Easy Thanksgiving Recipes for First-Time Cooks
There's a first time for everything.
If this is your first Thanksgiving, and cooking is not your strong point, we've got you covered with quick and easy Thanksgiving recipes that make a big impression, from turkey to side dishes and desserts.
Turkey for Beginners
Thanksgiving turkey can be a daunting task. Perhaps you're worried about fitting the giant bird in your small oven or maybe you just don't want the hassle of getting the timing just right. If so, you might want to consider cooking turkey breasts instead — same great flavor, but so much easier to cook.
This ingenious recipe is like a mini stuffed turkey. The breasts are pounded, then stuffed with cranberry stuffing. They take about an hour to cook and won't consume your entire oven space.
These turkey tenderloins are full of flavor thanks to a simple marinade of mustard, soy sauce, and dried rosemary. They cook under a broiler, and are delicious with cranberry sauce.
This recipe has been made and loved by over 2,000 home cooks. It takes just 10 minutes of prep, has just 2 ingredients, and it's made in your slow cooker. Thanksgiving doesn't get easier than this!
If you do want to take on a whole turkey, here's simple but delicious turkey recipe flavored with garlic powder, dried basil, and ground sage.
Easy Thanksgiving Side Dishes
Make these tasty Brussels sprouts in your skillet in less than 20 minutes. All that bacon and charred flavor is what sets them apart.
Cornbread stuffing mix is the perfect shortcut when making this simple apple and sausage stuffing. According to ANALISAMC, this stuffing is "to die for!"
It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without green bean casserole, and this recipe is a firm favorite on our site, and also one of the easiest to make.
These clever twice-baked sweet potatoes will be the talking point at dinner. They're fun to make and so impressive. Just pinch of cayenne pepper amplifies the flavor—adjust the amount to suit your taste.
Do yourself a favor, and make homemade cranberry sauce. It sets the tone for dinner, and shows you're serious about impressing your guests even if you're a newbie or cooking in a tiny apartment. This recipe is even better made ahead of time, and you won't believe how simple it is to make. Many reviewers added a cinnamon stick to the mix as a traditional flavoring.
To avoid any stress on the day, make your mashers a day before the big event. Then pop them in the oven an hour before you're ready to eat. This recipe is creamy, cheesy, and easy.
Simply Scrumptious Desserts
This simple, elegant mousse is flavored with pumpkin pie spice and vanilla. Yubbers123 raves, "This recipe was super easy to make, quick, cheap, and decadent. It's something I will make again and again in a pinch. Very light and fluffy -- tastes just like pumpkin pie." Make these the day before, and whip them out just in time for dessert.
If the thought of making a pie crust scares you, these easy bars are just the recipe for you. And you can take the pressure off by making them a couple of days ahead of time. Catlin says, "These were a big hit at Thanksgiving. Everyone preferred these over a traditional pecan pie."
They're so small, and so simple to make -- go on, you and your guests deserve one of these sweet apple shots. Top off the shots with whipped cream and a pinch of ground cinnamon.
You might also like ...
- How to Cook a Big Thanksgiving in a Small Kitchen
- How to Host Your First Ever Thanksgiving
- 3 Ways to Create a Beautiful Thanksgiving Table
- Smart Thanksgiving Side Dish Make-Ahead Ideas
- 11 Thanksgiving Dessert Ideas for Non-Bakers
- The Right Wine to Pair with Every Thanksgiving Course
Check out our collection of Thanksgiving Recipes.