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Easy Thanksgiving Dishes

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Thanksgiving is the perfect opportunity to pump the brakes, switch off, and enjoy sharing an over-the-top meal that you and your loved ones will never forget. But with great holiday power comes great responsibility -- which is why a lot of home cooks really feel the heat when they’re trying to put together the perfect Thanksgiving dinner. Don’t stress. Plating up on Turkey Day doesn’t have to be difficult.

All you need is the right equipment, solid ingredients, a dash of holiday spirit, and a handful of easy Thanksgiving dishes you can knock out without breaking a sweat. Fortunately, you have plenty of choices when it comes to simple Thanksgiving recipes, and there are loads of seasonal classics you can serve to your hungry guests.

What Do You Serve With Thanksgiving Dinner?

Thanksgiving dinner revolves around turkey, but you should always have a few more choices on the table. That said, there are a handful of easy, foundational dishes no Thanksgiving dinner is complete without. Our recommendations are:

  • Mashed potatoes
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Green bean casserole
  • Pumpkin pie
  • Stuffing

How Many Sides Should Thanksgiving Dinner Have?

Your classic Thanksgiving dinner should have a minimum of four sides. The total number of dishes you plate up alongside your smoked turkey depends on your appetite and how many people you’ve got coming over for the holiday.

But hey, don’t let volume stress you out. You’ve totally got this, and to help you get started our grill experts have rounded up some fool-proof Thanksgiving recipes that will have your family and friends scraping their plates and begging for more.

So, what are you waiting for? Fire up your Traeger. It’s time to conquer Thanksgiving the easy way.

Easy Thanksgiving Appetizers

Some super easy Thanksgiving appetizers are:

  • Smoked Deviled Eggs

  • Homemade Onion Dip

  • Prosciutto Wrapped Dates with Marcona Almonds

Smoked Deviled Eggs

The unique flavor comes from smoking cooked eggs on your Traeger. After that, just combine the traditional deviled egg flavors everyone already loves.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4-6

Difficulty Level: 2/5

Main Ingredients: Hard-boiled eggs

Pantry Ingredients: Mayonnaise, chives, brown mustard, apple cider vinegar, hot sauce, salt, pepper, bacon crumbles, paprika

Smoking wood: Hickory

See Smoked Deviled Eggs Recipe

Homemade Onion Dip

Caramelize onions on your Traeger with some savory flavors, then combine with sour cream. The result? A delectable, smoky dip that will keep your guests happy.

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Serves: 8-12

Difficulty Level: 1/5

Main Ingredients: Sweet onions, sour cream, cream cheese

Pantry Ingredients: Butter, vegetable oil, sugar, garlic salt, black pepper, thyme, beef bouillon, Worcestershire sauce, bourbon, chives

Smoking wood: Hickory

See Homemade Onion Dip Recipe

Prosciutto Wrapped Dates with Marcona Almonds

The flavor blast from salty prosciutto and sweet dates ticks all the boxes. A quick sear on the grill, plus lime zest and a few drops of honey, takes it to another level.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Serves: 8-12

Difficulty Level: 1/5

Main Ingredients: Medjool dates, prosciutto, Marcona almonds

Pantry Ingredients: Extra-virgin olive oil, limes, honey, flake salt

Smoking wood: Oak

See Prosciutto Wrapped Dates with Marcona Almonds Recipe

Easy Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Our top ideas for easy Thanksgiving side dishes are:

  • Turkey Gravy
  • Sweet Potato Casserole
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Stuffing
  • Cranberry Sauce

These are your five foundational sides, and they’re all Thanksgiving plate essentials. You can knock all of these easy Thanksgiving sides out of the park with minimal prep and no fuss.

To spice things up, we’ve got a couple different options and flavors for you to play around with for all five basic sides.

