Welcome to the ultimate Thanksgiving guide which includes recipes, tips and a printable Thanksgiving checklist. With everyone having a different version of celebrating (big gathering, small gathering, traditional, modern, etc) my hope is that this post helps ensure you are prepped for whatever fun your day holds! I hope you enjoy and have a wonderful holiday.
Keep reading for everything you need to know to make your day go smoothly!
- Decide on your menu and what recipes you’ll make.
- Make a shopping list. Write out ingredients for each of the recipes. Add extra Tupperware to your grocery list (or buy ahead of time, I love these)
- Make a general timeline (helpful Thanksgiving checklist here)
- Clean out your refrigerator (you need room for your bird!)
- Find and set out your tablecloth, napkins, plates and serving dishes.
- Make note of dishes that are not microwave safe. I had stored a few things in the fridge ahead of time and then was just microwaving and the dishes cracked!
- Will you do an activity? An idea – a Thankful tree. Cut out leaf shapes and then have everyone write or draw something they’re thankful for. You can stick the leaves to a piece of paper and then save it to look back on.
- How to make a Thanksgiving turkey – there are plenty of ways to make a turkey, but this is a time-tested method.
- 5 ingredient Thanksgiving turkey – when you need a super simple turkey recipe, this is the recipe you need.
- Roasted chicken – if you’re having a smaller gathering this is a great alternative to turkey. Or make a few to feed more people
- Air fryer turkey breast and gravy – a personal fave, if we were having a small family thanksgiving like we did a few years ago, this is what I’d make!
- Instant Pot turkey breast – another great way to make a turkey breast. Did you know you could make turkey in an Instant Pot?! What a great way to make turkey in a fraction of the time.
- Pork tenderloin with cranberry – for something a little different, this recipe still has all the fall vibes while being affordable and super easy to make.
If you’re looking for gravy to make; these are two great gravy options:
- White peppercorn gravy – while we love this on turkey for a fun twist on traditional gravy, you can also serve it on chicken fried steaks, biscuits or any number of other things!
- Mushroom gravy – for a more traditional option, this gravy recipe will be ready in less than 15 minutes and only requires a few ingredients.
- Thanksgiving snack board – Call it an appetizer or a side, this snack board is a great way to make sure your guests (or family) are fed. Get creative with any ingredients and make it as festive as you’d like!
- Butternut squash, Brussels sprouts and bacon – perfectly roasted vegetables and bacon, topped with goat cheese.
- Thanksgiving salad – candied pepitas, dried fruit and a cinnamon vinaigrette!!
- Mushroom caps stuffed with stuffing – a family tradition that (again) can be served on the side or as an appetizer).
- Sourdough stuffing – if you think stuffing is a boring dish, think again! This homemade sausage stuffing is full of flavor and made with tasty sourdough bread.
- Slow cooker sweet potato casserole – save some oven space by making this dish in a slow cooker.
- Broccoli divine – 5 ingredients and a family favorite.
- Roasted carrots with feta and hot honey – deliciously roasted carrots, such a good flavor combination
- Slow cooker glazed carrots – save oven space and make these glazed carrots in a slow cooker!
- Loaded mashed potatoes – made extra creamy with sour cream and yogurt and topped with bacon, cheese and green onions!
- Mashed potatoes – the best mashed potatoes, with a secret ingredient
- Pumpkin pecan pie – a fun mixture on two classic pies. Perfect for any Thanksgiving dinner table.
- Easy pumpkin pie – only 5 ingredients and turns out perfectly every time!
- Pecan pie – the best pecan pie recipe I’ve ever made!
- Brown sugar pie – a great alternative to more traditional Thanksgiving pies, but still very fall-feeling. The best part is you can enjoy this pie with 5 simple ingredients.
- Coffee crumble apple pie – coffee with your pie and coffee in your pie – you can’t go wrong.
- Freezer peanut butter pie – a make ahead pie that is so yummy!
Pie isn’t the only option! These are some of our favorite Thanksgiving desserts that aren’t pie:
- Cranberry walnut crumb bars – I love these bars. You get delicious Thanksgiving flavors all packed into a neat little bar.
- Chocolate chip cranberry cookies – a great option for kids (and adults alike!).
- Pumpkin spice latte chocolate chip cookies – for your PSL lovers out there, try those flavors in a cookie this year.
- Pecan pie bars – another great pie-alternative that is a bit healthier side, but still rich and caramel-tasting.
- Pear and ginger caramel crumble – just like pie, this crumble is perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.
- Orange cranberry cake – I love this option for Thanksgiving flavors; Sweet, tart and amazing!
- Apple cider old fashioned – 5 ingredients and a twist on a favorite Wisconsin cocktail.
- Apple cider mule – a super fun way fall adaptation of a classic Moscow mule.
- 5 ingredient punch – we like to call this holiday punch because all you need is 5 ingredients to make this simple drink that’s great for a group.
- Pumpkin loaf – the absolute best copycat recipe that gets rave reviews every time someone makes it.
- Sweet potato waffles – can be made with leftover pumpkin puree; super easy.
- Sweet potato pancakes – if you prefer pancakes to waffles, we’ve got a recipe for that too!
- Quiche – a great make-ahead meal to have in the freezer.
- The best waffles – these are eggless and turn out perfectly every time!
- Instant Pot turkey breast – this is the perfect recipe if you’re hosting a brunch instead of dinner because it allows you to still serve turkey without having to wake up at 4am to make sure a full turkey is done on time.
- Upside down apple and pear loaf – if pumpkin flavors aren’t your favorite, this loaf is a great alternative fall option.
- Roasting pan– a good roasting pan is key!
- Baking sheets – the Goldtouch line of bakeware is simply the best!
- Serving dishes – I just love the white pumpkin and leaf stoneware Thanksgiving collection (it’s on sale!) and I also love this oven-to-table collection
- Table centerpiece – these are just gorgeous!
- Leftover skillet – take a few of your favorite Thanksgiving leftovers, add cheese and bake!
- Leftovers breakfast sandwich – when you’re exhausted from a day of cooking, this simple sandwich is the perfect thing to eat the next day.
- Turkey egg rolls – made in an air fryer and such a fun way to use up leftovers.
I hope this Thanksgiving Guide was helpful and that you can have a happy, relaxing holiday!
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