A Classic Thanksgiving Menu with turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and homemade rolls. I also included tips for preparing each recipe ahead of time as well as a grocery shopping list to help you make the most of your Thanksgiving holiday.
Don’t miss all my Thanksgiving recipes HERE!
I have been SO excited to share this special Thanksgiving meal plan with you all! Not only does it have my favorite tried and tested Thanksgiving dinner recipes on it, but I’ve taken time to detail out how to make each recipe ahead of time, and I’ve included a grocery shopping list! I truly hope this helps you have a stress-free, but still delicious Holiday dinner!
1. Easy, No-Fuss Thanksgiving Turkey
“After 30+ years of cooking turkeys a much more laborious way, we decided to give your recipe a try. A smash hit! Truly is stress-free and absolutely delicious. We made it exactly to your recipe, right down to putting the bird on a bed of chopped veggies because we couldn’t find the roasting rack. We will be making this again! Thank you for all the helpful tips too.”
- Give the turkey plenty of time to thaw. A good rule of thumb is to allow one day in the fridge for ever 5 pounds of turkey. I always give myself one extra day, just to be safe.
- Make the herb butter as instructed and store it in the refrigerator.
- Chop vegetables and have them ready in the refrigerator for quickly assembly.
2. Perfect Mashed Potatoes
- Add a little extra milk to make sure they’re really soft and not too thick. (The potatoes will absorb moisture as they rest.) Spoon mixture into a casserole dish or large tupper-ware. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 days.
- To reheat: Remove from fridge 1 hour before baking. Taste and add additional seasonings as needed, or milk, to make sure they are nice and soft. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until warm. You could also reheat them in a saucepan on the stove, or in the microwave.
3. Turkey Gravy
- Make the gravy as directed. Allow it to cool and store it, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- To reheat, pour it into a saucepan and add a couple tablespoons of chicken broth or water to thin it (use your best judgement for how thin/thick you like it). Heat it on medium low heat until warmed through (about 15 minutes).
4. Homemade Rolls
- Make the roll dough, cover and refrigerate overnight. The dough will complete its first rise overnight. In the morning, just follow the recipe, starting with punching down and shaping the dough.
- To freeze homemade rolls, first bake them as instructed and allow them to cool completely. Then put the rolls in a gallon freezer bag and store for up 1 month. When ready to eat, just pull them out of the freezer and allow them to come to room temperature before eating or pop one in the microwave for a few seconds, and serve warm.
5. Traditional Thanksgiving Stuffing
- Prepare the entire stuffing 1 day in advance but don’t bake it (put it in the casserole dish or in a ziplock bag in the refrigerator). This allows the flavors to settle. Before your Thanksgiving meal, bake the stuffing at 35oF for 30 minutes.
Additional (Make-ahead) Thanksgiving Sides:
Sweet Potato Casserole
- Make the filling 1-2 days in advance and smooth into your baking dish. Make the topping and place it in a ziplock bag. When you’re ready to bake it just take it out of the fridge and sprinkle the topping on!
- To make funeral potatoes ahead of time, make the recipe through step 4 when the mixture is spread into a 9×13 inch baking dish. Store covered in the fridge for up to 1 day. Add crushed cornflake topping before baking.
Holiday Cranberry Fruit Salad
- Cut all of your fruit the day before and store it separately. (Be sure to toss the apples really well in lemon juice so that they don’t brown).
Cranberry Fluff Salad
- Make the entire dish the day before and refrigerate overnight.
Apple Cranberry Fruit Salad
- Cook cranberries as directed and refrigerate overnight. Combine other other fruits (not marshmallows) and refrigerate overnight, separately. Stir the two together before serving, adding marshmallows and topping with whipped cream if desired.
Creamy Fruit Salad
- Drain the fruit and combine it in a bowl the night before. Drain the juices in the morning and then add the yogurt, marshmallows and coconut.
- Make entire salad 1 day in advance!
Fresh Cranberry Relish
- Make up to a week in advance and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Make the day before. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Mini Cheese Balls Bites
- Make the day before but don’t place the pretzels in them until you are ready to serve.
Classic Cheese Ball
- This can be made serval days in advance. If you are making this more than one day in advance, wait to put to the nuts on so that they don’t get soft.
Perfect Pie Crust
- Make the dough and flatten it into a disc. Place in a freezer ziplock bag and freeze until the day you make the pie. Remove from the freezer and allow to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before rolling out.
Absolutely Amazing Pumpkin Pie
- Make and bake the day before. Allow to cool completely. Make topping and cover and refrigerate both separately, overnight. Warm topping in the microwave and spoon on top.
Make sure to check out all my PIE Recipes and Thanksgiving Recipes!
Also, don’t miss my list of Leftover Turkey Recipes!