Plan Like a Pro
Prep now and thank us later.
Putting together a big meal is all about strategy, especially when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner. If you're not sure where to begin, that's okay! Let us show you how to tackle this holiday one day at a time.
Two to Four Weeks Prior to Thanksgiving
- Secure your Kitchen Essentials: Make sure you have the proper kitchen essentials needed to prep your dinner. Your must-have list should include a turkey baster, fat separator, roasting pan, poultry thermometer, roasting rack, and a carving set and carving board.
- Create your Grocery List: Create a list of all ingredients you'll need for the dishes you are preparing. Our tip - separate your list into non-perishable items and perishable items. You'll want to purchase your non-perishables ahead of time!
- Order or Reserve your Turkey: Secure your turkey by reserving it ahead of time at the meat counter in your local Jewel-Osco. If however, you're opting for a frozen turkey, pick it up as soon as you have room in your freezer!
One Week Prior to Thanksgiving
- Shop for Non-Perishables and Bar Items: Purchase your canned goods and dry ingredients (like chicken stock, butter, stuffing mix, nuts, baking ingredients) turkey brine kit, and paper products. Additionally, we encourage you to stock up on your beverage essentials like waters, sodas, beer, wine, etc.
- Prepare Items Ahead-of-Time: Things like soups, cookies, cookie or pastry dough can be made ahead of time and stored in your freezer.
- Plan Your Cooking Schedule: Create a schedule to follow to set yourself up for success. In addition to freezing things well in advance, other items like desserts, baked breads, and cranberry sauce can be made 2-3 days in advance.
2-4 Days Prior to Thanksgiving
- Shop for Perishables: It's time to purchase those fresh ingredients like vegetables, turkey, fresh herbs, and store-made items like fresh cakes, cookies, and pies.
- Defrost Your Turkey: If you've opted for a frozen turkey, now is your time to begin defrosting your bird. Tip - allow one day of thawing per 4 pounds of turkey.
- Get Baking: If you're also handling the desserts, now is a great time to begin baking. If you're opting for store bought, purchase today for optimal freshness.
1 Day Prior to Thanksgiving
- Set your Table: Set the table in advance so you don't have to worry about it when guests are arriving.
- Prep Side Dishes: Side dishes like casseroles, mashed potatoes, and stuffing can be made a day in advance, refrigerated overnight, and re-heated the next day.
- Set up your Beverage Station: Make it easy for guests to help themselves to drinks throughout the day.
- Prep and Cook your Turkey: It's time to cook your bird! Start by rinsing the turkey and letting it sit at room temperature for one hour prior to cooking.
- Prepare your Appetizers: Cook your appetizers and serve to your guests.
- Re-Heat your Sides: Re-heat your prepared side dishes. We recommend re-heating "low and slow", about one hour prior to eating.
- Make the Gravy: Cook up your delicious gravy so it is ready to eat alongside your meal.
- Savor it All: Enjoy your delicious meal, and the family and friends around you. Cheers!