Photo of thanksgiving dinner.

Countdown To A Memorable Thanksgiving: Your Week-Long Prep Guide

Thanksgiving is just around the corner—next Thursday, to be exact! It feels like it crept up on me this year. While I usually prefer planning ahead, life can get busy, and time slips away. So, I’ve condensed my usual three-week timeline into just one week. No need to worry; you can pull it off and still enjoy a memorable Thanksgiving. Here’s to making your holiday cooking a breeze!

One Week Before Thanksgiving

  • Decide who’s coming for Thanksgiving dinner.
  • Make a Thanksgiving menu.
  • Write a grocery list.
  • Clean out your fridge and freezer.
  • Grocery shop for anything that you can get ahead.
  • Take out the turkey to defrost. (It can take up to 5 days to fully defrost depending on the size).

Picture of Le Creuset Heritage Covered Baker


Loving this Le Creuset Heritage Covered Baker to make sweet potato casserole in for Thanksgiving. Click here to get yours today.*

Day Before Thanksgiving

  • Review your timeline for your cooking.
  • Take the list of dishes and assign them to any helpers that you will have on Thanksgiving Day.
  • Set an alarm for Thanksgiving Day to get the turkey in the oven on time.
  • Check to see if there are any fresh ingredients you need to get from the store.
  • Early in the day make your final trip to the grocery store.
  • Cook anything that can be cooked ahead of time such as the pies.
  • Complete any prep work that can be done ahead for veggies.
  • If you have the space take out your cooking vessels and anything that is in the pantry that you will need on Thanksgiving Day. I like to put the pantry items with the cooking vessel so everything is at hand. This also makes it easier for those helping you cook so you can focus on what you are making. 
Photo of thanksgiving dinner.

Thanksgiving Day

  • Start the day with an easy breakfast and assign cleanup to someone else in your household. It’s great to delegate breakfast cooking to someone else too!
  • Have someone in your family set the table.
  • Start the turkey first and then make the rest of the dishes.
  • Clean as you go to make sure your kitchen stays functional. It can be helpful to run the dishwasher as soon as it is full instead of waiting until the end of the day. This allows you to unload it after Thanksgiving dinner and reload it with the dinner dishes. 
  • Put everything into serving dishes and serve dinner.
  • Enjoy the lovely dinner you have prepared.
  • Let your family do the remaining dishes.

Preparing for a memorable Thanksgiving at the last minute might seem overwhelming, but if you tackle it in small, manageable steps, it becomes entirely achievable. Remember to carve out some time to rest, and make it a team effort—ensure your family helps with all the dishes!

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