2 Weeks Before:
- Confirm the guest list and finalize your recipes. If any of your guests will be bringing specific dishes on Thanksgiving, confirm that as well.
- Make 2 shopping lists, one for perishables like produce and one for non-perishables like spices, frozen foods, and canned goods.
1 Week Before:
- Make room for your ingredients in the fridge and freezer. (This is also a great excuse to give your fridge a once-over and clean it out).
- Buy your non-perishables and frozen turkey, if you're using a frozen turkey. You'll need all that room in the fridge and freezer you just made.
3 Days Before:
- Buy your perishables and fresh turkey, if you're using a fresh turkey.
- If you already purchased a frozen turkey, start thawing it in the fridge. Estimate 1 day of thawing per 5 pounds of turkey.
2 Days Before:
- Make your desserts. Refrigerate frosted, uncut cakes and fruit pies in airtight containers, like this vegan chocolate tart.
1 Day Before:
- Make any side dishes that can be reheated or served cold or at room temperature, like this mushroom croissant stuffing.
- Take the turkey out of the refrigerator 1 hour before roasting.
- Let any refrigerated cakes and pies come up to room temperature in an out-of-the-way location.
- Roast your turkey.
- Estimate 15 minutes per pound at 350 degrees F.
- The turkey’s done when a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh and breast reaches 165 degrees F.
- Let the turkey rest, loosely covered with foil, for 30 minutes to keep the meat juicy.
- While the turkey roasts:
- Make any additional sides, like salads.
- Ask the guests to help set the table and set out any pre-meal appetizers.
- While the turkey rests, reheat your sides and make gravy.
How big of a turkey should I buy?
If you want to send guests home with leftovers, 1 ½ pounds per person. If you don’t want leftovers, 1 pound per person.
What do I do if the turkey is underdone?
Cover the breast loosely with foil to prevent the skin from burning and continue to roast, checking the temperature until it reaches 165 degrees. (Tip: a probe thermometer will let you keep a constant eye on the interior temperature of the bird.)
What do I do if the turkey is overdone?
Slice the breast and soak in warm broth to re-moisten. Serve with extra gravy.
Check out our Thanksgiving recipes to help you plan a delicious meal!