Thanksgiving can come pretty quickly and it can either be a time of joy with your family or it can be a time of intense preparations that can be stressful.
Use this timeline to create your Thanksgiving Menu Planner and receive our thanksgiving-planner Printable for free.
Create a Thanksgiving Menu Planner
There are lots of things to plan, things to buy, dishes to wash, write out the menu and maybe you are even expecting overnight guests. I like to make family-friendly food recipes, and then make a few special recipes that I might find on Pinterest.
I like to keep track of what worked and what didn’t work each year. By doing so, it makes each new Thanksgiving run more smoothly.
Sometimes I find a new recipe that I prefer so I switch it up. I always like to add a new dessert also.
Using this timeline will keep everything in bite-size pieces that you can do with little to no stress, plus you get this free printable to create your menu and shopping list. I also included a 50 Things to be Grateful For list that you can print out for all your guests to take home or even fill out during their visit as a keepsake to your Thanksgiving.
What does a traditional Thanksgiving Menu Consist of?
Oven Roasted Turkey by Yellow Bliss Road
Green Bean Casserole by Dinner then Dessert
Slow Cooker Garlic Mashed Potatoes by Spend with Pennies
Cranberry Sauce by A Day in Candiland
Slow Cooker Garlic Mashed Potatoes by Add a Pinch
Stuffing Casserole by Savory Sweet Life
Pumpkin Pie by Wild Wild Whisk
Pumpkin Creme Brulee by A Day in Candiland
Cherry Pie by A Day in Candiland
Get your Thanksgiving Menu Planner Here
2 Weeks Before Thanksgiving
- Plan how you will cook the turkey and what size it will be.
- Create your menu using the printable above.
- Choose dishes to match your menu.
- Check kitchen equipment and meat thermometer:
- Delegate dishes:
- Clean your oven:
7 Days Before Thanksgiving
- Make two shopping lists: One is for items that are non-perishable. One for the day before items that need to be fresh.
- Check for ingredients: expiration dates, salt, pepper, ice.
- Clean out your refrigerator: You will need all the extra room you can get.
6 Days Before Thanksgiving:
- Thaw your Turkey: Defrost turkey in the refrigerator now.
- If you forget and wait until the day before, defrost in sink according to directions on the package.
Monday of Thanksgiving Week:
- Shopping Trip for perishables.
- Turkey: if it’s frozen start defrosting.
- Defrost: Start defrosting anything else that you’ve made ahead and frozen.
- Dishes to make now: Cranberry sauce, gravy, hard-boiled eggs for deviled eggs or potato salad, and pie crust.
- Things to prep: Chop up vegetables and bread for stuffing.
- Launder all linens and Wash all dishes:
The Day Before Thanksgiving
- Make your desserts: Make your pies and desserts and get those done and out of the way.
- Wash salad greens, trim green beans and generally take care of as much vegetable prep as you can. Make your salad dressing now too.
- Things to consider making ahead: If you have the time, make your stuffing and other casseroles today.
- Set the table.
Morning of Thanksgiving
- Get Turkey In Oven:
- Reheat any pre-cooked sides 1 hour before serving
- Bake Rolls
- Make sure you have plenty of ice
- Make Whipping Cream
- Heat up pies
- Make Iced Tea and Coffee
- Make Punch
- Clean up the kitchen before the guests arrive.
If you enjoyed this Thanksgiving Menu Planner try these other Fall and Thanksgiving tips.