Is this your first time making Thanksgiving Dinner for everyone? Or are you just looking for a less hectic Thanksgiving meal prep? Either way I’ve got you covered. Here is What to make for Thanksgiving Dinner, Thanksgiving Recipes, Thanksgiving Timeline (when to put everything in the oven) and Thanksgiving Grocery List so that you can have a easy, seamless Thanksgiving Feast!
What to make for Thanksgiving Dinner
Thanksgiving Meal Planner
Here is what we serve for Thanksgiving Dinner at our house. The meal serves 12-15 people with some leftovers.
Links to all the recipes are below and everything else (including the editable Thanksgiving timeline and shopping list) is include in the free printable below.
Along with the following appetizers, we always have our selection of Thanksgiving books and our Fisher Price Little People First Thanksgiving Set. We’ve also taken on the tradition that my Aunt started, we play BINGO! Everyone brings small wrapped prizes – the perfect game for 2 AND 72 year olds to play together!
We keep appetizers simple at our house:
- Turkey (figure 1.5lb of meat per person – we get breast only)
- Homemade Gravy (just like Grandma use to make!)
- Homemade Mashed Potatoes (figure 1.5 potatoes per person)
- Cranberry Sauce
- Angel Rolls (my Mother-in-Law’s Recipe)
- Snicker Apple Salad Recipe – my kids favorite Thanksgiving dish!
- Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad with Cashews, Bacon, and tangy dressing!
- Holiday Green Bean Casserole
- Best Sweet Potato Casserole
- Turkey Cinnamon Rolls by tucking in bacon to make turkey feathers
- I like to make this pineapple cream cheese dip and use peppers to create a turkey head and feathers
Best Thanksgiving Recipes
- Family Favorite Cornbread Stuffing
- Oreo Turkey snack for kids
- Leftover Pie Crust Pinwheels
- I can almost smell this cooking, my perfect every time, best pumpkin pie recipe
- Mom’s Homemade Apple Pie
- Leftover Thanksgiving Soup
- Save some turkey for this yummy Turkey Pot Pie Recipe
Thanksgiving is (believe it or not) relaxing for me. I assemble most of our dishes ahead and so I spend Thanksgiving actually playing with my kids and socializing. All I really have to do on Thanksgiving is throw things in and out of the oven.
5 days before Thanksgiving
About 5 days before Thanksgiving (give or take) you’ll want to go to the grocery store. You’ll need about that long to defrost your Turkey. Plus the grocery stores just get crazier and crazier the closer you get to Thanksgiving (or any major holiday!) And if you’re taking little ones to the grocery store, don’t miss my free printable Learning at the Grocery store with fun educational activities for toddler, preschool, kindergarten, and 1st – 4th grade while at the grocery store.
Day Before Thanksgiving
The day before you will want to pull out your table cloth, center piece (opt), and a serving dish & utensil for each and every thing you are serving. I label a post it note and put it in each serving dish. This makes serving it up on Thanksgiving go quicker and allows my husband and others to help me if I want the help. Are you using real dishes, china, or paper plates – do you have them on hand?
Assemble Food items & store uncooked in Fridge:
- Cheese Ball
- Deviled Eggs
- Sweet Potato Casserole
- Cranberry Sauce
- Green Bean Casserole
- Snicker Apple Salad (make pudding/cool whip part only)
- Broccoli & Cauliflower Salad (mix dry ingredients & store in bag in fridge; make dressing and store in airtight container in fridge separately)
- Angel Rolls (mix up in the evening & leave to rise overnight)
- Mix up Egg Bake (refrigerate overnight)
- Bake Pumpkin Pie (can be done 2 days before if you want to space things out more)
- Bake Apple Pie (can be done 2 days before if you want to space things out more)
- Bake Pecan Pie (can be done 2 days before if you want to space things out more)
- Bake Breakfast (Egg Bake Casserole takes 40 minutes)
- By 10am Roll out Angel Rolls and leave to complete Rise #2 (or get pre-made rolls)
- Set Thanksgiving Table (if you haven’t already done so)
- 10:20am Cook Turkey – Move one shelf in oven to lowest and another just high enough so your casseroles can slide in. Preheat oven to 325 F. While preheating put onion, celery, carrot, and garlic in thawed turkey. Butter & salt & Pepper rind. Cook turkey (We use a 15-20 lb turkey breast only that takes about 4 hours or so – I love getting the turkey’s with pop out thermometer!)
- 10:30am – Mashed Potatoes (Boil water; Peel 1 1/2 potatoes per person, cut & put in boiling water for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain, add 4 TAB butter _ 1/2 cup milk for every 6 potatoes used and mash together. Put in large crockpot to keep warm until meal time)
- 11am – Eat Appetizers
- 2 pm – Casseroles In Oven. Change oven temp to 350 F- add Sweet Potatoes, Green Bean, and Stuffing Casseroles (they all take 40 minutes)
- 2:30 – Remove Turkey & Mix Salads. Put turkey on counter on top of trivet and cover with foil tent (this 15 minutes resting time allows the juices to stay inside keeping it juicy!) Change oven to 375 F . Mix together Broccoli & Cauliflower Salad and Chop apples & Snickers to add to Pudding Mix – put salads on the table. Recruit help to put ice/water in glasses.
- 2:45 – Remove Casseroles – Remove as many casseroles form the oven as you need room to bake the Angel Rolls. Make sure to cover side dishes to
- keep them warm. (i like to cook mine in ceramic dishes with glass lids). Bake Angel rolls for 10-12 minutes. Start Gravy by whisking together 4 TAB butter and 4 TAB flour in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle with salt & pepper and allow to cook until golden. Get turkey drippings and pour into gravy starter, whisking continuously. Now add 1 – 2 cups water continuing to whisk until a watery gravy appears. Now let boil over medium until thickens and you’re ready to serve.
- 2:50 Tell everyone to start wash hands and move towards the table & carve your turkey (I have my hubby do this).
- 2:57 – put food on the table
- 3pm – Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner is served!
Have someone else do the Thanksgiving dishes – it’s your turn to put your feet up!
We usually have Thanksgiving leftover sandwiches for dinner and then make our Thanksgiving Leftover Soup with the Turkey carcass the next day – it is SO good!
Thanksgiving Recipes and Grocery List
What to make for Thanksgiving Dinner
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