• Gabrielle Carlson

Thanksgiving Dinner Guide

Is it your year to host Thanksgiving dinner and you just don’t have the time to plan? Or is it your first year hosting and just don’t know where to begin. I can help.

I have made the entire Thanksgiving meal for the past 16 years, except for one.

That was last year. I came down with the stomach bug the night before Thanksgiving. I tried so hard to muscle through it, but I stayed home for the safety of my guests. I was supposed to make the ENTIRE meal. No one was to bring anything! So, the weight of the meal rested on my husband’s shoulders. You might think the meal would have been an absolute fail. However, due to my “Type A” personality, and attention to detail, Chad and our dear friend Holly, were able to pull off a delicious meal without a hitch.

When Chad left the house, I gave him my notebook of recipes as well as my timeline. He said it was so easy that he really felt like he could cook. Chad is in no way comfortable in the kitchen, yet it was like I was there guiding him the whole way. Today, I am giving you everything I gave him to prepare a meal for your family.

Now, your family is different than mine. That’s ok. I am likely to serve 28 people, give or take this year. So, my recipes will be based on this number. You may have to adjust quantities based on the number of people you expect to attend or the amount of leftovers you want to have. I have doggie bags for my guests, however this year we may not, depends on who comes. My best friend Holly, and I host Thanksgiving at our church hall. We invite a melting pot of people who don’t typically have a place to go on Thanksgiving. That is why my numbers can change.

Not sure how much to cook? The Love + Marriage Blog has a wonderful chart that can help you decide how much you need. Once, you have your inventory of cooking devices, and the number of guests you can begin to plan what to cook.

Things to Consider

I have access to 4 ovens the day of Thanksgiving, a luxury most people don’t have.

Take an inventory of what cooking contraptions you may have. This may include your oven (how much can you fit in it), your grill, smokers, crockpots, instapots, and stovetops. When cooking at home I have used a myriad of devices to get dinner out on time. Remember, I live in 264 sq feet and I have made an entire Thanksgiving meal for my family in it. IT CAN BE DONE!!

I like to have all of my recipes and my timeline printed out and placed in a notebook. If someone asks to help, I can refer to the timeline to see what is next, find the recipe to hand to them to work on by themselves. Taping the timeline to a cabinet stops you from losing it, literally and figuratively.

Below, I have a few pdfs for you to download. I have my timeline, my shopping list and my recipes. If you see that a couple of the recipes are not right for you, simply cross that off on your timeline and enjoy a break instead or fill it with something else. If this is all just too much, and you like some of the recipes, simply download the individual recipes.

Either way, Thanksgiving should not be stressful!! Love the people you are with and enjoy your time with them. Who cares if its burnt, or if dinner is at 10pm because the turkey wasn’t fully cooked. Those Thanksgivings tend to be the most memorable. Enjoy!

Our Thanksgiving Menu

Photo: Home Inspiration Ideas

You ready to get started? Click here to see all the recipes, timeline, and shopping list!

By the way, be sure to tag @lethem_eat with your creations and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

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