It is possible to put together a Simple Thanksgiving Dinner Menu, cook the whole meal in one day, and have everything taste delicious!
Follow these steps to see how I set up my menu for the day and the timeline that I followed to make sure we had a simple, but tasty Thanksgiving meal!
Step 1: Choose your Thanksgiving dinner recipes
I wanted to keep my Thanksgiving dinner menu very simple so I stuck to the basics. I used some of my own recipes, but many are from other blogs.
- Whole Turkey – Recipe by Tastes Better From Scratch
- For a smaller Thanksgiving I recommend my Slow Cooker Turkey Breast with Gravy or learn How to Roast a Turkey Breast
Gravy – Recipe by Tastes Better From Scratch
- Mashed Potatoes – My recipe for Easy Creamy Mashed Potatoes made in one pot!
- Stuffing – Recipe by The Girl Who Ate Everything
- Cranberry Sauce – Recipe by Erin Lives Whole
- Brussels Sprouts – My recipe for Crispy Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts or this Cheesy Brussels Sprouts recipe
- Charcuterie Board Appetizer – Follow my guide to make an epic charcuterie board! or use this guide to make a Fall Charcuterie Board
To accompanying this simple Thanksgiving dinner menu I asked my guests to please bring alcohol and dessert. If you want to add some other items to your menu I recommend the following:
- Many people like to serve macaroni and cheese at their Thanksgiving tables this One Pot White Cheddar Mac and Cheese is SO creamy and delicious and simple to make.
- Prepare this Apple Cider Sangria for a festive fall cocktail to serve with your appetizers
- For an easy dessert that will be a hit with children try these Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins or this Easy Apple Tart with Caramel Drizzle
Step 2: Gather the Ingredients for your Simple Thanksgiving Dinner Menu
I got our 12.85 lb turkey from Butcher Box. The rest of the ingredients were easy to grab from local grocery stores.
Then, I made sure to double check my ingredients first thing in the morning and sent Amy out with a list of anything that I missed.
Be sure to defrost your turkey a few days prior to cooking! It took our bird about two and a half days in the refrigerator to defrost.
You should allow 24 hours of defrost time per 5 lbs of turkey.
Step 3: Plan it out
Beyond picking my recipes and gathering my ingredients there were a couple of other things that I did to prepare for cooking my simple Thanksgiving dinner.
First, I chose which serving dishes I wanted to assign to each dish. Then, figured out roughly how long it would take to cook each item so that I would have enough oven space and so that the turkey would be cooked in time.
My to do lists are my lifesavers so I made lots of lists to prepare to cook our Thanksgiving dinner. Then, on the actual day I was ready to get down to business and cook!
Step 4: Cook your Thanksgiving Meal
The best way to show you guys how I made this simple Thanksgiving dinner meal is to share my timeline for the day.
8am – Cube the white bread for stuffing and place on a large baking tray. Double check for all ingredients.
8:30am – Pull the turkey out of the refrigerator and double check that it has thawed. Preheat oven to dry out bread for stuffing.
9am – Pop the stuffing in the oven to dry out.
9:30am – Prep the Brussels sprouts.
10am – Roast the Brussels sprouts in the oven
10:30am – Start cooking the mashed potatoes.
12pm – Mashed potatoes are finished. Start prepping stuffing.
12:30pm – Stuffing into the oven.
1:15pm – Start cranberry sauce
1:20pm – Stuffing is finished. Start prepping turkey with herb butter.
1:50pm – Turkey into the oven.
2pm – Cranberry sauce is complete
3:20pm – Tent the turkey breasts with foil. Prepare the charcuterie board and apple cider sangria.
4:50pm – Take the turkey out of the oven to rest.
5pm – Prepare the gravy.
5:30pm – Serve the charcuterie board, apple cider sangria and any other appetizers.
6pm – Carve the turkey.
6:30pm – Reheat the sides in the oven.
7pm – Eat dinner!
Step 5: Enjoy!!!
The last step is pretty simple! Enjoy the meal that you worked on all day.
I hope this helps you plan for a simple and delicious Thanksgiving dinner with loved ones! Remember that its all about giving thanks and spending time with those you love.