If you’ve always made Thanksgiving dinner from boxes, mixes and cans but are longing to make foods homemade – from scratch – you’ve come to the right place. Preparing a fresh, homemade Thanksgiving feast is much easier than it seems. With just a little effort, you can get rid of the cans and the mixes, and serve a 100% homemade Thanksgiving meal.
My Complete Thanksgiving Guide has everything you need – including a menu, shopping list, timeline and recipes – to have a successful homemade Thanksgiving dinner.
When planning your homemade Thanksgiving, the first thing you need to do is decide what you’ll be serving. I typically serve the same thing each year – this way I know the recipes I’m using are reliable, the food will be delicious, and I know what foods I can make ahead of time. If you’re looking for some help deciding what to serve, my Thanksgiving Menu and Shopping List can help give you some ideas.
When it comes to the menu, I tend to keep things simple. Turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy stuffing and a few side dishes. My family is not very fond of turkey leftovers, so we don’t go overboard. Instead, we have just a few dishes, made from tried and true recipes that I’ve been using for years.
Once you have your menu set, take a few minutes to think about the flow of the day. What time are you planning dinner? Dessert? How long will you need to roast your turkey? How many dishes can you fit in your oven? This is the Thanksgiving Timeline that I use – and it has helped me get dinner on the table for more than 8 years. And thinking about these things ahead of time will definitely save your sanity on the big day – and will relieve a lot of the stress that cooking for a crowd often causes.