A Low-Key Thanksgiving Menu

by | Nov 13, 2020

a low key thanksgiving menu


So as I wrote in this post, I usually get pretty stressed out this time of year.

I have a love/hate relationship with the holidays. I want everything to be beautiful and smell really good. But somehow the idea of getting my house together and socializing is too much for me.

Generally I leave the cooking and entertaining up to other people because I am not that good at it.

If you are feeling stressed about the idea of planning, decorating, and cooking for Thanksgiving – I do have this list of simple recipes that I like to draw from.

A Low-Key Thanksgiving Menu


Appetizers and Finger Foods

I like to have lots of veggies in my day, so I will pre-chop some over the weekend like I do every week. I wish I could say I am creative enough to make a cute veggie turkey, but I don’t see it happening.

Thanksgiving Turkey Veggie Tray via

In central PA everyone loves crab dip, so if I’m feeling really ambitious I make that and serve it with a variety of crackers or those cute mini toasts.

Maryland Hot Crab Dip via Sally’s Baking Addiction


Thanksgiving Meal

I have mixed feelings about the history of the holiday, but I keep it traditional. And lets face it, leftovers are the best!


I usually get a turkey for free, but this year I plan to use my turkey points to get a big turkey breast. Depending on my level of motivation the night before, I might just make it in the crockpot using this pin: Crockpot Turkey Breast via

Crock Pot Turkey Breast via Chelsea’s Messy Apron.

DO NOT be ashamed to used a crock pot or buy a store bought bird!

Mashed Potatoes

If I am able, I will make mashed potatoes ahead of time. My son doesn’t like potatoes very much, so I only have to make a small amount.

No Boil Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes via Spend with Pennies.


I will make my grandmothers stuffing this year as a tribute to her. We have a family recipe from Woman’s Day Magazine in 1951.

The apple sausage stuffing recipe is similar to this:

Homestyle Sausage Stuffing via Cinnamon-Spice & Everything Nice.

Yams/Sweet Potatoes

Candied yams make me nauseous. I just cannot get into marshmallows on my sweet potatoes.

In this house we prefer our sweet potatoes baked plain. But this year I will get fancy and try this recipe:

Garlic Herb Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Parmesan via Cooking Classy.


I always need a salad when I make a big meal. This is not negotiable. Pomegranate is a favorite right now so I want to make some version of this pear, pomegranate and spinach salad.

Pear, Pomegranate and Spinach Salad via Cooking Classy.

Other Veggies

If you’re not into salad try some mixed roasted veggies similar to these:

Easy Roasted Vegetables via Damn Delicious

Pumpkin pie is not my favorite dessert but my son requested it, so I will be making these cute little cupcakes as a compromise.

Amazing Crustless Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes via Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

I got a little carried away on Pinterest

Now that I am looking at this list it looks like a ton of food. But this is my thinking:

  • None of my recipes are complicated or require 100 ingredients;
  • Much of my menu can be prepped or prepared ahead of time; and
  • My family will eat this stuff for days, so I might get out of cooking for most of the next week too!

I hope you all have a low key, delicious, and peaceful Thanksgiving.

Any tips or tricks for keeping your cool when you have to prepare the meal?