Thanksgiving Dinner Trends: What’s New and Popular for 2023

Thanksgiving is a time for family and friends to gather together and enjoy a delicious meal. As with any holiday, there are always new trends and traditions emerging. This year, there are a few notable trends in Thanksgiving dinner that are worth exploring.

One trend that has been gaining popularity in recent years is the use of alternative proteins. While turkey has long been the star of the Thanksgiving table, many people are now opting for vegetarian or vegan options. This could include dishes like roasted butternut squash, lentil loaf, or even a plant-based turkey substitute. Additionally, some families are incorporating seafood into their Thanksgiving meal, such as a seafood paella or lobster mac and cheese.

Another trend that has emerged is the focus on locally sourced and sustainable ingredients. Many people are becoming more conscious of where their food comes from and are opting to support local farmers and producers. This could mean using locally grown vegetables, purchasing a heritage turkey from a nearby farm, or even making homemade cranberry sauce with fresh cranberries from a local bog. Additionally, some families are choosing to reduce their environmental impact by using reusable plates and utensils or composting their food waste.

Classic Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving is a time-honored tradition in the United States, and a classic Thanksgiving dinner is the centerpiece of the holiday. A traditional Thanksgiving dinner includes roasted turkey, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie.

The roast turkey is the star of the show. It is typically seasoned with salt, pepper, and herbs, and roasted until golden brown. A good turkey recipe is essential to a successful Thanksgiving dinner. Many people prefer to cook a turkey with stuffing inside the bird, while others prefer to cook the stuffing separately.

Gravy is an important part of the Thanksgiving meal. It is made from the drippings of the roast turkey and thickened with flour or cornstarch. A good gravy recipe is essential to a successful Thanksgiving dinner.

Stuffing is another staple of the classic Thanksgiving dinner. It is typically made with bread, onions, celery, and herbs, and baked until golden brown. A good stuffing recipe is essential to a successful Thanksgiving dinner.

Thanksgiving sides are also an important part of the meal. Mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, and corn are all popular choices. A Southern Thanksgiving menu might include collard greens, black-eyed peas, and cornbread.

Overall, a classic Thanksgiving dinner is a time-honored tradition that brings families and friends together to celebrate the holiday. With a good turkey recipe, stuffing recipe, and gravy recipe, anyone can host a successful Thanksgiving dinner.

Modern Twists on Traditional Dishes

Thanksgiving is a time to gather with family and friends to enjoy a delicious meal filled with classic dishes. However, many people are looking for ways to put a modern twist on their traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Here are some ideas to add a new spin to your favorite dishes:

  • Brussels Sprouts: Roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon lardons and chestnuts make a flavorful side dish that is sure to impress.
  • Squash: Caramelized delicata squash with spiced crispy onions is a delicious and unique way to serve this fall vegetable.
  • Mashed Potatoes: Add some flavor to your mashed potatoes with roasted garlic and parmesan cheese.
  • Cranberries: Instead of traditional cranberry sauce, try making a tart cranberry relish with honey and orange zest.
  • Ham: For a non-traditional main dish, try a honey-glazed ham with a soy glaze.
  • Pumpkin: Pumpkin pie is a classic Thanksgiving dessert, but pumpkin cupcakes with maple cream cheese frosting are a fun and modern twist.
  • Green Bean Casserole: Upgrade your green bean casserole with roasted red peppers, shallot-and-chive cheese, and crispy bacon lardons.
  • Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potato casserole is a Thanksgiving staple, but sweet potato cheesecake bars with a pecan crust are a unique and delicious dessert option.

By incorporating some of these modern twists on traditional dishes, you can add some excitement and new flavors to your Thanksgiving dinner.

Vegetarian Options

Thanksgiving dinner is traditionally centered around a turkey, but more and more people are opting for vegetarian options. Whether it’s for health reasons, personal beliefs, or simply to try something new, there are plenty of delicious vegetarian dishes to choose from.

One popular option is roasted Brussels sprouts with squash and cranberries. This dish is packed with flavor and nutrients, and the bright colors make it a beautiful addition to any table. Another favorite is mashed potatoes, which can be made with vegetable broth instead of chicken broth for a vegetarian twist.

Green bean casserole is a classic Thanksgiving side dish, but it can easily be made vegetarian by using beans or green beans instead of the traditional cream of mushroom soup. Carrots are another versatile vegetable that can be roasted, glazed, or mashed to create a delicious side dish.

For a more unique option, try cauliflower au gratin or butternut squash soup. These dishes are creamy, comforting, and perfect for a chilly fall day. Roasted delicata squash with spiced crispy onions and nori-seasoned potato chips is a fun and unexpected side dish that is sure to impress.

