A Buffet of Thanksgiving Recipes

By Ann Foster Thelen

Just in time for Thanksgiving, we’ve pulled together a buffet of irresistible recipes to satisfy hearty appetites. These dishes are perfect complements to turkey or delicious appetizers to enjoy before the star of the show graces tables.  

While a perfectly cooked and juicy turkey is the shining star of the Thanksgiving show, you can also impress your guests with stunning appetizers, side dishes and desserts. If you’re a guest for the holiday festivities, bring one of these dishes, which each boast delightful flavors and warm spices.

We’ve combined familiar and must-have favorites, such as green bean casserole, with new twists on corn casserole and pumpkin spice to a buffet of irresistible selections. You’ll love these deviled eggs (especially the ones filled with pumpkin purée!), steak crostini and lemon ricotta zucchini roll-ups. 

During this season of gratitude, let’s give extra thanks to Iowa’s farmers. From growing crops to raising healthy livestock, Iowa’s farmers likely had a hand in many items on the dinner table. For extra fun this year, use the “Thankful Tidbits” for a trivia game!

Please note, by clicking the following links, you’ll be leaving a partially funded checkoff site. 

Seasonal Deviled Eggs | Iowa Egg Council

Deviled eggs are the ultimate party staple and almost a cultural icon for intimate gatherings in the U.S. According to some history buffs, deviled eggs became popular at picnics and parties in the U.S. after World War II; however, some trace similarly prepared eggs back to ancient Rome.

In a festive twist, the deviled eggs in this recipe are prepared three ways. One with mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, bacon and pepper. Another with mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper. And a third with mayonnaise, and the surprising flavors of pumpkin purée, smoked paprika and Dijon. With three choices for every incredible egg, guests will want to try them all! Find the recipe here. 

Thankful Tidbit: When it comes to eggs, Iowa owns the spotlight as the No. 1 egg-producing state in the U.S.!

Steak Crostini with Horseradish Whip | Iowa Beef Council and Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.

Beef crostini with a horseradish spread teases the flavors of Christmas dinner. But there’s no need to wait for neighborhood caroling and reindeer games to enjoy this beefy bouquet of flavors! As a bonus, you can make this appetizer in a cinch using leftover strip roast instead of steaks. Simply slice the roast into 1/4-inch pieces. Reheat in a covered medium skillet for about 4 to 6 minutes over low heat. The rest of the recipe practically makes itself! Find the recipe here.

Thankful Tidbits: 
One serving of beef is 3 ounces, about the size of a deck of cards, and provides 25 grams of protein (roughly 50% of your daily value) in about 170 calories. You would have to eat 6 tablespoons of peanut butter (564 calories) to get the same amount of protein provided by one 3-ounce serving of lean beef.

All beef choices must meet the same safety standards. Vigilance on farms, rigorous safety inspections and strict government guidelines ensure the highest level of safety for whichever type of beef you choose.


Cheesy Green Bean Casserole | Midwest Dairy

Green bean casseroles are right up there with parades and football games when it comes to Thanksgiving fare. And here’s a recipe to set this traditional dish apart because it has cheese and lots of it. It is baked and crispy on top and ooey-gooey on the inside. Did we mention there’s bacon too? Get ready to be the one who’s asked to bring the green bean casserole to each Thanksgiving celebration from now on. Find the recipe here.

Thankful Tidbits: 
Milk, cheese and yogurt provide a source of high-quality protein because they contain optimal quantities of all the essential amino acids the body cannot make on its own. Protein helps curb hunger and can help you feel satisfied longer.

Dairy products like yogurt are linked to better digestion and a healthy immune system. Milk and other dairy products also are natural sources of immune-boosting nutrients like zinc and protein.

Chipotle Corn Casserole | The Soyfoods Council

Chipotle corn salsa earned fame as a TikTok sensation, and this recipe also could easily take social media by storm. As easy as it is delicious, this recipe features protein-packed tofu, cheddar cheese and soy milk and packs a punch with chipotle peppers. This dish will look and taste like perfection next to a perfectly carved turkey. And the extra protein will power you through Black Friday sales. Find the recipe here.


Thankful Tidbits: 
Soy, which has been a traditional food in Asian diets for centuries, provides high-quality protein, along with fiber, healthy fats, minerals and vitamins. 

With its low saturated fat content and high polyunsaturated fat content, soybean oil is a perfect fit for heart-healthy diets. Saturated fat raises blood levels of LDL cholesterol (which is linked to increased heart disease risk), while polyunsaturated fat lowers LDL cholesterol.

Lemon Ricotta Zucchini Roll-Ups I Iowa Pork Producers Association 

These lemon ricotta zucchini roll-ups are a one-dish sensation. This recipe has it all – vegetables, cheese, pork, herbs, spices and incredible flavor. It’s ideal as an appetizer or equally pleasing as a side dish. With basil, lemon, garlic and Italian seasonings, it is a fragrant feast for the senses. Filled with ground pork, it’s an affordable dish to make on repeat this holiday season (or throughout the year!). You’ll want to save this recipe to use when your garden or local farmers market is bursting with zucchini. Better yet, print the recipe and hand it out to your guests as a "party favor" this Thanksgiving. They’ll be grateful! Find the recipe here.

Thankful Tidbits:
Iowa is the No. 1 pork-producing state in the U.S., and there are pig farmers in every Iowa county. The top five Iowa counties for pig production are Washington, Sioux, Lyon, Hamilton and Plymouth.

A 3-ounce serving of lean pork contains 34% of the Recommended Daily Value of niacin. This vitamin is essential for the normal function of many enzymes in the body and is involved in the metabolism of sugars and fatty acids.

Brown Butter Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake | Iowa Egg Council

Treat guests to a brown butter pumpkin spice Bundt cake when they are ready for dessert. This cake has every flavor of the season – pumpkin purée, pumpkin pie spice and maple syrup. Featuring buttermilk, this cake is tender and perfectly balanced. The buttermilk keeps the cake from being too sweet while giving it a rich, buttery taste. Hint: Keep the dessert out of the guests’ sights. Otherwise, they'll skip straight from deviled eggs to cake! Find the recipe here.

Thankful Tidbits: 
Eggs have all nine essential amino acids and are rich in choline, which promotes normal cell activity, liver function and the transportation of nutrients throughout the body. Think of it as a commuter train for vitamins and minerals.