{Tips & Tricks} Preparing for Thanksgiving + Recipe Roundup

Whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner for the first time or you are a seasoned veteran, preparing for the big feast can be overwhelming to say the least. With so many ingredients, varying cook times and tricky techniques, it takes a lot of planning and preparation in order to put together a successful dinner that leaves your family and friends with smiles on their faces and bellies full of all the flavors of the season.

With less than a week until the big day, now is the perfect time to start putting together your menu. With the help of many wonderful food bloggers, I’ve compiled a list of some amazing dishes that would have your family and friends begging for seconds…and maybe even thirds.


Main Dishes

Side Dishes


It’s important to remember that Thanksgiving is a day to spend time with loved ones…and not the entire day in the kitchen. By writing down your menu, shopping well in advance, preparing dishes ahead of time and creating a cook schedule, you’ll be able to enjoy a stress-free Thanksgiving. Here are some helpful links to help you plan and prepare a successful Thanksgiving feast:

  • Preparing the Menu: The theme of the day is enjoying time with family and friends and to express thankfulness and gratitude. By following these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy stress-free time in the kitchen and more time with loved ones.
  • Following the Thanksgiving Guide: Knowing that this holiday can be stressful for the hostess with the mostest, Mandi from Life…Your Way put together this fantastic Thanksgiving Your Way eBook complete with 64 pages of ideas and recipes to help make Thanksgiving less stressful and more enjoyable. In a collaboration of more than 15 bloggers, this eBook is filled with family traditions and activities, dinner recipes, pies and other dessert recipes, decorating ideas and even printables to help keep the planning organized.
  • Thawing a Turkey: Unfortunately, you can’t just run to the store the morning of Thanksgiving, buy a frozen turkey and immediately throw it in the roasting pan in the oven. This post is filled with tips on how to thaw a turkey safely.
  • Setting the Table: With some very special holidays right around the corner, you might be hosting a few social gatherings at your house. One of the most feared tasks to do when planning a dinner party is setting the table. Many people initially think that properly setting the table is extremely difficult and oftentimes tricky. I’m here to show you that it’s not with these simple guidelines.
  • Freezing the Leftovers: If you find yourself surrounded by a ton of leftovers, it might be a good idea to freeze the food in order to keep it safe from bacteria so that you can enjoy it in the days ahead.

What are some of your favorite tips that you use when preparing for the Thanksgiving feast?

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    1. LOVE this post!! Thanks for including some of my recipes, too. :-) I can't wait to try so many things from this list this Thanksgiving, and for future get-togethers as well!!

    2. Great post – thanks for including my stuffed pumpkin post! Here's one of my favorite tips – make your mashed potatoes ahead of time and keep them warm in a slow cooker on low.

    3. I love this idea for Thanksgiving dinner: have a potluck! Family and friends who live locally can bring over their favorite dish(es) to pass. It saves the host time, money, energy and the bonus part is that every dish served is someone's best dish. Have categories for appetizers, vegetables, stuffing, potatoes, desserts and let people have fun with it. **Have extra tupperware/ziplock bags on hand so that every guest gets to leave with some leftovers.

    4. Wow, I am going to have to stop here for a while to take a look at all of the awesome links for the recipes.
      I have my menu pretty much ready to go for thanksgiving but this post may make me change some of the dishes already chosen :-) Thanks

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