Gingham-and-Wheat Thanksgiving Dinner

Set the stage for a modern Thanksgiving meal with dramatic, patterned fabric and harvest-inspired accents.

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Photo By: Wynn Myers ©2012, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Right Reserved.

Photo By: Wynn Myers

Photo By: Wynn Myers

Photo By: Wynn Myers

Photo By: Wynn Myers

Photo By: Wynn Myers

Photo By: Wynn Myers

Photo By: Wynn Myers

Photo By: Wynn Myers

Photo By: Wynn Myers

Photo By: Wynn Myers

Photo By: Wynn Myers

Photo By: Wynn Myers

Party in Five: Gingham-and-Wheat Thanksgiving Dinner

Put a modern twist on Thanksgiving –– while keeping that fall harvest feel –– with a dark gingham-and-wheat motif. Pair roasted turkey with Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, Pinot Noir and a savory-sweet pumpkin mousse dessert for a menu that's as light and refreshing as the modern rustic decor.


To host this Thanksgiving dinner, you'll need five essential ingredients: (printable) wheat-stamped place cards, wheat stalks, gingham ribbons, gingham napkins and gingersnap cookie-topped pumpkin mousse for dessert.

Stylish Simplicity

Who says Thanksgiving has to be fussy? Save the ornate china and crystal for Grandma’s house, and set a table that feels clean and modern with a nod to the season. Gingham linens pair well with the wheat centerpiece as elegantly subtle symbols of the time of harvest.

Neutral Ground

Neutral linens and tableware provide a no-fail base for building a sophisticated, modern table where the food and drink can really take center stage.

Take Stalk

Purchase dried wheat stalks at a local craft store for an easy centerpiece that feels modern and on point for the occasion.

Layer Up

When working with a monotone color palette, you can add visual interest by varying the patterns and textures utilized. Layer a coarse burlap runner over a larger gingham one to create a complex contrast.

Fit to Be Tied

Bundle flatware with a simple black velvet ribbon to add an elegant, rich detail to the plain-white plates.

Everyone in His or Her Place

Print this template for place cards with a wheat motif onto brown kraft paper to match the modern, rustic look. Adding a simple place card instantly makes any dinner feel super special.


Click here for the printable place card template.

Put a Bow on It

Use straight pins to attach gingham bows to the backs of upholstered dining chairs for a sweet, impactful touch. If your chairs don't have a fabric back, use double-sided tape underneath the center of the bow.

Pitcher o' Pinot

Pair Pinot Noir with the turkey for the perfect Thanksgiving beverage –– it adds great color to the table and doesn't overwhelm the meal. Be sure to pop the bottle or carafe in the fridge for about 20 minutes before serving. For a cozier pre-meal option, try serving mugs of hot, spiced Cabernet.

Get the Recipe: Spiced Cabernet

All Dressed Up

Serve a twist on the expected with Cranberry Citrus Dressing. This zesty, flavorful take on the holiday classic will be a sweet surprise when served alongside the star of the show: a perfect Thanksgiving turkey.

Get the Recipe: Cranberry Citrus Dressing

A Call for Cabbage

Sprouts are oh so in right now and have as rightful a place at your Thanksgiving table as any side dish. This recipe incorporates bacon, mustard and a walnut vinaigrette, offering a bevy of savory, tangy and sweet flavors.

Get the Recipe: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with a Bacon, Mustard and Walnut Vinaigrette

The Sweetest Thing

Sweet potatoes are a great alternative to classic mashed potatoes. Roast the taters with pecans and spiced maple syrup for a more sophisticated –– and even sweeter ––starch.

Get the Recipe: Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Pecans and Spiced Maple Sauce

Pleased as Pumpkin

Finish the meal with sweet-and-spicy pumpkin mousse topped with crumbled gingersnap cookies (the perfect way to segue from Thanksgiving into the winter holiday season). Served in antique stemware or classy cocktail glasses, the dessert looks so elegant that no one will know it took only 30 minutes to prepare (before chilling in the fridge). Give thanks for seconds!

Get the Recipe: Pumpkin Mousse