Thanksgiving Dinner Prep Timeline for a No Stress Day

Hosting a Thanksgiving dinner can be a bit stressful. Hosting dinner means making sure the house is decorated and ready to go, the food is delicious, and everything is prepared on time. Planning can make the experience of hosting Thanksgiving a fantastic experience. The timeline below will help you plan your Thanksgiving dinner. 

4 Weeks Before: 

  • Plan your menu.
  • Check kitchen equipment: 
  • It’s time to tackle the crowds at the grocery store and pick up your turkey and other Thanksgiving items that fly off the shelves. 
  • Wait until closer to the time to purchase fresh vegetables and fruits. If you are looking for recipes for Thanksgiving check out this post

1 Week Before:

  • Make and refrigerate cranberry sauce.
  • Prepare turkey or vegetable stock (if you are using homemade).
  • Shop for fresh vegetables and fruits. 
  • Clean out your fridge.

4 Days Before: 

  • Depending on your turkey’s size, you may need to move your turkey from the freezer to the refrigerator. You should allow one day in the refrigerator for every 5 pounds of turkey. Be sure to put a pan or baking dish under it to collect water as it defrosts. Four days before would be great for a 20 pound turkey. 
  •  Chop up vegetables.

The Day Before: 

  • Bake all desserts.
  • Prep the bread for the stuffing.
  • Season the turkey.
  • Prep appetizers like sausage balls and then refrigerate. 
  • Set the table, for ideas on simple tablescapes check out this post
  • Chill your drinks and make sure there’s enough ice in the freezer.

Day of: 

  • Start the turkey first thing in the morning
  • After your turkey is in the oven start your gravy. 
  • Midday start on the stuffing 
  • Side dishes should be started last and in the afternoon
  • Cook the prepped appetizers in the afternoon and set out for guests while you finish cooking.
The final step is to enjoy your family and a tasty meal. 
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