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How to Build the Ultimate Thanksgiving Dinner Menu

How to Build the Ultimate Thanksgiving Dinner Menu
How to Build the Ultimate Thanksgiving Dinner Menu

Posted on November 17 2021

There’s a lot of planning that goes into hosting Thanksgiving Dinner— the decorations, the guest list, entertainment, the list goes on. However, the menu is one of the most important things to plan ahead of turkey day. After all, Thanksgiving is about getting together with friends and family for a big meal and to share thanks. To help alleviate some of the stress and responsibility that goes along with hosting Thanksgiving Dinner, we’ve put together this menu planning guide. At the end, you’ll have a solid meal plan and some extra tips to help you prepare the ultimate Thanksgiving Dinner.

The Turkey


Turkey on Family Tree Carving Board

Start with the turkey! It really is the star of the dining table, and it requires a bit of time and attention. Depending on the size of your turkey, it will take a few hours to cook in the oven and a few days to defrost. (Don’t forget to defrost the turkey!) When the turkey is cooked, be sure to have a serving platter large enough to hold your turkey. There’s nothing more frustrating than having a perfectly cooked turkey on Thanksgiving and struggling to find something large enough to serve it on.

Appetizers


Rock & Branch® Series Slate and Acacia Serving Paddle

A charcuterie board or appetizer spread is going to become your best friend on Thanksgiving Day. Not only is it easy to prep and put together, it also keeps your guests from becoming hangry while waiting for the main course. It’s enough food to keep your guests occupied, but not so much that they’ll be full before the meal even begins. Instead of answering the question “when will the food be ready” for what feels like a million times, you will be able to focus on preparing the rest of your menu.

Salad


Bamboo Salad Hands and 12" Classic Bowl

Resist having the whole table covered in brown and beige colored foods with a fresh green salad. It will help add some color to your Thanksgiving social media pictures and provide another option for any guests with dietary restrictions. Even your guests without dietary restrictions will appreciate having a lighter option to complement their over-loaded plate.

Have you ever tried serving salad with a fork? Don’t. Make it easy for your guests to grab some salad without making a huge mess with our Bamboo Salad Hands. They act like real hands, but more sanitary. Each “hand” also features a knob on the back that allows them to rest on the edge of the salad bowl between servings rather than sliding into the food.

The Side Dishes


Expandable Trivet 

For some people, Thanksgiving is all about the side dishes. Be sure to serve a variety of side dishes, but don’t overcomplicate it. Make it easier on yourself by prepping any side dishes that you can ahead of time, enlisting the help of others to bring a side or use a slow cooker to alleviate the stress of making so many dishes at one time.  


What side dishes should make the menu? Stick to the classics that end up on your table year after year, like grandma’s famous mac ‘n cheese recipe, but don’t be afraid to experiment with a new dish or two. Try a new twist on a classic dish or test out something new altogether. Your guests will appreciate seeing their favorites and some variety on the table! 

Baltique® Marrakesh Collection 4-Piece Cooking Utensil Set

Bonus Tip: Be sure to have enough serving utensils for all your side dishes in addition to the utensils you will be cooking with. Having enough utensils will ensure you won’t need to wash dishes right before dinner. Who says they have to be boring plastic or wooden utensils though? The bold and warm colors of our Marrakesh 4-Piece Utensil Set have them looking like they were designed with Thanksgiving in mind. Plus, the extra pop of color is sure to impress your guests.

Drinks


Thanksgiving Dinner Drinks

If you have never added a featured drink to your Thanksgiving menu, this is the year to do it. There’s something about a featured drink that makes the menu more exciting! Whether you go for a craft cocktail, hot apple cider or a quality red wine, your guests will enjoy having a beverage option that’s unique. You may even start a new Thanksgiving family tradition too.

Bread or Rolls


Palaoa Bread Board

Bread is the perfect vehicle for scooping up every last bit of stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy on your plate— which is probably what makes bread such a popular food to eat on Thanksgiving! You can’t go wrong with classic dinner rolls, but there’s plenty of other bread options you can serve. Mix up your menu with cornbread, garlic knots, sourdough, a baguette, cheese biscuits or a unique family recipe. Whatever bread you serve, it’s sure to be a hit!

Dessert


Thanksgiving Dessert

Finish off your Thanksgiving menu with some pie! Pumpkin pie is one of the most popular pies to serve on Thanksgiving, but there are plenty of other pie options if you’re not a big fan of pumpkin. Apple, cherry, pecan, and butternut squash are all great alternatives. If you’re wondering how you’re going to fit all this food into your oven to cook, then opt for a pie that can easily be made ahead or not baked at all. (Hello peanut butter pie!) No matter what sweet treat ends up on your menu, it’s the perfect way to finish Thanksgiving Dinner.

Hosting Thanksgiving dinner takes a lot of work, but you should now have a good idea of what to include on your Thanksgiving Dinner menu. There’s only one last step— make sure you have everything you need to serve all the delicious food you cook! Shop our Get Ready for Thanksgiving Collection to grab all the serving essentials you’ll need for the biggest meal of the year.

 

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