Plan a beautiful, stress free Thanksgiving Dinner with ease thanks to this detailed Thanksgiving Planner filled with tips, tricks, and detailed plan. Includes a Free Downloadable Planner with everything you will need to host Thanksgiving Dinner with ease!
Gather some tips and then chose your favorite Thanksgiving Recipes for the Ultimate Thanksgiving Holiday.
Since getting married, I have hosted Thanksgiving.
I have hosted Thanksgiving Dinners that were an intimate crowd of 8 to Thanksgiving Feasts of over 30 people. And many times, I host not only Thanksgiving Dinner, but out of town guests for several days. and then after moving south, I hosted my family not just for a meal but for several days at a time.
So I know a thing or two about how to host Thanksgiving Dinner!
And I want to share those tips with you!
My first tip to a stress free Thanksgiving, is to plan!
I suggest finalizing the guest list and menu as far in advance as possible–I personally suggest 3 weeks.
This give you the the time to prep your house and your food in small increments, making hosting Thanksgiving Dinner less overwhelming!
With these step by step tips on how to prep for Thanksgiving, you will be able to pull off an impressive Thanksgiving Meal–even if you have little time to work with!
Grab the Thanksgiving Planner and pick your menu and you are well on your way to an easy, impressive Thanksgiving dinner.
What to do 3 Weeks Before Thanksgiving
- Finalize your guest list–know how many people you are hosting and if they will be staying with you through the holiday weekend. If you have not invited your friends or family yet, STOP want you are doing, and do it NOW!
- Plan your menu, using my Ultimate Thanksgiving Recipes, and make a grocery list to go along with that menu.
- If you special order your turkey, do that now.
- Check to make sure you have all the cooking tools and serving ware you need for your holiday.
- Start freezing scraps to make the brine for the turkey and turkey stock.
What to do 2 Weeks Before Thanksgiving
- Clean out Freezer–to take inventory of what you have (make meals out of some of those foods!) and to make room for pre-prepped Thanksgiving dishes.
- Pre-make Pies to freeze for the Holiday.
- Pre-make Homemade Applesauce and Homemade Cranberry Sauce and once cooled, freeze for Thanksgiving.
- Make filling and topping for Sweet Potato Casserole and freeze topping in one freezer bag and filling separate freezer bag. Now your casserole is ready to be assembled and baked the week of Thanksgiving.
- Look at your local grocery ads for sales this week. It is a great time to purchase fresh cranberries, apples, frozen turkey, sweet potatoes, frozen vegetables, and baking essentials like sugar and flour.
- If you are having guests stay overnight with you make Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole and/or French Toast Casserole and freeze. I walk you through steps to freeze ahead of time and to make gluten-free or dairy-free if needed. Trust me, the last thing you want to do is have to make breakfast the day after Thanksgiving!
- Purchase wine, liquor, sparkling cider, etc.
What to do 1 Week Before Thanksgiving
- Finalize menu and create a timeline for completing menu.
- Double check that you have a serving dish for each side dish you will prepare and enough plates, silverware for the meal.
- Buy all your non-perishable goods.
- Make and freeze Mashed Potatoes–trust me, this is one of the biggest time savers!!
- Deep clean the areas in your house guests will see, paying special attention to bathrooms.
- Order flowers for centerpiece if desired.
What to do 3-4 Days Before Thanksgiving
- Defrost Turkey if frozen.
- Purchase perishable items.
- Prepare vegetables by washing and chopping for various dishes.
- Set the table, including placing out serving dishes.
What to do Day Before Thanksgiving
- Spot Clean bathrooms, vacuum house, sweep kitchen.
- Make Pies/Desserts (if not already done)
- Lay bread out to dry for stuffing.
- Defrost any dishes you made and froze in advance (applesauce, cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole.)
- Prepare any side dishes that are easily reheated on Thanksgiving Day.
- Make Turkey Brine and let cool.
- Make dough for homemade rolls and allow to rise overnight or defrost frozen rolls.
What to do Night Before Thanksgiving
- Put Turkey in Brine.
- Make Overnight Oatmeal or Overnight French Toast Casserole, so you don’t have to think about breakfast.
What to do Thanksgiving Day
- Take Turkey out of brine and Roast the Turkey.
- Make the stuffing and bake.
- Make mulled wine or mulled cider
- Bake/Reheat side dishes and casseroles.
- Remove turkey from oven and tent with foil. Let rest one hour while you make the gravy and finish cooking the side dishes.
- Make the gravy.
- Bake the rolls.
- Pour the mulled wine or mulled cider
- Sit down and be thankful!
Top Kitchen Tools for Thanksgiving Dinner
These are my FAVORITE tools that help me make a delicious Thanksgiving Meal with ease.
- Digital Thermometer–no more dried out turkey.
- XL Ziploc Storage Bag–this is my Budget Friendly Bag for Brining Turkey
- Roasting Pan (This pan is HALF the cost of when I purchased it)
- A good knife
- Gravy Boat–I love using a carafe (another great hack for keeping gravy warm and easy to pour)
- Mesh Strainer–to get out any lumps that may occur in your gravy.
- Disposable Tin Pans if you want less clean-up
- Freezer Safe Bags/Containers for Leftovers
- If you are worried about oven space, a Roaster is a great idea for cooking your Turkey.
- Ricer–my trick to the smoothest mashed potatoes.
- Food Processor: I use this to make my sweet potato puree, pie crusts, and crumble topping for sweet potato casserole.
I hope you and your family have a very blessed, relaxing Thanksgiving full of delicious food and sweet memories.