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THANKSGIVING DINNER IDEAS

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THANKSGIVING DINNER IDEAS FOR THE GRILL FROM THIS COLLECTION OF TRADITIONAL AND UNIQUE RECIPES.

What Can I Make For Thanksgiving Dinner Besides Turkey?

What Are Some Unique Thanksgiving Recipes?

What Are Some Thanksgiving Appetizer Ideas?

What Are Some Thanksgiving Dessert Ideas?

What Do You Eat With Turkey?

What Sauces Go Well With Turkey?

There’s no right or wrong way to do Thanksgiving, and sometimes it pays to be bold, unique, and try out some new traditions.

That’s why we’ve compiled this ultimate guide to walk you through ideas to help you serve up a Thanksgiving meal your loved ones will never forget. From the best Thanksgiving recipes and turkey alternatives to try out on your Traeger, to unique Thanksgiving side dishes, smoked dessert ideas and the perfect potluck showstopper, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s get started.

WHAT CAN I MAKE FOR THANKSGIVING DINNER BESIDES TURKEY?

Turkey is the classic Thanksgiving main dish. When you have guests with special diets, or just feel like trying something different, it's time to test out some non-traditional Thanksgiving dinner ideas. Our recommendations for turkey alternatives are:

  • Honey Glazed Ham
  • Standing Venison Rib Roast
  • Smoked Pot Roast
  • Whole Roasted Cauliflower
  • BBQ Brisket
  • Pork Loin
  • Hickory Smoked Prime Rib
  • Lasagna
  • Rack of Lamb
  • Smoked Pork Tenderloins
  • Seared Duck Breasts
  • Stuffed Crown Roast Pork
  • Roast Goose

Another way to do something different — try smoking your turkey in a Traeger. The natural wood flavor really does change up Thanksgiving.

HONEY GLAZED HAM

The classic flavor of honey-glazed ham gets a boost on your Traeger, with two hours worth of gentle apple smoke.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 2 hours

Serves: 8-12

Difficulty Level: 1/5

Main Ingredients: Ham

Pantry Ingredients: Cloves, corn syrup, honey, butter

Hardwood Pellets: Apple

See Baked Honey Glazed Ham Recipe

STANDING VENISON RIB ROAST

A generous helping of Traeger Prime Rib Rub brings out the flavor of this venison. It roasts on the grill, bone side down, getting a further flavor infusion from hickory smoke.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Serves: 6-8

Difficulty Level: 2/5

Main Ingredients: Venison rib roast

Pantry Ingredients: Olive oil, Traeger Prime Rib Rub

Hardwood Pellets: Hickory

See Standing Venison Rib Roast Recipe

SMOKED POT ROAST

This seasoned roast is smoked directly on the grill for 90 minutes. Then goes in a Dutch oven with aromatics and chicken stock and gets cooked until it’s incredibly tender.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 6 hours

Serves: 4-6

Difficulty Level: 3/5

Main Ingredients: Chuck roast, potatoes, carrots, pearl onions, chicken stock

Pantry Ingredients: Garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, black pepper, chili powder, sherry, rosemary, thyme, chipotle peppers

Hardwood Pellets: Maple

WHOLE ROASTED CAULIFLOWER

Coated in garlic parmesan butter, this meat-free centerpiece shows just how delicious cauliflower can be. Your Traeger makes it even better with natural pecan flavor.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Serves: 4-6

Difficulty Level: 2/5

Main Ingredients: Whole cauliflower

Pantry Ingredients: Olive oil, salt, pepper, butter, shredded parmesan, garlic, parsley

Hardwood Pellets: Pecan

See Whole Roasted Cauliflower Recipe

TEXAS STYLE SMOKED BEEF BRISKET

After a simple rub, this brisket stays low-and-slow with a blend of hardwoods for up to 18 hours, just like they do it in Texas.

