The Ultimate Guide to Planning Thanksgiving Dinner

We've got all the tips and tricks you need to make this the best Thanksgiving yet, from the turkey to the pumpkin pie


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The Absolute Best Way to Make a Turkey Crispy

Presenting our not-so-secret trick to getting the ultimate crisp on your Thanksgiving bird—without sacrificing flavor.

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The Secret Trick to Making a Pie Crust Look Amazing

And it only takes 1 minute

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The Absolute Easiest Way to Peel Potatoes

Proof it doesn’t have to be so hard

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How to Cut the Perfect Slice of Pumkpin Pie

A simple trick for expert presentation

The Ultimate Checklist for All Your Thanksgiving Prep

A day-by-day (and hour-by-hour) guide to advanced prep and planning to make the big day a breeeze.

TWENTY20
MINIMALIST BAKER

18 Holiday Drinks We Scored from Pinterest

Warm up with these festive flavors

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

5 Hot Cocktails You Absolutely Need in Your Life

Make them all fall and winter long, people

PureWow Presents: The New Thanksgiving Table from PureWow on Vimeo.

3 Fresh New Ways to Decorate Your Thanksgiving Table

Listen, it's time to retire that cornucopia centerpiece. Your family and friends deserve something modern and beautiful to look at as they down turkey and red wine. Like one of these simple, festive tablescapes. (And yes, glitter gourds are involved.)

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9 Gorgeous Thanksgiving Tablescapes

Goal: to impress the hell out of your guests

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22 Things a Good Hostess Always Has in Her Home

Be ready for whenever guests pop in

How Much Wine Should I Actually Be Pouring?

To the top of the glass? Halfway up? Here's a handy cheat sheet so you know exactly how much to serve.

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PureWow Presents: How to Save Thanksgiving from PureWow on Vimeo.

How to Save Thanksgiving

You thought you had everything in order. But the turkey’s dry, the mashed potatoes have gone cold, the wine is warm and Grandpa won’t stop asking you for another scotch. Don't panic: These four tricks will save you.

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Italian Pinwheels

Store-bought puff-pastry dough is your secret weapon. Fair warning, though: These savory Italian pinwheels won't last long.

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Spaghetti Squash Fritters

The dipping sauce is next-level, too

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Sweet Potato Hummus

Break out the pita chips and crudités

ERIN MCDOWELL

Bacon-Wrapped Cheese Straws

The ultimate party snack

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

French Onion Cups

There's lots of cheese in there (trust us)

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Spinach Artichoke Squares

Your favorite dip in pastry form

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Roasted Garlic and Pesto Strips

The vegetarian version of those bacon-cheese straws

Crispy Roasted Artichokes

Roasted in the oven until golden and crispy. Served with plenty of garlic aioli for dipping.

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL
PHOTO: ERIC MORAN/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Grilled Cheese Crostini

A simple way to dress up Brie

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Homemade Cheese Crackers

A thousand times better than the boxed kind

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Goat Cheese and Honey Bites

Start with store-bought puff-pastry

PureWow Presents: Roasted Cauliflower Dip from PureWow on Vimeo.

Roasted Cauliflower Dip

Roasted cauliflower dip is the new party-friendly recipe you need in your life.

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Beef Flatbread with Herb Sauce

It's like pizza—only way easier to make

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Spicy Glazed Popcorn Chicken

A sophisticated, less messy version of wings

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Easy Zucchini Chips

They're baked and they're crispy

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Eggplant Parm Bites

Here, classic eggplant parmigiana is turned into delicious little bites.

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Zucchini Fries

Crispy, golden...and baked in the oven

ERIN MCDOWELL

Deviled Eggs

Three ways to dress them up

ERIN MCDOWELL

Crispy Mushrooms

Season, then roast until nice and crispy

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Sweet and Spicy Wings

Honey + Sriracha = magic

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Coconut Shrimp

Lightly fried with a side of dipping sauce

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Baby Bloomin’ Onions

They're mini and they're glorious

Roasted Mixed Nuts

Just imagine the smell of freshly roasted nuts, lightly seasoned with herbs and spices, wafting through your very own kitchen.

