23 Native American Thanksgiving Food to Enjoy This Year

Native American Thanksgiving Food
Photo by Thought Catalog

Thanksgiving may be the most important American holiday, and if you’re planning to celebrate it this year, why not go all out? 

The Native Americans are some of the earliest settlers in North America. It’s believed that they celebrated it long before the Pilgrim settlers arrived.

Some historians say that their celebration dates back as far as 1571! Several foods are widely considered to be traditional Native American thanksgiving foods.

They include everything from fresh fruits and nuts to various meats and even cornbread stuffing!

Table of Contents

  1. Pinon Nuts
  2. Cranberry Relish
  3. Sweet Potatoes
  4. Pumpkin Pie
  5. Cranberry Sauce
  6. Cornbread Stuffing 
  7. Pumpkin Soup
  8. Fried Turkey
  9. Smoked Fish Dip 
  10. Roasted Acorn Squash 
  11. Fresh Applesauce with Cinnamon and Honey
  12. Roasted Vegetables
  13. Fried Corn 
  14. Blackberries 
  15. Berry Pudding
  16. Frybread
  17. Three Sisters Salad
  18. Bannock Bread With Berries
  19. Soynut Soup
  20. Pumpkin porridge
  21. Salmon on Cedar Stakes 
  22. Pemmican
  23. Poyha

Pinon Nuts

Pinon nuts are a type of pine nut harvested from the cones of certain pine trees. They have a sweet, nutty flavor and are often used in baking and cooking. 

Pinon nut is an important native American Thanksgiving food source for native peoples in the southwestern United States. If you’re looking for a traditional Native American Thanksgiving food to enjoy, consider adding pinon nuts to your menu.

Cranberry Relish

Cranberry relish is a tart and sweet dish made with fresh cranberries, sugar, and sometimes oranges or pineapple. It’sIt’s a traditional native American Thanksgiving food for many Native Americans. 

Also, it’s famous as a condiment for turkey and other holiday dishes. This year, why not try making your cranberry relish? It’sIt’s easy to make and can be tailored to your taste preferences. 

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a famous native American Thanksgiving food for many Americans during the Thanksgiving holiday.

However, did you know indigenous people in the Americas first domesticated sweet potatoes? Sweet potatoes are thought to have been introduced to Europe by Spanish explorers who visited the Caribbean.

Today, sweet potatoes are still grown in many parts of the Americas. And are enjoyed as a traditional native Thanksgiving food by many people.

Pumpkin Pie

Many traditional foods are served during Native American Thanksgiving celebrations. One of the most popular and well-known dishes is pumpkin pie. 

This dessert is usually made with roasted pumpkins, squash, sweet potatoes, and spices. The filling is then baked in a deep dish until golden brown.

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce is a delicious and easy way to add holiday flavor to your feast. It’sIt’s also a great way to get your kids involved in the kitchen. 

Combine cranberries, sugar, water, and orange juice in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Once the cranberries have popped, remove them from heat and let cool. Serve with turkey or ham. Cranberry Sauce is a very delicious native American Thanksgiving food. 

Cornbread Stuffing

There’sThere’s nothing quite like a heaping plate of stuffing on Thanksgiving day. And while there are many different ways to make this holiday dish, cornbread stuffing is one of the most delicious. This stuffing is hearty and flavorful and is made with ingredients like cornbread, sage, onions, and celery. 

Plus, it’s a great way to enjoy some of the traditional flavors of Native American thanksgiving food. If you’re looking for a new twist on an old favorite this Thanksgiving, give cornbread stuffing a try.

Pumpkin Soup

There are many traditional native American Thanksgiving foods that Native Americans enjoy during the Thanksgiving season. One of these is pumpkin soup.

Pumpkin soup is believed to have originated with the Wampanoag Indians and was a popular dish at the first Thanksgiving feast.

The soup is made with pumpkins, squash, onions, and beans and is flavored with sage. It is hearty and filling and makes an excellent starter for any Thanksgiving meal.

Fried Turkey

One of the most popular and well-known traditional Native American Thanksgiving foods is fried turkey. While the dish has been around for centuries, it wasn’t introduced to the mainstream until the late 1800s. 

Many Americans today enjoy fried turkey as part of their Thanksgiving feast, but not everyone knows its Native American roots.

The dish is believed to have originated with the Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes, who would fry the turkey in large pots over an open fire. 

Fried turkey is a bit of a labor-intensive dish, but it’s well worth the effort. The key to making a delicious fried turkey is to ensure that the oil is hot enough so that the skin crisps up but doesn’t burn.

Smoked Fish Dip

The Native Americans enjoy many traditional foods during the Thanksgiving season. One of these is smoked fish dip. 

This dish is made by smoking fish over an open fire, then using the resulting smoked fish to take a dip. The dip is usually served with corn chips or crackers. Other traditional ingredients in this dish include onions, garlic, and cumin.