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 11-18 hours

Serves: 6-8

Difficulty Level: 4/5

Main Ingredients: Brisket, brisket injection

Pantry Ingredients: Water, canola oil, apple juice, Traeger Prime Rib Rub, Traeger Coffee Rub, ground black pepper

Hardwood Pellets: Texas Beef Blend

See Texas Style Smoked Beef Brisket Recipe

SMOKED PORK LOIN

Pork loin gets the low-and-slow treatment in this very simple recipe that highlights Traeger's classic rub. Cherry wood provides a subtly sweet wood smoke flavor.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 3.5 hours

Serves: 6-8

Difficulty Level: 2/5

Main Ingredients: Pork loin

Pantry Ingredients: Traeger Rub

Hardwood Pellets: Cherry

See Smoked Pork Loin Recipe

HICKORY SMOKED PRIME RIB

A meaty cut like prime rib needs a bold wood to match. Hickory makes the perfect partner for this roast, and it gets even more flavor from a Dijon, garlic, and herb seasoning.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 4 hours

Serves: 6-8

Difficulty Level: 3/5

Main Ingredients: Prime rib roast

Pantry Ingredients: Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, thyme, rosemary, Traeger Prime Rib Rub, horseradish

Hardwood Pellets: Hickory

See Hickory Smoked Prime Rib Recipe

LASAGNA

Always a special treat, this classic meaty lasagna will wow the crowd thanks to an extra touch of alder smoke.

Prep time: 1 hour

Cook time: 25 minutes

Serves: 6-8

Difficulty Level: 3/5

Main Ingredients: Lasagna, bulk Italian sausage, spicy Italian sausage, red onion, ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese

Pantry Ingredients: Garlic, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken stock, parsley, basil, ground fennel, Jacobsen salt, ground pepper, egg

Hardwood Pellets: Alder

See Lasagna Recipe

RACK OF LAMB

The rich flavor of hickory is the perfect pairing for this surprisingly simple preparation of a classic gourmet dish. A good choice for busy holidays, as it can be ready in less than an hour.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Serves: 4-6

Difficulty Level: 3/5

Main Ingredients: Rack of lamb

Pantry Ingredients: Yellow mustard, salt, ground black pepper, panko, Italian parsley, sage, rosemary

Hardwood Pellets: Hickory

See Rack of Lamb Recipe

SMOKED PORK TENDERLOINS

Pork tenderloin is made even more succulent with a long soak in a honey and thyme marinade. Then it gets smoked low-and-slow over mellow apple wood.

Prep time: 3 hours

Cook time: 2.5 hours

Serves: 4-6

Difficulty Level: 1/5

Main Ingredients: Pork tenderloins

Pantry Ingredients: Apple juice, honey, Traeger Pork & Poultry Rub, brown sugar, thyme, black pepper

Hardwood Pellets: Apple

See Smoked Pork Tenderloins Recipe

SEARED DUCK BREASTS

Featuring Traeger's Big Game Rub, these duck breasts get an extra kiss of flavor with a quick sear over cherry wood on a smokin’ hot Traeger.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Serves: 4-6

Difficulty Level: 2/5

Main Ingredients: Duck breasts

Pantry Ingredients: Big Game Rub

Hardwood Pellets: Cherry

See Seared Duck Breasts Recipe

STUFFED CROWN ROAST PORK

A stunning presentation that no one at the table will ever forget. First make your favorite stuffing, do a simple rub, and your Traeger does the rest.

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 3 hours

Serves: 2-4

Difficulty Level: 4/5

Main Ingredients: Crown roast pork, your favorite stuffing

Pantry Ingredients: Apple cider, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, brown sugar, garlic, thyme, salt, ground black pepper, olive oil

Hardwood Pellets: Hickory

See Stuffed Crown Roast Pork Recipe

ROAST GOOSE

An overnight brine helps tenderize and flavor your goose. Your Traeger gives it an incredible boost of wood-fired flavor from oak, and a glaze adds a hint of sweetness.

Prep time: 24 hours

Cook time: 3 hours

Serves: 8-12

Difficulty Level: 4/5

Main Ingredients: Goose

Pantry Ingredients: Water, kosher salt, brown sugar, navel orange, onion, black pepper, juniper berries, bay leaves, apple, fresh herbs, apple juice, maple syrup, butter

Hardwood Pellets: Oak

See Roast Goose Recipe

WHAT ARE SOME UNIQUE THANKSGIVING RECIPES?

Our suggestions for unique Thanksgiving recipes that your guests may not have tried before are:

  • Carrot Soufflé
  • Baked Cheesy Corn Pudding
  • Baked Pumpkin Cheesecake with Chocolate Cookie Crust

CARROT SOUFFLÉ

A semi-sweet, cinnamon-infused Southern vegetable dish that goes amazingly alongside smoked turkey, or even as a hearty (and slightly healthier) dessert option.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 60 minutes

Serves: 4-6

Difficulty Level: 2/5

Main Ingredients: Carrots

Pantry Ingredients: Granulated sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla extract, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, powdered sugar

Hardwood Pellets: Pecan

See Carrot Soufflé Recipe

BAKED CHEESY CORN PUDDING

This side combines corn, fresh herbs and butter, all baked together on your Traeger with three bubbly cheeses and crispy breadcrumbs.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Serves: 6-8

Difficulty Level: 2/5

Main Ingredients: Whole kernel corn, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese

Pantry Ingredients: Garlic, butter, kosher salt, black pepper, bread crumbs, thyme, rosemary

Hardwood Pellets: Cherry

See Baked Cheesy Corn Pudding Recipe

BAKED PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE WITH CHOCOLATE COOKIE CRUST

A creamy and rich cheesecake that incorporates a seasonal injection of pumpkin, and an unexpected chocolate cookie crust.

