country.

If you want to try your hand at a delicious Thanksgiving turkey recipe, this one from Tastes Better from Scratch is divine.


Stuffing

We couldn’t talk about what you eat on Thanksgiving Day without talking about stuffing! 

Typically, turkeys are stuffed with a delicious combination of vegetables, fruit, sausage, and herbs. This gives your bird an incredibly rich flavor and a moist texture to boot!

If it’s not served inside the bird itself, it’s usually on a side plate, and this kind of stuffing can be made with sausage meat or it can be vegetarian, but either way – it’s delicious!

Stuffing is one of those classic Thanksgiving side dishes, adding a little bit of flavor and crunch, that is utterly mouthwatering.

Here’s a beautiful stuffing recipe that we can’t get enough of, and we also can’t wait to try out this Classic Traditional Thanksgiving Stuffing from Averie Cooks! 

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Butternut squash soup

When people ask, “what do you eat on Thanksgiving Day?” we usually need to include butternut squash soup in the list of goodies we reel off.

It’s a staple that’s packed with ingredients like squash, ginger, rosemary, and sage, and it’s basically autumn in a bowl. It’s naturally thick and creamy, and rightly deserves a spot on anyone’s Thanksgiving buffet table!

When we were putting together our “what do you eat on Thanksgiving Day” rundown, we came across this glorious recipe by Love and Lemons. It’s uber-traditional and promises to serve the entire family with room for seconds. 

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Mashed Potatoes

Okay, we couldn’t write a list answering “what do you eat on Thanksgiving Day” without including gorgeously creamy mashed potatoes.

You probably already know what these are, but they’re potatoes that are chopped, boiled, and then mashed with butter and milk! If you want to take things to a whole new level, throw in some garlic.

If you need a helping hand, these potatoes from Gimme Some Oven are (in our opinion!) the best mashed potatoes around.

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Gravy

You literally can’t have a Thanksgiving dinner without dousing your plate in gravy.

We simply won’t have it. So, when we’re asked, “what do you eat on Thanksgiving Day?”, we always have gravy near the top of our list!

The best gravy is relatively thick but pourable and has an amazing savory flavor that instantly lifts your plate.

You can either keep your gravy on the mashed potatoes or pour it all over your plate! We’re fans of the latter option – the more gravy, the better.

If you need help making the perfect gravy, Damn Delicious has got your back with its iconic Turkey Gravy

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Green bean casserole

Green bean casserole is a stew that’s cooked slowly and packed with greens beans (as you might expect!). You’ll also find cream of mushroom soup and fried onions in the mix.

If you want to try something vegan-friendly this Thanksgiving, Minimalist Baker has a delicious vegan-friendly recipe!

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What do you eat on Thanksgiving Day? Cranberry sauce!

Okay, if you’re wondering “what do you eat on Thanksgiving Day”, you’ll be bowled over by our next addition. It’s cranberry sauce!

This is usually seen as a must-have for any roast dinner, but it’s particularly popular on Thanksgiving and during Christmastime.

You can bar a simple jar from the grocery store, but we adore this incredible recipe from The Happy Foodie which incorporates cranberries, oranges, and a rich port for an otherworldly result.

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Candied yams

Oh man, we could take about candied yams all day. In fact, they’re one of the first things we mention when anyone asks us “what do you eat on Thanksgiving Day?”.

This dish involves covering sweet potatoes with brown sugar and spices (or marshmallows, if you’re feeling brave!) to create a delicious caramel topping.

It’s too sweet for some people, but The Spruce Eats has managed to make a version with butter, sugar, and marshmallows without things tasting sickly.

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Brussels sprouts

We adore Brussels sprouts on Christmas Day, so we’re always pleased when we can chow down on them a month early!

You can cover them with butter, eat them plain, or douse them with gravy. Whatever you say, goes.

If you want to dial things up to ten, try out these Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Pecans, and Maple Syrup. It’s a sweet recipe that keeps the sprouts as the stars!


Fluffy rolls

You truly can’t have Thanksgiving without fluffy rolls. It’s simply impossible. These rolls mop up that delicious gravy and are perfect out of the oven and slathered with butter.

