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Thanksgiving Menu and Timeline

Whether or not we stay home for Thanksgiving, we always make our own feast, too. I love to cook once & eat for a week! Here is our normal Thanksgiving menu — a mix of store-bought & homemade so I can be thankful & not stressed.

Traditional Thanksgiving Day Menu


Snacky Lunch

  • meats
  • cheese
  • crackers
  • pickles
  • olives
  • spinach/artichoke dip or rotel dip or bean dip
  • grapes
  • apple slices (w/caramel)


  • Small turkey
  • Ham
  • Sister Schubert dinner rolls or crescent rolls
  • Cranberry relish (We love Meijer’s!)
  • Squash
  • Green beans w/bacon
  • Corn
  • sweet potatoes
  • stuffing (from a box)
  • Mashed potatoes & gravy
  • sparkling juice
  • Pumpkin pie (w/coconut milk)
  • whipped cream
  • Apple pie

Cooking a meal this big could be a big deal. After being a homemaker for 7 years, I have timing pretty well figured out. Here are my tasks for each day, including appliance utilization for the big day. The items are also in order of what to start first.



The Week Before Thanksgiving

  • If you have bought a frozen turkey, it better be in the fridge by now!


  • make pumpkin purée unless you are using canned pumpkin for the pumpkin pie (or buying it).


  • put together breakfast casseroles
  • make pumpkin pie



AM: breakfast casserole (350 for 60 minutes)

Noon: spinach/artichoke dip, rotel dip, or bean dip


  • 13 lb Turkey (325 for ~3 hrs)
  • ham near end (325 for 1-1/2 hrs)
  • rolls (375 for 10-12 minutes)
  • apple pie (450-350 for 40-45 minutes)


  • Acorn squash


  • mashed potatoes (large pot)
  • green beans w/bacon from turkey breast (frying pan)
  • gravy (turkey pan)
  • stuffing (medium pot)
  • corn (small pot)


If you want to make day-of cooking easier, you can make the mashed potatoes earlier in the week (or day) and simply add milk & reheat.

Also, the ham & rolls can finish while the turkey is being carved & the gravy is being made.


I hope that this plan & timeline might give you an idea of how to get everything done around the same time for your big Thanksgiving feast.

Do you have to make an elaborate plan and list like me, or are you successful at shooting from the hip?

Jen S.

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