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 90 minutes

Serves: 6-8

Difficulty Level: 3/5

Main Ingredients: Canned pumpkin puree, bittersweet chocolate, cream cheese, Oreos

Pantry Ingredients: Butter, sugar, eggs, cornstarch, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves

Hardwood Pellets: Maple

Baked Pumpkin Cheesecake with Chocolate Cookie Crust Recipe

WHAT ARE SOME THANKSGIVING APPETIZER IDEAS?

The best bets for Thanksgiving appetizers are:

  • Baked Winter Squash Au Gratin
  • Prosciutto Wrapped Dates with Marcona Almonds
  • Smoked Bacon Cheese Ball

BAKED WINTER SQUASH AU GRATIN

A trio of winter roots, roasted with cream, herbs and loads of cheese. Add in that signature wood-fired flavor of pecan wood pellets, and it's the ultimate Thanksgiving appetizer.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Serves: 8-12

Difficulty Level: 2/5

Main Ingredients: Acorn squash, butternut squash, yellow potatoes, heavy cream, Gruyere cheese

Pantry Ingredients: Garlic, butter, salt, pepper

Hardwood Pellets: Pecan

See Baked Winter Squash Au Gratin 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

Hardwood Pellets: Oak

See Prosciutto Wrapped Dates with Marcona Almonds Recipe

SMOKED BACON CHEESE BALL

Simply smoke cream cheese and sour cream in your Traeger for about 20 minutes, blitz it with some grilled bacon and herbs and let it set in the fridge before serving up with crackers.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes

Serves: 8-12

Difficulty Level: 2/5

Main Ingredients: Cream cheese, sour cream, bacon, green onion, cheddar cheese

Pantry Ingredients: Garlic powder, salt

Hardwood Pellets: Hickory

See Smoked Bacon Cheese Ball Recipe

WHAT ARE SOME THANKSGIVING DESSERT IDEAS?

Three fantastic Thanksgiving desserts are:

  • Baked Bourbon Maple Pumpkin Pie
  • Baked Buttermilk Pie With Cornmeal Crust
  • Applesauce Cranberry Spice Cake

BAKED BOURBON MAPLE PUMPKIN PIE

This wood-fired overhaul of the classic Thanksgiving dessert features a dash of bourbon to warm your belly and a twist of rich chocolate for good measure.

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 90 minutes

Serves: 6-8

Difficulty Level: 3/5

Main Ingredients: Unsweetened cocoa powder, pumpkin puree, bourbon, pure maple syrup

Pantry Ingredients: Granulated sugar, kosher salt, flour, butter, vegetable shortening, egg, apple cider vinegar, water, sour cream, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla, heavy cream

Hardwood Pellets: Maple

See Baked Bourbon Maple Pumpkin Pie Recipe

BAKED BUTTERMILK PIE WITH CORNMEAL CRUST

This homemade buttermilk pie comes packed with just the right combo of creamy, buttery and zesty – plus wood flavor from baking in your Traeger.

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 60 minutes

Serves: 8-12

Difficulty Level: 2/5

Main Ingredients: Fine cornmeal, buttermilk

Pantry Ingredients: Flour, kosher salt, Crisco, butter, water, sugar, eggs, lemons, vanilla bean

Hardwood Pellets: Pecan

Baked Buttermilk Pie With Cornmeal Crust Recipe

APPLESAUCE CRANBERRY SPICE CAKE

Like eating an entire Thanksgiving feast in just one slice. Guests will be intrigued by the wood-fired layers of flavor that come from baking in your Traeger.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 2 hours

Serves: 6-8

Difficulty Level: 2/5

Main Ingredients: Applesauce, dried cranberries

Pantry Ingredients: Vegetable shortening, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt, walnuts, butter, sugar, molasses, vanilla, brown sugar, heavy cream

Hardwood Pellets: Apple

See Applesauce Cranberry Spice Cake Recipe

WHAT DO YOU EAT WITH TURKEY?

