Thanksgiving Table


How To Time The Perfect Thanksgiving Meal

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We are on the countdown to Thanksgiving! No matter how many people you have around your table this year, I think we can all agree we have a lot to be thankful for!

Today we wanted to share with you all a timing guide that we created to help you with both recipe ideas and tips for planning, organizing, and executing your meal! Timing a big holiday meal is an art… Knowing when to start shopping, when to start planning and what week you should have everything dialed by takes experience (and usually a lot of trial and error). Having done many holiday meals, we definitely know a thing or two about when and how to start preparing. Keep scrolling for our best tips and tricks for executing a great meal.


The first week of November: The Turkey

Some of our Thanksgiving holiday gatherings are going to be smaller and have fewer guests, smaller turkey sizes may be in high demand. Make sure to order yours early!

To calculate how much turkey you will need: If your family is going to be a total of (8) people, a 12lb. turkey is the size you would be looking for.

Order your turkey if you are buying fresh or if you have room in your freezer and buying a frozen turkey, this is the time to pick it up.



Shop for most of the items that you need for the holiday.

All your root vegetables, stuffing fixings, and any boxed or canned items that you need can be purchased so you know you have them on hand.


Depending on your table-scape theme this year, it is always good to check to make sure you have any of the essentials in the house or plan to pick them up this week. If you plan on using candles, check to make sure you have them on hand. This is also a great time to order or go pick up anything else you might need.

Serving pieces/china/silver/tablecloth/napkins

If you are planning for a dressier table and are going to use special pieces that need special care, this is the week to plan on getting the pieces ready. Polish the silver if needed, and if you have special crystal or glasses that you have not used in a while, this is the time to give them a fresh wash to remove any dust or film that develops.

If you are going to bring out the linens, this is also a great week to bring them out and iron them if needed. Set everything aside, and it will be ready to go for next week!


If you need fresh greens for a salad and if you ordered a turkey, this is a good day to pick up the balance of your ingredients.


If you are planning on serving soup, this is a great day to make your soup. Soup likes to sit in the fridge, and the flavors have a nice amount of time to meld together to make your Thanksgiving soup the perfect starter for your meal. Need a great soup recipe? Try our Roasted Pumpkin and Apple Soup.


Take a look at your menu, and if you are making any dishes that can be made or prepped ahead of time, this is a good day to try and get as much in as you can. This includes cleaning your turkey so it is prepped and ready to go the next day.



This is the perfect time to get the table ready. If you do need to bring out a leaf, set up your table and get any extra chairs needed set around it. The linens you have ready and go on the table, along with the glasses and flatware. Setting your table on Wednesday night starts to bring the holiday into focus and can be fun for the whole family. With planning and organizing, you might even find there is a little more time to get creative!

This is also a great time to get your bar prepped.

Take one more inventory on Wednesday night exactly what you will be cooking on Thursday and make your plan. Remember, most of us only have one oven so this is where you need to think strategically about what time to make everything.


It’s show time! First and foremost, know your Turkey cook time and generally, you want to start with making sure the bird is done! Here is a handy guide from epicurious. As a general rule, you will need 13 minutes per pound at 350°F for an unstuffed turkey (that’s about 3 hours for a 12- to 14-lb. turkey), or 15 minutes per pound for a stuffed turkey.

Once you have your turkey cook time set, make sure all your other sides are done. Don’t forget to factor in the gravy and your bar setup if you are doing one!


Also, be sure to check out and download our Ultimate Thanksgiving Meal Planner to make sure you don’t forget anything! And don’t forget about what to do after dinner! We have some fun game ideas to keep everyone laughing.


Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy!

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by Camila Alves McConaughey