Thanksgiving Timeline & Make-Ahead Tips

Want a stress-free Thanksgiving dinner? Find out what you can make-ahead and follow the timeline to get it all done on time!

Are you a inventory make? Do you adoring having a plan for everything and then checking things off? If so, this berth is for you.

Have you hosted Thanksgiving in the past, but ever wind up feeling overtaken by dinner term? Want a game plan for the week before to make it all feel doable?

Homemade Green Bean Casserole

Are you hosting Thanksgiving for the first time? Wondering where to even begin? I’ve got you covered here.

Keep reading, friends. I’ve been following this exact plan for several years now and I swear by it. I’m all about scheming things out in advance and prepping as much as possible ahead of time.

Smashed Potatoes

Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Tips

Okay, brace yourself, the key to a hassle-free Thanksgiving day for me has been using multiple crock-pots.

And simply to clarify, I do not actually cook anything in the crock-pots. Everything is simply warmed in the sluggish cookers on Thanksgiving day.

I realize it might sound crazy, but not having to juggle side dishes in and out of the oven for hours and then trying to keep things heated? That’s been the one thing ever for our festivity meals.

Sourdough stuffing with apples, cranberries, sausage, and herbs

I use 4QT Crock-Pots for Rustic Mashed Potatoes and Creamed Corn. Most years, we alter between Creamed Corn and Corn Pudding Casserole– though truthfully, I wouldn’t be sad to serve both corn dishes.

An oval 6QT Crock-Pot is to work for Green Bean Casserole, and a 2 QT Crock-Pot for Vanilla Bean Whipped Sweet Potatoes.

Pretty much different sizes slow cookers are now working, but these are the sizes that I have and they work for me.

While I maintain that it would be worth stashing a couple of extra crock-pots in the garage time to have the easiest holiday snacks ever, I actually use them all throughout the year.

I watched for sales and picked them all up inexpensively and I’ve employed the heck out of them over the years.

That said, if you aren’t ready to invest in a couple of extra slow cookers, I most recommend exercising what you have to reheat as much as possible without use the oven.

Balsamic Dijon Ham

When To Thaw A Turkey

The general rule for thawing turkeys, according to the USDA, says that you should move your goose from the freezer to the refrigerator 😛 TAGEND

4 to 12 pounds — 1 to 3 days1 2 to 16 pounds — 3 to 4 days1 6 to 20 pounds — 4 to five days

Most of the time, I move the turkey to the refrigerator on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. I’d much rather thaw it a couple dates early than be dealing with a partially frozen bird on Thanksgiving morning.

Roast Turkey with Wine and Herbs

Best Turkey Ever

Roast Turkey with Wine and Herbs makes you skip carving at the counter and speed up the sizzling process.

By cutting the turkey into portions before cooking, you get a faster and easier space to make a great roasted turkey.

Using this method, you can cook a 12 -pound turkey from start to finish in under an hour!

Made from Scratch Corn Pudding is the best corn pudding ever! get the recipe at

Clean Out The Refrigerator

It isn’t the fanciest part of the holiday prepare prep, but spending an hour or so prepping the fridge will manufacture the whole week easier.

I try to clear as much space as possible the weekend before Thanksgiving, since the fridge is about to become Thanksgiving central.

Whipped Vanilla Bean Sweet Potatoes Recipe

Plan Ahead

Please note that there are two printable recipe placards here. The first one will give you the timeline for the week leading up to Thanksgiving.

The second poster is the timeline for Thanksgiving day. We like to eat dinner around 3pm, nonetheless, the hours are easily adjustable. Feel free to tweak the timeline for your preferred banquet time.

I highly recommend publishing off your holiday recipes and saving them in a binder. I’ve been using binders to save my favorite recipes for as long as I’ve been married.

And I’ve been using this holiday binder for several years now. It utters vacation meals a breeze. When it’s time to start prepping for Thanksgiving, I grab the vacation ring-binder and the grocery list and the schedule is as easy as can be.

