What Do People Eat on Thanksgiving?

Most households eat a roast turkey during their Thanksgiving celebrations. In addition to the turkey, there is usually a selection of side dishes, appetizers and desserts.

Popular Thanksgiving appetizers:

  • Homemade dips using seasonal vegetables
  • Oysters
  • Loaded sweet potato skins
  • Classic dinner rolls

Thanksgiving main courses:

  • Classic roast turkey
  • Roasted heritage turkey

Thanksgiving side dishes:

  • Turkey gravy, which the cook can make using juices from the main course turkey
  • Sauteed green beans with shallots
  • Cranberry sauce, which the cook can make themselves, or they can purchase it pre-made
  • Mashed potatoes, which can either be smooth or chunky; individuals who want to take an alternative approach can make mash using parsnips, cabbage or sweet potatoes
  • Glazed carrots, which are carrots baked in the oven with a honey glaze; Chardonnay carrots usually work better than traditional types
  • Some form of stuffing - while it is acceptable to make most kinds, using seasonal ingredients contributes to the Thanksgiving theme
  • People who want an alternative side dish can try making chutney using seasonal ingredients
  • Salad
  • Brussels sprouts

Thanksgiving desserts:

  • Candied sweet potato casserole
  • Fruit compote
  • Pumpkin pie
  • Cranberry sorbet
  • Honey pie
  • Compotes using traditional ingredients, such as ginger
  • Cakes and other desserts featuring pumpkin and ginger

What each household chooses to add to their Thanksgiving menu is optional. Not all of these dishes are traditional, but many do build on the ingredients people often use during Thanksgiving, such as pumpkin and cranberry.