The holiday season officially kicks off next week with a big turkey feast, and I’m so excited to share my 2020 Thanksgiving Menu with you!! This year’s menu is simple and a little scaled back, but we’re covering all the essentials with a decadent breakfast, a festive appetizer, staple side dishes, a beautifully roasted turkey, and my favorite classic dessert. It’s a delicious menu that I for one am beyond excited to cook this coming Thursday. In this guide, you’ll also find a grocery list, kitchen timeline, and my best Thanksgiving tips & tricks!
the original dish 2020 thanksgiving menu
All The Sides
thanksgiving menu grocery list
I created a grocery list for this menu to serve six people (plus leftovers) since this year, we’re spending the holiday with just my immediate family. I’d say if you’re cooking for two, cut it all in half, and if you’re cooking for four, this grocery list will still probably work well…you’ll just have a nice amount of leftovers (never a bad thing)! Of course, you could multiply these amounts if needed as well.
Note: I’m subbing bourbon for brandy in the brandy pecans (cheesecake) since we’re already buying bourbon for the sweet potatoes!
Download grocery list.
A Thanksgiving dinner is SO much fun to cook, but can definitely get overwhelming. It’s important to be very prepared and stay organized. And of course, don’t stress. If you eat a little later than expected or a recipe does turn out exactly as you’d imagine, it’s still going to be a wonderful meal that everyone will enjoy! Have some fun in the kitchen and keep things stress-free!
That all being said, here’s a rough outline of the kitchen schedule I’ll be following for cooking up this Thanksgiving menu. Definitely use this for guidance, but also consider factors such as fridge space, oven space, amount of people you’re cooking for, etc.
• print off grocery list
• take inventory of what you already have on hand & adjust amounts
• add in your own items – drinks, snacks, etc.
• print off & read through all recipes to have a mental idea of all the steps
• grocery shop
• unload, remove packaging, put ingredients away
• organize the kitchen
• make cinnamon butter (store in fridge)
• make herb honey butter (store in fridge)
• make pumpkin bread
• make cheesecake
• make whipped cream
• make cranberry mostarda
• make parsley vinaigrette
• make whipped ricotta
• clean & cut brussels sprouts
• dice sweet potatoes
• dice butternut squash
• shred fontina and manchego cheeses
• soften cinnamon butter
• serve pumpkin bread
• assemble mushroom brioche stuffing (cover and chill in fridge)
• make caramelized butternut squash toast
• organize remaining ingredients for all the last-minute dishes
• prep & begin roasting the turkey breast (a bone-in turkey breast takes approximately 15-20 minutes per pound to cook, plus about 15 minutes to rest – calculate when to put the bird in based on its size and when you want to eat)
• roast sweet potatoes
• roast brussels sprouts & grapes
• boil yukon gold potatoes
• brown butter for the turkey & whipped potatoes
• pull herb honey butter from fridge to soften
• serve appetizers
• bake stuffing
• make cornmeal popovers
• make bourbon pecan glaze & toss with sweet potatoes to heat through
• heat & whip yukon gold potatoes
• heat & toss brussels sprouts with parsley vinaigrette
• plate & serve all dishes!
• pull cheesecake & whipped cream from fridge
• make brandy pecans for serving
Download kitchen schedule.
some thanksgiving tips
No 1. – Have FUN with it! Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday to cook for because I love the hustle and bustle of waking up early and cooking all day long. If that’s not something that excites you, maybe scale back your menu and try to keep things easy on yourself. Figure out exactly what you can manage while still having a good time.
No. 2 – Get your grocery shopping out of the way on Monday or Tuesday. The worst feeling is waking up on Wednesday morning and realizing you still need to grocery shop. The stores are usually really busy and certain items may be picked over by then. It’s best to have ingredients as fresh as possible, though, so I think early in the week is the perfect sweet spot.
No. 3 – Prep as much as possible the day before. I am definitely not good at taking this advice and usually wind up having zero prep done come Thursday morning. But especially if it’s your first time cooking Thanksgiving dinner, I think it’s really helpful to have a lot of small or tedious prep tasks done ahead of time. You’ll feel more calm and relaxed the day of (definitely a goal I’m making this year!).
No. 4 – We always cook Thanksgiving dinner at my parent’s house with 2 ovens in their kitchen…and we still manage to run out of room at certain times. If you’re cooking with 1 oven, try and squeeze in some extra roasting prep on Wednesday.
No. 5 – Always make a dessert that can be done ahead of time. This is why I absolutely love making a cheesecake. The worst thing would be to finish a heavy Thanksgiving meal and realize you still have to whip up a full dessert.
I hope this Thanksgiving guide is really helpful in creating beautiful and absolutely delicious food this holiday! As always, comment any questions you may have below!