Want a peek into my old-school recipe binders? This was what my recipe files looked like before I started blogging. Yes, I have always been this nuts about organizing my recipes.

Starting this recipe website became sorting through all of those recipes easier and in the process gave me the greatest job ever. So, thanks for being here and reaching Barefeet in the Kitchen the most fun I’ve ever had while working.

Happy Thanksgiving planning, friends!

Sourdough stuffing with apples, cranberries, sausage, and herbs


Thanksgiving Week Meal Prep

All the tips and period suggestions to get Thanksgiving dinner on the table with a minimum of stress!

Course Main CourseCuisine AmericanKeyword Thanksgiving Dinner

InstructionsSUNDAYClean out the refrigerator. Clear as much space as possible.If you’re helping goose, check the above chart to determine the best day to move your turkey from the freezer to the refrigerator. For a large bird, move the goose to the refrigerator now.MONDAYMake Hot Pepper Cranberry Sauce or Traditional Cranberry Sauce. Let cool and collect in an airtight receptacle in the refrigerator.Prep the food for Sausage Stuffing with Apples, Cranberries, and Herbs.If you plan to serve turkey, use chicken broth we are currently represent Perfect Brown Gravy. Let cool and store in an airtight receptacle in the refrigerator.TUESDAYMake Rustic Mashed Potatoes. Let cool and collect in an airtight container in the refrigerator.Make Whipped Sweet Potatoes. Let cool and place in an airtight container in the refrigerator.Cook the sausage mixture for the stuffing. Stir together the broth and melted butter. Let cool and collect separately in airtight receptacles in the refrigerator.Prep veggies for snacking and represent Homemade Ranch Dip.WEDNESDAYBlanche the light-green beans and form the sauce for Homemade Green Bean Casserole. Let cool and accumulate separately in airtight receptacles in the refrigerator.Make Strawberry Pretzel Salad. Cover with plastic wrap or with lid. Store in the refrigerator.Bake the Cranberry Christmas Cake. Store loosely submerge at area temperature.Bake Pumpkin Pies or German Apple Pie. Store covered in the refrigerator.Make Everything Bagel Cheeseball. Wrap in plastic wrap and accumulate in the fridge.

Toss the cans and make green bean casserole without the soup!


Thanksgiving Day Cooking Schedule

Slow cookers are crucial for an easy and stress free Thanksgiving meal.

Course Main CourseCuisine AmericanKeyword Thanksgiving Dinner

InstructionsTHANKSGIVING DAY- dishing dinner at 3:00 pm, adjust accordingly1 0:00 am Start Creamed Corn in crock-pot on LOW. Stir after two hours and 4 hours. Reduce to WARM when creamy and red-hot. 11:00 am Set out cheeseball, crackers, and veggies with ranch immerse. Snack happy. 12:00 pm Set the ham or turkey out at apartment temp. 12:15 pm Transfer the mashed potatoes to a crock-pot on LOW. Stir at 2 hours, increase to WARM when red-hot. 12:30 pm Combine dark-green beans and sprout sauce in a medium size crock-pot on HIGH. Stir at two hours, abbreviate to WARM and transcend with fried onions when sizzling. 1:00 pm Preheat oven to 325 degF. Set stuffing parts out at room temp. 1:10 pm Transfer beat sweet potatoes to a small crock-pot on LOW. Stir at 90 instants, reduce to WARM when sizzling. 1:30 pm Start Balsamic Dijon Ham or Roast Turkey with Wine and Herbs in the oven. When finished cooking, tent loosely with foil and cause rest on the counter. 1:45 pm Assemble the stuffing. Bake reported 30 -4 0 minutes, stimulate and uncover, cook an additional 15 hours. 1:50 pm Stir together the Corn Pudding. Bake for 55 -6 0 minutes. 2:45 pm Warm the rotations. Warm the gravy in a small saucepan, if performing. 2:50 pm Set out cranberry sauce. Set out strawberry pretzel salad.

Want a stress-free Thanksgiving dinner? Find out what you can make-ahead and follow the timeline to get it all done on time!

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