If you want the softest dinner rolls around, we suggest heading over to Sally’s Baking Addiction to check out her eternally popular recipe.

We’ve also seen some super cute versions of fluffy rolls that are shaped like pumpkins, and look extra festive. See the photo above!

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Stuffed mushrooms

When we’re answering the question “what do you eat on Thanksgiving Day”, we’re always in two minds about mentioning stuffed mushrooms. 

However, they remain one of the most popular Thanksgiving foods these days. And hey – they add some texture to your table!

To bring regular stuffed mushrooms into Thanksgiving territory, check out these incredible Stuffing Stuffed Mushrooms from The Midnight Baker. You won’t regret it!

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Mac and Cheese

Another classic choice for Thanksgiving dinner, is Mac and Cheese.

When asking the question, “what do you eat on Thanksgiving Day” – no Thanksgiving dinner would be complete without some creamy, delicious Mac and Cheese.

It just adds that delicious cheesy addition to an already amazing meal!


Cornbread

For many people, one of the key parts of their Thanksgiving dinner, is warm cornbread right out of the oven.

Cornbread is a lovely side dish, but also perfect for wiping up all the sauce with! Yum! Here’s a recipe we love for delicious Cornbread.

Most people will often choose either fluffy rolls or cornbread (both may be a little carb-heavy). But if you want both on your Thanksgiving dinner then go for it, there are no rules here!

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Roasted sweet potatoes

Next on our list of suggestions for “what do you eat on Thanksgiving Day” is roasted sweet potatoes.

Sweet potatoes are a classic Thanksgiving flavor, and they work gorgeously with all the other components on this list!

If you find candied yams a little too sweet, then roasted sweet potatoes is a good alternative.

You can roast your potatoes with oil and herbs, and they’ll be wonderfully soft on the inside and crispy on the outside.


Maple-glazed carrots

When it comes to “what do you eat on Thanksgiving Day” – it’s easy to forget about the veggies!

So our next suggestion for “what do you eat on Thanksgiving Day”, is maple-glazed carrots.

How do you make these beauties? Well, buy some top-rated maple syrup, and drizzle it over some sliced carrots. then roast them in the oven until cooked and sticky and delicious!

Here’s a great little recipe you could try!


What do you eat on Thanksgiving Day for Dessert?

We couldn’t write a list of answering the question “what do you eat on Thanksgiving Day?” without including desserts!

Desserts are probably the thing about Thanksgiving dinner people love the most!

When asking “What do you eat on Thanksgiving Day?” most people are most curious about the desserts!


Pumpkin pie

If you’re wondering “what do you eat on Thanksgiving Day for dessert?”, you may be unsurprised to know that pumpkin pie tops our list.

Pumpkin is the most popular autumn flavor, and the warm filling beautifully complements the delicious crust. It’s also not too sweet, which is always a bonus if you’re already full of turkey!

You can’t go wrong with a pumpkin pie but check out this recipe from Once Upon a Chef if you want to impress the entire family this year.


Apple pie

Apple pie is also one of the most popular Thanksgiving desserts. It perfectly blends the tartness of apples with a buttery pie crust, which always goes down well. What’s more, it’s so easy to make.

If you don’t have a family recipe for Apple Pie, Joy of Baking has an incredible version that you’ll be pulling out year after year.


Pecan pie

So, we’ve come to the end of our list that covers “what do you eat on Thanksgiving Day”. So, we only thought it right to finish with pecan pie!

It’s a Southern specialty that blends a sweet pecan filling with a delectable homemade crust. It may be packed with calories, but it’s worth every single bite. And hey, it’s the holidays!

If you want a helping hand with your pie this year, The Happy Foodie has a delicious recipe that’s bound to impress.


We hope that this comprehensive list has answered the question “what do you eat on Thanksgiving Day?”.

As you can see, Americans go big or go home!

Is there anything not on this list that you enjoy eating on Thanksgiving? If so, we’d love to hear about it! We’re all about family traditions over here.

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