Meal Plan Recipes Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Meal Planner

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 with free recipes and editable grocery list

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.


Thanksgivng Appetizers

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:

Main Course:Thanksgiving Dinner 2006

Bacon Broccoli Cauliflower salad Recipe


It just wouldn't be Thanksgiving without our family's snicker apple salad recipe! My kids go nuts over this non-traditional snicker salad they look forward to eating all year long. This quick-to-make apple snicker salad combines pudding, whipped topping, crisp apples, and snickers for an outrageously yummy thanksgiving side dish your kids won't expect. Pretty Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad Recipe is a holiday must! Veggies + bacon + cashews + sweet & tangy dressing = YUM! We make a lot of really yummy Thanksgiving side dishes, but the star of our table is our sweet potato casserole recipe! Over the years I perfected this recipe to the point where my kids beg for the best sweet potato casserole year-round and they know this homemade sweet potato casserole will be gone before anyone gets seconds! I love that this is a seriously easy sweet potato casserole where you can throw it together quickly, make it ahead, and it tastes fabulous every single time. you will love this sweet potato casserole with marshmallows, oats, and nut topping! One of my families favorite side dishes for Thanksgiving, Christmas dinner, Easter, and throughout the year is our green bean casserole. This easy, homemade green bean casserole uses canned green beans for simplicity along with French's fried onions for a tasty, memorable vegetable dish that everyone will love.

Thanksgiving Recipes

Seriously this homeamde cornbread stuffing is the BEST! The bacon, sage, and toasted corn bread make this a MUST side dish for Thanksgiving! Perfect EVERY TIME Pumpkin Pie Recipe - Pumpkin pie and Thanksgiving go together like peanut butter and jelly! But making the best pumpkin pie recipe is tough! Well, after years of perfecting our recipe I've happy to say we've come up with the perfect Thanksgiving desert recipe for November. It will come out perfect every time; plus it is fluffy and oh so delicious! Everyone loves a good apple pie! Whether you are celebrating the Fourth of July, celebrating apple month in September, or whipping up a homemade apple pie to round out your Thanksgiving feast - everyone wants to make the best homemade apple pie! Making a home made apple pie is actually really easy and quick to throw together! Here is our super easy apple pie from scratch recipe that will make you the hostess with the mostess and leave your guests begging for more! Super cute Turkey Snack for Kids is a fun edible turkey craft for kids, to put at everyone spot on the Thanksgiving table or just for a special after school snack in November.

Best Thanksgiving Recipes


Thanksgiving Timeline

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.

best pumpkin pie recipeDay 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
  • Stuffing
  • 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)

Delicious Thankgiving Turkey - free menu

Thanksgiving Day

  • 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
  • beth's yummy made from scratch gravykeep 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

All the Thanksgiving recipes that our family uses are linked above under our menu. To make everything on the list all you need to do is buy all the grocery items on the following free printable. The FREE timeline & shopping list are both included and editable (to allow for your specific Thanksgiving Dinner timeline!)

What to make for Thanksgiving Dinner

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About the author

Beth Gorden

Beth Gorden is the creative multi-tasking creator of 123 Homeschool 4 Me. As a busy homeschooling mother of six, she strives to create hands-on learning activities and worksheets that kids will love to make learning FUN! She has created over 1 million pages of printables to help teach kids ABCs, science, English grammar, history, math, and so much more! Beth is also the creator of 2 additional sites with even more educational activities and FREE printables - and

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