Don’t forget about dessert! Pecan pie is a Thanksgiving staple, but sweet potato cheesecake bars and sweet potato cupcakes are delicious alternatives that are sure to satisfy any sweet tooth.

No matter what vegetarian options are chosen, Thanksgiving dinner is sure to be a hit with these flavorful and satisfying dishes.

Desserts and Bakes

No Thanksgiving dinner is complete without a sweet treat to round out the meal. From traditional pies to creative bakes, there are endless options to satisfy any sweet tooth. Here are some dessert trends to look out for this holiday season:

Creative twists on classic pies

While pumpkin and apple pie will always be Thanksgiving staples, many bakers are putting their own spin on these classics. Think pumpkin tart with honey whipped cream or apple crumble pie with a pecan crust. These unique takes on traditional pies are sure to impress guests.

Cranberry sauce in unexpected places

Cranberry sauce isn’t just for the turkey! Many bakers are incorporating this tart and tangy sauce into their desserts. Try cranberry swirl cheesecake bars or cranberry upside-down cake for a sweet and sour treat.

Sweet potato everything

Sweet potato casserole is a Thanksgiving favorite, but this versatile ingredient can be used in a variety of desserts as well. Sweet potato cheesecake bars or sweet potato cupcakes with fluffy buns are just a few examples of how to incorporate this tasty tuber into your holiday baking.

Homemade rolls and breads

While store-bought rolls and breads are convenient, many bakers are opting to make their own this year. Parker House rolls and milk bread dough are popular choices for those looking to up their bread game. Serve warm with a dollop of butter for the ultimate comfort food experience.

Pecan pie with a twist

Pecan pie is a classic Thanksgiving dessert, but many bakers are adding their own unique touches to this dish. Try a chocolate pecan pie or a bourbon pecan pie for a boozy twist on the traditional recipe.

Cornbread in dessert form

Cornbread is a staple side dish at many Thanksgiving dinners, but it can also be transformed into a delicious dessert. Cornbread pudding with a maple glaze or cornbread cake with a honey buttercream frosting are just a few examples of how to incorporate this Southern favorite into your holiday baking.

Whether you prefer classic pies or creative bakes, there are plenty of dessert trends to try this Thanksgiving. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new flavors and ingredients to create a memorable sweet ending to your holiday meal.

Appetizers and Starters

Thanksgiving dinner is not complete without a variety of appetizers and starters to whet the appetite. From homemade onion dip to party-ready dips, there are plenty of options to choose from.

One popular appetizer is homemade onion dip. This classic dip is easy to make and always a crowd-pleaser. Simply mix together sour cream, mayonnaise, and caramelized onions for a delicious and creamy dip that pairs perfectly with chips or vegetables.

For those looking for a party-ready dip, there are many options available. From spinach and artichoke dip to buffalo chicken dip, these dips are perfect for entertaining guests before the main meal. Serve with crackers, bread, or vegetables for a satisfying and flavorful appetizer.

In addition to dips, there are many Thanksgiving side dishes that can double as appetizers. Roasted sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, and butternut squash are all delicious options that can be served as a starter or side dish. These dishes are not only tasty but also add a pop of color to the table.

No matter what appetizers or starters are served, they are sure to set the tone for a delicious and memorable Thanksgiving dinner.

Thanksgiving Leftovers

After the big feast, there’s always a ton of Thanksgiving leftovers. But what to do with all that food? Here are a few ideas to help you make the most of your Thanksgiving leftovers:

  • Turkey Sandwiches: Use leftover turkey to make delicious sandwiches. Add some cranberry sauce, stuffing, and gravy for a classic Thanksgiving sandwich.
  • Turkey Pot Pie: Use leftover turkey, vegetables, and gravy to make a delicious pot pie. Top with leftover mashed potatoes for a comforting and hearty meal.
  • Turkey Soup: Use the turkey carcass to make a flavorful broth and add leftover vegetables and meat for a delicious and healthy soup.
  • Thanksgiving Leftover Casserole: Layer leftover stuffing, turkey, gravy, and vegetables in a casserole dish and bake for a delicious and easy meal.
  • Thanksgiving Leftover Pizza: Use leftover mashed potatoes as a pizza crust and top with turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce for a fun and unique twist on pizza.

These are just a few ideas to help you make the most of your Thanksgiving leftovers. Get creative and have fun experimenting with different combinations of leftovers to create new and delicious meals.


Judy Temkin

Judy Temkin: The Trendsetting Force Behind

Judy Temkin, the visionary creator of, has a lifelong passion for identifying and understanding the ebbs and flows of lifestyle trends. Born in an era of magazine-influenced styles, Judy's curiosity always centered around understanding the forces that bring certain trends to the forefront.

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