Make this year’s holiday feast a winner with your favorite dishes, turn your Thanksgiving reunion into a meal that’s both traditional and tasty. Serve classic sides that will turn this day into an all-star food feast that’ll have guests already asking for an invite to next year’s event.

Here is a list that we have compiled of our top 5 suggestions of things that you could bring:

Garlic Shrimp Dip

Makes: 16 servings
Yield: 2 cups
Prep: 15 mins
Chill : 30 mins


1 5.2 - ounce container semi-soft cheese with garlic and herbs or 1 6.5-ounce container spreadable cheese with garlic and herbs (such as Boursin)

1/2 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing

6 ounces peeled, deveined cooked shrimp, finely chopped

Assorted dippers, such as baby carrots, asparagus spears, green onions, cherry tomatoes, radishes, cucumber slices, fresh mushrooms, zucchini slices, pea pods, yellow summer squash sticks and/or red or orange sweet pepper strips.


In a small bowl, combine cheese, mayonnaise and shrimp. Chill, covered, for at least 30 minutes before serving with assorted dippers.

Sassy Baked Beans

Makes: 12 servings
Prep: 30 mins
Bake: 2 hrs to 2 hrs


1/2 cup packed brown sugar or 1/4 cup maple-flavored syrup
1/2 cup bottled hot-style barbecue sauce, chili sauce or ketchup
1/2 cup bottled chipotle salsa, hot picante sauce or salsa
1/4 cup molasses or sorghum
1 tablespoon snipped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin or chili powder
1 31 - ounce can pork and beans in tomato sauce
1 16 - ounce can pinto, cannellini, Great Northern, black or butter beans, rinsed and drained
1 16 - ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 large onion, finely chopped
8 slices thick-cut bacon, crisp cooked and cut into 1-inch pieces, 1 cup finely chopped purchased or leftover cooked beef brisket, 12 ounces bulk pork sausage or ground beef, cooked and drained.


In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, barbecue sauce, salsa, molasses, oregano, mustard and cumin. Add undrained pork and beans, drained pinto beans, drained kidney beans, onion and bacon; stir gently to combine.

Transfer bean mixture to a 2-1/2- to 3-quart casserole. Bake, uncovered, in a 325 degree F oven for 2-1/2 to 3 hours or until desired consistency, stirring occasionally. Beans will thicken as they cool. Makes 12 side-dish servings.

Parsley Herb Rice with Cranberries

Makes: 8 servings
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Stand: 5 mins


2 2/3 cups water
1 1/3 cups uncooked long grain or regular brown rice
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil, crushed, or 2 tablespoons snipped fresh basil
3/4 teaspoon salt or 1 tablespoon instant chicken bouillon granules
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup snipped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
1/2 cup walnut pieces


In a medium saucepan, combine the water, rice, butter, dried basil (if using), and salt. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 15 minutes for long grain rice (about 40 minutes for brown rice) or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat. Stir in cranberries. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.

Stir fresh basil (if using), parsley, and walnuts into the cooked rice just before serving.

Baked Ratatouille Sausage Penne Casserole

Makes: 6 servings
Prep: 30 mins
Bake: 35 mins


3 uncooked turkey Italian sausage links (12 ounces total)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 14 1/2 - ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
1 pound eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
6 ounces dried whole wheat penne pasta (about 2-1/4 cups)
1/3 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
Snipped fresh parsley (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place sausage links in an unheated skillet. Add 1/2 inch of water to the skillet. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes or until juices run clear; drain off liquid. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes more or until browned, turning occasionally. Remove from heat. When cool enough to handle, cut sausages in half lengthwise; bias-cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Set aside.

In a large skillet, cook garlic in hot olive oil for 1 minute. Stir in undrained tomatoes, the 3 tablespoons parsley, and, if desired, the crushed red pepper. Bring to boiling. Stir in eggplant. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions, cooking it for the minimum time listed; drain. Return pasta to hot pan. Stir in eggplant mixture and sausage. Spoon into a 2-quart baking dish.

Bake, covered, about 30 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Uncover and bake about 5 minutes more or until cheese melts. If desired, sprinkle with additional parsley. Makes 6 (1-cup) servings.

Cherry Crumble Pie Bars

Makes: 32 servings
Yield: 32 bars
Prep: 25 mins
Bake: 55 mins


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups finely ground almonds
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, cut up
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
4 cups frozen unsweetened pitted tart red cherries, thawed and drained
1/2 teaspoon almond extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with foil, extending the foil over the edges of the pan; set aside.

For crust, in a large bowl, stir together the flour, almonds, and brown sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Remove 1-1/2 cups of the mixture; set aside. Press the remaining mixture evenly onto the bottom of prepared baking pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, for filling, in another large bowl, combine the granulated sugar, cornstarch, and lemon peel. Add cherries and almond extract; toss gently to combine. Spoon cherry filling over hot baked crust, spreading evenly (mixture will be wet). Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.

Bake about 40 minutes more or until filling is bubbly and topping is lightly browned. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Using the edges of the foil, lift the baked mixture out of the pan. Invert onto a baking sheet; remove foil. Invert again onto a cutting board. Cut into bars. Makes 32 bars.

What will you bring?

There you have it! 5 awesome easy to make dishes you can bring to this years Thanksgiving potluck. If you have any recommendations, feel free to comment below!

Harold D. Aguirre

Harold D. Aguirre

Staff Writer at OC Foodie Fest
Hi there! I love writing about Orange County and all the wonderful things it has to offer. When I am not writing, I spend time with my loving wife, beautiful son, and our friendly Pitbull, Brooklyn. If you ever see me around, feel free to say hi, we can sit down and have coffee.
Harold D. Aguirre

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