10 Hosting Essentials to Make Your Thanksgiving Table Shine

Wow your guests with a chic holiday table that's perfect for year-round use.

Some of us spend weeks searching online, trying to put together the perfect Thanksgiving dinner menu. But even if you know exactly what you want to serve, it’s important not to forget about all of the essentials that will help make everything on your table look beautiful.

Whether you’re hosting a big crowd or just a few friends and family members, we’ve rounded up all of the things you’ll need to help make sure your holiday dinner goes off without a hitch.

1: Copper Flatware

This slim-line, copper flatware would add a beautiful metallic pop to any Thanksgiving holiday table. Copper works with most colors so it should fit in well with any dishes you already have.

Photo by: Anthropologie


2: Leather Napkin Rings

Leather napkin rings will work whether your table is dressed up or down. The leather belt-like napkin rings have an equestrian vibe, and they will work well whether you have light or dark linen napkins.

Photo by: Williams-Sonoma


3: Linen Napkins

These napkins come in a variety of neutral colors, including this pretty ocean blue. Made of 100-percent cotton, the napkins can easily be thrown into the wash. Choose the blue if you want to bring some color to your table, or go for the platinum or natural hue if you’re looking for a more subdued color scheme.

Photo by: Wayfair


Wayfair, $15.99

4: Salt + Pepper Shakers

If you have space on your table, it’s nice to make sure that each guest has their own little salt and pepper shakers. This adorable whiteware porcelain set leaves no room for confusion, with each shaker labeled "salt" and "pepper."

Photo by: Macy's


Macy's, $8.99

5: Wood Serving Bowl

One of the best parts of Thanksgiving dinner is all of the delicious side dishes. Pick up a few of these wood serving bowls and you’ll be all set. Made of natural root wood, each bowl is a little different, adding some unexpected variety to your holiday tabletop.

Photo by: Target


Target, $29.79

6: Metallic Table Runner

Keeping with our metallic theme, this stylish table runner would really make a statement on your holiday table. Hand-blocked and painted, the runner features a bold metallic stripe right down the middle. You can choose metallics or traditional gold and silver in order to best match your existing serving pieces.

Photo by: West Elm

West Elm

West Elm, $39

7: Beverage Dispenser

This beverage dispenser would be a fun addition to the kids' table at your Thanksgiving dinner. You can fill up each section of the dispenser with a different beverage, such as a selection of lemonades or fresh fruit juices.

Photo by: Z Gallerie

Z Gallerie

Z Gallerie, $69.95

8: Serving Trays

This serving tray set would be perfect for your turkey and a smaller side dish. Or, you can use the smaller tray for rolls and the larger tray to create a big cheese board for some pre-dinner snacking.

Photo by: Bed Bath & Beyond

Bed Bath & Beyond

9: Place Card Holder

For larger groups, using place cards on your table eliminates the headache of everyone playing musical chairs when you sit down for dinner. These place-card holders feature the Chinese symbol for double happiness, which is a sweet sentiment for all of your guests as you celebrate during the holiday season.

Photo by: Target


Target, $21.99

10: Gravy Boat

You can’t have turkey without gravy, which means you need something special to serve it in. This gorgeous gravy boat is hand-painted and would look beautiful on almost any tabletop.

Photo by: Anthropologie


30+ Recipes for Your Thanksgiving Feast

See All Photos

Something for Everyone

When cooking for a crowd, from the smallest dinners to guests who follow special diets, it's important to please everyone's palate. Be sure to ask friends and family in advance if they have any menu requests, or allow guests to bring their favorite dishes potluck-style, so everyone leaves the meal satisfied.

Roast Turkey With Lemon and Sage

Seasoned with fresh sage, white wine and lemon, this turkey recipe gives a succulent, citrus twist to the star of your Thanksgiving dinner. Get the recipe

  1. turkey
  2. stuffing

Curried Butternut Squash Soup With Fried Sage Leaves

Warm up your fall guests with this creamy and oh-so-satisfying soup. Great as a first-course or as a healthy, light meal when served with rustic bread and artisanal cheeses. Get the recipe

Pumpkin Fettuccine With Sausage and Sage

This hearty homemade pumpkin fettuccine is so satisfying. Whip it up as a flavorful fall accompaniment to traditional Thanksgiving fare or as a tasty way to start a new tradition. Get the recipe.

