I’m a traditionalist when it comes to Thanksgiving. I like to have all the same good stuff, year after year. It actually takes some of the planning stress out, because I always know what I’m going to make when I host. What IS always stressful, though, is timing everything out. So here is my recommended Thanksgiving menu (of course with all of my favorite things), and an easy outline for when to prepare everything. Also, while I typically recommend buying several items when hosting dinner, I believe in making most stuff for Thanksgiving. The homemade element adds a special touch and the chaos is FUN.
PS the picture above is from the Thanksgiving I thought it would be a good idea to make everyone individual pies. It was a great idea in theory and cuteness, but a terrible idea in manual labor output.
PSS sorry for all the terrible pictures in the links below. Most of them are from when I was in the middle of hosting Thanksgiving, and I was very very busy. And maybe a little tipsy.
Appetizer: Trader Joe’s cranberry goat cheese + Ginger snaps
Appetizer: Cranberry Avocado Salsa
Side: Herb & Sausage Stuffing
Side: Brussel Sprout Salad
– I would simplify this salad for Thanksgiving purposes: saute the brussels instead of roasting (oven space), buy balsamic glaze instead of boiling down your own, and buy bacon from the salad bar if you can (otherwise make bacon day ahead)
Side: Green bean casserole – using the Campbell’s soup recipe! It’s hard to beat.
Dessert: Pumpkin Pie with Cream Cheese Swirl
Dessert: Store bought Apple or Pecan Pie
How to execute:
Up to a week before:
Make the sweet potato rolls. Put them in a freezer storage bag and keep them in the freezer until Thanksgiving day. Take them out morning of.
1 day before:
Make the mashed potatoes. Yes! These are great for make-ahead. When warming them up on Thanksgiving day you can add a little cream or butter if they need more moisture.
Make the pumpkin pie; store in fridge
Brown the sausage for the herb sausage stuffing. Keep in ziploc bag in fridge.
If using a frozen turkey, start thawing.
~6-7 hours before – prepare the Turkey and put it in oven (varies depending on turkey size)
Have a sip of wine.
Anytime- prepare green bean casserole in casserole dish, and cover; wait to bake.
Have a sip of wine.
~2 hours before- cook celery, onions, etc and assemble sausage stuffing; wait to bake.
Have 2 sips of wine.
~1 hour before – prepare brussel sprout salad
Have 4 sips of wine.
~45 min before (delegate here!) – remove turkey from oven and let rest. Prepare gravy. Put green bean casserole and stuffing into the oven and bake. Prepare cranberry avo salsa and set out cheeses. Warm up mashed potatoes.
Have 87 sips of wine.