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Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes for First-Timers

10 Easy Thanksgiving Recipes for Newbies

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The first time you host Thanksgiving dinner, the hardest part is cooking the turkey. That's why I recommend getting a pre-cooked turkey from your local supermarket and making these easy recipes, designed especially for the first-time Thanksgiving host. From a simple cranberry relish to an easy pumpkin pie, these easy recipes bring you all the traditional flavors of Thanksgiving without the hassle.

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1. Oven Bag Turkey Recipe

turkey in an oven bag
Stephanie Gallagher

Cooking turkey in an oven bag is a virtually fool-proof method for a moist and juicy Thanksgiving turkey. Easy and practically mess-free (just gather up the bag and throw it out), this is the perfect turkey recipe for beginners.

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2. Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes
Stephanie Gallagher
Here's the big surprise about this recipe: The mashed potatoes actually stay hotter when you make them in advance and reheat them according to the recipe than if you made them at the last minute. See? Easy and better!

3. Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Cranberry Sauce
Stephanie Gallagher

Sure, you could use cranberry sauce from a can, but this recipe is so easy, why would you? It has just four ingredients and can be made days in advance.

4. Sweet Potato Marshmallow Casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole
Stephanie Gallagher

Sweet potatoes are microwaved, then mixed with butter, brown sugar, crushed pineapple, cinnamon and nutmeg, then topped with mini marshmallows in this crowd-pleasing side dish recipe.

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5. Cranberry Jello Salad Recipe

Cranberry Jello Salad
Ocean Spray

This easy, 6-ingredient Jello mold is not only a classic, it's perfect for Thanksgiving newbies because you can make the Jello in advance. And the sweet-tart cranberry flavor pairs beautifully with turkey.

6. Green Bean Casserole

Green Bean Casserole
Brian Hagiwara/Getty Images

This classic green bean casserole recipe is one of those recipes you just mix, dump and bake. Hint: If you want to jazz up this recipe a bit, substitute crispy onions (such as Fresh Gourmet brand) for the French fried onions.

 

7. Turkey Stuffing

Turkey Stuffing
Stephanie Gallagher

Thanksgiving dinner recipes don't get much easier than this turkey stuffing. This recipe starts with a packaged herb stuffing mix.

 

8. Raspberry Cool Whip Jello Mold

Cool Whip Jello Mold
Stephanie Gallagher

This is one of those dishes that can work as a side dish or a dessert. It looks impressive and festive on the table, and it tastes light and refreshing. Don't worry - like all of these recipes, this one is easy.

9. Easy Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Easy Pumpkin Pie
Stephanie Gallagher

The hardest part about making pumpkin pie is getting the crust right. the second hardest part is knowing when to take the pie out of the oven. This easy pumpkin pie recipe starts with a frozen crust, so you don't have to worry about that. Take it out when the pie is still slightly jiggly in the center. Then let it rest for several hours to firm up, and you will have perfect pumpkin pie.

 

10. Pecan Pie Recipe

Pecan Pie Recipe
Stephanie Gallagher

This 5-star Thanksgiving recipe is so simple, you will want to make it all year long. Use pecan halves rather than chopped pecans for the prettiest presentation.

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