  1. fork
  2. plating
  3. noodles

Poultry Prep Tips

A delicious Thanksgiving dinner is all about choosing the best ingredients and cooking them well. Follow these seven tips for a perfectly cooked bird.

Golden Raisin and Cranberry Chutney

Forget canned cranberry sauce; instead whip up this not-too-sweet relish to complement your Thanksgiving turkey, ham, duck or even roast pork. Get the recipe

Parmesan Cheddar Chive Biscuits

Fresh chives and both Cheddar and Parmesan cheese give these soft, flaky biscuits a savory bite your guests will love. Get the recipe

Sage-Roasted Turkey With Crunchy Maple Crust

Fresh sage and pure maple syrup give this Thanksgiving turkey a savory-meets-sweet flavor that's a cut above the rest. Forget about post-turkey-day leftovers, friends and family will gobble this moist bird up. Get the recipe

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

This vegetarian side dish is a tasty addition to your Thanksgiving table. Fiber-rich and packed with vitamins, health-conscious guests will dig right in. Get the recipe

Individual Maple Sweet Potato Souffles

Maple syrup adds just the right amount of sweetness to these light-and-airy fall side dishes. Top with toasted pecans for an earthy crunch. Get the recipe

Cornbread Stuffing With Dried Fruit and Pecans

Dried apricots, apples, cranberries and golden raisins combine with toasted pecans and fresh herbs to create a sweet, savory and crunchy cornbread stuffing. Get the recipe

Lobster Mac-and-Cheese

Take everyone's favorite comfort food up a notch with savory lobster and not one — but three — types of cheese. Get the recipe

Mediterranean Chicken and Quinoa Salad

For a lighter twist, give this hearty salad a try. The chicken and quinoa provide plenty of protein power while the supporting fresh ingredients add a robust backdrop without adding unwanted fat and calories. Get the recipe.

Citrus and Herb-Roasted Turkey and Gravy

With a sweet-meets-tangy citrus flavor plus a healthy helping of herbs, this savory and moist turkey is destined to be the star of your Thanksgiving table. Get the recipe

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts With Cranberries and Pine Nuts

Treat your Thanksgiving guests to a side dish that's both tasty — and — healthy. The addition of cranberries and pine nuts lend the earthy Brussels sprouts a bit of sweetness and crunch. Get the recipe

Pumpkin Soup Shooter

This rich, creamy soup is sure to hit the spot. Top with toasted pumpkin seeds and serve in tall shot glasses for a 5-star-restaurant-worthy presentation. Get the recipe.

Photo By: Beryl Cohen

Brussels Sprouts With Red Onions and Hazelnuts

Topped with sauteed onions and crunchy hazelnuts, these Brussels sprouts are so tasty that your family won't realize they're gobbling down a good-for-you roasted veggie. Get the recipe

Southwestern-Style Poblano Cornbread Stuffing

Forget storebought mix — with toasted pumpkin seeds, sweet potatoes and just the right amount of kick from roasted poblano peppers — this homemade stuffing is destined to become your family's new favorite. Get the recipe

Mashed Potatoes, 3 Ways

HGTV's John Colaneri, host of Kitchen Cousins, shares a family Thanksgiving favorite: a trio of creamy mashed potato recipes from his brother, Casey Colaneri. Get the recipes

Photo By: Photography: Kat Teutsch; prop styling: Elizabeth MacLennan; food styling: Jamie Kimm

Pistachio Soup

Shallots, pureed pistachios, olive oil and and fresh garlic give this soul-warming soup its creamy texture while a sprinkling of chopped nuts adds a hearty crunch. Get the recipe

Traditional Candied Yams

Sweet and gooey, this recipe is a fall favorite for kids and adults alike. Whip up a big batch; these are sure to disappear quickly. Get the recipe

Sourdough Stuffing With Parmesan and Leeks

This sourdough stuffing is a delicious break from the norm. Made with fresh leeks, onions, butter, olive oil and Parmesan cheese — it's a savory addition to your Thanksgiving table. Get the recipe

Thyme-Roasted Carrots and Parsnips

Roasted root vegetables are a hearty seasonal staple of many tables in the fall. Seasoned with olive oil, thyme and citrus, this fresh take is sure to become one of your family's favorite dishes. Get the recipe

Easy Stuffing

Whether you prefer your stuffing in or out of the bird; this easy recipe is the perfect complement to Thanksgiving's main event. Get the recipe

Herb-Roasted Turkey and Gravy

Fresh parsley, rosemary and thyme give this turkey a savory flavor your family and Thanksgiving guests are sure to love. Turn the pan drippings into a thick gravy that's the perfect complement to your bird. Get the recipe

Wild Mushroom, Herb and Pecan Stuffing

Fresh chanterelle, oyster and shiitake mushrooms give this homemade cornbread stuffing an earthy, rich flavor while toasted pecans add just the right amount of crunch. Get the recipe

Photo By: Brent Hofacker

Roasted Butternut Squash With Sage and Pumpkin Seeds

Savory and flavorful, butternut squash tops the list of favorite fall side dishes. As a tasty twist, top this healthy comfort food with toasted pumpkin seeds for crunch. Get the recipe

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

A combination of three tasty cheeses — white Cheddar, Gruyère and Swiss — make this mac 'n' cheese a creamy comfort food that's destined to become a go-to indulgence. Get the recipe

Maple Glazed Brussels Sprouts With Toasted Walnuts

Roasted in olive oil and maple syrup, this healthy side dish will earn a thumbs-up (and requests for seconds!) from even the most finicky of Thanksgiving guests. Get the recipe

Rosemary, Walnut and Olive Bread

Guests will love this simple yeast bread that's studded with olives, walnuts and fresh rosemary. Serve hot from the oven with your meal or bake a large batch and send a loaf home with each guest. Get the recipe

Tarragon Green Beans With Almonds

Take everyone's favorite green veggie — green beans — up a notch with this flavorful recipe that features fresh herbs and a crunchy nut topping. Get the recipe

Old-Fashioned Homemade Gravy

Skip the packaged mix this year and make gravy from scratch that will complement the rest of your Thanksgiving meal. Garlic, chicken stock and red wine combine to create a rich, full flavor your friends and family will love. Get the recipe

Roasted Asparagus

Always a crowd-pleaser, this healthy dish is especially tasty with fresh asparagus. To create: Wash and trim 1 pound of asparagus spears. Pour 2 teaspoons olive oil into a baking dish, add asparagus and toss in oil. Sprinkle spears with kosher salt and shaved Parmesan cheese then bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees Farenheit.

Keep Reading

Next Up

8 Vintage Pieces for Your Perfectly Collected Thanksgiving Table

We're not only dreaming about that Thanksgiving turkey, we can't stop thinking about that perfect holiday tablescape, either.

15 YouTube Videos to Watch for the Best Thanksgiving Table Ideas

Wow your holiday guests with these unique Thanksgiving table decor ideas straight from the depths of YouTube.

Setting Up the Perfect Thanksgiving Table for Kids

Give little ones a place to dine, draw and more.

10 Hostess Gift Ideas to Bring to Thanksgiving Dinner

Discover simple and unique gift ideas that your Thanksgiving host or hostess will love.

Quick and Easy Thanksgiving Centerpieces You Can Make in Minutes

Creating a show-stopping centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table doesn't have to be time-consuming. We have easy ideas for arrangements you can pull together on the fly.

10 Glam Metallic Table Accessories Perfect for Your Holiday Parties

Dress up your holiday table with brass, silver and gold for a luxe look that will wow your guests.

9 Passover Table Essentials + How to Set It Up

Create a modern Passover at home with these simple tips.

5 Thanksgiving Projects to Start Now

Ready or not, Thanksgiving will be here before you know it. Get a jump on your Turkey Day prep with these five DIY decorating ideas.

12 Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes That Aren't Pie

Put on your stretchy pants, and let’s get to business.

9 Essentials You Need in Your Hostess Starter Kit

Add these nine entertaining essentials to your arsenal to instantly become the hostess with the mostess.

Meet the Team

Get to know the talented writers and editors of HGTV's show and design blog. 

Go Behind the Blog

From the Archives

Take a look back at our past posts, from entertaining and design trends to up-and-coming HGTV shows.  

Read All Our Past Posts