Thanksgiving Meal Timeline
7 DAYS AHEAD
Menu Plan-Decide your menu. Remember to include appetizers, salads, side dishes and desserts.
Make a Grocery List-Make a list of ingredients you need on the Thanksgiving Planner.
6 DAYS AHEAD
Grocery Shop-Start looking for deals on baking goods at the beginning of November. The best deals on turkey are usually the week of Thanksgiving.
Make Ice-If you’ll be serving a large crowd, start storing ice in plastic zipper bags now.
5 DAYS AHEAD
Make Place Cards and Other Decorations-If you didn’t stock up at last year’s clearance sales, use some simple items around your house to make place cards and center pieces. For a simple table decoration, use a long piece of fabric as a table runner and top it with tiny pumpkins and gourds.
4 DAYS AHEAD
Make Cold Salads-Jello salads, cranberry sauce and other cold salads can be made up to four days ahead. If your salad contains fresh fruit or vegetables, wait until the day before to prepare them.
Make Dips-If you are having dips as appetizers, make them today and refrigerate them.
3 DAYS AHEAD
Prepare Beverages-Make Iced Tea and/or Lemonade. Chill soft drinks if you have room. Make sure that you have enough ice.
Wash Potatoes and Fresh Vegetables-Washing vegetables ahead of time is a big time saver and makes your prep work later go more smoothly.
2 DAYS AHEAD
Decorate and Set Table-Setting the table with plates, glasses, utensils and the center piece ahead of time can save time and help to get you motivated for all the work ahead.
Prepare Stuffing and Refrigerate
Prepare Cranberry Sauce
1 DAY AHEAD
Prepare and Cook Casseroles
5-6 HOURS AHEAD
Put the Turkey in the Oven- Depending on the size, you may need to start 5 hours before dinner time. Allow at least 30 minutes of resting time for the bird before carving.
Finish Salads-Put the finishing touches on your salads
Make Bread-If you’re making homemade rolls, start them once the turkey is in and put them in the oven later. Make sure to allow a little extra cooking time if you are cooking them when the turkey is still in the oven.
1 HOUR AHEAD
Check Turkey and Potatoes
30 MINUTES AHEAD
Remove Turkey from Oven-Allow the turkey to rest before carving it.
Warm Bread-If you are using pre-made rolls, heat them last so they will be warm when you are ready to serve dinner.
Happy Thanksgiving and Enjoy your Day!