15 Vintage Recipes to Enjoy This Thanksgiving

Best Green Bean Casserole | Photo by Cynthia Ross.

Thanksgiving is a holiday steeped in tradition. Your family's menu has likely been set in stone for years, filled with classics that have stood the test of time. If you're looking to switch up or add a few sides, desserts, or appetizers this year, the best place to search for dishes that will complement a traditional Thanksgiving menu is the past. These vintage Thanksgiving recipes will fit right in at the traditional table, while still adding a touch of nostalgia.

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Turkey Cheese Ball for Thanksgiving

homemade cheese ball decorated with pecans, crackers, and peppers to look like a Thanksgiving turkey

Cheese balls have been popular appetizers for decades. Hosts always know how to have a little more fun with this classic snack — by incorporating themes into the vintage Thanksgiving appetizers. This simple Turkey Day twist on the standard cheese ball will be the talk of the table. It uses crackers and pecans to form the fowl's feathers. Red peppers (and a little creative knife work) finish the look.

02 of 16

Best Green Bean Casserole

Best Green Bean Casserole | Photo by Cynthia Ross.

Green bean casserole was created in 1955, and this slight variation on the classic recipe just makes a good thing even better. This recipe is written for canned green beans, but you could also use fresh. Frozen green beans, however, will make for a soggy and disappointing dish.

03 of 16

Sausage Balls

Sausage Balls

This three-ingredient recipe is one that you'll use for the rest of your life — because people will request these sausage balls for every Thanksgiving going forward. Bisquick, which helps hold the cheese and sausage together, has been around for 90 years, so you know you're dealing with a reliable ingredient.

04 of 16

Easy Cranberry Orange Relish

Easy Cranberry Orange Relish in a glass dish

Cranberry is one of Thanksgiving's most iconic flavors, though we know families are divided over what's better — homemade or straight from the can. This classic, four-ingredient cranberry orange relish makes a great companion for turkey and a great compromise for the cranberry indecisive. But it's also great laid out with crackers and cream cheese as an appetizer.

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Grandma's Stuffed Celery

close-up of grandma's stuffed celery

Stuffed celery emerged as a popular appetizer during the 1960s thanks to its simple assembly and party-friendly nature. Set out a tray of these hors d'oeuvres and give people something to nibble on while they wait for the guests to arrive.

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Buttermilk Pie

Buttermilk pie on blue and white plate

For a Thanksgiving dessert that stands out, ditch the pumpkin and pecan pies, and make this classic buttermilk pie instead. It's sweet and slightly tangy flavor and creamy, custardy consistency make a winning combination that'll be welcome among the abundance of fall flavors.

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Simple Deviled Eggs

Close up of deviled egg

"Oh I am in LOVE w/ these eggs...They are PERFECT! Made exactly as written and would not change a thing," says Allrecipes Allstar Christina. "Great balance of flavors and loved the addition of the celery and onion for a bit of texture. I will be making these again and again YUM!"

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Mouth-Watering Stuffed Mushrooms

Mouth-Watering Stuffed Mushrooms on a white plate
Alberta Rose

If you participate in a large family gathering every Thanksgiving, then you know just how much guests appreciate sharable bites they can snack on while they wait for everyone to arrive. These stuffed mushrooms are simple to prepare and can even be assembled ahead of time. Just stick them in the oven 20 minutes before you expect guests to start showing up.

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A Simply Perfect Roast Turkey

a golden brown stuffed turkey in a roasting pan

This roast turkey tastes like the one you remember from childhood Thanksgivings. It's simple, delicious, and only requires five ingredients, making it a perfect recipe for first-time holiday hosts. Your bird will come out so moist and juicy some people might not realize it's turkey.

10 of 16

Watergate Salad

watergate salad
Trusted Brands

In certain areas (Southeast and Midwest, I'm looking at you), a Thanksgiving setup just isn't complete without the green stuff. Fluffy and sweet, pistachio pudding-based watergate salad stands out among the more savory Thanksgiving sides in the best way possible.

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Cheese Corn Spoon Bread

Cheese Corn Spoon Bread

Simple and comforting, spoon bread is an old-school dish that'll fit right in on your Thanksgiving table. Try not to use Jiffy cornbread mix, because along with the creamed corn and sweet corn, this will make this side too sweet.

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Candied Yams

top-down view of marshmallow-topped yams in a round baking pan

If you've never enjoyed this throwback side at Thanksgiving, you're missing out. Sure, candied yams aren't exactly the healthiest side, but they're a Thanksgiving favorite for a reason.

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Brown Sugar and Pineapple Glazed Ham


The 1960s and 1970s had a serious obsession with all things tropical, which meant that pineapple ended up in a lot of unexpected places, including holiday hams. Although the contemporary version of this dish would have most likely used canned pineapple, this recipe utilizes fresh fruit.

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Absolutely Delicious Baked Root Vegetables


Root vegetables are incorporated into lots of Thanksgiving sides, but they usually get obscured by other ingredients, like marshmallows, canned soup, and cheese. This old-fashioned dish celebrates potatoes, rutabaga, carrots, and parsnips in a simple, but still delicious, way.

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Sweet Potato Pie I


Depending on where you were raised, you may have grown up eating sweet potato pie on holidays instead of pumpkin. If you didn't, though, and don't care for pumpkin pie's heaviness, sweet potato pie might be the ideal Thanksgiving closer. This from-scratch recipe is made from simple ingredients, and it yields a sweet and satisfying pie.

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