As I write out our Thanksgiving Meal Plan, I thought I would share it here too, along with some recipe links.

We tend to host a larger gathering, this year will be have 20 guests for dinner, and 26 for dessert. We always try to incorporate lots of local produce, farm fresh turkeys, and delicious flavors.

Every year I take notes about what worked, and what didn’t, for the big Thanksgiving dinner. Having a Thanksgiving meal plan you can refer back to year after year is so helpful. (so much so that I want a digital copy by creating this blog post!)

What size turkey should I buy?

What size turkey should I buy?

This was the top question I get about planning the Thanksgiving Meal Plan.
What size turkey should I get for Thanksgiving dinner?

The general rule of thumb is a pound per person. However, I want to make sure we have leftovers. ⁠
I’m ordering an 18-20 lb turkey, AND I’ll cook a turkey breasts separately in the slow cooker so we have extra, AND it makes a fresh batch of turkey stock for the gravy. ⁠Last year we didn’t need to serve the turkey breast, so now I know I can save it for leftovers over the weekend.

thanksgiving meal plan

Where I buy ingredients for my Thanksgiving

  1. Farmers to You: farm fresh ingredients collected from Vermont farms and delivered to drop locations in Massachusetts.
  2. Thrive Market: all my baking staples were restocked via Thrive Market. Having it delivered makes it so much easier to prep for a big dinner.
  3. Whole Foods, Prime Now delivery: after this post is done, I’m finalizing my shopping plan for Thanksgiving. And yes, I’m a huge fan of delivery.
  4. Scout & Cellar Clean Crafted Wine: again, delivery saves the day. I ordered some pinot noir and sauvignon blanc for the dinner hour, plus I have a special Cabernet Sauvignon that will come out as dinner winds down and desserts are served. Grab your four bottle dinner set now for the next round of holidays. Stock up on clean crafted wine and share no sugar added, natural wines for the holidays. 
  5. Volante Farms: I’m picking up my farm raised turkey from the local store tomorrow, and I’ll grab some flowers and apples for decorations.

cranberry sauce for thanksgiving meal plan

Thanksgiving Meal Plan Recipes

I try to plan a few weeks in advance, especially once I know how many guests are joining us for Thanksgiving. Having lists of what was on our meal plan in year’s past is super helpful. This year I even created a binder just for Thanksgiving. There are so many delicious recipes, why should we save them for only Thanksgiving? I plan to use the binder for weekly meal planning during the cold season ahead.

Thanksgiving Meal Plan Ideas

Here’s our Thanksgiving meal plan:

  • 18-20 lb Turkey and a turkey breast
  • Roach family stuffing…sourdough bread cubes with nitrate free sausage, a little homemade cranberry sauce, eggs, butter, onions, celery, and lots of poultry seasoning.
  • Murphy family stuffing….white bread, onions, celery, egg, and Bays seasoning. (old traditions die hard.)
  • Corn bread pudding…my husband just made this request as it’s one of his family favorites. I’ve doctored up the recipe over the years to include only unprocessed ingredients. This corn pudding from Pamela Salzman is very close to the way I make mine now.
  • Cranberry sauce…at least three! I make it from scratch with just maple syrup, gelatin, and orange zest. Last year we made an amazing version with chopped pears so that’s on deck to be repeated this year. (the recipe is from Pamela Salzman’s Thanksgiving ebook. I bought it last year and there were tons of great ideas in it, including what to do with turkey leftovers! (not an affiliate link…I just loved the ebook!)
  • Butternut Squash…last year my dad made it with squash from his garden. This year, I’m making a roasted holiday veggie dish with squash from OUR GARDEN! It’s one of the new recipes that’s been updated in my own Fall Ebook Bundle. 
  • Green Bean Casserole…I’m still looking for the perfect update to the green bean casserole I loved as a kid. Complete with French’s onions. This year I’m testing out the recipe from Live Simply Mom.
  • Mashed Potatoes…last year we accidentally made it with russet potatoes…use yukon gold instead. This year I’m trying it in the Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes recipe to lighten the load on our stovetop. I don’t like to have leftover mashed potatoes, but I will increase the ingredients in this recipe to make sure we have enough.
  • Gravy…my Nana taught me to make it with Wondra flour. This year I’m testing some out with brown rice flour and arrowroot starch to see if I can make myself a gluten free gravy. Stay tuned!
  • Sweet Potato Casserole…love this with orange sweet potatoes…OR PURPLE potatoes. Using this recipe, but I do skip the apple juice concentrate. I think it’s sweet enough with the maple syrup, and I don’t like buying a random ingredient like this for just dish.
  • Something GREEN! This will be a game time decision for either Brussel sprouts or sautéed green beans. I just find I like the balance of having more greens on the table, but yet I don’t always want a salad. If you do make a salad, dress it up with pomegranate seeds and persimmons! So pretty. And use butter lettuce as it will hold up better than super greens.

purple sweet potato casserole

Okay…I better get off this computer and start cooking.

Oh wait, you didn’t think I would forget dessert?!

Thanksgiving Meal Plan dessert

Thanksgiving Desserts

  • Apple pie (little sister is the pie master!)
  • Pecan pie…also from little sister
  • Pumpkin pie…my task, and my 8 year old just LOVES pumpkin pie.
  • Chocolate and cheese board is from a guest this season, so curious to see it!
  • Tea (no one ever drinks the coffee I make!)

I hope you have some ideas now for your own Thanksgiving Meal Plan! Pin this post to save for years to come as I’ll try to keep updating it with what works! Cheers to a delicious holiday ahead.

thanksgiving meal plan recipes

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