Make Ahead Turkey Gravy Recipes

Some time-saving ways to make turkey gravy ahead of time are:

  • Homemade Turkey Gravy
  • Ultimate Scratch Gravy

Homemade Turkey Gravy

Featuring roasted turkey neck and veggies as the base for rich, wood-fired flavor, it only takes 20 minutes to prep and three hours to cook.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 3 hours

Serves: 8-12

Difficulty Level: 3/5

Main Ingredients: Turkey neck, chicken stock

Pantry Ingredients: Onions, carrots, celery, thyme, garlic, flour, butter, kosher salt, cracked black pepper

Smoking wood: Apple

See Homemade Turkey Gravy Recipe

Ultimate Scratch Gravy

It’s got everything a stellar gravy needs – from roasted vegetables, garlic, and bay leaves, to peppercorns, parsley, and thyme. But we’re only talking about 20 minutes of actual work.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 10 hours

Serves: 8-12

Difficulty Level: 4/5

Main Ingredients: Turkey bones, chicken bones, chicken feet

Pantry Ingredients: Olive oil, carrots, onion, garlic, celery, bay leaves, black peppercorns, cider vinegar, parsley, thyme

Smoking wood: Pecan

See Ultimate Scratch Gravy Recipe

Easy Sweet Potato Casserole

Our best recipes for easy sweet potato casserole are:

  • Sweet Potato Marshmallow Casserole
  • Smoked Sweet Potato Soufflé

Sweet Potato Marshmallow Casserole

One of the easiest Thanksgiving side dishes in terms of prep. This take on traditional candied yams calls for just 10 minutes of actual work

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 65 minutes

Serves: 6-8

Difficulty Level: 2/5

Main Ingredients: Sweet potatoes, mini marshmallows

Pantry Ingredients: Butter, brown sugar, vanilla, kosher salt, black pepper

Smoking wood: Pecan

See Sweet Potato Marshmallow Casserole Recipe

Smoked Sweet Potato Soufflé

Takes a bit more mixing, but still just 30 minutes of prep. The final product is light as air, and you can add toasted pecans and a few fresh sprigs of thyme for a flavor boost.

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 90 minutes

Serves: 4-6

Difficulty Level: 3/5

Main Ingredients: Sweet potatoes

Pantry Ingredients: Brown sugar, Traeger Smoked Simple Syrup, heavy cream, vanilla extract, thyme, Traeger Chicken Rub, butter, eggs, pecans, light brown sugar, flour,salt, bourbon.

Smoking wood: Hickory

See Smoked Sweet Potato Soufflé Recipe

Easy Green Bean Casserole

Two quick and easy green bean casserole recipes are:

  • Bacon Green Bean Casserole
  • Green Bean Casserole Circa 1955

Bacon Green Bean Casserole

A spoonful of bacon makes the vegetables go down smoother, and we’re literally only talking about 5 minutes of prep, here.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Serves: 6-8

Difficulty Level: 2/5

Main Ingredients: Green beans, French fried onions, red bell pepper, bacon

Pantry Ingredients: Cream of mushroom soup, milk, Worcestershire sauce, ground black pepper

Smoking wood: Pecan

See Bacon Green Bean Casserole Recipe

Green Bean Casserole Circa 1955

The classic 1950s version, using canned green beans and cream of mushroom soup, meets the 21st century technology of your Traeger. A 30-minute blast of alder smoke adds a special touch.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Serves: 6-8

Difficulty Level: 1/5

Main Ingredients: Green beans, cream of mushroom soup, French fried onions, bell pepper

Pantry Ingredients: Milk, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, ground black pepper,

Smoking wood: Alder

See Green Bean Casserole Circa 1955 Recipe

Easy Stuffing Recipe

Winning ideas for easy stuffing recipes are:

  • Traditional Stuffing
  • Sage & Sausage Stuffing

Traditional Stuffing

Has everything from butter and celery stalks, to onion, thyme, sage, and parsley – and it only takes 10 minutes of mixing. Then 40 minutes in your Traeger adds natural cherry wood flavor.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes

Serves: 8-12

Difficulty Level: 2/5

Main Ingredients: White bread, celery, onion

Pantry Ingredients: Thyme, salt, ground black pepper, sage, chicken broth, parsley

Smoking wood: Cherry

See Traditional Stuffing Recipe

Sage & Sausage Stuffing

This recipe calls for the boxed stuffing packages at the supermarket, so there's no need to break out the bread knife. Just a little bit of chopping and this is ready for the Traeger.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Serves: 4-6

Difficulty Level: 2/5

Main Ingredients: Sage-flavored sausage, celery, onion, herb-seasoned stuffing

Pantry Ingredients: Sage, thyme, dried sweetened cranberries, chicken broth, butter

Smoking wood: Maple

See Sage & Sausage Stuffing Recipe

Easy Cranberry Sauce

Our top recipes for easy cranberry sauce are:

  • Roasted Cranberry Orange Sauce
  • Roasted Cranberry Sauce with Red Wine & Cinnamon

Roasted Cranberry Orange Sauce

Combines two fruits that perfectly complement a smoked bird: deep, juicy cranberry and zesty oranges. Best of all, it takes just 5 minutes to prep.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4-6

Difficulty Level: 2/5

Main Ingredients: Fresh cranberries, orange

Pantry Ingredients: Cane sugar, Traeger Simple Syrup, star anise, cinnamon

Smoking wood: Pecan

See Roasted Cranberry Orange Sauce Recipe

Best of all, this sauce keeps in the fridge for up to three days. That gives you the freedom to make your cranberry sauce a couple days before Thanksgiving and then dish out later.

