Thanksgiving Day Feast

Monster ThanksGiving Dinner Recipe from

Easy Menu

Keep it simple and classic 


Advanced Menu

Add new twists to the traditional meal

  •   Store-bought rolls or bread

Game Plan for Easy Menu

The trickiest part of preparing a holiday meal is the timing. The key is to make as many items ahead of time as you can, and reheat them on Thanksgiving Day.
One to Two Weeks Ahead:

  • Make a shopping list; beat the holiday rush
  • Make and freeze Yummy Yam Casserole (omit topping)

Two Days Before Thanksgiving:

  • Place turkey in refrigerator to thaw (birds larger than 12 lbs. will require 3 days to thaw)
  • Make cranberry sauce
  • Bake pecan bars. Cool completely; slice bars. Store tightly covered with plastic wrap in a cool, dry place.

Day Before:

  • Toast almonds for green beans in ungreased skillet over med. heat until golden and fragrant. Transfer to a bowl or lidded container. Cook bacon for green beans, if using; crumble and mix with toasted almonds & refrigerate.
  • Make mashed potatoes; store in the refrigerator
  • Make stuffing; store in the refrigerator
  • Prepare Pumpkin Cream Pie
  • Set the dining room table. Include serving dishes for gravy, dinner rolls, butter, and green beans, plus serving utensils.

Night Before:

  • Place Yam Casserole in the fridge to thaw
  • Chop onion for Jazzed up Gravy; sauté with herbs as directed. Add to prepared gravy; store jar or container in fridge.

Thanksgiving Morning:

  • Remove an oven rack, if necessary. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Roast turkey as directed. Remove from oven and let stand for 30 minutes before carving.
  • Add pecan topping to yam casserole.

An hour before dinner:

  • Increase oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Replace oven rack. Bake the mashed potatoes, the stuffing, and the yam casserole.

Half an hour before dinner:

  • Wrap dinner rolls in foil. Place in oven to heat.
  • Warm gravy in saucepan over medium-low heat.
  • Melt butter for green beans in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Cook beans until tender. Stir in almonds and crumbled bacon and cook until heated through.

Finishing Touches:

  • Transfer gravy, rolls and green beans into serving bowls.
  • Carve the turkey and arrange meat on a warmed platter.

Game Plan for Advanced Menu

One to Two Weeks Before:

  • Make a shopping list; beat the holiday rush
  • Make dinner rolls; proof for twenty minutes, then freeze. When firm, transfer rolls to plastic freezer bag.
  • Make pastry for pecan pie (use recipe of your choice). Chill dough, then roll out and line a nine-inch pie shell. Freeze until firm. Wrap frozen dough and pan with plastic wrap and store in the freezer.

Three Days Before:

  • Thaw turkey in refrigerator
  • Prepare and bake cheesecake crust; cool and wrap with plastic wrap. Store at room temperature in a cool, dry place.

Two Days Before:

  • Make chutney
  • Cube bread for stuffing: use a mix of multigrain, rye, and country white bread for Old-Fashioned Stuffing, or make pumpkin bread for Ibby’s Pumpkin-Mushroom Stuffing
  • Bake pie shell (see Perfect Pie Crusts for instructions on blind baking). Cool and wrap with plastic wrap. Store at room temperature in a cool, dry place.

Day Before:

  • Remove giblets and neck from turkey cavity
  • Brine turkey
  • Make stock out of turkey neck and giblets (do not use the liver for making stock, as it can make broth bitter), celery, onion, carrot and aromatics
  • Bake cheesecake
  • Bake pecan pie
  • Prep veggies for roasting
  • Toast pine nuts and cook bacon for Brussels Sprouts; store in refrigerator
  • Make stuffing

Night Before:

  • If you have room in the fridge, arrange frozen dinner rolls on sheet pan and thaw overnight in the refrigerator. (Otherwise, thaw at room temperature on Thanksgiving morning.)
  • Set the dining room table. Include serving dishes for gravy, dinner rolls, butter, and side dishes, plus serving utensils.

Thanksgiving Morning:

  • Brush dinner rolls with egg wash
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake rolls and stuffing.
  • Light coals; prep grill
  • Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees F and roast vegetables
  • Grill turkey

One hour before dinner:

  • Make mashed potatoes. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and rest bowl over pan of simmering water to keep warm.

Half an hour before dinner:

  • Collect drippings from roasting pan under turkey. Make gravy.
  • Prepare Brussels sprouts
  • Keep stuffing and roasted vegetables warm in a 300 degree F oven.
  • Wrap rolls in foil and warm in oven, if desired

Perfect Pairs Wines for Thanksgiving

Red Wines

Try lighter reds with a bit of acid and some fruitiness.

Beaujolais (gamay): A light, food-friendly red that you can serve just slightly chilled.

Oregon Pinot Noir or French Burgundy: Earthy, fruity Pinots often work well with the meal’s many competing and contrasting flavors.

Italian Reds: Like Pinot Noir, Chianti can have an earthy quality and a good amount of food-friendly acidity, which makes it a terrific Thanksgiving wine. It’s not just for pasta anymore! The same goes for Barbera from Piedmont. Excellent, versatile food wines.

Zinfandel: Fruity Zinfandel shows many personalities; it’s also an American original, and so a fitting choice for America’s favorite feast. Choose a lighter style that’s not booming with alcohol.

White Wines

Chardonnay: The Thanksgiving table is loaded with rich food. It’s the right time to break out a rich, round California Chardonnay with ripe fruit balanced out by refreshing acidity.

Riesling: This is a tremendous, often overlooked food wine. With all the flavors competing for attention, dry Riesling’s acidity and slight touch of sweetness should complement them all.

Champagne/Sparkling wine: Often forgotten once the toasting’s done, Champagne and sparkling wines can be a fun alternative for dinner. You might pop a bottle before dinner and find that you’re enjoying it clear through to dessert. Try a fruity rosé sparkling wine.

Sauvignon Blanc: This wine’s lively acidity and herbal characteristics make it a great choice for Thanksgiving dinner.

Red or White? Why Not Both?

For traditional thanksgiving meals, it need not be an either/or situation. Sometimes the best choice is to offer both red and white and let the guests choose for themselves. Sometimes it pays to place a couple glasses at each guest’s table setting. He or she can try a splash of white here, a sip of red there, comparing and contrasting before settling on a favorite. Offering a few choices can also make for fun conversation.



About anisesmith

I have a Masters Degree in Internet Marketing from Full Sail University. I am a Marketing & Social Media College Instructor, Course Developer, Digital Webinar Developer and Social Media Strategist. My Marketing experience consists of, Pharmaceutical, Healthcare Content, Direct Response, Mobile, Email and Digital. I am also proficient with Augmented Reality,Web Analytics, Print and Promotional Products. I have a special interest in NFC (Near Field Communications), Virtual Worlds and the Semantic Web because I believe these technologies are the wave of the future. Proficient in: Microsoft Office Suite, Basecamp, Moodle [LMS], Constant Contact, WordPress, basic HTML, iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand, Key Note, ScreenFlow and Google Analytics. Demonstrated knowledge in: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Flickr, Instagram, Buffer, Triberr, Pheed, Tumblr, Vine, FourSquare, Slideshare, Layar, Tailwind, Houzz, Second Life and other related platforms. When I am not online I am a rabid Philadelphia EAGLES Fan, closet Foodie and mom to a miniature male version of myself.

Posted on November 16, 2011, in Holiday, Turkey. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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