Not sure what to make for breakfast, lunch or dinner when hosting the family for Thanksgiving week? Try these 21 easy recipes!
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So you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year – which means you’ve somehow signed up to host your entire family for the whole week. Brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews, parents and in-laws, you name it! They’ll be in your house, and they’ll be hungry.
Not only do you have to plan for Thanksgiving dinner itself, but now you have to think about all the meals in between. That means breakfast, lunch, and dinner, along with the appetizers, snacks, and desserts you’ll want to provide as the family’s host for the week. Where do you possibly start?
To make hosting the family a little less overwhelming, we’re here to help with 21 ideas for all the food you’ll need during Thanksgiving week, from breakfast all the way through dessert.
Keep reading or click the links below to jump to a section with ideas for what to make:
- Thanksgiving Breakfast & Brunch
- Thanksgiving Appetizers & Snacks
- Thanksgiving Week Lunches & Dinners
- Thanksgiving Side Dishes
- Thanksgiving Desserts
Thanksgiving Breakfast & Brunch
1. Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
Make these bakery-style muffins a day or two before your family arrives, and you’ll have an easy treat to put out for breakfast each morning alongside those store-bought bagels and fresh fruit.
2. Sweet Potato Cinnamon Spice Bread
Speaking of things you can make ahead, you’ll want to whip up a few loaves of this sweet potato cinnamon spice bread, too. You can even prep this seasonal quick bread up to a few weeks in advance (so, like, now!) and stick it in the freezer until you need it.
3. Croissant French Toast Bake
If you need a freshly baked (and kid-friendly) breakfast to serve over the weekend, try this dump-style french toast bake. The helpful secret to making this recipe? Pick up croissants from the bakery section while doing your pre-holiday grocery shopping, and if they’re a little stale by the time you make this french toast bake, it’ll actually taste even better.
4. Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash
If Thanksgiving brunch is a thing for your family, you’ll want to add this breakfast hash to the menu. Made with just sweet potatoes, onions, and peppers, it’s a simple and easy addition to any breakfast that celebrates seasonal ingredients.
5. Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potato Wedges
You could call this “small plate” style recipe a brunch side dish or an afternoon snack – but no matter what time of day you make it, your guests will gobble it up! All you really need are sweet potatoes and bacon for this easy, hands-off recipe that bakes in the oven.
Thanksgiving Appetizers & Snacks
6. Roasted Garlic Baked Brie En Croute
Take a simple baked brie to the next level with this garlicky baked brie en croute using Pillsbury crescent roll dough! While this appetizer takes a little bit of effort to prepare, you’ll be proud to serve it as a standalone snack or as part of your holiday charcuterie board.
7. Cheesy Spinach And Artichoke Dip
Dips are a must-have at any family gathering. This easy spinach and artichoke dip is gooey and cheesy, just like how your favorite restaurants make it, and perfectly dippable with crostini, pita, or tortilla chips. Bonus: you can make a big batch of it in the slow cooker if you want a hands-off cooking method!
8. Maple Bacon Sweet Potato Appetizer
If you really want to impress your friends and family, serve them this elegant appetizer for Thanksgiving dinner. Who can resist the decadent pairing of maple bourbon and bacon crumbles with sweet potato?
Thanksgiving Week Lunches & Dinners
9. Eggplant Parmesan
If there’s any big batch meal you should prepare for the family heading into Thanksgiving week, it’s this eggplant parmesan. Make a few trays and stick them in the fridge so people can reheat single servings whenever they’re hungry. Just make sure to pick up some sub rolls for those DIY eggplant parm sandwiches!
10. Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan
Alternatively, you can make this slow cooker chicken parm (that also happens to be gluten-free) and provide sub rolls or plain pasta for guests to enjoy it with. Start it in the morning so it’s ready by lunchtime, and let the slow cooker keep it warm all afternoon in case grandpa doesn’t eat lunch until 3pm.
11. Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili
Seriously, slow cookers should be your best friend if you’re hosting during Thanksgiving week! This spicy slow cooker vegetarian chili is another great big batch meal you can prep ahead of time and keep warm on the counter all day long. Make it for lunch or dinner, and watch it disappear as guests gobble it up.
12. Creamy Slow Cooker Loaded Potato Soup
Make a build-your-own loaded potato soup buffet one night for a fun, kid-friendly dinner. Prepare the soup ahead of time and reheat it in the crockpot, then line up bowls of crumbled bacon, shredded cheddar, sour cream, and scallions on the counter. Let everyone assemble their own bowl and gather around the dinner table for a stress-free evening.
13. Italian Sausage & Peppers Pasta
This 25-minute pasta dinner is just as easy as it is delicious. It’s creamy, savory, and satisfying, and so easy to scale if you’re cooking for a larger crowd. For families of pasta-lovers, this simple dinner is a no-brainer during Thanksgiving week.
14. Quinoa & Chorizo Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
If you don’t mind putting in a little extra effort, these quinoa stuffed sweet potatoes are the perfect seasonal dinner for Thanksgiving week. They even make a great main dish for Thanksgiving dinner, for those who don’t love turkey!
Thanksgiving Side Dishes
15. Fall Vegetable Medley
This easy oven baked medley of fall veggies can be made in a big batch and reheated throughout the week if you need an easy vegetable side dish for the week leading up to Thanksgiving. It takes some time to chop up all the veggies, but once you pop it in the oven you’re free to spend time relaxing with the family.
16. Oven Roasted Parmesan Green Beans
Make green beans more exciting with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese! Whether you’re serving these during the week or with Thanksgiving dinner, a little bit of cheese goes a long way in making sure even the kids eat their veggies.
17. Twice Baked Sweet Potato Casserole
Add this side dish to your Thanksgiving menu ASAP if you love sweet potato casserole with mini marshmallows… but not everyone else in your family does. This recipe allows you to make individual servings of your favorite sweet potato side dish for yourself and anyone else with similar taste, without having too many leftovers.
18. Sea Salt Caramel Chocolate Fudge
This creamy caramel and chocolate fudge recipe only takes 10 minutes to prep and 3 hours to set before you can enjoy the fruits of your labor. It’s surprisingly easy to make and looks super elegant, making it the perfect dessert for Thanksgiving week.
19. Sweet Charcuterie Board
Think charcuterie, but make it dessert. Apples and caramel, mascarpone cheese, mini chocolate chips, and fluffy brioche bread – mmm. Perfect for serving the night before Thanksgiving, when your guests are looking to graze but not fill up too much before the big meal.
20. Sweet Potato White Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yes, these cookies are made with sweet potato! They’re soft and chewy and taste like cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar – what more could you ask for out of a Thanksgiving dessert? Make a big batch early in the week and set some aside for Thursday; otherwise, they’ll all be gone before Thanksgiving night!
21. Candied Bacon Chocolate Pretzel Bark
For lovers of all things sweet and salty, this pretzel bark will hit the spot. It’s super shareable and perfect for munching on all week long leading up to Thanksgiving!