Thanksgiving Table with Food

Set a beautiful long Thanksgiving table with food for the family, this year. This traditional dinner is simple but elegant with a turkey centerpiece that’s Pinterest-worthy. Grab the Thanksgiving ideas and turkey recipe here. 

Thanksgiving table with food, overhead view

This post has been sponsored by Shady Brook Farms® Turkey. All thoughts and opinions are my own

Thanksgiving table with food

This year’s Thanksgiving celebration may look a little different, a little smaller perhaps. But that’s no reason to make it any less special or delicious.

That’s why I’m sharing some simple ideas and tips for creating a Thanksgiving meal, including food presentation ideas.

The turkey is the main event on Thanksgiving, and serving up a Shady Brook Farms Turkey® roasted to perfection is a great way to start.

These turkeys come from independent family farmers that have a high standard for animal care, so when you buy one for Thanksgiving dinner you’ll get a wholesome product for your meal.

Thanksgiving table ideas

Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner Menu

Setting the Thanksgiving table with food means you can eat family-style. And you can present it in an appealing way so it adds to the decoration.

We start with a long table and place each dish down the center, making the turkey the centerpiece. Here’s what our traditional meal includes.

  • Oven Roasted Turkey with white wine & orange juice baste (RECIPE BELOW)
  • Wild Rice & Ciabatta Dressing
  • Sautéed Brussels Sprouts
  • Mashed Potatoes with fried sage leaves
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Yeast Rolls
  • Easy Pumpkin Pie

See how we set the scene before adding the food with these Thanksgiving tablescape ideas for the family gathering.

traditional Thanksgiving dinner

Thanksgiving Turkey

My basting recipe incorporates rosemary, white wine, and orange juice, so when it’s time to plate the cooked dish, use garnishes to reflect that.

Once the turkey is on the serving platter, surround it with grapes, orange slices, fresh rosemary, and bay leaves.

rice dressing in mini pumpkin on dinner plate


Take your favorite dressing recipe to the next level by serving it in mini pumpkins for Thanksgiving dinner. Here, we serve our wild rice dressing recipe inside.

Cook the pumpkins alone and then fill them with cooked dressing. Or, you can put the prepared dressing inside the pumpkin and cook them both together.

mashed potatoes with fried sage on top, in black bowl

Mashed Potatoes

Serve mashed potatoes in a bowl and add a swirl design on top. Drizzle melted butter inside the swirl and top with crispy fried sage leaves for a delicious garnish.

brussels sprouts in white side dish

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts

Make my sautéed brussels sprouts recipe and then garnish with some fresh grated lemon peel for a pop of freshness. Sprinkle on some pepitas for seasonal crunch.

dressed up cranberry sauce with mint garnish

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce is basically a Thanksgiving condiment.  Whether you make it homemade or you open up a can of whole berry cranberry sauce, garnish it with fresh mint leaves and grated orange peel.

Thanksgiving rolls in wood bowl garnished with fresh herbs

Dinner Rolls

How can you serve the humble dinner roll in a more appetizing way? Elevate the presentation by piling them into a rustic wood bowl and surround them with fresh herbs like thyme, oregano, sage, or rosemary.

I hope you’ll set your family Thanksgiving table with food and incorporate these ideas this year.

family Thanksgiving table place setting with mini pumpkin filled with rice dressing

More Food Ideas

Here are some more side dishes and desserts to serve for Thanksgiving, alongside our turkey.

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thanksgiving turkey recipe

Thanksgiving Food - Turkey Recipe

Yield: serves 6-8
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Additional Time: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day 3 hours 50 minutes

This Thanksgiving turkey gets its flavor from a dry brine, and then an easy butter coating and white wine basting sauce.


  • 1 14-16 pound fresh or frozen Shady Brook Farms whole turkey
  • ¼ cup butter, melted

Dry Brine

  • 3 Tablespoons Kosher salt or coarse sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon each of dry rosemary, thyme, sage
  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper

Butter Rub

  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • Fresh grated rind from 1 large lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary needles


  • 7 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 lemons, cut into wedges
  • 2 onions, cut into wedges
  • 2 rosemary sprigs

White Wine Sauce

  • 2 cups dry white wine, like chardonnay
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • Leaves pulled from 2 rosemary sprigs


  1. Make sure to defrost the turkey in the fridge for 3-4 days if frozen. Calculate 1 day of thawing for every 5 pounds. Once thawed, remove and discard giblets and neck from turkey. Rinse inside and out, and pat dry. 
  2. Combine dry brine ingredients together and rub into the turkey getting underneath the skin, inside the cavity, and on top of skin. Let sit uncovered in the refrigerator for 24 hours

TIP: Letting the turkey sit uncovered helps to dry out the skin and make it crisp. 

  1. When ready to prepare turkey, combine butter rub ingredients together and rub into turkey underneath skin and on top of skin. Place aromatic ingredients inside the hollow turkey cavity.
  2. Place turkey on a baking rack placed inside a large roasting pan, breast side up, and tuck wings underneath turkey.
  3. Bake uncovered at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. Baste with melted butter and bake for 30 more minutes.
  4. Combine wine sauce ingredients and pour into the roasting pan. Cook about 3 more hours.
  5. If turkey starts to over-brown, cover loosely with aluminum foil. Turkey is done when thigh temperature reaches 170 to 175 degrees F, and breast is 165 F.
  6. Remove turkey to a serving platter and let rest for at least 30 to 45 minutes.
  7. Skim fat from pan drippings, then strain liquid through cheese cloth or mesh strainer. Serve sauce with turkey, dressing, and mashed potatoes if desired.


Freeze pan drippings in ice trays for later use in soups or to help flavor rice, couscous, quinoa, etc.

Did you make this recipe?

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