Thanksgiving Dinner Tips

I always used to feel stressed and anxious going into hosting a dinner. Getting the timing right, making it look effortless, enjoying it. I wanted to share a few tips and a few round ups of tips that I think will help you get through Thanksgiving dinner, or any other dinner party.

  1. Make a timeline, working backwards. What time do you want to serve your main course? Work backwards from there, allowing time for each recipe. I assume an extra 10 minutes for everything I’m making which allows me to:
  2. Clean as you go. The kitchen, when preparing for a holiday meal or dinner party, can become so unruly so quickly. If you clean as you go, you won’t be stressed 5 minutes before guests arrive trying to clean up in a panic.
  3. Set your table the night before. I even set out the serving dishes with sticky notes to remind myself what I wanted to use the dish for.
  4. Make sure you have a list. This seems so obvious, but make your grocery list well in advance and tick things off as you go. This will save you from the “honey-go-get-me…”.
  5. Make sure your menu makes sense. And isn’t overwhelming. I start with a huge list, then get practical and scratch things off. I also always, always try to mix in hot and cold things for appetizers, knowing my stovetop and oven will be occupied. I always make sure I have a few things that I can make the day prior and reheat the night of. Write the reheating instructions on your containers and account for reheating in your timeline!
  6. Be prepared for your guests arrival 15 minutes before. And account for it in your tasks for the day. Make sure the wine is chilled, glasses are out, music is playing and all your candles are lit.
  7. Make a playlist!


Here are some other Thanksgiving tips that will help you get to the main event with a smile on your face:

The Kitchn’s Thanksgiving Tips

Martha’s Thanksgiving Tips

Pioneer Woman’s Tips

Food52’s Thanksgiving Hotline

And of course, the Butterball Turkey Talk Line: 1-800-BUTTERBALL