Thanksgiving is not a spur-of-the-moment meal thrown together, especially if you're having the whole family over. You need to plan out a menu, check your grocery list twice, and have a very specific timetable if you want to the get the turkey and the rolls out at the same temperature. Luckily, we've done the hardest part for you!
Here's a two-week timetable for Thanksgiving that you can make your own with family-favorite turkey day dishes. Start by gathering all the recipes you'd like to make and create one master shopping list. Once you have all the ingredients you need, get to work on your show-stopping meal.
2 Weeks Before
- Make sweet potato casserole (like this delicious Sweet Potato-Carrot Casserole) without toppings. Cover in plastic wrap and then foil, and freeze. Measure out topping in a ziptop bag and tape to top of casserole.
- Make dressing and freeze. (For less stress on Thanksgiving day, pick casseroles and dressings that bake at the same temperature. That way, you can put them into the oven at the same time. I'm making this Sage Cornbread Dressing)
- Make dough for Icebox Dinner Rolls and freeze. Do not bake.
- Buy turkey, leave in refrigerator to thaw.
- Make Easy Turkey Gravy, cover and chill.
- Make a big-batch signature drink (like my favorite, Blackberry Mojito Punch), separate into ziptop bags and freeze.
- Make Black Bottom Pumpkin Pie and freeze. Do not make whipped cream topping.
- Make Chocolate-Caramel Pecan Pie and Brown Sugar-Bourbon Bundt and freeze.
- Move casseroles from freezer to refrigerator. Stack them up vertically by placing a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan between each one.
- Make Cranberry-Apricot Sauce and put in the refrigerator, covered in aluminum foil.
- Move pumpkin pie to refrigerator to thaw.
- Set out pecan pie and bundt cake at room temperature. Put up a sign that says "Do Not Eat Until Thanksgiving" for late-night munchers.
- Take rolls out of freezer and leave at room temperature.
- Blanch green beans, slice pears, and make Sorghum Vinaigrette.
7 Hours Before Dinner
- Take out turkey from refrigerator and start prep. (I'm using this Herb-Roasted Turkey recipe)
2 Hours Before Dinner
- Put music on.
- Take signature drink out of freezer and crush it into pieces in a punch bowl. Although it's slushy-looking at first, it will remain cold without being watered down by ice cubes. Garnish if desired.
- Take out pumpkin pie, dab moisture off of top, and pipe whipped cream topping on top.
- Take casseroles out of refrigerator and set to rest at room temperature.
1 Hour Before Dinner
- Your turkey should be done by now, set it out to rest.
- Add a few tablespoons of broth to gravy, and reheat over medium heat.
- Change oven temperature to 350.
- Top sweet potato casserole and place it in oven along with dressing.
30 Minutes Before Dinner
- Assemble Fresh Pear-and-Green Bean Salad.
15 Minutes Before Dinner
- Take out casseroles from oven and place on table.
- Raise temperature to 425 and pop in dinner rolls.
After all of that, take a seat near the punch bowl and enjoy the night with friends and family. Whether you're watching football or preparing for Black Friday shopping, just know that you were the superstar of the night.