My love language is cooking, cooking an entire Thanksgiving dinner from scratch. Well, outside the fried onions for the top of the green bean casserole, which I still buy. I don’t care to speed up the process up or cut corners. I want this meal to be made with so much love you can taste it. Thanksgiving is my Christmas and my Super Bowl. However, cooking a whole Thanksgiving from scratch can feel overwhelming. Over the years, I’ve broken down the meal into several days of prep to make it mentally and physically manageable. I have a pennant on my wall that says—good things take time. When it comes to Thanksgiving, good things take time and a bit of planning. So I made you (and myself) a Thanksgiving Cooking Schedule.
Being able to confidently break apart components of a recipe to prep in advance will make you an efficient cook on more days than just Thanksgiving. This schedule will teach you how to do that for the big day and for the everyday. It’s my secret weapon to getting dinner on the table during the week. (You can cook to that same rhythm using my book.) Below is the menu I’ll be making this year. Use this schedule as a guide to create your Thanksgiving Cooking Schedule. More often than not, sautés, chopping, and some sauces can be prepped in advance.
Maple Pumpkin Pie + Whipped Cream
Thanksgiving Cooking Schedule
ONE-TWO WEEKS BEFORE
Make a menu.
Make grocery list, dividing into 2 lists: highly perishable items (fresh bread, kale, and fresh herbs) and semi-perishable items (like cranberries, butter, sugar pumpkins, and potatoes).
Shop for semi-perishable items.
Shop for highly perishable items.
Make cranberry sauce.
Steam + puree pumpkin for pumpkin pie.
Make cream sauce for green bean casserole.
Boil green beans for green bean casserole.
Make pie crust.
Sauté veggies for stuffing.
Cube bread for stuffing.
THURSDAY (THE BIG DAY)
Assemble green bean casserole.
Just before the meal:
Bake green bean casserole.
Steam or boil potatoes.
Make mashed potatoes.