Roasted Cranberry Sauce with Red Wine & Cinnamon

Another quick-prep recipe. This version combines sugar, cinnamon, and a splash of red wine to give your cranberry sauce a sweet and sour tang.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 60 minutes

Serves: 4-6

Difficulty Level: 2/5

Main Ingredients: Dried cranberries, fresh cranberries

Pantry Ingredients: Red wine, cinnamon, water, sugar

Smoking wood: Cherry

See Roasted Cranberry Sauce with Red Wine & Cinnamon Recipe

Easy Thanksgiving Desserts

Our favorite recipes for easy Thanksgiving desserts are:

  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Apple Pie

Easy Pumpkin Pie

The classic pumpkin pie you remember from Thanksgivings past. This recipe takes less than an hour to cook on your Traeger.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 50 minutes

Serves: 6-8

Difficulty Level: 2/5

Main Ingredients: Pumpkin puree, cream cheese, frozen pie crust

Pantry Ingredients: Heavy cream, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, eggs

Smoking wood: Apple

See Easy Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Easy Apple Pie

A smoky, Traeger twist on a great American classic. Your apple pie gets an extra flavor boost from baking in the warm embrace of apple wood smoke.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4-6

Difficulty Level: 3/5

Main Ingredients: Apples, peach preserves, refrigerated pie crust

Pantry Ingredients: Sugar, cornstarch

Smoking wood: Apple

See Easy Apple Pie Recipe

Easy Leftover Turkey Recipes

Our recommendations for easy leftover turkey recipes are:

Don’t know what to do with your fridge full of leftovers? There are loads of easy leftover turkey recipes you can try from stuffing balls and Tex-Mex classics, to legendary and fully-loaded leftover sandwiches. Trust us: If you follow these recipes, your leftovers won’t stick around for long.

And if you have extra turkey, the best place to start is our Turkey Stuffing Bacon Balls.

Turkey Stuffing Bacon Balls

These bites incorporate leftover turkey, stuffing, and that one can of cranberry sauce you didn't open. Mix them up, then crisp them up on your grill for some hearty snacking.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Serves: 8-12

Difficulty Level: 2/5

Main Ingredients: Leftover turkey, leftover stuffing, bacon, cranberry sauce, jalapeño

Smoking wood: Apple

See Turkey Stuffing Bacon Balls Recipe

Baked Turkey Enchiladas

Takes your turkey south of the border, combining Traeger-roasted veggies, turkey, cheese, and chilies to create a creamy, melty dish that’ll impress any lingering house guests.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 60 minutes

Serves: 6-8

Difficulty Level: 3/5

Main Ingredients: Leftover turkey, cojita cheese, monterey jack cheese, flour tortillas

Pantry Ingredients: Canned tomatoes, carrots, celery, dried chile de arbol, dried New Mexico chiles, black pepper, kosher salt, cumin, oregano, cilantro, sour cream

Smoking wood: Cherry

See Baked Turkey Enchiladas Recipe

Ultimate Traeger Thanksgiving Sandwich

This no-cook meal lets you combine just about everything left in the fridge into a sandwich.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Serves: 2-4

Difficulty Level: 1/5

Main Ingredients: French bread, leftover turkey gravy, leftover turkey, white cheddar cheese, leftover stuffing, cranberry sauce

Pantry Ingredients: Mayonnaise, Dijon mustard

Smoking wood: N/A

See Ultimate Traeger Thanksgiving Sandwich Recipe

Ready, Set, Smoke!

Ok, so that’s all your bases covered. By following this blueprint, you should be all set to create a Thanksgiving feast with five basic sides, at least three pies, and some tips on how to decimate your leftovers.

But this is only the tip of the iceberg. We’ve got literally hundreds more Thanksgiving recipes ready for action. So if you feel like branching out and trying something new, check out our Thanksgiving guides.