Roasted Acorn Squash

For many, roasted acorn squash is a must-have on the Thanksgiving table. This gourd was popular among the native Wampanoag tribe and is still enjoyed by many today.

 Squash was an essential part of the diet for many Native American Thanksgiving foods as it was easy to grow and could be stored for long periods. Acorn squash is a good source of vitamins A and C and is also a good source of fiber. 

If you’re looking for a healthy and delicious way to enjoy squash this Thanksgiving, give roasted acorn squash a try!

Fresh Applesauce with Cinnamon and Honey

Celebrate the fall harvest with this delicious, healthy dish! Applesauce is a staple of many Native American diets, and it’s easy to see why.

 This recipe is a great way to enjoy the sweetness of apples, with a hint of spice from the cinnamon. And a touch of sweetness from the honey. Serve it with roasted turkey, and you have a perfect Thanksgiving feast!

Roasted Vegetables

Another native American Thanksgiving food. The harvest season is a time to give thanks and celebrate the abundance of the land. In many Native American cultures, this means enjoying roasted vegetables as part of the feast. 

Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of the vegetables and makes them extra flavorful. Try roasting a mix of squash, sweet potatoes, and carrots for a colorful and delicious side dish.

Fried Corn

Fried corn is a popular dish among the Choctaw people. Frying whole kernels, make the dish of corn in bacon grease. Once the corn is crispy, it is served with salt and pepper to taste. 

It is a traditional Native American thanksgiving food in Choctaw. Traditional Choctaw dishes include fried okra, boiled yams, and pumpkin pies.


The wild blackberry is a fruit that grows all over North America. Blackberries are an essential Native American Thanksgiving food. 

The blackberry is a symbol of abundance and fertility. Blackberries are also a symbol of Thanksgiving and giving thanks for the harvest. The blackberry is a delicious fruit that can be used in many recipes.

Berry Pudding

One of the best things about the holiday season is all of the delicious food that we get to enjoy. If you’re looking for something different this year, why not try some traditional Native American foods? 

Berry pudding is a great option. It’sIt’s made with dried berries, cornmeal, and maple syrup and it’s sure to please everyone at your table.


The most popular and traditional Native American thanksgiving food served during Thanksgiving is frybread. It is a type of flatbread that is deep-fried or pan-fried. 

It can also be served with various toppings, such as honey, jam, or powdered sugar. Frybread is believed to have originated with the Navajo people in the 19th century. Today, it is enjoyed by many Native American tribes and is a popular dish among non-Native Americans.

Three Sisters Salad

Three Sisters Salad is a traditional native American thanksgiving food enjoyed by many Native Americans during the Thanksgiving season. The salad comprises three main ingredients, representing the three sisters of corn, beans, and squash.

These ingredients are often grown together in the same field, complementing each other’s growth. Three Sisters Salad is a hearty dish that will fill you up and leave you feeling satisfied.

Bannock Bread With Berries

Bannock bread is a type of quick bread popular among Native Americans. It’sIt’s made with flour, baking powder, salt, and water.

In addition, the dough is then fried in oil or shortening. Bannock bread is often served with berries. Maple syrup can also be added for flavor. 

Soynut Soup

Soynut Soup as Native American Thanksgiving Food: Soynuts are peanuts grown by indigenous peoples of South America. Its soup is traditionally eaten on the first day of harvest because it symbolizes harvesting crops, fertility, growth, and life renewal. 

Pumpkin porridge

Pumpkin Porridge as Native American Thanksgiving Food has been consumed by natives for centuries because they believe pumpkin helps with night vision during hunting trips.  

Salmon on Cedar Stakes

Salmon is a popular dish among the Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest. The fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, making it a healthy option for holiday meals.

 Cedar stakes are used for cooking the salmon, which imparts a unique flavor to the dish. Other traditional ingredients include huckleberries, sage, and cedar bark. 

These native American Thanksgiving foods everyone enjoys whether they are of Native American heritage or not.


Pemmican is a traditional Native American food, made initially from dried meat, berries, and fat. It’s a high-protein, high-fat food that was once a staple of the Native American diet. 

Today, it is still enjoyed by many Native Americans and is also gaining popularity with non-Native Americans. Pemmican is an excellent option if you’re looking for traditional Thanksgiving food to try this year.


Traditional Native American dishes are rich in history and culture. One of the most popular Thanksgiving foods is poyha, a dish made with cornmeal and beans.

Traditional Native American foods include roasted squash, acorn soup, and venison stew. Enjoying these delicious dishes will help you feel closer to the traditions and cultures of Native Americans.


The origins of the holiday and the exact menu vary depending on which tribe you ask. There are some everyday staples of a traditional Native American Thanksgiving feast. 

Of course, no meal is complete without a dessert, and pumpkin pie is a favorite among many tribes. So if you’re looking to add a little more flavor to your holiday table this year, consider trying some of these traditional Native American dishes.

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