Spread out the work over a week or more, and you'll be cool and collected on Thanksgiving day.
Some Thanksgiving menus require so much last-minute juggling, it takes a master choreographer to get the timing right. But this menu lets you do plenty of prep in advance, so you’re actually slowing down the pace as the zero hour approaches, and you can relax and enjoy dinner with your guests.
Three of the dishes—the cranberry sauce, crackers, and dessert—can be made before the big day even arrives, while the stuffing and gravy get significant prep the day before. We’ve also picked vegetable side dishes that can be made ahead and either reheated or held over hot water to keep warm. Finally, our trick of “dry-brining” the turkey in the refrigerator creates a well-browned skin and the nicely seasoned flavor of a wet-brined turkey, but without the hassle.
Running out of time? Visit our Guide to Thanksgiving Dinner for last-minute ideas and hundreds of recipes for turkey, sides, and pies. You can even pull together a menu in minutes, print a complete shopping list and timeline, and email your guests with a heads up.
Download a pdf of this menu, including all recipes, shopping list and timeline.