Thanksgiving Sides, Desserts, and Other Menu Ideas
Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year, for many people the Thanksgiving turkey, mashed potatoes, and other sides and desserts are something they look forward to all year, and as much as they love their family, one of their first questions when they get through the door might be, “What’s on the menu?” Hitting on the classics and some delicious new dishes is a great way to make everyone’s holiday.
Whether you have been hosting Thanksgiving for years or this is your first time, Venus et Fleur is here to walk you through some of the best Thanksgiving menu ideas, along with some helpful ideas and tips that can help you add a little something to this year’s festivities.
How Do I Create a Classic Thanksgiving Menu?
Creating a classic Thanksgiving menu is all about cooking traditional foods with exceptional flavors and creating a warm and inviting atmosphere for your family and friends.
Here are a few of the key steps to a classic Thanksgiving day celebration:
- Make a guest list and invite your family and loved ones
- Prepare the perfect Thanksgiving day menu (entrée, sides, desserts)
- Decorate your space
- Prepare some entertainment for your guests
- Set a beautiful Thanksgiving table
- Cook and Serve Dinner
- Have Desserts and a quiet evening to wind down the night
Suffice it to say, it seems simple, but any veteran Thanksgiving host knows creating a stunning Thanksgiving day celebration can be a lot of work. Choosing just the right menu will help you see the satisfaction and contentment that makes all the cooking worth it.
Setting the Plate Ware and Décor for a Thanksgiving Dinner
Before we learn about how to select and prepare delicious Thanksgiving dishes for your menu this year, it’s important to decorate your home and set the table in a way that captures the holiday’s spirit.
Setting the table and decorating your home with Thanksgiving decorations is one of the most important factors when hosting. Your table and living area are what most guests will see first when entering your home.
For your fall home décor this year, focus on using autumnal colors. Beautiful tones of orange and gold will make for an elegant Thanksgiving table. Adding an arrangement of Eternity® roses, or our other flowers, in one of our elegant vase selections will bring a stunning touch of sophistication to your overall décor.
Your Thanksgiving table will also need a grand floral centerpiece as the focal point. Select a gracious arrangement of long-lasting flowers, like our Allura Porcelain Vase with roses, and go with orange, rose gold, or gold roses to set a warm fall tone.
Adding details such as white, monogrammed place cards, golden napkin rings, and small decorative pumpkins will tie your fall look together and beautifully complement your holiday spread. A Mini Letter from The Letter Collection is the perfect way to leave a small and beautiful initial of your loved ones as a place setting, and it gives you a unique gift they can hold onto long after the celebration.
Thanksgiving Dinner Entrée Ideas
If you are creating a classic Thanksgiving day feast for your family and friends, you’ll certainly want to prepare a delicious main course for all to enjoy. There are several different options, depending on what type of meat you prefer.
For a classic Thanksgiving menu, cooking a traditional butter-roasted turkey will be sure to impress your guests and will definitely be the main attraction at the table. If you want to create a juicy turkey with crispy, golden skin, rub the skin with oil both underneath and on top. Leave it to sit in the first for 24 hours before beginning the cooking process.
For the spices, try making a holiday rub with thyme, rosemary, and sage, and some garlic powder. This will be sure to add some extra delicious flavor to your turkey this year.
Once the turkey is almost done, create a bed of caramelized onions and herbs for your turkey to sit on. This will add some delicious flavor to your holiday bird and will make for a stunning presentation as well.
When making a Thanksgiving turkey, you cannot forget the most important part: the gravy. Try making a white wine and rosemary turkey gravy full of rich flavors to dazzle your guests.
Other popular main courses for Thanksgiving include honey-glazed ham, cranberry-stuffed game hens, roast beef, or a quality cut of steak. Be sure to have a carving knife on the table next to each meat.
Of course, if you’re going with Turkey or have altered the entrée to please all your guests, the big question is side dishes. With so many picky eaters and eating habits you’re just not aware of around the table, it’s important to choose delicious, crowd pleasing sides.
Thanksgiving Side Dish Ideas
Thanksgiving dinner would not be complete without a table full of the best thanksgiving sides you can think of. With so many choices to pick from, let’s narrow down the list and try to find the best Thanksgiving side dishes for your table.
