Are you a little overwhelmed with your holiday to-do list?
Use the free Thanksgiving menu template to make planning your feast easier this year. No need to run around last minute!
When the big day comes, you’ll have a huge smile on your face knowing that you prepped ahead of time. Then, you can focus on what really matters – the gratitude you feel for family and food.
How do You Plan a Thanksgiving Menu?
If you haven’t planned your feast, these are essential first things to consider!
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Start With the Must-Haves
First, we all have favorite traditional foods that are a MUST at Thanksgiving. So, start with the dishes that mean the most to you. These cherished foods will inevitably make an appeareance.
Plan a Variety
Then, use the free Thanksgiving menu printable to make sure there’s a variety of drinks, appetizers, desserts, etc. The free planner will ensure that you’re not repeating the same types of foods.
Decide What to Delegate & Prep Ahead
And share the work! Everyone in the family has something to contribute. So, consider these questions to make the menu as easy as possible:
- What can others bring?
- Do you need to buy something already made?
- What can you prep and/or freeze beforehand?
- What can your kids and partner help with?
Now, read on for Thanksgiving menu ideas and more ways to organize ahead of time!
Easy Menu Plan Ideas for Thanksgiving
Here are the foods most often found at a Thanksgiving place setting. Scan each of the sections to get brainstorming!
Delightful Drink Ideas
- Water/Sparkling Water
- Tea (hot or cold)
- Cocktails – Check out this Hard Cider Sangria!
- Dips (artichoke dip, bean dips, cranberry cream cheese dips, etc.)
- Cheese and crackers
- Veggies and dip
- Stuffed peppers or mushrooms
- Cheese fondue
- Slider sandwiches
- Bacon-wrapped pineapple or anything
- Check out this AWESOME fall charcuterie board!
Marvelous Main Entrees
- Herbed chicken
- Prime rib
Savory Side Dishes
- Mashed potatoes
- Sweet potatoes
- Cranberry sauce
- Green beans with almonds
- Traditional Stuffing
- Cold salads
- Roasted squash
- Roasted brussel sprouts
- Green bean casserole
- Baked mac and cheese
- Creamed spinach
Related Post: Big List of Healthy Meal Ideas + Free Printable
- Pecan pie
- Pumpkin pie
- Chocolate pie
- Pumpkin cupcakes
- Cream pie
- Fruit Trifle
- Apple pie
- Fruit cobbler
- Pumpkin spice cake
- Caramel apple dump cake
How to Prepare Ahead of Time
Next, Thanksgiving is hectic if you’re the one doing the planning. And while some tasks have to be done on the day, a lot can be organized ahead to make your holiday stress-free.
Here’s what to do:
1. Make a guest list – First, decide who’s eating and what they are bringing to the feast!
2. Fill out your Thanksgiving menu template with the rest of your food items. Delegate items.
3. Make a shopping List! What items can you buy ahead? Can you consolidate where you buy items?
4. Chop, mix, and bake days ahead. Decide which dishes can have small items done a day or two before. Often desserts and casseroles do not need to be done on the same day!
Pro Tip: We also like to make breakfast items ahead of time so that we ALL enjoy the Thanksgiving Day parade together!
Do You Have a Thanksgiving Agenda Yet?
Or try these other great Thanksgiving activity ideas:
- Thanksgiving Day Trivia Questions & Answers
- Thanksgiving Would You Rather
- Thanksgiving Mad Libs Printables
- Funny Thanksgiving charades to play
Thanksgiving Menu Free Printable
If you love meal planning pages, check out the Free Weekly Meal Planner post too!
To Consider With Your Thanksgiving Menu Template
Finally, have fun! Smile! Focus on the good stuff, and try not to stress about your Thanksgiving planning.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, perhaps it’s time to let other family members contribute more to the food and festivities.
So that you make sure you’re enjoying the special day too!
Next, check out these funny and meaningful Thanksgiving conversation starters. Print and use the free cards at your Thanksgiving meal.
Fall Gratitude Articles to Read (All With FREE Printables!)
- 60 Fierce Gratitude Quotes for a Blessed Fall (Wall Art)
- 50 Gratitude Journaling Prompts
- The 30 Day Gratitude Challenge – Try it Now!