The Ultimate Thanksgiving Dinner

Don't look any further. We've got the best recipes for sweet potato casserole, turkey and ham, pumpkin pie, and all the fixin's.

Apple-Bourbon Turkey GravyApple-Bourbon Turkey Gravy
Apple-Bourbon Turkey and Gravy

4 cups apple juice
1 cup bourbon
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 (12- to 15-lb.) whole fresh turkey
Kitchen string
4 celery ribs
4 large carrots
3 small apples, quartered and halved
1 large onion, sliced
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chicken broth (optional)

Stir together apple juice and next 2 ingredients, stirring until sugar dissolves.

Remove giblets and neck from turkey, and rinse turkey with cold water. Drain cavity well; pat dry. Place turkey in a large roasting pan. Dip cheesecloth in apple juice mixture. Wring dry. Cover turkey with cheesecloth; pour apple juice mixture over cheesecloth, coating completely. Cover and chill 12 to 24 hours, basting occasionally with marinade.

Preheat oven to 325°. Remove turkey from pan, discarding cheesecloth and reserving 3 cups marinade. Sprinkle cavity with desired amount of salt; rub into cavity. Sprinkle desired amount of salt and freshly ground pepper on skin; rub into skin. Tie ends of legs together with string; tuck wingtips under.

Arrange celery and next 3 ingredients in a single layer in bottom of roasting pan. Place turkey, breast side up, on celery mixture; pour reserved marinade over turkey in pan.

Bake at 325° for 3 hours and 15 minutes to 4 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion of thigh registers 165°, basting every 30 minutes with pan juices and shielding with aluminum foil after 2 hours and 30 minutes to prevent excessive browning, if necessary. Remove from oven, and let stand 30 minutes.

Transfer turkey to a serving platter, reserving 2 1/2 cups pan drippings. Pour reserved drippings through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a large measuring cup, discarding solids.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat; whisk in flour, and cook, whisking constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth. Gradually add drippings, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring mixture occasionally, 5 minutes or until gravy thickens. Add up to 1/2 cup chicken broth for desired consistency, if desired. Stir in salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Serve turkey with warm gravy.

Related: Gobble, Gobble! Turkey Day Recipes

Cornbread DressingCornbread Dressing
Cornbread Dressing

5 cups crumbled cornbread
1 (14-oz.) package herb stuffing
2 (10 3/4-oz.) cans cream of chicken soup
2 (14-oz.) cans chicken broth
1 large sweet onion, diced
1 cup diced celery
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 Tbsp. rubbed sage
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. butter, cut up

Combine first 9 ingredients in a large bowl.

Pour cornbread mixture into a lightly greased 6-qt. slow cooker. Dot with butter. Cover and cook on low 4 to 6 hours or until set and thoroughly cooked.

Related: Simple Slow-Cooker Sides

Spirited Cranberry SauceSpirited Cranberry Sauce
Spirited Cranberry Sauce

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup port
4 cups fresh cranberries
1/4 cup orange liqueur

Stir together sugar, port, and 3/4 cup water in a heavy 3-qt. saucepan until blended. Add cranberries; bring to a boil, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, 8 to 10 minutes or until cranberry skins begin to split. Remove from heat, and let cool 15 minutes.

Pulse cranberry mixture in a food processor 3 to 4 times or until cranberries are almost pureed; stir in orange liqueur. Cover and chill 8 hours before serving. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container up to 3 weeks.

Related: 60 Spectacular Thanksgiving Sides

Sweet Potato-Carrot CasseroleSweet Potato-Carrot Casserole
Sweet Potato-Carrot Casserole

6 large sweet potatoes (about 5 lb.)
1 1/2 lb. carrots, sliced
1/4 cup butter
1 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 cup Sugar-and-Spice Pecans

Sugar-and-Spice Pecans
Preheat oven to 350°. Whisk 1 egg whites in a large bowl until foamy. Add 4 cups pecan halves and pieces, and stir until evenly coated. Stir together 1/2 cup sugar, 1 Tbsp. orange zest, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, and 1 tsp. ground ginger in a small bowl until blended. Sprinkle sugar mixture over pecans; stir gently until pecans are evenly coated. Spread pecans in a single layer in a lightly greased aluminum foil-lined 15- x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Bake at 350° for 24 to 26 minutes or until pecans are toasted and dry, stirring once after 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool until completely cool (about 30 minutes).

Preheat oven to 400°. Bake sweet potatoes on an aluminum foil-lined 15- x 10-inch jelly-roll pan 1 hour or until tender. Reduce oven temperature to 350°. Cool potatoes 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook carrots in boiling water to cover 20 to 25 minutes or until very tender; drain.

Process carrots and butter in a food processor until smooth, stopping to scrap down sides as needed. Transfer carrot mixture to a large bowl.

Peel and cube sweet potatoes. Process, in batches, in food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Add sweet potatoes to carrot mixture. Stir in sour cream and next 5 ingredients, stirring until blended. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish.

Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove from oven. Sprinkle with marshmallows. Bake 10 minutes or until marshmallows are golden brown. Remove from oven, and sprinkle with Sugar-and-Spice Pecans.

Related: 11 Ways with Sweet Potatoes (Not Just Casseroles and Pies!)

Green Bean CasseroleGreen Bean Casserole
Green Bean Casserole

2 (16-oz.) packages frozen French-cut green beans, thawed
1 (10-oz.) container refrigerated Alfredo sauce
1 (8-oz.) can diced water chestnuts, drained
1 (6-oz.) jar sliced mushrooms, drained
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 (6-oz.) can French fried onions, divided
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Stir together first 6 ingredients and half of French fried onions; spoon mixture into a lightly greased 4-qt. slow cooker.

Cover and cook on low 4 1/2 hours or until bubbly.

Heat pecans and remaining half of French fried onions in a small nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, stirring often, 1 to 2 minutes or until toasted and fragrant; sprinkle over casserole just before serving.

Related: Show-Stopping Thanksgiving Desserts

Pumpkin Pie SpectacularPumpkin Pie Spectacular
Pumpkin Pie Spectacular

1/2 (15-oz.) package refrigerated piecrusts
2 cups crushed gingersnaps (about 40 gingersnaps)
1 cup pecans, finely chopped
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 (15-oz.) can pumpkin
1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
Pecan Streusel
7 thin ginger cookies, halved
Ginger-Spice Topping

Pecan Streusel
Stir together 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar, 2 Tbsp. melted butter, and 3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans.

Ginger-Spice Topping
Stir together 1 (8-oz.) thawed container frozen whipped toppings, 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp. ground ginger.

Preheat oven to 350°. Fit piecrust into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate according to package directions; fold edges under, and crimp.

Stir together crushed gingersnaps and next 3 ingredients. Press mixture on bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of piecrust.

Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Sprinkle Pecan Streusel around edge of crust. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until set, shielding edges with aluminum foil during last 25 to 30 minutes of baking, if necessary. Insert ginger cookies around edge of crust. Let cool completely on a wire rack (about 1 hour). Dollop with Ginger-Spice Topping; dust with ground cinnamon.

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