Fresh herb stuffing is a holiday staple. To make a rich and savory stuffing, be sure to add fresh celery, onion, sausage, and dried herbs, with a crisp, golden layer of bread on top. To make sure everybody enjoys their stuffing, consider options cooked inside the turkey as well as boxed.
For a sweet side dish, try making a sweet potato casserole with homemade marshmallows. This dessert-like dish will be a favorite for the little ones at your gathering this year and will add a beautiful pop of color to your table. Sprinkle some fresh brown sugar and crispy pecans on top of the casserole to elevate this dish and to add some texture to the creamy, buttery potatoes underneath.
Be sure to prepare a hearty helping of cranberry sauce as well. Since cranberries were a staple in diets around the time of the first Thanksgiving, it’s assumed they were present. It’s a great tradition and a dish some are adamant about having. The perfect cranberry sauce will have a dash of sweetness and will taste wonderful when eaten with the roast turkey, but of course, this is an option where you might want to have both the canned and home made options
If you’re looking to step outside the box to less traditional dishes, here are some other delicious Thanksgiving side dishes and vegetables to try:
- Green Beans or Brussel Sprouts With Bacon
- Green Bean Casserole
- Roasted Asparagus With Sea Salt and Garlic
- Macaroni and Cheese
- Deviled Eggs
- Buttered Rolls or Flaky Biscuits
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Cauliflower Cheese Casserole
- Roasted Butternut Squash With Cinnamon
- Brown Butter Glazed Carrots
With so many decadent and delicious sides to choose from, hitting the sweet spot between flavors and balancing your meal is a sure way to impress your family and friends with your holiday spread.
Thanksgiving Dessert Ideas
At last, your Thanksgiving meal would not be complete without the perfect dessert to top off the evening. Once you get here, you’ll be happy you included some lighter options in the main course. With several different categories of dessert to choose from, we suggest having a variety of options to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth.
Pies and Cobblers - There is something quite comforting about smelling a freshly baked pie around the holidays. Pecan pie and pumpkin pie are some of the most popular Thanksgiving desserts to serve. These pies are holiday classics that no one can knock you for.
A few other fall staples include, buttermilk pie, apple pie, blueberry cobbler, and sweet potato pie, while cherry and chocolate make great options for the kids. Don’t forget some whipped cream to top it all off.
Cakes - If you are not a pie person, try serving up a holiday cake this Thanksgiving. Pumpkin cheesecake and carrot cake are excellent choices for a festive holiday meal and a great way to change it up from the traditional Thanksgiving dessert lineup.
To make the best carrot cake, toast some nuts and coconut for added flavor. Also, be sure to use the large holes of a box grater to grate your carrots to get the perfect texture.
Holiday Treats - You can never have too many desserts, so here are some other yummy options to have on your table this year: pumpkin rolls, apple fritters, fruit tarts, berry crumble, and pumpkin shortbread cookies.
Tips for A Less Stressful Thanksgiving Dinner
With your Thanksgiving menu covered, here are some tips to help you have an organized, stress-free Thanksgiving:
- Make a Thanksgiving day schedule so that you remember when to cook all of your delicious food selections.
- Prep some of the ingredients the night or days prior to help you save time on the big day.
- Select your serving dishes and utensils ahead of time in order to create a cohesive look and to save time during the cooking process.
- Have a drink area available where guests can serve themselves a selection of iced tea, soda, cider, water, and wine.
- Plan for leftovers. It’s almost a guarantee that food will be abundant at your celebration, and many of your guests will want to bring home some of the delicious food. Be prepared and have some containers ready to fill in the kitchen for after the meal.
- Have some clean dessert plates ready to use after the big meal, so guests can eat their delectable desserts on a clean plate, with fresh silverware, and at their own leisure.
Final Thoughts On Your Thanksgiving Menu and Celebration
In conclusion, creating the perfect Thanksgiving menu is all about selecting delicious foods for the entrée, sides, and desserts to complete your fall feast. Aside from the food, making sure to spend time setting the table and decorating your home with fall accents and fresh floral before your guests arrive will help set the stage. Perhaps with a flower arrangement from Venus et Fleur. This will ensure that your family and friends are greeted with delicious sights and smells from the moment they walk in. Your lovely home and delicious menu will take the holiday from there!