Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas by Idea Queen

Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas

So you have the turkey, that's somewhat of a given. I won't give you ideas for cooking that, because those are a dime a dozen on the internet. Plus of course, I've never cooked a turkey on my own. I'm usually in charge of the side dishes and/or pie. That's what this page is about - the "other" foods for Thanksgiving dinner ideas.

Side Dish Ideas

Mashed Potatoes
My mom makes awesome mashed potatoes. As a kid, I would watch her closely waiting for them to be done. So I too have picked up the secrete to perfect mashed potatoes.

First you'll need to cook them. Don't even think about popping them in the microwave. That won't work. You'll actually have to skin them, cut them into halves or quarters (depending on the size), and boil them. Just put them in a pot of water and set on high. You'll know they are doing when they fall apart when stuck with fork.

Drain the potatoes, and place in a bowl. Have your hand mixer, butter, milk, salt, and pepper handy. Add half a stick of butter, then SLOWLY add your milk. Do NOT add too much. As my mom use to say "you can always add more, but you can't take any out". Once you've got all the lumps out with the mixers, add salt and pepper to taste. This side dish goes perfect with any other Thanksgiving dinner ideas you come up with - an absolute must!

Little Smokies
A family favorite on my dad's side. Throw them in a crockpot with a bottle of BBQ sauce. Some add grape jelly to give it extra texture and a slightly different flavor. I never do because I'm lazy, but this is a good option.

Sweet N Sour Green Beans
By Traci Fuentes
Beady Queen Designs

This is my families favorite green bean recipe. It is a great new idea for green beans instead of that old boring green bean casserole!

~4 cans of green beans drained (we love Allens geen beans)
~8 pieces cooked bacon- cut into very small pieces.
~cook for about 15 minutes

1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. soy sauce 1/2 tsp. garlic salt or powder
1 small jar of pimentos (drained)

Mix and pour over green beans and bacon. Cook for another 5-10 minutes for flavors to soak in and enjoy!

Broccoli Salad
By Traci Fuentes
Beady Queen Designs

4 stalks of chopped broccoli
8 strips of bacon- fried and crumbled
4 ounces of sunflower seeds- salted

1 cup real mayonaise
1/2 cup sugar (or less)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp water

Mix all ingredients together and let it stand about 30 minutes before serving

Dessert Ideas

In addition to Thanksgiving dinner ideas, you also need some desserts! It's the finishing touch on any dinner, and our chance to absolutely stuff ourselves with treats. The following dessert ideas are not only from my own kitchen, but others as well.

Apple Pie
I've been told I'm not allowed to come to family functions anymore unless I bring the apple pie. Yes this recipe is FANTASTIC and has always been a huge hit. I've long ago lost the source of this recipe, so if you should see it elsewhere I appologies. I don't know where it came from, but it's been part of my collection for several years.

Best Apple Pie Recipe

Apple Pie Crust:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon salt

Apple Pie Filling:
6 Apples, cored & sliced
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Aple Pie Topping:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 butter

1. Preheat oven to 350*
2. Mix together all crust ingredients, press into 9inch pie tin. Set aside.
3. In bowl, toss together filling ingredients then place in crust.
4. In separate bowl, mix together flour and sugar for your topping. "Cut" in butter (to make a crumble like crust).
5. Bake for 45mins-1hour, or until pie is golden brown.
6. Eat and enjoy the best apple pie!

These recipes were passed to us by a visitor, and they sound wonderful! One also uses apples, but is a bit easier than the pie. If you need quick Thanksgiving dinner ideas, these might be the way to go!

Spiced Apple Muffins
By Heather Leach

2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs (beaten)
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup butter (melted)
1 cup peeled and grated/shredded apple
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix in brown sugar. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, milk and butter. Mix well. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and mix (do not over mix). Fold in apples and walnuts (if using). Spoon batter into lightly greased muffin tin. Bake in preheated oven at 350F for approximately 20 minutes or until golden and baked through. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

Cranberry Pumpkin Bread
By Heather Leach

2 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs (beaten)
1 cups brown sugar
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup fresh or dried cranberries

In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, sugar, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Mix well. In a separate bowl, combine pumpkin, eggs and oil. Mix well. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture and stir well. Fold in the cranberries. Transfer mixture to two lightly greased loaf pans. Bake in a preheated oven at 350F for approximately 45 to 55 minutes or until golden and baked through. Cool for 5 minutes in pan before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

Heaven in a Pan
By Traci Fuentes
Beady Queen Designs

My Granny makes this for every family get together just for me! This recipe is so easy and everyone comes back for seconds! There are four layers to this dessert. Start with a 13x9 pan.

~Crust-layer 1
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 sticks of oleo
1 cup pecans chopped real fine and mix the crust ingredients and smooth onto the bottom of the pan.
Bake for 15-20 minutes on 350' Then let it cool down before adding layer two.

~Layer 2
8 oz of cream cheese
1 cup powder sugar
2 cups cool whip
Mix together and pour over cool crust.

~Layer 3
2 small boxes instant pudding (lemon or chocolate)
3 cups of milk (if you use 3 small boxes of pudding then use 4 1/4 cups milk)
Mix together and pour over layer 2.

~layer 4 Top entire pan with coolwhip-large tub and then refrigerate it.

ENJOY a piece of heaven!

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Other Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas

The following thanksgiving dinner ideas really don't need a recipe or tips attached. You probably have enough sitting in cookbooks already, or can easily find them elsewhere. Although we thought them worth a mention for additional side dishes to serve.

- Rolls
- Stuffing
- Green Beans
- Baked Beans
- Yams
- Green Bean Casserole
- Corn Casserole
- Cranberry Sauce
- Cheesecake
- Veggies & Dip (used on a plate before dinner is served)

Submit Your Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas

Have Thanksgiving dinner ideas you'd like to share? Use the form below to send them to us! Full credit is always given for ideas, but email is always kept private.

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