Hosting Thanksgiving this year? Okay, deep breathe. It’s never too early to start thinking about the season’s biggest meal and we’re here to help. No, you don’t need to start pre-heating the oven just yet, but you can use these early weeks of November to get your Turkey Day plan prepped.
Check back into our Happenings blog each week for your essential next steps.
What you can do now…
- Draft your guest list and start inviting folks!
Ask about special diet restrictions and make requests for what to bring. If you’re doing a potluck-style meal, create a sign-up sheet so you don’t end up with 10 pies to go with your turkey.
- Start taking inventory of the pantry and cupboards.
What do you have and what do you need? Check that you have enough plates and silverware, extra seats, placemats, special platters, serving dishes and more.
- Stock up on essentials now.
While shopping for your usual weekly fare, grab some cranberries, extra cans of pumpkin and other easy-to-store essentials. This way you don’t have to worry about tracking these down when supplies dwindle.
- Place any special orders now.
Pre-order that farm-fresh turkey, special flower arrangement, fancy pies and bread from your favorite bakery and more.
- Recruit the kids (big and little) for some fun.
Before crunch time really hits, gather the family this weekend to help start planning decorations. Head outside to find acorns, leaves and pine cones or pick up stuff at the local craft store to create a DIY centerpiece, personalized place mats or sideboard decorations.
- Create a test kitchen.
Are there any special dishes you’re dying to try this year? Start asking for special requests and begin your recipe hunt. (We’ve got 7,000+ Thanksgiving recipes to aid your search!) Cook up a few new dishes and test them out on the family this weekend.
Now is the time for getting creative…
Why not create a wish list of your ideal feast? Do you want a themed dinner or to go potluck-style? Get inspired by checking out what our members have done in years past.
200+ Thanksgiving Menus
Our members have collected their best recipes for Turkey Day into helpful menus. Check out these gems:
- Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner: Corn Maiden has plotted her perfect classic meal.
- A Small Family Thanksgiving: “Tried and true favorites for a family gathering” -HeatherFeather
- The Pantry Thanksgiving: Duonyte challenged herself to skip the store and cook from the pantry.
- Tropical Thanksgiving: “A colorful meal great for 75 degree sunny weather!” –FLKeysJen
- Cruelty-Free Thanksgiving: Spare the turkey and feed a vegetarian crew.
- Thanksgiving Breakfast: No need to starve till dinner!
- Food.com’s Ultimate Thanksgiving Meal: Try our highest-rated dishes for an unbeatable spread.
From the Forums: “What are your Thanksgiving ‘musts’?”
Allyoop asks: “I’m looking for new ideas — what is it that ‘must’ appear on your Thanksgiving table? Love to hear your traditions and all recipes are welcomed.” Check out the suggestions and add your own!
We’ve Got the Apps for That
Even if you make the same dishes year after year, there’s one place for wiggle room: appetizers! Keep guests satisfied till the bird’s debut with these top-rated nibblers that we’ve handpicked.
All Things Thanksgiving
Our one-stop shop has every recipe you need to make your Thanksgiving meal a delicious success.
Your Thanksgiving Traditions
Everyone has their own way to celebrate. Here are some our members have shared:
“We don’t do the traditional Thanksgiving meal. We each pick a food item we are grateful for and that is what we cook. My hubby is thankful for rib eyes, one of our sons (we have 4) is thankful for snow crab legs, another mac and cheese and I am thankful for clams!!” -Jenny Lund-Watson, via Facebook.com/food
“My husband and I have a ‘traditional for us’ seafood dinner on Thanksgiving. We get lobster tails, shrimp, whatever we find fresh in the store that looks good.” -DeeVaFoodie
“We eat lasagna. Every year. No matter what. Sometimes there’s turkey too, or maybe ham, but ALWAYS lasagna. I guess if you aren’t Italian that might seem wierd, but hey…your family might love it.” -chiclet
TELL US: What is your family’s Thanksgiving tradition? Let us know in the comments below!