Thanksgiving Meal Prep Timeline
10 days before Thanksgiving
- Determine your menu* and delegate dishes to guests (Menu below).
- Clean out the refrigerator to make room for extra food.
- Purchase your turkey. If frozen, put the turkey in the refrigerator to thaw. This will take about 5 days. Never thaw a turkey at room temperature on the counter.
Friday or Saturday before Thanksgiving
- Purchase groceries
- Sunday before Thanksgiving
- Prepare dry brine for turkey and coat the turkey with the herbed salt mixture. If using a different brine, prepare the brine and make sure it is cool. Place in a container large enough for both the turkey and the brine. Refrigerate the brine and the bird. Follow directions for the brine method you choose.
- Make pie crust; store wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator.
- Make Cranberry Sauce; store in the refrigerator.
- Assemble tableware, regardless of type, candles and centerpieces. Get out serving/baking dishes and label them all with post-it notes.
- Purchase last minute fresh ingredients needed and wine, if serving.
- Make the roll dough. Allow one rise then punch it down and cover with plastic wrap then foil; store in the refrigerator.
- Bake two pans of Buttermilk Cornbread. Store covered in foil in refrigerator until ready to make into dressing.
- Make Pecan Pie. Store at room temperature covered with plastic wrap.
- Make the Cornbread dressing. Place in baking pan and store in the fridge covered in plastic wrap.
- Peel potatoes and cut into chunks. Store in a large container completely covered in water.
- Make Sweet Potatoes and place into baking pan- all but the marshmallows. Store covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator.
- If dry brining, uncover turkey and allow to sit overnight in the refrigerator.
- Make pumpkin pie. Store in refrigerator covered with plastic wrap.
- Set the table.
Thursday- Thanksgiving Day
4-5 hours before serving:
Remove turkey to counter to come to room temperature
- Bake rolls till just beginning to brown. Remove from oven to cool. Reheat and brown before serving.
3 hours before:
- Preheat oven for turkey
2.5 hours before:
- Bake turkey
- Make Cole Slaw and refrigerate.
2 hours before:
- Make mashed potatoes; place in a low oven (200 degrees) or crock pot to keep warm.
1 hour before:
- Remove turkey and tent with foil.
- Bake Dressing
- Make Gravy
- Make Green Beans
- Whip the cream; refrigerate.
- 30 minutes before: Carve turkey
- Brown rolls; brush with soft butter.
- Uncork and decant wine
Sweet Potato Casserole
Rolls & Butter