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Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas

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These  Thanksgiving Dinner Ideas are tips that I have collected over the years. I feel that a few shortcuts can help you save time and enjoy the day while still providing a delicious and memorable feast.

Over the years I have made many Thanksgiving dinners. Honestly, it is not as intimidating as it sounds and a turkey is actually quite easy to make. I mean, you can sort of  think if it as a big chicken right? Check out my tips below. 


Hi Friends!

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away? I am thankful that it is still a ways away, but being the planner that I am, I am already planning for it. I find that planning ahead makes for so much less stress.

I have hosted many Thanksgiving dinners over the years and each year it gets a little easier. So today, I wanted to share some of my tips for preparing my home for the big weekend.

I say weekend because we really do celebrate all weekend, not just on Thanksgiving Day. The key to enjoying the day is planning ahead. I have a helpful printable checklist for you too!

Planning A Memorable (but easy) Thanksgiving Dinner

As much as we plan, sometimes life gets in the way and we always put pressure on ourselves to make an elaborate Thanksgiving dinner. I have hosted many Thanksgiving dinners and I’ve got some tips to simplify the process. 

Thanksgiving Decor Ideas

Keep it super simple. No need to spend a lot of money on decor items. Using dollar store decorations, you can create a nice, festive Thanksgiving table. Or gram some items and some popcorn kernels from the dollar store and make some cheap Thanksgiving Table decor.


Simple Turkey Recipe

I have used the same roasted turkey recipe to bake my turkey in the oven. I use this recipe and what is different about it is that you actually turn the turkey over while cooking. I usually stuff it with stuffing for added flavor as it fits in with a classic Thanksgiving menu. 

IF you just have a family of 5 or 6, try making your turkey in an instant pot

Instant Pot Turkey Breast

Go For Simple Sides Items

Keep side items simple. by trying time-intensive or complicated recipes. Simple and tasty recipes are always appreciated by friends and family. You can even make them ahead of time and just warm up in the oven on the big day. For example, make mashed potatoes and sweet potato casserole a few days prior. They will reheat easily. Brussels sprouts with Bacon can easily be made with just a few ingredients.  Cranberry sauce can be made days prior and keeps well in the fridge.

Here are few simple and delicious side dish recipes for the holidays.

Thanksgiving menu

Cornbread Stuffing – Easy to make and so much better than boxed. 

Baked Sweet Potatoes with Basil – a savory dish made with basil and paprika.

Sweet Potato Casserole – A sweeter version made with brown sugar and marshmallows. 

Cheesy Cauliflower – so delicious and decadent tasting, and it is only 2 WW points per serving.

Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries – A delicious way to enjoy Brussels Sprouts

How To Make Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries side dish

Scalloped Potatoes – Delicious potatoes baked in your oven. Simple and tasty!

Golden Cornbread – my favorite cornbread recipe from scratch – it is entirely easy!

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes – Use your crockpot and save space on your stove with this easy Potato Recipe.

Texas Roadhouse Rolls. These are so good for Thanksgiving and beyond!

Texas Roadhouse Buns Recipe card

We’ve got more  Simple Thanksgiving Sides for you too!

Thanksgiving Side dish Recipes

Simple Thanksgiving Desserts Desserts

If making a pie crust sounds daunting and figuring out the perfect meringue is a mystery, skip it! There are awesome Thanksgiving desserts that don’t require an oven or any fancy skills in the kitchen. Sure, pumpkin pie is always nice, but there are so many other delicious elegant Thanksgiving recipe options for pecans, apples, pears that you can make ahead of time.

Thanksgiving To Go

An option that will help reduce your stress is to outsource aspects of your meal. From having friends and family bring their favorite dishes to actually purchasing pre-made food from your grocery store or favorite restaurant, you can simplify your day so that you can actually enjoy it.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and don’t think that everything you serve has to be homemade by you. Let others, whether your guests or your favorite food establishments, help you throw a wonderful and delicious Thanksgiving dinner this year!

Thanksgiving Activities

Thanksgiving is always a great time to play some games or watch a football game together. In the past, we have done this fun Thanksgiving gratitude activity too.

Here are some other easy Thanksgiving activities for kids. Remember, it doesn’t have to be elaborate, simple is better. 


 Here is a simple Thanksgiving Checklist for you to print out and use as you prepare.

Tips for Hosting Thanksgiving

How many people are you hosting this year?

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Want to streamline your weekly meals? Check out my Beginner’s Guide to Meal Planning book on Amazon.


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Wednesday 20th of November 2019

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Monday 18th of November 2019

We're doing a small one this year! Only 8. And it will be mellow, which it never is. So I appreciate your post because it doesn't overwhelm at all. I'm actually looking forward to it!


Thursday 21st of November 2019

How fun! 8 is a perfect number for dinner (and games)!