How to Host Thanksgiving Dinner in 2020

How to host Thanksgiving Dinner in 2020

Times may be strange, and our holidays might look a little different than last year, but that does not mean they have to feel any less special. This year’s Thanksgiving meal calls for a small, intimate dinner with your closest family and inner circles.

The first thing everyone thinks of when they hear Thanksgiving dinner is “TURKEY”, but we all know that the delicious sides are the real stars of the show. What would thanksgiving be without the dressing, potatoes, green bean casseroles, and all of the other vegetables that create the ultimate spread?

After determining how many people will be attending your Thanksgiving dinner, you can decide if you want to assign each attendee a dish to bring or prepare everything yourself. Pre-COVID times, it would probably be best to assign everyone to bring a dish, but the safest option would be to collect a little bit of money from each person to help buy ingredients, and prepare the dishes yourself.

After the turkey has been bought, it is time to start planning the side dishes. How many sides should you make? How much of each is enough? Can anything be prepared ahead to save time? These are all important questions that need to be answered in order to make your meal a success!

You’ll want to make sure you have a nice starter, such as a salad, and then for the main course, a green, a carb, and whatever else your heart desires! Lastly, we can’t forget about dessert!! Below are some creative side dishes that are sure to please any crowd!



Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad


  • 20-25 large brussel sprouts
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 ½ cup toasted pecan halves
  • 1 large honeycrisp apple
  • 1 ½ cup dried cherries
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • Creamy maple dressing


  • Using a mandolin, shave brussel sprouts and toss them in a bowl with remaining ingredients.
  • Serve with creamy maple dressing

Dressing recipe and instructions:

Whisk together-

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp stone ground mustard
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper

Brown Sugar Bacon Roasted Sweet Potatoes


  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1” cubes
  • 5 strips of bacon, diced
  • ¼ olive oil
  • ½ cup brown sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or tin foil.
  • Peel and dice sweet potatoes
  • In a large bowl, toss sweet potatoes and bacon pieces in olive oil and brown sugar.
  • Lay ingredients in single layer on baking sheet and roast for 35 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  • Transfer to bowl, sprinkle additional brown sugar on top, and enjoy!


Green Bean Casserole:


  • 1 can condensed Cream of Mushroom soup
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 4 cups cooked fresh green beans
  • 1 1/3 cup of French’s Fried Onions


  • Stir the soup, milk, soy sauce, black pepper, green beans, and 2/3 cup onions in a casserole dish.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until the mixture is bubbling. Stir mixture and top with remaining onions.
  • Bake for 5 minutes or until the onion are golden brown.


Carrot Cake


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups grated and peeled carrots
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • ½ raisins


  • 8oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup chopped pecans, for topping


  • Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9 inch round cake pans and line bottom with parchment paper and grease top of paper.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, whisk oil, sugars, and vanilla, whisking in eggs one at a time until combined.
  • Add dry ingredients, stirring until well combined. Stir in carrots, nuts, and raisins.
  • Divide the batter between the two pans and bake until the two layers are springy, roughly 35-45 minutes.
  • Let cakes cool in pans for 15 minutes then turn onto cooling racks and remove parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, make icing by beating cream cheese with a hand mixer for about one minute. Beat in powdered sugar and pour in whipping cream, beat for another minute.
  • When the cake layers are completely cooled, frost the top of one cake, place the next layer on top, and frost the top of that one as well. Scatter nuts on top.



Jenna Simmons