Thanksgiving is so much more enjoyable when you can host the feast without the stress, so start early and check out our Thanksgiving menu tips below to keep things organized. Once you’ve got a plan in mind, head over to our Thanksgiving dinner menu for some serious inspiration. Here you’ll find everything from family-pleasing appetizers to turkey how-tos and turkey recipes to new and traditional favorites for the Thanksgiving dessert table.
Planning and preparation are the two P's that are key to a perfect Thanksgiving. Check out The Countdown page that will help you create a timetable, starting a month out. It includes tips on purchasing the bird, shopping for shelf-stable items, table set-up and decorating, and great make-ahead foods. It will keep your grocery lists smaller and easier to manage - and your mind more organized! - as the holiday approaches.
Preparing the entire meal may seem a little overwhelming. Consider handling the main items (turkey, mashed potatoes and green beans) and ask your guests to bring a side or dessert to round out the meal. You can even suggest a few recipes, such as: Cheesy Stuffed Butternut Squash, Carrot & Parsnip Gratin, Watergate Salad, Cider-Glazed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Almonds or Apple-Pecan Cheesecake.
Though many guests offer to bring a dessert, you should have a few of your own Thanksgiving desserts lined up. Some are considered essential to the occasion (pumpkin pie and apple pie come to mind), and you might also include something unexpected (like chocolatey peanut butter pie) or over-the-top awesome. (Four words: Luscious Four-Layer Pumpkin Cake.) Luckily, many are make-ahead desserts. For more ideas, take a look at our Thanksgiving Dessert Tips.
Simple garnishes can take your Thanksgiving table from everyday to elegant. Here are a few easy ideas: