Escape to simpler times this Thanksgiving by planning a country-inspired meal.
This natural theme celebrates fresh flavors and homey decor, and it builds in plenty of time for family. We’ll show you how to plan a rustic menu, set a farmhouse-inspired table and express gratitude for life’s blessings together.
How to Plan a Country Menu
A country Thanksgiving menu revolves around farm-fresh ingredients and simple flavors. Guests should find dishes that evoke a sense of nostalgia and comfort—try to remind them of something Grandma used to make!
When planning the menu, we suggest sticking with traditional dishes and ingredients, but adding rustic twists. Elevate the turkey, for example, with a honey and herb glaze. Or top green beans with fresh-from-the-farm maple syrup. A main dish, plus three to five sides (and dessert!) is a good starting point. Aim for a variety of textures and flavors. Need more menu inspiration? Get our best ideas here.
How to Set a Country Thanksgiving Table
When setting the table, aim for a farmhouse feel. Warm, neutral colors, mixed textures and functional pieces can all give you that rustic vibe. For our table setting, we stuck with simple white plates, then dressed them up with buffalo-check napkins and woven placemats (we’re obsessed with these natural fiber ones) . For servingware, we tried out metal tubs, neutral casserole dishes and wire baskets.
Since the focus of this holiday table is the food, there’s not a ton of need (or room!) for a centerpiece. But one or two small, decorative accents can effortlessly complete the look. We chose to put fragrant potpourri in a galvanized metal dish and top it with a dried wheat stalk. You could also decorate with mini pumpkins and gourds, dried leaves or a collection of cotton branches. See how we created our country tablescape here.
Get the LookSet up a comforting spread this year with a country-inspired Thanksgiving table. This look is polished without being fussy, and calls for relaxed, homespun design. Here’s a look at the products you need to re-create this style. Psst… Here’s what to cook for a country Thanksgiving!
Farmhouse PlatesYou can never go wrong with the simplicity of farmhouse white. Crate & Barrel’s dinner plates ($8) and salad plates ($7) are a sturdy and practical option. You can introduce bold prints and pops of color with accent pieces, leaving the dishes to display a feast you’ve lovingly prepared for family and friends. Buy here.
Napkin RingsWest Elm has a set of four napkin rings ($24) made from slices of real wood. With a contrast of dark and blond wood on each, this rustic design works beautifully with napkins patterned or plain. We love that they also have a slim design, taking up little room while we dive into all the best of this season’s side dishes—like our new fave Maple-Glazed Green Beans. Buy here.
Planter CenterpieceComplete the look with a low-profile centerpiece like this chicken feeder planter ($47). Without obstructing anyone’s view, a slim container like this can hold something as simple as pinecones from the yard, rustic potpourri like we used here or even a small floral arrangement. Buy here.
Woven PlacematsSave the fancy tablecloths for another day. Your laid-back Thanksgiving table calls for simple things like these fiber placemats ($24 for 4). Sturdy and wide enough to hold your entire place setting and stemware, these placemats are low maintenance and loveliness combined. Load them up with platefuls of November goodness, like Herb-Glazed Turkey and one of our all-time favorites—Easy Batter Rolls. Buy here.
Cloth NapkinsIn a subtle nod to the autumn season, these buffalo plaid napkins ($25 for 4) add a down-home feel that invites guests to sit and stay awhile. And YAY for napkins that aren’t overly delicate or in a shade that will show every stain! Modern country is nothing if it isn’t practical. Buy here.
Cotton NapkinsIt doesn’t get more farmhouse than this ticking striped set of four napkins ($30). The pattern is subtle enough not to steal the show and is a clever pot holder for a steaming pan of Sweet Potatoes au Gratin. It complements a sprig of seasonal greenery perfectly, too. Add an aromatic statement to your Thanksgiving table with fresh rosemary. Buy here.
How to Give Thanks: Thankful Tree
Before you dig into your Thanksgiving feast, consider reflecting on the true meaning of the holiday. We suggest setting up a Thankful tree.
All you need to do is arrange a collection of long twigs (real or faux) in a tall vase. Then, set out paper leaves, pens and ribbons for your guests to write out what they’re thankful for. Hang the leaves on the “tree,” then spend some time as a group expressing blessings. This is a great activity for guests to do before dinner or when there’s a lull in the action, and it’s perfect for kids and adults alike.
Want More Ideas? Find Your Thanksgiving Style.
Transform your table this holiday by planning your Thanksgiving feast around one of our fun (and delicious!) themes. Take our quiz to find the perfect menu, stunning tablescape decorations and more—all based off of your personality.