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL
ERIN MCDOWELL

Prosciutto Bites

Meet the new pigs in blankets

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Mini Nachos

Individual portions = no sharing required

ERIN MCDOWELL

Mini Chicken and Waffles

A Southern classic, in finger food form

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Mini Lasagnas

Surprise: Use wonton wrappers—not pasta

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Hot and Spicy Meatballs

A sophisticated cocktail meatball does exist

ERIN MCDOWELL

Mini Quiches

No pie dough for crust here

ERIN MCDOWELL

Mozzarella Bites

A bite-size twist on mozzarella sticks. Warning: once you pop, you can’t stop.

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Maple-Herb Roasted Turkey Legs

Not every feast requires roasting an entire turkey. We love this recipe for roasted turkey legs. You’ll get all the juicy, tender goodness you expect on Thanksgiving—but for a fraction of the effort and stress.

ERIN MCDOWELL

Honey-Lime Glazed Pork

Fact: glazing is better than marinating

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Lemon and Herb Roast Chicken

Tender, juicy and ready in an hour

ERIN MCDOWELL

Spicy Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Roast the whole damn head

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Grilled Flank Steak with Lemon-Herb Sauce

For big, bold flavor, we marinate the steak, and then serve it with a fresh herb sauce for an extra boost.

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

One-Pan Roasted Salmon

A deceptively simple recipe

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Sausage with Broccoli Rabe

A dish that's practically no fuss

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Steak with Beets and Crispy Kale

One pan means minimal clean-up

Stuffed Eggplant

This versatile, light and fresh recipe for stuffed eggplant will please both meat lovers and vegetarians alike.

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL
PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Cacio e Pepe Pasta

Sometimes simplicity wins out. This Italian classic requires just six ingredients and takes 20 minutes to make—including the time it takes to boil the water.

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

One-Pan Spaghetti and Meatballs

The easiest way to make an Italian meal

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Ravioli Lasagna

A genius update to everyone's favorite

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Rigatoni Pasta Pie

An impressive yet easy-to-make pasta dish

PureWow Presents: How to Carve Turkey from PureWow on Vimeo.

How to Carve a Turkey

This year we’re not worrying about making a big show of it. Instead, we’re resolved to just do it right. Watch our video to learn the proper way to carve a bird. Minimal mess. Zero wasted meat.

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Spicy Yogurt Marinated Chicken Legs

This is the roast chicken of our dreams

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Garlic Breaded Chicken Breast

Crispy chicken—without frying

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Roasted Drumsticks with Tomatoes

Almost too pretty to eat...almost

ERIN MCDOWELL

Oven-Roasted Beets and Potatoes

Everyone oohs and ahhs when the turkey is brought out to the table. But that’s not usually the case with the side dishes. This recipe for beet and potato roast is about to change all that.

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

The Best Potatoes au Gratin Ever

Move over, mashed potatoes

ERIN MCDOWELL

Whole Roasted Carrots

The only carrot recipe you'll ever need

ERIN MCDOWELL

Coconut Creamed Spinach

Swap cream for coconut milk

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Stuffing Muffins

Forget a tray of stuffing. Instead, serve portions that are just the right size.

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes

Ready when you need them most

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Kale and Cheddar Cheese Galette

Savory pie for the win

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Cauliflower Gratin Is the One Side Dish You Need This Thanksgiving

A cheesy take on our favorite vegetable

The Secret Ingredient to Make Potatoes Extra Crispy

Transform boring, mushy potatoes into a crispy, flavorful side dish with this totally unexpected secret ingredient. (Tip: Try them with extra ketchup. They're life-changing.)

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Broccoli and Cauliflower Gratin

This vegetable side dish will totally steal the show

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Hearty Stuffed Butternut Squash

Give dinner a pop of color (and flavor)

ERIN MCDOWELL

20-Minute Mashed Potatoes

A fast take on a classic side dish

ERIN MCDOWELL

Spicy Roasted Brussels Sprouts

One excellent reason to eat your vegetables

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Brussels Sprouts Latkes Are the Ultimate Side Dish

Move over, potatoes

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Roasted Cabbage Steaks

Cabbage isn't just for coleslaw

ERIN MCDOWELL

Swiss Chard au Gratin

Permission granted to smother with cheese

ERIN MCDOWELL

Marinated Butternut Squash

Here's what to do with all that squash

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Classic Stuffed Peppers

A tasty use for ground beef

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Turnip Fries

Why should potatoes have all the fun?