Our recommendations for Thanksgiving sides to eat with turkey are:

  • Rosemary and Thyme-Infused Mashed Potatoes with Cream
  • Baked Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Shallots
  • Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Croutons
  • Baked Cornbread Sausage Stuffing

ROSEMARY AND THYME-INFUSED MASHED POTATOES WITH CREAM

You'll wow the crowd with mashed potatoes that start with an hour of wood-fired flavor infusion in your Traeger. A rich herb infusion puts the flavor over the top.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 60 minutes

Serves: 6-8

Difficulty Level: 2/5

Main Ingredients: Russet potatoes

Pantry Ingredients: Heavy cream, rosemary, thyme, sage, black pepper, garlic, butter, salt

Hardwood Pellets: Cherry

See Rosemary and Thyme-Infused Mashed Potatoes with Cream Recipe

BAKED GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE WITH CRISPY SHALLOTS

Traeger's modern riff on a classic casserole includes fresh green beans, a from-scratch cream of mushroom soup and fried shallots rather than the canned versions.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 50 minutes

Serves: 10-12

Difficulty Level: 4/5

Main Ingredients: Green beans, shiitake mushrooms

Pantry Ingredients: Kosher salt, olive oil, butter, shallot, rice flour, chicken stock, sherry cooking wine, heavy cream, Parmigiano Reggiano, slivered almonds, canola oil

Hardwood Pellets: Pecan

See Baked Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Shallots Recipe

CRISPY BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH BACON AND CROUTONS

Your cast-iron pan goes onto the grill in this amped-up recipe for Brussels sprouts that includes fresh-made croutons and bacon crumbles.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 60 minutes

Serves: 6-8

Difficulty Level: 2/5

Main Ingredients: Brussels sprouts, thick-cut bacon, French bread

Pantry Ingredients: Kosher salt, shallots, thyme, olive oil, ground black pepper, balsamic vinegar, Parmigiano Reggiano

Hardwood Pellets: Cherry

See Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and CroutonsRecipe

BAKED CORNBREAD SAUSAGE STUFFING

Cornbread replaces white bread in this twist on traditional stuffing. The hint of sweetness from the cornbread plus the wood-fired hickory flavor make this an unforgettable dish.

Baked-Cornbread-Sausage-Stuffing

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 60 minutes

Serves: 6-8

Difficulty Level: 3/5

Main Ingredients: Cornbread, breakfast sausage

Pantry Ingredients: Pecans, butter, sweet onion, celery, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, salt, ground black pepper, paprika, eggs, milk, low-sodium chicken broth

Hardwood Pellets: Hickory

See Baked Cornbread Sausage Stuffing Recipe

WHAT SAUCES GO WELL WITH TURKEY?

Some of the best sauces to go with turkey are:

  • Homemade Turkey Gravy
  • Cranberry Orange Sauce
  • Bourbon BBQ Sauce

HOMEMADE TURKEY GRAVY

The best turkey gravy starts with incredible stock, which you get by roasting turkey and veggies in your Traeger. Add the drippings from your roasted turkey and dinner is served.

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

Hardwood Pellets: Apple

See Homemade Turkey Gravy Recipe

CRANBERRY ORANGE SAUCE

A kiss of pecan smoke flavor makes this simple cranberry sauce an aromatic and gorgeous addition to your Thanksgiving spread.

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Serves: 6-8

Difficulty Level: 2/5

Main Ingredients: Cranberries

Pantry Ingredients: Orange, cane syrup, Traeger Smoked Simple Syrup, star anise, cinnamon stick

Hardwood Pellets: Pecan

See Cranberry Orange Sauce Recipe

BOURBON BBQ SAUCE

This sweet and smoky sauce, simmered with a blast of hickory flavor, might just replace gravy as your favorite turkey topping.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes

Serves: 8-12

Difficulty Level: 2/5

Main Ingredients: Bourbon whiskey

Pantry Ingredients: Onion, garlic, ground black pepper, salt, ketchup, tomato paste, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, hot pepper sauce

Hardwood Pellets: Hickory

See Bourbon BBQ Sauce Recipe

Ok, so we’ve covered quite a bit here – you should have enough Thanksgiving dinner ideas to last you at least five years. But believe it or not, this is actually just the tip of the iceberg. We’ve got loads more finger-licking Thanksgiving recipes that have been specifically crafted with your Traeger in mind, and it’s never too early to start planning your next holiday feast.