Ultimate Thanksgiving Meal Planning Tips

We are officially ten days out from Thanksgiving, so we know everyone is getting all of their plans finalized. If you still feel behind on this season’s holiday cooking, this post is for you! We are sharing some of our top tips for Thanksgiving. We hope these can help you out along your Thanksgiving prep.

Plan Ahead

We know we say this a lot, but it’s because planning out your meal is the biggest tip we can offer. If you don’t have a plan, then you plan to fail. This is your complete roadmap, so it super necessary!

Have Helpers

The holidays are all about spending time together with family and/or friends. This means you should have the ability to have helpers for cooking together or to bring dishes to the meal. Ideally you will not need to do everything by yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and don’t be afraid to delegate tasks to your helpers.

Plan Your Shopping Early

Holiday shopping gets crazy as it gets closer to Thanksgiving Day, so plan your shopping in advance. This allows for more probability of all your items being in stock and it offers time to pick things up somewhere else if necessary.

Make Ahead Recipes

Something that is great about most of the side dishes for Thanksgiving is that they are very easy to make ahead and just reheat the day of. This gives you more time to focus on your main entree and spending time enjoying the day with family.

One Pot Dishes

Casseroles are a great example of one pot dishes that are big staples for Thanksgiving. They are popular dishes to utilize since they are easy to make ahead, and they make less mess with dishes since they are made in one.

Utilize Your Crockpots

Whether to cook some of your sides or as part of your buffet, crockpots are super helpful for holiday meals. Not only can you use your crockpot to cook some of your sides, but you can also have them set along your buffet as hot spots for serving.

Prep Ingredients and Items Ahead

This can be very helpful for saving time for your day of cooking. For example, having your onions, celery and aromatics cut and prepped ahead of time for your stuffing allows you to spend less time prepping the day of and immediately jumping into the cooking process. This can also be done by buying precut items at the grocery store. (While that is not a tip we would recommend every day, Thanksgiving is an exception as it is so busy.)

Have a Schedule

Scheduling your time out on what needs to be done, when and how are what will keep you on track during your prep and day of cooking. Timing of items in the oven will be the biggest space that you will need this for.

Stay Safe

With plenty of guests in your house (probably some of those being kids), it’s important to remember safety in the kitchen. Pay attention to your surroundings and who may be nearby. Make sure to communicate when things may be hot, sharp or moving around the kitchen. Also remember your cooking temperatures, so that you are making sure that everything is cooked through and safe to eat.

Enjoy the Process

Have fun! We get it, holiday cooking can feel stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Focus on enjoying the day and not sweating it if things don’t go exactly as planned.

If you haven’t joined our Facebook group Meal Planning for Busy Parents yet, please check it out HERE. That is where you can find our community and easily chat with us. We also go live every Friday to answer your questions and talk about all kinds of cooking and meal planning topics. We’ll see you tomorrow!

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