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Pumpkin Polenta

A creamy, seasonal side dish

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Crispy Potato Latkes

Ready the sour cream and applesauce

Hasselback Potatoes

Friends, this baked potato recipe is epic. You can fill those crevices with exponentially more toppings (hello, cheddar cheese and bacon) than your average spud.

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL
PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Mini Mason Jar Apple Pies

The easiest upgrade for apple pie ever? Mini mason jar apple pies. The individual portions are just the right amount, and the whole mason jar thing is way more impressive than a boring pie dish. 

ERIN MCDOWELL

Cinnamon-Roll Pie Crust

Kick your holiday pie up a notch

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

No-Bake Coconut Cream Pie

Just assemble and serve

ERIN MCDOWELL

Caramel Almond Cake

No frosting required

PureWow Presents: How to Make Crock Pot Hot Cocoa from PureWow on Vimeo.

Slow-Cooker Hot Chocolate

Move over, Swiss Miss. Slow-cooker hot chocolate is what holiday dreams are made of.

Chocolate Glazed Espresso Cheesecake

Everyone needs a little pick-me-up. Sometimes it’s a latte. Sometimes it’s chocolate. Our espresso cheesecake is a little bit of both. It's New York-style—extra tall and rich—and coated in a chocolate glaze.

ERIN MCDOWELL
PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Mini Yogurt Cheesecakes

A lighter take on the classic dessert

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Chocolate-Caramel Pretzel Tart

The right balance of sweet and salty

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Blueberry Crumble Pie

The crust is everything

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Apple-Cider Doughnut Holes

If fall were a dessert, this would be it

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Brownie Pops

These might be the perfect party dessert

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Thin Mint Tarts

Better than a sleeve of cookies

ERIN MCDOWELL

Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon-Roll Crust

That's right. This pumpkin pie has a crust made of cinnamon rolls. You too can achieve rock-star status this holiday—or any day—with this easy-to-assemble treat.

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

Raise your hand if you like ice-cream cake. Raise your other hand if you like ice-cream sandwiches. Great. (We love them, too.) And when you make our ice-cream sandwich cake recipe, you get to enjoy both frozen treats.

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Easy Cherry Skillet Cake

A light and simple option

MOM ON TIMEOUT

The 12 Best Holiday Slow-Cooker Desserts

Set it and forget it (then devour it)

ERIN MCDOWELL

Chocolate-Chip Cookie Tart

The crust is made of cookies, people

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Angel Food Cake

Light, airy and satisfyingly simple

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Frozen Chocolate Souffle

Guaranteed not to fall

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Mini Tiramisu

An Italian classic

PureWow Presents: The Easiest Icing Ever from PureWow on Vimeo.

The Genius and Mess-Free Way to Ice a Cake

Presenting the easiest (and most Insta-worthy) way to ice a cake. We'll give you one hint: No silverware necessary.

Pumpkin Spice Icebox Cake

News flash: There are ways to get your pumpkin fix other than pie. Take this impressive-looking pumpkin spice icebox cake. You get all the autumnal goodness you crave (layers of it, actually) and you don't even need to turn on the oven.

PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL
PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Dairy-Free Cheesecake

You can use the words indulgent and dairy-free in the same sentence. Like to describe this dairy-free cheesecake recipe with blueberry topping. It's rich yet virtuous, which is achieved without using cream cheese or butter or even flour.

Maple Roasted Turkey Legs

Stuffing Muffins

Cinnamon-Roll Pie Crust

Mini Mason Jar Apple Pies

Chocolate Glazed Espresso Cheesecake

Oven-Roasted Beets and Potatoes

Frozen Chocolate Souffle

Chocolate-Caramel Pretzel Tart

Coconut Creamed Spinach

No-Bake Coconut Cream Pie

Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon-Roll Crust

Prosciutto Bites

Ravioli Lasagna

Potatoes au Gratin

Pumpkin Polenta

20-Minute Mashed Potatoes

Lemon and Herb Roast Chicken

Crispy Roasted Artichokes

Spicy Glazed Popcorn Chicken

Eggplant Parm Bites

Grilled Flank Steak

Whole Roasted Carrots

7 of the Best Puff Pastry Appetizers Ever

Chocolate Skillet Cake

Stuffed Eggplant

Spaghetti Squash Fritters

Easy Zucchini Chips

Mozzarella Bites

Garlic Breaded Roast Chicken Breast

Cacio e Pepe Pasta

One-Pan Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spicy Yogurt Marinated Chicken Legs

Brownie Pops